Six Weeks

That's what I was saying over and over to myself twenty-five years ago this week. Six more weeks. I will be married in six weeks. My intended had been making jokes (threats?) about not making it to the reception because we'd ducked into a closet to .. well ... you know ... and my mother was going out of her mind with cleaning the house and getting everything together (we were watching her from our hazy state of increasing anticipation). Dresses were being fitted. Tuxes being tried on.

Yes, I think this is when we had the underwear crisis at the tux shop. (And writing this, now, I'm about to find out if any of my family is reading this narrative.)

I have two older sisters, one of whom was married with children when I got married. That sister was to be my matron of honor, her husband to be my husband's best man, and her youngest to be our little tiny ring bearer. We'd already discussed with the pastor our shockingly high trust in this child - we were going to put our actual rings onto the ring-bearer's pillow instead of proxy rings just for show. "Just for show" never occurs to us. So ... ring-bearers bear rings, don't they? Besides - our flower girl was most certainly up to the task of making sure the boy and the rings on the pillow got to where they were supposed to be going. Her experience would certainly count for something! (He didn't really need this monitoring. He was a very cheerfully compliant child, mostly just happy to be his own self in his own endlessly interesting life, and he'd do whatever I wanted him to do - I was the auntie of haircuts, outings, and inventive birthday cakes, after all. The short girl in the ruffly pink dress was just my backup plan.)

So - if one is going to have one's sister and her husband all dressed up, and then have their youngest son all dressed up, the other two sons have to dress up too. Obviously. And then there was the brother/sister team of candle lighters. These two were at about midschool age. And that boy needed a tux too. Obviously. I think it was at about the first part of June that we all went to the tux shop together - by "all," I mean to say that the groom and the bride took all the kids. No, no ... we didn't send the kids with their own parents. THAT would have been simple. No, instead of that simple way, the engaged couple gathered up the kids and off we went. I had to be there, of course. Otherwise the details wouldn't be seen to. Obviously.

We made our appointment. We showed up on time. We piled out of the car, and into the shop. The clerks passed out the tuxes for the groom and the kids to try on for alterations. They fanned out across the dressing rooms.

And then ... from behind one of the curtains, I heard the strained voice of my extremely shy candle-lighter, calling, "um ... Stephanie ... um ... could you c'mere?"

(I came there.) "What's wrong?"

"Well ... um ... well, it's just ... I don't know if Andrew should try on his tux." (Andrew, the Ring Bearer. That Andrew. He has to try on his tux. Obviously.)

"Why not?" (Candle Lighter Jack isn't given to hysterics or over-worrying. It had to be taken seriously.)

"Well ... um ... well, he's not wearing any underwear."

oh. uh ...

"It's okay, Jack. Just put the tux on him anyway," I answered him in a nearly inaudible voice. The clerks were across the room, but still. It might not exactly be according to Hoyle, and I didn't want to reschedule the appointments.

So they did. Then, all lined up, the groom and ring bearer in white tuxedos, (one of these two wearing underwear), and the other boys in their black ones, we tested for fit, stood still for chalk lines and pins, and then they all fled back into the dressing rooms to retrieve more accustomed and comfortable clothing, and we left the store.

In the car, we didn't have any sort of discussion. Such conversation is just a little too dear to the Captain Underpants generation, even if Captain Underpants hadn't made his debut yet, back in 1983. But when we got home, and piled back out of the car, I called my youngest nephew off to one side and made him promise to wear underwear on the day of the wedding.

As far as I know, he did.

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