Saturday, January 2, 2016

Skipper Getting Married

My baby sister is getting married. Yes, married. She and her fiance Boomer are getting married. Yes, married. I have to keep saying it because it is sinking in but planning the wedding is giving me battle fatigue.


That is why they say marriage and then death. Not because getting married means you are dying, but planning a wedding might in fact be the death of you. It's  because there is so much to do and when you think you are done there is more.

When I met Boomer I liked him. Whether he and Skipper would get married was a different story. But I had also liked Bobby, Skipper's previous ex. Unlike Boomer who is more rugged looking, Bobby is more or less a Joe Harvard looking type of man. The break up wasn't dramatic. Bobby was an engineer and took a job in Houston, and Skipper continued on with medical school. It was life.
Boomer and Skipper were a cute couple. As a matter of fact, Skipper was in his sister Lili's wedding. She had known Lili through her husband Willy. Yeah, Lili and Willy, ha ha.

I liked Boomer, but was realistic about their future. My sister matched at Vanderbilt in Nashville, and Boomer was working in Rhode Island. Skipper liked Boomer but didnt want to do distance. Boomer claimed he was looking for jobs in Nashville. I half believed him. Then he surprised us all by moving down there. Yes, Boomer sold his refrigerator to get money to move. He lived on peanut butter, bacon and bannana sandwiches. The poor man spiked his cholesterol level. If that ain't love I don't know what is.

They got engaged and the rest is history.

Since then Boomer has become like the baby brother I never had. I would call him my little brother but he stands 6'2," nearly a foot taller than I. Skipper claims that 2 years after they wed they plan on having a child.


I am not ready to be an aunt. Not to mention my sister and Boomer doing the McNasty, no. It's almost as disgusting as picturing your parents doing the McNasty. I know I exist and the power went out one night. Truth: I wouldn't be on this planet except the television wasn't working and my parents missed Wheel of Fortune.

Since that time, we have all been digesting the news. Aunt Marie, my sister's Godmother had been hunting veils and centerpieces for a year so she was thrilled. So were my other aunts. As for my dad, he likes Boomer but the idea of a wedding makes any father a deer in headlights. My mom was thrilled. As for me, it hadn't quite sunk in yet. My sister was getting married. I had a fiance once. I had a few dudes want to marry me. I know you kiss a frog, he turns into a prince, then he turns into a man. If you don't kill him you have already won.

Skipper only changed her wedding colors several times shortening my mother's lifespan, but those are brides. But the wedding events have been a success so far. The bachelorette weekend at the beach was loads of fun. I had planned that baby months in advance and hoped that my legal troubles (different story), weren't going to get in the way of the work that needed to be done. However, my aunts stepped in splendidly in my absence to fill in the gaps. Nonetheless, making the baskets months in advance humble innovation.

Did I mention the male stripper was the best idea ever? Thank God for Jason Stiles. Yum, yum.
So now it was planning the entire wedding. During the course of the weekend, my mom and I listened to church music and overdosed on classical. Then there were also breaks with guitar where you would only play the song when you truly hate the honoree. I will admit Bach sounds like funeral music and Mendhelssohn is hit or miss. Pachelbell is amazing, and I would say I like Wagner except he was Hitler's favorite composer.

Then there was the reception music we had to pick. In there I began to approach the rehearsal dinner like a comedy show. I told my mother this would not be an open mic, no Siree Bob. There would be pre-booked speakers and then I would serve as time keep lighting people when it was time and my alarm would go off it it was over time. Or we would clap. And over Christmas, I began to pre-book.
After that, I insisted the guest list was done. My father was forced to help. Yeah, he had mixed feelings.

My mother and I bonded over this. Apparently, on her wedding day, she was a jittery bride and my great Aunt Hilda gave her a Valium. So my mom confessed to walking down the aisle stoned. Then they got to the reception and hired a band. Well the band leader announced my dad's mom and dad's dad. One problem, my dad's dad was deceased, and had been so for at least five years at this point. And then the band leader asked my mom what song she wanted for her and my dad's first dance.
My mom said, "Anything but 'We've Only Just Begun.'"

Well guess what they played. Granted, it was 1975 and it was hip, but the bride told you not to.
As if that wrinkle wasn't enough, add in the fact both my grandmother's posted the invite up at their work. They said their kids were getting married and to stop on by. Oh, and there was FREE FOOD. So instead of the 250 they were planning on, my parents had close to 500 unexpected people at their wedding.

And so it begins.

The following phases have been uttered so far:

Dad: "We need to sit down and talk about the budget. This wedding is out of control!!!!"

Skipper: "Calm down, everything will take care of itself. "

Mom: I did not raise you like that. My friends are coming. It will be  splendid production and I will not be embarassed. I RAISED YOU TO BE PREPARED. THIS IS WHY YOU WENT TO AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL AND I PUT A STETHOSCOPE AROUND YOUR NECK AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE A DOCTOR TODAY!!!! SO NO, IT WILL NOT TAKE CARE OF ITSELF!!!!!! IT IS LESS THAN 200 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

Then there was my dad trying to put the guest list on a spread sheet. Me getting yelled at for doing it wrong. My mom telling me we would do it our own way and we were just humoring my dad. And at that moment I uttered the phrase, "FUCK BOOMER AND FUCK SKIPPER. FUCK THOSE FUCKING FUCKS! I AM GETTING ALL THIS SHIT AND FEELING ALL THIS STRESS AND IT'S NOT EVEN MY GODDAMN WEDDING. IF SHE DOESN'T CARE, I DON'T CARE."

That is when my dad told me to watch my language and ordered me to the shower. And my mom sighed. Later that night we went to hang out with my dad's friends, Dr. Reb and his wife Maybelle. Dr. Reb has been married twice and his daughter got married a few years ago.

As we told him about the wedding drama, Dr. Reb half grinned. He told us that his daughter got married in Nashville, and the week had been hot. However, it had rained the night before and his daughter had an outdoor wedding. And it was only a mere 48 degrees. Luckily the wedding was tented. But Dr. Reb had to rent heaters and they were $5000. Granted, they saved the day, but still.
Dr. Reb looked at my dad and said, "It's not over until it's over. That is why I drank heavily afterwards."

The whole thing was surreal actually as Dr. Reb drank his whiskey and recounted his adventures as Father of the Bride with a strange mixture of nostalgia, love, but mixed with the horror a man feels in the jungles of Vietnam.

I thought of my own life and my own mortality. Yes, Skipper and Boomer planned to wed and procreate. What about my life? I was on my own in the city. Would my dreams ever come true? This year had been a colorful one to say the least. I began to fear being inadequate in my career and feared not getting to the next step.

Sure, the work was starting to pay off but would it? There was so much uncertainty that came with the future. Yeah, the dark road I was walking. Granted, Skipper and Boomer would be driving in their mini van and would give me a lift. But this whole thing was.......there were no words for it. No wonder people drink heavily at weddings.

Then I realized I still had my freedom. I still had my dreams. I wasn't the one walking down the aisle. I had the freedom to help plan the wedding and walk away from it. I also still had the freedom to jet off to Vegas or Europe if I so pleased.

When you are married you don't have those things. But at the same time, you have other things. Either way, while my sister and I could not be leading more different lives it doesn't mean I don't want the best day for her and Boomer. That's what a wedding truly is about.

Game on.

Should I threaten to kill him if he mistreats my sister in my maid of honor toast?


And then we can end with a dancing midget jumping out of a cake.

Or Dr. Reb as he increased his brandy intake told a story about masturbating turkeys and then offered to emcee my sister's wedding free of charge. While it would be funny to everyone else, she would never speak to me again. He wouldn't do it for real, but it was just a funny visual as the look of horror would cross the faces of the guests.


Did I mention I was glad I was single?

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