Saturday, June 23, 2012

Younger Daughter's wedding: Tales from the front of the house

We conclude this series of reminiscences about Younger Daughter's wedding weekend (beginning here) with today's installment. But don't worry -- Olaf and Younger Daughter are under our roof now and I suspect you'll be hearing about them plenty in future posts....

I've written so much about the many, many things Long Suffering Spouse did to bring the event off that, perhaps, you may be wondering what I might have done -- indeed, what was left for me to do -- besides sit around and take notes.

Actually, there was quite a bit for me to do, and not just tote that over here, or carry that over there.

In my house, I'm the techno-guy. My first major assignment was to prepare the invitations. No disrespect to printers, but word processing software long ago advanced to the point where very presentable invitations can be created. Hobby shops sell card stock that is just as nice as anything. An inkjet printer can't duplicate the 'engraved' effect of professional printing, but it can look just as nice. When Long Suffering Spouse added blue ribbons to the top of each invite, ours looked pretty fancy indeed.

Of course, that was long before the wedding. Immediately prior to the wedding, though, my techno-skills were called upon again: I had to do the brochure for the wedding (can't tell the players without a scorecard) and set up the music.

I wasn't just the host for the reception; I was the emcee. Remember when I told you how the custodian had entrusted me with the wireless mike? In that stressful week before the wedding Younger Daughter became increasingly concerned about whether the best man would give an appropriate toast. Well, he wouldn't give a toast at all if I never let on I had the microphone, would he? I didn't tell anyone I had it (it fit comfortably in the pocket of my sport coat that Friday, and it slipped easily in the pocket of the tux as well.

Of course, I did have to park it at the hall during the Mass. (I could hide it behind a curtain.)

But that was fine -- because, despite my best efforts to persuade you that my jobs were more than fetch that here or carry that there, that's really what it came down to.

I was off early on the morning of the wedding to pick up 20 lbs of roast beef and two kegs of beer (a ½ barrel of Miller Lite and a ¼ barrel of Miller Regular) and various and sundry other potent potables. We had to get all that set up (read: on ice) before the Mass. Food had to be brought over, too.

But, there we were, finally, at the reception and, of course, I'd have wanted to stay out of that kitchen even if there'd been nothing for me to do in the front of the house.

But there was. I'd mentioned the bread crisis, and the butter crisis. At one point, I tucked a bottle of wine under each arm and went from table to table refilling glasses for the bridal toast -- or, in many cases, filling them in the first place.

Remember I told you that there were a lot of teetotalers on Olaf's side. I had to do some serious selling in several cases.

(Apparently I sold pretty good. I've heard since that Olaf's family wasn't much for dancing either -- I thought that was a Baptist thing, not Lutheran -- but most of the folks out there on the floor were from Olaf's side.)

I stayed within grabbing distance when the toasts were being made. I wasn't really worried about Older Daughter's toast... but you gotta maintain symmetry. My mike work was extremely limited (which, come to think of it, may explain why I received praise for it). Someone told me I had a very good radio voice. I've long been told I have a face made for radio....

I don't know exactly when people started cleaning up, but everyone pitched in just wonderfully.

Well, almost everyone.

Some kid who'd gone to school with the happy couple was passed out on the bathroom floor. He'd lost his company manners in the receptacle most suitable for that purpose, however. After an hour or so flat on the bathroom floor, he made it out to the steps of the Parish Center -- a distance of at least five or six yards.

The journey took a lot of him. Well, more out of him, not that he had that much more to lose. Youngest Son hosed down the sidewalk around where the kid had been sitting. A couple of girls drove him home. We wound up with his suit coat.

Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was the disco music (well, they are Norwegian -- and Abba turned out to be really popular). But even Aunt Floofy wasn't quite so severe as we knocked down the tables and gathered up all the napkins and tablecloths. We didn't even have to put the darn things back on their hangers.

Younger Daughter and Olaf got to their hotel. The rest of us returned home -- but only for awhile. Everyone but Hank and Older Daughter went back to Middle Son's -- along with the beer kegs -- even Youngest Son, who had a doubleheader scheduled in the morning. Well, his coach was willing to drive him, so I guess I couldn't complain.

I don't know that I could have complained much if I'd wanted to. And when a Curmudgeon can't complain, that's when you know he's really tired....


Anonymous said...

What about the license?...I imagine they did get one somehow...I bet you are so happy to have all this behind you so that now things can sort of get back to normal....You're going to be a grandpa...LOL....Being a grand parent is the greatest thing in all the world

The Curmudgeon said...

Yes, they did get the license.

Now Olaf has two anniversaries to worry about.

The kids went to the Skokie Courthouse on the Monday after the wedding and inquired at the Clerk's office. Unlike Fr. Ed, the assistant clerk at the counter said this sort of thing happens all the time. He gave them the license and said go back and get the priest to sign it. Technically, the ceremony is supposed to follow the issuance of the license, but as long as he signs it with today's date or later, certifying that the ceremony's taken place, it'll still count.

Fr. Ed, much relieved, signed the document as soon as they got it to him.

So Younger Daughter and Olaf can look forward to celebrating their first anniversary next June 9 and next June 12. (I think that's the right second date -- but, who cares? That's Olaf's problem, not ours, right?)

Anonymous said...

LOL..I love it Curmy! Hope his wife don't let him forget about anniversary number two!