After just returning from spending a long weekend with my sisters and their families, I was reminded that Tammy and Mark have recently celebrated 23 years of wedded bliss. I was reminiscing about how beautiful the wedding was, how beautiful the bride was, how handsome the groom was, and what a hot mess I looked like. Tammy is what you would call a “girlie girl” and it only reasoned that her choice of colors for the bridesmaids dresses would be the prettiest shade of pinky pink. It was drummed into my head by Marilyn (my mom) from early childhood that red-heads should never wear pink or orange. Where in in the world was this woman then Tam picked pink? There is a joke among us girls that Tammy got the beauty, Kelly got the brains and I got the uterus. Ok, so I would be a red-headed uterus wearing pink….it was only for one day…I can take one for the team and do it. The day arrived and the dresses were in….all I can say is that when I stepped out of the dressing room wearing 42 yards of taffeta fashioned into masses of ruffles and bows, I could only laugh.
Fast forward to the wedding….all went as planned and we head north from Wenona to the reception hall in Oglesby. Jerry Parker (the best man) somehow managed to cram me and my gazillion yards of pink fluff into the front seat and away we go with the bride and groom in the back. The guys decided to stop at the pub in Tonica for a quick nip and all I know is that when I left 30 min later I could not feel my lips…..I don’t know how strong my few fuzzy navels were but whoo whee….Then they decide to stop by Marks house in the country to grab shorts to change into. We parked on the side of the road (next to a huge ditch) and while the men ran inside, Tammy asked me to get out and give Kelly, who was in the car behind us, a message. No problem, that’s a matron of honors job right? So between the high-octane fuzzy navels, and my misjudgment of the steep hill (ok.. I forgot it was there), I proceeded to step out of the car and gracefully rolled down the hill…head over heels, ruffles over bows, and as Kelly put it ” You looked like a big pink poof rolling down the hill.” Of course I trudged back up the hill, forgot why I was heading to Kellys car in the first place and just threatened her within an inch of her life not to tell mom. My mom was a wonderful woman, but the fact that we even stopped at a pub before the reception was grounds for being excluded from Sunday dinners for a year. THIS WAS BIG AND ALOT WAS RIDING ON IT! Parker again packed me into the car and we all caravan the few miles to the reception. When we arrived I tried to warn everyone to sober up and maybe mom wouldn’t notice. I knew it was a losing battle because I turned around and everyone was kissing everyone else in the parking lot. I look over at the door and there the Christ matriarch was…holding Tammys veil…..with “the look” on her face. I tried to explain why we were late, not realizing I had a huge grass stain on the front AND back of my dress. She looked at me and said those dreaded words that even at 30 years old sobered me up fast…”Shelly Sue I am so disappointed in you!”……………..guess we would be eating at home for the next year of Sundays.
Loving epilogue…we were welcomed with open arms the next Sunday, and almost every Sunday after that for dinner after church. The only standing rule was that you had to go to church if you wanted to come to dinner. To this day I would move heaven and earth to just have one more Sunday dinner with her.