Mixed blessings


mixed blessingThe sequel to Friday’s pre-wedding post!

The wedding came and went and it was wonderful.  The ladies were pretty, the men handsome and the locations were well-chosen.  I skipped out on the reception for a variety of reasons, an odd assortment you can find out, if you wish to read further.

Suffering the slings and arrows

I was thinking of passing on the entire affair at one point.  I was still despondent over the gaffes in Book One.  It’s one thing to say “I’m over it”, it’s another to actually get past it…especially when each succeeding review makes note of the errors (causing a corresponding clenching of my guts).  The reviewers were actually quite kind, rating the book well or “conditionally” rating it with  the promise of higher if the errors were corrected.  In some ways, that generosity and forgiveness makes the sting greater.  If they won’t take me to task, that means I have to.  So, my own “What if’s” bedeviled me as the weekend started.

Putting up quite a racket

Saturday morning began with a surprise invite from my friend to join him in some doubles tennis.  I had not played in over a year and a half and I was concerned that I would either embarrass myself or let my partner down with ragged play.  Plus, it was (South Florida) cold that morning.  I had a standing position that I would not play tennis if it was below 60 degrees.  I committed to going anyway and we played two and a half hours.  We won the first two sets and lost the last in a tiebreaker.  I acquitted myself surprisingly well and even ran down balls on clay that I shouldn’t have been able to.  By the time we finished playing, it was a balmy 66 degrees and sunny.  A fine start to the day and a needed psychological lift.

Hard to stomach

Still, my nervousness returned as I got prepared to go.  I am uncomfortable in large social settings (as opposed to, say, sports events or art festivals) where a high level of interaction will be required.  That already had me a bit queasy (which is why I say I would prefer not to be famous).  Then the battle to fit my 32 waist in 30-size suit pants put a literal strain on my midsection.  I was beginning to worry as I drove to the church as my back was starting to hurt, as well.  Originally, I thought this was all due to the suit pants, but as I was sitting in the church, it occurred to me there was more to it than that.

The morning after

When I was leaving tennis, my friend asked how I felt.  I had tweaked my knee a little, but other than the feet being a little sore, I felt okay.  The real test, I told him, would be Sunday, since it’s usually the next day when you really feel the pains.  Even though I exercise reasonably regularly, using the Bowflex and walking, that’s not the same as working out or active sports.  Speeding ahead to Sunday, from my neck to my feet felt like overstretched rubber bands.  Saturday evening, those pains were just beginning to filter through.

Save the last dance for someone else

Combine the tight pants with the aching body and mix in my tendency towards reclusiveness and you have a timorous soul headed over to the reception.  For some reason, I had forgotten how formal wedding receptions are.  I had an image of people milling around, scarfing off food tables and finding ample hiding places to bide my time.  What can I say?  The last time I was at a wedding the suit pants actually fit!  A cold rush of horror crept over me as I saw the lists of names assigned to tables and then overheard that everyone was going to be expected to dance.  Bad enough I don’t dance, but in those pants, I had visions of a particularly unfortunate result of any attempt at exertion.  So, I bolted, taking proper time to sign the guest book and leave my gift.  I was back in time to the church to see they were still taking pictures, but I was unable to locate my friends and certainly wasn’t going to interrupt the fun.

The next day, Sunday, was a day of aches and pains and an opportunity to review the mixed blessings of the weekend.  My book giveaway revealed terrible flaws in my first book but also yielded some upbeat comments on the story.  I got to play tennis for the first time in a long while and played pretty well…though I am paying for it in my creaky body since then.  I faced the reality of an old wardrobe and an old waistline and managed to survive both without too much damage to either.  I saw a beautiful wedding and missed a (no doubt) fun reception.

So, it was a weekend of mixed blessings.  Except, I got to see my friends’ youngest daughter get married, a vision of happiness and love.  There’s nothing mixed about that blessing!

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