Vol 2.12 “The Wedding is Off!” December 1, 2003

Dear Friends,
It’s December 1, 2003. For those of you who haven’t met me, talked to
me on the phone or read October’s Article of the Month, ‘Wedding Traditions’,
which I wrote, I’m Fred’s assistant, Julie. I know you are used to hearing
Fred’s voice here in the newsletter each month, and I’m sure you look forward
to hearing about what’s going on with him. But I hope you’ll enjoy seeing my
writing, in addition to Fred’s, from time to time.
The reason Fred asked me to write the introduction for this month’s
newsletter, is he and I have collaborated on our first article: ‘The Wedding
is Off!’ which will be December’s Article of the Month. We really believe it
will offer some food-for-thought, and hopefully spark some needed conversation
between engaged couples. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed
writing it. I’m sure you will be reading many more collaborative articles by
Fred and me. As someone who studied English and journalism in college, I’m
thrilled that a little hidden gem (no pun intended) in my job is to do
something I’ve always had a passion for.
Since being asked to contribute to the company in this capacity, I find
my mind working overtime. I see potentially worthwhile material for articles
in so many things everyday. I know Fred is the same way, because he has
numerous files, each about an inch thick, labeled ‘Article Ideas.’ We may
start fighting for space on the web-site. Of course, I’ll let him win.
I mean, he is the boss. And on occasion, when the arm wrestling or rock
-scissors-paper contest ends in a draw, we’ll write something together’¦and
have a foot race in the parking lot to see who gets top billing.
Here’s a sneak peak at next month’s Article, ‘The Wedding is Off!’

Talk to you soon,
Julie

THE WEDDING IS OFF!
By Julie Seitz and Fred Cuellar

‘YOU SON OF A BITCH!!! How could you do this to me? How am I supposed to
tell my Mother and Father? The church is full of people! Oh my God’¦I’m gonna
be sick’¦.’ Mark stood silent, embarrassed, mortified, devastated, as
Samantha ran across the parking lot toward the church, pulling the sheer
flowing veil off of her beautifully coiffed hair with one hand while pressing
the other hand tightly over her lips. He watched her run awkwardly away
from him, across the muddy parking lot. Just an hour earlier she had walked
across the same parking lot taking care not to let the antique white brocade
dress come within five inches of the ground. As if the mud and dirt could
somehow magically jump to the hemline. Now she moved so quickly with so much
crazy emotion, that she didn’t even notice the $4,500.00 gown that she’d spent
three months searching for, dragging through puddle after puddle. How could
he have let this happen? How did it all go so wrong? Hadn’t he been a great
boyfriend for 3 years? Hadn’t he helped plan the whole wedding? Hadn’t he
offered an opinion on anything she had asked’¦invitations, flowers, dresses,
entrée? He smiled through the whole thing. Shouldn’t years of support and
love outweigh a stupid mistake? Now, here he was. Alone. With a church full
of people waiting for someone to explain to them why they traveled from around
the country for nothing. There would be no wedding.
As Mark slowly forced himself to take step after step toward the big
double wooden doors of the church, he felt as if he were sleepwalking; like he
was out of his own body, looking down at himself. The first person he saw
upon entering the vestibule of the church, the church that Samantha had
attended her whole life, was Samantha’s Father. ‘Steve’¦I’¦..I mean’¦Mr.
McCoy…Let me explain’¦I never meant to’¦it’s all a big misunderstanding’¦Can I
please see Sam?’
‘She doesn’t want to see you, Mark. And I recommend that you turn
around and walk out of this church right now. I don’t know how much longer I
can contain my anger. I don’t want to deck you in front of your family or
mine. And, God help me, I want to hurt you.’
‘Fine! Swing away. I deserve it. But I need to see Sam. I won’t leave
until you let me talk to her!’ He felt his emotions getting the better of
him, and he prayed that he would be able to keep from being the one doing the
swinging.
‘Mark, son.’ Finally, a comforting voice from behind him. ‘Let
Samantha have some time to herself. You don’t need to figure this all out
right now. She needs some time.’
‘No, Dad! I need to see her. I have to make her understand. Just tell
me where she is! Where the hell is she?!’
‘I don’t know, son. But you need to let her be. Come on; let’s go find
your Mother. She’s very upset and wants to know what’s going on. I think she
should hear it from you.’
‘I’m sorry that Mom is upset, but I have bigger worries right now, Dad!
I’m not leaving until I see her! Mr. McCoy, you have to’¦’
Steve McCoy, the dedicated father of Samantha and her younger sister,
interrupted quietly, ‘You don’t understand, Mark. She’s already gone. Her
Mother put her in the limo and they left. I don’t know where they went, and I
won’t tell you when I find out. You created this mess. You broke my
daughter’s heart, and I’m not going to stand here and listen to you tell me
what I have to do. The only thing I have to do right now is figure out how in
the world I’m ever going to help my daughter get past this. Now get the hell
out.’ He reached into his pocket and as his closed hand emerged, it seemed to
be coming toward Mark in slow motion. He knew what was being handed to him.
In that second he was suddenly back in the office of his jeweler, looking for
the first time at the 1.5 carat, classic solitaire that he’d spent four months
picking out. The ring that was supposed to be forever remembered as the
symbol of their engagement, their beginning, was now being returned to him by
an angry man, on a rainy day. Not a beginning, an end.
‘I believe this belongs to you,’ he said, as he dropped the ring into
Mark’s palm and turned to walk away.
Mark was in a trance, staring down at the ring in his hand, when he was
brought back to reality by the screechy voice of his Mother’s nosy friend,
Cynthia. She was coming out of the church to where Mark and his Father were
standing. The guests were getting restless and curious, and it sounded as if
Cynthia had offered to get to the bottom of it. Her footsteps grew louder on
the other side of the door.
‘I’ll be right back. I’m sure everything’s fine. Maybe somebody forgot
the rings at the house or something. I think I saw Samantha’s Father come
this way.’
The mumbling of the 200 people on the other side of the door was suddenly
deafening. He thought his head might explode from the thought of facing
anyone in that church. He had to get out of there. He looked at his Father,
hoping against hope that he wouldn’t try to talk him into staying and talking
to anyone. He probably should stay and talk to the Minister. He probably
should stay and talk to his Grandparents who drove hours to get here. He
probably should stay and talk to his sister and her six year old daughter who
missed her best friend’s birthday party to be here. He probably should go
find his Mother’¦..his Mother’¦he almost couldn’t bear to think of the pain he’d
caused.
His Father understood by looking at his son’s face. He always could. He
steered Mark out of the door and toward the parking lot. He would drive him
home, and they could face the world later.
‘No, Dad,’ Mark said quietly as his Father unlocked the door to his
Cadillac. ‘I want to walk. I’ll see you at home in a while. I need to be
alone.’
Mark walked the 11 blocks without ever lifting his eyes from the
sidewalk.
So, what happened? How in the time it takes to snap your fingers did
Mark lose it all? I’ll give you a hint’”the bachelor party. What’s that you
say? How could a little bachelor party destroy two people’s beautiful
future? That’s not for me to say. It’s for you to decide.
Las Vegas has a motto: ‘What happens here, stays here.’ Well, let me
tell you something, that’s not reality’¦not in Vegas, not on a guy’s weekend
fishing trip, not on guy’s night out in Anytown, USA. Who you are is not
something that can be put on hold. There are no time-outs in life where the
game clock stops and whatever you do is no longer part of the game for
recorded history. There are always consequences to your actions.
What did Mark do? Maybe it was something as simple as having a bachelor
party when he said he wouldn’t. Maybe it was one more oat that needed sowing
‘”it could have been a million different things, but the moral is the same. In
each of us lies a line we know we shouldn’t cross, a line where we become
someone we aren’t. Where is it? It’s different for each one of us, but each
one of us has it. The tale I just told is a fictitious one, but it could have
just as easily been true. Want to have a bachelor party? Go ahead. But
don’t let anyone force you to cross that line. Don’t let this story become
your story.