Last night, Mom called for Teddy and I to come home. She does it every night and most of the time we comply. Every once in a while though, we are in the middle of something and we just can’t make it home. She locks us out and we can’t get in to eat and poop until morning but that’s a price we’re willing to pay. Sometimes.
Last night she called us a few times. And then Peter – that dirty, rotten stool pidgeon – calls back to Mom….
“Are you calling for a little black cat?”
Mom: Yes. Have you seen her?
Man: I see her all the time.
Man: Sure. She’s a beauty.
Mom(incredulous): Hasn’t she swatted at you?
Man: Oh sure! She swats at me all the time! But I have bird feeders and she likes to lay under a tree and watch them. She never catches them though. They are too smart for her.
Mom had walked down the sidewalk by now and could see the guy that she was talking to0. He was watering his lawn.
Mom: Wow! I had no idea!
Man: She has a pretty bell and tag so I was sure someone loved her.
Mom: Yes, we do. I’m just surprised that she’s made friends with you. She hates everyone.
Man: She was in my basement day before yesterday.
Mom: WHAT?! She was in your basement?
Man: She somehow got the screen off the basement window and was sitting on my washing machine.
Mom: Oh my Gawd! I am so sorry!
Man: No worries! I just let her out the front door when she was ready. I saw her a while ago, really early in the morning, like 5:30 or something and she was hanging around my front door.
Mom: That dirty cat!! She wouldn’t come home so she had to stay out all night. But that only happens once in a blue moon.
Man: I was pretty sure that was the case but I went and bought some cat food and I put it out for her now.
Mom: Wow! Thank you for looking out for her, even though she tries to kill you a lot.
Man (laughing): No worries.
Mom: I’m Lori, by the way. I live in that house there.
Man: I’m Peter. Nice to meet you Lori. Don’t worry about Izzie. I keep an eye out for her.
Mom: Nice to meet you too Peter. Stop by some time for a coffee. We run a business out of our home so we’re home all the time.
Peter: Thanks. I always have coffee on too.
Mom: Well, I hope to meet you in the daylight sometime.
Peter (laughing): Same here. Oh, there she is! Good night.
So! Now she knows! She told The Viking all about it and he started laughing like an idiot.
They think they’re so smart! Ross, the guy across the back alley, tattled on me for taunting his dumb dogs and now when they start barking Mom hollers “Izzie! Leave those dogs alone!” Ross wanted to be friends but I nipped that in the bud with a good Saa-lap! I’m only here to bully your dogs!
But then, my collar got caught on the fence and my beautiful beads snapped apart. Ross brought them to Mom as proof and now I have to wear my baby collar and it’s hideous.
Then there’s RJ and Stephanie who live next door; they are okay I suppose. I like to run through their sprinkler when RJ is watering his lawn. It’s best when I get really wet and then come home and walk all over Mom’s paperwork. She loves it. And again, RJ wanted to be friends but I gave him a Saa-lap! too. I’m only interested in getting on your garage roof so I can bully the neighbor’s cat! His kids are a different matter. I kind of like short people; they don’t tower over me so much.
On the other side of RJ is a guy who wanted to be friends. Saa-Lap! I’m only interested in bullying your ginger cat! The guy told The Viking that I was a bitch. Me! A bitch! Asshole. Apparently they like Teddy but Teddy won’t get anywhere near other people.
My point here is that I don’t mind people if they just let me do my thing. And once Mom finds out what I like doing, she suddenly doesn’t want me doing them. So, now I will have to be super vigilant so she doesn’t find any of my other hang-outs. A girl needs her own places, you know.
Oh! A Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day! Go ahead and appreciate me.
So. I’m no longer living in sin. I’ve been legalized. Gone is my hippie rebellion against the norms of tradition. My naked, mutinous ring finger is naked no longer.
Almost three weeks ago at 11:00 in the morning I rejoined the Wife-Force. I was a little belligerent about the whole thing if I’m honest. I’m not going to obey The Viking! I’m not going to let him boss me around! He’s not the head of the household! And I’ll decide when and how much I’ll honor him depending on his behavior at any given moment and not because some official tells me I have too! Because I was happy as a sinner!
And because I was busy ranting against Wife-dom in my head, I forgot my bouquet at home. We were half way to the ceremony when I said “Ahhhh fuck!! I forgot my bouquet!” And now I’m going to be late for my own wedding. I muttered all the way back home about the stupid trappings of an obsolete institution that has kept women in subjugation for centuries.
When we finally arrived at the park, an itty, bitty, teeny, tiny woman marched to the car like a miniature Stalin. I hadn’t met our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss before this moment and, quite frankly, I didn’t know they made them so small. The top of her head barely reached my chin!
She took one look at me and started chanting soothing words and platitudes. “You made it. That’s great. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another breath. Let it out. This is your special day so enjoy it. Concentrate on your love. Your soon-to-be husband is a wonderful man and he’s waiting for you.”
I thought, “Don’t tell me how wonderful his is! I’ll do the deciding around here!”
But he was waiting for me and he is wonderful. He was smiling and his face said “Take it easy. It’s going to be fine.”
My face said “I’m not going to be a great wife, you know.”
His face said “I already know that.”
My face said “Thank Gawd!” and “Can I have a Lemon Gin and Tonic now?”
His face said “Soon, but not right now because it would break a couple of laws and might anger our miniscule Commissioner of Wedded Bliss.”
We held the ceremony under the trees beside the Bow River in Bowness Park. It was a pretty place and convenient and we didn’t need to make reservations or pay an exorbitant fee.
We had only just begun the ceremony though when a helicopter came buzzing in low from the east. Someone said “It’s the Paparazzi!!” Our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss looked annoyed because this was a solemn occasion and no place for jokes!
I further annoyed her because I couldn’t figure out where she wanted us to stand. In my defence, she kept moving. She would stop and stand still so The Viking and I positioned ourselves in front of her, facing each other, and then she would move somewhere else. Every time she scurried I would lose her behind the drape of my jacket. It was like a Marital Musical Chairs game except there weren’t any chairs and there wasn’t any music. This wasn’t supposed to be so difficult. Stand still for fucksakes!
And then two young ladies floated by on the river in a raft and Brad pointed at Junior and yelled “Single man here!!” Then one of the ladies in the raft shouted back “Single girl here!” The Commissioner sighed heavily and gave Brad the Stink Eye.
When it was time to make our vows to each other……. “OH MY GAWD I’VE LOST MY VOWS!!!” I started patting myself up and down and turning in tight circles, there was a pressure in my head and my vision started to blur. The Viking was standing there, his vows in hand, more than a little alarmed. Just before I passed out, someone calmly touched my arm and handed me my vows. The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss was chanting “Take a deep breath. Take your time. Take a deep breath. Take your time.”
We finally made it through the vows. I lost my shit twice but everyone just stood there and waited for me. That’s the thing about having only my closest loved ones at my wedding – they already know me and expect their patience to be tried.
There were other comments and more laughter and the Commissioner’s make-up began to settle in scowl lines around her eyes. She had a few more things to say about marriage but, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening because I was married. Again. Holy. Fuck.
And everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Mission accomplished and no one had to go to the hospital.
Once she had completed her duty, The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss sprinted to her car, shouting over her shoulder that she would file the paperwork. This was, in all probability, the least solemn and dignified ceremony she had ever attended.
And then it was time for pictures. Ugh!! A gaggle of young women in spandex and baseball caps came through like Olympic Speed Walkers and Brad wanted to get them in the pictures. More rafters floated by, unintentionally photobombing us. The Paparazzi made several passes overhead, forcing the photographer to shout her instructions.
We climbed among the rocks, sat on a bench, hugged, kissed, smiled and smiled some more. All the while I couldn’t help thinking “Where in the hell is my Lemon Gin and Tonic?!”
The Viking kept saying “Be careful, Babe! You’re going to fall!” every time I had to move to a different rock. Junior and Erik had their hands out, ready to catch me at the slightest wobble. All I could think about at that point was the Sponge Paper Towel commercial with the Sponge Guys surrounding the kid with a huge jug of orange juice. And that made me laugh (maybe a bit hysterically) which made me wobble even more.
However, I didn’t fall, didn’t break a leg/arm/finger nail and we all made it back to the house for a big Danish Feast. My part in this thing was finished, but it didn’t stop me from trying to interfere. The Viking kept sighing deeply and shoving me out the door to sip my drink in the shade.
Erik & The Viking served up the most delicious Danish Feast ever and Annette created a beautiful table to serve it on. We were surrounded by people we love and were feeling like the most blessed couple on the planet. And then the Completely Viking Wedding came to a crashing, shouting, screaming halt.
Because Brad turned our Wedding into Fight Club. It took us days to come to grips with all the carnage. We had been under the strictest orders from Mim to be especially kind to Brad because they had had a fairly severe fight the week before. So we did our best to ignore his bullishness throughout the day. It was all for naught though, because he couldn’t have killed the Wedding faster if he’d brought a machine gun.
I’m in knots about it. I’m ashamed that my new sister, Annette, was treated so disrespectfully. I’m embarrassed that Junior’s friend was witness to the whole debacle and even our neighbors heard the shouting and screaming. I’m furious that our Wedding was ruined. And I hate the taint on what should have been the happiest day of our lives. I’m particularly enraged at the position Brad put Mim in. She was as embarrassed and ashamed as the rest of us but he weaselled his way out of any accountability; trading on her love for him in order to forgive what he did to us.
We’ll be asked to get over it, to refrain from bringing it up so he doesn’t feel like it’s hanging over his head for the rest of his life. The memories we have will be less important than his feelings no doubt, and we’ll try to do it because we love Mim. Maybe had he come with a sincere apology it would have been easier but that’s not what we received. We received a belligerent, narcissistic declaration that negated any responsibility on his part. He breezed into our home, said “That conversation shouldn’t have happened last night!” and then breezed out again.
Out of the ashes though were a few salvageable memories. The love and laughter we shared with everyone else was lovely and we’ll cherish the fact that they were here with us on our Wedding Day. Junior’s friend turned out to be a great girl and we consider ourselves lucky to have met her. I hope she’ll come back sometime so we can show her what we’re really like.
So, there were some redeeming moments that we will try to focus on instead of the shitty way the day ended.
Hello friends! Welcome to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the incomparable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I had 100 words to tell a story about the photo above, taken by CEAyer.
A huge troll lived in a cave by a fjord. He loved the peace and quiet of the ocean. One day there was a terrible din across the water. Humans were building a church. He hated humans; worse, he hated churches!
He howled…..growled but the church was getting bigger and taller. Then bells, clanging, clanging, driving him mad.
He awoke one morning to the horrible sound of deafening bells and many humans singing. He could take no more. He picked up an immense boulder, hurled it across the fjord and squashed the church.
Then he went back to bed.
This is a much edited story from Denmark. A friend took me to see the Troll Stone at a nearby Kirke, complete with a plaque that tells the story. The Viking translated it for me so I could condense it down for this week’s challenge.
Want to read more wonderful stories at Friday Fictioneers? Click the button.
Erik and Annette arrived in Edmonton smiling but exhausted while The Viking and I were almost jumping up and down with excitement. Almost. Because it’s unbecoming for Double D boobs to start flapping around in crowds – someone, other than myself, could get hurt and The Viking’s little jiggles would offer little distraction from my epic display. So we waited impatiently without jumping.
Then, through the sliding doors, behind a fussy little guy with a mountain of luggage, I caught a glimpse of Erik. “THERE THEY ARE!!!” The Viking pushed me out of the way so he could verify the sighting – like they were Yeti’s and I couldn’t be trusted with visuals.
We spent the night in a hotel near the airport then drove back to Calgary. The following day would begin the ‘Victoria or Bust’ Vacation/Honeymoon Tour. My legs were shaved, exfoliated and smeared with the best lotion available in the hopes that British Columbia sunshine would give them even the faintest of tans. My legs are tan-resistant, always glowing in the dark like they belong to a damned Vampire. Oddly, my feet tan just fine. I’m pretty sure I know why though.
“Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my boobs, my legs shall fear no sunburn: for the great boobies protect them from UV rays. Bugs will bite and thorns will scratch but no burn will afflict mine legs. Surely their whiteness shall beam for all the days of my life.”
Um…… where was I? Oh yes – travelling. It didn’t take us more than an hour and a half to completely corrupt Annette with Canadian food – Tim Hortons to be exact. A breakfast sandwich, a large double/double coffee and Tim Bits ruined her for life. And we didn’t do it just once either; we shoved that shit down her throat for a week before The Viking and Erik decided we had to stop with the Tim Bits. The breakfast sandwiches were still okay in their opinion but Annette and I would be starved of the doughnutty deliciousness until further notice. It was only on the final leg back to Calgary that the Doughnut Police finally decided we could have Tim Bits again.
“What. The fuck. Is that?!” Annette and I wanted to know when they showed up with coffee and a teeny, tiny, miniscule little box of Tim Bits – like they were for Ken and Barbie or something. The Viking was beaming like he was offering us gold bars while Erik nodded his participation in the offering.
The Viking: We thought that since this was the last day of our road trip we would treat you with Tim Bits.
Me: Did you do the math on this?
The Viking: The math?
Me: Yes. The math. There are 4 people in the vehicle and 20 Tim Bits. That means we only get 5 each!
The Viking: That’s enough, isn’t it?
Me: Oh, it most definitely isn’t enough! It might be months before I get Tim Bits again and you’re rationing us? What is this? War time or something? What if I put you on a licorice diet? Only allowed you 5 pieces of licorice once a day?
The Viking: That’s not the same thing at all!
Me: Yes it is! Erik and Annette brought you 83 pounds of candy from Denmark and that might have to last you for 2 years. It’s totally the same.
The Viking wouldn’t cave but Erik decided to watch his man-ly figure and generously donated his share of the Bits. Annette and I split them between us because The Viking didn’t deserve any more. I then proceeded to give him the stink eye all the way home.
We graced Vancouver Island with our presence for 3 days then we headed to Pentiction where we would tour Wineries and lay on the beach. That was our intention, but it didn’t actually work out that way. We hit one Winery, only stayed at the beach for an hour and a half before it clouded over, took a ride on an old historic train and got drunk a lot instead.
We did play Mini-Golf but Erik was like some sort of Pool Shark except with golf balls. Sure, he was humble while we were playing but when he announced that he beat all of us by a minimum of 6 strokes he couldn’t hide the Victory Grin.
I asked, “Is anyone else suspicious that the guy who kept score is also the one that won the game?” The last laugh was ours the next morning though when Erik developed painful Golfer’s Wrist; we had to find a splint to immobilize it. What cost the price of Victory?
After Mini Golf we went to a Chinese Buffet and the true difference between how the Danes treat Buffets and how Canadians (at least this Canadian) treat Buffets were glaring. Annette, The Viking and Erik carefully perused the food and picked out Fishy Stuff. I perused the food and picked out the stuff I liked and put it on my plate. Back at the table, my plate was full while their plates held only a few things. They all finished their first course and returned to the Buffet for their next.
I sat nibbling on my chicken balls, watching the progress of my companions. It took a moment for what I was seeing to sink into my brain. The Viking was first, Annette was second and Erik was bringing up the rear. Their movements were perfectly synchronized! They all took one step to the right in precise unison. They all put something on their plate (the hand movements were immaculately synced) and took another flawless step to the right. They repeated this amazing show the whole way around the Buffet!! This performance would have captured them a Gold Medal if it was an Olympic Event (we should make this an Olympic Event). No swim team could have matched the precision. They returned to the table, in-step, with a military precision Korean soldiers would envy.
“Um….I don’t know if you know this but that was an incredible display of The Buffet Shuffle.” I said. “I was completely entertained. Well done!”
Apparently they had never heard of The Buffet Shuffle so I had to explain the intricate steps and movements involved. I’ve been to a lot of Buffets in my life – my father is a huge fan – but I’ve never seen the Shuffle done so well. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get my phone out and record it until it was too late. Equally unfortunate was the fact that when I went up to get another dumpling the only person I had to Shuffle with was a very tall, very skinny guy and he was more interested in the Ginger Beef than Shuffling. I did try though, but had to stop when he caught me trying to match his movements.
We gazed at mountains and glaciers, tramped through a forest, Erik watched whales and the rest of us communed with nature at The Butchart Gardens. We toasted bikers, toured a Miniature Land and browsed 317 gift shops. We saw the Hope Slide, the Enchanted Forest, Fisherman’s Wharf and a Water Fall that used to be free but now isn’t. Erik and The Viking drank Beer with Clamato Juice and Ceasars with abandon and then had the trots. They didn’t believe me when I told them it was the Clamato Juice so they had the trots for much longer than they needed too. Annette and I polished off two bottles of Lemon Gin and didn’t get the trots at all.
Most importantly, we had HYGGE. In abundance! We just spent time together and laughed and talked and were a family. It was one of the best times of my life. You know how sometimes you spend time with people but after a few days you want to shoot them in the face? Well, this wasn’t one of those things. It was bliss instead.
We arrived home to two very love-y cats who refused to let any of us out of their sight for two days. That was fine because we had only a day and a half to prepare for my Wedding. Thank goodness Annette is a brilliant Hair Stylist. Also thankfully, she is a calm and serene island in the middle of my Stress Mess.
It’s harder to get married than I thought. It should have been easier given that I’ve been on that particular Merry-Go-Round before. Maybe it wasn’t as complicated back then. Or maybe expectations were lower at 19 than they are at 53. Or maybe it’s because I only had 10 days to pull it off this time. Or, most likely, life has kicked my ass a few times and now I’m a neurotic, stressed out, menopausal woman with a Perfection Complex.
As I was maniacally making notes and lists and finding out what was available and what wasn’t available, The Viking walked past and made an explosion sound that puffed his cheeks out. I whipped my head around and said, “What is that supposed to mean?!Is that the sound of all my hopes and dreams exploding in my face?! Because I don’t need the sound effects!”
For a moment his face was slack with confusion but then he started to laugh. “Relax, babe. It will be just fine. I can help you as soon as I’m done in the garage.”
It didn’t work, but I appreciated the attempt to soothe my fraying nerves. Mim and I brainstormed over a wedding cake and came up with this:
Unfortunately, Crave Cupcakes had the temerity to accept other orders before mine. Boom, Baby!
Everything else was coming together though. I had dishes, tablecloth, napkins, napkin rings, serving platters, flowers ordered, food order put in at the Danish store and a Commissioner of Marriage – Judy. She explained what I needed to know and what the most important thing I needed since I had been married before – the Judgement of my Divorce.
I found it almost immediately, surprising myself with my organization and filing skills. It said ‘Judgement of Divorce’ on it and there were several official stamps and dates. Two days before Erik & Annette (The Viking’s brother and beautiful Partner) arrived, The Viking and I went to the Registry to get our Marriage License.
We waited patiently in line then handed over our Identification and my Judgement of Divorce.
“Sorry. I need a Certificate of Divorce, not the Judgement.” The little girl behind the counter said firmly.
I said, “What?! The Commissioner said ‘Judgement of Divorce’.”
“You need a Certificate of Divorce.” She said slowly and more audibly.
“Are you saying I’m not Divorced?”
“Oh, you’re divorced for sure.”
“So why can’t I have a marriage license?”
“Because you need a C..E..R..T..I..F..I..C..A..T..E of Divorce.”
“What is a C..E..R..T..I..F..I..C..A..T..E of Divorce going to tell you that the actual Judgement doesn’t?”
“Nothing. But the law requires it.” Well, there’s no arguing with that, is there? I hate Smarty-Pants young people who pull facts and rules out when it’s most inconvenient.
“So where do I go to get this damned Certificate?!”
“Downtown at the Court of Queens Bench.” Boom, Baby!
“DOWNTOWN?!” I hate Downtown! It requires waiting for buses and then walking whole blocks and then waiting in lines, and then waiting for buses and walking whole blocks again.
Smarty-Pants nodded cheerfully and handed me my fucking useless Judgement of Divorce. The Viking had remained quiet throughout the whole ordeal but chose this moment to share his wisdom.
“So, you’ll just have to go downtown and get the Certificate.”
I had the brilliant idea of calling Stanley because he was already re-married so he must have had a Certificate and he was a whole lot closer than fucking Downtown. Except some asshole Home Invader broke into his and his wife’s house and stole THE FUCKING CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE!! Who does that?! Sure, they took a lot of other stuff that was much more valuable, both monetary and sentimental, but a Certificate of Divorce?! I have a lot of sympathy for the horribleness of someone invading their house and privacy and safety and I don’t mean to be glib about their losses and emotional devastation but……I NEEDED THAT DOCUMENT!! You asshole! Boom, Baby!
So I went Downtown. And I got my damned Certificate. And we took it to Smarty-Pants at the Registry and got our Marriage License.
Pop Quiz: Did you know that if the smallest, tiniest, puniest thing, like a wrinkle or a stain, happens to that License, it’s null and void? Yes, it’s true. Had I known that, I would have insisted we take separate vehicles so The Viking could be in sole custody of the License where I would have no access to it. The drive home was like transporting Nitroglycerin. It lay across my lap and my hands were placed firmly on the dash.
But then I had an itch on the end of my nose. I tried to ignore it but it just kept getting worse and worse and finally I carefully took one hand from the dash, extended a finger and started moving it toward the itch.
The Viking:What are you doing?!
Me: I have an itch!
The Viking: Put your hand back on the dash! Right now!
Me: But it itches!
The Viking: It won’t kill you so, put. the. hand. back. on. the. dash!
I had to wait in the car when we got back home so he could retrieve the License from my lap and whisk it away to our safe.
And that was the end of planning time. It took quite a while for me to just accept that I did my best and it would have to do. We had the most important things in place and I would have one day after our Honeymoon to get ready for the actual Wedding Day.
Oh! I probably didn’t tell you…..we are taking our Honeymoon before the Wedding because we were taking Erik and Annette to Victoria for 10 days. All the last minute shit required for the Wedding would have to be accomplished in one day when we got back home.
On July 15th we were waiting at the Edmonton International Airport to meet our guests. I was at the mercy of the Gawds. Boom, Baby!
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Completely Viking Wedding.