IMR: 1997: November: 17 -- Monday, 2:30 p.m.
Our Apartment, Waikiki, Hawai`i

Two hours left as a single man.

At the moment, Jen's getting dressed for the ceremony, to be held downtown at the state courthouse on Alakea Street, Judge Leslie Hayashi presiding.

I'm only wearing slacks, a belt and a button-down silk shirt. Jen's wearing a red floral mu`umu`u Gayle gave her a couple of weeks ago. Despite the short notice I gave them, I think several friends will be there to share in the moment. William, who we're picking up in half an hour, will be our witness and (if such a position is called for in a civil ceremony) ring bearer.

It's strange, squeezing a wedding into what feels like just another day. Other than taking off from work at both offices, there seems to be nothing remarkable about Nov. 17. This morning, I went to Hawaiian class, raced to the UH Law Library to do the first half of a journalism assignment, then picked up Micheal and went downtown to the State Ethics Commission to do the second half.

I looked up Joyce Tsunoda, VP and Chancellor for Community Colleges, and Micheal got Doris Ching. On a whim, we also looked up Jan Javinar, our friend at CAPS who several years ago got a shakedown for using state supplies and student help to work for a political campaign.

Then I came home to Jen, we took a nap, took a shower, and here we are. Listening to Keali`i Reichel's "E O Mai" and making sure we have everything. Everything being the marriage license and the rings.

I keep saying, "It's just the paperwork wedding; the real show will come in April." I keep telling myself that this is just to placate Jen's family, and to assure our baby-to-be is fully and honorably an Ozawa. Yet, I'm nervous. I'm stuck wondering if I'll be more or less nervous when the formal ceremonies come around.

What is it about a wedding that changes one's life? Is it the name change, the shift in tax status, the signing of the paper and the handshake of a judge? Or is it the flowers, the crowd of family and friends, the boisterous reception and the three-tiered cake?

I know on the surface my life will change little. I know in my heart, Jen and I have been one for years. Tomorrow's another school day for me, another day chasing video deadbeats for her. Life goes on as before -- except, of course, for the gold bands we'll wear for the rest of our lives.

But whatever little ways my life does change, I thought they'd come sometime after she threw the boquet. If it is, in fact, today that brings the Whole New World, I am sorely unprepared.

It's 2:45 p.m. Time to go.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 17 November 1997 · Last Modified: 4 December 1997