The church was new, the crowd was large — there were 1200 people there if there were five. Everyone was anxious to start, so I took the liberty of stepping through the french doors of a courtyard suite where the bride was being prepared, and then I took the bad news out to the guests: We weren’t invited.
“What?” my brother asked.
“Just mom and dad,” I replied.
The rest of us had tagged along, and in our case–given my five grown brothers and sisters, and the combined seventy-two children and grandchildren–we were over our allotment by eighty-two people.
“We have to go,” I repeated several times, to brothers, sisters, children, nephews, nieces.
“Can’t we just stay for the ceremony? The cathedral’s huge.”
“No. It’s making the bride nervous. They purchased food for 100, and there are 1200 people here at least.”
“What if we just agree not to eat?”
“No, she was clear about this. She was standing there in her underwear. The crowd is scaring her.”
I was so efficient at firmly getting us all back in our cars, that a messenger from the bride brought news that I was being asked to repeat my services for the rest of the crowd.
“You aren’t invited,” I told people. “There’s been a mistake. Go home.”
“We promise not to eat,” many of them said.
“As though you would turn down an hors d’oeuvre,” I said, firmly. “No, you’ll have to go.”
“We brought presents.”
“You can leave those,” I said, “but you’ll have to go. The invitations were clear.”
“We just assumed that if..”
“Me too. I’m not invited either.”
I gently herded them, like sheep. They sifted out of the sanctuary like a constellation of small weak stars, migrating across the universe.
It was a dry wedding anyways. We went to Chile’s and had a beer.