You stand before a platter of all the cheeses you could want. Swiss semi-soft and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Manchego from Spain and Basque Bleu. Blue Shropshire, Cabot cheddar from Vermont and Humboldt Fog goat with raspberry preserves. Sage Derby sharp and Yipperary extra-sharp. And finally the Brie melting slowly in the late summer’s heat–Tour de Marze with green grapes, du Petit Morin with salted almonds.
Being September it is not the first wedding of the season but it is getting toward the last. The women wear light cardigans over their dresses in primary colors. The men all wear suits, or ties, or pant-jacket combos with no tie. So do you. Wear a suit. You calculate that you have about three or four of friends left not yet married. You are married. You take a dull knife and apply it to a Brie, the weak outer shell first bending and then surrendering its creamy innards. You apply it to a cracker and chew slowly. Your wife is socializing with one of the cardiganed primaries. She is, today, one of them.
The sun is setting, likely not coincidence. The bride and her attendants, in light rose pink, will be taking photos somewhere nearby. Perhaps at the beach. Magic hour. The shadow of the wedding hall’s cupula settles over the cheeses and turns the whites a yellow gray. You pick up an almond with your fingers, careful not to touch the others, and eat it. Your wife is not part of the bridal party so she wears a primary color. You wear gray. Most of the men wear gray or black or dark blue. One man, you know him casually, wears light blue and an embarrassed expression. You wipe your eating hand on a burgundy cocktail napkin, ball up the napkin, and put the small bulge in the front pocket of your slacks. The bridal party will be returning from photos soon and there will be dinner. There is no way that such a dull knife could cut the Manchego, you think. A caterer has already shredded some of the Parmigiano into bite sized pieces. Your wife told you she was going to the bathroom and if you could get her a dry white if you could.
This is the fourth wedding of the season, you calculate. Then one more. Then only a couple of your friends will not be married anymore. There are babies, too. More than half of your friends have babies. You don’t have a baby. There are baby names though. Names about what you and your wife want your babies to be when they grow up. Beautiful, exotic women like Sophia, Eva and Isabelle. Tall, handsome men like Aiden, Jackson and Connor. You order a Sav Blanc. Chardonnay is probably drier but you hate Chardonnay and you want to take a couple sips while your wife is in the bathroom. You chat with a friend. Also married, but with a baby, Jacob. Good name, biblical and timeless and not likely to go out of style like Aiden but now, taken. You aren’t allowed to use a taken name, which adds to the hurry really. Your wife returns from the bathroom, takes the glass and joins the conversation. She asks if it is a Sav Blanc and you say yes and she says it’s good and gives you a kiss on the cheek. You are in love. You love her and you are sure she loves you. She asks if you tried the cheese and you say yes. You are both in love so you put your arm around her as she talks to your friend, Jacob’s dad. They talk about Jacob. All your friends like your wife. Jacob’s dad’s wife wears a black long loose dress because she is pregnant again and all the friends like her too or couldn’t ever remember not liking her which is good.
There are wives and babies and houses. There are new jobs and Camembert and chèvre. Gouda and grad school and moves to the East Coast. There will be dinner and dancing and speeches and cake and rituals.
Your wife, in primary colors, holding the glass of Sav Blanc or maybe she has gotten herself a Chardonnay, will participate, and you will watch. It is almost the last wedding of the season, and still a few friends left to be married. Maybe by next season. Maybe the one after.
Zac Locke is happily married and now does have a baby, whom they named Adrien Theo. He is the author of the novella, Beverlywood: Sex, Murder, Existentialism (a Tuesday in Los Angeles), available on all Amazon platforms. Zac lives in West Hollywood, CA.