The wedding is about to begin. Soon. Maybe. We'll see.
The groom is here. The preacher is here. Groomsmen and bridesmaids are in the building, and so is the bride. Heck, even I, the groom's weird uncle, am here, and I'm always late. Sometimes I don't even show.
But having traveled from Columbus to my nephew's wedding in Orlando, Fla., I made sure I got me to the church on time. Early, actually; the bridesmaids in their gossamer peach gowns were just going in.
We are all here. The groom's parents are the ones who are missing.
Where are they?
Good question. Let's ask the groom's brother. "Where are your parents?"
He shrugs without looking up from his phone. "Who knows?"
As the appointed time comes, we all file out for the courtyard ceremony and take our seats, as the groom assumes his place up front. Then we wait.
Now I'm confused, because we are not supposed to take pictures during the ceremony, and I don't know whether it has started.
A groomsman in gray suit with peach tie runs up and whispers to the groom. "She's GONE?" the groom exclaims, looking shocked.
We laugh, assuming he's joking. And if not, screw it: I'm taking pictures.
We talk amongst ourselves. The groom joins us. "Where are your parents?" someone asks.
"I don't know," he says. He shouts to a groomsman, "Where are they?"
"I-4!" the groomsman shouts back.
"They're on I-4," the groom says, and then shrugs, adding, "Daytona, Tampa, who knows?"
This is a chance to talk the groom out of it, were marriage not pretty much a formality at this point.
I think of a scene from the movie "Raising Arizona," in which the protagonist "Hi" tells two friends he just lost his job.
"Aw, Hi," one says. "You're young, you got your health. What do you want with a job?"
"Aw, Ethan," I imagine saying. "You're young, you got your health. What do you want with a wife?"
Too late now. The groom's parents have arrived, 15 minutes late, and vows are now to be exchanged. "I promise never to make you write vows again," the groom vows.
Then we hear an assortment of show tunes during the candlelit reception, including Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon," which will loop through my brain for days.
All is well, until while trying to take an artsy photo I knock over a cup of the 120-proof Knob Creek bourbon we snuck in.
We snuff out the centerpiece candles, fearing fumes will ignite the tablecloth, then mop the spill with paper napkins. No harm, no foul.
(It wasn't my drink.)
Then it's time to go outside, line up and applaud the newlyweds as they embark on a fun-filled honeymoon out West, to Utah and Nevada, and maybe Arizona, too.
Where are they?
I have other things on my mind:
Fly me to the moon; let me play among the stars ....
Tim Chitwood, tchitwood @ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.