I need to leave work at lunchtime. I absolutely need to be out of here by no later than 1 pm. I have spent the past two days, all twelve hours of each, working on my portion of a Hugecase brief that’s due Monday. It is now Thursday and I am ready to leave my work product, such as it is, in the exceedingly capable hands of my more skilled, more experienced, more invested colleagues. There’s nothing more I can do to help. I have to run, because & and I have an appointment at 2 pm.
We were meeting a reporter from the Washington Post. A few months ago we’d filled out a form on their website, and apparently, our engagement story caught their attention. (We also sent our story to the New York Times, who showed no interest whatsoever.)
Eventually, at about 1:15 or so, I managed to extricate myself from the office. I grabbed a piece of paper from my recycling bin, scribbled HONEYMOONING IN FRANCE. BACK 11/9 in elated capital letters, and Scotch-taped the paper to the nameplate outside my office door. I set the away message on my voicemail, shut down my computer, and gladly lit out of there like a bat out of hell.
We met the Post reporter at ACKC Cocoa Bar. She’d advised us that the interview would last about an hour. We safely assumed that it’d run longer. This always happens. We don’t have too much to say about ourselves before we run out of words, but put us together, ask each of us about the other, and off we’ll go until stopped. Fortunately the Post reporter was patient with us. She didn’t seem too put out, even after we’d passed the two-hour mark. “It’s Sunday? 4 pm?” she confirmed when we’d finally made it to goodbye. “We’ll be sending a photographer.”
We goggled at this. A Washington Post photographer? At our wedding? Hee! As though we were celebrities, or politicians, or society folk. Since we are none of these things, the mere thought of being treated like one gave us the giggles.
“This means we will almost certainly be in the paper,” I remarked afterward, back home in the kitchen.
“Look!” said &, pulling up the Washington Post weddings page on his laptop. “Look at the byline for these photos.”
The weddings page features three couples each week. Two get a small sidebar article. One gets the full spread. The pictures of the sidebar couples, & showed me, were taken by their hired wedding photographers. The only photos with a Washington Post byline…were in the slideshow for the feature article.
“That’s going to be us,” said &, eyes shining.
I caught my breath. He could be right. That might be us. That might actually be us.
But there was hardly time to imagine it, because then the phone was ringing, texts were coming through, people were arriving for our respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. I had commended the planning of mine entirely into the capable hands of my matron of honor, my dear friend Elianna, with whom I’d originally intended to have a joint bachelorette party before our tandem trial schedules wrecked the months of June and July for us both. Elianna got married in August. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding and gave a toast at the reception. She, of course, was “reciprocating” tenfold, because that’s the kind of nice person she is.
For my bachelorette evening she’d planned a series of events which were a total surprise to me. This was by my own election: with everything else that had been demanding my attention in recent weeks, nothing could be more blissful than sitting back, relaxing, and watching as wonderful things came to pass on my behalf. Elianna did not disappoint: she presented me with a short veil and a black tank top bedazzled with the word “DIVA” in silver rhinestones, I decked myself out accordingly, and we were off.
The evening began with a half-dozen girlfriends (from as far afield as London and Los Angeles) converging at Proof, a wine bar right near my office, from which we proceeded onward to Jaleo, the José Andrés tapas bar in Penn Quarter. There our headcount doubled as we gorged on paella and chorizo and sangria and jamon y queso. Also, we swapped underwear. Not the skivvies we were wearing at the moment, but rather brand-new, gift-wrapped dainties purchased and brought in just for the occasion. At the end of the exchange, I found myself the owner of a flowery lacy frilly pair of unmentionables that, I decided right then, I would wear on my wedding day.
And the evening wasn’t half over yet. From there we taxi-caravaned up to Adams Morgan for a salsa dancing lesson (imparted by a disciplinarian Latina teacher we dubbed the “Salsa Nazi”), then onward to Cafe Citron to put our skills to practice.
Since our joint bachelorette weekend, planned for June, had been scuttled by our respective trial schedules, Elianna had not actually had any bachelorette festivities before her wedding. By now she’d been married for nearly three months, but for all intents and purposes, this night belonged to her too. At one point she eyed my little veil, which seemed to draw random dance partners like moths to a flame, and remarked “Wow, I guess brides do have more fun.” I promptly picked the veil off my head and planted it on hers, so she could see just how much.