It's All So Damn Beautiful

My little brother is getting married.

That’s the main thing that happened this weekend. We all got dressed up to see his show (which his girlfriend was also in) and waited anxiously not for the performance, but for the curtain call, where he planned to propose onstage. All loved ones in attendance were extremely squirmy, trying to keep this huge secret under our hats for two more damn hours on top of the two months he’d been planning it.

We all knew (including the bride-to-be’s parents) about the proposal; approximately 90% of the audience was comprised of the couple’s family and friends. And still, amazingly, she had no clue. I think she cottoned on right about the point when everyone in the audience busted out their camcorders after the show was over and the cast was standing onstage—it was obvious even they knew about the whole scheme.

My brother pulled a mic out of his jacket, and introduced himself and the unwitting girlfriend to the audience, and explained that his wonderful woman had been not-so-subtly dropping hints that she’d like to get married (smack!); little did she know that he’d been planning it for two months. [I think she starts crying… here.] He goes down on one knee, and the audience LOSES IT. She makes a half-hearted move to kick him, because he totally pulled one over on her and she loves it and that’s what you do. He then explains the story of how she found this ring she really loved, but someone bought it out from under them: “Little did she realize, that person was me.”

The audience laughs, and my brother’s eating it up, and it’s all going about how we thought it would. And then he starts speaking sincerely.

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve never felt this way about anyone.* You turned me around from the stupid, pessimistic idiot that I used to be, and I really want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Tears. Tears. Everyone everywhere, crying.

My little brother. The one who used to put on Michael Jackson tributes in our living room. The one who played the pirate king when we choreographed The Pirates of Penzance in our childhood basement. The one who stole my purple footie-pajamas, banged his face and had a grey tooth for pictures that year, and had a crush on Shelley Long when he was six years old… is getting married.

Well, of course she said yes.

The audience went nuts. Everyone was laughing or crying, or both, with about as much success in either as you would expect. You could hear the clogged voices when everyone stood and cheered, and the muted clapping from the clutching of tissues. I was surprised to find I had a tissue; I don’t know where it came from (I guess my ridiculous girly sobbing annoyed somebody). Family flooded the stage, and we all crowded my brother, hugging him in turn, sometimes not even waiting for our turn. He gave my reddened face quite the look, and I was tempted to blame it all on PMS, but I knew it wasn’t true. It was really, really beautiful, and it made my withered old heart really embarrassingly proud. After I cried enough makeup off on his shoulder, I gave the lucky girl a squeeze (I skipped the ring-viewing; we’d all been looking at it for weeks) and made my way to the bathroom. Where I run into my two sisters, and we all cry all over again. We’re pathetic. I’m teary writing about this. [Today it’s PMS. Today, the excuse is OK.]

I knew it was going to happen, but in the spirit of keeping the giant secret, I was unable to post anything about it. Thankfully it’s all out now, and will likely be the source of many future wedding-planning-argument entries, which will not only be good for a laugh, but also reaffirm my happiness in the single life. Man… I’m emotionally drained, and I was only a spectator; I can only imagine how happy they must be.

Congratulations, you guys. Your wedding will be the party of the century.

*His ex-girl-friend is in the audience; despite the happiness, I feel a swell of sympathy for her. I know firsthand how that shit stings.


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