|The babies in the wedding were even younger than these two. Someone should have thought to corral them similarly.|
I was telling a friend a few moments ago that there is basically nothing I can do at this point to prepare for Christmas. What is ready is ready, and what is not ready by now will have to wait until my return trip from the Alps.
Much of my clothing I'll wear while touring the part of Europe I will inhabit has been sent there already and has already arrived. Everyone's medications have been sent, or prescriptions have been sent to be evaluated by local doctors and converted to the European equivalent if it's not something that can be sent there. My preparation has involved only tying up loose ends here and packing what I'll carry onto the plane with me. We'll be able to travel very lightly.
I really wish the pesky kidney stone had passed, but those things operate on their own timelines. It's not causing sufficient issues to warrant lithotripsy, so I have to ride it out. Should something get worse in the regard, first-rate medical care is available where I am going. Three of our hosts are MDs. They don't specialize in urology, but they can write prescriptions and can hook me up with the doctors I will need should I need them. Still, I'll hope that I do not.
The original plan was for us to leave tomorrow. The plan changed a couple of weeks ago, but my mom for some reason thought it was a good idea for us to labor under the illusion that the departure date was still Monday, December 19. then when we fund out at the last minute (fifteen minutes ago) that we had another day, it would be like a gift. I'm not sure it's exactly a gift, but it does allow both matthew and me an opportunity to socialize with some of our peers tomorrow night. my parents promise to make themselves scarce by hanging out at the nearby condo of friends. I'll believe that my dad has made himself scarce when I actually see it happen.
Last night my ex-paramour Jared married my longtime friend Megan (with my blessing if it matters to anyone). Jared decided that it would be a splendid idea to have his two baby cousins - a seventeen-month-old girl and a twenty-six-month-old boy, in the wedding as ring bearers. (He had included his cousins who were present. He had about ten flower girls, a handful of candle-lighters, including hos little brothers and sisters. Someone was a bell-ringer. I can't remember all the positions he came up with so that no one would be excluded, but the end result was more of a three-ring circus than a formal wedding. This was fine, as it was Jared's and Megan's wedding to conduct as they saw fit.
Still, if the ring bearers are going to be under the age of three, it might be wise to give them fake rings and to have someone else maintain control of the official jewelry. This didn't occur to Jared and Megan. about halfway through the ceremony, the 17-month-old, carrying Megan's ring on a pillow, wandered away. She was halfway up the stairs to the balcony, which probably hadn't been cleaned since the last flood (the church was located somewhere in the winding Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which floods if the region receives an inch more than average precipitation) when her two-year-old brother noticed her and went after her. We all thought he would come back with her, but they both found something apparently more exciting up there than could be found at the main level of the sanctuary. When it was time to exchange rings, they were still occupied doing whatever it is babies do when they're unattended. Jared needed Megan's ring, so he took off to go get the kids I told him to stay and that I would chase them down. i found them dancing in the dust upstairs. I brushed them off the best I could. The two-year-old came willingly, but the baby had no interest in leaving the dust, so I carried her, getting dust all over my dress. She thought this was very funny and laughed hysterically all the way down the stairs and to the front of the sanctuary. The grandparents, all sitting in the pews, looked at me like, "What did you expect us to do about it?" I just shrugged and plopped the baby down in front of Jared and Megan and guided the two-year-old up there next to her.
We got through the wedding and moved further up the Delta to a riverboat on the Sacamento River for the reception. The reception was relatively elegant considering who was running it and who was attending. i had received as a birthday gift a book of country songs. It was delivered to my aunt's house. She was away at a rodeo when it arrived, and then I was in Canada, so we din't connect so that she could give it to me until yesterday. I made the mistake of setting it down momentarily.
My dad picked the book up. He showed it to the bride's father, who is one of his drinking buddies. My dad has several friends with whom the only thing he has in common is a love of booze. Megan's father is one of such friends. Once the bride/groom first dance (to, of all things, "The Dance," a Garth Brooks song about a breakup), the father of the bride and bride's dance, the wedding party dance, and all that shit otherwise known as wedding protocol took place, Megan's dad and my dad decided they were the remainder of the night's entertainment. They picked one song after another out of the book and asked the band to play it, and they sang along loudly without the necessity of amplification. Megan's mom looked a bit embarrassed. My mom's been through similar events too many times to be embarrassed any longer by such behavior from my dad. The groom's family, even though they're Mormons, at least have senses of humor. The guests had to dance to "The Devil Went down to Georgia,' "Desperado," Achy Breaky Heart," "Smoky Mountain Rain," "Stand By Your Man," "Me and Bobby McGee, "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman," "Your Cheatin' Heart," and others. I was texting with the friend who sent me the book. He was offering other suggestions, which I gave to the inebriated performers. By this time my pseudouncle Scott had joined them. He can sing even if he's had a few too many, so his addition was definitely an improvement.
There were several other places on the riverboat that had pianos, and I wanted to try the book for myself, so I pried it from the hands of the groom's father. (My dad and scott knew most of the lyrics anyway. They just needed the book for song selection ideas. i told the bride's dad to use his cell phone for lyrics. my pseudouncle helped him find a site. I made a list of songs they could sing, including but not limited to "The Battle of New Orleans," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," "Love Me Tender," "God Bless the U.S.A.," "On the Road Again," "All My Exes Live in Texas," "The Coward of the County," "The Gambler," and "Ring of Fire." Most of the Mormon men had joined in by then.Scott said he'd take it from there if they got through all of those.
I eventually escaped with my new music book. A few friends followed, glad to get away from the cacophony. I only played a few songs. By then I was ready to call it a day. I went back to watch the bridal couple make their exit, then left for my hotel room on the riverboat. I may have seen five minutes of some sitcom before conking out.
Now I can sleep late tomorrow. A few friends will show up mid-afternoon. i'm a lousy hostess, so if I grow tired before I'm ready to leave, i'll let Matthew nd Timmy (who's co-hosting with us and is traveling to Europe the next day) manage hosting duties while I go upstairs and sleep. (We have maid service coming to clean up after us, so we don't even have to pick up after our guests.) My bag is packed. All I need to do is hop into and out of the shower and pull clothing over my body to be ready for early-morning departure.
I wish I could be more specific about my European trip. Security reasons dictate that I cannot. I'll share the scintillating details when I return.
I may blog tomorrow. I may not. I have no idea what I can or cannot do in terms of using my electronic devices while in Europe. Consequently, I bid you sayonara for a very short time or for a couple of weeks. tie alone will tell.
|a reasonable facsimile of the drunk singers|