Sunday, May 28, 2006

Out of my element

The wedding of the century was yesterday – no, not Brangelina. Joey’s assistant G. married her childhood sweetheart S. in a lovely outdoor ceremony at a plantation house not far from where we live.

G. has spent three years planning this wedding. Neither set of parents could help pay for the wedding, and both S. and G. work full-time and she is working on her masters’ degree while he is going to college hoping to become a writer. G. is our #1 babysitter of choice in addition to all the other crap she juggles, and Monkey Man idolizes her to the ends of the earth. They are seriously focused for their ages (25 and 26) and I admire both of them and we love them dearly.

When we received the wedding invitation, it stated that the wedding would begin at 12:45 PM. After driving like crazy people through the back roads in search of the place, we finally stumbled upon it and screeched up into the parking area, only to discover that at 12:40 we were some of the first guests to arrive. Um, okay….so we all piled out of our cars and tromped up to the door of the plantation house only to find that the wedding was OUTDOORS. Oh, and did I mention the huge black rainclouds that were rolling in? We all looked nervously at each other and gamely proceeded up to the seating area. Joey was sweating by the bucketful, because as anyone who knows us can attest, he could be dressed in a Speedo at 32 degrees outside standing in the snow and he will still be sweating. Being in a suit in humid Southern weather was just a recipe for disaster.

Then the other guests started rolling in. And let me tell you, I don’t think that PoDunk, Southeastern United States has seen a guest list like this before. The bride and groom grew up in the Bronx, and come from large Latino families, so not only was it a huge amount of brothers/sisters/cousins/aunts/uncles, there was a cross-section of ethnic groups in all colors, shapes, and sizes. And these people were dressed to the nines. I had spend several days debating about buying a new whiz-bang outfit to wear to the wedding, but knowing what down-to-earth people G. and S. are, I assumed that their families would be modestly dressed so in the hopes of blending in I decided to pull a dress out of the closet that I hadn’t worn in about 7 years – just a basic floral column dress. Well, I’m kind of glad now that I did that instead of buying something from Ann Taylor because there was no way I was going to hold a candle to these hot Latino chicks. Necklines down to there, hemlines up to there, and beading and sparkles everywhere. And let me tell you, Latino women are so freaking confident and sexy that they could put on burlap sack and look amazing.

Anyhow, the rain clouds held off and just as the minister introduced the newly married couple to the congregation, the black clouds parted and the sun came bursting through. Steven Spielberg couldn’t have directed a better finish to the ceremony. G. was absolutely stunning in her dress, and S. was so overcome by emotion that he was teary-eyed throughout the ceremony. It was so very nice.

On to the reception. It was held at the officer’s club of a local military installation…not exactly sure how they wangled that other than S’s brother is in the military, so perhaps that’s how. They had a sit-down dinner (served at 3) and cash bar with hot hors d’oeuvres served starting at 2, but after we paid $20 for a double-shot of Jack Daniels and a watery Jack and Coke, we opted for the free punchbowl instead. Yeah, we’re kind of cheap that way. The food was very good, too – they had either a citrus-glazed salmon, or chicken with ham wrapped in puff pastry with cream sauce. After dinner was served, the DJ got ramped up and started playing music and the younger people were all out on the dance floor. It was like watching a video right off of MTV2 the way they were all dancing and acting out the videos…all the boring old people (us) stood upstairs and watched from the balcony while this PoDunk version of West Side Story played itself out. At that point, we decided to duck out and leave them to their fun since it was already 5 PM.

As we slipped out of the door, I wistfully looked back at the kids on the dance floor and remembered how much fun I’d had at past weddings before I turned into an old fogey.

Joey: Honey, do you want to stay a little longer?

Me: Nah, let’s get home so I can rest for a few minutes before we head out to dinner.

Joey: Well, you just seem like you want to dance, so if you want to go back we certainly can.

Me: Nope. Leave it to the young people. I’d probably fall, break a hip, and ruin the party.

Congratulations to G. and S. I hope you both have a lifetime of happiness together, because I can’t think of two better people that deserve it.

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