Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Wedding Zinger: Part 2

At last, D-Day jerked her nasty bosom into life with the malodorous, moist winds of July. Upon my cordial invite to the union of Justin Lee Dooley and Nora Jenna Massey (never) received in the mail, I awoke at ten in the morning on the day of the wedding, after four hours of sleep, to stumble around my parents' house in my underwear and search for our dead cat, Pudge. My hangover was just on the cusp of nausea when I elected to go lay out on the back patio to sweat out the previous night's vodka cranberries. An hour or so into the sojourn, as the temperature flirted with the ninety-five degree mark, my thoughts vacillated between wondering if liquor transudation accelerated the tanning process and how the rehearsal dinner was a flaming fuck-up. Since the evening would make even Charles Manson cringe, I held little hope for the wedding day not devolving into a disaster filled with hysterics, tears, bad facial hair and beef jerky. I was not let down. My mother proudly wore the calamitous hot-mess cap that day, and I seemed to be the only one concerned about her designer dress.

I finished dehydrating myself outside (less water retention begets more defined cheekbones begets better wedding photographs) and went to initiate my afternoon of preparations: find a date and get pretty. Lauren, my Jewboo, was, in fact, my date to the wedding because nothing says traditional, Southern wedding like a homo and a Hebrew. I needed to retrieve her and did not understand why she had not yet arrived at my parents' house. My questions were answered when I passed by the front door and saw her eating in the car with her driver (Tony…her friend from college and all around Libertarian idiot savant). Of course. I went outside to confront them with a hello and that we owned an entire kitchen, as well as a breakfast table for people to dine. Tony wanted to spend some alone time with Lauren in the car, thus the McDonald's to-go. "Lauren, when Tony releases you from his quarter pounder clutches, the guest room is ready for you. I'll be in the shower," I declared.

The remainder of the afternoon evinced quite smoothly, even with Trent's (my younger brother, the best man) hangover and Mama's lunch of wine and Fontina cheese cubes – oh the foreshadowing. Trent managed to not projectile vomit the entire day. However, as we hailed in Georgia, in the middle of July, and I bring bad karma everywhere, we noticed thunderstorm clouds beginning to roll into the open sky. Had we been in New Orleans, it would have been exactly like Katrina.

The country club executed a lovely scene of white and yellow ribbons around the terrace, where the ceremony would take place, overlooking the sweeping vistas of a golf course filled with sand traps and caddies. When my family arrived, we noticed the club's crew members scrambling to save the decorations that hadn't been washed away. My mom quickly stashed her travel-sized wine bottles into her makeup case and dashed toward the bridal suite to help comfort the bride, who was now crying due to the rain. Lauren followed her, probably wishing she was still in Tony's Toyota Cressida. The men (myself included…pause for laughter) ventured to the groom's suite to start drinking.

The ceremony proved as lovely as any I've witnessed in Georgia and New Jersey. The bridal party's silk flower bouquets added perfect pops of cerulean blue and canary yellow to the reception hall, the new site of the ceremony. Wedding guests sat themselves at the reception dining tables and corrected their chairs to face the "stage." I surveyed the crowd, marveling at the beauty of the smiling faces, the tear-stained cheeks and the bleach blonde bouffants deflated by the torrential monsoon rumbling outside; I chortled at myself for picking out all of the brilliantly bad facial hairstyles in my family; such shapes! I noted how well I wore the ill-fitting tux, repeating to myself: "just trust in your hair…the higher it stands, the less people will look at the too short sleeves;" and I thanked Jim Crow for not having to steer Granny down the aisle. However, no generic person or silk flower could compare to the genuine gazes of love and adoration between Justin and Jenna's faces.


Well, we persevered. We made it to the reception without much casualty. I shook out of my polyester vest, tie and jacket, sighed and sat next to Lauren to eat. I'd sadly given up on alcohol at this point, opting more for the bevy of buffet foods. As the eleventh buttered bread roll began digesting in my stomach, I beamed at the wonders of spreadable butter, telling Lauren that nothing good comes of rock-hard butter, unless a penis is involved. She concurred as a crumb descended from her upper lip to the floor, for we'd discussed this subject quite scientifically over many meals. Stomach still butter-churning, my mother eventually diverted my attention her way. She'd discovered the dance floor.

Mama only drank two glasses of wine at the wedding, but I'm eighty-seven percent certain that someone continually graced her with sips of various cocktails from the bar, and I'm ninety-two percent assured that she yielded with no fight. I first noticed her staggering state during the mother-groom dance. Justin practically spent the entire song propping her up in his arms as she squeezed and kissed him, and of course he picked a song six minutes in length. I was giddy, impatiently waiting to ask him how tired his arms became. After the dancing formalities, the DJ kicked it into country gear, playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." I rolled my eyes. After the redneck interlude, the DJ, ever the game-changer, blasted "Hot in Herre," and Mama kicked of her bejeweled heels and began assaulting the parquet dance floor. I'll forever possess so many indelible images of my severely intoxicated mother, the female version of me in twenty years, strutting, gyrating, humping, accosting, swirling, guffawing, cheering, YMCAing, collapsing, stumbling, stubbing, humping and any other "ings" one could think with relatives, in-laws, friends, strangers, bridesmaids and cater-waiters. Throughout it all, her dress remained intact and ON. I was in pure heaven. And, so was she.

We managed to secure the Dooley matriarch in her Lexus shortly after the bride and groom went on to live happily ever after. Five minutes down the road, we stopped for a quick purge before heading into a nearby IHOP, for "I need to eat something to soak this shit up," Mama stammered. We all obliged, as Lauren and I coveted the restaurant chain's elusive cheesecake pancakes. Mama's dress got a standing ovation from the waitress with no teeth.

Mama: My dress is soooo nice, right?!?
Me: It would make Scarlett O'Hara jealous.
She smiled, laughed, and then snorted so hard she spit out her toast right into Lauren's pancakes just as I received a text from Justin saying the judge left without signing the marriage certificate.


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