Is this wedding cursed? Yes, but maybe more than we already knew.
No weddings go off without a hitch. A lot of complications and mishaps are to be expected. But mishaps like the Bride being replaced with a doppelganger who has to impersonate her, that's probably a curveball.
It almost feels a little quaint to have a mundane problem like, oh... not having a dress a week before the ceremony. You might recall that I was not completely happy with the dress I was to wear as Valerie the Bride. No disrespect to her vision, I would have worn it, but to the degree that I have any fashion sense or concept of style for myself (as Valerie), it didn't "work" for me. I know, that's a very "female" issue to have, but trust me guys, when you spend more time floating from body to body, you start to care more about what you dress it in.
I didn't "not have a dress" because I didn't like it though. I was willing to wear it. The dress was bought and paid for and fitted and I was just going to pack it away in my mind, like I do for so much about being Valerie (or anybody) and play my part. And then the seamstress had a flood and the dress was ruined.
After a suitable outburst, Val agreed, when she visited the city, to come help me track down a suitable replacement. Doing so on short notice, with a limited budget (we did get a partial refund from the seamstress but not for her labor) trying to find something that fits and looks good off the racks is... tough.
I mean, I only like clothes-shopping marginally more now than I did as a man, and spending two days with a woman intent on having her perfect wedding despite not actually walking down the aisle for it, is pretty nerve-wracking. Finally I found something that looked like it would fit my unique assets, wasn't eye-gougingly ugly to me, and we could afford.
"What's wrong with this?"
"It's all wrong, it looks disgusting, take it off."
"You know what, Valerie? I think it looks fine." It was corseted, with elegant off-the-shoulder shear sleeves, and an A-line cut as opposed to the big marshmallowy ballgown she wanted to wear that made my whole figure disappear. I felt strangely comfortable in it like... like this was "my" dress.
"It looks cheap and ugly, take it off, I'd be embarrassed to wear that."
"Valerie, you're not being reasonable."
"TAKE IT OFF!" she screamed and stomped her foot, "PUT IT BACK! LET'S MOVE ON!" Her tall, lean frame loomed over me as she attempted to use her newfound size to browbeat me.
"Shut the fuck up!" I screamed back. "I'm sorry your dress got ruined but there's nothing you can do but put up with it. We're out of options. The wedding is a two weeks away. I'll walk down the fucking aisle in a garbage bag if I feel like it at this point."
She sunk down and tears filled her eyes and I felt extremely guilty.
"It's not fair," she sobbed, "It's just not fair."
"I know," I said, uncertain whether I should move closer and comfort her considering we had just been at each other's throats a second earlier. I looked around to see whether people had taken notice of our shouting match. If so they must have been very confused.
"You deserve better than what you're getting," I said as comfortingly as I could. It didn't seem to help, she sniffled.
"Seeing him at the Bridal Shower was so hard," she sniffled, "I was looking forward to it but... but I was invisible to him, and he went straight to you, and... the way he, the way he looked at you... the way he kissed you... it's like he loves you."
"He doesn't love me," I said firmly. "He loves the person he thinks I am, which is you. I feel it all the time, how much love you're supposed to be getting from him."
"If he really loved me, wouldn't he knew I was... I was gone?"
"You know that's not how it works," I said, patting her back and trying to be as comforting as I could manage.
"I thought I could handle it," she whimpered.
"You're doing your best," I sighed. "We all are."
"Wear whatever you want... it's not really my wedding anymore..."
She was quiet the rest of the day, and then said she would see me at the wedding.
And I'd like to say that was the last problem we had, but sadly...
A few days later, the pictures of the shower got posted to social media, and of course I was tagged in all of them, which means Meg, who now has friended me, saw them, and as soon as she did, she sent me a text.
"Omg. That's the wrong bouquet."
"What?" I wrote back.
"Josh's bouquet. That's not the one I saw him buy. That had red roses, this has pink."
"Um... are you sure?"
Well, now we really do have a problem on our hands.