Continued from last time–the days before the wedding, with additional comments from Casey in bold.
October 8–A large box comes for Casey and Alex. It is a wok. According to the packing slip, it is from a lovely couple in New Jersey…that we have never heard of. Casey texts Alex’s parents. They haven’t heard of these people, either. It is a mystery wok. What do you do about something like this? Do you try to find out who these people are, or just fake it and send a thank you card? We’re unsure. We’re between a wok and a hard place. It’s truly a wok on the wild side. This is pun fun you just can’t have if you get a mystery sauce pan.
Later, there is a small altercation over dinner when Barbara states that she and I will remain standing at the chupah after walking Casey down the aisle.
“No you won’t” says Casey.
“No we won’t,” says I.
“Yes we will,” says Barbara.
“Mom, the parents sit down after coming down the aisle.”
“Not at Jewish weddings.”
So Casey whips out her iPhone and looks it up and, indeed, Barbara is correct. What a weird thing to be different at Jewish weddings. Is it a tradition that developed so that the parents can be positioned for a quick escape during pogroms?
I mention that the new season of The Walking Dead starts Sunday night. Casey replies, “Good. Something to look forward to this weekend.”
October 9–I pick up my tuxedo rental. It comes with a 100% polyester shirt. I buy a cotton tuxedo shirt so that I don’t perspire effusively and make the dance floor slippery. This shirt is not an exact match for the ones the rest of the groomsmen will be wearing because there’s a bit of fuffery on the front. But I figure the vest and the tie will cover it up. And, besides, I don’t care.
The tux also comes with suspenders. I’m unaccustomed to formal wear. If you wear suspenders with a vest, what if you have to poop?
Later, Alex models his tuxedo jacket, which he had picked up earlier in the week. He had read online that an inch and a half of shirtsleeve should be poking out of the jacket, so he had the store shorten the jacket sleeves to allow this to happen. The sleeves now barely pass his elbows. It’s possible that, instead of shortening the jacket, he should have gotten a shirt with longer sleeves.
October 10–I sit down at my computer in the morning to find an Outlook reminder: “Wedding–18 hours.” Gee, it had slipped my mind.
CASEY: I’m taking the day off of work to do important wedding things, like manicures and pedicures. My mother and I are joined by my college roommate and bridesmaid Beth, who informs us she hasn’t had a pedicure in 11 years. We make sure to bring extra tip money for her pedicurist.
The bridal party assembles at the cafeteria in the aquarium for the rehearsal. It takes several suspenseful minutes to pair people up by size.
CASEY: When they ask how we want to line up our bridal party, we decide on height order, figuring that will take the least amount of brain power. I become very aware that my friends are far more vertically challenged than Alex’s.
Elizabeth, the coordinator, has us walk down the aisle, which is somewhat difficult, because there is no aisle. Not yet, anyway. The cafeteria is still set up as a cafeteria, complete with various unidentifiable liquids on the floor. So we walk helter skelter through the tables to the front of the room, and Elizabeth shows us how to spread out on either side of the chupah which, of course, is not there, so we spread out on either side of Jim, who will be conducting the ceremony. She then dismisses us.
“Wait!” calls Nikole, one of the bridesmaids, “How do we get back?”
I’m briefly puzzled. Back to the hotel? Back to our house? No, Nikole means back up the aisle. It’s not that she needs directions; she just wants to know if there is a correct procedure. Or she may be worried that we’ll have to stay there all evening and miss the party.
Another of the bridesmaids, Mary, who designs toys for a living, unveils the cake toppers she created for the occasion: an adorable otter couple with accessories like a veil and fish bouquet. “I made the outfits separate,” Mary tells Casey, “so that after the wedding, you can dress them up for holidays.”
This is what happens when you have great friends from art college.
Meanwhile, Alex’s father Fred tells me he has been informed that the unattractive garbage cans and condiment counters could not be removed from the cafeteria for the affair. I am about to say, “But, they’re going to cover them or something, right?” when Fred grins and reveals he is kidding. This comes entirely out of the blue; it is something I would do.
Alex’s parents host a rehearsal dinner at their beautiful house with a view of Long Island Sound. It’s a lovely evening, during which I get to spend time with Casey’s college friends. When they were all at the Rhode Island School of Design, we loved taking them out to dinner so we could revel in their artistic enthusiasm and hear about their projects. I’ve missed that, so sitting with them now is fun. Where else can you listen to film makers talking to a naturalistic mural fabricator about the proper way to create a “realistic” werewolf?
CASEY: As we head over to the rehearsal dinner, I realize there’s so much I still don’t know. Do we have to walk to a beat? Do we hold hands? Where can I get some wine?
And now it’s here…
See you soon.