by Maka MacKenna

Ah, sweet wedded bliss!

You can't help being impressed by the amount of sheer optimism demonstrated by those shiny young couples (and some not so young) whose posed pictures decorate the photo section of the newspaper. He's working in his father's rug-shampooing business and she's a sales associate at Sears. And yes, of course, they're ready to get married.

Your own wedding is always your favorite. At mine -- yes, believe it or not, I was married -- there was considerable upfront negotiating over the fact that my intended was Jewish and I was not. His parents were distraught at the prospect of their son being married off by some priest. After much thought and soul-searching I allowed as how I would abandon my heritage if they wouldn't mind paying for a nice wedding. To this day they probably don't know that I'd have let myself be married by Liberace sooner than by a priest.

I was involved in a friend's wedding that was a logistical nightmare. This was a full, formal wedding which meant six of us had to be wearing the same dress. I was still living in Hawaii, the bride and groom were in San Jose and the other attendants -- who ranged in size from a petite 6 to a hefty 16 -- were scattered around the West Coast.

Somehow we convened for a shopping trip and after visiting every mall in San Jose came to the conclusion that no manufacturer makes a dress that comes in both a 6 and a 16. Three weeks before the wedding, the word went out: We were going to make our dresses.

I can't thread a needle, but thank God for sisters. We did our fitting over the phone -- don't ask how. By the time I got back to San Jose the dress was basted together, but I had to go straight to the chapel for The Rehearsal.

It was at this point I met the affable fellow with whom I was supposed to walk down the aisle. He was a nice enough guy, but I had a strange sense of foreboding. I knew Something Was Going To Happen.

The next day, we overslept and didn't get the dress finished. We slapped it together with safety pins and off we went in the limo. No one knew. The walk down the aisle went fine and everyone sniffled during the ceremony. We smartly about-faced to follow the bride down the altar steps and out.

Then it happened. My escort tripped as he started down the steps.

Now I'd like to tell you that I was so quick-witted that I held onto his arm and kept him from making an embarrassing spectacle of himself. But the truth is that all I could think about was the fact that if he jerked on my arm, or if I made any sudden movements at all, the damn safety pins were going to give way. So I snatched my arm away and watched with the crowd as he tumbled arse over teakettle.

He was the highlight of the wedding video.

I had to leave the reception four or five times to keep pinning the dress together. But I imagine it was just as well we never actually finished sewing it. I really didn't have any plans to wear it again. n

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