My cousin, Nathan, was married yesterday. Two Catholic weddings in one year…uff dah—that’s all this Norwegian (and all the Lutheranism that implies) can say. I received instruction from Nick (he was THIS close to being engaged to a devout Catholic sometime pre-Laura) before Jeff and Kara’s wedding on what I should and shouldn’t do—I had never even been inside of a Catholic church before (and now I’ve been in two!). It’s intimidating…you know that us protesters followed Martin Lutheran away from the 1500’s law of the church, we (us Lutherans, Protestants, and the like) became forever known as the lazy Catholics. Not to get all egghead on you, but as the Lutherans played the originality card naming ourselves after that one monk, the Protestants followed suit, deriving their name from “protester”. I’m so delighted that the whole Reformation thing didn’t totally ruin our relationship with the Vatican. Luckily the Father in yesterday’s ceremony dumbed it up for the Lutherans in attendance…i.e., the groom’s side.
Nick chauffeured myself and the two best aunts in the world to both the church and the reception. He did this at great sacrifice…the Badgers were playing Penn State. As the fourth quarter commenced, he text messaged Jeff, undoubtedly in attendance at the game, requesting a text message when the game finished, with the score. When he received the “13-3 Badgers” message he practically showed our entire pew with his silent jubilee. Uncomfortable greeting my family the receiving line, having no idea who anyone was (besides perhaps an inkling as to which was the bride and which was the groom), Brenda told Nick that all he had to say as he shook hands was the score of the game. Diligent and wanting to please, I heard him practice his line under his breath even as we walked to the parking lot and en route to the reception.
Wanting to give him a lead in the conversation at our table, Brenda asked over-loud, “Hey! Does anyone know the score of the Badger game!?” Nick wiggled in his chair, straightening to answer, as Barb, Rick, and Corey (my aunt, uncle and cousin respectively) ruined his dramatic effect. Their family came only for the reception, having most probably spent the majority of the day immersed in talk radio, television, and leisure.
Badgers won, thirteen to three, they all said in one way or another, talking over each other in a verbal version of the game leap frog. They went on and on…discussing the plays, the decisions, and generally not shutting up at all. Nick drooped visibly, theatrically. During our post dinner stroll, he snarled to me that he could have given an answer like that, but that “Some of us had a wedding to attend.”
I told Jeff last week about the upcoming wedding. He asked me if I knew my cousin well…I told him that I didn’t, and that no offense to him and Nick, it was mainly because Nathan (and his brother Thad) were so much older than the rest of the cousins. Age makes a lot more difference the younger you are, naturally. I had to say no offense, because Nathan is a ripe 31, three whole years younger than my friend and my significant other. Nick received quite the ribbing on the day of Jeff and Kara’s wedding, mainly at the hand of Jeff’s mother, wondering when the bachelor would finally surrender to holy matrimony as his best friend didn’t make it to 35 before it captured him. So, naturally, when I told Jeff that my 31-year-old cousin was getting married, his comedic response was to comment that he was a bit young for marriage, wasn’t he?
So, my uncle Gary…well, is he still my uncle? He was once married to my mother’s sister…in any event, I haven’t seen him look at me with recognition in my eyes since he showed up at our home the night I “bought” (read: begged my mother to buy for me) the brand new album from New Kids on the Block, Hangin’ Tough. He looked through me like I was a stranger at my mother’s wake and when I shook his hand at the receiving line he had the plastic smile on his face that a person crafts when your clueless but pretending otherwise. Nice!
Gary came and bs-ed with my father and brother for awhile, before turning plastic to smile towards me…but then it must have struck…what was this stranger doing sitting at a table of my former in-laws? He sashayed up to me, only the way a past-his-prime player can, “And who are you?” I looked at him pointedly…my aunts looked at him pointedly…I let my gaze drift toward my father and brother and something clicked. “You can’t be Laura!” Oh, but I can…trust me. Someday more so than others, but there’s always a bit of Laura there. He was a little touchy-feely for my comfort, but I was perfectly at ease when he asked, “Did I hear you got married?”
I smiled broadly…Gary would understand. “Married…AND divorced!” I pointed at Nick. “This one’s still in training.” He grabbed my left hand to verify and laughed broadly to stay in training…that it’s the best part.
There’s no better time to diss marriage than at a wedding reception!
Oh, and Nick was bored by the end of the night…and, as you can see, I was irritated. Ah, family bliss! (Thank God I only have to sustain it a few times a year.)