One of my favorite things in the world is a neon sign on a cloudy day. Another one of my favorite things is pumpkin pie. This doubly explains what I was doing at Cowan's - the home of the mile-high slice of pie - this Saturday afternoon.
After having far too much discussion of my impending wedding I decided to leave the apartment for a while. Between my mother, my sister, and my aunt I had spent almost four hours answering questions I couldn't answer.
"What kind of flowers did you end up getting for the wedding?"
"How long an aisle runner do you need?"
"You do have a back-up plan in case of rain, right?"
After sitting in my bedroom with the shades pulled, I decided, around one o'clock to put some clothes on and head into the real world. I changed the outgoing message on my voicemail to reflect what I had to do. It took a few times to get it right. My voicemail kept cutting me off, making it sound like a suicide note:
"Hey, you've reached Ray's cell phone. Sorry, but I can't answer right now; the stress of my impending wedding has gotten to me and I'm walking down the street to ... "
How can you end that sentence?
"I'm walking down the street to the liquor store to drink myself to death."
"I'm walking down the street to the gun store and buying the biggest firearm I can find so I can shoot randomly into a crowd."
"I'm walking down the street to the Missouri River and throwing myself in! See ya never!"
Finally, after much frustration I figured out how to reset the record time. Then:
"Hey, you've reached Ray's cell phone. Sorry, but I can't answer right now; the stress of my impending wedding has gotten to me and I'm walking down the street to get some pie, some coffee, and some quiet time with a book. Leave a message, and I'll call you back as soon as humanly possible. Thanks."
At Cowan's I seated myself and ordered a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
One of my favorite television commercials is one for Campbell's Soup. It's a Christmas-y ad featuring a little snowman walking out of a suburban backyard during a blizzard. He comes into the kitchen and sits down to a big bowl of Campbell's Tomato Soup. As the coals on his face bend into a smile the snowman begins to melt revealing he's not a snowman at all, but a young boy. As he eats the soup a song plays about Campbells Soup warming the heart or something like that.
I love that commercial because I (and I suspect everyone else) can relate to sitting down to a homemade meal and letting the problems of the day fall down in clumps.
At Cowan's I sat down to a piece of cold pie and a cup of warm coffee and let my toubles melt away.
I'm getting married in a little over two weeks. I only have one paycheck between now and then. I have ten days til my bachelor party, sixteen days til my wedding, and seventeen til my honeymoon. That's soon. That's retardedly soon.
A few weeks ago my fiancee, Kim, asked me if I was nervous. Of course, no was the correct answer and it was the answer I gave, but it was also an honest answer. I'm not nervous, apprehensive, or otherwise afraid. I don't feel like I'm giving anything up by getting married.
She doesn't deliver any ultimatums, she doesn't issue any restrictions, and she doesn't give me any reason to doubt her motives. I'm as ready as ready can be to continue my life with her.
Fall's coming and with it comes the promise of longer nights, colder days, and more pumpkin pie, and I can't imagine anyone else I'd like to share any of that with.