Monday, April 25, 2005
the wedding guest
This weekend I did something interesting. I went to a wedding.
Now normally, I would have told you about this in advance. I would have written at length about going to this wedding, bragged about how many cranberry-vodka’s I’d drink, how there most likely would be some gratuitous nudity on my part, and how I’d generally be an embarrassment to my friends, family, and myself. But this wedding had a twist: I went as someone’s date. Therefore I couldn’t talk about the wedding until it was safely over in case my date and I were no longer speaking after it (something I knew was a 50-50 possibility).
The bride was a relation of my friend Abby. A few weeks ago, Abby and some friends and I were out and I was going on and on about a) how much I love weddings; and b) how great a date I am to bring to weddings (I dance, I’m good with strangers and old people, I get loaded, etc). Unbeknownst to me, Abby had a wedding to go to in a few weeks and after I ended by booze-fueled diatribe, she asked me to go to this wedding with her. Having a completely empty social calendar and always looking to abuse an open bar, I agreed. Also, she's a girl with both her eyes and full use of her limbs who voluntarily requested to spend time with me. Score!
But I have to clear something up. Despite my protestations and better efforts, Abby and I were going to this wedding strictly as friends. When Abby asked me to go, I immediately thought, “This girl wants me to go to a five hour open bar with her and then we’re staying in a hotel room. We are going to have a baby.” But sadly Abby and I are just friends. Several times I thought of either calling the hotel in advance or surreptitiously bribing the concierge to “mistakenly” put us in a room with one king bed as opposed to our reserved room with two double beds, but I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. Crap. I am such a fucking gentleman.
I’m also a veteran of weddings and I understood Abby’s position. While I may not be to ideal guy to bring to a family-type wedding, what with being slovenly and unhandsome and all, I think that if you can ever bring a date to a wedding, you absolutely should. Of course, there are exceptions – the first wedding I went to post-college was that of my old roommate Victor’s, where about twelve guys all went solo and we had a blast (read: I was thrown out of the hotel) – but for the most part it’s nice to have someone to talk to and get drunk with and even slow dance with, so that you can at least come close to convincing yourself that yes, you still do have a penis, and yes, one day you’ll be able to use it again and yes, my god her hair smells like flowers.
And it was a good time. This was the first wedding I went to where I had met neither the bride nor the groom in advance, but it really didn’t matter. It was a small wedding with an intimate feel, and though I was admittedly uncomfortable at first, this was nothing that a few extra Anchor Steams and vodka-crans couldn’t take care of. And the entrée was spectacular...filet mignon AND shrimp stuffed with crab meat. Heaven!
And I believed that I lived up to my billing as “greatest wedding date ever” and am pretty sure that if Abby’s not already in love with me, she will be in a matter of days, if not minutes. I made pleasant conversation with strangers and other wedding guests, not once letting out that my hobbies include masturbating in unlocked cars and school gymnasiums, throwing punches in the air, and hatred. Believe it or not, I have a pretty good line. I have a fancy job title and a nice suit with an expensive tie and I can really look presentable when I need to be. This incredible talent for deception is probably the thing I love most about myself, aside from my powers of manipulation of course.
However, I’d be naïve to think that the night would go off without a hitch, and there was a minor bump in the road when Abby learned that I had smoked pot with the wedding photographer, but this was not a big deal. Let me explain. The wedding was held at this nice lil' church, and within walking distance through some lovely fields was the reception hall. Immediately in front of the entrance to the reception hall, there was a giant tent set up where guests had cocktails and appetizers before being seated. There was a bar in this tent, and this would be the only bar at the event, so that each time you wanted a drink you had to step outside the hall into the tent (this sounds like a pain but it really wasn't).
Because the bar was out there and because it was partially outside and thus cooler, fringe groups, looking to escape the madness of the reception, started developing in this tent area. Also present in this area were the heavy drinkers (I'm looking in my direction when I write that). Since I was both a fringe guest and a heavy drinker, this was a natural place for me to hang out.
Among the regulars in the tent were the photographer and his crew. His crew consisted of two unfriendly people my age, but the photographer himself, who had the longest rat tail I've ever seen, was a decent guy. While I was drinking a beer just outside the tent and he was secretly sipping a vodka tonic, he said, "I know something that'll liven the party" and lo and behold, he pulled out a joint. Como se dice "jackpot"? We took a short walk into the nearby woods (I'll thank you in advance for not pointing out the homoerotic overtones here, as I walked half-drunk in the darkness with a middle-aged man with a rat tail to get high), but it only took a minute and it wasn't especially potent. After a few tokes and a few semi-awkward minutes, we rejoined the wedding party.
[I re-read the last few lines of that paragraph and it definitely sounds like we were involved in some sort of bizarre sex act. That was not the case, I assure you. Not because I wasn't up for it, but because he's married. So there.]
Apparently, when I found Abby I still smelled a little like marijuana, so as soon as I confessed to Abby that I did smoke a little ("What are you, the wedding party's narc?"), she rushed me outside to "air out". I was exiled outside for quite some time, as Abby left to rejoin the party and left me to get the pot smell off myself. I stood outside for a few minutes, got the scent off me as well as I could, and went back in. No harm, no foul.
The rest of the night was fun but uneventful. After the ceremony, we went back to the hotel bar for some drinks, and then retired for the evening. And I was on by best behavior back in the room. Actually, I'm not sure if you can say I was "well-behaved" or just "really drunk and super tired". Probably the latter.
And that's that. It's funny because years from now, when the couple is looking at their wedding pictures, they'll see me and say, "Who's this guy? He looks high." And the response will be one of two things: "Oh, he's that famous guy" or "Oh, I think he's dead now." Well, it could also be both, but probably option #2.
So what have we learned?
- bring a date to a wedding if you can, except if your date is me
- open bars are great (duh)
- "surf and turf" may be the three most beautiful words in the English language
- if given the opportunity, smoke pot with the wedding photographer and then write about it in homoerotically-charged terms
- I really want to get married