Sure, Volod’ka Zavitushkin was a bit hasty. There was that.
You could say Volod’ka actually didn’t even get a decent look at his bride. The honest-to-God-truth be told, he hadn’t even ever seen her without a hat and overcoat. That’s why all the main events unfolded on the street.
And as for going with his bride to get acquainted with her dear mother right before the wedding, well, he got acquainted without taking his coat off, he did. In the hall. On the go, so to speak.
And as for his bride, Volodya Zavitushkin met her in a streetcar. Five days before the marriage ceremony.
There he is, sitting in a streetcar, and suddenly he sees that this young lady materializes before him. This not-bad-looking young woman. Neat-looking. In a winter overcoat.
And she’s standing, this very young lady in that winter overcoat of hers, in front of Volod’ka, and she’s hanging by a strap so as not to get knocked over by the passengers. And with the other hand, she’s clutching a package to her chest. Streetcar’s packed, of course. There’s shoving. The standing, frankly speaking, isn’t so hot.
So Volod’ka takes pity on her.
“Why don’t you sit down,” he says, “in my lap? It’ll be easier all the same.”
“Thanks,” she says, “but no thanks.”
“All right,” he says, “then why don’t you give me the package? Put it in my lap, don’t be shy. It’ll be easier all the same.” Nope, she’s not even surrendering the package. Maybe she’s scared he’s gonna filch it, or whatever it is. So Volod’ka Zavitushkin gives here another once-over, and is just stunned.
“My God,” he thinks, “you see the prettiest young women in streetcars.”
And they’re riding like this for two stops. Three. Four. Finally, Zavitushkin sees the young woman fighting her way exitward. No fool, Volod’ka gets up too. And by the exit, then, was where they made their acquaintance.
They exchanged names, began walking together. And everything kind of happened so quickly and without expense there, that in two days Volod’ka Zavitushkin even proposed to her too.
Maybe she said yes right away or whatever, but on the third day, there they were at the registry office to get officially married. This happened at city hall, and after that is when the main events actually started happening.
After the official ceremony, the newlyweds went to the bride’s dear mother’s place. Of course, Lord-knows-what is going on there. Table’s being set. There’s this heap of guests. It’s a family big deal – everyone’s awaiting the newlyweds.
And there are all these different kinds of ladies and gentlemen running all over the room, setting down the plates and silverware, and popping corks.
But Volod’ka Zavitushkin had lost his young bride while they were still in the hall. Those damn mommies and aunties, they surround him as soon as he walks in and start showering him with congratulations and start dragging him into the living room. They get him into the room. They’re saying something, shaking his hands, they’re curious to know what union he’s a member of.
But the only thing Volod’ka can see is that he can’t even make out where his young wife is. There are all these chics in the room. Each one’s twisting, each one’s turning; I mean, a guy just come off the street – someone coming in from where’s there’s natural light – he won’t be able to tell for his life.
“Man, oh, man,” thinks Volod’ka, “nothing like this has ever happened to me. Which one of them is my young bride?”
So around the room he begins to walk, stalking these dames. Comes up to one, then another one. But they’re not too eager to see him, you know, not much joy being expressed there.
Here’s where Volod’ka even got a little scared.
“Jeez,” he thinks to himself, “this is ridiculous. I can’t even find my own wife!”
And the relatives start looking at him strange, too, like, why’s the groom staggering around the room like an idiot and throwing himself at every dame he sees? So Volod’ka parks himself by a door, and just stands there all crestfallen.
“Oh, I hope they’re gonna start seating the guests real soon,” he thinks. “Maybe then things will clear up some. Whichever one sits down next to me must be the one. It would sure be nice if this blondie there sat next to me. ‘Cause if they slip me some dog, I’ll be stuck with her.”
And then the guests start sitting down at the table.
The dear mother is begging everyone to please-for-the-love-of-dear-God have a little more patience and wait some more. But you can’t hold these guests back; they’re going for the grub and the drink like wild people.
Then they take Volodya Zavitushkin and install him in the place of honor. And next to him, to one of his sides, they seat some dame.
So Volod’ka gave her a good look, and felt relieved.
“Whoa, she’s something,” he says to himself. “She’s not so bad,” he thinks. Looks much better without all that hattery too. The nose don’t stick out into the street so much,” he thinks.
Volodya Zavitushkin is overcome with feeling. He pours a little wine into his glass and her glass and makes for her to, you know, congratulate and kiss his bride.
And here’s where the main events started unfolding.
Here’s when the yelling and hollering started.
“This is one crazy sonofabitch,” people scream. “He’s going for all the dames. The young bride hasn’t even arrived at the table yet – still putting on the gloss – and he’s already starting to get fresh with another one!”
Here’s where this complete chaos and rubbish occurred.
Of course, Volod’ka should’ve turned everything into a joke. But he got awful offended. He got banged on the back of the head in all the commotion. Some relative whacked him with a bottle.
Volod’ka cries out: “To hell with all of you! You place all these broads around me, and then I’m supposed to figure out who is who!?”
The bride appears in a white virgin’s gown, clutching flowers in her little hands. “Oh, so it’s like that,” she says. “Well, there’ll be hell to pay for you.”
And, of course, again, there’s yelling, screaming and hysterical chaos. And, of course, the relatives want to throw Volod’ka outta there.
Volod’ka says: “At least let me eat something. Haven’t had a bite to eat since morning,” he says, “on account of all the hullabaloo.”
But the relations insisted and sent him flying down the stairs.
Next day, after work, Volodya Zavitushkin stopped by the registry office and got himself divorced.
There he heard some sour-sounding words, “Sometimes you’ll get these thoughtless marriages,” they told him. “But don’t do it again. Or you’ll end up in court.” And then they divorced him.
So now he’s single and can again get married to whoever’s willing.
But what good there is in marrying and why people should want to do it – that’s downright dumbfounding.
As a rule, wives cheat and – here’s the darndest thing – always love someone else instead of their husband. So, I don’t know about you, but my view is against a marriage like that. Although, as long as we’re talking about marriage, I’m for a strong and sturdy marriage. I’m just not blind to it, and know what’s involved.
Anyway, here’s what happened once in the love department.