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Prompt #6 - The Big Picture

Annie had hired her for her attention to detail and her quick adaptability. Today, Poet was having a hard time locating the second.

They’re counting on me. It is up to me to make sure that this whole thing goes off without a hitch...at least not a visible one.

She had already hit three hiccups, today, and the weather wasn’t the least of them. The forecast had called for sun and cool, but comfortable, temperatures. It was snowing and about 15 degrees outside.

It wasn’t supposed to snow...

Poet had a tendency, when large responsibilities were suddenly thrust upon her, to become mired in the details. She had to keep reminding herself that today was NOT about her.

This is my chance to prove myself, though... I can do this. I know I can do this.

She had only been Annie’s assistant for three weeks. She had only worked on three other events – two weddings and a bat mitzvah – and she was still learning the ropes. The bride’s mother, Mrs. Knight, had been less than pleased when Poet had informed her that Annie was handling another, much larger, wedding on the other side of town.

This woman doesn’t think I’m capable. I have no choice but to do this...

The first thing that Annie had told her when Poet had been hired as her assistant was that brides are crazy, but their mothers are even crazier, if that was possible. Poet now understood what Annie had meant that first day.

“What are you doing,” Mrs. Knight was yelling at Poet again. “Those are NOT the roses that we ordered.”
“I can assure you, Mrs. Knight,” Poet said, “these are EXACTLY the roses that we ordered.”
“They don’t look the right shade of pink,” Mrs. Knight snapped back, “these are LIGHT medium pink. We ordered medium pink.”
“Mrs. Knight,” Poet struggled to keep her temper. This woman is unbearable. “These are the roses that your daughter requested. And, right now, she is upstairs, I’m sure, waiting for you to come up so that she can finish taking her ‘getting ready’ photos. I see,” Poet checked a list on her clipboard, “that you are required for no less than four of them. Please go back to your daughter, who needs you, and leave me to do my job.”
“Well,” Mrs. Knight wasn’t sure exactly how to respond to that. “Well, we hired Annie Jackson for this wedding. Not…whatever your name is.”
“Poet Robinson,” Poet said, offering her hand to Mrs. Knight, “I believe that we met at the office when Annie first hired me.” Mrs. Knight reluctantly took Poet’s hand and shook it weakly.
“I have no recollection of any such meeting,” Mrs. Knight, replied, “and please, let me go back upstairs. My daughter needs me.” She turned and walked away.

Yeah. Mothers are definitely crazier than the brides...

Poet returned to her work. She had a four person crew here with her for set-up, but she still felt responsible for every single detail.

Most of the people here probably won’t even notice half of this stuff. I don’t know why we bother... Then again, if we didn’t, someone would notice something WASN’T there.

“Poet,” Mike appeared suddenly behind her and she jumped visibly.
“Mike,” she asked, turning on her heels.
“Sorry to scare you,” Mike said, “the band is here and they need to know where to set up.” Poet thanked him for letting her know and went off to meet the band.


“Allison,” Mrs. Knight asked as she poked her head into the bridal prep area, “it’s Mom.”

God, she’s insufferable.

“Yeah, Mom,” Allison called back, “I’m here.” Mrs. Knight entered the room quickly, opening the door as little as possible to do so. She approached her daughter.
“You’re not dressed, yet, sweetheart,” Mrs. Knight said.
“I’m aware of that, Mother,” Allison said, obviously frustrated. “I couldn’t do anything until you got back from harassing the coordinator. I needed you for pictures.”
“Oh,” Mrs. Knight said, “I’m sorry to have kept you.”

The mother and daughter had never seen eye-to-eye. Today was sure to be no different. Mrs. Knight reluctantly followed the photographer’s direction to ensure that they got the best possible pictures of the bride dressing. She wasn’t used to relinquishing control…


This is ridiculous...

Poet was putting the final touches on the hall as the guests started arriving for the cocktail hour. She peeked out through the double doors separating them from where she was working. Half of them were women, about her own age, decadently dressed as if they were headed for their high school proms, rather than for a wedding reception. Poet couldn’t help but notice that several of them were dutifully followed by drably dressed men, some the same age as their wives, others much older.


Poet was amazed at how these women who were neither the bride, nor her insane mother, could be so enthralled by the details. The flowers on the table were SO gorgeous, the printing on the place cards was SO delicate, Allison had done SUCH a fantastic job coordinating all the colors... It went on and on. Poet was beginning to feel nauseated at listening to these “ladies” going on and on about the details, and she was the wedding coordinator’s assistant – the details were supposed to be all that mattered to her.

Can’t these numbskulls understand that this day is not what matters?


Leaving the church, Allison was thankful to get twenty minutes with Ben, even though the first ten were also spent with photographer. A chaperone. They’d had to spend ten minutes with their entire extended families immediately following the ceremony, taking pictures that couldn’t be taken beforehand because of Mrs. Knight’s ridiculous superstition about the bride and groom seeing each other.

Left alone together, Allison and Ben suddenly found themselves unable to look at each other. Something had changed, but neither of them could put their finger on exactly what it was.

We’re married...

A smile curled the corners of Ben’s mouth as her took her hand and walked up the steps to the hall.

Life is going to change from this point...


After the reception had ended, as the last of the guests were filing out, Poet started the tear-down process.

Eight hours of setting up for three hours time...

“Poet,” Mike said. Poet jumped.
“Mike,” she turned around.
“Annie just called,” he said. “The bride’s mother called her and said that you were the best day-of coordinator she’d ever worked with. Good job.”

Recognition... Nice.

After Mike walked away and Poet went back to the tear-down of the cake table that she’d been working on. She didn’t hear Allison and Ben coming up behind her.

“Poet,” Allison said, quietly.
“Yes,” Poet said, turning around, unsure of whom she should expect to see there. “Oh, Allison! Hi!”
“Hi,” Allison said, and hugged her. “I’m not sure you ever met him, but this is my fiancé...husband, Ben.”
“Ben,” Poet said, reaching out and taking his hand, “it’s nice to meet you. Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” Ben said. “I think we’re the ones who should be thanking you, though.”
“Oh,” Poet said. A flush rose in her cheeks and she knew that they were visibly pinking up. “This was nothing. It’s my job.”
“No,” Allison said, “we do. We DO owe you the thanks.” Poet was confused.
“You’re the one,” Ben said, “who made us realize that there was so much more to today than just...well, today.”
“You’re the one,” Allison continued, “who made us realize that we weren’t seeing the whole picture.” My mother never saw the whole picture... “We were so caught up in the details of the day that we lost sight of why we were getting married in the first place.”
“You couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” Poet said, “the big picture.”
“Exactly,” Ben said. “When we had some time alone after the ceremony, though, we remembered.”
“Thank you,” Allison said.

And all was not for naught.

1,334 words


The Ambition Project - Inspired Writing Prompts

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