But in fact, for personal reasons, it was very important.
On December 5, unbeknownst to her co-workers who showed up to help with the wedding-gown open house, Lynch was a profoundly changed woman. "And of course they didn't notice," she laughs. "These are detectives, right? Trained observers? It must be a guy thing."
The women on the scene, most of whom had never met Lynch, caught on instantly. "They'd take one look at me and go, 'Oh, oh, is that an engagement ring?'"
It was. Lynch and her boyfriend, Westminster police detective Tim Sigwarth, had become officially engaged the night before. The ring, a platinum-and-diamond antique from the 1920s, was just one of those accoutrements of the bride world--not unlike the big butt bow, the inoffensive white shoes, the conglomerations of tulle and pearls known as "headgear"--that the 41-year-old, perpetually single Lynch never thought would apply to her.
"Well, I mean I was hoping so," Lynch explains, "but I was beginning to doubt it. I wasn't meeting anybody. I was beginning to get discouraged by the whole dating thing. I had gotten to the point where I was even doing the stuff my mother recommended! She said I should take a class in something interesting, so, okay, I took a Spanish class at Colorado Free University. There were fifteen women and two men. One was over fifty, the other was married. At least I learned some Spanish. But I still refused to wear makeup when I went to the King Soopers, which was my mother's other idea. And what do you know--I met someone who doesn't care about all that foofy stuff.
"And here's what's weird. I liked my life before. I was at peace. I was happy. Except I had no idea! Anyway. So. Where did we meet? On a drug deal, initially."
In retrospect, the stars seemed to be aligned just right for cop romance. He, a member of the North Metro Drug Task Force. She, of the South Metro Drug Task Force. Both converging on a search warrant, surrounded by SWAT teams and associated deputies. "It was a big thing, but one of those we have a lot of," Lynch recalls. "Lots of hurry-up-and-wait. We were together there for hours, talking, but he was seeing someone else."
Last May, when they met for the second time, he wasn't. They went to lunch--"First we met at the Tattered Cover, though. He's an unusual guy. He reads!"--and the conversation dragged on into dinner. A case began to emerge. Between them, it turned out, Lynch and Sigwarth owned four dogs. Both had a passion for all the outdoor athletic pursuits that favor big lungs and small tents over big engines and bigger coolers. Years ago, they had each decided independently to retire in rural New Mexico. They were both weightlifters; they were both nonstop phone blabbers. Neither drank alcohol or coffee. Both preferred the idea of living among a pack of friendly dogs to ever having children of their own, and there were no previous offspring to muddy the waters.
There was one difference, but Lynch liked it fine: She hated cooking; he loved it.
Six months into the relationship, they began discussing rings. Two weeks after they found the right one, matters took a traditional turn. "Right before we went out that night, he said, 'There's something we need to discuss,' and I was scared," Lynch recalls. "I was just, like, chattering, because you know, when someone has 'something to discuss,' it means they want to break up, but then he actually sat me down, and then he got down on one knee, and then he said, 'Bryann, will you marry me?' and I said, 'OH!'"
Pleasantly surprised, magnificently surprised--even though she had helped shop for the ring.
Since then, plans for a June wedding have proceeded in time-honored style, with a few personal variations. There will be a civil service accompanied by a bagpipe, which at no time will play "Amazing Grace." The dogs, regretfully, will stay home. The cake will be big and chocolate. The bride will wear her mother's dress, which has been waiting in an attic these past 45 years. It's ivory, as opposed to white, with not a trace of butt bow or foof--but that's all she'll reveal at this point. "I don't want Tim to know anything about it until he sees it at the wedding," she says.
There's still shopping to do. Specialized lingerie. Comfy, low-heeled shoes. Some kind of...concoction to wear on her head. And a crinoline--"You know," Lynch says, "to make the dress stick out the way it's supposed to."
You know, like the fifty different versions awaiting disposition in the Littleton Police Department evidence locker.