Monday, June 6, 2011

when things don't go exactly as planned

i don't know how to tell this story
without sounding a bit
but i want to tell it
so i'll take that chance

it all started when the priest didn't check into the hotel
or maybe 
it all started when the weather suddenly changed from
partly sunny
mostly rainy
or maybe
 it was when i threw my back out

things were getting so out of hand
upon smelling the wood in the pizza oven
i went into a mild panic
i imagined
the house was burning down

wouldn't that have been
icing on the cake

i'm pretty good under pressure
i was always a last minute lulu in school

saturday night tested me good
tested us all

saturday was the big day
a celebration
50 years in the making
dinner and dancing
with the pacific as the backdrop
my parents planned to
renew their wedding vows
followed by
a huge party
in the garden of their new home
at half past six

at three it was all on track
smooth as silk
drama free
with a slight chance of rain

by 3:30 it had all changed
slight chance turned to you betcha
not enough time to tent
plan B was scratched
and we punted

we were moving it all inside

2 hours until show time
frantic stashing commenced

jars full of candied nuts, crammed into linen closets
antique match strikers in warming drawers
plants in the dishwasher
pots under the sink
sorry mom
we were punting

butler's pantry became a wine bar
kitchen island, five feet of antipasti
cocktail tables were moved into the foyer
the band relocated to the living room

space was at a premium
which meant the
brazilian bbq and pizza oven
remained outside
under a canopy of umbrellas

and then
an hour before the ceremony
and me in my grubbies
we hear from the priest

not coming
had the wrong date on the calendar
no show

here come the locust
or was that just me
nervously humming

let me recap
no priest
no outdoor party
 120 people
a band
in the house

a happy 50th anniversary indeed

so here is what happened

i grabbed a bible
pulled some passages
wrote some intentions
found traditional vows via the internet
wrangled the grandchildren to be readers
ran a comb through my hair
put on some lipstick
and pretended
that this is exactly how it was supposed to be
i figured
if i didn't acknowledge it was a disaster
the guests would be too polite to mention anything

here is how i sold it
with a glass of champagne in my hand
and a smile on my face
and this conversation starter

isn't this just so italian
drinking great wine
eating in the kitchen
laughing with friends

here's the thing
when the last guest left
in the wee hours of the morning
i looked at my parents
and i thought
this WAS how it should be
this party
just like a long held marriage
did not come off without a hitch
left within its wake
echoes of joy

here's to the next 50
mom and dad
cin cin!


  1. Wonderful! How fantastic that you were able to do this for them.... I am sure it makes it that much more memorable and special to them to have their daughter, who has been a witness to their union all of these years, be with them and help them to re-devote and renew their vows to each other. The day may not have gone exactly how it was planned, but it went exactly how it was supposed to!

  2. Wow I'm out of breath just reading this! Great job on what you acheived...preists, pshh who needs em' :)

  3. Absolutely more needs to be said.

  4. There are only TWO things in this life, what you do and what you do not do. And what you did, was great!

  5. Hi Christy,
    What a precious post. Your parents have a very special daughter in you! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story and happy 50th to your parents.
    Miz Helen

  6. thank you all....melynda..those are words to live by!

  7. It always seems to be those nights that don't go off as planned that are the most special and memorable. Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  8. Well said! It brought a tear to my eyes. The best marriages and families are made of people who can "punt" and laugh at the rain, knowing that God is always in charge. Congratulations to you and your parents!

  9. Aww yay for saving the day! Congrats to your folks!

  10. that's a great post! gave me the shivers! xo


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