Saturday, August 9, 2014

We've Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)

Yesterday marked my parent's 39 wedding anniversary. It is kind of strange they have been married that long. These days, people have a starter marriage, then a second marriage, and maybe two or three others. They are still on their first one though.

It all began at my Aunt Marie's wedding. You see, the back story was that my Nunni had dragged my mom to my aunt's wedding. She convinced my mom, who was a first year teacher, that there were available men at weddings. My mother scoffed. Still, she worked in education, where women outnumber men literally 3:1. Plus my mom taught PE. As a jock, male teachers were intimidated by her. Sure, she is tiny, but she can kick your ass. Do not be fooled.

They came to be invited to the wedding because my Nunni had stepped in to help my Mema Ralph during a rough period. Years before, Mema Ralph had lost her husband to a heart attack. My Aunt Margaret (RIP) had gotten married, and left home. At the time, my dad was in college. As my aunt was ready to make her voyage down the aisle, there were still 4 young children to be accounted for. Mema Ralph had no work experience aside from being a stay at home mom. So my Nunni, who was a nurse, stepped in and helped her get licensed as an LPN. To thank her for assisting in her dire time of need, she plus one guest were invited to the wedding of her daughter Marie and her fiance Frank, a guy who she had dated since high school. (They too are still married).

The reception was crowded, and music was playing. My Aunt Margaret, who was an awesome cook, was catering the affair. Suddenly, out of no where, the bartender had a heart attack, and an ambulance had to be called. The place was filled, because both the Brucker and O'Brien clans invited everyone they knew. It was a German Irish Catholic wedding, and there is one thing people do there. They get drunk. They get drunk to celebrate. They get drunk to forget that they are getting old because someone they saw grow up is getting married. They get drunk to deal with family members that they can't stand. Alcohol serves a purpose, a big one, and the bartender was down for the count.

My Nunni, always being a part of the solution, decided she and my mother would take charge of the situation. They jumped behind the bar, and with members of the Brucker clan, began making drinks and handing them out to guests at the wedding. So what the bartender was gone? They were on their own making the best of a terrible situation, and the guests were none the wiser. Between my mom and Nunni manning the booze and my Aunt Margaret in the kitchen, things moved smoothly. Of course, my dad stepped in as social director making sure there was no hitch. After all it was his sister's big day, and because their father had passed he had given her away, and therefore had to take on the rest of those duties, and this meant cruise director on the big day. Sure, it was crazy, but my Aunt Marie and Uncle Frank played if off as if nothing was happening, and despite the dust up their big day ended up being fantastic.

Afterwards, my grateful father walked over to my Nunni and asked, "Thank you so much. You took a situation that could have been a complete disaster and made it work. If there is anything I can do, ever, let me know."

To which my Nunni replied, "Yeah, go over there and dance with my single daughter."

Meanwhile, my Nunni walks over to my mother and says, "Act like you are bored. Guys like that."

So they danced and the rest is history. Nine months later, they were married. Of course, on her wedding day, my mom said to the DJ, "For my first dance, I don't know what I want. But don't play 'We've Only Just Begun.' I hate that song."

The DJ said, "Okay."

Sure enough, on her wedding day, that was their first dance song. So yeah, that's the story of Wilbur and Annalise Brucker. There you go.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

Love you

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