Baby, I’m gonna leave you in the summer time

12 glasses deep and in peak form.

My best man duties have been fulfilled. I may now cast off my rented tux, break free of my lavender tie, and return to a normal state.

Love, they say.

Love is everything.

Love is the force that binds.

Love is the grace that blesses.

Love makes a life worth living.

I raise my glass, and look away.

God help me, god help me if they’re right.

—————————————————————-

I stood at the front, back rigid and concentrating on the small weight in my pocket. Not that the ring could have gone anywhere, could have magically disappeared since I placed it there. Still.

The lady, the priestess or whatever, the presider or whatever her denominationless title was, spoke loudly over the wind and the fountain. She asked them to repeat things, to declare their intentions and their feelings. The groom was nervous. The bride was emotional. It was all very wedding like.

I held stock still, smiled for the photos. The bridesmaids twittered.

Standing up straight tires me, but I make it through the ceremony.

————————————————————————

A chef’s wedding is a caterer’s nightmare. The waiters and waitresses, criticized to the point of mental collapse, handed out glasses of the wine with the look of whipped slaves. The wedding court, those of us at the front table… all but myself glowered. What do I care, soup is soup. But then again I’m not a culinary professional.

———————————————————————

Big props to my date. She was the life of the party, and certainly more than a lowly boozehound writer like myself could ask for. My rental jacket for your company? I certainly got the better end of that deal. Graceful and beautiful as always… I shook everyone’s hand who mistook her for my girlfriend. The looks the ladies wore… I know those looks. The ‘why is she with him looks’… That’s right. Envy, you scum. Envy.

A hint, gentlemen.

Women are like ducks.

Bring a decoy.

Few of you are blessed with the caliber of female friends I associate with, but the principle still applies. Hey, if it works for me, it works for anybody.

Oh Moira from Fresno, you lovely groomsman’s sister you, our love could never be. You live so far, and you teach Sunday school, you smile like the dawn. I’m a heartless hard drinkin IT consultant, a Best Man only in title. We danced, we flirted, the tuxedo worked its magic… but you had to leave early.

You’ll head back south, marry some balding accountant named Phil, you’ll go to church and you’ll send Christmas cards and you’ll drive an MPV and you’ll smile at the PTA meetings and bake things and cry at Meg Ryan movies. You’ll stay pretty, and wait for pedestrians at crosswalks. You’ll retire, and buy an RV, and drive to the grand canyon with Phil.

I’ll be best man at a hundred more weddings, give a hundred more speeches, and stumble home on a hundred more September nights. I’ll listen to Zeppelin’s ‘I’m Gonna Leave You, Baby’ a hundred more times at a hundred more 1 Am’s. I’ll spill a Heineken a hundred different parents paid for on my suit, and I’ll love my friends and be happy for them and their spouses (spice?) a hundred more times. And I’ll go home, and read or whatever.

Once or twice, you’ll think about that strange boy you met at Matt’s wedding. You’ll wonder what he’s up to, if he was really the austere pagan he made himself out to be. You’ll think he was cute, gentlemanly in a… a strange way. You’ll consider all that might have been.

But only once or twice.

At least, darling Moira, we’ll always have Hayward.

——————————————————————

I drank a lot, but somehow I’m still cold.

————————————————————–

Maybe that’s the problem. My girl(space)friends have raised my standards to such unattainable, pillared levels that my girl(no space)friends don’t have a prayer of making the grade. Maybe those shoes (METAPHORICALLY, ladies) are just too big to fill.

———————————————————–

I gave a speech, per tradition. It wasn’t a good speech, but it wasn’t too shameful either. I didn’t embarrass myself. I didn’t impress anyone. Bah, don’t let it get to you Trevor. You’re an engineer, it happens. No fistfights, no vomiting, no police… the reception was a success.

———————————————————-

What is it with white people and dancing at weddings?

Honkeys, you crack me up.

———————————————————–

Love, they say.

Love is everything.

What, then, is left for the rest of us?

-T.

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