Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kim & Mike's Wedding: Episode 3 - "The Reception"

*Warning - This is going to be a long one. Make sure the boss is at lunch.*

It ain't a party 'til someone does the running man.

"Please honey, bring me a granola bar, a cookie, something..."

Let me set the scene for you. After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests poured out into the chapel's court yard. I say "poured" because we were all practically in a liquid state thanks to the sweltering heat. After taking some pictures, Kim asked me to head out to the reception - taking place at Mike's parent's house - to prepare the cake.

So I grabbed Stace and off we went - hustling across town. The above quote was taken from a desperate call Stacy made to her husband Jon on our way. The bridesmaids hadn't eaten anything - and it was already 5 pm.

Alcohol on an empty stomach = hella good time.

There are three parts to a reception. There's the beginning - where we partake in crazy rituals that we make fun of others for partaking in at other weddings. There is the middle - where massive amounts of alcohol are consumed and insane actions take place.... Only to be forgotten by the end - where plastic cups are left on rented tables and eyes are too tired and too heavy for even the gentlest of twinkle lights. And now, ladies and gentlemen - The Reception.

The Beginning: I always feel out of the loop at weddings. I'm always dateless and I'm always relatively sober. There's never anyone to dance with at the slow songs and no one to laugh with on the way home. For me, weddings are filled with the noise of everyone else's love.

But one thing I love about the wedding reception is the moment when the wedding party is introduced. The bride and groom take their place on the dance floor and the audience becomes silent. It's not like that at every wedding. Sometimes, the guests busy themselves with other things while the bride and groom dance but at Kim and Mike's reception, we fell silent and just watched as Mike & Kim twirled slowly to "Broken Road". We ate and we drank. I myself made sure to introduce myself to the kegs before sitting down. It was a lively table that consisted of myself, Stacy's husband Jon - who I promised I would say is hot. Hotter than his cousin Mike. That's right. Hotter than the cowboy. I promised. Stacy's daughter Aubrie sat with us as well as Jon's brother Jeff, his cousin Ricky, Tabitha and my brother Dustin. I was informed that Andrea and I would be cutting the wedding cake and passing it out after the "cutting of the cake" bit. Here's what I learned from that little experience: people are ruthless when it comes to wedding cake. Seriously. I had people who were asking for big pieces, pieces with extra frosting, two pieces, three pieces, this piece not that piece. Meanwhile, the damn utensils were slipping in and out of my hands because they were covered in frosting and Andrea and I could barely keep the plates flowing. The Middle: Once the wedding party had changed into more comfortable attire, the rain had cooled things a bit and the kids had moved off the dance floor - things got a little crazy. Jon was enjoying his Beam and Cokes - I know because his face turned red and his eyebrows went platinum. He also kept going up to dance. He is a master of the white man's over-bite. Dustin enjoyed whatever it was he was drinking. Later, he would take a nap by the bon know...because he was tired and all. Brandon, Kim's brother, moved his limbs in ways I had never seen before. His entire body must be completely double jointed. He was a jumble of legs, arms and elbows jutting out in wild positions. I think at one point he threw his entire person across the dance floor. The highlight of the dancing was definitely Tommy and Brandon bumping and grinding like there was no tomorrow. I don't think two straight men have ever done that before. I don't even remember the song that was playing at the time. I sure hope it wasn't "Magic Stick". The beer flowed, the liquor mingled with orange juice and coke, they busted out the boxed wine and we kept dancing. a fickle thing. It's important to be careful when doing it. If you see someone you know dancing and you've never seen them dance's very important you avert your eyes. Just pretend they're not doing it. I had to do that more than once. I won't be naming any names.
And now we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for "The Barbie Moment": [Scene: Outside at table. Barbie sits, hair half up/half down, one elbow on the table her entire body leaning against an invisible wall that is holding her up. Her head bobbles as she speaks to me.] Barbie: Jessica, can your brother go up and get me a rum and coke? Cuz my hair, I can't go up with my hair like this. [I look at Dustin, who is sitting, dazed, confused and quite possibly lost.] Jessica: No. I'll go get you a rum and coke. Barbie: Okay, then can you go get me a rum and coke and then come back and sit behind me and fix my hair and get me a - Jessica: NO. You'll get your rum and coke and that's all you friggin' nut-job! All I have to say is. I got rhythm for a Jewish girl from the Midwest. Thank god my mother grew up on Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.

The End: Here's what I've noticed about my friends when they are well intoxicated: Brandon jumps a lot. John nods a lot...And his eyebrows glow. Stacy's voice gets real high...and she shakes her ass a lot. Jeff hits on people a lot. Tabitha laughs a lot. She didn't hit anyone that night. Good job Tab. Andrea - first time I've ever seen her really drunk. She danced and she was friendly. Barbie slurs a lot. Just in the nick of time, I was joined by Jen - the master at people watching. At this point, the old people who were still standing (albeit wobbling) had taken to the dance floor. Many of them fell thanks to all the beer that had been spilled on the floor by people like Jeff and Brandon. And now, for a humorous bathroom moment - because there always is one at weddings - isn't there?

With the night sky upon us, Stacy, Kim and I made our way to the portable potty. "Am I being disruptive?! Am I being disruptive!?" cried Stacy in a drunken stupor as we made our way to the portable potty.

"C'mon," said Kim. "Let's just go to the bathroom."

The door flew open and out comes Katie. Katie: FOF (Friend of family). She stumbles out onto the rickety metal steps. "Hey," she slurs.

"Ouch!" cries Stace. I notice she has no shoes on. She is walking on gravel. "My feet hurt!" she cries.

"You want my shoes!?" says Katie. She sits on the metal steps and hands her shoes to Stace.

We get into the bathroom - the three of us. One drunk, one sober, one pregnant. I try to light a cigarette. I have no lighter. I ask Stacy for one. "Why am I being disruptive! Don't lie to me!"

I open the door a bit to see if Katie has a lighter. She sits, drunk, leaned up against the wall - "Where are my shoes?!" she says.

After some expletives, I toss her shoes out of the bathroom. No lighter. No cigarette. The three of us pour out of the portable potty and rejoin the reception.

"It looks like everyone is really having fun." Kim says to me after Stacy met up with Jon and - I assume - found out just how she was being disruptive. Everyone did have fun. I would find out later that some people even had their fun come back up on them later in the bushes. Some even had a little too much fun. Some had fun we don't even want to know about. But fun was had - and that was the point. I dropped Dustin off at home and returned to my quiet apartment, far away from the music and the drunkness that was yet to be done. When I turned on the lights there was a copy of "Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince" on the counter. Kim had gotten it for me as a present and given it to me the night of the rehearsal. She'd read about how I felt out of the loop in regards to Harry Potter mania. So she got me a copy of the latest book. I opened to the cover page. Inside, Kim had written, "...if it's meant to be, it will be. Let it happen." Even after all the chaos, worn out from the ceremony, a headache brewing from having stopped my alcohol intake, hundreds of drunken people roaming the streets of Buchanan - I thought, I can't get in the loop. Mazal Tov, my friends.

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