Do you have time to give me a wash and blow out, the girl walking into the beauty shop asks the young woman working a second job at Kutz and Kolors. I sure do, Mamie allows and she ushers Kristy to the shampoo bowl.
Iím getting married, Kristy tells Mamie. She squinches her eyes to avoid getting soap in them. When? Mamie asks. Right after you do my hair Kristy says, brushing away a trickle of water that threatens to plug up her ear. Do you do makeup too?
Youíre getting married today? Mamie wraps Kristyís head in a towel and points her toward a styling chair surrounded by dust-and-hair bunnies. Then she lifts a finger. No one cleaned last night, she apologizes. Let me sweep up before you come over here, and she grabs a broom. Kristy inspects her face in the mirror. Should I get my eyebrows shaped too, you think?
Mamie finishes her sweep and disappears into a closet. She comes out again wheeling a plastic cart full of makeup pots and tubes and brush and wand applicators. Well then, letís get you pretty, Mamie says.
Did you watch the royal wedding on TV? Mamie runs her fingers through Kristyís long, dark, damp tresses. Greasing her palms with a lotion that smells like almonds she works the goo into the girlís hair, scrutinizing Kristyís reflection in the mirror. You know, you are just as pretty as a princess, she says.
Kristy colors. Her eyes tear. My Dad used to say that to me, she sniffles. Will he be giving you away then Mamie asks, massaging Kristyís scalp. No, Kristy says, he died last year. And yes, I did watch the royal wedding.
Every womanís dream I imagine, Mamie says. She pats Kristy on the shoulder and reaches for the blow dryer. When Kristyís hair is dry it falls in a curve on her breast Ė just like Kateís hair did Mamie tells her, standing back to admire her artful arrangement. Then she goes to work on Kristyís makeup.
Will and Kate looked like a wedding cake bridge and groom, Kristy says, and the carriage was something out of Cinderella. All their preparations paid off, but Iím just as prepared. Mamie raises an eyebrow. Howís that, hon?
I asked Jesus to be my wedding planner and to give me away. Heís doing a terrific job. Kristieís face shimmers under Mamieís expert hand. You donít need much of this stuff, Mamie steps back again. Her part is done.
He gave me a verse -- Prepare ye the way of the Lord. I figure that marriage is Godís way, and if youíre prepared for that the wedding will take care of itself. Mamie glances at the bleached circlet on her bare ring finger. I know how to prepare for a wedding, she says, been there, done that. How do you prepare for marriage?
By training your heart to love, Kristy says. Itís all what Kateís brother read out of Roman 12 at his sisterís wedding about sacrifice and being genuine, about praying and serving, about blessing others and testing Godís will to find whatís perfect.
Mamie undoes the cape she had fastened around Kristyís neck and shakes it out. And youíve found the perfect man? Mamie asks.
My wedding planner is the perfect man, Kristy laughs. My Manuel is still under construction, but heís a Romans 12 kinda guy. Kristy looks past Mamie and squeals with delight at the faces that appear in the window. There is Mercedes holding a cake box and Graciela with a lacy white dress draped over her arm. Luz walks into the shop and says to Kristy, you are beautiful! Pedro follows her. Your carriage awaits my princess, he says.
Kristy looks through the window out to the street. There stands a solitary horse hitched to something sheís seen before and never seen. Pedro! Is that your dadís antique hearse? He let you do a chop job on it?
With Mamieís blessing Kristy dresses in the bathroom and emerges to the gasps of her friends. A crowd of young people have gathered on the sidewalk to begin the procession to the park.
Mamie, can you come to my wedding, Kristy asks. My wedding planner says there is room for all. Wouldnít miss this, Mamie says. It will be a blowout, Pedro says.
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