Every Bride’s Worst Nightmare!

Like many women, Carrie had dreamed of her wedding day for years. At age thirty-three, she had strolled down more than her share of church aisles donning whatever gown the bride selected for the bridesmaids. One dress had so many layers of frilly pink taffeta she felt more like an overgrown flower girl than an adult woman.

But that dress beat the garish fluorescent green number her brother’s fiancé selected. It so glowed in the dark as she marched down the aisle that she wanted to leap under the pew.

The all-time worst dress, however, barely covered her tush, and it had such a low neckline she feared a wedding guest might catcall, or worse yet, slip her a fifty with a wink.

No way would she subject her friends to such humiliation! Her bridesmaids would don sophisticated and flattering black evening gowns. Adorned with a tasteful string of pearls, they would carry white calla lilies to match the pearls.

Carrie had compiled a scrapbook full of wedding ideas when she finally met her Prince Charming. When he proposed, she hopped into action to make her dream wedding come true.

Her plans over the next six months progressed swimmingly, and to reward herself for all her hard work, she booked a suite at a Las Vegas hotel one week before the wedding. She and her three BFF’s would enjoy a last hurrah bachelorette bash, then they would fly back, and Carrie would have a full week to tie up all the last minute details.

The four women had a wonderful time dancing, dining, catching Cirque du Soleil, and giggling long into the night. Carrie even managed to hit a minor jackpot and now returned to Nashville with more money than she’d taken.

She dragged her luggage into the Las Vegas airport with mixed emotions—sorry their weekend festivities were over but excited about her upcoming nuptials.

Since Southwest Airlines wouldn’t grant specific seat assignments on her flight back to Nashville, Carrie was stuck sitting beside a grimy woman with mismatched clothes who smelled like she hadn’t bathed in a month. Worse, the woman scratched at her scalp the entire trip. Carrie found out from the flight attendant that the plane held a huge group of refugees from Somalia, and unfortunately, because the plane was booked to capacity, she could not be moved to a less smelly seat.

As luck would have it, not only did the refugee carry body odor, she carried lice! I discovered this when Carrie showed up in my office three days before the wedding with an intensely itchy scalp and nits clinging stubbornly to nearly every strand of her long, thick hair. “You’ve got to do something,” she said, clawing her scalp, eyes wide with worry. “I can’t stand in a receiving line shaking hands and sharing hugs with three hundred guests when I’m infested with lice!” She shook her head in despair. “I’ll need to add a bottle of ‘Lice-B-Gone’ shampoo to my gift bags!” She grabbed my arm and beseeched me, “Please, help me!”

I instructed Carrie in the proper use of a “nit comb” and prescribed a strong shampoo for killing lice. (I then made a hasty exit from the exam room, changed my lab coat, scrubbed my hands until they were raw, and prayed I wouldn’t contract the itchy little devils!)

Unfortunately, she was back two days later, now hysterical. “The wedding is tomorrow, and I’m still infested.”

A quick glance at her black tresses confirmed the stubborn refugee varmints had found a happy home on Carrie’s scalp!

“At this rate, I’m gonna spend my entire honeymoon picking nits.”

Worse still, while in my office, Carrie received a phone call from a very upset bridesmaid—she and another bridesmaid had contracted lice as well!

Carrie dropped her head into her hands. Here she had chosen evening black for her bridesmaid dresses because she thought that would whisper “sophistication.” Now, every nit and louse would stand out against the black material, and her bridesmaids would look like low-class, trailer trash.

This wedding has turned into a disaster! Do I need to call the whole thing off? Is this an omen I’m not meant to marry Wayne?

After I calmed Carrie down, my nurse painstakingly combed Carrie’s hair strand-by-strand with the nit comb until every single nit had been removed. We then sent her home to wash her hair again with the potent lice shampoo. I instructed Carrie to have her bridesmaids do the same. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Carrie moved out of state immediately after the wedding, so I never did hear if the bride and bridesmaids walked down the aisle lice-free or not, but on a positive note, the calla lilies looked lovely!

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