How Can I Miss Sweat?

In the folklore of our family is a story of Three on a Hankie.

I have to be careful what I say at weddings. I don’t always tell the “best” story because my emotions can affect the bride and groom. I lost it at one wedding, after telling the” best” one. I pulled out my handkerchief to wipe my eyes and then my nose. The groom began to cry. We were not sobbing, just tears filling our eyes and nose running. He asked to borrow my hankie—which tells you how serious this was. Then the bride, who had been wiping tears with the sleeve of her beautiful dress, grabbed the hankie out of my hand. She had politely asked and because the thought of her using my soggy hankie I told her no. She grabbed it anyway. Could have run a quart full of something out.

We refer to that story when the subject of weddings comes up as it did as we prepared for a recent wedding. For 25 plus years, I have carried 3-4 handkerchiefs in my wedding suit in the event the crying begins.

I was ready at this weekend wedding. A hankie for me and three spares in case someone started to cry. The bride knows the story. The groom wasn’t scared or overly nervous—he wasn’t going to pass out—it was hot where he was so he was sweating. During a lull in the ceremony, the bride asked if I had a hankie. She smiled. There were no tears. I thought she was talking to siphon tension, so I smiled back because I knew she was referring to the story. NO! She was asking for her sweating sweetheart. The best man asked the guy next to him for a tissue or something for the groom. I was concerned and distracted by the sweating groom—I was not oblivious to what was happening. Not once, however, did I connect his need to the solution which was in three of my suit coat pockets.

Had there been one tear I would have whipped out one or more white, ironed handkerchiefs. I was ready, loaded and tuned in for tears, but not for sweat.

I cannot apologize adequately. I replayed the situation dozens of times trying to figure out what it would have taken for me to “get it.” To catch on. I’m not only apologizing profusely, I’m wondering how many other things I’m missing. What need is in front of me that I can take care of, but I’m preoccupied, self-absorbed or focused on one thing when I could be looking at the whole picture.

Had the bride not smiled I might have connected to the solution in my pockets.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

©2015 D. Dean Benton

Writer, Wonderer, Misser of important details.

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