My Father's Wedding
Copyright © 2008 by Tiki Kritzer Seger. All rights reserved.
When I was just 11, my parents divorced; my mother had finally had enough of the physical and mental abuse, the cheating and the financial neglect which was all standard when living with my father.
My father was an opera singer and he used to give voice lessons in a hotel room that he rented for that purpose; I remember the room as being old fashioned and fancy with lots of satin and lace; especially the canopy over the bed. A lot of very lovely, young women came to him for lessons and although he was quite fat, most of them found his dark, curly hair and ready smile attractive and many of them slept with him. One of these women was addicted to heroin and her life was a complete mess; her name was Bella. My father convinced Bella to stop taking drugs and to get her life together; then he asked her to marry him.
Since my fathers family was Jewish, but he was a practicing Scientologist, they decided to have two ceremonies: One at the Church of Scientology in Manhattan and one big fancy Jewish wedding. My brother (9) and I attended both sets of nuptials; he looked adorable in a miniature suit and tie and I felt very grown up in tailored dark blue slacks, a deep blue, fitted silk blouse and navy leather, lace up, high heeled shoes. The Scientology ceremony was not very exciting; I vaguely remember rings and vows being exchanged and people standing around congratulating my father and his new bride. The Jewish wedding, on the other hand, was a lot of fun. It was held in a huge, circular room at the top of a skyscraper and all of the walls were glass you could look out over the city in every direction. After the traditional exchanging of vows, breaking of glass, etc., a feast was served, champagne was poured and live music was played for those who wished to dance.
Everything was first class; from the linen and crystal table decorations to the black and white uniforms worn by the waiters who unobtrusively served champagne and hors doeuvres to the guests. The champagne was really good; even I, who never liked the taste of alcohol (or its effect on my body), was gulping it down in quantities that would have been better suited to Perrier.
One of the waiters was really good looking; he had black, curly hair, green eyes and a lithe, but strong, build; he was also quite young (18 at the most) and had a mischievous smile with a tiny dimple at the corner of his mouth. I decided to ask him to dance with me, and with this intention, purposefully made my way over to where he was passing out brilliantly colored cocktails. He saw me making my way through the crowd and threw me a flirtatous grin and a wink; I looked into his eyes as I reached him and smiled sexily just as I tripped over his feet and fell flat on my face. By executing a really incredible acrobatic twist, the young waiter just managed to stop his tray of drinks from landing on top of me. I clumsily untangled myself from his legs, stood up, and with burning cheeks and downcast lashes apologized for the incident. Then I walked away as quickly as possible before he could see the tears of humilitation that were streaming from my eyes and smearing the carefully applied mascara that I was wearing.
The rest of the evening was endless; I was trapped in joyous throngs of wedding guests bent on having a great time and all I wanted to do was bury myself in a deep hole in the desert. Needless to say, I went out of my way to avoid the attractive, young waiter for the remainder of the time that I spent there.