Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A failure to communicate

A sorry tale to tell.

A woman at our church has three sons. At the end of last summer, at just about this time, the middle son got married to his high school girlfriend very quickly, with maybe 2 weeks' notice (yes, she was). They wanted to know if I would play the piano at the wedding. I frantically searched for some easy versions of traditional wedding music and started practicing, but I realized there was no way I could become proficient enough to play for the wedding. We had a CD of wedding music on hand, so I rigged up the church PA system to a CD player and used that instead.

In the meantime, the younger son decided he was going to get married in October to his girlfriend (no, she wasn't), and they asked me if I would play for their wedding. I said yes because I knew I would have enough time to practice. And I commenced practicing.

It came to pass that the younger son and his girlfriend had a big fight. He "showed her" and joined the Marines, who wasted no time in whisking him off to Camp Pendleton. I heaved a big sigh of relief that the wedding was called off, and I quit practicing. They actually did get married when he came on leave, but they did it at the courthouse and no piano playing was involved.

Now for the hard part. At some point during this period of time, I apparently was approached by the oldest son and his girlfriend, Amber, who asked me if I would play for their wedding. They hadn't set the date yet. I apparently said yes.

I used the word "apparently" because I totally forgot the conversation. By and by they did set the date for their wedding, which was last Saturday. But no more was said to me about playing the piano, no discussion about what music she might want, nothing. We did not plan to go to the wedding because it was 70 miles away and we had not gotten a written or verbal invitation. Friday night while we were eating dinner, the phone rings and it is the son's mother, who is calling from the wedding rehearsal.

"Are you coming to the wedding tomorrow because Amber says you are supposed to play the piano."

I just about died. I felt terrible, but I had to tell her that I didn't remember having the conversation with Amber and that no, we weren't planning to come because we had not been invited. "Well, I put an invitation up on the bulletin board at church," she says. Only I never look at the bulletin board so I didn't see it. I suggested she go to Walmart and try to find a CD of wedding music. Richard went up to the church later to turn on the AC and he says he didn't see an invitation.

At any rate, our pastor performed the ceremony and said it was a wedding without music. The bride walked down the aisle in silence instead of to "Here Comes the Bride..."

Something usually always goes wrong at a wedding. If I were an insurance adjuster trying to assign blame for this accident, I'd have to say I am not sure who was more at fault for this major thing going wrong: me for forgetting, or her for not following up.

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