Here Comes the Bride
"Here's the problem with weddings. A woman gets married thinking that the man will change and he ends up staying the same. A man gets married thinking that the woman will stay the same, and she ends up changing."- unknown
This past weekend, I travelled to Pittsburgh to be a groomsman in my boy Steve's wedding. It was an honor for me of course, even though I hate weddings. Check that. I don't hate weddings. I hate what they do to normally functional, even keeled, rationally thinking people. I'm not even referring to the marriage part after the wedding. I'm talking about THE wedding, and all of that brain erosion can be blamed on one word, DETAIL. The stresses of the wedding day stem from the compounding of tiny, (in)significant details, growing exponentially as the days pass- from the venue to the meal choices to the colors of the groomsmen's ties (Steve hid our lime green ties from us until the day of the wedding......sneaky bastard.) By the end of this year I will have six more friends who have taken the plunge of matrimony, and it happens to be the sixth month of the year AND I am entering my sixth year of teaching.....6-6-6!!!!! It's the END OF THE WORLD!!! The Devil's on his way!!!!! OK I was just making sure you're still paying attention. On with the story.....
Steve and Jennifer's wedding was one of the most elegant I've ever been to- a beautiful chapel at the U. of Pittsburgh, delicious dinners in the fanciest of spots for the guests and wedding party, easy to follow directions to each venue, and lots of great alcohol for all to help intensify the revelry. Not to get off the subject- or be critical, but can someone tell me why Dom Perignon is so special. I had my first taste of "Dom" at the wedding and I just don't get it....Who is this arrogant Dom Perignon person and what makes his champange so critical to special occasions? (15 points to the person who can give me a good excuse, reason or rationale.) Anyway, everything that could possibly have been thought of was included in the reception- pink and green decor everywhere, rose petals sprinkled across each table, Fat Tire New Belgian beer straight from Colorado, and little caramel-filled powdered sugar cookies neatly wrapped in celephane with tiny green and pink labels saying "Jennifer and Steve's Wedding- June 16th 2006". The funny thing is that had any of these special extras been left off the "must have" list, no one would have been the wiser. It STILL would have been a beautiful event. On the flip side, it was the smallest of details that made the wedding SO beautiful.
However, behind all those must have, line-item wedding ideas is some formerly straight laced individual who's lost some weight, half of their hair, all of their mind and formed a new drug habit to replace the senses they've lost. Just to give you an idea of what I mean, as groomsmen, our job was to obviously help the groom in the final preparations for the wedding. Two hours 'till liftoff, Steve had us in his kitchen with bath towels- wiping off wet wine and beer bottles that had previously been chilled in tubs of ice. He wanted us to put the bottles back in the boxes they were originally shipped in so our ultimate job was to keep the cardboard boxes from falling apart from moisture. Me being the one to make a small suggestion at the wrong moment, I ask, "Since these drinks will eventually get returned to ice anyway, why don't we just leave them in the tubs and put the shit in the car as-is? Wouldn't that make sense?" PJ, an old friend from high school and fellow groomsman says to me as he picks up another bottle to dry off, "It doesn't matter whether it makes sense or not. Shut up and do your job!" Obviously, someone else had seen the logic in my thinking, but it didn't matter. What I thought didn't matter at all that day because this was Steve's day and he was going to get whatever he wanted. That was our assignment- making sure he got whatever he needed so he wouldn't crack under the pressure and run through the chapel butt ass nekkid (not "naked", NEKKID!!!). If he wanted the four of us to go next door and slap the shit out of his 6 foot 4 neighbor because his dog pissed on Jennifer's flower garden- just for a laugh, Big Bob would have had the embarrassment of four pimp slaps to the face- one Black, one Indian, one White and one Jewish. (You gotta give Steve -who is half Peruvian- some credit for having the most ethnically diversified set of debonaire groomsmen Pittsburgh has ever seen!!!!) So I relented and kept wiping off ice cold, wet ass bottles of alcohol for the reception, joking to myself that I hope I don't have my friends doing crazy shit like this one day..... but you never know..............
The point is that all the tiny wedding details drive the people getting married fuckin' nuts and in the end, they stop caring about all the small things and just want the shit to be over with. Flowers, dresses, food, ribbons, tuxes, caterers, bands/dj, gazebos, caramel cookies- they all become "stuff to deal with". Here are some of my favorite pre/post wedding quotes (or paraphrases) from married or soon-to-be married people. Names are not included because they should already know who they are: (50 points if the spouse can guess the orator- 25 points if you cheat and guess your own quote)
"If I knew how much shit went into a wedding, I would have told his ass to meet me at the courthouse!"
"I don't want anything to do with it. I told her, 'Just tell me when to show up and I'll be there.'"
"It's soooo much shit Yah, you just wouldn't believe...soooo much shit."
"I'm not making anymore decisions!!! If something goes wrong, someone else will have to deal with it! Fuckit."
"Trying on a wedding dress is a bit degrading. You stand on a pedestal and have all these women judge how you look in it. I just decided to sneak back to the bridal shop by myself and get the one I wanted in the first place."
I'm beginning to believe that the massive combination of all the details for a wedding ceremony are there to keep the bride and groom assured in their mutual decisions to get married. If they can't handle all the minute elements of a wedding, how can they handle the marriage? It's a scary idea, but maybe there's some truth to it. Needless to say, Steve held his shit together and in the end, he and his wife-to-be were finally able to look into each other's eyes and say "I do". They both looked so relieved, and I can't help but think that some of their relief had to do with the fact that someone ELSE has to deal with the details now. I must say that it was kind of endearing to see them so happy and all the stresses of the previous months was finally behind them. Congratulations you two- and enjoy the honeymoon in Greece and Turkey!
I also want to dedicate this blog installment to all my married friends- keep fighting the good fight:
Jordan and Risa, Hash and Vanita, Daniel and Kelly, PJ and Joanna, Kareema and Jay, Aaron and Tracy, Krishna and Anjouli (did I spell that right?) Al E. and Jill, Mark and Anna
and my soon to be married friends:
Al C. and Jessica, Sarah and Jim, Chris and Christina (hee hee hee....hey, you jinxed us so now it's my turn!!!!)