Norah was excited about her upcoming wedding. She’d never been patient and the long wait made her excitable, irritable and even more restless than usual. At moments she was euphoric, planning the ceremony, the reception, the church, and she appeared to be having the time of her life. At other times the thought her wedding day couldn’t get there fast enough, and she took her impatience out on those around her, even on Albert, her fiancé.
Albert was the silent type who avoided conflict like the plague. He found an excuse to leave the room whenever Norah pitched a fit about the flowers, or the gown, or the invitations.
“She isn’t always so mean,” Margaret, her mother, told friends when Norah stormed off swearing to high heaven, “but she’s very excited and you know Norah, patience was never her virtue. That’s what makes Albert so right for her, he’s patient as a saint. I just hope these tantrums don’t drive him away.”
“Do you think it possible?” Francine, Margaret’s oldest friend, asked concerned. She knew Norah since birth and understood what Margaret meant.
“I don’t know,” Margaret sighed, “I’m about ready to call it quits myself. One more outburst and she can expect no further help from me.”
Francine sighed. She thought of herself as Norah’s aunt, and resolved to speak to her about her unacceptable behavior, but never got the chance. Norah was much too busy to give her mother’s oldest friend much attention.
Two days before the wedding Norah woke up with her throat on fire.
“Oh no, no, no!” She croaked, “I can’t get ill now!”
Norah cleared her throat over and over but the pain would not ease.
“Mom!” Norah screeched and thought how she should have listened when her mother suggested vitamins.
They day got worse as Norah tried to juggle her appointments with the baker and the florist, hoping her throat would heal. By nightfall, her head seemed it would explode, and she was clammy and shivering.
“This can’t be happening,” she whined, “why now?”
“Because you’ve exhausted yourself with the preparations and you’ve rudely rejected help and tried to do it all on your own. I think your body is telling you to relax.”
“But I’m getting married in two days!”
“Tough luck,” her mother shrugged, “I suggest Advil and sleep, otherwise you’ll be worse tomorrow.”
“But Mom, who’ll take care of the rehearsal dinner?”
“Not me, since you think I’m useless. Hush now and sleep, and for your own sake, be patient, everything will turn out for the best.”
Everything did not turn out for the best, Norah thought as she posed for her wedding pictures with a nose bigger and redder than Rudolph the Reindeer and eyes so watery she could barely open. Her complexion and sunken cheeks looked like melted vanilla ice cream. So much for the bride’s perfect wedding.