Things I learned from a wedding weekend

I don’t know how to do the twist.

It’s true. Who knew it was so complicated for a person like me who lacks coordination? To be fair I only sort of gave it a shot, then jumped around instead. Watching other people dance well, and with joy, made me think at first that I wished I could dance as wonderfully as they can. But then I realized that watching them was so joyful all by itself, and instead I thought they should wish that they could watch, and have as much fun as I was having. My whole thing this weekend was to feel involved, to feel wanted, to feel accepted, and maybe it’s because I kept saying that to myself, or because now that I’m older I know how to listen to myself, but it was effective.

I like people!

I spend all this time and energy hiding out, but people are great! Especially the ones I like already, or are friends with people I like already. Those people rock, and I like talking to them and having them talk back, and I like looking people in their eyes to see what they’re all about, because that’s really a thing, and feeling like we’re all alive and feeling powerful things and making powerful choices as we hurtle on this fragrant rock through space! Well, that’s just great.

Strapless backless bras are just post its for your breasts.

After a cursory check of my closet, I decided I needed a new dress for this wedding. I bought a dress online, had it tailored, then realized that I had nothing like the proper undergarments, and by undergarments I mean bra. I looked around at the department stores and could find nothing, then landed at my underthings nemesis: Victoria’s Secret. Much like Aldo shoes, Vicki’s undies never quite did the trick for me, but what could I do, I was in a jam, and by jam I mean internet purchased low cut dress. I bought a backless strapless number, and while I had sincere trepidation, I figured I was out of options if I was to arrive at this wedding as something other than a trashy mess. Okay listen. This bra you guys. For real: it was all sticky stuff that you stick on your breasts and rib cage. That’s what you do. No hooks, no closures, you’re just supposed to trust your body to this boobie glue. Seriously, if I had stuck post-it’s on my boobies instead it would have had the same effect. Side note: the lovely ladies at Victoria’s Secret at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn showed me how the thing is supposed to work, and in the process told me that Vicki scolded them for saying breasts, and that they were directed to say boobs instead. Even boobies was not acceptable jargon. We agreed that wtf, these are medical terms, and we’re in a shop made for boobies! So that was almost as ridiculous as the post-it bra. I ended up finding way better clothes in my closet, kicking myself for not noticing them in the first place, and being happy that I wasn’t in that weird internet dress.

Actually spending time with your husband is a good thing.

Turns out we like each other, so that’s a real bonus. We have a great time together, even if we spend lots of time talking about how great our kid is, who was at his grandparents’, frolicking with animals and nature, learning to swim. We don’t agree on lots of things, and that’s kind of interesting. Sometimes we change each other’s mind, too. There’s this new thing too where we’re totes happy to do separate things. Used to be that this would drive the other of us nuts, and someone would feel left out, but now that doesn’t seem to happen, which really takes a load off. When we come back together we have new, interesting things to talk about instead of old things, or old hurts, which are the worst. Also sleeping in the daytime you guys, wow, what a thing, and staying up all night just because you know you’ll be able to sleep all day, come on, if that’s not nearly paradise, I don’t know what is.

Being a peripheral wedding guest is best.

Right? You just get to enjoy the party and the people! And be happy for the lovely people you know who are committing to love and to each other. It’s so good! No one expects anything from you other than you not be an asshole, and when everyone’s a little tipsy and so happy, that’s really such a low bar. That being said, I hope I wasn’t an asshole.

Shared joys bring people close, shared sadness too. Natural beauty brings people together.

It was so pretty there in the mountains half way between real update and New York City sprawl. Sunset in the mountains. Come on, it’s basically paradise without the tropical. Although to be honest I pretty much love everyplace I’ve ever visited. The ocean has that feel of expansive natural beauty. So too the mountains, and the desert. And I was surprised to find that also the Great Plains give that feeling of true depth, of the truly unknowable, of the glory of God’s love for us, which lives in our hearts, to be sure, but also in the natural landscape.

Catholicism is its own culture.

Mass is its own whole thing, and I know all the responses. A few years back the responses changed, and bits and pieces of the mass, too. Like at communion (when we consume the transubstantiated body and blood of Christ,) the old line was “I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my heart shall be healed.” My heart lifts up at these words, at this hope of forgiveness and communion with the great love of God and the Great Plains expansiveness of the universe. The new one talks about like a roof or “not worthy to be under your roof,” or something, and I end up thinking of Wayne and Garth from old SNL, and I’m pretty sure we’re all worthy to be under all possible roofs, plus what does God even need a roof for, anyways? The other one is before communion when the thing used to be to sing “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” It had a severity to it, and basically proclaims the mystery of faith. Now it’s just a string of amens. I said the old stuff, always will, just like those biddies who prefer when the whole deal was in Latin. It was cool to be part of the sharing of this cultural tradition. How great it would be if we all felt more comfortable with sharing our cultural traditions, and even more, in taking part in cultural traditions that are being shared with us.

I will swim in a pool just because it’s there, even if it’s cold.

Except on the last day I didn’t, but I regret it now, and am writing this here so I can avoid those regrets in the future.

I feel like a criminal in small towns.

Oh yes. At the wine shop and the cheese shop I felt this big sense of not belonging. It reminded me of this time we were in Argentina with RAT Conference and we took this bus to this commune in the Pampas but instead the bus refused to traverse the muddied floods roads so he dropped us in this town, Cannuelos I think, and our luggage got packed up in this cart being hauled by a tractor and our friend Matt was like “I’m from Brooklyn, I don’t like seeing my luggage go flying off into the plains,” and Cynthia said “do what gives you pleasure and makes you feel secure.” And we were like. Wtf does that mean? Anyway for some reason buying local raw cheese at a darling little cheese shop called Cheese Louise made me feel like a criminal.

Weddings make married people want to talk about their weddings.

I heard about lots of people’s weddings, and talked about my own. It was fun to share stories and hear about other people’s traditions.

Me and Dave on the school bus, a.k.a. shuttle to the church.
Ali and I outside The Graham & Co, the cutie upcycled roadside motel where we stayed. I recommend it.
New friend Kevin, plus old friends Ali and Jim, and Dave in the bow tie.
These guys were also hanging out for the weekend, and while I desperately wanted to do a cannon ball into the pool while this guy was snapping a selfie, I did not ruin their fun. Although this guy was referred to as the “hashtag selfie king,” which at the very least is ludicrous.
At your grandparents’ you can eat homemade ginger coffee cake for breakfast.
Riding in style. Me, Michael, Jody, Jim, Ali.
Awaiting the bride, Fernando, Amina, and Stacy.
There were sparklers!
There were lots of sparklers pictures, but this one was my favorite.
Tried to take a picture of Amina and the bride, Cate, but these jokers got in the way. Being the groom is no excuse. Also posting because you can see Cate’s whole dress, and she looked stunning in it, which as my old friend Valerie would say is the only thing that matters. (Telling brides that’s the only thing that matters is one of my traditions, and a way to remember Val, who said it to me on my wedding video– which we just transferred to digital and still haven’t watched.)
Not a great snap, but it’s us with the couple of the weekend.

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