Sunday, July 27, 2008

My wedding date -- jcarolek

Well, yesterday I attended one of my best friends' son's wedding. He is also one of my son's best friends and my son was one of the groomsmen. The trip to Toms River, NJ was a long one on Friday, but it was worth it. The affair was a very nice one and it was great seeing some old friends I had not seen in a while.

At the reception, I located my place card and noted I was to sit at Table 5. There were, I believe, 17 tables in all. Before we took our seats at the table, though, we were treated to some awesome hors d' oeuvres ... and I DO mean AWESOME! As we mingled and noshed on the snacks that would make eating dinner impossible, I discovered the others who would be sitting at Table 5. All of us are good friends, though two of the couples and one single man I had not seen in a while. Mary Jane and Sandy, Sue Ellen and Jim, Sue Ann and Jeff ... three great couples.... and then there was Father Lee (a former priest from our parish) and me. As we took our seats at the table, Father Lee said I could sit next to him...I could be his "date!' LOL... Ok, whatever!

When it was time for the best man to give the first toast, Tommy's best man, his older brother by ten years, stood up to give the toast. I really liked the toast which, as Tre noted, was not highly inappropriate as had been the one HIS best man had given when he was married three years ago. Instead, Tre's toast to Tommy was very sweet. He told the story of taking his little brother out for a walk in the yard when Tommy was just a toddler. Armed with his favorite, an Oreo cookie, Tommy went happily with his big brother to explore the woods and stream, and looked forward to throwing rocks in the water, like his big brother. As he toddled along, he picked up a rock, copying Tre....when they got to the right spot, Tre threw his rock...and Tommy threw his Oreo.... oooops...... There were more little stories, but in the end, Tre raised his glass to toast his younger brother, "To Tommy, may you always be able to tell the difference between rocks and cookies...." and we all toasted with him.

And then the band began playing again. The band was loud, but the music was good, so nobody really minded having to yell over the music in our attempts to communicate. We ate the multi-course meal as it was served, perfectly timed to allow lots of dancing between courses...(in a feeble attempt to work off some of the food already consumed and make room for more...) Let's face it... there was NO WAY I was going to be able to do my dinner justice. I had to just take a taste of everything, and it was, indeed delicious.

I personally did not dance. At least, not for the first few courses.... instead, I sat at the table with my "date" and chatted, caught up on the three years since he was our pastor. It was nice. And we watched the others dance. My son and his fiance moved beautifully on the dance floor, seemingly oblivious to the rest of the dancers as they executed their ballroom dancing technique. And everyone who stopped by to say, "hi," HAD to remark on how impressed they were with my son's fiance, Kristen. I'm a little partial, I suppose, but I have to agree!

Finally, I could no longer resist the call to the dance floor...they were playing all the songs WE used to dance to...back in the day when I used to dance .... thirty years ago! And I was just as bad at dancing last night as I always was back in college... and I had just as much fun! Now, Farther Lee did not dance, as he has severe problems with arthritis, but he did not begrudge my dancing with the rest of the "old folks" and "young whippersnappers." LOL

I enjoyed watching the grandmother of the bride, in her 70's or 80's -- dancing up a storm! And the 20-somethings were HAPPY to dance with the old farts.... (I suppose this COULD be, in part, to an open and FLOWING bar! LOL). At the end of the night, as the friends I had ridden with to the reception and I took our leave, as we held our skirts down against the gusty wind that would have them up above our heads, as we bid good night to a great group of friends, I was struck with the thought that, once again, something I THOUGHT I was doing to support others, turned out to be a GREAT time for me.... it never fails! Of course, there were those who were missing, whose presence would have made MY night perfect... but.... I had a wonderful time even so. And I can officially claim to have had a priest as MY wedding date!

And this morning, when I awoke, just a wee bit stiff from my "dancing," I moved at a far more relaxed pace than I had all week. I left the hotel just ten minutes before the official check-out deadline and made my way through torrential downpours to my hotel in Linthicum, MD...where I will spend the week working. I found it interesting that in the hotel in Toms River, NJ I was given room 317..... and when I checked in here this afternoon... I was give room 317..... different hotels, different towns... coincidence????? LOL

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