This weekend, my cousin* – the groom in this particular wedding – got married in Chicago. And that meant – WEDDING ROAD TRIP! Most of his large, extended clan lives in Delaware and Maryland so there were lots of wedding road trippers headed to the Windy City late last week to celebrate the big day.
Who doesn’t love weddings? Okay, honestly, it’s the wedding reception part that everyone really loves. I mean where else is it perfectly acceptable for white ladies
my mother’s of a certain
age to cut loose on the dance floor to The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”? Where else can herky-jerky movements
punctuated with finger snaps be considered good, no, great dance moves? Where else can a 33 year old lady order a
Shirley Temple without the bartender looking at her askance? Oh come on, you know you just flashed back to
the last time you had a Shirley Temple!
Anyway, I was excited when I scored an invite to the wedding. The groom happens to be the son of one of my mom’s favorite nephews (well, they’re all her favorite. Even the practicing Wiccan. Hey, every family needs their practicing Wiccan) and we have a soft spot in our hearts for him because - one – he lives in the Greatest Place on Earth and two – a long, long time ago when my parents and I visited his family in Georgia, he went with us when we went to a bunch of historical places and, um, his mom took us to the Cabbage Patch Museum. Which was, as you can imagine, AWESOME - even for a 14 year old with a Shirley Temple drinking problem.
Once we knew we were going to the wedding, my mom and I bought plane tickets, booked our hotel room, and signed up for a Chicago Gangsters Tour and a Chicago Food Tour. We were going to make a real weekend – give or take a few days – of it. I began dreaming of eating deep dish pizza, a treat I haven’t had since I stopped earning Book It coupons (it’s tough growing up in a thin crust family, lemme tell you!) I brushed up on my Al Capone facts. I took lots of Vitamin Extroversion to overcome bouts of inevitable shyness. I prepped conversation cards to help get through awkward elevator silences (A sampling – How was your trip to Hawaii? How did you do in your recent race? How ‘bout those Phils? What do you think of the financial crisis in Greece? Obama or Romney? )
I was all set.
But then my mom called. She had a medical emergency and she wasn’t able to go to the wedding. So, that left me with a choice. But really, in situations like that, there’s not much of a choice. At least, not to me. Instead of spending the weekend in Chicago, I spent the weekend at my parents’ house in Pennsylvania where I needed to be. I made sure my mom was okay, tried (unsuccessfully, sorry) to edit the dramatic telling of her medical emergency down to 18 seconds, and attempted to get her to not dwell on where we weren’t.
At the end of the weekend, the bride and groom were married. The wedding, from what I’ve read on Facebook, was beautiful. Congratulations to the bride and groom!
And my mom is okay.
That’s really all that matters. Not that, for me, it was the wedding weekend that wasn’t. There will be other weddings, and wedding receptions, and chances to herky-jerky finger snap on the dance floor and order Shirley Temples all night long.
I guess it could’ve been worse. I could’ve been planning a funeral.**
*Technically, the groom is my first cousin, once removed. But who keeps track of that stuff?
**At least, according to my mom. No doctor actually said that she could've died. I think she was just trying to make me and my brother feel guilty for teasing her. She just doesn’t understand – that’s how we cope. ;-)