my friend from high school, kelly, got married in tyler last weekend (and by "last weekend", i mean 11/14, because i am far behind in posting this). friends from all over the place came into town for it. it was a miniature high school reunion. people i hadn't seen for 5 years, 10 years, 17 years.
i was disappointed in my ass for not losing at least 10 pounds and fitting into anything, ANYTHING, i own that would be appropriate for an evening wedding. i stressed endlessly over this and tried to find something last week. my ass would just not behave.
oliver, violet, and i went into tyler after oliver dined on lunch at school friday. oliver hung out with grandpa and violet went to the rehearsal dinner with me, as i'd also failed to get her bottle trained.
it was being held at the country tavern, a place i had never visited. my parents always ditched us when going there during the 80s. it's just over the county line, where liquor stores spring from the grass like unplucked weeds. you have to go down one of those terrifyingly inky dark, two lane highways to get there. i pulled over once to call my father after passing a shack with a neon sign declaring ribs were inside. he did not believe this to be the place. i carried on and looked to my left to see COUNTRY TAVERN go blazing past. it is not easy to turn around in a situation like that. we managed to not get killed getting there.
we tried to arrive fashionably late, 6:30 instead of 6:00, seeing as how i had a ticking time bomb baby on my hands. we walked to the back room to find only a handful of people milling about. fortunately, they were people i knew. brothers christian and mark and there respective wives, stephanie and teresa. eric showed up with his wife, sherine, who he's been hiding for the last five years. then todd, accompanied by his latest story of love gone wrong.
it had to have been close to an hour later before the final bits of the wedding party had arrived and the serving of food got underway. i was already half undressed at this point. to nurse. she had started to bridle as the guest count grew and the noise level lurched. the nursing calmed her down, but sleep did not manifest. what did manifest was the fact that she is a party girl. teresa posted 21 photos from the weekend. violet outnumbered me 3 to 0:
when i get to it, you'll see the third during the height of her party mania at the wedding reception.
the waitress tried to set a plate of ribs in front of me and i let her know i was a vegetarian. i was informed a vegetable plate would arrive shortly in my honor. and it did arrive. to the multiple flashings of multiple cameras. it was a hit. a scoop of mashed potato-style potato salad, a ramekin of coleslaw flanked by two halved pieces of the whitest white bread you never sank your teeth into, and a mountain of lay's potato chips. it was a dream in white. not even a slice of pickle in there to sully it.
i do not have any recollection of this being taken (or i would've tried to present myself at a more pleasing angle), but i have learned that horizontal stripes seem to make my boobs look large.
i was pleased to see it chased with a bowl of apple cobbler. i just rolled my scoop of ice cream into someone else's bowl.
after chatting what felt like hours into the night, i thought i wouldn't be able to handle the move out to christian's parents' lake house. and then i was informed it was only 9:30 and i bucked up. christian directed us the back way through more terrifying darkness and we arrived to find friends in headlights. daisy, becky, april, darren, and charlie were all crammed into a car. charlie! he's the friend who disappeared 17 years ago.
anne marie showed up, followed by christie and her husband. becky and april went nuts over violet for awhile and then she nursed to blissful slumber so that i could retire outdoors to the bonfire.
i returned to my parents' at 1am to find oliver drugged out to repeating yo gabba episodes on the fold out couch. he was stretched across two pillows. i stared at him for awhile in disbelief at how fast he's growing and then covered him up with a blanket.
violet was kind enough to not wake up until 7:30 or 8:00. i have no idea how long oliver had been awake, but i peeked in and he was lying in there with the pillows back in place and himself back in place, talking to my mother's stuffed panda.
we managed to get out the door at 10:30 with the hopes of being fashionably late to the 10:00 pre-pie breakfast pie breakfast at eric's parents' house, but learned as i pulled up to the curb that they had delayed the start time until 11:00. they have this pie breakfast tradition every thanksgiving morning where people, you know, eat pie. she was having a dry run in honor of everyone who had come in town. i considered not having pie, since i wasn't keen on oliver eating pie. then, someone was nice enough to sit him down to some apple pie, so i scraped off the cool whip and found a half slice for myself with a three-piece baklava chaser. oliver didn't touch the pie because he had already filled up on a cup of ABCD crackers.
it was gorgeous outside and i barely laid eyes on either of my children. violet napped on christian's mother out on the patio and was then passed around. oliver played with christie's daughter for a bit and then hunted acorns with a plastic shovel and dump truck. it was hard leaving.
we ran by christie's house to see if she had suitable fat lady attire for me to wear. i went away with one dress, which i should've worn to the wedding, but didn't. i found oliver and gabe in the closet relaxing against a rolled up blanket and watching a tiny dvd player. it was their personal movie theater.
we had a couple of hours to relax while i waited for brian to arrive in tyler at the last possible minute. he had not risen until the hour of 11am as he had been up until the wee hours of the morning creating music.
at 5pm, we were attempting to be fashionably on time to marvin methodist, but barely made it under the wire. we ran into jon perry outside as he was scooting under the wire as well. it took me three or four passes over his face to realize it was him. we all squeezed into the far back corner with christie and her husband while violet slept in her carrier. you could hear a pin drop. and people coming in a little too late. then, the organ kicked in and violet started screaming. brian jumped up and grabbed her to head out and the bridesmaids began their walk immediately after. but you could still hear violet screaming and i though he had gone down the big, spiral staircase to the foyer and it was echoing back up, so i jumped up to go let him know. the ushers swung the doors open for me to pass. no. wait. they were swinging the doors open for the flower girls to come in and there they were. right in my face. i said "shit" and ducked back to the nearest pew. as soon as they passed, i realized brian had had the same thing happen to him and was hiding on the other side of the doors. trapped. with a screaming baby. he finally escaped and i returned to the pew, embarrassed to know our shenanigans were likely recorded to a digital medium for eternity.
it was the shortest wedding in history, if you don't count our sham marriage. maybe 10-12 minutes. we poured out of there and then headed to the hollytree country club on the other side of town. violet was still waffling with her displeasure.
we pulled into the parking lot. and i saw christie and her husband a few cars down rooting through their trunk. so i hollered out, "what? are you guys getting drunk over there?!" and lo and behold. it was not christie. this would have been a little embarrassing, but it just happened to be eric and his wife. so i knew them. and they said they really were digging out a bottle of liquor they had brought for the wedding couple. then, christie arrived and it was mysterious because she and sherine were wearing nearly identical black and white floral strapless dresses with black heels. christie with a white sweater and sherine with black. if i had known this in advance, it would have made perfect sense for me to confuse them.
we put violet in the stroller and rolled on into the party. drinks and appetizers were already floating around. we grabbed our placement card and learned we would be at the "breakin' II: electric bugaloo" table with christie, barbara, their husbands, another couple from LA and a single man who used to work for fisher price.
since we were mired down with baby, brian and i were tethered to the table and were thusly the first to consume salads. violet eventually allowed us to pretend to walk her in the stroller by traversing the five yards along the wall back and forth 20 times. then the entrees arrived and, as expected, they were cheesy-ish. mushroom ravioli, to be exact. i nibbled on one of my parting gifts: a chocolate. and then a roll. they eventually brought me out the old vegetable plate. steamed broccoli and asparagus this time.
people were beginning to people the dance floor and i stood my ground that there was no way i was going to be able to drink enough to join them and still be respectable about my nursing. i mostly remained true to this. i stayed at the table while the bride led everyone in a thriller dance. i was glued to my chair as i consumed a piece of the groom's cake, followed by a piece of the wedding cake, and blamed brian for eating the second piece. i stood still and watched as the bride performed "like a virgin".
the closest i came to dancing was with short, spotlight performances whenever i needed to walk violet to the restroom. break into the circle, get down for 20 seconds, and get out of town before things could get ugly. of course, this did not stop violet from shaking it on the dancefloor. christian gave her a little bit of brain damage as her dance partner. she was so wound up after that, you could give her a little jiggle and her whole body would start automatically wiggling.
we finally escaped into the night once they started shutting the place down. judging from the photos of others there, i missed the exit of the couple under a blanket of bubbles.
i went to the wedding with a hobo. brian went to the wedding with a ghost-faced barrel.
with barbara and christie. barbara works at the white house now! she says she advises the national security advisor about things that would make you afraid to live in afghanistan or pakistan, as if.