Wednesday, July 20, 2005

An Unexpected Pivot-V

The next time I saw her was at the wedding, while we were standing in line during the obligatory picture-taking ordeal. We made eye contact from about 30 feet away and I winked at her, quite by impulse. She was startled, and sort of flinched. She looked like somebody had just been hit in the face a tiny splash of warm water. But she did manage a wink back.

We didn't talk during the prewedding or wedding ceremonies, but I tracked her down at the reception. She asked me why I left rehearsal dinner so early, and we made small talk. I told her I knew she was "sort of" seeing somebody in her hometown, and I asked her why she would ever want to settle for anybody that wasn't good enough for her. I told her she should not "settle" for anything in life. She flinched at that one too, as though somebody had just hit her in the face with splash of cold water.

Before she had a chance to respond, I asked her to dance. This incident happened at the punch bowl, which now, in family lore, has come to be known as the "punchbowl incident." After a very pleasant slow dance, we sat and talked some more, but I was growing more and more frustrated at the thought of her leaving the next morning. After awhile, and again quite by impulse, I just decided to go home. I walked up to her as she was sitting, talking with somebody at one of the head tables, and told her I was going home. I told I really had enjoyed meeting her.

I then kissed her on the forehead, and without allowing her to say anything, turned and walked away, across the dance floor, feeling sorry for myself with every step. Just as I reached the edge of the dance floor, I felt a tap on my shoulder.

Almost a year later, we were walking down the aisle together again.