I was a wedding this weekend, for a friend of mine and his girlfriend. There they are----> Ain't they purdy? This was a very important occasion, not just because it was a wedding, but because it was a wedding with a free bar! Ha! Just kidding. It was important to me because I happen to think a lot of Andre, and it was good to see him happy. It was also a momentous because my husband and I got to go out! Outside, together, sans baby, like normal people do! Wahoo! When you live away from home, getting a baby sitter is hard. I do have an Uncle here, but he and his wife have three young kids- so I don’t feel right about asking them to sit for me, but this occasion was too important to miss, so that is exactly what I did.
It was really good to sit with friends and have adult conversation. And it was wonderful to be able to have a drink or two. Ahhh yes. Nine months of pregnancy and 7 ½ months of breast feeding make for a very dry Nadine. So I had a glass of wine, then a Vodka and cran, then another glass of wine…I was having a laugh with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. Dancing and laughing with Don was a lot of fun too. And it is thirsty work let me tell ya! I found myself really enjoying the wine- until the flashback.
Yes. Yes. The Flashback. I had been to a wedding before where I was going through wine like this. And then beer. And then Vodka, and then Scotch. I don’t think that ended well. No, not well at all. Want to hear the story? Well, sit back and get yourself a drink.
The wedding was in 2003, in Kingston which is a little over 2 hours from here. It was for my husband’s childhood friend Mike, who was, as we say back home, a bit of a hard case. We drive out on the Friday after work. The traffic was heavy and it was raining cats, dogs and various rodents the whole way out. Nice start.
We get to the room at the hotel, a little smelly, very tiny, but it is somewhat clean. After checking in and unpacking, we head to the local bar where the wedding party was having a pre-weddin’ social. When we arrive I notice there are kids running around, babies everywhere, and a lot of people I don't know hitting the bottles pretty hard. Since I am driving, I must watch all this and not participate. I consider how the eight year old feels watching mommy getting soused, and wonder briefly about the affects of alcohol on mother's breast milk. Then I decide I don't care. How the kids got into the bar is beyond me. It was not a restaurant.
I was introduced to a number of the people at the wedding, and I am dismayed to discover that only three of the guests are Don's friends, I only know two of them. Even more distressing is that the rest of them are lawyers. Most of the night is spent listening to the group masturbating with stories from law school, or their legal firms (Now before the comment section is filled up with accusations that I am an antilawyerite, let me assure you, I love lawyers. Some of them are my best friends. I just hate the ones who are full of themselves). Thankfully Jeff Hogg and his wife Sherri were there, so I got to talk to someone while I watched husband get soused. He doesn't do that very often, so it was ok. Kind of funny to watch actually.
The next day we head over to Fort Henry for the wedding, and after 2 short hours of waiting to get across the causeway we arrive. I am thinking to myself that this might actually be nice- we will be near the water, and outdoors for a wedding…that would have been really cool. Except that is not where the ceremony is. Nope, we are doing that in a bunker at the top of Fort Henry. A small urine smelling bunker. It is dank, there are no windows, save the three missing bricks at the front of the bunker. But my, those white silk ribbons on the brick sure do look nice!
The woman in front of me must have marinated in her perfume and it was making me queasy. A wedding guest was late so the bride's family held the wedding up for them, while we waited like sheep in the bunker. I was getting a little claustrophobic; my eyes start to roll in my head, and I was tachycardic. The pianist squeezed into a piano at the front of the bunker played the same three songs over and over again. I started to see stars. The couple behind me rehashed the same stories I heard from the night before. How thoughtful.
Finally the wedding started, and the rest of it was pretty well engineered. We laughed and clapped in the right places. Pictures came after that, and Lord, if I have to start describing that whole set up, I will have to start drinking again.
I am honestly quite ill by that point so I went to the washroom: splashed cold water on my face and went outside for fresh air. I felt a little better when I was given an intriguing bit of information from the groom: Drinks were free until dinner. I figure, hell, I feel like crap now, maybe a drink or two will help. Somehow forgetting that this is now 6:00 pm, and I haven't eaten since 11:30.
Well I got a drink, and get a round for the people I can talk to (Don, Jeff and Sherrie) and sip. And sip. Around me, more stories from law school, and talk about how much money they made last year before taxes. Don is talking to Mike and Jeff, someone gestures to him and Jeff and asks who they are. The reply is "They didn't go to law school." so they moved on to the next topic. Someone was kind enough to get another round. And we all say thank you politely and gulp. Now there was no fraternizing with the law crowd. I was starting to think we scared them. I get another drink and asked myself "Am I scary?" This continued for sometime, and we learn that dinner will be delayed a bit. There are some other scripted items which must be completed first. I am not sure what they were right now, but I remember it had something to do with pictures, and Randy Travis. I drink.
Sometime later, and trust me, I don't remember, dinner is served. I think by this time I have set a record for how many times one person can curse between breaths. Most of what happens next is a blur. I remember feeling a little off. And concentrating on my turkey. I had a piece held up on my fork for a long time. You can meditate with turkey you know. It is quite calming. Suddenly I knew I had to move...and fast. Don says he looked at me at that point and feared for someone's life. I looked angry. I was not at that point. I had one goal. To get out. To get to the bathrooms.
Well fine friends. I did not make it to the bathroom. And the two gentlemen who were at the bar down the hall from the dinner room can attest to that. I almost made it out of the little bunker. But not quite. A sad mixture of white wine, red wine, some scotch and a morsel of turkey made a second projectile appearance in the doorway to the outside air. I don't remember the next few moments. I do know that Sherrie came outside with me and held my head up for about half an hour, trying to get me to eat. Not much success on that front. Don came out a few times to make fun of me and disappear. Finally he decides it is time to haul my sorry ass back to the hotel. The sorry spectacle was the highlight of the evening for the non-lawyers...and they left shortly after we did. Needless to say, I did not make it to the boat trip the next day.
So back to 2007 now, and with that Flashback oh so fresh in my mind I decided I'd had enough wine, vodka and amaretto, and chose water instead. My mamma didn’t raise no fool.