My sister-in-law is getting married in October. I got married in October, too (in 2000). I started wedding planning at the end of August. My sister-in-law started in August, too...August of last year. She's quite mad, you know. Every time I see her, she wants my opinion on something. One day, it was a series of centerpieces she'd made after finding an article on handmade decorations in some bridal magazine. Another day, it was a selection of invitations...nearly all five were identical; our choices were vellum or no vellum? White or cream? Black ribbon or pink? These decisions shouldn't be left in the hands of a woman whose wedding planning was limited to booking a restaurant for the reception dinner (it was small...my mother-in-law was boycotting the wedding due to my pronounced lack of Korean-ness so we just invited my immediate family and a few friends) and then abdicating all responsibility for any decisions regarding said reception dinner. When the events manager started calling me three times a day asking me about napkin colors, and texture and thickness of menu cards, and type of flowers for the tables, I just told her that I'd be happy with whatever she selected. My then-fiance had to remind me to start shopping for a dress. Sister-in-law remembers all of this, yet she continues to earnestly seek my opinion.
Early this month, my phone rang at 5:20 on a Saturday afternoon. I'd been sick the day before, and had taken a very rare nap, so I was still a little groggy. "Hello?"
SIL--"It's me. Do you have any time?"
Me--(rubbing my eyes) "As in Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and...?" (SIL has been conducting quite a few murky cooking experiments, so it was a reasonable question.)
SIL--"No. As in that whose passage is measured by a clock."
SIL--"Now. Can you get here by 6?"
"Here" was a bridal shop about 30 minutes from my house. She and her best friend were there, and they were sure they'd found THE DRESS. The bridal shop was closing at six, and she needed me to get there, right then, to approve the selection.
I whined and complained about having to shop for my own wedding dress, so I didn't care which dress she picked. I'll see it at the wedding, right? But I love my sister-in-law. She wants me to come and ooh and aah over a dress? OK, then, I'm on my way.
I changed into decent leave-the-house clothes, grabbed my coat and keys, told my husband where I was going (he rolled his eyes and said "she knows that you almost forgot to get a dress for your own wedding, right?") and ran out the door. It was 5:32 or so.
I'm a pretty careful driver. Well, now I am. A long time ago, I was a noted leadfoot, but I've been reformed by motherhood and a few speeding tickets. Still, I had 28 minutes to get to a destination that was 30 minutes away, so I stepped on it and within five minutes, was nearly blinded by the flash of the cursed speed camera. I slowed down and wondered if maybe I'd get a warning? It's my first violation in Maryland! (Does anyone remember a story about a guy who received a $50 ticket with a photgraph of his car running a red light, and he responded with a photograph of a $50 bill? According to this story, which might or might not have been apocryphal, he received a photograph of handcuffs a few days later, and he wisely decided to just pay the fine. This story is apropos of nothing in my story, except that I thought that it would be funny to do the same thing if I ended up with a ticket.) Three weeks later, though, I hadn't heard a thing, so I forgot about it.
Today, I took my four-year-old to preschool. I backed out of my parking space, and CRUNCH. I'm not sure how I missed a bright green GMC Sonoma, but there it was, and I'd inserted my car firmly into its rear bumper. The car belongs to a very nice lady who works at the church where the preschool is located. She was very gracious, accepted my insurance information, and we agreed that we'd talk later. My car has a bit of a scratch, but is otherwise fine.
Back to the dress: As soon as I arrived at the bridal shop, with five minutes to spare, I could see that my sister-in-law was crazy about the dress. She was still wearing it, beaming from every pore. I enthusiastically approved, she bought the dress, and we're all happy.
Except for just one thing, of course. Four hours after I’d plowed into the back of a Presbyterian’s truck, my mail included a $40 ticket with a stunningly clear picture of the back of my car sailing past the speed camera. But of course, I’m an excellent driver.