F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
October 21, 2001
Here's How I Happened to Get Married

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Some men have to be persuaded to get married; others have to be tricked.

It all began innocently enough. In an unexpected gesture of solidarity, some buddies of mine offered to treat me to a night of epic intoxication. It was quite an evening, I'm told, and one I ought to remember; still, at daybreak, I was ready to call it a night. It was at this point, however, that things took a strange turn.

As it happened, my girlfriend of many years had not been invited to the festivities just then concluding. To compensate for that oversight, my buddies had arranged to throw a surprise party for her -- that very morning, oddly enough. Odder still, it was to be a formal affair.

I hadn't realized that houses of worship could be hired out for parties, but the place was packed. The conspirators had done a marvelous job of passing the word around: everyone we knew was there, including several out-of-town relatives and even the priest from her old parish. But not one of them remembered to shout "Surprise!"

They probably were taken aback by her extraordinary attire. It must have been a recent purchase, for I had never seen her in this long white dress before. Unfortunately, in her eagerness to show it off, she evidently had neglected to hem it properly, leaving the excess fabric trailing far behind.

I was certain that we'd caught her off guard. I could tell from the look in her eyes as she came towards me down the aisle that she hadn't expected to find me there. The rest is pretty much a jumble, though I do vaguely remember the priest offering me something. Would I take this, that, or the other thing? "Yeah, sure." Anything offered free of charge I generally accept.

I woke up the next morning in some hotel room with a splitting headache. My girlfriend was there, too, in a strange, triumphant kind of mood. We were on some sort of vacation.

We had a great time, but I was anxious to get home and back into my old routine. We hailed a taxi at the airport and, when we reached my place, I invited her in for a nightcap. She must have twisted her ankle getting out of the cab, for she insisted that I carry her in. I certainly didn't object to her staying over that night, what with the bad ankle and all, but weeks went by and she was still there. She seemed to have no intention of leaving. Worse still, she developed an annoying habit of rearranging the furniture. In response to my protest, she replied, "But that's what married women do."

Imagine my shock. I'd had no idea she'd gotten married. She'd been hanging around my place for two weeks or more, and any minute now her enraged husband was liable to come bursting through my front door, shotgun blazing! That was fifteen years and six children ago, and she still hasn't gone home. I just hope her husband doesn't mind.

The Duplantiers celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on October 18th.