In a Parallel Universe…


My husband and I were officially engaged on May 26, 1984, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the eve of the historic “Memorial Day Flood.” Worst on record.

We set the date for our wedding on June 9. We celebrated with a delectable leg of lamb, new potatoes, and champagne. My mother had said, when I pulled out all the bridal magazines: “Please – I do not want to hear all your planning for the twelve months. Give me six weeks, and I can pull off any wedding you want.” We gave her twelve days. That was as much her fault as ours, since she’s the one who said, “Do you swear this is for life? You’re not going to change your mind and screw up it up?” We assured her we wouldn’t; she proposed we marry on her and my father’s 22nd anniversary – June 21. Thirty minutes later, we had lined up the minister who would perform the ceremony.

The only thing we didn’t have, for what we jokingly called, “The Twelve Day Wonder Wedding,” was engraved invitations. There simply would not have been time to mail them and give out of town guests time to make travel arrangements. We had matchbooks and seed in net bags with printed ribbons. We had fresh flowers, a gorgeous cake – also decorated with fresh flowers – an organist who approved of my request to walk down the aisle to the Processional from “The Sound of Music.” After all, the Von Trapps had a long, happy marriage.

It might not have happened that way, though. Two days before our wedding, my doctor wanted to put me in the hospital. I’d had an ear infection going on four months, and he couldn’t give me stronger antibiotics without admitting me and putting me on an IV drip. I told him no. One look in my eyes, and he conceded, insisting that I return and re-evaluate after the honeymoon. Before that, he’d had to prop me up on Percodan just so I could get through the agony of having my hair done and bridal photos made. People look at the photograph that was printed in the newspaper and describe my expression as “so dreamy and romantic!” I was marrying the love of my life, but the look was “stoned and poseable as a Barbie Doll.” But on one point, I wouldn’t be so malleable: I would not put off our wedding. We honeymooned in Dallas, at the Westin Galleria. We had a wonderful, romantic three days there, and returned home.

Eventually, the root cause of the ear infection was determined to be a yeast infection in my ear canal, probably caused by months on antibiotics. My stubbornness may have saved my hearing.


Flash forward to this past Memorial Day weekend.

We were visiting family in Dallas, and stayed at the Westin Galleria. I think our room was even nicer than the one we had on our honeymoon! The storms across north Texas and Oklahoma rivaled those of 1984; the flooding in Houston has been terrible, as well.

Meanwhile, Sunday I had lamb burger for lunch. Not leg of lamb, and it’s still a bit early for that – but it was excellent. Later, I twisted – and broke – my ankle (distal fibula), ending up with painkillers that gave me that dreamy, romantic, poseable-as-a-Barbie-Doll look. An adverse reaction to them nearly landed me in the hospital, hours later, the same day we were due to leave Dallas to return to Houston. But hey – you know how this ends. 🙂 I’m back in Houston with the love of my life. And tonight – which was supposed to be my night to cook, and the official anniversary of our engagement – I took a long afternoon nap and he made lobster.

And I have to apologize to you all – I’d rather nap than write up a more entertaining explanation of “how I broke my ankle” than “walking across the grass from the curb to the sidewalk.” I think it’s fair to fib about it, but I’m not sure I can – not with a broken fibber.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit

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19 Responses to “In a Parallel Universe…”

  1. Pierre Laberge

    Now THAT’s Cool:
    ….an organist who approved of my request to walk down the aisle to the Processional from “The Sound of Music.” After all, the Von Trapps had a long, happy marriage. ….

    I love that piece of music. And the organist was Cool, too!
    And as we know, Maria and Holly, are almost twins. At least when it comes to making trouble!

    Snarfle! Howl! Guffaw! Tho, I am glad things worked out ok!
    … describe my expression as “so dreamy and romantic!” I was marrying the love of my life, but the look was “stoned and poseable as a Barbie Doll.” ….

    And, this guy MIGHT be a Keeper:
    And tonight – which was supposed to be my night to cook, and the official anniversary of our engagement – I took a long afternoon nap and he made lobster.

    Still no explanation about the ankle. No problem. We’ll wait….

    • Hahah…it was the tiny penguins… it was all the tiny penguins…

      • Pierre Laberge

        You were attacked by tiny penguins, and they broke your ankle?

        I see a story here. In a desperate attempt to cripple HP, a competitor launches a fiendish plot at their H.O.L.L.Y. system. Should be good for 400 words.

        And heck, if you make it 600 words, you can save the world at Casino Royalle, to boot.

  2. Rummuser says:

    Is there a moral to the story somewhere there? Any way, please get well soon and back on your feet.
    Rummuser recently posted…Attitude Of Gratitude.My Profile

    • Are you suggesting my tale has no morals? Hmmph! Oh, you’re thinking maybe I should’ve learned something from it, like never to rescue tiny penguins from a flood? 🙂 (That’s the story, you know – how the ankle got broken. I’m allowed to lie when the truth is excruciatingly BORING and the lie doesn’t matter, right?)

  3. Patricia Stoltey

    This could be a short story….or not….but if you really broke your ankle, you have all my sympathy (and encouragement to enjoy the attendance of your wonderful husband who will wait on you hand and foot as long as needed).
    Patricia Stoltey recently posted…Chuck Sambuchino Wants to Make You Laugh…or Does He?My Profile

  4. Debbie D.

    Happy Engagement anniversary, Holly. Entertaining story, but I’m sorry you broke your ankle! I did the same thing in 1998 and it’s not fun, for sure. Wishing you a speedy recovery! Amazing how quickly you pulled your wedding together. We organized ours in two months – still quite a feat – considering it was traditional Italian style. The “love of your life” sounds like a real keeper – lobster and all. 🙂

    • Thank you! Seems there are a lot of us in this broken ankle club! I’m sorry to hear that, but it’s always nice to hear from folks who’ve survived and have tips to share. 🙂 Or can just commiserate a little so I don’t feel like such a klutz and a wienie. Seriously… I swear it hurt worse than birthing babies. Maybe not LONGER, but in the short term… ouch!!

  5. Mia

    So you got married less than a month after your engagement? I kinda like that. Date for a long time, be engaged for a short time.
    Mia recently posted…ChangesMy Profile

    • Yes! We’d dated for two YEARS. Have you ever known me to not know what I wanted? Or to be wishy-washy about it and change my mind? J.J.’s the same way, so once we’d both made up our minds, waiting months actually just seemed silly. I don’t know why linking it to some other date seemed important at the time (our birthdays had passed and were too far off, Christmas – a great time for a “Holly” to get married – was too far off…), but my parents’ anniversary, particularly when they OFFERED to share it seemed just perfect.

  6. Holly, that is a beautiful story. You sound real happy. I am happy for you and I wish you many more.
    Southern Festival Living recently posted…Mississippi has an obesity problem. What is next?My Profile

  7. Mitch Mitchell

    Classic! I like how the tales matched each other in dreamy eyed Barbie-doll looks. How are you doing with the ankle now?
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…The Process Of Writing Leadership Is/Isn’t EasyMy Profile

    • NOW? Now, I’m already tired of the cast, even if it IS a gorgeous shade of purple. My foot apparently wants more of the attention; it has now begun changing into a matching purple with moss-green blotches. I keep trying to tell it I liked it MUCH, MUCH BETTER the other way, when it was normal foot-color. But no – its attention-seeking determination to match the cast knows no bounds.

      It’s funny, but it was that moment of dreamy eyed Barbie Dollness that finally tied together all the parallel moments and made it funny. Or made it seem funny. Everything seems hilarious when you’re stoned.

      Happily, the pain meds have left the building. It’s still amusing; I’m still happily married; and my ankle will heal in time. This is all good, because I swear I believed nothing could top birthing 10 lb babies for pain (breast cancer surgery doesn’t count because I’ve forgotten most of that first day in ICU), but I’ll be darned if I didn’t learn different this past weekend! 😉
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…You Are Getting SleeeeeepyMy Profile

  8. Arlee Bird

    What goes around comes around? Or is this a story with a “twist” at the end? Funny how these unintentional parallels can happen in our lives.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Arlee’s A to Z Road TripMy Profile

  9. Deborah Young says:

    Found you again my dear and what a story, ouchie. Big hugs.

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