Anyway, have you even thought about the amount of planning that has to go into an actual “last-minute” wedding ruining? Sure, they make it look easy in the movies: A guy decides that he can’t let the woman he loves go through with her marriage to that terrible guy, so he — he jumps in his car right? And there’s a traffic jam or the car runs out of transmission or turbo or whatever — I don’t know shit about cars. Then I — OK, how about this? I’m running through the traffic jam, and a policeman on horseback stops me…
“Hey, buddy, where’s the fire?”
“Ahhh! The woman I love is about to marry some asshole! I gotta get to the church!”
“The United Baptist marrying church! Or something!”
“That’ll take you 30 minutes on foot!”
“What? Fuck! No! But I love her!”
“God damn it, son! Get on my horse! I was sworn to protect and serve, and if I don’t protect love, then I’m only serving heartbreak!”
Say, that’s good. I should write that down.
So I’m on the back of the horse and we’re riding over cars and through the park, right through some kid’s birthday party!
“Sorry, citizens!” the cop yells back “But this man’s in love!”
“Yaaay!” The kids go wild!
So, we arrive at the church and I run up the stairs and they seem to go on forever, and I’m like, “Is this a church or a Shaolin temple!?”(ha ha) and I burst into the chapel doors. Luckily it’s right at the point where I was supposed to speak now or forever hold my peace.
The church is silent. The groom’s side stares at me. The bride’s side stares at me. The groom and the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the priest — everyone but her; she never looks back, right?
And everyone knows what’s up. Everyone knows why I’m there, and they’re all waiting for Fratty McJockstrap to step up. And he does.
“Hey! Hey, buddy!” because he’s that special sort of dick, the kind that calls everyone “buddy.” “What the hell are you doing here?”
Now, it’s my move, and there are two ways to play it. I can play it over-masculine and embarrassing: “Hey, Homo! Step out of my face or I’ll punch you so hard you’ll miscarry!” which is — actually, that’s kind of cool. I have to write that down, too. But it’s kind of rough, and too strong for the situation. Instead, I opt for the PG version.
“Listen, man, you won right? You have her. Just be a guy and let me say one last thing to her, and you’ll never see or hear from me again.”
It is very important that I ask him to “just be a guy” because, next to not taking a double-dog dare, an entire church witnessing you not being a guy is pretty hard to live down!
So he says something like, “Make it quick,” to try and save face, and then as far as I’m concerned, it’s just me and her.
I gather all my strength, walk towards her, and I say —
I don’t have anything prepared right now. But you see now that it takes a lot of planning, timing and luck to make these things look spontaneous and I only had a couple of hours to work with. It’s impossible!
Look at all of the details you have to be aware of.
Number one, what do you wear? Do you wear what you slept in and say, “I came here right from bed! There was no time to get dressed!” you can’t wear a suit, because then it looks planned and defeats the entire purpose. Though, you could say you had been at your job or something, but working in exposition is always a gamble. So you go with the classic slacker uniform: store-bought tattered and worn-in jeans, a clever/ironic T-shirt and black Chuck Taylor All Stars.
Number two, how do you make sure that you’re at the church ready to burst in at exactly the right moment without being busted? And if you are busted, how do you protect yourself from being viciously beaten by 150 wedding guests?
It’s all worked before and it will probably work again, but I didn’t stop to think out all the dramatic options soon enough. I tried. I tried very hard to put her out of my head and told myself it’d be easy because I’d never have to see her again if I was careful. I’d never met the groom, but I heard he was an ass and that I’d hate him. This is good because nothing sucks more than meeting the guy who replaced you and liking him.
I woke up this morning, poured myself a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, realized I was still in love with her and admitted to myself that all that stuff I had said about me being happy as long as she was happy was an absolute lie.
So I did the only rational thing I could do to try to put this behind me.
I called in a bomb threat to the church. It was the least I could do.
Stories by J’Mel Davidson appear in every issue of Birmingham Weekly. Write to email@example.com.