Friday, March 03, 2006

Set the Wayback Machine for 1982 -- Vacation Story I

Yes, this is about the honeymoon.

No, it won't be that kind of story. (There are plenty of those kinds of stories out there elsewhere in the blogosphere.)

The first thing you have to know is that the tradition of June weddings got started because May was unavailable.

May is the month for bowling banquets.

Snicker if you will, but banquet hall owners would much rather book a bowling banquet than a wedding. The bowling banquet may come back next year. The bride and groom? Maybe in 25 years, if it lasts -- and if it doesn't, chances are they'll take their trade elsewhere for their next weddings.

I don't expect you to know all this inside stuff about the banquet industry; I didn't know it until my then-fiancee and I had to reschedule our June wedding to May.

We had to reschedule because my intended's sister was going to have her still recent vows solemnized at her husband's home church on the distant isle of Cyprus. My intended and I were expected to attend, of course; indeed, the passage was to be our wedding present from the prospective sister-in-law and her new husband. This was a fabulous opportunity, obviously, and we were looking forward to it eagerly.

There was just one small hitch: We would not yet be hitched at the time of the trip -- the Cyprus ceremony was a couple of weeks before our chosen date. My prospective mother-in-law was beside herself at the prospect of her daughter traipsing across Europe with me -- and without the benefit of clergy.

This was a source of great pre-marital stress, and there was only one solution. I don't think it took me more than a couple of weeks to think of it: We'd just move our date up.

Silly, naive boy.

That's when I found out about bowling banquets -- but we finally found a place on Milwaukee Avenue that could fit us in, if we would do a morning wedding, and so long as we were gone by 5:00 -- so they could clean up for the bowling banquet that night.

We got married the day before Mother's Day. Another piece of advice for you brides and bridegrooms: The day before Mother's Day is not the best day for a wedding. First, the price of flowers will kill you. Second, your friends and relatives will make all sorts of obvious jokes. (Tell me you didn't think of a couple just now yourself.....)

And there was still another reason to avoid Mother's Day, as we found out in the wee small hours of the following morning, waiting in the longest line ever seen in an airport before 9/11, with all the campesinos waiting for the flight to Mexico City. The line was so long because all the passengers (except us) were bringing large consumer goods home to their mothers -- washers, dryers, refrigerators, TV's.

You may be suspecting a continuity error at this point, unless your ignorance of geography allows you to think that Mexico City might be the first stop on the Road to Cyprus.

But we're still waiting for that trip to Cyprus. Thus, if I pick up the thread of this narrative in future posts, it would be to describe the honeymoon in Mexico....

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