What Happens After The Happiest Day of Your Life
She picked up the glass, twirling the crystal stem in her fingers, holding the paper-thin bowl up to the light. They were the perfect glasses–Baccarat, not Waterford, as everyone knew Waterford was too fussy. All those facets, she thought bitterly. I don’t want to drink out of the Chrysler building.
She remembered the day they picked them out–well, the day she did, anyway, whirling around Neiman’s with the glowing red gun. He resisted initially, insisting that they were too expensive.
“Babe, I don’t want my grandmother forking over $300 for a single water glass,” he said. “Can’t we get these instead?”
He’d pointed to a display of Lenox glasses. Goddamn LENOX. She rolled her eyes at the memory. As if I’d be caught dead entertaining with a $36 glass. She won him over by insisting that the glasses were an investment.
“An investment in a lifetime of memories,” she cooed.
Stupid. I’m so stupid.
She turned the Baccarat upside down again, watching the light bounce off the rounded stem. She put it back on the table and twisted her hands for a moment before letting them fall into her lap. They rustled in the folds of her tulle slip, and she realized with horror that she was still wearing her wedding dress.
Her hands smoothed the fabric as she glanced down at herself admiringly.
Well, no one can say I didn’t look fabulous.
She almost snorted. Of course she looked fabulous–she was wearing a seven-thousand dollar dress. She’d loved it immediately–made of the softest silk, it was strapless and perfectly fitted to the waist before cascading into a million tiny little ruffles so fine they looked like delicate feathers. Monique Lhuillier herself probably hired twenty thousand Filipino children to hand-stitch each individual fold in the fabric.
That, too, had been an argument — this time, with her father. Her parents were generous to a fault, but even they were less than thrilled with the cost of the dress. They’d asked her to stay under three thousand dollars — a perfectly reasonable sum, she now realized — but she’d wheedled and begged, insisting on its critical role in the most important day of her life. It was her father who finally caved, and when he’d written the check, she was oddly triumphant. She’d known he wouldn’t refuse her.
She sat back in her chair and picked up the glass again. The day had been perfect, she realized. Precisely what she’d always wanted. The flowers — cascading orchids in the deepest velvet purple — were of a dream. The cost of those, too, had been staggering, fueled by their purported rarity.
She buried her head in her hands. All those details, she thought. The centerpieces. The dupioni silk custom chair covers blended of the subtlest of colors — a light cream and the softest pearl.
She lifted her head and looked at her engagement ring. Nine months later, and it still took her breath away. She twisted it around, remembering that just yesterday it had stood alone. Yesterday, when things were completely different than they were today. Yesterday, when she was happy and warm with the anticipation of her wedding day.
Yesterday, before she realized this was all a horrible mistake.
Jonniker is a mother, a writer, a twitterer, and a force to be reckoned with.
Her original, glorious post debuted the now-disbanded Polite Fictions, and it now lives for eternity here on Story Bleed. Subscribe to her personal blog through RSS or Networked Blogs
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