Monday, April 30, 2012

When Catfish Attack

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be selected as matron of honor in my best friend’s wedding. When you read how the weekend of the wedding played out, you will see how she likely wished she would have chosen a more coordinated wedding party member.
Jessica and I have been friends ever since we met in Mrs. Jones' fourth-grade classroom. We have a long history. Our grandparents were childhood friends, and Jessica's mother was a brides­maid in my mother's wedding.
I know this is tedious and sen­timental, but I have a point. I did everything I could to help this wedding go smoothly. Could it be possible that I jinxed myself?
I am normally a pretty smart and coordinated gal, but some­how in this complex construc­tion of an existence that I call my life, I lost my groove.
In the weeks prior to the wedding, I had my own “series of unfortunate events.” Let us start with what was sup­posed to be a sponta­neous and innocent trip to pick blackberries. It was rain­ing, and we were having fun picking berries on the side of a dirt road in Florida. The proper­ty we were on had a no tres­passing sign, but so did most every other piece of property. It's just to keep pranksters and the like at bay.
We were about 15 feet deep in the woods, when my friends decid­ed to tell me about the man that owned the land shooting a dog because he trespassed. Imagine my surprise when I heard a four-wheeler approaching? Running is not the word for what I did (fly maybe, but even that seems mainstream). The scratches from the briars didn't bother me as much as getting my shoes stuck in the mud. Fly­ing wasn't possible at this point.
This sight wasn't pretty, and it gets uglier. Further down the road, we saw plums and decide we wanted some. The ants did not like us stealing their food. They fought back and won. Being mildly allergic to these beasts, I carried home with me blackber­ries and one-inch red welts that later turned into nice-sized blis­ters.
A couple of days later more misfortune befell me. I tried to get out of bed before I was awake evidently. The result of that was a rather large lump on my right shin bone. I put ice packs on it, to keep from having yet one more defect upon my leg during my best friend's wedding. It didn't bruise, but from certain angles, it looks like I have a growth on my leg.
After that, I made it three days without incident It wasn't until the night of the rehearsal dinner that my next mishap was to occur.
Since the wedding was at a lake, the wedding party stayed the night there in a cabin. Nice, huh? Well, it was until I tried to make it to the boat landing at night without a flashlight. Those evil briars got me again.
If all of these accidents were separate, and if they didn't come before a momentous occasion, nothing would be thought of it. You may say that this last invasion of plant life is inconsequential. But the wed­ding was to take place on the beach of the lake. We were to be barefoot.
The big day arrives, and the matron of honor looks like a battered rag doll. The brides­maids are on the right side of the audience. But do we face them head on? No. We were instructed to turn at a particular angle. This was the perfect angle to see my bump and many other imperfections. In the two weeks before this wedding, I managed to obtain a growth on my right shin bone, seven angry red bumps all over my right leg, and the scratches on my toes were beginning to resemble an outbreak of poison ivy. (It was.)
But as I stood up there watch­ing my friend say her vows, I forgot about my problems. Afterall, this wasn’t about me. The people attending didn’t have their attention on me. I wasn’t the important one. They really shouldn't notice any defects on me.
Then right behind me comes a splash. A catfish evidently mis­took up for down and missed his prey. Or did he? A squeal and a leap later, everyone's eyes are upon me.
So much for remaining inconspicuous.

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