Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hey little sister, what have you done...

Yesterday was my friend B--'s wedding. The event was held at a groovy downtown location called The Catalyst Ranch. They have various function rooms with names like The Polka, The Tango, The Sausage Room. This wedding was held in The Polka Room.

I'd met most of the bride and groom's family for the first time the night before at a pre-wedding barbecue at the house of one of her friends. The night was so chilly that we made a fire in a barbecue pit to keep warm. Everyone was very fun; B-- had previously briefed me on the family dramas, and it was fun to be an observer of someone else's family theater. Her mother and I chatted for an hour about the benefits of living alone.

Because this was a wedding, I'd dressed for a wedding. I arrived, and the groom was standing in the antechamber before the main hall. He said "WOW!" and then made some compliment to the effect that I should have no trouble getting some action tonight.

"I can bring it," I said, told him that it was nice to see him in a suit (the program actually made mention of him not wearing flannel for a change), wished him luck and went into the main room.

The ceremony and reception were both held in the same room, which was great. I showed up and sat on a sofa near some people I knew (one woman, J---, thanked me for being another single person at the wedding without a date. J--'s husband had died a couple of years ago so I think these events are particularly hard for her.)

The band was comprised of the groom's cousin and some friends; there was a guitar and a Japanese Koto among the instruments. The processional was a slow, acoustic melody whistled "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" style by the guitarist, with the Koto accompanying. The tune was tantalizingly familiar....just on the tip of my tongue....

I turned to J. "Is that...?"

She nodded. "White Wedding."

It was beautiful. No kidding.

There was one bridesmaid and then B-- entered, looking fabulous. As she walked toward the arch where the ceremony was to be held, she sort of hunched up, and for a moment, I was worried that something was wrong. Then I heard, "HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH," and realized she was laughing. This made everyone else start laughing.

(Later, she told me she was so overwhelmed she was laughing and crying at the same time.)

The ceremony was conducted by a friend they knew from The Player's Workshop. It was nice, brief, and very much their style. For the recessional the DJ played Matthew Sweet's "Best Friend." It was a lovely, semi-formal, and totally appropriate-to-the-couple wedding.

I chatted with people I'd met before, had a glass of wine, and was waiting for people to hit the dance floor. Nobody was up. Then the DJ put on a polka...did I mention this is the Midwest? Chairs began scraping on the floor, and there was some steppin' going on.

I was in a conversation when I heard "Dancing With Myself," and before long the person I was talking to (who had been describing a recent long-distance relationship), the mother of the groom, and a fiftysomething woman I didn't know but who was killer on the dance floor, were getting wild.

Now, there are certain songs that I can't help but dance full-tilt to, and this was one of them. It was followed by Bon Jovi and an assortment of kickass dance tunes. Maybe it's growing up in the Punk Age, but when I dance full-tilt I look like Jerry Lewis having a seizure. The photographer spent an inordinate amount of time snapping shots of me. (I managed to wrench my neck, and when I got home had to take three muscle relaxants and ibuprofen to get to sleep.)

I have a feeling those photos will haunt me. I fear sharing a YouTube stage with the lightsaber-wielding chubby adolescent.

The food was passed hors d'oeuvres, and I bonded with a young vegetarian waiter who made sure the artichoke fritters kept coming my way. I had a great, great time.

My job was to take home the special dishes, vases, and other decorations that they had brought. C--, the guy who'd performed the ceremony, was staying at the wedding couple's apartment (they were staying at a local hotel), and helped me load up my car and bring the goods to the apartment. He lives in Florida and is a promoter of Blues acts. He's handling an upcoming BB King show. Yeah; I managed not to beg him to get me backstage.

He did offer to give me tips as to good blues acts to see; there are so many in Chicago that it's hard to know what to choose if you're unfamiliar. So that's cool; I sent him my email and will be on the lookout for blues updates.

And a girl can always hope to meet BB.

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