Did any of you ever get invited to a wedding in which everyone, including the Bride and Groom were total strangers? Were you a friend of a friend of the bride or grooms second cousin? Did you attend, only because the invitation announced the nuptials of Anna Kazinski and Peter Polawiski, and you love Polish weddings? Did you have to endure the horror of shaking hands and making small talk with a receiving line full of members of the wedding party who were probably thinking, “Who are these people?” Did you say,
"Congratulations, and oh by the way, you don't know us, but we did bring a big card stuffed with twenties?”
Did you walk up to the entrance of the reception hall and see neat rows of cards with names and table numbers on them? Were there forty-eight tables and you were seated at table forty-seven? If you know anything about this arrangement, you understand it will be six hours until you reach the buffet table, the champagne for the toast will run out at table forty-two, and you’ll survive for hours on warm water, tiny, rock hard mints, and sugar packets.
This happened to my wife and I, this past summer. On the bright side we did have some interesting table mates. They included Jay and his fiancee. He was a bag boy at the supermarket the Bride frequented. We also met Suzy, a baby sitter for the Mother-in-law, a gardener named Jose, and Bill and his Wife, Diane. Bill was a real-estate agent that sold the Bride and Groom their new home. Oh, I almost forgot Ira and Sarah Feinberg. They were actually supposed to be at the Berkowitz Bar Mitzvah down the street. Somehow they became lost, and accidentally wandered into the reception. They seemed like a nice couple, our table had two extra place settings, they loved polkas, and we figured no one would notice.
Using a powerful pair of binoculars, I did manage to see the best man give a speech, the traditional father/daughter dance, the throwing of the bouquet, and the groom launching a garter into a group of single men who appeared to avoid it as if it were a hand grenade. Thank God I'm married I thought, as a skinny kid with glasses cried out in terror and despair as the garter landed on his shoulder.
Here's a little story I'll share with you about a wedding reception I attended soon after my eighteenth birthday. After all these years I still have nightmares about it. I remember being pushed out onto the floor by my Mom. I also remember hiding behind my Cousin, Bo. We used to call him "Moose,” due to his prodigious size. I can still close my eyes and recall the horror as the garter, upon leaving the Groom's hand, lazily flew into the air, somersaulted once or twice, passed over Moose's enormous head, and inevitably, and gently landed on my head.
I have a few questions about wedding receptions. How come when little kids dance, everyone thinks they’re so cute and wonderful, but when I do the same moves, I’m drunk and spasmodic? What is it with the elderly and Polkas? I’m serious. Watch them at wedding receptions. As soon as polka music starts, it’s like someone’s been slipping five-hour energy into their prune juice! I may have been a little drunk, but I swear I saw an octogenarian fly by while simultaneously launching his wife into the air in a series of impressive and spectacular dance moves.
Why are wedding cakes so small? I saw the last tiny slice get eaten in one bite at table thirty-four. Is it true, if a single woman puts a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband? I don't know about that, but I once dated a woman who kept a gun under her pillow. I think she dreamed of shooting me. The relationship didn't last.
I guess I better end this simple observation. I have to prepare for next week’s wedding. It's the nuptials of Francesca Russo and Antonio Esposito. I can't wait. I love Italian weddings.