If I document my time in downtown Buffalo, I should probably write down some thoughts on my wedding weekend.
I waited until Rams and Alipete arrived at our Lawrence home before heading off to the big city to meet my dad - a decision I immediately regretted when Rams entered the house singing "Going to the Chapel". I shushed her, said my goodbyes, and left.
This was the first of many difficult food and drink decisions made during the weekend. In all cases, I needed to choose a food with very low risk for causing indigestion, sluggishness, or other maladies. In this case, I also needed just enough food to last me until the huge rehearsal dinner. Two blueberry pancakes at First Watch in Corporate Woods, Overland Park. Pops had the same.
We then drove around a bit, stopping at Liberty Memorial to spend an hour looking at very old cannons, rifles, and sidearms. After dropping him at his hotel, I checked in at the Aladdin and schlepped all the luggage to the 15th floor. Floyd was given the suite room key while the groomsmen drove to the church to rehearse; he ordered a turkey sandwich from room service.
Nothing interesting happened at the rehearsal.
First Fridays complicated the parking situation at Lydia's, but eventually everyone made it to the upstairs loft for dinner, and eventually the staff figured out they needed a few extra chairs to seat us all. I gave an unplanned welcome speech - something about it being "Suspiciously easy" to integrate into Kim's family and "You all mean a lot to us" and "Please accept this pasta and fish as thanks".
Fettucine with Broccoli in Garlic Olive Oil
Bracialone (rolled pork shoulder stuffed with golden raisins, prosciutto, and Montasio cheese, braised in tomato sauce)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I had a glass of wine with dinner, and an unexpected drink of Tuaca after the meal, but was too concerned about ramifications to drink more, even as friends began to stop by the loft.
I got to bed around 12:30. I slept until 4:30, when I noticed my phone was chirping a text message notification. I had a hard time determining if I was really awake or if I was dreaming, and I asked myself that question at least three times before getting back to sleep.
Serpentine, Nathan, Matt, Camille and I walked to the nearby Hotel Phillips for breakfast. Service was slow, but eventually my safe, non-buffet choice arrived - an omelette with bacon, onions, and peppers alongside fried potatoes.
Then came the annoyingly prolonged gap between breakfast and leaving for the church - about two and a half hours to sit in my room and wonder if I should put on my pants now? Or wait a couple more minutes? Save the tie for later I guess? I passed out the world least thrilling, most John Olerud-esque groomsmen gifts of all time. For the tornado alley dwellers: weather radios! For the coastal residents: solar/crank-powered radios! I don't know. The idea began as a survival kit for the coming end of days, but quickly deteriorated when I noticed many kit items (knives, fire starters) would be frowned upon by the TSA. This time was also used to present me with a trophy. The tradition of buying the groom a small, pathetic trophy cup with "Congratulations on your first marriage" engraved on the name plate began with Nathan's wedding. I cannot explain why. And similarly, who knows what possesses us to continue. Fun, I guess? It's pretty fun.
At the church, we sat around in a spare room with a TV, catching the end of the Royals win and a bit of "Timecop", greeting a few family and friends as they wandered by. I knotted my tie at an acceptable length on the first try, and dared not to improve upon it.
My anxiety was fine until I stood next to the pastor, preparing to make our entrance. Although I did pay close attention during the rehearsal, I had to specifically ask him if I was walking up there NOW, or if he was going in to do something first.
So, there I stood at the front of the church.
I get anxious before most anything. A few weeks ago, I prepared for a fantasy draft in a cold sweat. My heart races before scholar's bowl matches, pickup basketball games, unintimidating public speaking events...
So, at the front of the church, my breathing was good, my heart hate was up, and my face was twitching. That was a new and unwelcome symptom of anxiety for me. The muscle spasms stopped after the bride was next to me.
Hey - is it just me, or when you're standing in front of a crowd do you not really look at any faces, just the blur of humanity?
During the ceremony: very conscious of my posture and hand placement. Very hot under those lights. I listened closely throughout, but can't really repeat anything that was said aside from the "that's what she said" moments.
END PART ONE