When I awoke on what was to be the happiest day of my life, my wedding day, I had no worries. My appointment to have my hair permed was that morning. I figured I had more than enough time before the ceremony that afternoon.
As I settled into the chair, I shared that I was getting married and I wanted to surprise my sweetheart.
“So when’s the wedding?” the stylist asked.
“This afternoon,” I chirped, beaming with happiness.
Her hand hung in midair and she got a strange look on her face. She nearly dropped her comb.
“Usually a woman gets her hair done a day or two before the big day,” she managed to say through a frozen smile, “so that the curls can ‘relax’.”
“I’m sure it will be fine,” I answered, a little less sure of myself. “By the way,” I added, “my hair is thick and doesn’t take a perm easily.”
The stylist got a determined look on her face. She didn’t say another word until my clipped and curlered head was ready for the chemical applications.
“Well, here goes,” she murmured as she squirted the perming solution onto the curlers. “Now we’ll let this work. I used quite a bit of perming solution so be sure to tell me if you feel any burning on your scalp.”
I nodded and picked up a magazine. Before I had read half of it, she tilted my chair again to apply the neutralizing liquid. She rinsed my head and popped me under a dryer.
Several minutes later, my hair was ready to be revealed to the world.
I thought I heard her sigh with relief when the last curler was removed. Must look good, I thought to myself.
“There you are,” she announced as she placed a mirror in my hand.
The shock was almost too much for me. I had gone from really straight to ultra curly in less than one hour!
Well, I thought as I paid the stylist, at least part of this will be covered by my wide-brimmed hat. But what will my future husband think as I walk up the aisle?
I got to the church about one hour before the ceremony was to begin. My parents and future parents-in-law had arrived before me. Guests had begun to fill the pews.
“Have you seen Lance or Randy yet?” my future mother-in-law asked me, gazing at my curls with surprise.
“No,” I answered. “Didn’t they stay at your house last night?”
She patted my arm and left to watch for her son.
Ten minutes later, she returned. “Are you sure you haven’t seen Lance yet?”
Every movie I had ever seen about brides being left at the altar by a no-show bridegroom played through my mind. My husband-to-be was AWOL!
“Well, don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll turn up soon,” she said with a frown. She rejoined my future father-in-law at his watching post.
But will I do if they don’t? I wondered, pacing up and down.
I wasn’t surprised when she came back and shrugged her shoulders at me in response to my unspoken question, Are they here yet?
Five minutes before I was to walk up the aisle with my father, my mother came to inform me that they were ready for me upstairs.
“He made it?” I squeaked. My mother nodded grimly. Not a good way to impress a mother-in-law.
My bridesmaids were already beginning the procession up the aisle as I slipped my arm into the crook of my father’s arm. My heart was still racing from anxiety.
The music changed and the guests arose from their seats. They were all looking at my father and me, but I was trying to glimpse my future husband. Until I saw him, I could not believe he had actually arrived.
Midway up the aisle I saw him. He had the same kind of frozen smile that the stylist had when I told her when my wedding would take place. As I gazed at him, I noticed his pants legs were quivering. If his pants had been made of paper rather than fabric, the rustling would have drowned out the organ music.
I began to worry about the exchange of vows. Maybe he was having second thoughts. What if he said no?
My fears were unfounded, of course. He sealed his wedding promises with a yes and a kiss.
Later, after the recessional as we sat at the head table in the reception hall, I told him how concerned I had been.
“Where were you?” I asked with a forced smile.
“We woke up late. Rand was driving eighty miles an hour in his Corvette around the Silver Creek Cliff curves while I got dressed in the passenger’s seat. We made it on time, though.” Then he looked at me and added, “What made you decide to get your hair done like that?”
Despite my curls that did eventually ‘relax’ and my anxiety over a delayed bridegroom, I am happy to report that my husband and I celebrated our silver anniversary last year.