July 23, 2005

Table 14

I just came back from a wedding reception. It's been practically a yearly ritual every July: one of my friends, usually named Steve, gets married. Oddly enough, I don't seem to get invited to weddings in any other month, and this time it wasn't a Steve, as I've run out of single friends named Steve.

One thing about the yearly wedding ritual that always seems to be a universal constant: According to the seating plan, I am always seated at Table 14, which is always adjacent to the kitchen. Intellectually I understand perfectly that the relatives of the bride and groom get the preferred seats near the head table, but more viscerally I have to wonder if my "friends" all secretly hate me and want me out of their line of sight for a few hours.

Actually, more than anything else this fact affirms my faith in God. It is proof that there is a rational intelligence behind the workings of the universe. Everything else in my life may be completely uncertain, but I can always be sure that every July, I'll be at a friend's wedding eating a catered meal in my seat at Table 14, near the kitchen.

And when the day comes for (God forbid) my own wedding, I've added one note to my plans: The head table is to be numbered 14 and, if possible, situated by the kitchen. After all, who am I to argue with Providence?