The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Context: I interviewed my father in the kitchen of my parent’s house. He was telling me stories of his mother’s crazy family and remembers this to be a time when he actually felt good about his family. Jim’s parents and most of his family belonged to the working class. They all did what they could to be the best they could be. Jim laughs about this event now because he must have looked so odd walking down the aisle is the biggest guy in the wedding party while also being the ring bearer.

A wedding invitation came in the mail one day to Jim and his family. It was for Jim’s oldest and wealthiest cousin’s wedding. It was later accompanied by a phone call asking Jim to be a part of the wedding party.

At the time Jim was 12 he was a big kid for his age, already hitting the height of 6 foot in middle school. He played football, wrestled, and ran track so he was also rather muscular for his age.

When Jim’s cousin Annette asked him to be in her wedding he agreed. This was the first wedding Jim was ever going to be in, and with his preteen hormones on a roller coaster, he was excited to walk a pretty girl down the aisle with their arms linked.

The day of the wedding arrived. Jim got all dressed up in his suit. He combed his hair with a little extra product, brushed and flossed his teeth for the first time since the dentist did it three months ago, and then he got in his parent's car and headed two hours north for the wedding. Because they lived so far away Jim did not know his cousin very well. Jim thought his cousin just needed another good-looking groomsman in the wedding party.

When Jim and his parents arrived at the wedding his cousin greeted him and took him to a room. She then handed him a pillow with a ring on it. Jim was immediately dumbfounded. “What is this for?” he asked nervously. Annette responded sweetly “That’s the pillow you are going to carry down the isle sweetie, you are the ring bearer after all! Jim could feel the excitement leaving his face “what cute lady is going to think I’m a good looking MAN carrying the ring down the aisle like a little boy?” He was crushed, but he did not want to cause a scene after all it was her day. He politely agreed to carry the ring down the aisle with a smile on his face.

When he got to the isle a short time later he noticed something. Here he was a 12-year-old boy, taller and more muscular than all of the groomsmen at the party. They were short and small. This brought back Jim’s confidence. He walked down the aisle like Tarzan puffing out his chest showing how big he was.

The wedding was beautiful, Jim handed the rings over to the pastor with ease. The bride and groom were dressed tastefully with shoulder pads covering the neck of the bride. The vows were handwritten, and the “I do” kiss was long.

After the wedding was over a bridesmaid approached Jim she was only 16 with long red hair. She said to Jim in a soft tone “You did a great job today, it was like we had a ring bodyguard instead of a ring bearer” Jim laughed and forgot that he was ever upset about not being a groomsman.

Ring Bearer Bearing More Than a Ring

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1979
Harrisburg, PA

Context: I interviewed my father in the kitchen of my parent’s house. He was telling me stories of his mother’s crazy family and remembers this to be a time when he actually felt good about his family. Jim’s parents and most of his family belonged to the working class. They all did what they could to be the best they could be. Jim laughs about this event now because he must have looked so odd walking down the aisle is the biggest guy in the wedding party while also being the ring bearer.

Decade: 1970s
Rating:
Recorded by Madison Metzger on December 7, 2018
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