OK, so we had started to entertain the thought that we might get married sometime in the next year while Toriís parents, Keith and Cathy, were in the states, but we didnít know anything else. We didnít know if, and if, we didnít know when, and if/when, we didnít know exactly how. What we did know was that Paulís sister, Diana and her boyfriend, now fiance, Chris, had announced their engagement to be married in summer 1997. We did not want to start planning a wedding, a surprise wedding at that, and "upstage" or disappoint Diana and Chris ... especially Diana since our two weddings would inevitably include many of the same people.
The train pulled slowly into the station and and was sidled up to the platform, ready to board its first passengers ...
So, sometime in January (or possibly February), Paul asked Diana out to lunch ... alone ... and popped the question, as it were. "Tori and I are thinking about getting married but if we do, we donít want to ... you know ... do anything that would upset your or Chris. So, what do you think?" Dianaís face absolutely lit up and she happy-clapped with abundantly evident glee. She explained that she had figured out we were going to get married and/but that we wanted to ask her first so as not to disappoint her. She said she would be a little disappointed, but that since she had figured it out, she was mostly over it already and that by the time the event occurred, she would surely be over it. How did she know what we hadnít even decided for sure?
The conversation quickly turned to the fact that we hoped to avoid much of the prewedding crush and chaos as we could and that we were thinking of having it be a surprise ... a total surprise ... and that our parents would not even (or perhaps especially) be aware of our plans.
"You mean mom and dad wouldn't know?"
Big smile. The conspiracy was born.
Most of the rest of the conversation focused on how to have a secret wedding but make sure everyone attended and that anyone who didnít attend wouldnít accidentally have their feelings hurt for having missed the "invitation" since it was secret ... get it? This problem, and the fear of offending anyone, especially his relatives, deeply troubled Paul. Since this was the sort of thing one only did once, he was very concerned that everyone who would want to attend would be able to ... or at least, would be able to decide not to come, knowing it was a wedding they were choosing not to attend ... but it was a surprise wedding ... oh boy, you see the conflict.
Even though we thought we hadnít completely decided for sure, like totally, that we were definitely, absolutely going to do it, the wedding train had taken on its first passengers. As they say, you can't un-ring a bell. Similarly, once you board passengers, you gotta eventually move that train on down the tracks. At this point, though not even moving yet, I don't think we could have stopped that train ... not that we ever wanted to.