Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rob ties the knot, we all tie one on

My older brother got married yesterday. I spent the day coming up with these observations, in between well-timed cocktail breaks.

Everyone is given the best chance to be themselves at weddings. Weddings may not bring out the best in everyone (ask me later about a guest named Pigeon), but I think they bring out the truth. Those who come but leave early, right after the dinner and before the real fun starts. Those who do not come at all. Those that groan when the Electric Slide comes on. Those who shake their heads at all the idiots dancing, but never get out there themselves. Those that don't care if they turn the wrong way during the Electric Slide, and those who will remember the horror of that clockwise turn forever.

It brings out the truth in people like my dad, who stoically sat through the ceremony and shot me the look of death when I informed him I needed some drank money. Cut to two hours later, as we confer on the next song to request. His fists raise triumphantly as Sweet Home Alabama came on, he spins me around, and has some pretty sick moves for someone who only dances once every five years. It's surprising only to the people who don't understand that his constant Marine poker face is really a facade for a secretly silly man who kids adore for his spot-on Donald Duck impression.

My mom and Rob dance to James Taylor, and everyone who knows the backstory takes a moment to appreciate the appropriateness of "Shower the People". Mom rocks a gorgeous dress and perfectly coordinated jewelry that belonged to my grandma. She wears uncomfortable shoes for the ceremony, but they are mysteriously missing once the reception starts. She's never been one to subscribe to the "Beauty is Pain" mantra.

My shy younger brother first shocks the crowd by giving a tearjerker speech about his big brother, and then again when he requests a slow song for his girlfriend and him. They spend the rest of the night in a corner talking. It's like every word he's kept in for the first 17 years of his life now can't come out fast enough.

My youngest brother uncharacteristically dances the whole night away, even whipping out the always appropriate Soulja Boy "Superman that Ho" move when prompted. I catch him staring at my middle brother and the gf, and I wonder how he feels about his built-in best friend growing up without warning. He seems to have gotten over it when he sprints across the dance floor and then does a full belly slide perfectly in rhythm with the "ba ba BAAAA" of Sweet Caroline.

Rob shakes the hands of countless uncles, Jill accepts everyone's compliments graciously. They have no problem telling people that the wedding party was late to the reception because we all stopped at our favorite Bloomington sports bar (where they got engaged) for a jagbomb. Jill watches and laughs as Rob relives his club rat days, which is a kinder reaction than some of our conservative relatives have. Even when people aren't watching or clinking their glasses, they cuddle and kiss. The tables and hall are filled with the pink of the wedding, a final and fabulous reminder of the backseat Rob took in the planning of the whole affair.

After spending the ceremony trying to keep the tears from spilling down, I spend the night shaking my ass. I take full advantage of wedding dance etiquette, loving that I don't have to pretend to be sexy or worry about some creeper coming up behind me without warning. It's just me, a cousin or five, and all the Midwestern classic rock favorites. My favorite party animal cousin and I start a well-received Soul Train line.

Pay attention at the next wedding and I think you'll agree with me. There's a difference between your uncle Joe and your uncle Tom, and it is because one of them knows and loves the Macarena. Yes, much of my theory is centered around the drinking and dancing habits of the wedding guests. I never said it was scientific. I just said there's a difference between those who judge the absurdity and those who participate in it. I, for one, plan to be teach my grandkids the Cha Cha slide someday. Hands on your knees, hands on your knees...


Teresa said...

I want to see picssss!!!

Did you rock your hot pants for the reception?

Mary said...

I am nearly crying in a cyber. I love you and your family! I am so happy it went well and fully appreciate the James Taylor moment. all my love and more!

Molly said...


I loved this post...I also LOVE weddings.

I am counting down the days to my cousin's 4th of july wedding...where I plan to be the first one on the dance floor--and to the bar (because I'm 21 now!!!)