Monday, September 18, 2006

Wedding Lessons

This past weekend held a car trip to Connecticut, the uncomfortable experience of sharing a bed in my parents' house, and the wedding of one of my high school friends. With the cake and chocolate favors that come with the typical wedding also came these important life lessons:

  • High-heeled shoes will always sink in the mud, no matter how stable you feel on solid ground.
    I had to wear pretty shoes to the wedding, which meant heels. When dealing with an outdoor ceremony like we were, after an almost-monsoon the night before, there’s bound to be sinkage, but not just for me. The bridesmaids’ pre-chosen silver kitten heels sank ever deeper as the ceremony went on, and they were encrusted with a not-so-pretty layer of gunk for the rest of the night.

  • When you only know one side of the bridal party, the receiving line is just weird.
    It’ll even be weird if you say “congratulations” to everyone you don’t know, which is the sage advice we received from the woman in front of us. She looked to be about my mom’s age, so that sounded trustworthy. Until I actually tried it. It was so awkward shake the groom's parents' hands and say, “Congratulations!” without so much of a “I know the bride, which is why I’m invited and you don’t know me.” I compensated by making a beeline to the bride, which was as graceful as it sounds. A receiving line is like drugs – just say no.

  • Drunk people need friends, and chances are that they’ll find you.
    It was a strange thing to be at a table with people I hadn’t seen in about five years, especially when that table was roughly 18 miles from the dance floor and only half of our tablemates bothered to attend the reception. We made small talk with the other couple at the table, but then distraction came in the form of quasi-friends from high school who had had a little too much. We’ll just call them Drum and Flute from my marching band days (every introduction I made that night was, “JG, this is so-and-so, and he or she played so-and-so instrument in the band…”), and JG and I were their best friends. They told us so. Drum also told us why he didn’t want to get married: “I just have an issue with committing to a date. I’ve been living with my girlfriend for three years, but I just can’t commit to an actual day. My mom hates that.” Flute explained about her sister who is “pregnant with a 41-year-old guy. They’re married, and we don’t like him. Yeah, she’s 20.” Whoa. Nice seeing you guys, too. We'll totally keep in touch. Don't ever change.

  • If you couldn’t dance like that in high school, you still can’t.
    In one impulsive moment, I allowed myself to be dragged onto the dance floor while Usher’s “Yeah” was playing. As I dropped my wrap onto my chair, I remember thinking, “How do I dance to this?” And then I was on the dance floor, in a little circle with some girls, standing stock still. Don’t get me wrong – I very much enjoy dancing to standards with JG. But this sort of free-form thing has never been for me. I looked stiff and uncoordinated because, well, I was. It was like I had never left high school and I had an eerie sense of déjà vu. My look of discomfort prompted my bridesmaid friend to proclaim, “The worst thing about high school dances was that there was no alcohol. Then you had all your inhibitions and you could see exactly how stupid you looked!” Um, yes. That was the biggest problem with high school dances.

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