Monday, November 28, 2011

Catching the Bouquet

I was standing in the front.  I was wearing four-inch heels.  I had every advantage except that I was pretty sure the bride was aiming for the girl who stood to my left and slightly behind me, and I wasn't about to let myself worry about that.

"Okay, girls, put your hands up!  This is a photo op!" boomed the young emcee into the microphone.  I obliged, but otherwise, I was pretending I didn't care.  A heart monitor would have revealed the truth.

There was a countdown, presumably by the emcee, but I've already forgotten.  I was in my head.  "Three!"  I don't care.  "Two!"  I don't care.  "One!"  I care and I'm going to catch this.

Time slowed down for me alone, to provide one final advantage.  I watched the bouquet's trajectory as it left the bride's hand and headed straight for me.

No, not straight for me.  It was headed slightly to the left.  Impressive aim, I thought, but there's no room for politeness now.  My left hand reached out and the bouquet fell neatly, top-first, into my open hand.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw several sets of outstretched fingers falling just short.  Then, time resumed its usual pace.

It was hard to keep track of what was going on in the minute or two immediately following my success.  There was a lot of noise, and a few people got photos of me with the bride.  Meanwhile, I was on the alert for one thing.  As far as I can remember, at every wedding I've attended where I've failed to catch the bouquet, my disappointment quickly turned to relief as I remembered the garter toss.  In each case, I witnessed the poor winning girl seated in a chair in the middle of the dance floor, gripping the flowers as some random guy slid a garter onto her leg.  Even when it's just put on her arm, it's an awkward and embarrassing ritual.  I braced myself for the ordeal.

Long seconds passed.  I waited.

There was no garter toss.

Hallelujah.  The time I finally catch it, I get all the joy and none of the obnoxious aftermath (except for one or two people heckling my dear boyfriend).  Success all around.

I like to think I'm not the type of person who believes in superstitions.  Part of me does want to be the next to be married, and like most girls, I think about my own wedding details and wonder when it's going to happen.  Everything is especially up in the air for me right now; I can't reasonably predict where I'll be or what I'll be doing six months from now.  No, catching the bouquet was not a sign that I'm going to be married next.  It was, instead, a sign to me that everything will work out right, and I should just stop worrying about it.  So, that's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to have a little faith.