First, a big thanks to three nice guys I met unexpectedly last weekend. My friend and I were trying to go to a con, but the line was ridiculously long and slow-moving. There are only so many ways to pass the time; people watching was pretty good, but then I struck up a conversation with the three people behind us, who were kind enough to engage with a stranger. So thanks to (and I hope I got your names right), Mark, his son Tristan, and their friend Ryan for making an otherwise really irritating 1.5 hours pretty enjoyable. I hope we meet up again sometime.
“A Day in the Life”
Rachel was freaking out. There was no other way to describe her state of mind on the eve of her handfasting.
“Rachel, you’ve got to calm down,” said June, her best friend.
“Calm down? Calm down? How can I calm down?” Rachel shot back. “The florist delivered the wrong flowers and may not be able to get the right ones. The caterer can’t guarantee the vegetarian option even though that’s why we went with them. What if the priest forgets the words? What if I forget my vows? What if the circle gets broken because people don’t understand why a handfasting is different from a wedding? What if it all goes wrong and the most important day of my life is ruined?”
“Who says this is the most important day of your life?”
“What?” Rachel blurted. “It’s my wedding day. Of course it’s the most important day of my life. Everyone says that.”
“But why? The day you were born was a lot more important than this.”
“That doesn’t count,” she said crossly. She started to recheck her lists on what supplies had been delivered by the vendors.
“What about the day you got your college acceptance? You moved across the country. That’s a huge change.”
“Nothing is a bigger change than getting married.”
“Why?” June asked.
“If you’re not going to be helpful you can just leave.”
“I’m being serious. You’ve known Jamal for six years. You’ve been dating him for four. You’ve lived together for two. What is it about tomorrow that is going to change anything?”
“Well, nothing, really, but it’s still important.”
“As important as the day you met Jamal? Or the day you asked him out? Or the day you two decide to buy a house? Or the day your children are born?”
“Well obviously those are important too.”
“Then what about this day is making you into a total wreck?” June asked.
“My family will be here. His family will be here. I want it to be perfect.”
Now June laughed. “Rachel, what in the world is ever perfect?”
“Nothing, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try,” she answered sullenly.
“But it’s turning you into a lunatic,” June said, gently moving the lists away from Rachel. “Listen to me. You made the decision to join your life with Jamal’s a long time ago, and probably on a day you’ve entirely forgotten. Tomorrow you make that decision official in the eyes of the law and your families and the gods and yeah, that is important. But nothing changes between the two of you and that’s more important. The gods aren’t going to get mad at you because great-Aunt Matilda broke th circle. This is just stepping through a gate. You’ve already taken the steps to lead you to this gate, and there’s a long road to travel on the other side of this gate. Every day is the most important day of your life, Rachel. Life isn’t perfect and it goes wrong and you know that. Just go with it. You did yesterday and you will on Sunday. Tomorrow is no different.”
Rachel sighed. “Maybe you’re right. It just feels like there’s so much pressure to make everyone happy.”
“Well, we know that’s impossible, so don’t worry about it. They should be happy for you no matter what they think of the ceremony or the food. This is a celebration. Now, put those lists away and relax, alright? Tomorrow is just another day in your life.”
“You’re right. Let’s go do something fun,” Rachel said.