One night during my first year at UNLV, Greg and Murphy and I were hanging out in my room when the phone rang. It was my first girlfriend. "Meet me at the Chapel of the Roses at the Union Plaza at ten o'clock," she said. She sounded like a little kid with a secret, a tone of voice I had learned to fear when we were dating.
"Okay. Why?"
"I have no idea," I said, and it was true. She was wildly unpredictable; the workings of her mind were a complete mystery to me.
"I'm getting married!" she shrieked.
I looked up at the guys, who were staring at me in confusion. "She's getting married," I said.
"To who?" they said, practically in unison. I repeated the question to her.
She told me. Oh, yeah--that guy. They had been living together for several months. He'd been taking care of her ever since she broke her arm, but I had no idea what their relationship was like. "I once promised myself that I would do everything before I turned twenty-one, and this is the one thing I haven't done yet," she said.
"Well. That's...great." Then on a hunch I asked, "Does your family know?"
"I'm calling them right after I get off the phone with you. So will you be there?"
I looked over at the guys again and shrugged. "Can Murphy and Greg come?"
We stopped off at the Bonanza Gift Shop on the way to pick up some fuzzy dice as a wedding present. We were the first to arrive at the chapel, and I discovered that one of the two girls working there had been in a theater class with me in high school. Greg really hit it off with the other girl; her grandfather was a famous jazz drummer, and you know how Greg is with jazz.
The bride's family showed up a short time later, looking as if they had set out to attend a funeral and had stumbled into this casino wedding chapel by mistake. They looked positively grim. The girls at the chapel didn't know what to make of it all. Then the bride showed up, bubbling over with enthusiasm, her arm still in a cast.
The story sort of peters out here; I don't remember too much about the rest of the night except that the ceremony went off all right and for a wonder nobody got up and said the obvious when the pastor asked if there was any reason these two shouldn't be joined in holy matrimony. My first girlfriend and her husband split up after a year of marriage. Greg went out with the wedding chapel girl with the jazz grandfather for a while, but they broke up too.
I have no idea what happened to the fuzzy dice.

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