Above anything else, Priscilla, the chinchilla, wanted a big fancy wedding. It had been that way always. She had the biggest, fattest wedding binder with color schemes and edible flower arrangements and invitation designs with different size response boxes depending on the species of the invitee plus one. Four years in a row, she had dressed up as a bride for Halloween, including Glamour Bride, Glamour Bride, Undead Bride, which turned out to be very unsatisfying, and Glamour Bride. And she left other wedding-obsessed chinchillas in the dust by having the phone number of an officiator service both on speed-dial and as an emergency number in her smartphone. Ready she was.
Her boyfriend was Grant, the walrus. Priscilla had met Grant in a support group for single dads, though she had neither kits nor was a father. She was just adorable and had the softest, densest fur, and therefore she got to do what she wanted to do and go where she wanted to go. Grant had been married to Eleanor, a flighty toucan, and they had three teenagers together when Eleanor decided it was time to put the dream of her own holistic podiatric recreational bread-kneading center to the test and Grant and the teenagers did not fit in that dough. The acrimonious divorce had left Grant cured of the institution of marriage. That, however, did not discourage Priscilla. She did not even give it any thought because it was not in her nature to consider other people’s feelings unless it was for her benefit. In Priscilla’s mind and diary, it was the only way Grant could prove he loved her.
Priscilla was nothing if not organized. Every Thursday at 2:46 PM, a reminder popped up on her phone, and she texted Grant asking him when he was going to propose to her. To not make it sound too trite, she had seventeen different wordings she rotated between. And every other Thursday evening when Grant did not have the teenagers, he would explain how devastating and painful it had been when Eleanor left him, how much he had had to see his therapist, Gwendolyne Sunshine Starfish, a middle-aged nearsighted opossum with great empathy and understanding, and how little he wanted to expose himself to the risk of that happening again. Priscilla would file her nails while he talked and when he was done, she would look at him and say,
“I want a big fancy wedding.”