1976 Sense and Nonsense

Weddings are fun. They are also a big hassle for almost everyone involved. I know one mother who sewed every stitch for the girls in her daughter’s wedding party. She was still sewing madly a few hours before the wedding was supposed to begin. When I commented that she was working herself into a nervous breakdown, she answered,

“No, I just haven’t got the time”. “I may have one tomorrow though”, she added hopefully.

Weddings are also a time of last minute calamities. No wedding is complete without one. At one wedding the little boy who was supposed to be the ring bearer, refused to go down the aisle. Later the little fellow admitted he thought he had to be a ring “bear” and he didn’t like bears at all.

I have always had trouble arriving at a wedding on time. Even if the church happens to be across the street, something always comes up to delay our departure. I have often considered renting a pew for a week or so before the big day.

Recently we attended a wedding in Calgary. We left home with the idea of shopping and visiting in Edmonton with plenty of time left over to leisurely drive the rest of the way on the day of the wedding. It didn’t happen that way at all. The first thing we discovered was that a tourist town which does a thriving gas pump business in the summer months is very reluctant to sell that same gas this time of year. It can be disconcerting when your gas gauge reads “empty” to drive past dozens of unlighted service stations. It can be even more disconcerting to find yourself twenty miles down the highway still looking for that mythical gas station. Contrary to rumours, Alberta does have hills steep enough to coast down, but we were unable to find any. We finally found a motel with a set of gas pumps which sold that precious fuel but only during daylight hours. We managed to catch some unexpected sleep.

Only half a day behind schedule we arrived in Edmonton, where we shopped, visited, ate and slept almost simultaneously. The next day, clad in blue jeans and hair-rollers with only a street address for directions we set off for Calgary. We got as far as the car. It was set solidly on only three good tires. A flat tire in B.C. in the country is a relatively simple thing. In Alberta in the city it is a different matter, especially if you have to buy a new one. Every tire store must sell a different size. The people who live there know exactly where to go and that is usually miles away across town.

Two hours later, we sped south breaking even the excessive speed limits allowed out there. A quick phone call from a service station assured us of a pilot car on the outskirts of Calgary. We also changed in the rest rooms which were only slightly larger than the phone booth. Needless to say we and our kindly guide arrived five seconds before confetti throwing time.

When the confetti had settled everyone left for the reception hall which was located on the other side of town. We were left with no guide to follow in an unfamiliar town. The town became less unfamiliar as time went by. We discovered where all the one-way streets were located. They all led in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go.

By a process of elimination, we found a route which finally led us to the reception hall. I have stayed awake nights dreaming up original but useful wedding gifts. They have always been duplicated and this time was no exception. No matter what gizmo we gift-wrap, at least one other person has had the same idea, sometimes even to the gift wrapping paper.

For the next wedding we are going to give money, which may not be original but is always useful. I have often wondered how to gift wrap money. This morning, the idea came to me – buy a childs’ piggy bank and fill it up with quarters. The piggy bank can later be given to the baby, which often happens as a direct result of the wedding. Weddings are fun. However, I have yet to attend one where everything happens on schedule and all the guests arrive on time. I am sure it is the unexpected that helps make them so memorable.

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