Sunday, November 2, 2008

100 Entries...Damn, I'm Really Wasting Other People's Time

I remember the last few times I've logged in and I'll see that I've made 94 posts, 95, 97...and thinking just how in the Hell I'll be able to make my 100th entry count.

How about with a wedding?

Friday was a bustling, busy day. I got my hair trimmed - NOT CUT - but trimmed. And it looked just fine. I swung by my apartment to get an outfit to wear for the rehearsal while Shelley took her time getting ready.

The entire ride to Seymour I was prepping Shelley about how my grandparents are and how they might or might not be open to her, etc. When we got home, Eric Lindstrom (I know, talk about confusing - THREE Erics) was helping Maddie get her stuff out of the house. He and Dad seemed to get along well. As soon as we got them ready and they were on their way, Shelley and I ate a light lunch with Mom, Dad, and Nick.

I asked if they had heard from Gramma and Papa, and if they knew how soon they would be here. Mom said they didn't know, and Dad jokingly said, "Thanks to you, they're probably pulling in to the driveway right now!"

And they were. Weird.

One thing I had forgotten was the fact that Shelley's grandparents live five minutes away from her parents in Dallas. She has told me many stories about how they're an old bickering couple and more often than not she sits between them in the back seat on the way to dinner. I also forgot that with Shelley's bad hearing she has had 21 years of nodding and smiling when she can't understand somebody, and that she also possesses the innate ability to "turn off" her hearing. She might hear you, but she isn't listening.

As a result, Shelley knocked it out of the park with Gramma and Papa. Shelley and Gramma share a mutual love of dark chocolate and sweets, while Papa's long-winded stories were perfect for Shelley's nodding and smiling. Since she is used to having elderly relatives who talk circles around her, it just clicked. They told me that they really liked her. Papa pinched her cheeks.

I have told her for at least two and a half years now that meeting my grandparents is kind of like the ultimate endurance test for whoever any of us are courting. It's really a milestone in a relationship. For Eric and Maddie it was during Thanksgiving 2005, less than a month after they officially started dating. Other girlfriends, mine, Eric's, Nick's were all told "You haven't really seen it all until you've met Gramma and Papa."

She hasn't dumped me yet...maybe she's waiting for the right time to say it.

Not only did everything go swimmingly with Shelley and the grandparents, they were on their best behavior. As soon as all the Kodak moments for the wedding were over and the dancing started, they were ready to call it a night. Since they had plans to visit Dad's brother Phil (who Dad has not spoken to for 9 years) on Sunday, them leaving the reception meant that was it for them for the weekend. It was just the right amount of face time that no one got on anyone else's nerves, no one said anything uncouth, and no one got pissed off.

The rehearsal was fun. Maddie and Kelley's family are the kind of people that make you feel like you're part of the family almost right away.

Perhaps I should give you a little bit of autobiographical poop:
Maddie's sister Kelley and I have been friends since middle school. We always talked on MSN Messenger (do any of you still use that? I'm exclusively an AIM person, though it's been months since I've used it...) and even went on a date. It came and went, we decided not to be a couple, and remained friends after that. On top of hanging out with Kelley at lunch, every year the high school band had to sell crap (cheese, sausage, microwavable meals) for no real reason at all I would always swing by the Lindstrom residence. The first two years it was sort of enforced (since I wasn't driving) that I did the door-to-door thing. My last two years of high school I stopped giving a shit about most things, but if I ever made one sale (besides Mom taking my sales forms to work and getting orders from Aunt Nancy and Gramma) it was Maddie and Kelley's mother Holly.

Three years ago at Oktoberfest, really on a whim more than anything else, we made an attempt to get Maddie together with Eric. They had apparently talked over MySpace or something, both thought the other was cute, so we decided to see what would happen. Call it basic anthropology. Weeks later, they were dating. Within a month, they were talking nightly on the phone. When Holly, Eric, and Kelley moved from Seymour to Chicago in the fall of 2006, Maddie moved in with us since she had both a job and classes.

As a result, we've all gotten to know Maddie really well. I really like her a lot, she's very intelligent, friendly, and has a great sense of humor.

Anyway, the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner was like a reunion of sorts for me and Gill (who was the third groomsman along with me and Nick, and dated Kelley for about two and a half years) to see the Lindstrom family.

And the wedding itself on Saturday was beautiful. I don't know what else to say. As Eric's best man I had to give a speech. It had floated around in my mind for about a month. The night before the wedding, I was up late checking email, and as is my custom when in Seymour, I checked the listings to see what (if anything) good was on TCM. I see The World's Greatest Sinner (1962), followed by 200 Motels.

Holy shit! The first film features a score by Frank Zappa, while the second one is a movie written and directed by Zappa featuring The Mothers of Invention:

(It still barely registers that I met Jimmy Carl Black, the man you see singing "Lonesome Cowboy Burt".)
Click this link if the embedded video doesn't work.

I called on of my Zappa buddies, and we both noted the motif later heard in "Holiday In Berlin, Full-Blown" in the score to The World's Greatest Sinner. The film itself sucked, but seeing 200 Motels in all its R-rated glory during the FCC watershed hours made up for it.

Anyway, I was about to doze off, when my best man speech just came to me. It was better than any of the version I had in my head, and I realized if I didn't write it down now it would be gone forever. I went to bed at sunrise and woke up at 1 in the afternoon. All of Saturday I went with no coffee, yet I was able to stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning. My speech was very well-received.

After the reception, Kelley, Shelley (the two ladies bonded quite well, by the way), Gill, Johnson, Nick, Kelley and Maddie's brother in law Tom, and I decorated Eric's car with the standard "JUST MARRIED!" fare, complete with hearts...and "$10,000 O.B.O." Don't know who did that...*devilish grin*. Their honeymoon was Myrtle Beach, which as I learned in the following days was just as chilly as it was here. Oh, well, I'm sure they had fun just the same.

Sunday morning, Dad, Mom, Nick, Shelley, and I grabbed brunch at Cracker Barrel with mom's sister in law Susan and her 40-something daughter Ami. Ami had some past experience as a wedding planner, thus she and Susan were around the whole weekend.

It's really hard for me to say what the "best" part of the weekend was, because each moment was perfect in its own way for different reasons: me and Eric alone in the Sunday school room where we'd changed clothes immediately before the wedding, slow dancing with Shelley, complimenting the DJ on a job well done (a conversation which eventually turned into "So you said you could start in January?" and "Let's talk pay..."), Papa telling the story of his brother Angelo dying in World War II (a fact I'd always known, but never the full story), the high school reunion aspect of me being with Gill, Johnson, and Kelley all at the same time (something that hadn't happened since before Gill and Kelley broke up), etc.

But if I had to pick an actual favorite moment for the weekend, it was when the topic of mine and Shelley's future got brought up. We'd had a few relatives of mine asking when we would be getting married, and we both agreed on the blanket answer of "Well, it's been talked about..."

I'll just tell you guys what I told Mom and Dad. Some of you may already know this in some capacity or another:
Shelley has said she would go wherever I went for graduate school. Since Shelley's parents don't know I'm still in their daughter's life (at least beyond friendship) let alone the fact that the proverbial shit will hit the proverbial fan once they know we're together, it's pretty much crucial we follow some basic rules to keep my parents pleased. One is that we wouldn't live together without being married.

This isn't to diminish marriage. Quite to the contrary, in fact. When we got back together, we decided that if things didn't seem to be working out to call it quits immediately. We also knew that when we got back together it would be for good.

Mom and Dad's thoughts on this: they couldn't be happier. We'll bring you more on this story as it develops.

My graduate school search is narrowed down to five, possibly six schools:
+ Bowling Green State University
+ University of Washington (Seattle)
+ University of Massachusetts (Boston)
+ City University of New York
+ The College Of William & Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia)
+ University of Texas, Austin

My ethnomusicology professor taught at BGSU for a year, and knows members of the faculty in BGSU's popular culture department. He gave me a few names to get in touch with. It's rapidly becoming my number one choice. A visit is in the works.

I apologize for the delay in publishing this post. Everything except the graduate school update (which happened Thursday) was ready by Tuesday of this past week. There's something else going on that I don't feel completely comfortable discussing in a public forum. It's a bit of a buzzkill, and one I didn't see coming. If you're interested in hearing about it, let me know (m@...).



Shelley said...

The wedding was so much fun. Out of the 5 I have been to, this one was definitely the best.

As far as your grandparents go, they weren't too bad. I was seriously waiting for one of them to say something really offensive. The only thing that shocked me a little is when the moment your grandfather walked into your house, looked at me, slapped me on the back (a little too hard) and said: "Shalom!" It was actually pretty funny.


m@ said...

Glad the wedding went well. Sorry I wasn't in attendance, I had a marathon that morning. And with the hip injury I sustained the Monday before...

(go ahead and make the "old" jokes, i'll give you a moment)

...I really just wanted to rest the rest of the day.

As for your writing being a waste, I kind of take that as an insult. As one of the few (according to your count) who read this, you're calling what I DO a waste. Jerk.

OK, gotta clean the basement and take my pills before telling those crazy kids to get out of my yard.

m@ said...

Sarcasm monitor is back up and working fine. Just letting you know. I went in for a check-up.