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Effie At The Wedding
Effie At The Wedding © 2011 by Tracy Marchini. Published by Squirrel Books. All rights reserved.
Effie At The Wedding
There are several reasons that I, Effie Green, don’t want to go to this wedding. First, I am dressed in a hideously pink silk dress. I didn’t even get this girlie at junior prom, and now my sister wants me to gently glide down the aisle in a pink so fluorescent that even the 80s would have rejected it. I’ve told Ophelia at least eight times that her pictures are going to look as if someone threw up radioactive Pepto-Bismol all over the place. She remains unconcerned. Secondly, I could sense that something was going to happen with Evan at Lisa’s party tonight. But now I’ll never know because I’ll be eating mini-hot dogs with a bunch of relatives I haven’t seen since I was growing out of my grade school uniforms at a rate of one per month. Lastly, when Ophelia gets married that means that George will officially become my brother-in-law.
The church is decorated in white daisies and long, pink silk banners. I stepped on the flower petals left behind by the flower girl as I walked up the aisle, trying to step on an equal number with my left and right foot. I tightened my lips and forced a halfgrimace (instead of a full one) towards George, before taking my seat in the front pew. I’m sure church bells are ringing, but my mother’s sobs are just loud enough to drown out everything but my own thoughts.
5 (Totally Selfish) Reasons I Do Not Want George As A Brother-In-Law
5.) My sister is only 20, and he is 29. That means he’s almost thirty, which means that when she’s forty, he’ll be almost fifty, and then when she’s fifty, he’ll be almost sixty. Too old.
4.) He just graduated med school. People never see their spouses when one is a doctor. And on Grey’s Anatomy, the doctors are always sleeping with the other doctors and nurses. Ophelia is cute, but she can’t compete with a tall, blonde-haired millionaire doctor. (Sorry, Ophelia.)
3.) He’s too nice. Nice is lame. Ophelia will be SO BORED when she’s like, 23 and realizes that her older, doctor boyfriend is too busy saving lives and golfing to go out clubbing.
2.) He’s too good looking. Again, the nurses are bound to fall in love with him.
1.) I will never be able to bring a boyfriend home without him also being a goodlooking, well mannered doctor. Which means that I am going to be single for the rest of my life, while my sister and her husband make lots of good-looking doctor babies. I will have lots of cats.
George and Ophelia are sitting next to each other on the altar while the Priest talks to us all about how we have to be open and honest with each other to make a
) But when Ophelia leaves. and I once caught him going through Ophelia’s underwear drawer.relationship work long-term. (In the end. Brian and Ophelia broke up when she was my age. (I have the scars to this day. I had twelve bald Barbies with pieces of orange felt super-glued to their heads. but she definitely wasn’t the worst.” I sighed. standing face to face and saying their “I do’s. but that’s probably also because she’s getting us the vodka. she would try to make Barbie wigs with pieces of felt. Ophelia probably wasn’t the best big sister in the world. He tended to talk with food flying out of his mouth. I thought she might marry her boyfriend before George. he was the one to dump Ophelia because he actually found a second girl that wanted to date him. I looked at the two of them. But amazingly. She hasn’t ratted on my friends and I for drinking in the basement. she won’t be worried about who might ask me to senior prom or have time to read my college application essays. It could have been worse. Brian always gave me the creeps. .) And when I used to cut off all the hair on my Barbies. My stomach drops every time the Priest tells them that they’re looking at their new family. Seriously! At the reception. He always smelled like dirty laundry and used to crack the stupidest jokes. When I was in sixth grade she taught me how to shave my legs. She’s going to be making dinner and doing dishes and thinking about going back to school herself now that George is almost finished with his residency. everyone circled my mom and I.
“Effie has boys calling all the time. but suddenly felt selfconscious about spilling my guts to someone who was clearly not much older than . as in. but didn’t have the nerve to try and order a real drink. Soon. don’t you dear? And she’ll have even more soon. and I hastily made my escape. Either way. I was just about to tell him that it was my sister’s wedding. My mom laughed. “Why so glum?” he asked. when I’m back on Weight Watchers. My Aunt Mia turned to me. so that didn’t count. “A coke. the boy she was referring to was Robbie. is there a special boy in your life?” She gave me one of those smiles and I knew she was thinking wouldn’t that be cute. Ophelia rushed over and gave Aunt Mira a big hug. my long time boy-that-is-afriend. who was beaming.” I scowled. “Go!” she mouthed to me. He was the only reason I’d been invited to Lisa’s party in the first place. He nodded and passed one over. “I’m going to be a nun.“He’s perfect!” “She’s beautiful!” “You must be so proud!” I looked sideways at my mother.” I said. “So.” I said to the freckle-faced boy at the bar. I went to the bar.
. The bathroom in this hotel was fancier than any public (or private) restroom I’d ever been in. 3b. Ophelia.) On the other hand. which would have made her Shakespeare-loving sister extremely happy. I opened the door and let out a gasp. It had rooms instead of stalls and a separate dressing room with mirrors that covered the full length of the walls.” I said. Some mirrors had little tables that jutted out from the wall.myself. 3a. she could have dated the Prince of Denmark. has excellent taste in bathrooms. I went into one of the stalls/rooms. locked the door. crying against a coke on the rocks? So not going to happen. which is higher in rank than a doctor. How terrible would it be to be pouring my heart out to the bartender.) She never dated a guy named Hamlet. I took my coke and headed to the bathroom. with plush purple velvet chairs placed beneath them. sipping my Coke.) This might have saved her from a bad swim in the river though. Three (Totally Selfish) Reasons Why Ophelia Should Not Get Married Right Now 3. who has terrible taste in bridesmaids’ dresses. closed the toilet lid and just sat there. and finally made it to the women’s room. nodding to people who I think I’m supposed to know. I shuffled between wedding guests. “You’re going to be an excellent bartender when you’re older.
“She’s probably at the buffet.2. they moved to Florida.) You can’t double date with your older sister if she’s married. “We’ll miss you. dear? You don’t want to spend your whole reception in the bathroom. “Are you sure?” It was Ophelia. the stall doors went down to the floor so nobody could see my feet. That’s what they all say. But you’ll be fine. Robbie only sees his brother like. It was my mother.) Ophelia has only dated three guys. We’ll be fine.” Ophelia said. . I snorted. “My girls are growing up so fast. Are you ready to go back. My mom blew her nose again – a great big honk. once a year. That’s just weird. What if George isn’t the one and she doesn’t know and she’s divorced by 25? Then she’ll have to move back home when I would have already moved out. Luckily.” “I’ll visit all the time. of course.” “Where is Effie?” Ophelia asked. Probably at the buffet. When Robbie’s older brother got married. 1.” Mom and Ophelia laughed and I heard a door shut behind them. There was a loud nose-blow. I heard the door to the main bathroom open.
I wasn’t worried about the dress – I was never going to wear it again. I propped my coke on the toilet paper roll. I kicked the door. I reached for the lock on the bathroom door. frantically throwing the sides of my fists in front of me. the Cabbage Soup diet and whatever else my mom decides is best for me. “Damn it!” I yelled. 3 Reasons Why It Sucks to Be Locked In A Bathroom During Your Sister’s Reception . I sat back down on the toilet lid. anyway. took the knob in both hands and tried to pull it to the right. which flew off the toilet paper roll and all down the side of my hideously pink dress. Nothing.2 More Selfish Reasons Ophelia Should Not Leave 2.) I need her home to be my big sister. I banged on the door. 1. and it wouldn’t budge. I’m going to be stuck in the bathroom for the rest of Ophelia’s reception.) I need her home to save me from Weight Watchers. Nobody answered. It still wouldn’t budge. It was a silver deadbolt. flailing my arms into the cup of coke. and wiped my sugar-coated right arm on my dress skirt.
and so when I was talking to Ophelia in the hallway and he stopped to ask for earth science help. I invited him to come with us. My stomach growled. I didn’t really know Robbie at that point. and now I was going to miss the buffet and the cake. the next day in lab all he could talk about was how pretty Ophelia was. I like cake. But I thought he was cute. At least one Friday a week. (I’m sorry. He was saying that he . Before Ophelia was consumed in wedding-related bullshit.) You’re going to miss the cake. We would talk about some of our mutual high school friends.(Even If You’re Not Thrilled She’s Getting Married. Of course. When I was a freshman and Ophelia was a senior. (Shut up. was what I was eating. or how she liked working at the hospital. I hadn’t had a chance to grab dinner before going to the ladies room. One of the things we never talked about.) 2. But I did.) You can’t catch the bouquet. I just don’t care if the centerpieces are six inches tall or eight inches tall!) Anyway. Or how much I was eating. before Ophelia was all about flowers and centerpieces and which color pink would look best on her bridesmaids. I smiled and nodded and pretended like I didn’t know what he was really saying. 1. I could eat guilt-free. he was just some guy that sat next to me in science lab. further solidifying your existence as a future cat lady. I invited Robbie to join us. and how he’d never guess we were sisters (read: Ophelia is skinny).) 3.) Your sister won’t even notice you weren’t there. she and I used to do a Friday night dinner. who was dating who.
“Obesity kills. Grandma started to cough again. She could never just sit still. we’re still second-best-friends. It always amuses me the way my grandmother can puff on a cigarette in one hand. She clearly wasn’t interested in Robbie. I heard the hacking cough of my grandmother. now that Ophelia’s bestfriend is George. while I could hear my Aunt tapping her heels. “Isn’t Ophelia beautiful?” I heard a gravelly voice ask. and the other one a slightly overweight. brace-faced plain Jane. and poke at my fat with the other. “So does smoking. Probably best-friends. And even though my stomach still drops a little every time Robbie mentions her name. It was fine. Grandma didn’t speak to me for a week. you know.” I had the balls to say once. Instinctively. I didn’t blame Ophelia… much.couldn’t understand how one sister could be so beautiful. She was like one of those parachute-like blow-ups they put outside of car dealerships.” she’d say while we were sitting around the kitchen table. or frantically waving . I heard the music get a bit louder as the door swung open. I froze and listened. she was always swaying.
like one of the giant waving nylon tubes that had the fan on too low. “you’ve got as good a chance as any of the rest of us. “Yeah.” 3 Reasons It Might Not Be Horrendous to Spend the Rest of the Night in the Bathroom 3. are you in here?” . Grandma and Aunt Rosie had already left. she was usually falling over. She’s the only one in the family that got good genes. beautiful.) Sometimes I wonder – is this really my life? 1 b.” 2.” Grandma said.her arms. a puff of smoke and a plethora of “hawwwwt’s” in their wake.” “Well. 1 a.) I could avoid my grandmother and mother.) I think my business cards will one day read.” “Effie?” I heard Ophelia calling from outside the door. or tapping her feet. “Effie. During family reunions. huh mom? Think I’m still young enough to get me a doctor? Maybe a hot divorcé.) Nobody would see that the butt of my dress was now soaked from the toilet sweating.) I wouldn’t have to listen to my Aunt talk about “hawwwwt divorshay’s. Aunt Rosie (who was recently single) cleared her throat. 1.” Aunt Rosie was slurring so it came out as “hawwwwwt divorshay. “Effie Green: Big Embarrassing Mess.
hair hanging limply around my face. making it shake in the frame. and a diamond necklace. mechanical click. and held up three fingers. “Get out of the bathroom stall. Two. hung from her neck. I guess. otherwise I’m going to kill half of our relatives.” Ophelia took a deep breath.” she said. “Three. and one you’re my maid of honor. a wedding gift from George. it’s starting to look like you live in there. Ophelia pushed open the door. and this time the deadbolt moved smoothly. and let out a gasp. Ophelia shook her head.” I crossed my arms. “I’m just thinking.” I stepped up to the sink and washed the coke off my arm. I need your help. you’re missing the reception which I paid mucho dollars for. Her auburn hair was pulled up into tight curls.sugar from the coke crusted on my right arm and a giant stain set into the skirt. . Figures. I reached up to unlock the door. “Give me three reasons. and the big pink tulle skirt spread out around the bathroom stall like a cotton candy machine exploded.” I said. “Effie. I heard a small.Ophelia pounded on the door. I’m sure I looked like the big mess that I felt . “what are you doing in there?” I looked at her in her bridal gown – a beautiful white satin mermaid dress with little lace sleeves.
Not today. (Hey. she had her chance. I want you to be a part of it. wrestling it away from Aunt Rosie. “Why is your ass wet? Did you sit in the toilet?” “Gross!” I said. Three Reasons I’m Glad I Didn’t Spend Ophelia’s Reception in the Bathroom 3. We will not be inviting George or my boy-that-is-afriend. Effie. Robbie. “No more lists.) I caught the bouquet. This is the biggest day of my life.) 1.) I ate cake and there was nothing mom could say about it. . 2.” Ophelia took a step back.) Ophelia and I made plans to resume our Friday “sister dinners” the first Friday she got back from her honeymoon.“Three reasons why I’ll be better off living in the bathroom. Three-“ Ophelia wrapped her arms around me before I could finish the first reason.
from when she's happy or sad. When her friend. instead of what her feelings should be. Hot Ticket (Middle Grade Mystery) – Juliet Robinson is the only sixth grader in John Jay Jr. Asking Robbie out during a family gathering though. When one of the dorkiest kids in school . but Effie is only halfconcerned about the fact that her sister may or may not be hiding the fact that she’s pregnant. The Engine Driver (Dystopian YA Short Story) – Sixteen-year-old Brig has never been allowed to hear a sad song in her entire life. Like everyone else in her community. But for Brig. who suffers from depression. With the help of her best friend . Annaby. All that Effie wants for Christmas this year is to go out on her first date with Robbie – her boy-that-is-a-friend. High who hasn't received a "hot ticket" from the mysterious ticket dispenser. a song in a minor key will never be played. Brig knows that she has just this one chance to hear a sad song.Crammit Gibson .Other Works By This Author George & Ophelia’s First Christmas: An Effie Short Story (Contemporary YA) – It’s George and Ophelia’s first Christmas as a married couple. isn’t quite as easy as it seems. to when she falls in love. Juliet decides that the ticketing system has to stop. is chosen to go to Musician’s School and is given a Permit to Carry a musical instrument.receives a ticket before she does. a love song – or a song that matches what her depression feels like. the personal Playlist Treatment Plan that plays in her head is designed to control her emotions .
tracymarchini.com. book clubs. writer’s organizations. a Daria-esque Madeline and her almost-crush Crammit. ebooks and audiobooks. Before launching her own editorial service. trade events and social networking. as a children's book reviewer. More information about her and her critique services can be found at www. she worked at a literary agency. a newspaper correspondent and a freelance copywriter. Juliet is determined to climb a few rungs on the middle school social ladder and catch the ticket dispenser once and for all! Pub Speak: A Writer’s Dictionary of Publishing Terms (Reference) – Pub Speak is a dictionary for both new and established authors that contains over 400 definitions. . retailers. crafting fiction and nonfiction. About The Author Tracy Marchini is a freelance writer and editorial consultant. publishing terms.Lucy. wholesalers. including contract and royalty terms.
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