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(Listen Here)

It's not often I get the opportunity to dress up. Please understand that it's not something I look forward to no matter the occasion. Typically it means one of my cousins is getting married, and I have a lot of cousins. Putting on nice clothes is a lot of work for subpar non-chocolate cake. Those wedding mints are nice, but after two or three trips and a few handfuls, the grownups tend to catch on to my game. Plus, my pockets will only hold so many.

Weekends are more valuable than they were before I started going to school. Not long ago, every day was no different than Saturday or Sunday. With only two days a week to play outside, this wedding feels like a colossal waste of my time. I could be building a fort in the woods behind the house or skipping rocks across the creek. My feet could carry me down the hill to the river bottom as fast as The Flash. Maybe I could pretend to be Tarzan and swing on a couple of grapevines along the way.

Instead, I'm forced to wear this getup that clearly does not reflect my true nature whatsoever. It's tough to breathe, and everything itches. Hopefully, it's safe to lose the tie. They would have done it by now if they intended to take my picture. At least the suit is better than the outfit I had to wear when I was a ring bearer. It made me look like a cast member from The Love Boat.

"Chris! Where is your tie?" My mother asked impatiently, waiting for an answer. Looking around as if the tie would magically appear, I just shrugged my shoulders. Mom continued to speak, "Oh, never mind. Stand against the wall and smile so we can take your picture. Stop moving your hands, Chris."

"What am I supposed to do with them?" was my earnest response. She told me to lock my fingers in front of myself. My first instinct was to hold my hands in a prayer position and bow my head. Momma had no problem adjusting my pose, kind of like I do with my Lone Ranger sometimes. Then she urged me to be still and reminded me to smile again.

"Don't close your eyes, Chris. You always close your eyes. I'll count to three and take the picture. Make sure they're open until I say three. And stand up straight," Mom instructed.

"Man, taking pictures is complicated. Why can't she snap the darn thing so we can go home while I still have sunlight? I wonder if I can sneak undetected by the mint bowl one more time? Wait, Can I blink on three, or do I wait until after Mom says three?" I thought to myself.

"And three," my mother said, followed by the camera's flash. She asked, "Did you blink?"

"No, ma'am," I mumbled before stuffing a few more mints into my pocket and making my exit.

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