November 21, 1987

I have apologized profusely for events on this day for none less than nineteen years, now. My dear wife, raised in the Methodist tradition, on the most anticipated day of her life, was forced to endure an acapella arrangement of The Bridal Chorus that was – shall we say – tortured at best.

The problem was not with the collection of kind ACU students who helped to make the recording. They did everything they could to make the best of the situation. The problem was the arrangement.

Every dog within a 10 mile radius of the Cisco Church of Christ began to howl during Sheila’s bridal entrance that afternoon. The audience shivered as though fingernails were being drawn along a chalkboard in a nearby classroom. And I grinned nervously, thinking to myself – “This isn’t nearly as good as I thought it was going to be. I sure hope she doesn’t turn around.”

The musical genius behind the arrangement, which, though separated from Cisco, Texas by half a continent and the wide expanses of the Atlantic Ocean, almost certainly caused Richard Wagner to roll over agonizingly in his grave, was none other than yours truly.

I thought that arranging some of our wedding music would be the perfect, romantic gift for my wife.

But I blew it. Big time.

And ever since then, I’ve promised myself that some day, some how, I’m going to marry that woman again, this time in a beautiful chapel amidst a thundering orchestral/choral score from Wagner’s classic opera. It will almost certainly still be a recording, but one in which I will thankfully have had no involvement beyond – perhaps – offering my credit card for purchase of said recording at Best Buy, and then only after consulting with Greg Straughn, or some other person with demonstrable musical taste.

She will wear a flowing, white dress. I’ll wear a tux. Our girls will serve as the bridal party, and Levi – who else? – my best man.

Everyone will cry and laugh and dance. Then, from that day forward, we’ll forget about the shivers that ran down our collective spines that afternoon as the tape of that wretched arrangement began to play. All will be forgiven. Her perfect wedding will finally have come to pass.

And, in the meantime, I will be happy that day one was a tiny, albeit profoundly unpleasant glitch in what has otherwise been an joyful, fulfilling life with this person – the most beautiful, most radiant, most patient of all brides.

Happy Nineteenth Anniversary, Honey! Someday, I promise, we will do it again – and get it right.

(…and have I mentioned lately that I’m really, really sorry?)


2 Responses to November 21, 1987

  1. […] Tales from the Dinner Table Off and on through the years, Sheila and I have discussed renewing our vows, in part because – in retrospect – our original wedding turned out to be something of a disappointment. You can read more details about the original wedding here. […]

  2. Nena says:

    WOW! Just goes to show you. I thought the wedding was just beautiful! I didn’t remember the music was “awful”. What does that say about my taste? Just wondering how I missed all that!

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