When: 1991 - December
Where: Pietermaritzburg (say it with me Peter-mer-its-ber-g) Natal South Africa
Who: A family of four: Mother of the Bride (MoB) Father of the Bride (FoB) Sister of the Bride (SoB) and the Bride.
What: MoB, FoB and SoB have packed up and sold the family home as they are emigrating to Canada. They are currently homeless so are house sitting a large but odd house that comes with a demented dog. While living here they are organising a trans-world move and their eldest daughters wedding. There is more to be said about this but suffice to say it is a STRESSFUL time for all.
250 people rsvp to attend the wedding....many also coming to say farewell to MoB, FoB and SoB.
Enter stage right: The groom.........in the final days of his first year end of teaching - maxed to eyeballs in marking and year end events. Also 24 and very handsome. And stressed.
Enter centre stage (duh).......the Bride......just emerging from 2nd year university exams, moved house, rented first apartment, preparing for the departure of MoB, FoB and SoB to the other side of the world. Also 21 and cute.
6 days before the wedding...........
MoB, FoB and SoB in whirlwind of activity and emotion over imminent departure and planning massive wedding.
Bride begins to feel unbalanced.
Really unbalanced.....as in crashing into doorways, listing markedly to starboard in an attempt to make the world stop spinning......starting to feel quite ill from the world which is starting to move faster and faster.
Bride reluctantly informs MoB of this development although she may have caught onto the whole thing as the Bride was stumbling around like a drunken sailor. MoB informs Bride "This.cannot.happen".
Bride retreats to bed in attempt to make symptoms disappear.
Next day....... Bride falls out of bed, crawls to bathroom as legs won't work and is violently ill. SoB informs MoB. MoB administers medication and continues with wedding prep. Bride lies in darkened room all day. Groom worries from afar.
Next Day......symptoms persist, possibly worsen.......Bride cannot be upright, cannot focus on anything as eyes flick from side to side as brain tells body it is riding the high seas.
And tonight is the bridal shower
MoB straps Bride in car and takes her to Doctor. Doctor makes near fatal error of finding the Bride's condition to be so extraordinary that he asks if he can bring his colleagues in to observe. MoB offers to punch his lights out if he doesn't fix the Bride instantly. (She possibly didn't use these words - the Bride was trying not to fall off the examination table at the time but there was a tone..... and the tone said fix the Bride or else). A large syringe of medicine was plunged into the Bridal rear end.
For the Bridal Shower the SoB and the 2 SoG's (sisters of the groom - stay with me here) prop the Bride in a chair and hand her gifts to open while whispering into her ear who the gift is from and in which direction she should give her pale smile. The grooms plentiful and seemingly never-ending relatives think he has likely made a dreadful error by marrying this off kilter whack job who can't even look straight and seems to have decided lean to the left. It's a total blur of an evening but the medication seems to be kicking in and the talk of calling off the nuptials is shelved.
Next day the Bride and Groom manage to see one another and reassure one another they will survive the madness. Bride can now remain upright unassisted for short periods and eye flicking is slower.
Next day just as MoB's stress over the Bride's raging middle ear infection is subsiding the FoB's parents arrive 24 hours early and with 10 minutes notice. Notoriously challenging house guests at the best of times and slated to occupy the room the demented dog prefers to have to himself......the MoB loses the plot. The Bride takes to her bed and the SoB hides with her as the MoB rants and raves as to the insane behaviour of the GoB (Grandfather of the Bride) as she evicts the demented dog, vacuums and makes beds in 10 minutes flat.
Next day......TDBTW........the day before........ok...you got it........ The Groom has his last day at work so is unavailable until midday. More family and friends arrive. It's 35 degrees C and the hall must be organised and decorated and while the Bride is feeling much improved the MoB is certain that any exertion on her part will cause a relapse so the Bride watches the busyness as the SoB, SoG's, MoG and various friends and other family pitch in to get the reception venue decorated.
Bride has words with FoG and Groom arrives and has flaming row with MoB.
Bride and Groom go to the grocery store and take off the exhaust of their new Toyota Corolla on a speed bump. Groom is unhappy.
Wedding rehearsal seems to be going well until the Bride and Groom turn around and the SoG's are having a tiff and the older SoG is sobbing. MoG and MoB sort them out. Bride is thrilled to be able to walk down the aisle without listing to starboard.
Bride and Groom go their separate ways for a last evening of singleness.
What could possibly go wrong with the wedding?