Justin: If you like it then you 'should' put a ring on it.
Jenna: Yes, baby.
Me (on hearing of this matrimonial act after the fact): Gay.
Despite the stellar quality of the proposal or that the ring hailed from Zales, The Diamond Store, I must admit the incoming nuptials did not make me happy. Like every good, Southern girl I bitched to anyone that would peel back their ear hair and hear me out, for after several verbal attacks on my brother with this newfound life strategy, he opted to NOT listen to me anymore. It became a sad state of affairs. My mantra was: "Justin, you are both twenty-four years old. What's your rush? I am twenty-eight, and I've experienced so much more than you have, like Europe, The Hindenburg Disaster and picking up a diploma. Neither of you have finished school, and you’re both towing the line at menial jobs. Congratulations, you are signing yourself up to a life of poverty."
I quickly became the toast of the bridal party with my prickish comments.
After I got over myself, I firmly decided to be happy about the blessed event and agree to wear a tux that resided on the opposite end of my moral compass and not begrudge all of the country family folk I'd be around on that day. Much like my convos with Justin, the rehearsal dinner was also a disaster, and that disaster would be called my grandparents. Normally, Granny and Granddaddy are quite benign, but as I've grown older, maintaining a safe distance away from their dentures always proves worthwhile. Okay, I should rephrase: My grandfather keeps to himself. My grandmother may be a sociopathic narcissist. For instance, if you happen to be at the same funeral as her and mention that you've "had the worst bout of esophageal cancer in recent memory," she'll attempt to retain the pity spotlight with a statement like "mmm, that's awful, but I've been dealing with something much worse: gas and swollen joints. It's like having a heart attack after eating at a Chinese buffet." I still love them, though.
Justin invited my mother's parents to the dinner, even though my mother told them not to come because of the heat and my grandmother’s general un-usability of her legs, thus hindering a walk down the wedding aisle on a trial basis. Thank god the rehearsal went fine, despite the ninety-five degree heat and my mother calling to each bridesmaid: "hey, chick!" When did "chick" become the new "girlfriend" or "biyatch" for middle-aged southern women? The hoary-headed duo got their bunions all twisted because my mother did not physically show them where to sit at the dinner, housed at Peachtree City's finest Taco Mac. At this point, the three cocktails and vodka shot I consumed had me at DUI level, and I really didn't give much thought to them, until I saw Granny barrel through the exit door in the back with her walker. Justin ran out to see ascertain the reason for departure but blindly walked back inside alone moments later. Of course I got pissed and staggered out in their wake.
Me: Why are you two leaving?
Granddaddy: No one has any respect in there. We didn't know where to sit.
Me: Are you serious? Did you see name cards? You can sit wherever you damn well please.
Granny: We just don't feel wanted.
Me: Who told you?
Mama came out after I gave up, but as soon as I glimpsed at her maniacally waving her fists at them, I went back outside to hear:
Mama: This is Justin and Jenna's day! Not your day, and you are ruining this night for them. There’s a booth inside for you to both sit at.
Granny: Well, we didn't see it. We just feel disrespected. Like y'all don't care and nothing was planned for us and what are we supposed to do.
Mama: You are being ridiculous.
Granny: And y'all need to stop with that alcohol!
The Taco Mac patio patrons loved the show, and after dinner I took Mama, Daddy and Trent (youngest brother, the best man) to a gay bar to drink and be merry amongst people that appreciate tragedy and irony: drag queens. Trent had a great time and ensured that his hangover the next day for the ceremony would be alive and well.
As we stumbled out of the bar at two in the morning, I thanked god (Michele Bachmann) that this wasn't my wedding and wondered if I could book Beyoncé as my flower girl.
To be continued...