Because we all abhor weddings. Edna discovers there are some things even Superness will not overcome. Best if read after "Only Letters".
Rummaging in her closet, she scowled. Everything was either black or red with the occasional gray or white accent. That was what artists wore, but such a color scheme was inappropriate for a wedding. Stupid Victorian traditions. Wearing black to a wedding, unless you were in mourning, was bad luck. It'd been over a year since her parent's death and Edna didn't think she'd be able to use that as an excuse. White was also considered rude since it was a color reserved for the bride alone. Red was too bold for such an occasion and its more muted shades too dark for the season. With a frustrated sigh she plopped to the floor, the fact that Edna Mode had nothing to wear to her own sister's wedding registering somewhere between shocking and pathetic. Good grief there had to be SOMEthing in here she could wear and if not, she'd make something. She still had time.
Charcoal gray was not a color Edna voluntarily wore often. However, it was the only shade that suited the occasion as well as her idiom. She considered the compromise a personal victory. Edna: 1, Wedding: 0. Still, there was an entire afternoon to survive. The chapel Elsie and her intended had chosen was a small, white, typically New England affair flavored more by its European roots than Americana. It was cute, she reflected, if sparse, but that was Lutheranism for you. It wasn't fair that the Catholics got all the fun interior decoration. Still, there was beauty in its simplicity. Ordinarily it was difficult for her to escape notice. Edna Mode, after all, was something of a fashion sensation. However, no one paid any attention to her as she slipped through the crowd of guests and into a pew near the front. There were few people seated on Elsie's side of the aisle, most appeared to be her friends and their families. Edna guessed correctly that she was the only blood relative present.
"Excuse me dear, but where is your mother?"
Edna looked up at a woman in peach dress with an asymmetrical hemline, a high number of frills, crocheted gloves, and a flowered cloche. The woman blinked in surprised.
"Oh. I'm sorry. I thought you were one of the children..."
"It's all right," Edna told her, waving her off.
"I'm terribly sorry."
Edna shrugged dismissively. Such assumptions were an occupational hazard of standing less than four feet high.
"Don't worry about it." She went back to studying the order of service and the woman, glad for the inattention, hurriedly left.
The service went much like any other wedding. Organ music, small children running amok, whispering relatives... Edna sat quietly as the various parties glided up the aisle and took their seats. She'd never seen Elsie's suitor before. As he stood with his gaggle of groomsmen near the little dark wood altar, Edna appraised him. He seemed nice enough, visually. His was a pleasant, open expression, nervous yet pleased which was to be expected given the circumstances. He was tall, perhaps 5'10", possibly more, narrow, with dark curling hair that he'd tried in vain to tame with a comb and Brill cream. Instead of a suit or tuxedo he was dressed in blue wool of the American Air Force. A soldier and pilot then, a second lieutenant. Not bad. Not impressive, but not bad. Carefully, she reached and softly poked at his thoughts. Plain old human, unless like Elsie the trait was recessive and therefore unexhibited. Nothing untoward here, just your average male mind. She smiled a little and withdrew, satisfied her sister had at least chosen a nice man with which to spend her life.
The bridesmaids stood twittering to the other side of the altar in truly garish dresses. Edna wished Elsie would have asked her to at least help with this much. Bridesmaids dresses had a reputation for being ugly and these certainly held to tradition; bubblegum pink of ruched satin with floor length-skirts that weren't long enough to hide the flower-toed high heels of the girls shoes. Elsie had always been fond of pink but this was really too much. This, she decided, could not be allowed to continue. Edna produced a pen and straight away began sketching improvements in the margins of her bulletin. Everyone stood then and Edna quickly put down her pen and jumped up.
Elsie glided down the aisle alone, sailing serenely down the stretch of carpet, hands full of orange blossoms and lilies since she had no arm to hold. If she minded this, she gave no indication, but swept up to the altar and, handing her bouquet to one of the Bubblegum Girls, took her fiancÃ©'s hand. Good God, what HAD she been thinking? Elsie's gown was silk, but such silk! It was one of those curious affairs that had been made out of yardage once used for a parachute. The subtle white-on-white gingham was a tell-tale giveaway. That could have been overcome with better engineering of the gown itself but Elsie had instead gone with the rather abhorrent trend similar to those of her cotton candy bridesmaids. Overly puffed short sleeves, a ruched bodice, and a long skirt and train spilling over with bunting and bows. It took all her restraint not to cringe. While the minister gave an oration about love and companionship that no one really wanted to hear, Edna sketched up several improvements on the already crowded bulleting margins. She set it down to watch Elsie exchange vows and clapped politely at the kiss, glad someone at least had found happiness. She hoped they would have a pleasant life. The newly married couple dismissed the groom's family first, eight full pew full of mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and other children trooped out in a hoard, each offering hugs and congratulations. It took almost ten minutes for all of them to pass. Elsie and her husband then turned to Edna. She smiled politely at her diminutive sister.
"Thank you for coming," was all she said.
"Thank you for inviting me," Edna returned, briefly clasping her sister's hand since she was too low to the ground for a hug. The groom took her hand and shook it, smiling.
"Nice to meet you...?"
"Edna," Elsie supplied before Edna could open her mouth. "The seamstress, you remember."
"Oh yes of course, a pleasure to meet you Edna,"
"A pleasure," Edna smiled somewhat forcedly and moving along though she'd never even gotten the young man's name. Seamstress? What the hell? It took her a minute to realize that Elsie probably didn't want to cause a sensation at her own wedding by announcing a minor celebrity. After all, today it was Elsie's turn to be in the spotlight. Edna decided she would do her best not to upstage her. Even still, "seamstress"??? It made her sound as if she worked in an attic dress shop with little old ladies who sewed flowers on bonnets for a living. She shook her head as if to shake off the remark and exited the chapel surrounded by an army of in-laws she didn't know.
She did not sit with the wedding party, not that she'd entirely expected to. Elsie and her Bubblegum bridesmaids and her husband and his groomsman took up all the space. Edna was left to fend for herself with someone's grand-uncle, maiden aunt, and an oblivious couple with three rowdy children ages ten, seven, and three where, she supposed, she would cause the least amount of trouble. The grand-uncle was in his seventies somewhere and seemed more interested in the champagne than anything else. Edna left him have hers and he smiled congenially. The maiden aunt decided at once that Edna must be a long-lost friend and began to prattle incessantly about bridge and cats. The mother of the children, after discovering that Edna was not attached herself, began to sympathize at length with how difficult it must be for a woman of Edna's stature to find a suitable man and how she might consider getting in touch from one of the nice young men who had starred in "The Wizard of Oz". Edna just nodded and smiled tightly.
The children weren't bratty so much as untamed and bored. Sick of their bickering, Edna seized the elegantly folded table napkins and soon had them all attempting origami with the stiffly starched cloth. It held their attention through the opening toast and most of dinner. Once the dance floor was open the children escaped to run amok elsewhere and the grand-uncle went over to the bar, the better become acquainted with the dispenser of the champagne. The parents of the children soon got up to dance, leaving Edna alone with the maiden aunt. This would have presented the uncomfortable prospect of more stories about her six tabby cats if not for someone's bachelor uncle coming over and shyly asking her to dance. The maiden aunt fluttered away leaving Edna to herself. Elsie came over then, gracefully sinking into the maiden aunt's vacant seat.
"Mind if I sit down?"
Edna nodded, "Please." Her hairdo was truly awful and looked even more odd on Elsie's almond-eyed face. The huge loops of hair piled high on her head really did nothing for her though she carried it off better than most of the women present. Edna fought the overwhelming urge to break out a comb and threaded needle right then and there. Instead she forced herself to make conversation.
"Congratulations. It was a truly beautiful service, thank you for inviting me."
Elsie dipper her hair loops in a nod. "Of course. You are my sister after all, I hadn't any other family to invite."
That felt suspiciously like a barb but Edna let it slide. "I never did catch your fiancÃ©'s name, he seems like a nice, gentlemanly sort."
"Steven, and yes, yes he is. Dreadfully sweet and he's got a job lined up flying planes for Howard Hughes' new airline TWA."
"Yes, nice secure job and if ever we want to take a vacation somewhere, all we have to do is step on board one of the planes," she smiled, truly excited at the prospect.
"That will be nice. Are you going anywhere special for your honeymoon?"
"Niagara Falls," Elsie answered promptly. "We'll see some of New York and Canada too. You know none of us got to see much of New York besides the city when we lived there- but you still live there, don't you?"
"That's true, we didn't," Edna reflected, "but it wasn't exactly peak time for vacationing. Yes, I still live there. I'll be moving into a new house though, away from the city."
"Oh? Buying yourself a summer estate?"
"Is it an older place?"
"Actually I'm having it built now. Francis helped me with some of the designing."
"Francis? Don't tell me you've found someone?"
"No, just an old college friend. You remember, the Wright boy?"
"Frank Lloyd Wright?" Elsie blinked.
"Yes, that's him."
"Well," Elsie seemed rather taken aback and Edna felt suddenly guilty for having famous friends, "that will be something to see. What will you do with a big house like that?"
"Live in it?"
"Won't you be lonely out there all by yourself?"
Edna shrugged. "Not really. The business keeps me on a tight schedule. You're welcome to visit if you like."
"That's all right," Elsie replied, her voice frosty. "I'm sure you'll have plenty of company. It's a shame that old beau of yours never resurfaced."
THAT was a deliberate dig.
"Whatever happened to him?"
"I don't know."
"That's too bad. I'll be hard to find another like him."
"I don't anticipate doing so," Edna's reply was edged in icicles. Elsie sighed, oblivious.
"It's such a shame Papa and Okaasan couldn't be here, but of course there was nothing you or anyone else could have done about it," which clearly indicated that it was entirely Edna's fault. "Sometimes things just happen." When you're super.
"Yes," Edna answered vaguely, caught invisibly between hurt and outrage. "I'm sure they would have approved."
Apparently that wasn't the answer she'd expected. It took Elsie the space of thirty seconds to recover and smile but in a more genuine way.
"I'm glad you think so."
A pause in which Elsie contemplated her parachute skirts.
"Well, thank you for coming," she said, rising to leave. Edna nodded.
"If you ever need a dress made, let me know."
Elsie huffed. "I'll do that if I ever decide I need any modern art."
Edna blinked at her retreating bustle of cross-hatched silk, blank with confusion and shock. Anyone else she would have told off, anyone else she would have smacked upside the head and traded insult for insult. But this was her sister. Her only family. And clearly, she had only acted out of politeness or perhaps in an expected apology. Edna had none to give. Their parent's death was no more her fault than it was Elsie's, but apparently her younger sister wasn't ready to believe that. As the only non-super in the family Elsie never let her lack of powers get to her. She'd run with everyone else as if she had, helping out where she could. However, the envy had always been there even if she'd ignored it in the beginning. Now in possession of something her sister did not, she'd tried to lord her prize of a husband over Edna as much as she could. Edna didn't envy her the man or the dress or the party. What did turn her inwardly tartan with jealousy was the companionship. Her own chance had been lost and unless he suddenly reappeared, there would never be another. That was just the way it was. Sliding off her seat, she wound her way towards the door and left. She knew when she was beaten, and there was no use fighting unarmed.