Cooking corned beef for hours

Roger O’Green here to tell you a tale guaranteed to be 99% blarney-free:

In 1999, I was engaged to Carol. As an engaged guy, I was willing to do just about anything to please my wife-to-be. Yet, when she said to me seven years ago today, “Can you come over and watch my corned beef for about five hours?” I balked briefly. I had things I wanted to get done. It wasn’t a constant task, though, and, and I could read or watch TV, so naturally, in the end, I said yes.

Carol was going shopping with two of her three bridesmaids for dresses for them. Carol had already gotten her gown. I get to her place at 1:30 pm; both Alison from Connecticut (who had already announced she had a bad reaction to corned beef) and DeeDee from Binghamton had already arrived and introduced themselves to each other. (The third, Darlene, lived in Georgia.)

For some reason, they were looking at bridal gowns in magazines, and asked me what I thought of the various dresses. Frankly, I wasn’t all that interested, but I noted that I liked this one, but didn’t like that one, something called an Empire Waist. Suddenly, the air was sucked out of the room. CLEARLY, Carol’s dress had an Empire Waist. Why were these people talking to me about this anyway?!

They said they’d be back in five hours. So, I figured it’d be six.

At 7:30, they called; they’re STILL shopping. Finally, at 9:30, they arrive back at Carol’s house, with no dresses, but with food from Burger King!

You need to know that Carol is probably ready for bed by this point, yet the four of us stay up talking, and eventually play a game that’s not unlike Tarot cards. When it came to Carol’s message, something in it made her mention that she would prefer that the bridesmaids all wear navy blue. Suddenly, Alison, DeeDee and I all instinctively heaved a sigh of relief. The dress buying had gone so poorly because Carol, not wanting to be a Bridezilla, and not wanting them to be stuck with dresses they could never wear again, had given her bridesmaids carte blanche. Somehow, that made the shopping too difficult.

So, now it’s almost 1:30. I was going to go home, but crashed in bed with Carol. This left one pull-out bed for the two women. Alison is really into spiritual things, vocalizations and whatnot. So, she was toning the bed. Toning is something like a musical chant. I couldn’t help but laugh, probably partially from exhaustion, and partly from the look on DeeDee’s face that clearly said, “Who IS this person I’m sleeping with?”

The next morning, Alison tried on a navy blue dress that DeeDee brought from a previous wedding, but that did not fit DeeDee any more. It fit Alison perfectly! Alison and DeeDee split the cost of the dress DeeDee would wear, and Darlene now knew what she would be looking for. Interestingly, the style of the three bridesmaids were all very different, but unified by color, few noticed, no one cared, and they all looked good in their dresses.

And Carol? I guess I DO like Empire Waists, at least on that particular bride.

(P.S.) Carol and I did eventually eat the corned beef.)

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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