I must admit I had all this weird anxious energy today, anxiety over seeing family? I suppose, I could not explain it to myself and then after much self inspection I just let it go, this was not my wedding after all, and frankly it is only a cousin (whom I love and watched grow up quite literally so don’t get me wrong about relation), I like to pride myself on preparation, or I tell myself that, so as usual I was doing some last minute scrambling today, things I had planned.. but… eh… had not quote gotten to as of yet, so about an hour before I had to leave I decided to get my ducks in a row, being the semi strange artistic type (wrapped in the guise of everyday guy) I eschew greeting cards and write something personal regardless if it will be read or tossed for the cashola enclosed in the envelope, I have seen and attended enough affairs to see how the cards come in, and how many of the same thing pass through, I want to be memorable, for at least a slice of this life, so I give it a try, I can not hand write letters.. well, I CAN but my handwriting requires translation, it is horrendous to say the least, so I need to type things out, (and also this poem if you recall, part of my gift to the lucky couple as well as some mo-net), I do not use my home printer too often, so perhaps it might be lacking in TLC… or any C, but of course the thing starts with this grinding noise, I start to sweat and my temp is rising, I panic, I want to scream, something is wrong here… and I do not have time for this (the realization that this could have been avoided if I didn’t wait until the last minute is not yet a humorous thought to me as it is now writing this), I open every door, blow out the sensors with one of those air thrower can things, and nothing… DOA printer, I can’t just buy some dumb card… I just… can’t! I recall I have a another printer, sort of shoved in a corner like so much a wallflower, it should work, I think, I hope, I pray to the inkjet gods (they exist, their temple is Staples), so I hook the badboy up and plug in the USB cable with trepidation, the seas parted, the light of one thousand lights shone down, puppies cuddled with kittens, and magically, with great glee my printer queue was emptied and my ears were treated to the sweet whir whir of an inkjet head purring back and forth, ah, crisis averted, my words will be delivered and all will be right with the world (in truth I used fancy parchment looking/feeling paper to print my poem on and it jammed a few times, but that is quite a boring detail so I’ll exclude it), so, poem and personal note in hand (and cashier’s check) I was all set to go.
I had to drive my folks up to the gig, they are up there in the age race now and do not drive at night usually, and my mom does not drive at all anymore actually, no big deal, they have done enough for me over the years (hello diapers, they got me there for now) that Driving Mr and Mrs Daisy parents is the least I can do, as I said earlier I like to plan, I also like to not be a slave to GPS and know where the heck I am going, oy, I forgot the little address card for the place on the back of which I scribbled (in my pictogram handwriting) the directions, it is a pretty straight shoot but… there is comfort in the paper you wrote all this down on, no problem, cool, I got this, I memorized the directions (because I am such a head case), I just hope my memory is solid, as it turns out my memory served me well, I still must admit my self doubt in the whole thing, I would rather have the life vest when sailing the ocean, but… I’m not in the ocean and honestly I could pull over and google the damn place (easy to say now when I am out of non man non embarrassment mode), so we arrive, Valhalla Lake Club, never heard of it, never been, a really nice part of the state (you know, the Garden state, damnit), seriously we have some sections of Jersey that people would not believe, and heck I am a bad steward for my state for not knowing every inch and cranny, either way, no valet, we are waiting there, the minivan in front is doing all sorts of things, we can’t pass by on the driveway as it is too narrow, wtf are these people doing ? minutes seem like hours in these circumstances, plus I have no idea what the parking situation will be like, I start to get frustrated, minutes pass, thoughts run wild trying to figure out what the hell is going on with these people in front of me, thankfully no one is behind me, that would have upped the ante and I surely might have honked the horn, tick tock tick tock, wtf is taking so long? and then it hits, life with a lesson interjects, the minivan lowers like in a rap video, and a gentleman is escorted out in a wheel chair, if there ever was a court case for patience and a jury to convict, it was this, I was glad I relaxed the temptation to honk, I mean really, how was that ten minutes of my life real pressure? or even worth a worry for a second, I must remember that, lesson received good earth.
the rest was standard fare, not knowing where to stand, where to sit, the club members who were enjoying the day on the lake were out enjoying the day on the lake, it seemed odd, all these dressed up folks and on the periphery having a day at the beach (lake) as it were, granted they have probably seen this show before, clearly the place needs to do this as part of their business model and probably helps keep membership prices lower, at some point, some of the members seemed interested and some seemed non plussed, as did those at the wedding proper, I kind of enjoy the awkwardness in moments now, not personally, but observing same gives me some weird pleasure, seeing life interacting I suppose, weddings are strange now, growing up there was clear religious definition, this was more just celebration of the union outside of any religious overtones or circumstance, ‘readings’ by a couple of relatives, bad poetry (sorry, I am a critic), and some other well intention-ed stuff that sounded like children banging on pots and pans to this jaded literary ear, I admit I am a snob at times when it comes to that, I try to see and hear the every-man aspect of things, but I just can’t all the time, I am just not that, we are what we are, so readings aside there were vows, and stories by the ‘pastor’ (well, he is really a friend of the groom/bride chosen to reside on the moment), my cousin and her mate are truly in love, I have been to many weddings, I have seen love in many forms (some I would wish to un-see from the internet but this is not a time for that), they glowed when together, I will not lie and say it brought a tear to my eye, I could perceive it, I could feel it emanating from them, I know it because I had that once, when love is easy, and just there, like the warm sun in the morning, this is where logic fails me, and faith takes over, or hope, or both, I feel the dream again, was this supposed to be me at some point? was this my dream? I am lost in the moment, no need to video this, I am here in this, really experiencing the moment, and I feel happiness and joy for them.
the reception phase, the worst part, I kind of liked the mix of the cocktail hour, no set pieces, a few food options (excellent calamari by the way), the bar cleared out after fifteen minutes so I could grab an amstel, we are outside by a lake in the breeze, what can beat that? now we are inside, cozy place, cool lighting, is that really the dance floor? this makes me feel the most isolated, I do not like the music, the boom boom typical tunes are just not me anymore (or ever), they are antithetical to everything I enjoy, I used to be that floor devil ripping up the dance moves, but I have zero interest in that now, and I do not want to pretend anymore, I don’t want to pretend for anyone, I am not unhappy at all, I am taking it all in, I am truly happy for my kin but the whole wedding thing, this whole wedding thing, I have been there and back again, seen it, done it, seen it better, done it better, what’s the point? I am truly happy for my cousin, but in this microcosm I just don’t get the whole slavery to the same thing, the same wedding tropes, I get it, it is probably me, I would have been much happier if after the ceremony they said strip down and everyone jump in the lake, paddle-board, kayak, sit by the fire-pit and shoot the shit… that’s more real to me, does not make it right, and regrettably is not good for the older generation who we must venerate because we are soon them, but I yearn for something different, even if, even if… this was my dream at some point, so who am I to suggest what they should do, at some point that dream was mine, meet the girl of your dreams in college, date for nearly a decade, become husband and wife, have kids… it all sounds familiar and now so foreign to me, I had the girl, I had the life, and then it all crumbled, and here I am, enjoying filet mignon (rare) at my younger cousin’s wedding, where did things go wrong ? or did they at all? I imagined her here with me, sharing this with her, as I expected to share everything with her forever, but that is gone, and maybe that showed on my face, because it is certainly what is in my heart, but again, I am an optimistic person, a happy person, but the celebration tonight felt so foreign to me, I just felt like an alien among people I knew, even my brother who I thought looked like a buffoon, but he is engaged and has found a mate, so who is the fool.
I drove my folks home, interesting conversations when they are both tipsy but also not so much as they are losing their edge of mind. and this leads me to this, this post, all scrambled out right now write now…
wrote all this just now, first draft, I’ll revisit it tomorrow, but it is close to accurate…