I'm at that point in my life. You know when things went from weddings and funerals to just funerals. Nearly all my friends are married or have been married and if they get married again (or for the 3rd time) they are not likely to have a big wedding. Most of my 1st cousins are married or not likely to get married at this point (with maybe 1 exception). My nieces and nephews are kids so no worries there. Do I miss it? It's hard to say. I've had so many good times at weddings but recently, as the single guy, I feel more like an outsider then anything. Plus it's hard to be the "fun group" when you're in your 40's (tho we do try). There was one wedding I had been looking forward to however and it didn't disappoint. Let me first state that I will not name names etc as it is not my place. Secondly as the story progresses please don't throw my last blog in my face. I assure you the wedding was at a beach but I did not go TO the beach
Anyway a friend, a girl I've know since she was a little girl, got engaged and I found out myself, 2 of my sisters, and 2 of my good friends were all invited. On top of that my family and hers are very much intertwined between school, kids, work etc. All in all very exciting. Then I learned it was to be held 4th of July weekend. Interesting. I certainly had no plans and none that could compare to this wedding. Then I found out it would be held in York Beach, ME a very popular vacation spot. Now I had something to dwell on as I'm not a beach guy and I'm not a big tourist spot guy. But, hey, it's a wedding and maybe, being 4th of July, we can even recapture some of the magic of the old long weekends on Cape Cod.
Now, if you've never traveled for a wedding and spent a day before and/or after the wedding at the place the wedding is being held it's different then a regular wedding when you arrive, wedding it up, and leave. You find yourself spending lots of time with other wedding types, both old friends and new. There is a lot of laughs, a few drinks, a lot of catching up, and a lot of "nice to meet yous". Things happen, mistakes are made, you say stupid things or maybe do stupid things. You laugh about it, have a few more drinks, have a blast at the wedding itself then everyone goes their separate ways, often never seeing each other again. It's kind of like condensing 6 months of real life into 2-3 days. I happen to love wedding "on the road" and this was one of the best I've ever been to
OK, so now you're about to stop reading as I go blow for blow about this wedding and this weekend...well even I'm not that cruel. No, I'm simply going to break it down to 3 parts and what they meant to me (it's all about me after all). The weekend, the wedding, and the people
The Weekend- The weekend itself did indeed remind me of our old weekends away before anyone was married or had kids. Oh it was a little different as in many cases the previously mentioned spouses and kids were along for the ride but in a weird way it actually made it better. Days on the beach (not me) or poolside and nights at the pub wrapped around the wedding itself brought back floods of memories of the good old days when, in retrospect, life seemed so much simpler. We partied like the party animals we used to be (or still are in some cases ;-)) taking the Way Back Machine to the early 90's. Hell, there was even an unplanned slumber party one night (more by necessity then by design)!! OK, maybe that wasn't my best memory of the good ol days
The Wedding- I'm not one to wax poetically about weddings. I'm just not. If I was I'd be raving about this one. Just about everything was perfect. The setting. The entrances. The guests. The theme. The fireworks (amazing how they arranged fireworks for the whole beach around this wedding). The bride and groom. I mean I know a wedding is supposed to be one of the best days of your life but I've been to a few where either the bride of groom seemed less then happy (sometimes both). Not these two. You couldn't have sandblasted the smiles from their faces. And the bride, I'm going to take a bunch of grief for saying this, really did look radiant. An 18 month long mystery was solved (was good seeing you Pat) and there was even an appearance by the Stanley Cup (well, sort of). It really was a happening. Was there a downside? Well the planned outdoor ceremony was dashed by rain but if you didn't know it was supposed to happen you wouldn't have missed it. Oh, and I forgot to pack a belt/suspenders so my mad dancing skills were not shown off for fear of my pants ending up around my ankles. Talk about a pants off dance off!!!
The People- To me everything I do and everywhere I go it's more about who was there then where I was. This was no exception. It was so awesome to get to spend long overdue time with a few people I just don't get to see often enough anymore. Things change and it just happens. Sometimes you don't even realize it until you see them again how much you miss them. Even people I "talk" to a lot via text and social networking...and there are a lot of them...to see them live, up close and personal for a length of time was just great. I met a few new people too tho probably not as many as I could as I was too wrapped up in playing catch up with my "old" friends. Maybe the best part tho was just spending time with sisters, my brother in-law, and some really close friends. Oh, we see each other enough bout never for very long as we all have different lives and lifestyles. The morning and afternoon of the wedding just sitting around the pool at our motel on the beach (yes, with all that ocean across the street we sat around a pool) sipping beers or sodas, playing cards for Doritos, rehashing old war stories for the 1 billionth time and laughing our asses off about things most other people would not find funny in the least was special. This, more then anything, really brought me back to a different time in my life
Thank you my friends (H & N) for you awesome wedding and for restoring my faith in holiday weekends away again. My job makes "long" weekends almost non-existent (I was only in York for 38 hours) and frankly I didn't think missed them. I don't enjoy crowds as much as I used to (maybe tolerate is a better word) and I'm at a different place in life then a lot of my friends. Couple that with the work thing and like I said, I had just given up. Thanks to everyone involved for letting me realize that, even into our 40's, we can still party like rock stars for a few days even if we don't bounce back as quickly as we once did