Normally, I'd wait a certain period of time and then write about all the shit that down during said time period. It's rare that I focus on specific days, but since the wedding has been on everyone's line of sight for an entire month, and how the day (and the aftermath of that day) reeked of some level of significance, I decided to write about it.
To those who just joined in, Lloyd, one of my oldest friends, decided to get married (a seemingly good idea) and decided to get me and a bunch of people from the class of '98 to provide him with a memorable day (perhaps not as good an idea). For a month or so, I have been bending over backwards, acquiring the right assistance, meeting up with people I didn't think I'd be speaking to again and other random tasks while still maintaining the other dimensions of my life with a level of sanity. As the day came, well, as far as I'm concerned it was a worthy beginning for Lloyd and his wife, and it was a worthy ending for me and the rest of them. It was a weekend that started with a few broken promises, and ended with, if I recall correctly, at least one broken vehicle.
The Day Before.
The day before the wedding, weirdly enough, me and the Big Man were tasked to find the Best Man. (Yeah, the day before the wedding and the Best Man still had no idea what to do, thanks to the amazing coordinating powers of whoever the fuck was in charge of that.) So we found him, and amazingly enough, he was surprised to see us. I was apparent to me at that point that I was actually a part of the most relaxed wedding in the history of weddings. So, the Big Man, the Best Man and I, thinking that there was adequate time, decided to plan a little bachelor's party, since, and I admit I'm an expert, the Best Man and the Groom haven't had the chance to spend time with each other before the wedding, or for the past 7 or 8 years.
So, everything was locked down, the boys were called, and the Big Man and I parted ways with the promise of reconvening that night for some unforgettable and possibly quite regrettable silliness. He went off to get some sleep (we didn't get much cause of the wedding thing) and I went off to see the Anti-Thesis, who was dealing with boy problems and I was there to, you know what, I don't really know why I was there.
With everyone pumped at the thought of a night out, we went about our respective days. Evening fell, and the Groom, disappointingly but not surprisingly, backed out. No bachelor's party. No drinking and singing and reminiscing and talking about the future. That... that just blew.
That was our precious “night before” story. The Big Man, from what I was told, spent the night looking for porn (he was unsuccessful I think), the Best Man spent the night wishing he could learn to make spaghetti (long, sadly boring story), the Artist Formerly Known as The Spirit had acquired the guitar he was going to use for the reception dinner, and me... I was kinda falling in love. So, my night wasn't so bad.
The Big Day – Pre-Wedding.
I woke up, suited up, had coffee and hoped that the day wasn't as big a shitstorm as I was
to be. The Big Man picked me up, and the first omen came: his shoes were
mysteriously fucked up. He swears that they were okay just the day before. We
downed energy drinks and we were on our way.
|I actually thought they were gonna French.|
The first stop was The Artist Formerly Known As The Spirit, who was surprisingly already prepared for the day’s festivities. Now, this guy, the Artist Who Conveniently Forgot His Court Date, is notoriously unprofessional and inefficient. The fact that when we got there, he was ready, gear all packed up, lyrics all ready to be printed, songs ready to be sung, I thought the world was going to fucking end. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like underestimating people for I believe in the human potential. But I’ve known the Artist Who Once Shat His Pants In A Jeep since kindergarten, so I’d like to think my assessment was fair.
We got to the place where the reception was going to be held, and of course, the trend of nothing going our way continued. No one has set up, nor informed the people there that we’ll be coming in early for soundcheck, our self-important coordinator forgot to secure the equipment we needed, it was hotter than Satan’s asshole, etc, etc. All that changed when the Best Man arrived, and I left the Big Man and The Artist Who Used A Scouring Pad on His Anus to worry about the tent so we could look for the Groom. The Groom and the Best Man have not seen each other in years, and seeing them finally meet for the first time on that very important day gave me heterosexual chills. For me, that moment made all the hard, unpaid work worth it.
After all of that was set, the boys rode to the church in the school where we not only met, but I’d like to think grew up in. St. Michael’s Institute’s least favorite boys return to the alma mater as men, more or less. As the Groom got ready for the big moment, with the Best Man at his side, me, The Big Man and the Artist Who Once Fell in The School Lagoon went off to have lunch at the former Little Carlo’s, once a rinky dink tapsi place where we had lunch every day, now a less than rinky dink tapsi place where we have lunch once a year. I walked around telling people I was the one getting wed, but despite the suit and in ill chosen pink tie, no one believed me. Sad, really.
The moment was at hand, I was full, the Big Man and The Artist Who Would Sleep With Probably Anything That Says Yes went home to shower (don’t ask) and I was witness to one of the most important moments in the life of a guy I knew since the most important thing in our lives was the SNES.
The Big Day – The Actual Wedding.
I’d like to say the wedding went off without a hitch, and it mostly didn’t. The only mistake made was getting a 6’ 3” guy who injured himself playing a children’s game on the beach as one of the ushers. I was out of place, I missed cues and other shit like that. It’s a good thing the attention wasn’t on me.
I’ve been to a lot of weddings, been best man or host or usher to almost all of them, but this was different. This was our church, in our hometown. This was where our roots were planted, and seeing one of our own tie the knot here, it was just symbolic of many things. We’ve been grown ups for a while now, but the really hit home once the Bride and Groom said their “I do’s”.
It felt very solemn for me. Even though I was texting and tweeting the entire time.
|Lucky guy. Gets married AND graduates from Starfleet Academy.|
The Reception Dinner.
Up to that point, everyone else have done their part, some in a shitty fashion, but it was put up or shut up time for me and my two man crew. Right after the wedding, The Big Man and the Artist Who Once Let the Neighbor Kid Get Bitten by a Snake raced to the tent in the resort to work our magic. When we got there, miraculously, everything was set up perfectly. I felt that it was going to work out well. I shouldn’t have underestimated the Artist Who Denies Having Fathered a Child’s capacity to fuck things up.
At the last minute, he mentioned he lost his capo or whatever and the Big Man had to drive him to the mall, on Saturday afternoon in one of the most notoriously heavily trafficked areas in the South. So, the guests were piling in, I had no musician and no coordinator and had to start. Help came in the form of the Bride’s younger sister, who was either bored and looking for something to do other than sit there and look pretty, or she realized who epically fucked I was and lent a helping hand. (Or both.) We made do until the Big Man and The Artist Who May or May not Be a Retard showed up.
The rest of the program, while not perfect, was fun. I made jokes, people laughed. The Artist Who Actually Had Talent sang and people gasped. The Big Man did his thing, giving the photographers and the caterers and everyone else all the necessary instructions and basically not making me look like a complete jackass in front of a hundred complete strangers. Even the Best Man stole the show with his toast. (One note though, “stealing the show” isn’t always a good thing.)
And of course, the singing. There were instances wherein me and the Artist Who Knew Perfectly Well I Couldn’t Sing For Shit had to perform duets and stuff. Above and beyond, that’s what it was. We closed the program with the Groom singing a Backstreet Boys song to the Bride, with assistance from us, his very own backstreet boys, and I thought that got over pretty well.
The program ended, and in retrospect, while it was far from going down in history as the greatest reception dinner in all of wedded history, it was pretty good for three guys who had minimal experience and even less time to prepare. All the important people had a great time, and me and my friends created a moment that was ours.
After the whole thing, me and boys hung out with the Bride and Groom in the hotel lobby for a bit, and it was nostalgia all over. It wasn’t the kind wherein we’d sit down and talk about the past. It was more like we reverted back to our “ideal selves”. We weren’t the irresponsible single dad, or the cheating husband or the former suicidal drug addict. We were just the guys who were happy for our friend, while kinda hinting that the Artist Who is Actually Straight is super gay.
|We're proud of our almost mediocre results.|
Once the newlyweds decided to turn in, we had time to drink quietly in a nearby bar; all that fatigue just really settling in at that point. I was mostly lost in thought, watching the three of them, or the four of us, and who we were, who we are and who we could potentially be. The reality sank, as well, that (with probably the exception of me and the Big Man as our fates seem to be tied together) that this may well be the last time we, all of us, got to hang out in such a manner. (Especially since I don’t see any weddings on the horizon.) So, I formulated a plan to make the night somewhat ore fitting to the kinds of nights we were used to.
While drinking, the Bride’s sister was bugging us about joining her to drink in her place and oddly enough she was persistent on bringing the Best Man along. I smelled a potential hook up, and I’m pretty sure at that point the Big Man could already read my mind, so off we went, brandy in hand, to get the Best Man laid.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
We got there, and there she was, and so were three really muscle-y topless guys who, despite being short, I was willing to bet can beat each and everyone of our geeky asses without breaking half a sweat. It was like drinking on the set Prison Break. But, they were nice guys, we drank and got drunk (we were more tired than expected) and as far as my recollection of the night went, we drank at lot of tea, fucked up a motorcycle, sang some Andrew E. (?), and I passed out and woke up at my place.
If that was the sendoff, I’m pretty happy about it.
The next day, I woke up, most of the suit still on, headache raging and the memories of the previous day and night (even the blurry ones) made me smile. The following week I took a break from work and concentrated on my personal life (I will focus on that on my next post.) and explored new connections with new people. I heard some negative feedback about my “inappropriate” hosting, but fuck it. The person who made the comments did next to nothing to help us out, and the Bride, the Groom, the Bride’s sister and a lot of others liked it. Besides, I wouldn’t have been able to do half of the things I’ve done in my life if I worried about being appropriate. So, to the one critic that couldn’t even talk shit to me face to face, you know which part of my anatomy you can kiss.
That was a milestone event for me personally. It made me realize a few important things. It helped me quit smoking. It made me contemplate specific aspects of my past and future, and how I can use my present.
Basically, I think it’s time I “retired”, don’t you think?
“But we are two worlds apart
Can't reach to your heart
When you say
That I want it that way” – Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way”