Darkness. I opened my eyes, just abruptly awoken from a deep slumber, and wasn’t sure why I was awake. It was the middle of the night. My dorm room was completely dark except a mysterious light coming from the windowsill. What was going on? What was the source of the light? WERE THE ALIENS FINALLY HERE TO RESCUE ME? Unfortunately, not. Another ding of the device confirmed my phone had woken me up. “Okay, wedding planner,” a text from my sister read, “we should get to work. I think I want a spring or summer wedding.” Carter, who had been engaged a total of three days, had forgotten that the time difference between Dallas and Cambridge was 6 hours. While it was an early 9 PM for her, it was a brutal 3 AM for me.

Carter has always been the epitome of a southern belle: thoughtful and polished appearance, proper manners, and a two-time debutante. As you would expect, she was a high school cheerleader before going to University 45 minutes from our house. Now that she was engaged to her college sweetheart, a cowboy from San Antonio, her wedding would be just as white, elegant, and traditional as she is. She started planning the wedding years before Stewart actually proposed. “We’re going to need a venue bigger than Stewart’s ranch.” “My bridesmaids will all wear navy, but the dress cut is up to them. All my sorority sisters are such different shapes.” “We’re definitely going to need three cakes, maybe four. I expect a large crowd. Ooh! One cake should be shaped like Texas.” 

Our parents had actually had a cake shaped like Texas at their Indiana wedding back when Reagan was still in office. A gift from my Mom’s colleagues, the cake was a sort of “good luck” present to the young couple about to head South. I reminded my Dad of this as we sat in the corner at Carter’s engagement party three days prior to my brutal awakening. “That cake was great! But she really wants three or four? If you are going to plan this wedding keep it small. We don’t need a huge get together,” my dad pleaded. He looked around the room, made sure no one was close enough to hear him, and leaned in close before adding, “I’ll sure make it worth your while if you can convince Carter to elope.” He took a bite of his vanilla cake and sat upright like our exchange never happened. We locked eyes and I agreed try by giving him a subtle captain salute as I got up to head towards the cake table myself. 

I laughed at this memory as I clicked the phone, and my sister, goodnight. Her newfound bridezilla antics could wait until later morning, for me at least. I pulled the covers over my head. I was only brave enough to let my left arm out of the safety of the blankets to double check the phone was on silent before retreating back to the sleep realm. You can’t be sleep deprived when you’ve got wedding cake to sort.