Peter and Sally seemed fine. The phone calls were a bit difficult to make but I think it got a little easier with each call. I know it helped Sally that she was able to tell everyone it was a mutual decision. They let everyone know that they had decided to date and see where things go in the future but that they wanted to celebrate life and everyone they knew so they were still having a party. Most of the guests were still expected to attend. All of our family, and most of Peter's, were still flying in and some were even excited about the party. I was still on the fence. It seemed like everything was going to work out fine but given the circumstances, it would still be very awkward.
I spent the week before the party finalizing all the details and making sure the vendors knew it was no longer a wedding but just a party. They all seemed fine with it. As long as they got paid, I think they did not care what kind of party it was. The wedding cake was a bit tricky since I still had to pay for it but the kids did not want it at the party. I did not want all that money to go to waste so I found a local homeless shelter that could take the cake as a donation. The homeless shelter decided to have a big birthday party with it so I had the bakery put Happy Birthday on the cake instead of wedding flowers and set up delivery. One thing more was crossed off my list.
Charles was home all week and was a great help. He called, he delivered, he cleaned house and he picked up guests at the airport. Our house was full of family and everyone was happy to be together. Since our families rarely get together, it was a big deal to have most all of us together. We stayed up late chatting and enjoying each other's company. The day of the party, the day that was supposed to be Sally's wedding day, I slept in and enjoyed it. Everything had been scheduled, programmed and figured out for the big party that night. It was a nice beginning to a day I had been dreading, then anticipating and then dreading once again but it looked like everything was going to turn out okay.
I turned over and looked at Charles. He was in his not really asleep but not really awake mode. I smiled at him and he gave me a half smile back. He was still waking up.
"Charles, did you think four months ago we would be waking up to this today?" I asked.
"Never in a million years," he mumbled.
"I know this is crazy, but a part of me is a little sad she isn't getting married."
"I know dear," said Charles.
"What do you mean, you know?" I asked, surprised. I mean, I knew we both thought they were crazy to get married and wanted them to realize it and call it off but now that they were, why was I a little sad and how did Charles know it.
"I mean I know you. I knew you'd be a little sad, even though we all agree this is probably the best solution. I mean, who would have thought they would stay friends let alone in a relationship after something like this but they did and they are happy, only now, you've put all your energy and time and creative juices into making a wedding possible that is not going to happen. It's a little sad to see something you've worked so hard for never come to pass, at least not as originally planned. I think this party is going to be the best one you've ever thrown."
"Well, it's at least going to be the only party that ever started out as a wedding but ended up as a party, I hope. I think the next time Sally decides to get married, perhaps we should suggest she elope. I'm not sure I can go through this again," I replied.
"If Sally ends up marrying Peter sometime in the far distant future, they are going to have to elope and then we'll throw them a Just Married party afterwards because none of our friends and family are going to commit to another wedding with those two involved!" said Charles and he was right.
"Amen to that, dear. I guess we'd better get up and get going," I said as I got out of bed.
We spent the day bustling around town, helping our family members see the sights and finishing up the last minute details. There really wasn't that much to do and somehow, I was not stressed. I should have been seeing as how I was a mother of a bride to be that hadn't been but who was still throwing a party for all those wedding invitees with the potential for awkwardness at about 99.9%. It was taken as a gift from heaven.
The party was a huge success. Peter and Sally mingled with the guests, holding hands and looking super cute. They did their best to get rid of any awkwardness but there was still some given the situation. The guests mingled, they danced, they ate and they gossiped. It was life.
Aunt Melissa, my father's older sister who is well known for her strong opinions, her forceful personality (never considered pushy unless you are not family) and her loud voice, was the first that night, to question what was going on. I was chatting with Aunt Grace, my father's other sister, when we overheard her talking to family members at her table, three tables over. She is half deaf so most of the people in attendance heard her.
"Can you believe these young people? I don't know what Sally was thinking! What do they mean calling off a wedding so close to the wedding date? What is this party supposed to be about? What is a celebration of life party anyway? Isn't everyday a celebration of life? And why are these two people still together? Either get together and get married or split up and find someone you do want to marry!" said Aunt Melissa.
These were the questions most of us were thinking and wondering about. Most of the guests had stopped to listen to Aunt Melissa. Even Peter and Sally had stopped chatting and were looking at one another, wondering what to do. I was wondering too. It was awkward and that was the one thing I was trying to avoid. Our friends and family members were here to support us and the one thing I did not want the party to become was so awkward that everyone wanted to escape.
Just then the DJ started up the music. I looked at my watch and it was too early, but a welcome distraction and I let out a sigh of relief. I looked over at the DJ and there was Charles, chatting with the DJ and looking my way. He winked at me (my husband, not the DJ) and I was grateful again for Charles. He may be in China a lot but he comes through when I need him. I hustled over to Peter and Sally and told them to dance. It was not negotiable. I motioned to my brother and his wife and a couple of other friends and they all made their way to the dance floor. Soon everyone was dancing. Charles came over, swooped me up in his arms and told me he was going to dance the night away with me. I let him.
That night, as I was getting ready for bed I had to admit that Aunt Melissa had some valid points. I did not understand any better than she did this crazy situation Sally and Peter found themselves. I wish I did. I wish I had the answers to Aunt Melissa's questions and a few of my own, for both her sake and mine, but I did not. Sally and Peter were going to have to work it out and as Sally's parents, we would support her when and how we could. However, if they decided to get married, again, I was insisting on a Vegas wedding. Some things should just not be repeated!
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