I’ve got a big weekend to cover here:
I served as an usher (along with my two brothers) at my cousin Matt’s wedding in Lincoln, Nebraska yesterday. Our responsibilities were limited to setting up and lighting candles before the wedding and, of course, seating the guests as they arrived. (Even so, I found a place to annoy my brothers by singing Usher songs: “you make me wanna… leave the one i’m with, start a new relationship… with you.” har har. Yeah, that got old pretty quick).
My parents picked me up en route Friday morning. I gave the apartment tour since my dad had never been here before - it was only my mom’s second time. Anyway, we had our Mr. Goodcents sandwiches and made the two to three hour drive to Lincoln. It’s a pretty drive for sure, but it’s easily equally as boring. So we made it to the hotel early in the afternoon - rehearsal wasn’t scheduled until 5:30, so we all had a bit of time to hang out and ooooh!!! and to see the kids! Yes, yes. James and Andrea and Britnee had picked up Baby Seth (who’s not so much of a baby anymore) and sister Beth from the airport earlier in the day and they were all gathered around the hotel lobby as we made our entrance. Tony and Kate had just arrived as well and so we had a complete Joe Works family reunion there in the Country Inn and Suites lobby. Indeed it was all 6 of the core family and all but Beth’s husband Steve of the “extended” family. Tony brought this fact up a little later and it was surprising to realize just how small our family feels - the 6 of us anyway. Growing up in a household of six left an impression that SIX people make a large family - and it does - but when they split apart and make their own families, I’m truly grateful. How sad are the Christmases of 35-year-old only-children?
So, we had our big greeting gala and then a little bit of Spongebob before we donned our semi-formal attire for the rehearsal and post-rehearsal rehearsal dinner. Yes. Rehearsal went very well. The ushers didn’t have any part of it, of course, but got a 2-minute spiel at the end explaining how to use the bushels to light candles: as if we had no idea what ‘acolyte’ meant. The dinner was very nice, complete with extensive introductions of all those attending, good conversations, and a little too much dessert for moi. My family had some confusion regarding automotive arrangements - understandably, I suppose, with the two young’uns and their respective requirements - but alas, four of us were left without keys to the only ride back to the hotel, so we waited a half-hour or so in the bank lobby as James & Andrea returned to the hotel, picked up the key, and brought it back downtown for us.
We spent the rest of the night looking through the photo album scrapbook Aunt Ginny had made for Matt and Kristen (with two blank pages for the special-day pictures they would later have developed at the one-hour-photo).
On Saturday, the Joe Works’ roused up early (well, 9:30ish) in order to go have breakfast at Kent and Darylene’s (family friends). We had some awesome breakfast casserole and huge-oh cinnamon rolls and a brief discussion of the new Ducati springless piston motorcycle engine. Hmm.
I think we spent the rest of our free-time before the wedding just taking naps and watch football. Saturday. The wedding came and went. It was nice. They had a brass band, and I liked that.
Then the reception. Ahh, the reception. I have a feeling I’m going to get intentionally and extremely vague beginning here. Or somewhere here along the way. We’ll see. Okay, so the reception was held in a big conference-kinda room with a wet bar, dance floor, lotsa people, computer slide show, yeah yeah. The meal came first (oh shit, I just remembered I left my party favor there : a candle. oh well). The meal, choice of salmon or prime rib, was great - the red wine, better. The bartender didn’t know what a gimlet was, so I explained: “Gin and Lime”. He served me a bit over 2 ounces of straight Gin in a 3oz rocks glass and two wedges of lime for a garnish - no lime juice whatsoever. So I tried to stomach the Gin on its own, but agreed when Tony offered to go get me a bit of lime juice in a glass. That helped. I finished my toasting Champagne and then a couple stray glasses at my table. Good wine. I managed to resist the dance floor for the first couple hours of the dance. The word “resist” seems a bit inappropriate as it almost implies an internal temptation — like I REALLY wanted to go, but restrained myself. Not the case. Actually, I wasn’t really so opposed to dancing as I seemed to be later in the night, but the pacifying effects of the alcohol and the music selection (two points: one, Tony says the music was the typical for wedding receptions. I acknowledge and understand and sympathize. two, I could have, at any time, gone and made a request that suited my musical repetoire). Actually, now that I really think about it, I recall a lot of songs that I was very pleased to hear - from the opening song of Frank Sinatra (the REAL first song was Matt & Kristen’s solo dance - they had sung the song themselves and it was very good, very sweet), to Harry Connick’s version of “Easy to Love” (I think… can’t remember exactly), to R.E.M.’s “End of the World” (how appropriate for a wedding, eh?) - nah, but still, I could have requested something.
So anyway, I was finally made to dance. I hate to say ‘MADE’ to dance, because I wanted to, I really did, I really really did. I say it because I’m nearly certain I wouldn’t have done so on my own, without having been asked, without having resisted far beyond the “fashionably late” timing. I got lots of advice on this reluctance of mine. First of all, I mean… it’s not like I really required the advice because I am very very aware of my unnecessary introvertedness. Very aware. And here was my advice to myself: dance lessons and a Xanax prescription. A not-very-timely solution. My mom’s advice: “just get a little drunk and go with it.” My dad said we should compare that bit of advice to any mom gave her first child, my sister Beth. Do you recall anything like that, sis? Ha. But I was already a bit drunk and it wasn’t helping. Katie’s advice was the most poignant, detailed, and difficult: don’t care what other people think; try to look as stupid as you can (I think her exact words were: “embarass yourself”). Yeah yeah. I know. There are times and company that I find those directions very simple. I’m not sure of the ingredients that go together to make a situation like that, but they are definitely far in-between. Most of the time I’m stuck caring a lot about what people think — it’s part of my personality, I’m afraid. But personalities change. Okay, that’s enough of that.
Blah blah blah, on Sunday, Mom & Dad and Beth and Seth dropped me off at my apartment, and I watched Moulin Rouge (which seemed to mean a lot more today). Anyway, after the Sopranos and Home Movies and Oblongs, Bryan and I are going to Wal*Mart and I’m getting Moulin Rouge on DVD. I need it at my disposal.
Can I have my cake? Can I have you too?