I thought it was unusual when my brother John texted me about bringing my camera to Michele's house for Christmas dinner. Then again, I thought that maybe they didn't have one since everybody takes pics with their cellphones nowadays. Still, he never had made such a request in the past.
So, M and I packed the camera along with the Christmas wine I had bought and the salad that she had made and over the river and through the woods to the Village of Wellington we went.
After everyone had eaten, about 6:30 or so, John called everybody into the living room, ostensibly to pass out gifts. He instead reached into his pocket and produced a box. In it contained two wedding rings. About that time other family members and friends started coming through the front door behind him.
"Well," he announced. "Since everybody is gathered together and since we have two preachers here-referring to Cousin Bruce and M-Michele and I are going to get married on Christmas." Actually, we have 3, the third being Bruce's wife Carolyn. But who's counting?
He turned to the bride-to-be.
"Go get your dress on and let's do this."
Obviously, Bruce-a minister in the Disciples of Christ or Christian Church (think TCU)-was in on this from the get-go. But that was probably about it apart from Michele's sister. I'm not sure that Clarke or Kole knew. As I got the camera ready Bruce told me they decided that the time was right and that this is how they wanted to do it.
"Besides," he said. "We really are lousy with clergy in this family nowadays."
Could be worse I suppose. Some families are lousy with lawyers.
Presently, Michele made her way down the stairs escorted by Kole. Bruce gathered the wedding party to order. The bride was radiant. The groom was gallant.
And there in the living room, John and Michele were married on Christmas night. All was calm. All was bright.
After champagne went around, M and I went back over the river and through woods back to the People's Republic of Hillcrest to exchange gifts. We had just gotten settled in when my buddy Dale texted me from over above the river just east of here.
"You missed one hell of a good time over here," he wrote.
"I bet I did," I wrote back. "But John got married tonight. And I had to take pictures."
His response was intemperate and shall not be repeated in this space.
"You're next," he then wrote. " Don't dare do it without telling us."
Dale hates surprises even worse than I do. The big sissy left town on his 50th birthday for fear that we would throw him a surprise party. Really he did.
" I promise you," I replied. "If I ever decide to give up my celibate lifestyle you will be the first to know."
"You monk you."
I don't know if I would want to get married at Christmas. Or Valentine's Day either. Things are stressful enough on those occasions. Further, I know a couple of people who have birthdays around Christmas. They say it still sucks as much now as it did when they were kids.
Then again, I ran into my buddy Jim on Saturday morning. Jim was the friend that was not drunk texting me on Christmas night. He said his brother got married on the 4th of July just so he would always remember his anniversary. So there is that.
Still it is exciting to officially add to this family that is lousy with clergy. Michele is a great gal. John over-married. Even he would admit it. Kole is a good kid.
They have a great future ahead of them.
All is calm. All is bright.