12:15 pm: Danny and I arrive at the Turkish restaurant his mom chose for our engagement party. Colored glass lamps abound.
12:22 pm: The first guests, Danny’s friends Sonny and Jill, arrive bearing gifts: two cake pans that they packaged with cake mix, confectioner’s sugar, sugar, a sugar shaker and a rubber bowl scraper. She’s on the art side at her magazine.
12:30 pm: My parents arrive and my dad gives me a big hug saying, “Your sisters are going to be late. They went the wrong way on 95 and wound up in Philadelphia.”
12:31 pm: Hummus and pitas and all kinds of Mediterranean treats. A crowd forms around the buffet.
1:00 pm: I’m feeling too jittery to eat.
2:00 pm: The main course is brought out: lamb and chicken and beef. The guests stare in stunned amazement.
2:30 pm: Sisterwatch ’06 continues. They are stuck in gridlocked Yankee-game traffic approaching the George Washington Bridge.
2:31 pm: Time for an enormous glass of Pinot Grigio to take the edge off.
3:00 pm: Looking around the room, I see aunts mingling with step-parents, cousins chatting with friends.
3:15 pm: Dessert-time. Danny’s mom has kindly set aside plates of food for my missing sisters.
3:30 pm: Finally, sisters Shannon and Maura arrive and are greeted by enthusiastic applause. I take one of them in each hand and lead a speedy tour around the room. “Guest, this is my sister Shannon and my sister Maura. Maura just graduated from high school.” “Oh, congratu–” And next person.
3:45 pm: “Attention everybody!” Danny’s mom, Ellen, clinks a glass. She welcomes us all to the party. Danny’s dad chimes in announcing that my sisters will be leaving in an hour to make it on time to next year’s wedding events.
4:30 pm: The cake and baklava are gone. We move the presents into Ellen’s car and head over to her house to open them.
I overhear one of Danny’s groomsmen whispering: “They really are Colleen’s sisters? Didn’t she once get lost going to the drugstore?”