It was a pretty good weekend, all things considered. I did some reading about the history of how brewing shaped Over-The-Rhine in Cincinnati, attended a cousin’s wedding, cleaned out my garage in preparation for winter parking, and watched the Bengals win again. That last little nugget even had me commenting on facebook and twitter last night that, “All this winning is putting a serious dent in my jaded, disaffected Bengals facade.”
Still, the real cornerstone of the weekend was the wedding. And yes, it does seem like I’ve been to a lot of weddings recently. No, I’m done with them yet. One or two more lurk out there in the future.
When you’re young, you attend weddings for the generation older than you in what seems one cluster of time. And then you don’t go to many for a bit, until your own friends and same-aged relatives start marryin’ up. By that point, of course, you feel like you’re renting a tux or picking a crock pot off someone’s registry every other week.
If you’re, um, lucky, that’s about the same time you go out and sign up for a slow cooker of your own and start planning for your post-nuptial trip to someplace where the sun is bright, the sand is warm, and dark rum is in everything.
And then, again, you don’t go to very many weddings for awhile. Eventually, though, another slate of weddings rolls around as the generation just younger than you starts to get hitched.
Secretly you try not to envy them their warm, sandy vacations while you contemplate Cub Scout meetings, practices of every kind, and what to concoct for Monday night dinners that might be different than last week, because trust me, I don’t care how good an idea Monday Night Meatloaf seems, after a month of it you’ll never want to see a loaf-shaped hunk of ground meat ever again.
Anyway, this not envying is important, because otherwise, madness likely prevails. Having hallucinations about a tropical honeymoon is not the kind of mental slip you want to make while you’re waiting around for your youngest young’un to finally do something on that little frog potty you bought him. Singing Don Ho songs doesn’t make the pee-pee happen.
At any rate, I had quite a good time at the wedding. I didn’t get quite as foolish as I did last month, where rumor has it I was overcome with the urge to dance like a rabid hyena for several hours. That whole dancing business of mine is just an occasional insanity. I probably go 10 years without the conditions being just right to get me to the dance floor. Otherwise, I’m the very definition of “wallflower” at a wedding reception. If you need me, I’ll be at my table, at the bar, or in-between, terrified that someone might want to actually speak to me.
See, the thing is, I’m a terrible conversationalist. I’m good with words, mind you, but typically just writing them. Unless you want to discuss sports, beer, writing, or software, I’m not your huckleberry. That’s because in the midst of small talk, I have a bad habit of rambling on about things no one cares about, like the makeup of rhinoceros horns, or making the kind of pitiable jokes that no one really understands. Then I’ve got to explain myself, and if you have to explain a joke you might as well be walking around with a sign that says, “I haz teh lame.”
There’s a special circle of Hell full of Joke Explainers.
Blessedly, this was a family affair, the wedding of one of my cousins from the ancillary family first mentioned in the epic Magic Pizza posts. The good thing about my ancillary family is that they’re crazy. All of ’em. From the oldest right down to the youngests. But they know they’re crazy, and they like being crazy, because, well, by God, they’re gonna be crazy together.
The only problem with such craziness is that it’s infectious. So, no matter how hard I may try to remain the quiet, observing, writerly-type, sooner or later one of my 67 tertiary cousins n-times removed will inevitably call me out to overrule my wallflowerishness. And in the face of the good-crazy, my inner department-store mannequin melts likes a ball of ice cream dropped on the August pavement.
Which is exactly how I ended up in the photo-booth at the wedding reception with three other family members attempting to get a decent picture of them and, well, my shoe. Because my shoe was all I was will to commit to digital posterity.
I didn’t get the photographic proof, but it looked a little something like this:
Sometimes, when you’re faced with the family crazy, there’s just nothing you can do to avoid things like the photo-booth.
In that case, you give in and offer them your shoe.
Just don’t tell anyone that I kind of like it.