It was a beautiful wedding. Everybody said so. The weather was perfect, sunny but not humid. The flowers in the church, all in white with pink baby roses, were beautiful. Dee thought the bride and groom made a handsome couple – Carl so tall and tan, muscular after his summer job, Marsha, tiny beside him, delicate, her wispy blonde hair escaping from the hairdresser’s best efforts. No one mentioned the bulge at Marsha’s waist or made snide comments about the white dress or the veil.
Dee frowned – the photographer was taking too long. The ice cream cake would melt. The fancy hors d’oevre would get spoilt in the summer sun, the guests would all get ptomaine poisoning. It wasn’t her responsibility, she told herself. She wasn’t the hostess – but she worried. Marsha’s parents were too busy in the reception line. Should she say something, prod the photographer?
She tried to relax; afraid the photographer would snap his picture while she looked ‘funny.’ How aggravating it would be years later to see the photos – Marsha and Carl picture-perfect, with a frowning maid of honor, standing like a bad-tempered pink balloon beside the bride and groom.
” Peachy Pink” had been Marsha’s choice. Dee would have liked royal blue, but Marsha’s mom said it would be too much contrast, would somehow put the bride in the background. “You wouldn’t want that, would you, Dee”, somehow persuading and scolding at the same time. Mrs. Henderson was good at that. Dee, always the good sport, gave in. Of course not, better a pink balloon with a wide sash where her waist should be but wasn’t.
All through high school Dee – unsure of herself, overweight and shy – had envied Marsha, who had everything that counted- looks, popularity, brains. And now she’s caught in a nest, a mama bird, Dee thought. Never mind. Should Dee ever get married she would wear whatever she wanted. She would be perfect – thin and smart, sophisticated and successful, so successful she could pay her own way, and live somewhere else, far away from Manchester, New Hampshire. High school is over, she thought, the world is wide open.