I crouch down below the hedges that line the side of my mother’s childhood home. Gathering my bridesmaid dress in my hands, I bend over and creep toward the front yard where the wedding ceremony would take place in a few minutes. All I need to do is sneak past the windows and put my glasses on the podium without being seen. I am 34 years old… and I am hiding from my aunt.
I should have known she wouldn’t let me wear my glasses for the ceremony. If only my responsibilities ended at looking pretty and standing still. But alas, I’m delivering the final reading! I NEED GLASSES TO READ.
But this is about *her vision* — not mine.
If only she’d let me bring them out to the podium. But that’s not part of the vision — bridesmaids are to be hidden away until our cue. I should have kept my mouth shut and not asked permission. This is what I get for trying to be considerate. A few bobby pins spring loose from my updo as I squat again and shuffle past the living room window.
I can see the podium up ahead. I’m almost there! I start to straighten up when a piercing yell comes through the bay window, “EMILY!!!!” My aunt’s eyes meet mine and, in that moment, I am no longer a 34-year-old woman. I am 10, and I am in trouble. She waves her slender arms wildly as her petite body shakes from side to side. “What are you doing!? I told you to stay in the backyard!” I hang my head and scuttle off back to the of bridesmaids.
It’s time to think like my aunt.
I need a workaround. I need…the wedding planner. I spot her dressed in all black speaking into a walkie talkie. I sidle up to her and slip my glasses into her hand. “Deliver these to the podium posthaste. Make sure she doesn’t see you.” She smiles and tucks my glasses into her shirt pocket. “You got it,” she said with a wink.
I think deep down, my aunt would be proud of me. But please don’t tell her.