A lovely young woman and a handsome young man gather family and friends for their happy announcement, The wedding date has been set! Hugs, kisses, handshakes and a few tears fly around as champagne is poured and everyone rejoices. Joy reigns!
Later, as the excitement dies down, the mother of the Bride-to-Be and the mother of the Groom-to-Be ( that would be me) share a significant glance. We nod knowingly and are instantly transported into full pre-wedding mode.
The ceremony is to be small and intimate; still, plans have to be made, details must be worked out and LISTS, lots of LISTS need to be written.
Of course, the mother of the bride has the longest lists and by far the most details, but I, as mother of the groom, am certain of one thing. Every detail on our side of the aisle is going to be PERFECT. I envision myself looking serene and yes – motherly, not matronly, but motherly. Perhaps something in a misty mauve…
With these happy thoughts in mind that evening, I go in search of the Father-of-the-Groom-to-Be, hereafter to be referred to as the FOTGTB, eager to discuss the coming event. I find him lolling back in his LAZ-Y-BOY, a bag of buttery popcorn in one hand, a greasy channel zapper in the other. I fix an eye on him and announce, “You will need a new suit.”
The FOTGTB sits bolt upright (not an easy thing to do in a recliner), brushes the salt off his chin and manages a weak smile, but he says nothing. Now, this should have been a red alert. The FOTGTB always has something to say about everything, but I’m far too excited to notice.
Time passes and I spend happy days with my lists and my details, never forgetting to check out the menswear stores for the new suit. I find several that would do quite nicely.
Finally, one evening I corner the FOTGTB again and say, “I’ve found several suits that would do quite nicely for the wedding. We can go shopping tomorrow, you can try them on and make a decision.” The FOTGTB manages another weak smile, but once again says nothing. Well, this should have been a double red alert but I’m still wrapped up in my lists and don’t pay attention.
The next morning the FOTGTB gets up bright and early, hops on his bicycle and pedals off down the street. This is not unusual, he does this most mornings, but this time he’s gone quite awhile and I get a little anxious. I’m eager to set out on our shopping trip. Finally, the FOTGTB comes pedaling back up the street, a large plastic bag laid carefully across the handlebars of his bike.
I have an OH – OH moment. I spot the bright red logo “SALVATION ARMY THRIFT SHOP” just as a man’s suit is pulled out of the bag. My OH-OH moment has become an OH-NOOOOO moment.
Well, I sputter and stutter and squawk and stammer, but to no avail. And, actually the suit isn’t toooo bad, and the fit isn’t toooo bad and sometimes you just have to know when you’ve been had.
The wedding day dawns bright and beautiful. The bride and groom have eyes only for one another. They could care less what the FOTGTB is wearing. The wedding guests have eyes only for the bride and groom. They could care less what the FOTGTB is wearing.
And there he is, The FOTGTB, beaming proudly, every curly hair plastered down, tie neatly tied, resplendent in his new suit!
A few days later out comes the big plastic bag with the bright red logo, in goes the suit, the bag is placed carefully back across the bike handlebars, and the FOTG pedals happily off to donate his wedding suit back to the SALVATION ARMY THRIFT SHOP.
The FOTG is so pleased with his ingenious solution to what he feared would have been an expensive disaster, he tells everybody.
However, he’s a little disappointed in the reactions and later confides, “When I tell people about my new suit they laugh hysterically. What’s so funny? I don’t get it!”
And he never did.