Reader, I

Corey Van Landingham

swore I’d be a casual bride. The dress code nonexistent (I shant
have lied), beer in cans. I wanted, only, a single gerbera daisy
placed in each glass bottle. Red. Just that. I only browsed the
magazines to roll my eyes. Martha Stewart, Southern Bride. The
gloss too slick, affairs too rich to find myself inside. We scoffed
at rowboats all be-flowered, the ceremonies lit by tiki torch
under Bora Bora skies. Engraved soles—I do—pressed against
the ballroom floor received light snickers, snide retorts. Cake
toppers, real hair! We would never. . . Leather Dopp kits for the
groomsmen, monogrammed panties for the girls. The condo-
priced gown. . . just a moment of weakness. I gave it a try. A
woman in a smart skirt advised a garment to mellow out my
thighs. It did. Though under all that tulle they could already hide.
Just a touch of rouge, some glue to tack the extra lashes on my
eyes. Did they have a similar shade of lipstick to match my
groom’s tie? One named for a city we both admired? Toledo,
perhaps? Telluride? The makeup counter had a gleam I liked.
There were tubes of cream for every divot over which I cried. I
sat long nights under the kitchen lamp trying to decide: which
skin type was my own? Combination, dry? Shall I bleach my
asshole? Offer guests a fan, insecticide? Was I an Elizabeth
Taylor or a Scarlett, hair untied, would he prefer lingerie with
lace? A dewy or a matte face? Would his father’s tux prove
excessive for a lakeside wedding? My mother’s jewels? Should
we move the reception to a gallery, no distracting view? Where
the bridesmaid’s spray-on makeup wouldn’t melt, where I
could remove my shoes to glide for a moment or two under
the French horn’s simple song—just a rustic tune—unadorned.
Is it too late to book a riverboat—imagine!—for July? Fireworks
as we say goodbye? I fear I’m botching the script; please advise.