Where to begin?
For those of you who don't know, my friends Forrest and Angel got married this past Saturday. Although I had assumed a good time would be had by all, I was completely unprepared for the level of fun the weekend provided me. Various muscles throughout my body still ache from laughing for almost 24 hours straight.
The weekend kicked off with a trip to the Kirkland Cafe, a place I have been more times than I care to count, to see our friends from Groove of the Day play an amazing all-instrumental set. (Although my personal favorite song, He Screamed "Wallet", did have a single line, "Wallet".) We had to cut the night short, though; in preparation for an early departure for Connecticut for The Wedding the next day.
Saturday dawned with a meek threat of rain, clouds rolling overhead in slightly ominous fashion. I noted that we should pack an umbrella "just in case", then promptly forgot the idea. Sean, Aredubya, Alayna and I piled into Gunther the Passat for the ride down (Hey, we love our earth! We carpool!), thinking we would check into the hotel early and finish getting ready there. No ride is boring with both Sean and R-dubs in residence; and my abs got a nice warmup on the way down. I don't even remember what was said, but rest assured that it was funny.
Afternoon burned off most of the clouds, and the sun came out in a brilliant gleam. The location for the ceremony was Wickham Park, a gorgeous oasis of grass and water and trees deceptively close to the highway. I straightened out my pink-and-black dress and decided to brave the grassy park in my spindly-heeled sandals instead of changing to the chunkier ones. As we arrived, Angel was just getting there as well, a beaming beauty in a corseted white satin dress. Her almost-black hair was swept back into an updo with exotic purple orchids peeping out the sides. Forrest hovered behind with one of his trademark gentle grins, clad in a very UN-penguiny silvery grey tuxedo. (His hair actually was black, a change from the vibrant pinks and greens and yellows we've all become so accustomed to...) After a brief greeting, they guided us "through the woods, past the red pagoda, follow the Chinese lanterns".
We set off like explorers, waving at a few shorts-clad park-goers on our way ("you are WAAAY underdressed for this park!" I exclaimed jokingly). Eventually, we found The Spot, a brightly verdant area set off from the rest of the park by a sparkling pond. Other guests were beginning to trickle in, each one bringing a new wave of celebratory "Hey! You made it! Woohoo!"'s. The sun beat down on us, turning one of my shoulders a deep dark pink (I need to remember that I am a very very very WHITE girl and need to apply sunblock, even for short jaunts into the sun!). We milled about, the women occasionally yanking our heels free of the soft earth.
The ceremony, when it came, was brief and heartfelt. Neither party involved showed the least sign of nervousness (I suspect that marrying someone you have been in love with for years and years will do that to you), just a kind of uber-contentment when the vows had been spoken. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a shot of The Kiss (see Forrest's site for a great one that has popped up since I started writing this) or one of the newlywed couple, grinning broadly in a sea of rainbow bubbles. What a gorgeous day.
The legal portion of the day complete, we jumped back into our sunbaked cars to head for Hot Tomato's, the site of the reception. Upon entering the doors, we were immediately accosted by the waitstaff, who demanded that we have a beer at once. Not wanting to offend, we of course obliged them by having beer after beer after beer. Then we had a beer. Also, a beer.
Everything we were served was scrumptious, Sean and I both having opted for the Salmon Osso Bucco (served with scallop "marrow" and a lobster reduction...). Even more scrumptious was the dinner conversation, swinging from one extreme to the other as I practically writhed in laugher. (Apparently I was at the "wrong table", though; being the only one at ours to take notice of the countless dirty box clit licking nipple sucking quality of the favors. Love them!) The best part of the event was the crowd who assembled there--my GOD but it's hard to get all these people together at the same time!
As things began to wind down, we headed across the street to our hotel room to change into more appropriate pool-playin' duds. There, again a crowd gathered (this time in our hotel room) and laughter was heard. I don't even remember the direction of the conversation--a joke or two at moglia's expense, a few comments about rat-ass-kicking hawks on neighboring buildings, who knows? The point is that we were just getting fired up for the night.
City Steam was a few blocks away, which gave us a chance to see all Hartford, CT had to offer. It reminded me of Richmond, VA in that dead-yet-alive kind of way. There was nothing to do but eat or drink, the streets eerily quiet for a Saturday.
When we arrived and queued up to put in our drink orders (it should be mentioned at this point that nearly ALL of the beers this fine establishment offered were over 15% ABV--one topping the scales at a whopping 20%), we noticed the bar's TV's showing a disproportionately large number of Ronald Reagan clips. It was some time before they finally confirmed our assumptions by flashing a "1911-2004" across the screen. (Was it 1911? Crap, now I can't remember and just don't care enough to look it up...) We had a drink or two for Ronnie, good ol' Ronnie, the first president that most of us remember recognizing as such. Then we forgot about him and commenced drinking and raising hell, joined by 20 of our closest wedding guests as well as the bride and groom.
I am terrible at pool, really really terrible, as evidenced by the fact that I unknowingly scratched by sinking the 8-ball and then indignantly tried to keep playing ("You should really practice with all the balls left on the table", Alayna noted helpfully). So one game was all I really needed to enjoy. The rest of the night was a pool spectator sport for me, although I did sink quite a few of Sean's hard-earned quarters into the jukebox. (Playing such favorites as "Brick House" and "Wild Thing".)
God, what a night! I'm not certain I could squish all that transpired into mere words. Suffice to say that I drank more that night than I probably have in the YEAR that preceeded it. I had some fabulous conversations with most everyone who would listen, from my old favorites like
It was around midnight that my friend Lynn (gf to Keith, drummer extrordinaire from JAV) and I spied a very tall beer holding contraption with a spigot attached being taken to a nearby table. 0ur eyes lit up "What is that???" Answer: it was a "beer bong"--and it held three liters of beer. We immediately started ordering those instead of silly piddling pints, and I stopped throwing back margaritas and started throwing back White Rabbits--a 16% ABV Belgian wit-style beer. Yummmmmmy. (In retrospect, it was probably a blessing that we didn't realize that they existed until so late...)
The walk (stumble?) back to the hotel seemed much shorter, now that we could no longer feel our legs. We were on a quest for food--our waitress had tipped us off to the existence of one Papa's Pizza in the vicinity of the hotel. On a mission, Lynn and I ordered a large pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom for the two of us and Keith to share, Sean being deathly afraid of tomatoes even in their most delicious sauce form. Although Keith did start asking questions of the resident Cop Who Keeps Order Late at Night (never a wise idea when you are drunk and it's after 2 am...), we got away unscathed and went back to our hotel room to snack mercilessly on the unsuspecting pizza.
Things really got out of control when Sean paid a visit to the snack machine and came back with a selection of candy bars. Or was it when I suggested the burping contest? Never mind. The point is that it was fun.
The night wore on after we went to bed, my guardian angel Sean waking me periodically and forcing me to drink vast quantities of water. This was likely to make up for the fact that he was A) lying SMACK DAB in the middle of the king-sized bed and forcing my drunk ass right off the side, and B) snoring again like some kind of congested banshee. I also woke up every now and again and thought to myself "Fuck. I am going to be SOOO hung over tomorrow!"
Luckily, I wasn't.
The 11:00 check-out time looming, we gathered our things and headed down to the car. Luck being on our side, we managed to hook up with not just Keith and Lynn, but our illustrious bride and groom as well. All decided that a trip to a local Denny's for the world's best hangover remedy (waaay too much greasy breakfast food) was in order. Yay!
The laughing continued there, but this time with sleep-deprived punchiness leading its way. Let's just put it this way: the funniest moments at breakfast included:
1. Sean driving past Forrest, who was deep in concentration reading at a newspaper vending machine; and honking his horn REALLY LOUDLY, making Forrest jump.
2. Sean laughing uncontrollably as we drove away, and then deciding he should do it AGAIN.
3. Sean doing it again.
4. A discussion of Fudgie the Whale (or, if necessary, Cookie Puss) being used as the Holy Eucharist in a Catholic Mass. ("Lord, I am not worthy to receive Fudgie the Whale...")
5. A little girl in the neighboring restroom stall singing a song about what she was doing. ("I go pee! And then I wipe myself!")
Comedy, people, comedy.
When breakfast was finished, there was nothing left to do but get in our cars and go home. So we did, with that happy bittersweet post-wedding feeling.
And then, in the car, we discussed masturbation. And secret porn stashes.
It was a fucking great weekend.