I HAD NO IDEA WHEN I DRESSED this morning, I'd be going to a wedding today. Not the slightest clue! I might have dressed up a bit, and perhaps brought a handful of rice. Not to mention a wedding present. I regret I had no gift for Sarah and Jay.
Though I hadn't gotten an invitation to the wedding, I did have another event I'd written on my calendar for today. This was one I myself had scheduled, and my less-than-ideal tenant (who appears to enjoy these confabs we've been having) was invited to attend. At this little meeting with the magistrate, she'd once again be invited to pay her rent. She'd also be re-invited to give her boyfriend a send-off to other living quarters.
I got to the magistrate's office in good time, and my somewhat-more-ideal tenant who lives downstairs from the less-than-ideal one was there to testify. He was there just to say, "Why, of course she's got a boyfriend living with her! He comes and goes every day. Yes, yes...there's no doubt he lives there!"
For a while, it looked as though my less-than-ideal tenant was not going to show up for this current hearing. But sure enough, she got there ten minutes late and slouched in a chair in the tiny room where one bides one's time until called to the judge's chambers. The three of us sat gloomily waiting. We'd already been there fifteen minutes when suddenly the entry door burst open and a small mob of people trooped in, filling the room to capacity. Lo and behold, it soon became clear that one of this joyful group was obviously a bride-to-be! It followed from that--one of them was soon to be a groom, as well!
Dear Reader, my two tenants were not overly impressed by this sudden influx of people and the eager and expectant air they brought with them. But it stirred me to action. I jumped right up and exclaimed to the downstairs tenant: "I'll be right back! I need to get something from my car!" I ran to my car and was back inside the building in a flash! My camera was tucked in my pocket.
"May I take your picture?" I asked the bride and groom, and they obligingly posed. Soon after, the clerk announced that the wedding party could enter the courtroom.
Uh, what? As delighted as I was about the surprising event, I and my tenants had been waiting for a half hour past our appointed time. "Wait a minute!" I said to the clerk. "Wouldn't we be first?"
"Oh," she said. "The judge said this will only take five minutes, and your case will take fifteen. So she'd like to do this first."
Five minutes?! Really? I was fascinated. Of course, I demurred and readily agreed that the wedding party should proceed ahead. The six to eight gathered guests and the couple were ushered into the courtroom and the door was closed.
Well, you see, Dear Reader...then I was curious! And I thought to invite myself to this wedding. The bride and groom had seemed flattered by my picture-taking, perfectly accepting of a stranger interested in their happy occasion.
I slipped through the door and asked the nearest woman if it would be okay for me to join the guests. "Oh, sure!" she said.
For certain, it was the shortest wedding I've ever attended!
(Smallest, too.) A three-sentence meditation. Exchanging of rings, and the vows. If anyone can show just cause why this couple should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.
No one spoke up.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife, kiss your bride!" The judge made it sound like a run-on sentence, and closed her black book as she said it. A ten-second kiss and the whole party was exiting the room!
Come to think of it, I wouldn't have had time to offer the couple a gift. I'd have barely had time to throw rice. "Congratulations!" I exclaimed, and smiled as the newly-weds left the room. The woman standing near me said, "That was nice of you to be here. Seems like you oughta be signing the guest book or something!"
But the clerk was already saying, "Okay, you can come in now," and motioning to my tenants.
Oh, me. Now I have to turn around and get on with the depressing affair that I instigated.
But, hey... you don't have to turn around, Reader Dear! I'll leave you to continue on into the happily-ever-after. You get to dwell on the five-minute wedding, if you choose, and to ponder the chances of a life-long marriage for Jay and Sarah.