The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Flashback Friday!

Hi, Gang! Here we are at another Friday! Has anyone else noticed how quiet things have gotten lately? Raise your hands. Come on. Maybe it's a Calm Before The Storm kinda thing. As wild as things have been at my house lately (three kids and a wedding to plan will do that), it feels anything but calm.

As my upcoming nuptials are in...augh!!...LESS THAN A MONTH!!!, I've been rather busy with details. I'm sure all you chicks out there know what I'm talking about. Oh, and Highlander's got a pretty good idea at this point, too.

Try as I might, it's difficult not to compare some aspects to the first time I did this...just a few months shy of twenty years ago. Things like comparing what my ex and I paid for rings then, and what Highlander and I are paying now. Things like wanting to do a different color scheme this time. Things like how weird it is that I got married on the Fourth of July the first time and Thunder over Louisville the second time. (Sure, I like fireworks as much as the next guy, but really I'm not THAT wild about them.)

In any event, it's put me to mind of a few stories from then that I thought I could share. Only one today, though. Come along.

We're going to the chapel and we're gonna get married...

Last time around, I had a much larger affair. My family, and the Baron's, are both pretty big. And 3/4ths of both families were relatively local. So, we had about 175 people show up that day.

Wanna know who didn't?

One of the groomsmen.

The wedding party consisted of my only sister (as my maid of honor), and Baron's sister, my best friend, and one of Baron's brother's girlfriends (who, five months later, became his wife)(as my bridesmaids), and Baron's oldest younger brother (as his best man), his youngest younger brother, a former roommate, and one of his oldest friends (as his groomsmen).

Baron's friend shared the same first name and the same first initial of their last name and so pronounced themselves, "Brothers of the 'R'". Over the four years that Baron and I had been dating/living together/engaged, I'd heard countless stories of the two of them "back in the day". The affection that Baron still felt for this man was pretty evident. And so, when we were selecting those we wanted to stand up with us at our wedding, when he named this friend, I was not so much surprised, as taken aback.

Yes, I'd heard many stories of this man, but in four years, had never met him. Not once. Baron hadn't spoken to him in at least that long, either. They hadn't really had a falling out, just that they'd lost touch.

He had so many other, closer, friends that I thought he should have asked (mostly because those friends knew both of us pretty well), but he was insistent. It had to be the "R Brother". Who was I to argue? He was the groom. His choice to select groomsmen, right?

So, he called up his old friend, and they made a date to get reacquainted. Baron told him that he was getting married and that it would mean alot if his friend would stand up with him.

We had the friend over for dinner a few days later. Seeing them together was nice. Watching them, as they reminisced about old times. Hearing the friend's spin on stories I'd heard dozens of times. He seemed like a nice guy. And he said he was honored to be included in our wedding. Ah, the salad days.

Most of the folks we'd asked to be in our wedding had limited means. Hell, all of them did. We were pretty young back then. Not that Baron and I were in great shape, but we were doing okay. So, we decided that we'd pay for the tux rentals for all the groomsmen, and the cost to have all the bridesmaid dresses sewn by a friend of Baron's family.

I couldn't tell you what a tux rental is now. Then it was $75. When you multiply that by five (for the groom and all his dudes), it came to what was alot of money for us. But, again, we wanted the day to be special. All the guys went for their tux fittings as the time grew closer. And all the clothes were "reserved", I guess.

Getting married on the Fourth of July, we'd opted to have a casual cook-out at Baron's parent's house as our rehearsal dinner. Which was nice. However, I became a little concerned when Baron's friend didn't show.

We'd seen him a few times over the months between when Baron had rekindled their friendship and the wedding. There didn't seem to be any reason to believe there was a problem.

At first, when Baron called him, he said he'd had to work over a little and was running late, but he'd be there shortly. Not likely he'd get lost, as he lived a couple miles away, and Baron's parent's house was the same one where he and Baron used to hang out during their teenaged years.

But he never showed that night. We went ahead with our celebration and planning and made some notes to pass along to the friend the next day. At the wedding.

That night, after we got home, I was more than a little worried. He could have been sick or hurt or something. I mean, hey, I didn't know the guy all that well, so I wasn't filled with the same confidence that Baron was that he'd show up at all.

At my insistence, Baron called him that night.

"You okay?" "Just wanted to make sure you remembered that the wedding is tomorrow, Man." "You remember where it is, right?" "We'll pick up your tux tomorrow morning when we go to get mine. That will save you from having to stop and pick it up. Just get to the wedding early enough to change." "If something happens and you need a ride or something, you just call us."

So, all the man had to do was show up the next afternoon. That's all. Or, you know, CALL us and say that he had a problem and needed help.

That, as it turned out, was far more difficult than we'd imagined. The next morning, for me, was filled with the unbelievable chaos of getting things delivered to the site, getting chairs and tables set up, getting dressed, getting the bar set up, and so on and so on and so on and so on (Highlander has no idea). And I didn't miss him. Frankly, I wasn't keeping track of the groomsmen. I had, as I said, a few million things going on.

I really didn't notice until I walked down the aisle and saw that we were one short on that side. It didn't even register whick groomsman wasn't there. At that point, there wasn't really anything I could do about it anyway. So, we went ahead as if everything was as we'd planned it, and the wedding turned out fine. As Mike Norton would note, it's only really important that the bride, the groom, and the officiant be there anyway.

After the wedding, we were in the "receiving line", when the friend's sister (and her date) came up and shook our hands. I had to be introduced (as I'd never met them), but she was CLEARLY embarrassed that her brother hadn't shown. I was mad at him, but I wasn't going to let it ruin my day. And I didn't.

We went home that night (we weren't leaving for our honeymoon until the next morning), and I kept expecting the friend to call. So sure I was, that he'd call and say that he'd been in an accident, or that someone in his family had been rushed to the hospital, or that he'd fallen and gotten temporary amnesia. SOMEthing. ANYthing. But he didn't.

We left fairly early the next morning and while on the road (to New York state), Baron and I talked about it. Hey, it was a long road trip, we talked about a great many things. He mused that his friend may not have called the previous night, assuming that we'd left directly for our honeymoon. Okay, sure. That's a reasonable expectation. So, we'd get a call from him (or his next of kin) when we got home. And there'd be some perfectly acceptable excuse why someone who considered himself an old and dear friend would completely diss you at your wedding. After you'd put out $75 for his tux. Yep. So, I'd let that one stay on the back burner, and I'd have a beautiful honeymoon.

And I did. And I did.

When we got back (the following Friday), we got no phone calls. Baron went back out on the road (for his job), the following Monday, and we still got no calls. Weeks and months went by and we still got no calls.

I'd ask Baron if he had tried to call the man. Baron said he had not, and had no plans to do so. Clearly, he wasn't worried about his friend's safety. Maybe previous history had taught him to expect this all along. I can't say.

Finally, just after our first anniversary, Baron mentioned to me that he'd run into his friend. I can't recall now, exactly where. But that he'd talked to him about the situation and his friend had apologized to him and said something like, "Sorry, Man. You know how it is.", or something equally lame that made no attempt to explain why he did it, or why he hadn't felt it necessary, as a FRIEND, to call and let us know he was alive. He didn't even have the class to offer to reimburse us for the $75 we were out because of what he did. And he never, not even to this day, has shown his face around me, or made any attempt to call me or write me anything remotely like an apology. In fact, I don't think Baron ever saw him more than once after that chance meeting during the entire seventeen years we were married.

(Fair warning, Nate, I really DO consider this an affront.)

Now, later today, Highlander and I will be picking up our marriage license. (Kinda cool, huh?) And, as usual, we've got a couple wedding projects that will have us busy this weekend (when the girls will be with their dad).

My parents are picking up [Kid 3] from school, so that they can spend a little time with her before she goes back to her dad's for the weekend. That is going to afford H and I a little time with just the two older girls and we're looking at maybe catching a matinee' later on. Something particularly NOT Disney, if you know what I mean. (In the meantime, you guys go out and have a great weekend. Hope that, wherever you are, you have some lovely weather (especially if you're head won't have it's natural 'hat' to keep it warm this weekend), and the time to enjoy it!!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Oh, flashbacks to my own wedding...boy, it's scary to depend on people who are less than dependable for that crucial day...but eventually it all works out, or it doesn't, and then you're left with all these great stories.

For instance, Husband's best bud was supposed to be Best Man, but he was in the Navy and couldn't get leave, no way, no how. A family member would have to die for him to get leave. So second best bud filled in. And he got so hammered at the wedding that all he could manage for a toast was "Good luck." But I tried to let it go and it was a fun party (at least everybody told me it was fun).

I'm sure Nate will be more reliable!

3/25/2007 5:38 PM  
Blogger AaA said...

Hey, my tickets are non-refundable, and my time off from work is already covered. So if I don't show, there had best be a damned good reason. Something involving an NTSB investigation, at the very least.

But let's not dwell on that, shan't we?

3/26/2007 8:58 AM  

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