We have all been trying to encourage Sgt. York to be the ring-bearer in Sprout's wedding(or ring-barrier, as the child at my niece's wedding called himself). He balks. Two years ago Sgt. York was in his cousin's wedding (he was four years old then, a mere child) and as he speed-walked down the aisle, he dangled the ring-pillow from the pretty satin ribbon that was meant to hold the rings (wisely, no rings were attached) and swung it back and forth all the way to the altar. The audience giggled. We did not know until now how that laughter affected Sgt. York. He does not want to be laughed at again. So, we have tried every means of persuasion. Bribery, threats, empathy (do it for a soldier)...nothing was working. But hey, they don't call me GRANDma for nothing.
I decided that if we couldn't get him on a childish level, maybe we could get him on a manly level. As we rode home together the other day, I started talking about the wedding...AGAIN...and I just happened to mention how the men in the wedding party usually sneak out during the reception to decorate the get-away car. I watched in the rear-view mirror as Sgt. York's ears perked up. Now, he was listening. I mentioned all the ideas I had seen on wedding cars. The painting, the tin cans, the condoms (uh-umm, I didn't mention the condoms, but a picture of the car in Steel Magnolias was running through my mind). Well, I had found a way to Sgt. York's heart. THIS he could be a part of. THIS he was willing to endure a little embarrassment for. He wants to be a part of a group of men who vandalize cars for the shear fun of it.
All the other men in the wedding party have been fitted for tuxes and now I felt sure it was time to snare Sgt. York. I was on a mission. I knew that walking into the tux store and seeing all the suits and trying on a coat in front of big mirrors would be all it would take to push the Sgt. over the edge. It was just a matter of luring him into the car and getting him there. This was my mission and it must not fail. Like the great generals of yore, I only had to wait for the perfect moment to strike.
Suddenly yesterday, the time had come. His dad, Sir Duke, called to ask if I would babysit for a few hours after work and I knew that would be the time to act. I knew that the tux store stayed open until 7:00pm. I figured that if I offered to take the kids to a movie, I would have just enough time after I got off work to run by and pick them up, drive through Friday night traffic out to the tuxedo store, and from there we could move up the road a ways to the movie house. A perfect plan. And it was even enhanced by the time-change because it was good and dark when we drove into the parking lot of the tux store and I could see Sgt. York's eyes light up as he surveyed all the suits in the store window. As we walked up, we saw the store was empty and the Little General tried the door but it appeared to be locked. She couldn't budge it. OH NO!!! I might not get this chance again. I read the schedule on the door and it said they were open for two more hours. I started to panic, but in situations like these cool heads must prevail, and I stopped and put the mission back into focus. After pressing my face against the window once or twice and looking back and forth up the walkway for some sign of hope that my mission was not doomed to be a miserable failure, I decided to try the door myself. The Little General was, after all, the weakest one in our party and an unknowing accomplice...she may have been wrong about the door. Stealthily I grasped the door handle and with all my might (okay...a little bit of my might)I opened the door. Within seconds, we were in. Like taking candy from a baby...Sgt. York did not even realize that he had been snared. And as I suspected, he was in awe of his surroundings. He loved being the center of attention while the nice lady measured his arms and neck and legs. Trying on the coat turned my shy little grandson into Russell Crow on the red carpet. My misson was accomplished. It could not have worked better. We now have complete tuxedo fittage and the over-all plan is still on target. W-day is getting closer and clearer every minute.