Monday, June 13, 2005


Last autumn, Clarissa announced the date of her wedding. It would be October 1 of the following year. She'd selected her cadre of bridesmaids, the site of the service as well as the reception, and while certain details remained—colors, officiant, honeymoon destination—it was all very well in hand.

But perhaps that overstates the case. In fact, there was one more detail: her boyfriend had not proposed.

As autumn chilled into winter, and the question remained unpopped, Clarissa steamed. "These places book early!" she wailed. "Should I just go ahead and reserve them?" The tactics became more creative, the intent less subtle. She told him how romantic she thought it was to be proposed to in a horse-drawn carriage. Not because she thought so really, but because carriage rides are a winter thing to do. Her direst fear: he would wait until Valentine's to propose, and with so little time before the big day, she would be forced to reschedule everything.

In late December, Clarissa's man packed up his car, kissed her on the cheek, and then drove straight into Texas oblivion. When he returned a week later, his head was clear and he asked her to marry him.

Nowadays, interspersed with the usual e-mails from friends coordinating the logistics of the day's beer-drinking are the e-mails from Clarissa. Clarissa e-mails me about strange things like down payments, showers, decisions made jointly, and lately, the timing of her future children. Offspring! Jesus, ten minutes ago this girl and I were passed out in a public park with crusty Guinness moustaches because we'd forgotten to book a hotel room in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. And now she's procreating? Heavens. Worse still: she's sorting through potential names and promised me that she wouldn't use Audrey. She knows that's mine.

Mine? Name? What? She seems to be confusing the alias I used while working as a 21-year-old bartender for a cherished hypoethical fetus burbling up spit bubbles in sepia-toned daydreams. No! No girlchilds for me!

Clarissa, you always be my dear friend, but you simply must stop harshing on my extended adolescence.


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