on my offer to be the official wedding planner, as long as I cut a few items from the to-do list.
WHY would I want to be the wedding planner, you ask? Because I figure this will give me a lot of opportunities to snoop around and dig up some local gossip about Mr. Pook! Besides, you know how I love the theater, and letâs face itâa wedding is like a big show followed by a cast party. Of course, the bride and groom have to stay together for the rest of their lives after everyone else goes home to recover from the big day. (Thatâs the serious part.)
On impulse, I asked my mom a very personal question.
ME: Can I ask you a personal question, Mom?
MOM: That depends.
ME: Do you love Mr. Pook?
Wendy, remember how we watched that soap opera during the last week of summer vacation and the characters were always asking each other, âDo you love him?â or âDo you love her?â and we kept laughing because it always sounded so cheesy? Well, I now know that it feels even cheesier to say it aloud, especially when the name âMr. Pookâ is in the same sentence. In fact, I think any actor who can deliver that line without bursting into laughter should be handed an Oscar.
Still, thereâs just ONE answer to that question that makes sense for someone whoâs planning to get married in a matter of days, and MY MOM DIDNâT SAY IT. (The answer is âyes,â just in case youâre clueless.)
Mom pressed her hands against her cheeks. She was actually blushing like a schoolgirl.
âHeâs a very interesting man,â my mom said. âAnd he believes weâre meant for each other.â
Okay, Wendy, you better not be thinking that sounded âso romantic,â or this is going to be my last letter.
STATION BREAK: Time to pause for an airplane snack of cheese sandwiches wrapped in cellophane.
To: WENDY CHOY
From: GILDA JOYCE
Iâm now writing to you in secretâfrom the backseat of Eugene Pookâs car!! The car is very tidy, but it smells like old wood in here.
INTRODUCING: EUGENE POOK!
Just one word: mustache. Iâm not talking about a regular old mustache; Iâm talking about a very unique, showstopping mustache with old-world personality. A mustache that looks as if it has been pampered and spoiled. A mustache that has been shampooed, fluffed, and possibly even blown dry and styled with a curling iron or tiny rollers before it was thoroughly waxed into position. As you can tell, I was so amazed when I first saw the mustache, I almost forgot to take in the other details, which could be summed up as follows: older, plump, walruslike. Definitely NOT the kind of guy you want to see in a bikini on the beach. In short, heâs no looker, although he had made some attempt with the old-fashioned mustache wax and a shiny new tie that sloped over his belly.
One question: Did Eugene grow his mustache before or after his first engagement ended? Clearly, that mustache could have been a deal-breaker for his fiancÃ©e: âEugene, either your mustache goes or I go!â Maybe Eugene thought about it for a very long time and decided to keep the mustache. After all, he had finally figured out how to style it. Maybe Mom is the first woman who has really liked the mustache. Or does she think sheâll convince him to shave it off after theyâre married?
NOTE TO SELF: Ask Mom what she thinks of Eugeneâs mustache.
Eugene beamed at my mom when he spotted us waiting for him at the airport baggage claim. I mean, he really looked entranced , which made me wonder whether he and Mom see each other through what my dad used to call âbeer goggles.â Granted, Mom looks cute for her age, and she even had some makeup on for once. But still.
For the first time I could understand how Mom must feel: It must be nice to have someone stare at you as if theyâre gazing at a gorgeous painting. Especially for