So, yet another of our characters have decided that enough questions have been asked about her intentions and enough statements have been made about her actions that she needs to be heard in her own voice. On that note, here is Maxine, who sweetly came to me and asked to divulge why she wanted Christian and Ana’s engagement to occur at her reception. You’re on, Maxie…
An Address from Maxine Saunders… err, I mean, Maxine Saunders-Guest
I’m sure that there are many of you that don’t like me and even more of you that don’t understand me. That’s okay. It’s not a problem for me. I am who I am and I do what I do and I make no apologies, except to those whom I hurt—everyone else is… what do you call it? Oh! A non-factor. That’s not to say that I don’t care what you think of me, but that is to say that I don’t tolerate judgment, especially from people who don’t know me or only know me marginally.
Having said that, let me ask a question. Am I the first bride ever to have a friend become engaged at her reception? I have to know this, because I’ve been seeing it said how it was so—unusual—to have this happen and that Christian and Ana’s effectively “stole my thunder.” I’m sorry, but I don’t see the big deal. I had this huge wedding in my Cinderella dress and glass slippers. Everybody’s looking at me; we’re eating, dancing, having a great time, and in the midst of it, one of my best friends adds to the celebration by getting engaged! What’s the problem? BG told me that a fight actually ensued at her wedding reception. Would you have preferred that happen at mine, too?
Now, not everybody had strong opinions about it, but a lot of people were questioning how this came about. So let me explain.
In harmless, usual conversation, Al told me how Christian had been mentioning to him that it was time for him to propose to Ana. He had intended on doing it on Christmas but then decided that it would just be too cliché. Then he thought about doing it on New Years Day, which is also cliché but not as much, except apparently, he and Ana were at odds that day. As more and more time passed and more and more shit was happening in their lives, he began to feel like there was never going to be the perfect time to get down on one knee according to Allen.
I began thinking about the impact that I have had on their lives and relationship. I damn near dragged Ana out of Christian’s apartment with a court order to throw her in a padded room. I ditched her as a patient with no notice, and in the midst of all of this, she still managed to plan me a fantastic wedding and still stood up for me as my maid of honor. I don’t know that I could have been that gracious to someone who had done the things to me that I had done do her. Even though my intentions were pure, it was still some pretty dirty shit—like serving a T-bone steak on a nasty garbage can lid.
Bearing all of this in mind, at one of the tuxedo fittings, I suggested to Allen that they plan something at the reception. We would all be there with the exception of the parents—which they made that happen anyway—and it would be a huge surprise because it would be the very last thing that Ana expected. That, of course, meant that we had to cut Ana out of the planning of the reception completely. I was sure that she was going to catch on to what was going on, but I think she was more flustered about having the reception taken away from her and even more confused that it was given to Christian. Truth be told, she had already done all of the planning and preparation for the reception—we just had to add this segment into it.
Why my reception? Because I love her. Because I wanted this. Because I was already on cloud nine and the anticipation of seeing her face after Christian proposed put me on cloud ten. Because she’s a wonderful, beautiful, kind and caring person and I disrespected her twice and I owed it to her to make it up to her and couldn’t think of a better way. Because I also wanted Christian to know that I recognize how important he is to my friend and how much they mean to each other. Because what he was doing was all about love and my day was all about love and I wanted to be a part of it, too. Because my wedding day was superb because of my dear, dear friend and to have that friend get engaged at my reception was the icing on the cake. Any more questions?
Ana planned my shower, planned my wedding, wrangled my bridesmaids—including bitchy ass Selena—bought a block of rooms at the Four Seasons for the hen night, got me a damn party bus—a luxury party bus no less—and made sure everything went off without a hitch with very little help from the wedding planner that I hired. Ana gave instructions and that chick just jumped, plain and simple. What’s more, Ana did all of this without breaking a sweat, even when I was being shitty to her and Christian…
Ana made it her business to help secure my happiness on one of the most important days of my life. Given the opportunity, why would I not want to be a part of hers?
Dr. Maxine E. Saunders-Guest, Ph.D.