A Good Cup of Coffee

My mom and aunt primped and perfected their hair and makeup—breaking every so often to hover over their coffee that was sipped ever so delicately. The blasé, “all the time in the world” attitude was driving my cousin, Carrie, and I crazy. We were about to miss the wedding, the one we had come to New Orleans to celebrate.

It was Burt—my second cousin’s wedding; his dad, my mom, and aunt were first cousins. In an effort to make sure Burt had family attend his destination wedding, it was important for us to be there (on time) and represent our side of the Joneses. It seemed that Carrie and I were the only ones who realized this fact.

When we finally got in the car, we had five minutes to get to the church on St. Charles. We were inevitably going to be late. My aunt assured us that she knew the church well, and we’d be there with time to spare.

After several attempts to park the car, we finally found a parking space around the crowded brick church. We made our way to the flower adorned entrance of the sanctuary. With a music ensemble playing “Cannon in D” and the wedding party beginning to process, ushers hurriedly escorted us to the third row from the front on the groom’s side. The videographer filmed us as we humiliatingly walked the length of the center aisle to our seats of shame. Flushed from embarrassment, we fanned ourselves with the beautifully embossed programs. Trying not to draw any more attention to ourselves, my aunt wrote me a note on the program, “Do you recognize anyone?” I slowly looked around and shook my head. As the groom took his place in the front, I see my cousin glaring at me. I look in her direction as she begins to mouth the words, “That is not Burt. That-is-not-Burt.” I look at the front of the church and saw an array of diverse men, none of whom resembled my clean-cut cousin. Seconds ticked by as we each became aware of the fact that we had just crashed a wedding.

As the foreseeable giggles began to ensue, all self-control diminished and the spectacle worsened. Processing out as quickly as possible, ushers snatched our programs as we approached the bride, who waited for our exit before making her entrance. My mom and aunt took the time to say “best wishes” as we ran down the block to the next church—arriving just in time, much to our surprise.

Once at the correct church, surrounded by the familiar faces we longed to see, we realized that only a Jones wedding would start 30 minutes late, and only our family would be sympathetic to a morning like ours—understanding that slowly enjoying a good cup of coffee always comes before being on time.

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