I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.
The bell on the door chimed, and Danny came in. The boutonnieres are already ordered.What? Anne backed into a vampire mobile, all sorts of Dracula getting tangled in her hair. Excuse me—oh, all right. Okay, let’s not . . .
She pulled the caped bloodsucker off her and yanked her fleece back into place. Right. Already ordered. Of course. Let’s go next door. Thank you for your time.Head up, shoulders set, she made it back out to the sidewalk without putting her foot in a tub of roses. And then with determination more appropriate to a military crusade, she went over to Mike’s Tuxedo Rental and nailed the entry, walking into the right place.Yup, nothing but racks of suit jackets and slacks in black, white, and red, and displays of pre-knotted satin bow ties with matching cummerbunds. The fake wood paneling of the place reminded her of Raymour & Flanigan furniture ads from her childhood, and the posters of male models from the eighties pulling Zoolanders and sporting perms made her worry that the establishment only rented stuff from the Flock of Seagulls era.
The man behind the cash register—like the place would have a computer anyway?—was sixty and pruned like a topiary, his pin-striped suit and jaunty orange-and-black tie a seasonal advertisement for his wares.And here’s the lovely bride, the guy said as he came around. I’m Mike Junior, and I’m here to help you—oh, you brought your groom.
Anne shook her head. No, we’re not, I’m not, this is not—
When’s the special day? Mike asked.T minus 48 hours ’til blastoff
College Row, New Brunswick, MassachusettsBecause women are not frickin’ groomsmen! That’s why she can’t be in the goddamn wedding!
As Anne Ashburn walked in the back door of the shotgun apartment, that happy little explosion was not only what she’d expected all along, it also offered her the out she’d been praying for. And it was probably the one and only time she was ever going to agree with the bride.Not about the role of females in bridal parties, but that Anne wasn’t going to be in the goddamn wedding.