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Can We Talk?

Opposites Attract

Lest there be any misunderstandings, opposites attract virtually all the time.

Case in point:

We were at my niece’s wedding yesterday. It was a beautiful September afternoon.

The sun came out but ever so gently. It was a relief that the infernal heat of the summer had finally morphed into a warm and pleasant late summer afternoon.

The wedding was held in the country at a “North Italian Banquet Centre”. The “altar” was under a canopy of vines and climbing flowers. It was a beautiful setting. While waiting for the proceedings, we were entertained by chamber music.

The guests were dressed in a variety of fineries.

I wore a pin-striped suit and white shirt. I was not going to spend money on a dress I’d wear once and never again. Waiters came around with hors oeuvres. Thankfully, someone erected a bar and the ushers were busy pouring drinks. Believe me, that was the busiest place.

The ushers comprised of four smart-alecky Ginos.

Meanwhile, the best man, chewing gum, stood beside the groom, who shuffled this way and that, looking very out of his element and maybe wishing he were in Baltimore. It reminded me a little of when my son got married. We were all seated in the church. When his bride arrived, he turned to his best man, all the while perspiring heavily, and said, “Shit, she’s here”. But I digress.

Eventually, the procession started. First, with the parents of the couple, then the bridesmaids with ushers, and finally, the father of the bride with the beautiful Alexis.

She was certainly the picture of how a bride should look on her wedding day. Radiant and poised, arm in arm with her proud father. Her ivory, strapless mermaid gown form-fitted to her perfect figure. Yes, she could have put many a super-model to shame.

The vows were over-the-top. “Where you go, I will go. We will always be together. Where one is, so will be the other one. Our love will grow and grow” etc. While listening, I got this knot in my stomach. Who made up those vows? They were very nearly like a jail sentence. Oh well, I’m over-reacting.

Finally, with all that over, we proceeded into the banquet hall. Very nicely done what with the white slip-covers over regular padded, metal chairs. Amazing what slipcovers and tablecloths will transform. We sat at Table 3, right next to the parents/grandparents of the bride table. The waiters came around with a bottle of red and a bottle of white along with bottled water.

Then came the food. The first course was eggplant parmigiana. I liked it. It was good. Then came risotto. I liked it but I thought it was slightly underdone. Then came roast beef and mushrooms. Very nice. Then, finally, there came breaded chicken breasts and baked potato chunks. For dessert, there was an ice-cream wrap. Charlie had it even though he has diabetes.

Of course, what would a wedding be without speeches. The maid of honour (a law student) gave a wonderful speech, recounting Alexis’ and her earlier days and when she told her about Tom. Seems like Alexis has had a crush on Tom since she was 14. It was heart-warming and sweet. We all decided she’ll make a wonderful lawyer.

Next, the father of the bride spoke. He brought the house down. There was such laughter and applause, it was like he’d missed his calling. He started off by saying he’d been given a list of things never to mention. Alcoholics, drug addicts, sex fiends, offenders of all sorts. While going through this list, he kept throwing pieces of paper on the ground. It was most effective and just hilarious. He then thanked everyone for coming. That made the crowd roar. Of course, he then got serious and went on to say how wonderful it was that these two found each other since his parents and himself and his wife have been best friends for years. That the children of best friends should marry was ever so amazing.

Next the grooms parents spoke about how swell everything was. Then, the bride spoke. It was brief and sweet, as I recall.

Finally, the groom got up to speak. He had not prepared a thing and was just going to wing it. He seemed to be carrying on some private joke with the people at the back of the room. He never thanked us for sharing this special moment, or whatever people usually say. You got the sense that he didn’t really want to be here.

Finally, the torture of listening to all these speeches was over. We were asked to remain. Tables would be moved and the dancing will commence.

By that time, I’d had a lot of wine, much to Charlie’s chagrin. I ended up dancing with my sister, with whom I’d had no conversation to speak of since she pulled that fast one by marrying in secret to some guy she met on the internet. But that’s another story. He’s an OK bloke, as blokes go.

And so ends another chapter in the saga of my family.

September 17th, 2006 Posted by | Family | no comments

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