Final preparations: pick up wedding license and rental tux. License obtainment was short and sweet, and quite the pile of papers. Signatures were needed here, needed there, stuff done by other people, stuff done by us, more blah-blah crap about mailing in for legal duplicates, etc.
Everyone talks about the cake, the dress, the location, and more, but no one ever mentioned this legal paperwork crap. Simon and I were lucky to have friends who were in the know about this stuff. To put in in perspective, our friend Tammy messaged me on Facebook one day, asking me what kind of flowers I was going to have for my bouquet so she could match them with my cake, which she made herself.
My reaction? Oh, yeah. A bouquet…
Oh, crap! A cake!
Yeah, wedding plans can bite me.
Anyway, we arrived at Men’s Wearhouse right as they were opening, beating an elderly couple to door by mere seconds, but we politely held it open for them before I zoomed inside with a very reluctant Simon dragging his feet behind me. We walked in on associates preparing for a very busy day before the holiday weekend, and two women trying to make this block of a long table budge, no thanks to the carpet floor. Those ladies were tiny and anything but buff, and high heel shoes weren’t helping.
“Need some help?” I asked, not sure if I should interfere.
They gratefully accepted our aid and we four-manned the table between a display wall and the store windows–more like guided the table down the narrow space while Simon pushed it a dozen feet along the carpet all by himself.
They thanked us over and over, to which I said, “I couldn’t just stand there and watch you struggle.”
Other associates finished helping the elderly couple into a changing stall before handing simon his tux to try on.
“Do I really have to try it on?”
“Yep. We have to make sure it all fits.”
Thus began another changing of the clothes and a second battle with a sleeve button that refused to easily fasten. I asked Simon if he needed help but he flatly refused.
The elderly gentleman being fitted for whatever special event shuffled out of his stall, holding his pants up by the waist.
“How does everything fit?” the associate asked.
I don’t remember what he said, but he drove his point home by letting his pants go. They fell to his knees and I got a quick look at his brown boxers or whatever before politely turning around, only to have mirrors in front of me. Oh, the joy of awkward moments.
Mercifully, he shuffled back inside and I learned from his wife that a grandchild was getting married that weekend. She and I ended up talking for a little bit, since Simon needed a different size shirt, and I learned that she was also an author, but for the joy of writing and publishing children’s books for her family and local community. She and her husband have been married for around 50 years as well. I hoped Simon and I would last as long, growing old, wrinkly, and wise together, still loving each other’s company. I looked at that couple like they were our future.
The associates ended up offering an extra 40% discount on anything we wanted in the store for our help with the table, so we grabbed a couple of shorts and shirts, since he was in dire need clothes without holes or stains. That was super nice of them!
We headed back to Newton and picked up the edible picture to go on the wedding cake, and then met up with my mother, who’d landed in Wichita early in the afternoon. We took her to Braum’s for a late lunch, catching up on all that’s been going on in her neck of the woods, and then picked up the bouquet and boutonnière.
“Oh, by the way,” I said to Simon, “my mom got you a boutonnière.”
We laughed and my mom explained what it was.
“Why do I have to wear a flower?”
Oh, Simon. Poor, poor Simon. So out of his element and comfort zone. The first time I’d ever heard of said floral accessory was in high school, and I’d envisioned the word spelled boot-n-ear. I had no idea what the heck it was either. Just something snazzy to blow your money on.
We finally headed to Tammy’s the person I’d been most looking forward to meeting the whole trip. She turned out to be this short lady with cropped red hair, intense light eyes, and an air of “I’m the boss.” When her husband, Brian, revved his Harley motorcycle, she went over and revved her own Harley, which was way louder, especially with the acoustics of a vaulted cement garage. Yep, go ahead and mess with that lady at your own risk!
Tammy ended up having to work one more night shift before all the holiday fun, so soon after she left for work, Simon and I hit up Roxanne’s stand for lots and lots of fireworks. Roxanne is yet another longtime friend of Simon’s who was delighted to see him for the first time in two years. Since she ran the tent, she covertly gave Simon, Josh, and Brent hefty discounts on everything they bought, and even gave me a free box of fireworks worth 25 bucks, as a wedding gift. Woohoo! Thank you, Roxanne. 🙂
That night I got to witness firsthand of Simon’s, along with everyone’s there, love of fireworks. We had a cookout dinner of burgers and hotdogs while kids and adults shot off smoke bombs, crackers, and all sorts of flashy items, yet saving the majority for the next night. A few singed fingers, malfunctioning fireworks, and others that flew into the garage were had. I partook in some of the fun but mostly watched, sipping at my raspberry vodka and lemonade.
I was prepared to stay up well into the wee hours of the morning, but Simon decided we was done somewhere around 11. He seemed unable to party like he used to, so we headed back to our host home for peace and quiet, and a good night’s sleep, while the rest set off explosives or socialized until 1AM. I was so tired that I don’t even remember falling asleep. Anticipation of the next day didn’t come anywhere close to deterring a good night’s rest.