As many of you know, I am an evolutionary holdover from an earlier age, a simian Coelecanth well-adapted for few things more complex than procuring fire and killing elks with femurs from other elks. Somehow, despite all that, I have accrued a collection of friends who seem to not only enjoy but actually request my company, even when they don’t need elk.
Melanie is one of those people, who somehow puts up with me even though she’s known me for twenty years. She and Mike Richters were married a week ago in Boston, and it was a thing to see. The whole trip was fun, so let me tell you how it went.
My first notice of this was when Melanie told me that she wanted me to be one of the wedding party’s groomsmen, an honor I could not pass up, and that I was going to be wearing a top hat and tails, an honor I probably would have passed up if it had been anyone else. I had to get myself fitted for a tux, quelle horreur, so that I could mail all my measurements to Boston and pick it up when I got there. That was no fun at all.
“Ok, stand up straight and relax.”
“No, straight. And relax, not collapse. Now stick your arm out.”
So if any of you foreign types who’ve never set eyes on me feel a pressing need to cut me a suit before I get wherever you’re sending me, I can now take all the guesswork out of the process.
The drive down there was for the most part uneventful, and New Hampshire is quite pretty; we overnighted there briefly on our way to Boston proper, which is not.
If you intend to visit Boston, for any reason, you need to find and make use of a native first chance you get. Use a gun if you have to; that city’s forefathers have apparently settle on the the “organic growth” model also favored by ignorant hippies and kudzu vines. And the buildings, good Christ, the buildings; a handful of beautiful old stone structures surrounded by some of the ugliest, stupidest architecture in the western world. What Chad called “Architecture On A Dare”, as though some architectural enclave looked around and decided that they had noble, venerable and enduring pretty much down, and it was time to try something else. There are supposed to be a bunch of smart people in Boston but you wouldn’t know it from, say, looking at the actual city of Boston. I mean, you can tell that once upon a time there were smart people to be found; the fossilized remains of sensible thinking can be found here and there, sometimes in plain view. But not anymore.
I crashed in Boston with a few of Michael & Mel’s friends, good folks every one, though I suspect they recognized the proximity of my caveman ancestry. We ate, we watched TV and hustled around to a number of things including a bachelor party, in which I had Perhaps A Bit Too Much Fun™ a wedding rehearsal, in which I had Exactly As Much Fun As The Situation Required™ and in which I observed that particular kind of smart people that require complication that will, in its absence, make trivial things complicated to fill the void. This combined with the fine-grained control-freakery of the soon-to-be-married couple gave the days leading up to the wedding a very elegant tension, as though everyone shared the unspoken knowledge that the backup wedding planner was the Keystone Kops, and that’s not gonna happen, so keep your shit together.
The wedding was elegant and beautiful. Not simple, because Jewish weddings involve a surprising amount of hardware that’s not present at your typical wedding, and this one had a few details (like tuxes and tails) that’s probably not present at your typical Jewish wedding, but elegant and beautiful nonetheless. That’s where the title of this entry comes from, incidentally; having suited up with the other groomsmen, one of Chad’s roommates looked me up and down and said “You clean up good.” Woot! It turns out everyone did, and it was a hell of a time.
Dinner afterwards was also great fun; Mel, Michael and a couple of their friends are swing dancers, serious swing dancers, and they put on a hell of a show. You know how, during movies, people periodically leap into a bunch of previously-choreographed routines that look spontaneous? That kind of thing actually happens. I’ve seen it. A bunch of them, at one point when the music picked up and the floor was mostly empty, busted out this four-minute routine on the spur of the moment that just destroyed the crowd. It was awesome.
A great night, and a great honour to be there.
Amusingly, I met a guy at dinner who recognized my name from a thing that I wrote about the Wheel Of Time a while ago, who said “You’re that Mike Hoye?”, shook my hand and thanked me on behalf of former Robert Jordan fans everywhere, which means I might have discovered the atomic weight of Internet Celebrity. You’re that Mike Hoye? Why yes, yes I am.