Tuesday, August 07, 2007


My cousin's wedding was quite the production. I arrived ten minutes late and found an up-swept blonde organizer who slipped me into the chapel between the grandparents and the wedding party. Up front, the church was a large showroom decked with potted ficus trees. There were eight bridesmaids and groomsmen, an organist, a singer, two photographers, and three matching sets of children dumping flowers or ringing bells. At the most populous point, there were twenty-three color-coordinated pink and blue members of the wedding party on stage with the betrothed and their minister. At every important new ceremonial step, the entire retinue would freeze in place while the deejays spun an appropriate item from the wedding's soundtrack. Between these three-minute tableaus, the minister intoned the worshipful ceremony into his lapel microphone, his charming North Carolina drawl booming over hundreds in the crowd. I repeated his lines over and over under my breath to get the accent just right. It was far thicker than mine. After the ceremony I needed directions to the reception. I discovered I was in an awkward situation: worse than not knowing anyone at a party is not knowing if you know them or not. My cousin and his new bride, even my grandfather, had been spirited away immediately while the crowd shuffled out of the chapel by pew. I was left in a milling reunion which, by now, was entirely related to me; but I didn't recognize one single person among them. Eventually I asked the minister himself, and then wandered away repeating his directions over and over. The reception was in a church gymnasium down the road. I waited near a table of Vienna sausage pastries until the newlyweds were finally presented to the crowd. Then I shook their hands and then I vanished. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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