Filling a prompt from @missweber
Bitty closed the screen of his laptop very gently.
Then he buried his face in his hands, scrubbed them over his eyes, and said “Good Lord.”
He only jumped a little when he heard Jack’s voice behind him.
“Everything all right?”
Bitty twisted around to face Jack, not concerned about the way his hair was going every which way from his fingers raking through it, and said, “Can we elope already? I don’t think I can stand six more months of this.”
Jack filled a glass from the kitchen and tap and said, “Which one? Mine or yours?”
“Mine,” Bitty groaned. “I swear she thinks it’s not a real wedding without yards of white organza and orange blossoms. She keeps sending me pictures of men decked out in white tailcoats with ridiculous pastel cummerbunds and ties. And there was a link to a story where you could rent doves to release to … symbolize something or other. I told her we just wanted a low-key wedding. Why is she doing all this?”
Jack leaned against the counter and drank his water.
“Is she feeling left out, maybe?” he said. “Because we’re doing it in Montreal?”
“I don’t know.” Bitty said. “Maybe. Probably. But I don’t care if same-sex marriage is legal – there’s nowhere in Madison that I would want to do this. Even at home – it could make things difficult for Coach. And too many people would get wind of it here in Providence.”
“Parse suggested we head out to Vegas,” he said. “Then at least she wouldn’t feel like she’s losing out to my parents.”
“First, no,” Bitty said. “Not Vegas. And second, it’s not a competition! Your folks have room, and it’s private, and they offered. They even offered to let my folks stay at the house. What more does she want?”
“Maybe something to do?” Jack suggested. “So she’d feel part of it?”
“But you should see what she’s sent, Jack. How can I put her in charge of flowers or wedding favors or anything if she’s trying to make this into a recreation of Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles?”
“Wasn’t that like, in the ‘80s?”
“When my mother was in prime dreaming-of-weddings mode, yes, Jack. Flower girls, Jack. She wants flower girls. Does she think we can just rent them?”
“It’ll be all right, lapinou,” Jack said. “Let me shower and then we can head for the market, OK?”
“Of course I care about Uncle Mario and Uncle Wayne, and Ray and Steve and all of them, and Julia and Meg and Sandra too,” Jack said to his mother later. “But we can’t have them all at the wedding, Maman. This is my wedding, mine and Bittle’s, not yours and Papa’s.”
He paced on the balcony in the chilly air, his phone held up to his ear. He paused to listen, glad that Bitty was busy in the kitchen with his music going and couldn’t hear his half of the conversation.
“I know they care about me,” he said. “And marrying Bittle is well worth celebrating, I agree. But we really want to celebrate with our friends – our friends from Samwell, and Providence, and some of Eric’s family. Even with that, I’m counting about 50 people, give or take. But at least none of them require their own security.”
“Thanks, Maman. If you want, maybe we can have a party after we get back from France? Invite the whole world if you want. It can be your world, but I’ll bring Eric so you can show him off.”
“Yes, Maman, Eric said he got the pictures of the suits you sent. He liked them, I think, but there was some change … I don’t remember. You’re going to have to talk to him.”
Jack ended the call and went into the kitchen.
“I think I have it sorted,” he said. “But we might have to show up at a party when we get back from the honeymoon. I told her to talk to you about the suits.”
“Mm,” Bitty said, concentrating on a tiny lattice for a mini-pie. “As long as they’re not white, they’re fine, really.”
“I have an idea,” Jack said. “Tell me if it’s too much.”
“You know how we were going to Montreal over the bye week to taste food and pick a florist and all?”
“Why don’t we invite your parents to come, too? Or just your mom, if your father is busy?”
“Because then she could feel like she’s involved,” Jack said. “Don’t worry about all the white lace and stuff. Maman will make sure we get something you’d approve of. But then Maman would also have someone to gush to.”
“She does think your mother’s a style icon,” Bitty said.
“She’s never seen my mother in yoga pants and one of my dad’s old T-shirts,” Jack said. “And anyway, my mother thinks your mother is refreshingly unjaded and one of the most genuinely nice people she has ever met.”
Bitty snorted. “Yes, well, she’s never challenged my mother’s jam supremacy.”
“So you think it will work?”
“Probably,” Bitty said.
“Good,” Jack said. “Then they can both convince you it’s not a good idea to make five dozen mini-pies with lattice tops for party favors the day before the wedding.”