It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?
18 hours to go. I’m sleeping just fine.
It’s August 1 and the New England summer is at its peak heat today. I’ve left final wedding preparations until this morning. What’s the rush? The wedding isn’t until this evening. Plenty of time to drive into the big city and pick up my tuxedo.
Considering that I was across the continent just a few days ago without a plane ticket or any money to buy one, picking up a fancy rented suit today is minor. I have no other preparation wedding duties. I’m sure the bride and bridesmaids have much to do. Hair, makeup, final clothing adjustments, and pre-wedding pictures are on their agenda.
I get up and have an unremarkable breakfast. It’s so average, I don’t remember it 27 years later. I’m staying with my parents until tonight. This isn’t the house I grew up in. That was sold and demolished in the past two years to make way for a new subdivision while I was away.
I have no emotional attachment to this place. The house is unfamiliar and strange to me. I don’t know it’s creaks and quirks. In the old house, we could prank whoever was in the shower by turning on a hot water faucet elsewhere and it would diminish the flow leaving them suddenly cold. The startled shouts of a shocked brother was always good for a laugh. I don’t know how it works in this place.
My eldest brother is also my best man today. He is driving me to the city for the tux later this morning. The store opens at 10 am. 45 minutes to drive there, 30 minutes in the store, 45 minutes back. That will kill a couple of hours. Only 8 more to go.
“Let’s go bowling ,” I say after we get back from the tuxedo store.
Not because I’m thrilled about bowling. It’s just an idea to kill a few more hours. We drive to the local alley, go in, but can’t bowl. They’re waxing the lanes in the mid-afternoon lull.
“What now?” my brother asks.
“I don’t know. There’s not enough time to see a movie. We’d be late then. How about we go to the arcade and waste some coins?” I reply.
“Whatever you want. It’s your wedding day.” he answers.
We go and spend almost 90 minutes playing most of the games. He looks at his watch and says we should drive home and get dressed for the wedding. Plenty of time.
Why did we agree on an evening wedding?