Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Waiting- Guest Author Emily Dyer


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I am getting married in five days. A celebration my roommate can only compare to winning the Oregon Trail. Or in this case, the Mormon trail (she just walked into my room and said, “Happy Wedding Week! This is the place!”).

According to her, I have successfully survived cholera, my oxen dying, and various broken axels. When I started dating my boyfriend, she used to tell me, “Don’t break your wagon.” I was always scheming up ways to second guess what was happening, which was that I was, inch by inch (on the metaphorical Iowa plains), falling in love with a pretty wonderful man. 

So, in five days, I will be married. The transition is so joyous and strange, it feels disorienting—life proceeds as usual despite a kind of gorgeousness I feel I cannot hold.

When my boyfriend proposed, I kept thinking—Is this allowed to happen right now? The absolute happiness of the moment & question seemed too massive to fit into a late afternoon Saturday at the Great Salt Lake.

How can anyone process what occurs when your boyfriend kneels down in front of you and says, “Will you marry me?” The ordinariness of those four words actually occurring is fantastic. He might have been asking me to walk with him into the back yard.

We should have stayed there, standing on the edge of the lake, for a week memorizing the happiness and how it would change our lives, but that’s not how it works. We walked back to the car barefoot (we couldn’t find our shoes in the dark and the wind), drove back to the city—stopped at Seven-Eleven for Slurpees. We called our parents. Picked a date. We probably watched Monk—brazen, ordinary things in the face of our lives never being the same.

Five days before the wedding, I feel the same. Yesterday, I went to work, I went to Costco once, Smith’s twice, Target once, Walmart—three times. And, my mom flew in from Colombia. It’s difficult for me to process the ordinary with the extraordinary. The world should stop.

But, Saturday, I will wake up. I will eat breakfast. I may help organize some flowers. I will send my fiancé some text messages. I will drive 40 minutes to Salt Lake City where my friend Cami will wash my hair, blow dry it, put it into a low chignon.

When I get back to my small town in Utah county, my sister will do my make-up. She will ask my other sister what she thinks of the eye shadow—will call her over from whatever project she might be doing, to examine it. Later, my mom will help me into a very fancy taffeta dress with lace on the sleeves. And then, my fiancé will hold my hand and we’ll walk into a room together where a man will say a few words. We will each say, “Yes”. The room will be filled with people we love.

Just ordinary things compiled into a day that will be a hinge moment in my life. A clear before—a clear after.

My fiancé says we will be blink and be married.
Which is a perfect way to explain the absurdity until someone comes up with a verb form for “jubilee”.

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Emily Dyer graduated with her MFA in creative writing from the University of Utah. Her work has been published in Tar River Poetry and is forthcoming in Connu Magazine. Her book art is housed in several university special collections libraries, including Baylor University, USC, and the University of Florida. Currently, she lives in Salt Lake City and teaches writing and rhetoric at Brigham Young University.

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