This short story written by Maeve Binchy is about a couple who had some conflicts before their wedding. The thing is, that the evening before the day Andrew and Irene were due to be married, he arrived at her house and told her that he wasn´t ready and he wanted to cancel the wedding. He apologized for not talking to her before, since he had just realized that it wasn´t the right time for him to get married. Irene didn´t show any anger when she heard those news. On the contrary, she was calm and thoughtful listening to him. Besides, she respected his decision and she made him promise to her that he wouldn´t tell anyone about what was going on. Finally, thanks Irene´s strategies towards Andrew´s fears, they managed to solve the problem and lived happily for the rest of their lives.
I like this story, because it reflects the fears and doubts that any person has to face when taking a major step in his/her life such as starting a new job, moving to another country or even getting married. Sometimes, fears and doubts mixed with nerves make us hesitate about doing the right thing, at the right time, place or with the right person, but then, you decide and your life goes on differently because of the decision you´ve made.
On the evening before the day when Andrew and Irene are due to be married, he arrives at her house with terrible news. Irene is surprised to see Andrew and she knows something is wrong. He is very nervous and tactlessness. He says that he isn´t ready, he doesn´t feel old enough to settle down, he isn´t certain enough that this is the Right Thing. In other words, he is not going to marry her. While Irene keeps massaging her hands with cream, she listens to him, calm and thoughtful, but says nothing. She shows little emotion in response to Andrew´s shocking news.
Andrew only concerns with how they are going to tell everybody that the ceremony would not take place. At that point, Irene stops creaming her hands and finally speaks. She is very careful to say the right thing and asks him to let her handle the situation. So, they agree to pretend that she would be the one who has changed her mind about getting married, leaving him waiting in church.
The following day, when Andrew is standing at the church suffering from nerves and thinking about Irene would never come, he listens the familiar chord “Here Comes The Bride” (indicating that the bride is entering the church). He turns like a groom turns and sees Irene, perfectly at ease on her father´s arm, smiling to the left and smiling to the right.
The fact that they are still married, years later, proves that Irene was right and there is no point in talking about it at all.
“Telling stories” by Maeve Binchy is a short story, which shows us how people react when they have to take decisions in their lives. It´s natural to have doubts but sometimes it´s just a moment´s nervousness. Anyway, whatever decision we take, life goes on. But I think that a close relationship like marriage demands complete honesty between the partners, and any relationship can´t survive when based on a deception like this. Sometimes people accept small lies and deceptions as necessities. Irene loves Andrew and she can´t see herself marrying anyone else but him. Perhaps she has an unhealthy obsession with him because in spite of everything, she is completely sure that marriage is the Right Thing.