Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Wedding Memories

Wedding Memories As Karl said on his blog, we were ridden hard this weekend, and put away wet. It will take some time for this brain to emerge fully from its fog, but right now I will attempt the text part of my recapitulation, with pictures to be posted this evening. Karl has pictures up now for the impatient.



Friday



Let us begin with Friday. We were released early from work, so I had an hour-long massage, during which I was told (she always tells me this) that I was dehydrated. I was forbidden to exercise not only Friday but through the weekend. Fair enough.



After my massage, I started drinking water, and I went home for a nap. Dereck went to have drinks with some friends, but I needed a nap. Even after I woke up at 8:00 and we went to the store so we could grill out with Marc Rice and Bob, I felt like I had been hit with a truck, so I didn’t stay up very late. Except I kept getting up to pack and look for things that were missing in the blackhole of time and space: a small, elegant evening bag among them.



Saturday Morning



I eventually settled to sleep at around 1 a.m., to arise at 7:30 a.m. to start showering, finish packing, and go get Bob.



We left Kirksville around 9:20 with our eye on the 1:00 p.m. hair appointments schedule for me and Angela.



We called Karl at noon—holiday cops traffic made it difficult to get there in my requisite three hours, and he told us my appointment was for 1:30 p.m. We got to St. Louis, drove by and picked up Karl, and I made it to my appointment at 1:20. Then, after getting my hair curled so it flipped up, we all had lunch at a Sub place, then back to Angela’s for the girls, Karl’s for the boys, and get dressed.



Angela made us some strong coffee with crushed ice and coffee-flavored ice cream. I like a woman who is not afraid of a little ice cream while dressing for a wedding. I got my pantyhose on with a minimum of tearing, borrowed a necklace and bag from Angela. The men came, and had a beer because we were early. I started feeling like a nap would be a good idea. And then we were off.



Get Me to the Church On Time



We got to the church on time, and had an inkling it was the place not only from the large sign saying, “Korean Presbytarian Church,” but also from the nicely dressed Koreans walking to the church. After a little deliberation, we decided the groom’s side probably could use a little padding, and we would sit there.



We sat behind Becky and Rachel. Angela had given me a kleenex, but I gave it to Rachel, having no plans to cry. I had to ask for it back. As soon as Yumi began walking in in her dress, the tears just started rolling down my cheeks. It was a good thing I couldn’t see Dan’s face, or I would have been convulsing.



The wedding was very Christian. Karl mentioned that it was Calvanistic. By this he means that the minister was a bit of a doomsayer: “The wedding is easy. That part is fun and lasts thirty minutes. But the world is a horrible place, bad things will happen to you, people are unfaithful. Marriage is hard. Are you really ready for this?”



Dereck kept asking whether the guy was going to give them a chance to leave, but he didn’t, and so they are married. Yumi actually did try to grab Dan and head back up the aisle before the benediction, which was good for a laugh.



Afterwards, we all stood outside in the sun after going through the receiving line, and Angela and I smoked on the sidewalk, as our heels kept sinking into the grass. I will post the pictures later.



The Food



Then, we drove to the Mandarin Restaurant. Here was the menu we found on our plates:



Wedding Banquet Menu



Hot and Cold Hors D’Oeuvre Plate



Lousan Zeh



Vegetables and Bean Curd in White Sauce



General Tso’s Chicken



Hot Braised Shrimp



Kung Pao Beef



Lobster



Eight Ingredients Fried Rice



The moans of ecstacy from our table can only rival those that came from the honeymoon suite later that evening. We were, simply put, ecstatic, and for some reason, many jokes emerged from our table about the lazy susan,and we enjoyed sending it back and forth. Apparently Yumi was a little upset about a snafu with the seating arrangements, so she chewed her mother out in Korean (which was funny only because prior to that Dereck and I hadn't known she was fluent in Korean), and then slipped outside where a little hardcore contingent of us cloaked her from her mother so she could smoke in her wedding gown.



The Toast



Dan’s best friend from grad school (the first time he went, for film, in Boston) gave a great loooooooong toast about how he first thought Dan was a hick, and then got to know Dan after his wife kicked him out (she held a white linen napkin over her face through most of the toast) and he invited himself over to Dan’s to watch a movie, being too embarrassed to tell Dan why he couldn’t go home (but not too embarrassed, for some reason, to tell all of us).



Ch-ch-ch-changes



Despite Rachel and Becky entreating me not to change my clothes, I took Angela’s advice and changed into pants, t-shirt, Tevas, and I was v. much more comfortable after I did. We changed at her place in about 5 minutes flat, went to Karl’s and the boys changed, and then we went to the hotel. I was carrying their gift, so I got sidetracked to Dan’s room, and ended up joining him and Jason for champagne that he wasn’t allowed to bring to the beer garden. Then, I tried calling my room to find out where it was, and Karl called me back: they key didn’t work so they were locked out. I ran up there (if you put a key next to your cell phone, it deactivates the key) and met Dereck on the way.



Our suite was fabulous. King-size four poster bed with mirror on the ceiling. Steps leading up to a pine-paneled bathroom with whicker chairs and a huge hot tub and skylights. V. nice indeed. We all posed for pictures in the hot tub and on the bed (will post later) and then headed down to Dan and Yumi’s room for more champagne. We polished off that bottle, then out to the beer garden to arrange rides to the bowling alley.



The Saratoga



Karl drove, and we escorted the bride and groom. I have no idea what we talked about in the car. I determinedly refused to bowl because of my nails (and because bowling makes me crabby), so I sat and drank gin and tonics and chain-smoked and talked to Angela and Vanessa and Rachel and Becky and then Dan. Dan put a bottle of champagne at our table which sat unopened for awhile. At midnight, Angela and I went to a diner for coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches, and back at the Saratoga, I got kahlua for our coffees. At some point the champagne was opened, and hey, it wasn’t going to improve with age. I spilled Rachel’s water all over my lap, and then proceeded to refill her cup with champagne, which I drank.



I must have done that several times. I forgot how quickly champagne gets you drunk and how little of it takes.



I had quite a lot.



The Passes



It was either at this point or before that I started hitting on Angela, to the point where she eventually (in an elevator I believe) had to tell me to stop. So, then I started apologizing profusely. To. the. point. of. obnoxiousness.



The Cheshire Lodge



By the time we got to the Cheshire lodge at 1:30 or 2:00 a.m., I was fairly well gone. I was still smoking, and ordered a gin and tonic. Half way through that, I realized it was a good idea to stop drinking and I am extremely happy today that I did. I switched to water. At one point, I put my head down on the table, so Dereck and Karl started taking pictures of me. Karl crowed, “This is a blogging moment if I ever saw one!” His pictures didn’t turn out, but Dereck’s did.



I insisted on staying downstairs til the bar closed, but I can’t say I remember much worth reporting. The guy who was taking names before he’d let us back into the hotel was a bit of a Nazi and wouldn’t let Karl in to pee, so they called a cab and we said goodnight. We sat in the lobby waiting for the bride and groom so we could get our glasses from their room, and we waited long enough for me to call Karl enough times (to irritate him apologize to Angela) that he stopped answering his phone, and enough for me to eat several of the cinnamon little sheets listermint makes for you to put on your tongue. I was nicely anasthecized at that point, so it was fun.



They came in, we got our glasses, and went upstairs and drank water. Somehow I got my contacts out. We fell into bed around 4:00 a.m., only to have to arise sometime after 11:00 a.m.



The Brunch



I was not sick. Or headachey. Or in any way hungover. We picked up Karl, Angela and Bob and went to Mary Hurley’s for brunch and to see her new house, which is like going to a diner of fifty’s nostalgia. We did indeed prowl her house looking at her walls like a group of little kids in a store. She had prepared breakfast burritoes: beans in a stew; perfect squared potatoes and onions, browned; warm tortillas, scrambled eggs; salsa verte; coffee and evaporated milk.



The napping



Mary is one of those people with whom you cannot stop talking because she is so intelligent and has such interesting things to say (and I hope she will stay with us this weekend for Royce's band), but we were fading around 3:00, so we left (I napped again in the car) and went to Angela’s, where D and I passed out in her bed, she to her couch. Karl was to start bbqing at 5:00 p.m. We got up at 5:30, then went to the store and got olive tapenade, bread, deviled eggs, potato salad, gin, tonic, limes, cheesecake, chips, taco salad dip—I tend to go a little nuts when you get me into a real grocery store. We pick up Angela, head to Karl’s, where after I have eaten myself full of tapenade and bread, I nap on his couch, missing the flank steak that had been marinating in tequila since morning.



The BBQ



Karl kept saying, “This is such a nice night and there are so many people here. Maybe we should have a party.” And I would shake my head at him and say, “You know, I’m not really up for it tonight.”



I braided his entire mane with teeny braids, which Brad’s sister took out for reasons still unclear to me. I drank water all night. We did get out and dance to Tom Jones, but Angela, D and I cleared out of there relatively early (12:30) and slept a great 9 or 10 hours.



I am still tired. It was a great weekend, but I sure cannot bounce back like I used to.



We have ants



When we got home yesterday, we had two vials of ants for Christian’s ant farm. So, this morning, when their father dropped them off for me to take to school and Christian’s first question was, “Did my ants come?” I got to say, “Yes.” Everyone is fascinated with the ant farm.



We are not going to karaoke tonight. We will stay home and sit. And watch the ants.



Dan and Yumi are back in Ohio now, as Dan had to teach today. They threw a fantastic party, and we wish them great joy.

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