Made of Honor - By Marilynn Griffith
I’m turning into a Chia Pet.
Little children are starting to toss dandelions when they see me. The brides of Leverhill, Illinois, have taught the kiddies well. One little darling wants to grow up and be just like me—a big flower girl. She nailed it, especially about the big part, but we’re not going there. Not today, with my formerly fat friend looking like Twiggy-goes-bridal, while I gasp for breath in a dress fit for a train wreck. My only consolation is not having to worry about Tracey aiming a floral missile—known to some as a bouquet—at me later on.
She wouldn’t do me like that, would she? Nah. At least that’s what I tell myself, but then I thought this wedding wouldn’t happen, either. Still, this bride is one of my closest friends and my roommate for the past three years. Tracey Cox—well, Tracey Blackman now—has picked enough baby’s breath out of my teeth to know better.
Just in case though, a pint of Chunky Monkey and a pedicure appointment await me after this reception. Who knows? Tracey just might snap and throw long. Marriage does things to people. One day they’re normal and the next they’re inviting total strangers to wear ugly dresses in their weddings, and then after the ceremony, said brides proceed to cut off all communication with members of the wedding party except for goofy Christmas photos of the newlyweds cradling an ugly dog, signed “from all of us.” And don’t let them actually get pregnant. Have you ever seen an entire album of birth photos? Not cute.
Do I sound bitter?
I’m not. I have friends. And trying to keep up with them, keep my job and stay right with God occupies most of my time. Like now. I need to find Rochelle, my other best friend—yes, I have two—and founder of the Sassy Sistahood e-mail list. If I don’t catch up to her soon, she might make a fool of herself.
Though my girlfriend is a paragon of virtue most days, weddings turn Rochelle into a gelatinous pool of desperation. Remember the birth photo album I mentioned? It’s worse. Okay, so nothing’s worse than that, but it’s bad. Even the sight of me, tangled in tulips after a bouquet toss, is easier on the eyes.
Using my emergency X-ray vision, activated by squinting so hard I almost fused my contacts to my eyeballs, I glimpsed a pink satin horror similar to my own, but a set of three-inch shoulder pads blocked my view. Who would wear a power suit to a wedding—?
My boss. There she was, looking just as angry as when I’d left her at work last night. I ducked before she saw me, recovering from my shock that she’d even shown up. The bride, who left our office to start her own graphic design firm six months ago, insisted on inviting Naomi, her former and my current employer, and Renee, my assistant, who was probably somewhere taking pictures of me for later blackmail. She’d be giggling in my ear for the next month. At least.
My next few weeks of torture aside, I was proud of Naomi for actually leaving the office—I think she secretly lives there. For her to show up at her own funeral would be the height of etiquette. Some people just don’t grasp interaction, you know? And having “interacted” with Naomi daily for the past six years, I could do without her today. Besides, I needed to find Sassy Sistah #1 before she melted down and kissed somebody.
With that thought as fuel, I forced my satin shoes that were dyed to match the gown—the dye was free, I guess Tracey couldn’t resist—across the sprinkle of autumn leaves on the ground. Rochelle tiptoed up beside me, fanning her face, despite the growing chill. Man Mania was in full swing.
“Did you see Ryan’s brother?” she said breathlessly. “From the looks of things, Tracey should have picked him.”
From the reality of things, anyone seemed a better choice. I mentally squashed the nagging doubt about my friend’s hour-old marriage. Thoughts like that were getting me nowhere. It was done. God would have to take it from here. Me worrying myself to an ulcer before I got back to work on Monday was definitely a waste of resources.
I shook my head at Rochelle and considered reaching out and shaking hers. This time she was really in the zone. I spoke right into her ear, hoping it would jar her brain. “I wasn’t really paying attention to the brother