I've been in Colorado for a family wedding. My attendance record for weddings other than my own has not been great. I've made two of five sibling ceremonies, and in the past year have missed the celebrations for two nieces. A last-minute crisis also forced me to bail on a cousin's daughter's wedding — where I was the wedding singer.
Though I am reliable to a fault in other matters, do not count on me for your nuptials.
However, this time I made it to my youngest brother's oldest daughter's wedding in my hometown. (My partner and son had prior obligations, so they were able to uphold the family dishonor.)
This was also my first visit to the western front since May, which meant there were other duties on this whirlwind trip, many of which I pressed into the hours prior to the Saturday main event. One of them was preparing the card to make it look like our gift of cash was a sensitive, thought-out personal gesture instead of the lazy, last-minute resolution of a failure to look at the registry.
Being incapable of offering store-bought items or sentiments on any special occasion, I keep a stock of art cards and little bound booklets for expressing good wishes. It took me awhile to find a card here in the house, and unfortunately, the only available size did not permit bills to be enclosed flat.
Presentation is important to me, but it's the thought that counts, and we had to leave for the church in 2o minutes. So I folded the money and sealed the envelope.
Next problem. Am I sure how to spell the groom's name?
I am not the sort who carries around wedding invitations so I can consult them at such moments. The required information was in a recycling bin in Minnesota, my familiar was in yet another state, and I was surrounded by brothers who would be little help in the matter.
So I scribed Garret with one "t," hoping some faint visual memory would signal me to stop or continue to another "t."
Garrett, I decided.
I stuck the envelope in my pocket, and off we went to the church, where I dropped it at the sign-in table.
I sailed through the ceremony (no, I am not a churchy type), endured the reception (it was dry), and escaped a GOP candidate for governor in the crowd (to whom I was prepared to say, I haven't decided yet between you and your competitor for the nomination — a truth, just not the whole truth).
Then, as everyone was heading outside to send off the happy couple, I was stricken with a terrible realization. It sent me over to the gifts table where I began pawing through the basket full of cards.
Yes, the groom's name was spelled "Garrett," all right.
But I'd misspelled my niece Katie's name.
Oh, so what's the big deal? Katy, Katie...
Except I'd spelled it "Jennifer," the name of her younger sister.
I'll save the rest of the story for another post.