Posts Tagged ‘Sound triggers memories’

Funny but true: Wedding Snafu

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Yesterday, my husband drove us in the car to complete errands, windows cracked open a few inches to allow the cool breeze inside. My right hand rested outside on the window frame. As the car picked up speed, it got a bit breezy for Bob, so he hit the power button window on his door. Only he hit the other button. It closed my window.

Zzzzt. The sound made me react immediately. I pulled in my hand so fast Bob whipped his eyes from the road.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“You pushed the wrong one. My hand was out there!”

“Oh, sorry,” he said, searching for the right switch.

Memories flooded back to our wedding day. My Uncle Arnold had painted a JUST MARRIED sign which we placed in the back window of our car. After the church service, on the way to the reception, a friend pulled up next to us at a stop light.

Mike had noticed our fallen sign. He opened the passenger door of our two-seater car, shoved my seat forward, forcing me nearly into the dashboard. I gripped the door frame for balance. Mike straightened the sign as the light turned green. He threw my seat back, and slammed the door. Mike jumped back into his own car. 

My husband was about to take off when he saw my face.

“Uh, bluh, glug . . .” sounds emitted from my mouth. They were sort of a sob/scream/gurgle. For once, pain made me speechless.

“What’s the matter?” my new husband asked. “

Uh, bluh, glug . . .” I clearly articulated.

Fortunately, our friends in Mike’s car saw my protruding fingers; Mike leaped out of the car to save them.

After I refused to go to the hospital, we raced to the reception hall where one of my bridesmaids, a nurse, assured me my hand was just badly bruised and nothing was broken. I kept an ice bag on my swollen hand for the rest of the day.

That wasn’t the only mishap of our wedding day, June 20, 1981 in Fresno, CA. It was 110 degrees, and I remember wondering if everyone in church could actually see the beads of sweat rolling down my back.

Before the church service, when my friend Carol, the pianist, asked me what time she should start playing the entrance music, I knew the answer. Being from a prompt Midwestern family, when something starts at ten a.m., it STARTS AT TEN A.M.

Carol played our cue at ten o’clock sharp. We made our way down the aisle.

We waited.

And waited.

The minutes ticked by.

Bob and I exchanged nervous glances. Where was the priest? Did he get an urgent call from nature? A rich, talkative parishioner stop by with an offer for a donation? Did the priest get cold feet?

Finally, after what seemed like an hour but was probably ten minutes, Father appeared, upset we started without him.

Obviously, he wasn’t from the Midwest.

Writing Prompts:

1. When has a sound motivated an action? By you? By a character?

2. Write a scene where a sound plays an important role in saving someone from emotional or physical pain.

3. Familiar scenes can trigger memories from long ago. Write a scene for a character which triggers a memory that is important to your character.

4. Write an important scene in your character’s life and have things go wrong. How does your character handle it? Throw obstacles in his/her way. First make the scene painful. Next, make it funny!


California Writer Club Young Writers Contest – Check your newspaper THIS WEEK for the photo and article about the Young Writers Contest Banquet.  Jacquie Oliverius writes YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD and it’s in her column TODAY in the Pleasant Hill/Martinez Record.   Thank you Jacquie for letting me know!