Memories of the big event

I woke up the morning of the big day… with the beginnings of a cold that would torment me for days. NOOOOO! This can’t be happening! But it was. So basically, I was drugged up for a good part of the day prior to the evening ceremony—napping, watching TV, more napping, hearing but not listening to the faint murmurings of the womenfolk next door as my bride-to-be got prepared.

A couple of hours before the wedding, I found myself standing on the balcony of the main building with one of my long-time best friends, Chris (he and I have known each other since the 7th grade, twenty some-odd years ago), talking about nothing in particular—commenting on the wedding preceding mine as it was going on below, getting tips on things to do while in Europe on our honeymoon. On the surface, it didn’t look like much, but it was a nice moment… two guys, two golf buddies, two friends just shooting the breeze on the most important day of one of the guys’ life.

An hour before the wedding, it’s time for the photos. A few quick snaps, a few reshuffles, and boom—done. Time to shoo the boys away and let the girls take their pictures (away from prying eyes, of course). And I went back to waiting.

And then it starts—but what a start. As I’m standing out of view, waiting for my turn to proceed down the aisle behind the minister, the waist cinch on my tux decides “you know, now would be a really good time to break”. And so it does. (I wonder if I’m going to lose points for cursing in the presence of a minister, even if it was done under my breath? Oh well.) So now, here I am, literally a minute from walking out in front of friends and family, and my pants are about to fall down. But here comes our wedding coordinator to the rescue—she managed to find a safety pin, and with a quick snap, I’m back in business. Now that that’s out of the way, nothing else oughta go wrong. Ummm… right… we’ll see about that.

Now I’m waiting at the end of the aisle with my brother (the best man, of course), the matron of honor (my sweetie’s sister), and the minister. Just two more people left, and here comes the first of them: the flower girl, my soon-to-be niece, walking shyly from point to point, dropping a handful of petals at each stop.

And then The Music starts, and I see Her at the top of the aisle. And oh my god, there was nothing I could say—she was stunning… beautiful… glowing… but I couldn’t say any of that, as I found myself just staring at her in awe. And then came the part that only a few people knew about beforehand. Her brother was supposed to walk her down the aisle, but due to a desk-bound bureaucratic hack in the Army, he could not secure his release to make it down for the ceremony. What to do? Here’s what: As she stood there waiting, I proceeded to leave my place and walk back up to the top of the aisle. There, she took my arm… and we both started to cry. (She told me I would. I didn’t believe her. She won. :-) And then we both made our way slowly back down the aisle. It was an incredible moment.

We had decided to write our own vows, and after the minister said his words, it was our turn. Now it had been arranged ahead of time that she would go first—not the “traditional” order of things, but as emotional as we knew she would be (and she was), she knew that she had to go first if she was going to make it through the thing. But the minister forgot and was about to have me go first… until my sweetie whispered every so softly, “No, me first”, smiling and still crying her joyous tears. The words were read (and hers were so much better than mine, darnit :-) and the rings were exchanged, and with a kiss and a turn to the audience, that was that. The end.

Except for one thing I forgot to mention. During the ceremony, we lit the unity candle. Or rather, we attempted to. It turned out that the wick for the candle was cut too low down in the candle and that it was next to impossible to get our tapers down there to light it. But what can you do?—we just laughed it off with the minister, and numerous contortions later, we had a flame. And there was much rejoicing. Now the end.

Except for something else I forgot to mention. Immediately after lighting the unity candle, the minister handed us a bundle of roses, and we proceeded out into the audience to present our mothers and her grandmother with them. (They had no idea that we were going to do this.) Giving them to our mothers was no problem, as they were seated in the first row. But her grandmother had disappeared to the back of the audience—actually, behind the back of the audience—to tend to my cranky soon-to-be nephew. So we start walking back up the aisle to reach her, but no one else knew what was going on. (My brother was thinking “Is that it?”. Others were thinking “Did I/we miss something?” Our videographer and photographer were each scrambling to figure out where the heck we were going, our photog silently mouthing “Where are you going?”) But everyone figured it out, and we made it through the rest of the ceremony with no further confusion.

And that was the end. A little cake, a little dancing, some catching-up with friends and family, and it was time for everyone to leave.

All in all, it was as close to perfect as we could have hoped for.

And I… I was a married man.

24

Last night was the season finale for FOX’s new series, 24, and I have to say that I hate to see it go. True, it had more than its share of moments that left me thinking “well that was a bit of a stretch”, but I haven’t had this much fun with a TV show since the second and third seasons of The X-Files (R.I.P.)

I won’t spoil the ending in case you missed it, but let me just say that what they showed in the final minutes better have been what it looked like…

Scattershooting

Random thoughts while I work on posting a summary of last weekend’s activities (ain’t procrastination grand?):

A bunch of us took the day off from work last Thursday to see an opening day showing of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. As a big fan of the original trilogy and as one who was greatly disappointed at the comic book that was Episode I, I was holding my breath on this one, even though the early reviewers were giving it much better marks. My opinion: “Eh.” Nifty special effects in their all-digital glory and some great action sequences, but the story and characters are only marginally less shallow than in the previous movie. (I really miss the character development—and to a slightly lesser extent, the plot development—from the original movies. George Lucas has definitely lost a step or two.) The movie did, however, set the table for a nice Episode III—that is, if Lucas has anything left in his creative tank to restore things to something approaching the glory days.

After nine up-and-down seasons—more up than down—The X-Files bowed out with their series finale this past Sunday. And as promised, it pretty much wrapped up the remaining loose ends quite nicely without getting too hokey in the process. Though the last few seasons were pale shadows of the first ones, I’m still going to really miss this show. Other shows have tried to latch on to the primetime sci-fi wave borne by the series, but nothing else has managed to approach the appeal (or longevity) of this trailblazer. Long live The X-Files—see ya in reruns (and maybe one more theatrical release…?).

And I finally tried one of the new wave of lemon drinks—Diet Coke with Lemon, in this case. In summary: gross. It basically tastes the same way those lemon-soaked paper towelettes smell, if that makes any sense. What genius thought that this would be appealing?

A song for my love

When you hold me I’m an Irish tune
When you hold me it’s like Claire de Lune
I’m a violin beneath a gypsy moon
When you hold me I’m a song

When you hold me it’s like western swing
When you hold me Lennon Sisters sing
Whisper in my ear and I’ll do any little thing
When you hold me I’m a song

Dance with me I’m a big brass band
Touch my face and I’m pure Chopin

When you hold me I’m the heart of soul
When we skip a stone ‘cross the swimmin’ hole
That’s when I’m a little rock ‘n’ roll
When you hold me I’m a song

When you leave me I’m the Memphis blues
Then you call my name ‘fore the night is through
That’s when I’m the choir with the gospel news
When you hold me I’m a song

“When You Hold Me” by Domestic Science Club