There are many rituals involved in a wedding. Besides the religious rituals, which change among all groups of faith, there are the wedding reception rituals: the best man's speech, the first dance, the cutting of the cake, the electric slide, etc. Among all these rituals is one so scary, so dangerous that some couples debate if it should be done. Stories of sprained writsts and fist fights breaking out amongst guests make the bride and groom think twice about the dreaded "BouQuEt ToSs". The horror.
My boyfriend's brother, Jeff, got married this summer and I was delighted to be a guest. I was wearing a beautiful vintage dress that belonged to none other than my own mother (see picture). I had bought - special for the occassion -the most striking pair of zapatos (shoes) that I have ever hoped to lay eyes on. Vintage art patterned, gold trimmed 4-inch heels by Carlos Santana that I named my "Havanas." I had done my own hair and make up and, if i don't say so myself, which I will - was ssssStunning.
They announced - The Bouquet Toss! My eyes closed in anticipated terror. I had already told myself before this day that I would not participate this time, not at this wedding. The first time meeting many of Mike's family was not the appropriate time to really show them who I was, right? Leave that for later in the relationship. Thoughts running through my mind of fist fights and wrestling moves that I had inflicted on others at numerous weddings. Standing next to a hungry pack of wolves, waiting for the bouquet and the hope that with that catch they would be the next on their way to wedded bliss. Me? I just liked winning the bouquet! It was all rushing back and there was no way I was sending someone to the hospital today...
I told Mike that I didn't think I should get involved in the toss, but since it was his brother's wedding, he urged me on.
"No, Mike," I pleaded, "I really don't think you understand. This has the potential of getting really ugly." On hearing this, Mike pushed harder.
Mike loves encouraging me - it's the biggest reason I love him - and he knew that I could win it (I mean - catch it). He pushed and encouraged like a quarterback coach in the last two minutes of a game searching for the "Hail Mary" touchdown pass from all the way down the field.
They took the "single ladies" ( a term I am sooo tired of hearing at weddings) outside, since the bride was throwing the bouquet from a spanish style veranda. I stood all the way in the very back left corner of the pack of single wolves who were starting to reach up to the sky. Maybe I could just stand back here and no one would notice? I could be involved without punching anyone in the face for the bouquet.
"LEGRAAAAAARR!!!" I turn to see Mike's brother yelling my last name in a touchdown pass making yell. "LET'S GO, LEGRRRAAAAARRR!" (Side note: Calling me Legrar was a joke started when the school that we worked at together accidentally labeled this wrong name on my mailbox. Mike thought it was so funny, he told his brother to make my name card Jennifer Legrar. Mike's brother thought it pretty funny, too!)
Oh no! Now even Mike's brother was expecting me to win it - darn it... I mean, CATCH it. My heart was pounding. Fast. Faster. Harder. I really wanted to tackle the entire group with one pounce, leap over there bodies with one bounce. Images of leaping up, jumping off other lady guests' backs, and running over the crowd towards the bouquet were coming into mind, but I was trying to be a "lady" in from of Mike's entire family. I felt my competitive beast starting to drool, trying to unleash her fury. She was about to throw it. She was throwing it. Oh no! She tossed the bouquet. It flew through the air in slllooooooww motion. Here it comes ......... what do i do?!??!?!??!?!?!?!
Without making a move, not a single move, the bouquet landed at my feet. Not a hair out of place, not the loss of a breath. With the quickness of a hawk, I snatched up the bouquet like a mouse in the night. A HUGE SMILE, a smile of happiness (and gloat) came over me. It was mine. I had won it. You know what I mean, caught it. A calm crashed over my soul. I had my moment. I had my bouquet. But most importantly I had my man.
Moral of the Story: The best things come to those who wait. (And I'm not talking about my bouquet...)
The actual dress, bouquet, and winning smile