Happy Friday Eve! It’s #AKwritingChallenge day 8 and this topic … this topic will get me going off on a rant if I’m in the right mood, and if there happens to be whiskey around.
What was the last wedding you attended, and is the couple still together?
Okay, so technically the last wedding I attended was my own. It went well and yes, we’re still together. Because we were participants and not attendees, however, that is not the story I’ll share here. Though I will mention we had sunsets and dolphins and pirate boats and steel drum music. It would be tough to beat ours for having a good time.
The wedding before that was my little sister’s. It was a “surprise wedding” meaning everyone was told to show up for my niece’s birthday and then we had a wedding instead. It was neat. They are still together, and they’re gorgeous, and this is also not the story I’m sharing. Family is generally safe from the blog.
The wedding I am about to tell you about was fun for many, I’m sure. I was not one of the many.
I don’t go to many weddings. I’m hard to mail invites to, considering I’m never living where I was last time I spoke to people. Mostly family, and some really close friends have had me at theirs.
I completely missed all of the weddings of my high school friends, save one, and thanks to my youthful indiscretions, I don’t remember much. It was a week after that wedding before I bailed out of the state for personal reasons; that wedding was a catalyst.
Anyway, when I was living in Northeast Michigan I had several friends I hung out with at a local bar that I still love. One of the guys ended up buying it and the place has vastly improved.
One of the gang had been around for a few years. He’d gone to school in Kalamazoo and his parents lived in our town. He was moving back with them after graduating – before deciding to go BACK to school for a whole different degree, that is. He’s currently using the second degree so I imagine his parents are happy.
My friend who shall remain nameless was originally from Iran. I don’t know if that has any bearing on the story, but it was a fun fact to play with. His family had moved to the States when he was 6, to Minnesota so you can imagine the weird ass accent he had.
Side story: he really did look Iranian, though he was a clean cut, slim youth. Many midwesterners cannot tell the difference between Iranian, Iraqi, Paki, and on and on.
On the topic of bad jokes – his name rhymes with jihad, so you can imagine how we tormented him with that. Thank goodness he enjoyed playing along. “Hello, waitress, can our friend Jihad have a Slippery Nipple, please?”
We once went to shoot guns with a pretty hardcore redneck friend of ours (AK-47s and things because GUNS!). We had to stop at an ammo store that was very familiar with our redneck friend. He wanted to have fun with the clerk, so we convinced our Iranian friend to ask for the ammo (while we waited in the other section) and to promptly tilt his head back and do the “AY-YA-YA-YA-YA” yell as soon as they handed it to him.
It went over better than I expected.
Back to the main story: My friend asked me if I had plans over the weekend coming up. His roommate in Kalamazoo wanted his stuff out if he wasn’t going to school there anymore, or something along those lines. It wasn’t a bad situation, just one of those things where it was time to move his stuff. At the time I had access to a Trailblazer and we figured his crap would all fit in the back.
Of course I’m like, sure! Love to help you out! I love Kalamazoo, there are places we can go and people I’d like to check in with, so let’s do this thang!
“There’s a wedding …do you want to go to that?”
I love Love. I love weddings. I love celebrating new beginnings and all that entails. Even strangers! If a couple that just got married comes into a place I am, I will send them drinks or an appetizer or something. That’s just me. They went through something extremely stressful and now real life begins … Did I mention I love Love?
“I won’t know anyone there, but if you promise not to abandon me, sure, I’ll go! Do you have a card or something I can sign?”
The weekend rolls around. I feel like the wedding was on a Friday Night but that can’t be right, can it? I do know that it was freaking December. In Michigan. The weather was not the greatest.
Quick disclaimer: I love to travel. Seriously. Random road trip? Yes, please. Oh, you need to go to Kissimmee for a dental appointment? I’ve never been, let me drive you. The disclaimer on that is simple. If I have a set time I have to be somewhere, there is NO SCREWING AROUND on the drive. We get there early, we do our thing, and then we go waste time. If there is no set event, we can screw around as much as we want. Suddenly it takes two days to drive 125 miles? As long as we had fun and no one was expecting us, I’m good with that.
This was back before Google Maps was a thing on your phone. We still had to use an actual printer and hope the MapQuest directions were accurate. Now, seeing as this was a drive between the town I currently lived in and one I had grown up in, I knew the route like the back of my hand. I had our itinerary all planned.
We had to leave by 3, AT THE LATEST, to get to Kzoo with minimal stops and have time to change and get to the wedding on time. That gave us room to stop for a tiny dinner – they were supposed to feed us at the wedding – and I could pick up nylons to go with my awesome outfit.
I should have known this wasn’t going to go quite right when we didn’t even get out of our town until after 4. Okay, whatever, this just means drive through instead of a sit down thing for a meal, but we can still make it.
Boy-o pulls out a sheaf of papers. “There’s this deli with this hummus in Lansing, I’d like to pick up.” Flips sheets. “But I’m not sure which of these delis it is. We’ll have to try them all until we find it.”
My eye starts twitching. “Okay. Are they right off of the highway?”
“Yeah, but there’s this Korean place I thought we could eat at …”
At this point I figure I’m changing clothes in a Meijer parking lot when I pick up the nylons, but honestly, this is still doable. And Korean food? I’m from the mid-west. We don’t do Korean.
The Korean was good. See-through noodles are neat! And I like the sauces. The hummus was okay, nothing I’d write home about though it did just get mentioned in a blog, so there’s that. Definitely not worth the hell we went through to find it, that’s for sure.
We finally get to his roommate’s house. It’s already 6:00. We’ve been receiving text updates, the wedding is starting late. Yay! And we’ve already decided to skip the actual wedding because, duh, we’re late. The venue was 45 minutes away in a place called Three Rivers while the reception was being held on Western Michigan’s campus.
We have a couple of drinks and get ourselves ready. Again, MapQuest directions, not Google on phone. We got lost on campus. Finally I started following a random car and, thank God, they were going to the same place we were.
We go in and, as expected, I don’t know anyone. My friend stays by my side, for the most part, until we bump into someone who went to my school, like 3 years behind me? I think I knew her sister, maybe I heard of her, I can’t remember.
My friend took this as a sign that I was good to go. I didn’t see him for three hours. No dinner was ever served, much less appetizers. The bar was expensive and the music sounded awful. The DJ was a perv and I wouldn’t have paid him. I spent most of my time out in the lobby warming up after going outside to smoke cigarettes in the snow with the other unhealthy and bored people.
Afterwards we go back to the house and change. I am not in the best of moods at this point. So what do we do? We go to a local bar. A bunch of his college friends were there, most of them from other countries. I met people from Togo, Chad, and many, many other places. It was fun! I was a minority in the bar that night, and it didn’t matter.
I say it was fun and I guess it was. But then I started hitting the whiskey. Because I felt like Alexander having the really, very bad day, I thought somehow whiskey would make it better.
Whiskey never makes things better.
Fortunately a band from the town we lived in was playing. It was completely unexpected. I was hammered enough to ask them to give me a ride back to town so I didn’t have to be around my friend anymore. Unfortunately they were staying (and no way in hell would I let my friend drive my truck back to town anyway) in Kalamazoo for the night, but hey, did I want to go to the after party?
By the end of it all, I was crying in a bathroom. Too much stress trying to get to a wedding for people I didn’t know, while moving someone from one town to another, and receiving literally zero gratitude for the entire trip. That I paid for. No gas money, no food money, no bought drinks at the bar or wedding. I mean, WTF? I do you a favor and this is how I’m repaid? No thanks, I’m good.
Until we went home and his very traditional family fed me Iranian desserts and coffee and thanked me graciously. His parents are the only reason I didn’t cut him from my friends group on the spot.
That was the last wedding I went to, that I’m counting here. As far as I know the couple is together but that’s mostly because I wouldn’t know how to find out otherwise and I’m an optimist.
How about you? What wedding did you go to last and did it go as expected?