It was thought to be one of the most important social events of the decade, although I had no idea why. The entire community had been talking about it since it was announced, yet I seemed to have absolutely no interest in attending. 400 guests were invited to watch Mark & Monica promise each other a lifetime of fidelity, love, and ignorance, at was proudly announced as a white wedding. This was not the first time I had been to such an affair. They all seemed pretty much the same; a crowded room filled with loud, obnoxious, and incredibly stupid people, incredibly inedible food, a relatively untalented group of musicians playing cover versions of songs I never much liked when played by the original artists, and Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Title, parents of the not so lovely bride. As I stood in my room getting dressed, I couldn’t help but to wish for some kind of natural disaster, like an earthquake, or a hurricane perhaps. Or better yet, an alien invasion. Anything to prevent me from attending this spiritually vacuous event.
“I hope that you’ll behave yourself.”, my wife told me as she straightened my tie.
“I always do.”, I replied.
“No.”, she corrected me. “You don’t. Every time you open your mouth, you offend someone.”
“Really?”, I asked. “I try to offend them all.”
“I’m being serious!”, she snapped.
“I know.”, I said. “I’m just not sure why anyone should be offended by the truth.”
“Because sometimes it hurts their feeling.”, she explained.
“I don’t try to hurt people’s feelings.”, I said in my defense. “I just say what I think, and I am entitled to my opinion.”
“I know.”, she answered. “But why do you feel the need to express it so absolutely?”
“Because my opinion is absolute to me.”, I offered in explanation.
“I just want you try, tonight, for me.”, she added. “Just try to be a little less certain that you are always right, or at least try not to let everyone else know. And stay away from Barry Singer”
“Why?”, I inquired.
“Because I am asking you to.” She advised me. “The last time you saw him, you called him an asshole! In front of his daughter!”
“I did not.”, I responded. “I called him an ignorant ass. There is a difference. And besides, she knows that he’s an ass. Every one knows that he’s an ass.”
“Please.”, she asked again with those dark Moroccan eyes. “For me?’
“Alright.”, I told her. “I will try. For you. It won’t change how I think and feel, but I will make an effort to keep my opinion to myself.”
“Thank you.”, she said, as she squeezed my arm. “You look very handsome.”
“Thanks.”, I said. “I have a date with an insanely hot woman.” She blushed. I love it when she blushes.Her face turned a wonderful shade of crimson, and as she looks away, she emits a soft, little giggle that squeaks its way out of the corner of her mouth.
Well, I have rarely made any promises to my wife, but have kept the ones I did. I was determined to try and keep this one as well. I would try to keep my opinions to myself, and let those whose only point is located atop their heads, espouse their stupidity freely, and without consequence.
The venue was already near filled when we arrived. The country club selected for this wondrous joining of two empty minds was regally decorated. The grounds were beautifully landscaped, and I could see the golf course from the large window in the reception hall. “I should have brought my clubs.”, I whispered to my wife.
“Behave.”, she reminded me. “Go and talk to someone and try to have a good time.” I knew a good time was not going to be had. There was no one present that I really ever wanted to talk to. Talk about what? None of them had read a book since they were in High School. If only there was a lounge with a television, I could watch the hockey game. I grabbed myself a beer from the bar, and began to wander around the room.
“Hello, neighbor.”, I heard a voice call out. “I thought for sure you would find a reason not to show up.” I turned to see who was there. Barry Singer. The ignorant ass himself.
“Hello, Barry.” I said. “something I can do for you?”
“No no.”, he replied. “Just thought we’d catch up for a while.”
“Sorry, Barry.”, I informed him. “I’m on a mission.”
“What mission?”, he asked.
“Something I have to do for my wife.”, I told him., and I walked away. In a few minutes we were ushered in to another room to watch the spectacle of the ceremony. My wife and I found suitable seats close to the door, and we settled in. As the ceremony began, someone behind me leaned forward and began whispering in my ear. It was Barry Singer. I had no idea what he was saying, but I recognized the voice. When I didn’t answer, his whisper became louder.
“What are you doing?”, my wife asked.
“I’m not doing anything.”, I told her. “Its Barry Singer behind us. I told you he’s an ass.” Barry continued to lean forward and try to engage me in a conversation, while my wife was growing visibly upset. The people in the row in front of us began to turn around and whisper ‘Shhh’, which only fueled my wife’s ire. As the ceremony continued, I tried my best to ignore the shit head who was sitting behind me, tormenting me solely by his existence, but I could feel myself beginning to lose the ability to ignore him. People in front continued to utter ‘Shhh’, and an elderly woman asked me, quite politely to stop ruining the wedding. My wife was fuming, her eyes grew dark, and the vein in her forehead, shaped like the letter ‘Y’, which only appears when her Spanish-Moroccan begins to boil, was beginning to take shape.
As the ceremony ended, we stood up to leave. “Somebody should take that man outside, tie him to a tree, and drop a squirrel down his pants.”, she said.
“I’m available.”, I told her.
“Don’t bother.”, she answered. “The squirrel would probably starve to death.” Without knowing it, my wife could be incredibly funny. We entered the reception area, and sat at our assigned table. Luckily, Barry Singer was not at our table. It didn’t take long however, but there he was, Barry Singer, standing over my shoulder, inquiring as to how much of a gift we were giving. I could the ‘Y’ vein start to appear. Barely visible at first, but then, there it was, upper case, and in bold font. “This can’t be good!”, I thought. And then it happened. Like a volcanic eruption, fast and furious, and unrelenting.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”, my wife asked Barry. “Do you have some sort of condition that prevents you from acting like a human being? You are, without a doubt the most insipid, irritating man I have ever met. I want you to go away. Now. Go away and stay away from us. Do you understand?” The others at our table sat stunned, with eyes glaring, and mouths opened. I, for one, had never been prouder of my wife. I put my hand on her leg, showing my approval for her crushing defeat of Barry Singer.
“Was it too much?”, she asked me, after apologizing to our table mates for her outburst.
“Not at all.”, I told her. “You were wonderful. But you forget to mention that he’s an ignorant ass.”
“I thought I did.”, she replied.
“No.”, I said. “But its okay. And thankfully, at least one of us can behave in public.”
“Yes.”, she answered. ” I suppose that I shouldn’t have asked you to change. Its who you are, and you’re usually right.”
“Its okay.”, I told her. “You did an exceptional job in my place.”
“Its a good thing that we take turns.”, she stated. “I’m not sure that people could handle both of us at the same time. I think we should go home.”
“Let’s go.”, I said.
“Are you hungry?”, she asked, as we walked to the car.
“I suppose I am.”, I told her.
“Do you feel like Chinese? My treat.”, she asked.
“Sounds like a plan.”, I replied.
“I’m going to have to borrow some money, though.”, she said.
“I already had that figured out.”, I told her.