The morning of the wedding was upon me. Did I ever mention that I gave Friend Guy an option not to get married? Prior to getting engaged when we were just in the talking about getting married stage I once said “You know…we could just buy a house and have a baby, we don’t have to get married.” That comment hung in the air like the smell of wet dog. It never really went anywhere and everywhere you turned it hit you right in the face. I assumed that the option to not get married was not really on the table, but I wanted him to know that getting married was not my goal or end game. My end game was happily ever after and like Shrek says it really resides in a land Far Far Away. So it’s the day of the big hot summer, should have been, winter wedding. The sun was shining, the humidity was sticky and thick and my hair, being curly was not cooperating all that well. My children and I went to the salon, got our hair do’s, got our nails and other beauty accessories taken care of and it was time to go back to my parents house and wait. I think a wedding day is much like being in the army. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait. So we rushed to the salon, rushed to get everything done and then we just sat and waited. I waited for his sister and her kids, I waited for my sister and her kids, I waited for my maid of honor, who was running exceptionally late which wasn’t like her. I thought maybe she decided not to come, but she made it there in the final minutes before getting into the limo. Apparently when she went to put on her Bridesmaid dress, she realized one of those security tags was still attached. She didn’t want to rip it off for fear or ruining the dress, so she ran to a local store and begged for them to help her, but they couldn’t. She stopped at store after store and finally had to run to the mall, to the store from which it was purchased to get them to remove the tag. So a hectic morning for all. Except really for me. I sat on the couch, make up and hair and dress all in pristine condition. I was ready to take the stage and walk down the aisle and complete my duties as a new bride. I was going to smile and be gracious and try to enjoy the day as best I could. I was happy. I was. I was happy he was getting what he wanted, I was happy to be putting the square puzzle piece into the triangular hole after much pushing and prodding. I was happy. So I got in the car and drove to the church with my father and my children. I arrive to the staging area and it was like opening night at the Apollo. I could very well get booed off the altar, but I was going to give it my best shot. The attendees filed in and the chatter began and happiness could be felt all around. The music started and the bridal party lined up. They entered the church one by one and right before they were out of sight, ready to smile for the camera they each wished me luck. As in “Break A Leg” Then it was finally our turn. With one child on either side of me, the doors opened, a hush went over the crowd. I did not have the traditional bridal march down the aisle, but rather a guitar version of one of my favorite songs, played by one of the guys from the group of friends. There is no question I make a beautiful bride. I felt beautiful that day. As the girls and I walked towards the front of the church, passing each set of family and friends I felt the fear begin to build in me. Now I’ve seen runaway bride and maybe Julia Roberts was on to something. What if I just turned around? Seriously how bad would that be? What was I thinking, this was what I wanted. To be married. To put the last piece of the puzzle together. To show everyone I was not a failure. To prove to myself I could do it. I arrived at the altar and there he was. All smiles. Wiggly chin. Teary eyed. And to this day I’m not sure if those were tears of joy or he was thinking the same thing I was and they were tears of fear. Then the priest spoke “who gives this woman…..?” Who gives this woman? I could hear my parents jump up to say US! WE DO! TAKE HER! No one gave me….I merely seemed to drift from where I was to where I would be going.