The organist had pulled out at the last minute so, as often happened, it fell to her to stand in. No-one told you that the position of ‘minister’s wife’ meant more than the title. It meant cook, baker, confidante and countless other things. Today, it meant organist.
She glanced at the stenciled swirls and the gilt edges on the invitation. This was one fancy do, that’s for sure. At least the hymns were the same as they nearly always were. She sat down at the piano and had a play through them anyway.
It was only when she struck the last chord of Love Divine that it dawned on her: this wedding was a high society affair. All the women would be wearing hats!
She put her hand to her recently set (thank goodness) curls and gasped. They weren’t brethren. Presbyterians only wore hats if it was snowing. Or they were going to a showy matrimonial event. Glory be!
She raced round the house, pulling out drawers, lifting dresses and suits to search the floor of the wardrobe. She looked on top of it. Nothing. She stared at the woolly hat in her hand and thought. The baby’s bonnet wouldn’t fit her. A scarf would make her look like a land girl. She stood up and walked into the kitchen wondering how a cappella singing would go down.
She lifted up the tea pot and considered it for a moment, whistling ‘O God our help in ages past’ under her breath. Running to the kitchen cupboard, she threw off table cloths, place mats, tea towels and doilies. Finally, she hauled her last resort out, pulled it on her head and checked her reflection in the window.
You know, that might just do!
As the organ swelled and the happy couple walked beaming down the aisle, people all agreed that the sermon, the vows, the bride, the six bridesmaids, the flowers, had all been beautiful.
No-one noticed or perhaps were to polite to speak of the minister’s wife…
…brazenly sitting there with a tea cosy on her head.