Walking Down the Aisle Backward
By David Pitlik
Today is going to be the happiest day of my life. Iím one short hour
away from walking down that aisle and becoming husband to the most
wonderful woman on the face of the planet. And despite weeks and months
of doubts and second thoughts, Iím not experiencing any of those dreaded
"cold feet" symptoms this morning. Everything about this feels right.
Iím taking the next big step in my life and I know itís the right one.
And so far everything is going like clockwork. The guests are starting
to arrive. The photographer is setting up. The florist is doing her
thing. My folks are busy bothering my in-laws-to-be. Everything is under
control. Nothing can go wrong. Iím ready. This is going to be my finest
Looking in the full length mirror, I realize, I am one handsome man.
Or is it true what they say about every guy looking good in a tux? No
matter. Today is my day.
Just then, my equally dapper looking best man reminds me how lucky
we guys have it. "Just think," he says, "one floor down, in a room
identical to this one, World War III is probably breaking out." Iíll bet
heís right. No doubt this very moment panic and mayhem are sweeping
through that bridal suite. My lovely bride and her maids are racing
against the clock, frantically preparing for the main event.
We guys really do have it easy when you think about it. On our wedding
day, we simply shave, jump in the shower, towel down, splash on some
cologne, quick dry the hair, slip into our rented tux and bam! Weíre
ready for the first day of the rest of our lives. But itís not so easy
for the fairer sex. They start their planning years in advance,
pouring over glossy magazines trying to pick out their fantasy gown,
then once theyíve found it, there are endless fittings and refittings
because theyíve put on a couple of ounces. Months are spent looking
for the perfect accessories to match, not to mention the countless
trips to the mall searching for the right shoes. And as if that werenít
enough, once the big day arrives thereís an hour to do the hair,
another hour for the make-up, and yet another hour just to get the
whole ensemble looking picture perfect. Phew! Iím exhausted just
imagining it. No, we guys definitely have it easy.
Snapping me out of my reverie, my best man points out that itís only
twenty minutes to show time. I make a few minor adjustments to my
cummerbund. I must say, I really do look good. And I feel great. Today
is my day...uh, wait a minute. Thereís one little eyebrow hair that just
wonít go where itís supposed to. Well, no use forcing it. Iíll just
pluck out the little sucker. Thank goodness for these tweezers on my
Swiss Army knife. "Hey, too bad you canít transplant a few of those to
the back of your head," says my best man, attempting to be funny. Low
blow. He knows how sensitive I am about my recently noticeable bald spot.
My bride-to-be claims itís cute, she even calls it her love patch, but
personally, I hate it. Iíd rather lose a limb. My hair is my masculinity,
and lately a whole lot of that masculinity has been backing up the
drain in my shower.
I look at myself again in the mirror. You know what? To hell with it.
No oneís going to see my hair, not with this winning smile on my face.
I look good. Today is my day!
"Just think, while youíre saying your vows, exchanging rings and kissing
the bride, two hundred and fifty of your guests will have little else
to do than stare at the back of your head," my best man points out with
an impish grin. I am suddenly gripped with sheer terror! Heís right! They
wonít see my smile. They wonít see my clean shaven face. They wonít see
the sparkle in my eye. All theyíll see is the back of my head and that
lousy, rotten bald spot. I twist around in front of the mirror, trying
to assess the full extent of my vulnerability. My heart sinks. How can
they miss that thing? Itís big enough to be seen from the space shuttle!
Panic starts to set in. What can I do? Is twenty minutes enough time to
have hair implants? Does the hotel guest shop stock toupees? Damn, if only
Iíd thought of this sooner. Maybe a year ago I couldíve started taking
Propecia. Or even six months ago gotten my hands on some industrial strength
Rogaine. But now... now itís too late!
I frantically start pulling off my tux. "What the hell are you doing?"
asks my not-so-best man.
"What does it look like?" I say, "The weddingís off! If I were Jewish
this wouldnít be a problem. Iíd slap on the beanie and no one would be the
wiser, but Iím not, so I canít!"
"Hey, itís not that bad. No oneís gonna say anything. I was just razzing
you a little, man. You were too calm," says my
soon-to-be-off-the-Christmas-list best man.
I force myself to take a few deep breaths. My heart is pounding so hard
that Iím sure they can hear it all the way down in the bridal suite. I
stare into the mirror. You know, I still look good. Maybe I am overreacting.
Maybe this situation isnít as bad as Iím making it. I put my tuxedo
jacket back on and readjust my cummerbund. I take a few more deep breaths.
Iím starting to feel better. Everythingís going to be okay. I think I can
handle this. I pull open a couple of dresser drawers, searching past the
Gideon bible and complimentary note pad. There it is! Problem solved.
My best man watches in utter disbelief as I carefully dab on the black shoe
polish. Hey, I donít care what anyone says, Iím getting married in less
than five minutes and today is my day! I just wish I wasnít a blond.