The 1,763-Day Weekend
Part 6 — The Denial Deepens
You might think that things calmed down after that dreadful flight to Halifax and we merrily coasted to February 22, 2008 and our wedding. But much to my shame, as I think back, that was far from the case. In some ways things got worse, but perhaps because I’d survived the plane incident, I’d already begun to “man up” to it.
We had much to do once back in Halifax even though I still had to work during the daytime, albeit from home as always. We had to get our marriage license. We had to get our tuxedos. We had to meet the Justice of the Peace whose name I thankfully forget who was to officiate over of nuptial vows, a guy who was graciously referred to us through the office of my member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly. (I say “thankfully forget” not only because he presided over what I now consider a huge mistake which, I think, he even sensed was in the making when he met us, but because not once during the ceremony did he pronounce NowEx’s full name correctly.) And we had to get NowEx some decent clothes to face the Haligonian winter weather, which, as you’re about to find out, didn’t go too well.
Fortunately, the Queen of Sheba was taking care of the ceremony itself, which was held in her well-appointed home off the Halifax Commons, while her partner, the Grand Poobah of Culimary Delights, was taking care of the wedding banquet. I only had to supply the booze for us all.
Strangely, for what I think was the first time in his life as a chef, the GP fucked up the rice on our wedding night. I never said it to anyone except the Queen a while afterwards, for I knew she would take it as a mere observation rather than a reproach. Indeed, she had noticed the bungle, too, and offered the explanation that perhaps he was a little nervous, putting together a meal for a dear friend’s wedding, and I readily accepted that explanation and never really thought about it again …until now as I’m dredging up all of these memories.
For his part, NowEx had the Reproach Department covered for both of us and then some. About the tuxedos, because we had very little time before the ceremony, we had to go with whatever that shop had to offer, which brought the reproach of us (read “me”) being too rushed and last minute. About the meeting with the JP, he seemed too odd (which I admit he was a little bit but would serve his purpose), which drew me the same reproach as for the tuxedos. About selecting our vows …I don’t remember all the hoopla except I do seem to recall complaints about that, too — something about an excerpt from The Little Prince being a nice idea one minute but too cutesy the next minute. But one of NowEx’s greatest complaint — more like wrath — came when we went shopping for winter clothes for him.
It’s a well-known fact that I don’t go shopping very much. As a result, I had not thought that it’s next to impossible to buy winter clothes in Canada in February. (I mean, come on! I can’t be the only one who [a] didn’t know and [b] thinks it ridiculous!) What winter boots and coats were left were remainders no one deigned to buy or that would only fit a dwarf or a giant, while most of the stuff on display was summer stuff. So the reproach was, how could I, who’d live in Canada all my life, not know that this would be the case (as if going on a wild goose chase is my idea of a joke or a “teaching moment” about life in Canada)?
NowEx was fuming — I would need about sixteen adverbs to go with “fuming” to do justice to the pent-up violence and fury he harboured — as we walked through the mall empty-handed with stores filled with summer clothes and sandals, insisting that I not speak to him as I desperately tried to think of a place where winter clothes could be bought in February in Canada. I mean, sure: I was fucking up, but how was not knowing about consumerist marketers’ tactics my fault, exactly? Finally, I thought of Mountain Equipement Co-op, where finding winter boots wasn’t a problem.
In true Mexican form, NowEx was terrified of freezing in the Canadian winter and insisted on getting the longest down-filled winter coat we could find. He got his wish …when the very diplomatic salesclerk, whom I’m sure rolled on the floor laughing with her colleagues after we left, assured him that no one would know that the coat he’d picked — the only one that met his criteria and fitted him — was a woman’s coat. Personally I went along with her ploy just to get the whole ordeal over with even though even I could tell by the way the coat flared outwards that it was never meant for a dude. Plus, I knew he feared the cold more than being taunted for wearing a woman’s coat. (By the way, the coat’s for sale. I should post it on Kijiji. Worn only 4 or 5 times, and not for very long at that.)
But my worst mistake before the wedding, which stirred up the fiercest storm of all, was when I tried to coordinate a surprise for NowEx. I felt bad that none of his friends nor family would be there, yet he and I were forever talking and seeing each other via Skype. So, I tried to arrange with his then-friend Jorge back in Mexico to have some people gather, including NowEx’s mother, so they could videocall into the wedding. Except that one of NowEx’s friends let the proverbial cat out of the bag while chatting with him on Skype two nights before the ceremony, complaining about how hard it was to coordinate this stunt because the two-hour time difference between Halifax and Mexico City meant they had to gather shortly before 5:00 pm over there.
Thus I got busted, and worse, NowEx accused me of “once again” going over his head. But do tell: while my execution may have been flawed, isn’t it clear that I was motivated by the very best intentions? It seemed so unfair that only my friends were able to attend our wedding, so how the hell is that about thinking only about myself?
So the wedding went ahead …sans Skype call from Mexico, of course.
I guess it can be said, unlike what I wrote previously, that I let slip by more than two opportunities to back away from marrying NowEx. It could also be said that if no “Sucker for Punishment” award exists out there, it ought to be invented. And I insist that I ought to get the first one.
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