Another weekend, another wedding,

August 26, 2002

Another weekend, another wedding, lately.

My sister was married to Michael Beach this weekend, and again,
things went swimmingly. There were a few hiccups, this time around –
the venue was the much more public National Museum of Civilization,
with all the problems that letting the hoi-polloi wander about
unfettered can produce at these otherwise civilized events. Nothing
of any crisis, of course; most of the crises were created by
the actual staff of the museum. You’d think that if the fatal
of a certain, important participant in the whole
event was actually written into the contract, that there wouldn’t
be big hunks of that particular ingredient visibly obvious in the
dessert. Thankfully, nothing came of that – the entire evening went
very, very well. There were some hiccups, but nothing that didn’t
roll off the collective back. The band, the Custums, was great –
they’re the wedding-band version of the always-fun JiveWires. We
had just three of them early in the evening, playing some light
background music at the beginning of the ceremony. They played
“As Time Goes By” as the bride walked down the aisle, a tune I’ve
listened to before, but never really heard. Antoine played it for
the first dance of the evening at his wedding last week, in an odd
coincidence. It’s a very tasteful (tasty, in fact) piece of music,
and it was a very nice touch to the whole thing.

While we weren’t going for a speed record here, or so I’m told,
there was a certain alacrity to the whole thing. Rallying the troops
took some time – I ushed like a man possessed, perhaps by the
tormented soul of some failed and long-dead wedding usher who choked
on the big day. Once we got everyone down to the helipad my brother
and I queued up to escort my mom down with the rest of the bridal
parade, excuse me, procession, and we processed with all the stately
grace and dignity you would expect from two betuxed young men whose
shiny plastic shoes were killing them. The ceremony itself, though,
happened at a high rate of speed; yes, they both Do, kiss kiss, yes,
move along, nothing to see here, group photo and then up the stairs
for hors d’oeuvres.

Speaking to Pierre and Michelle just after that group photo,
I tried to mention to them that there would be hors d’oeuvres,
but I stalled for a moment trying to figure out exactly what the
french word for “hors d’oeuvres” was. Personal note: idiocy bad,
good way to look silly. Way to go, Mike. Rah Rah Rah.

I have a sinking feeling that the photos are going to come out
only so-so, at least the ones I was party to. I tried to put on my
best looks when the camera-woman said “Look over here… Ok, great”
but somehow felt like I had quickly faded back to dour before she
pulled the trigger. There is an agonizingly long delay between that
assurance of greatness and the actual taking of the photo, which
I think you’ll find I like to punctuate by looking at my shoes,
closing my eyes and looking pained or simply by making long vowel
sounds and staring at nothing in particular.

While I don’t think I’m a miserable person all of the time,
I definitely don’t fake enthusiasm well, and even when I am
enthusiastic about something I don’t usually have the kind of
wide-eyed, big-toothed happyface that people insist makes for good
photos. Even under ideal circumstances, I take a wretched photograph;
my face has roughly the same effect on film that lemon juice has
on cream, and being exhorted to pose for the occasion just starts
a vicious downward spiral. I hate posing for pictures of any kind,
and I hate it with a visceral passion that H. P. Lovecraft might have
a hard time framing in words; being told to smile when I actually
am smiling just pisses me off, and being told smile when I’m pissed
off just makes my mood curl in on itself like a hangnail.

This is hardly a fair assessment of the wedding, though; I never
made it to the recursive stage of my mood swings despite the ongoing
photographic efforts of the actual wedding photographer and her
dozens of unholy partygoer-with-camera minions, which surprised
me. Truly, despite our differences I’m genuinely happy for my sister
and Beach. There’s going to be a bunch of great photos from that
whole ceremony, and I hope I’ve held up my end. Congratulations to
both of you, if you’re reading this, and good luck. It was a great
party, and it was great to see a lot of people all dressed up and
suitably indrinkulated for the occasion. Great conversations, great
music, great food… once I can move from one great to another like
that, as long as I don’t have to hold onto one of them and get all
toothy, I can stay smiling all evening.

Lots of love, Kristen, and to my new brother Beach as well. It’ll be
interesting to see how the Mike Rule works out, next time our clans
get together.