84 - Announcements
Be humble for you are made of dung. Be noble for you are made of stars.
Announcements have a lot of power.
A politician is just a politician until he announces he's running for president—then suddenly he's a candidate. People rally around him, donate money, volunteer their services to help him win.
If you announce your graduation from high school, people send you gifts.
What's a business advertisement but a kind of announcement. Someone announces they'll sell widgets at ten percent off, and customers flock to their door, as if by magic.
But there are two sides to everything.
You'd better have those widgets in stock, if you want to keep those customers, and you'd better be willing to honor the price you promised.
If you don't actually graduate from high school, you're in for some pretty embarrassing moments, talking to the people who sent you gifts. And a politician who announces, but backs out too soon, may have committed political suicide.
Once you announce a wedding, it's a lot harder to back out of it.
Danny lent me the waiter's uniform and got me into the party with a tray of hors d'oeuvres. We discussed some contingency plans on the way. I worked my way to the center of the deck just in time to interrupt the announcement.
I knew William wasn't pleased, but there was no choice.
I began by addressing all the guests, who stared at me like I was a circus act.
"I find myself in a rather awkward position." I told them, "I did something today that this young lady..."
I gestured toward Julie.
"...that this young lady thought was very noble. But it wasn't noble at all, and I'd just like to straighten that out with her."
I looked Julie in the eyes. This part was going to be difficult, but it had to be said.
"I didn't stay because I was putting you first, Julie. I thought that was why I stayed, I told myself it was, but it wasn't. I realized that a little while ago, and I want you to understand, before…"
My leg began to tingle as well as ache. I wet my lips, and continued.
"I stayed, Julie, to try to get you to do something for me."
* * * * *
Jonesy grabbed Al's arm, and pointed down the tree-lined street.
"Pull over here."
He meant by the house with the valets out front.
"I want to talk to these guys."
Al pulled over.
He thought those guys were probably pretty uncomfortable, dressed like that.
Also, he was getting hungry.