If brevity is the soul of wit, and my father's wedding took less than five minutes, then ...?
The entire thing just tuckered me out. The timeline is as follows:
I arose at eight to get ready (and was probably one of few who put effort into appearance, as many others showed up in t-shirt and shorts). I left with my father at eleven, and hounded him to get ready (because he was drinking coffee, eating peppers, and otherwise moving slowly). We left his house at twelve-thirtyish, and arrived at the "IWL" (basically a cobwebby cabin in a park) shortly thereafter. I defuzzed my father's suit (the car was, clearly, a favorite of someone's shedding dog). We hung about for a little bit. I made sure my father had the rings (his doesn't fit properly by the way, he wound yarn around the bottom), and ran up the hill. I was forced to pin my grandmother's corsage on her. We waited some more.
At one I grabbed my bouquet from a box and walked down the hill after the bride, and we stopped at this little "trail" next to a concrete bridge (half of the bridge has collapsed into the water below and has not yet been repaired). There was no rehearsal, I (the matron of honor, it seems) at least was doing this completely on the fly. The ceremony was over in a snap, and then people took pictures.
Then we all walked up the hill at about one o-five. And then we waited some more, because although the wedding only took about five minutes, the reception wasn't supposed to start until four! We all sat about in the cabin of the IWL, which was dusty and decorated with little plastic parrot kites, and little toothpick windmills.
So here I was, out in a nature where you can hear the humming of the cars over the rustling of the leaves (we are not, after all, separated from the world), in heels. Yes, heels, and a summer dress. Thinking that I was bored, people gave me tips like "if you follow that one trail, it'll lead me down to a duck pond." Well, thanks, but I'm not really equipped for hiking at the moment, you know? (Oh yeah! Where the ceremony took place was surrounded on both sides by poison ivy.)
I went through the traditional same twenty questions with my grandmother prior to the reception at four - what's your school, what do you do at school, do you like your school, how's school, where is your school, what do you do at school, etc. Once the reception started, we waited a bit more, and then we ate. What was on the evening's menu, you ask? Hamburgers, bratwurst, potato salad, canned fruit, and a veggie tray. Non-alcoholic beverages are in the tubs over there, see the brother of the bride for your beer (and of course, just about everybody did).
My sketchbook is one of my more valued possessions, and though I will let people look at it, I get antsy if they try to "take control" of it, so to speak. This really cute (but really demanding) toddler wound up developing quite an interest in my sketchbook and in my two mechanical pencils (one yellow plastic, one green). I let her have one of the pencils and she started scribbling (which was fine), and then she started trying to turn the pages to scribble on more. That was ok too, except that she was making moves towards sections that I had already filled in, and didn't want to damage. : P So she and I had a little battle where she would flip it over and I would flip it over again, opening it to a new page. She eventually started asking for my other pencil, and so we would trade pencils constantly (I think she thought they would write in different colors, which they didn't). My green pencil went in her mouth and came out again without an eraser.
They did the traditional cake cutting/smushing it in each other's face. I have decided that the sight of my father feeding anyone is really unappealing. They tried to entwine their arms and be all lovey-dovey with their wineglasses, but it is probable that my father had already had a bit too much by that point, and the attempt failed.
The garter toss only really works when you are tossing to a group of guys who are of marriageable age. As it was, my father tried to be all "sexily funny" and failed miserably (he is an awkward aging white guy who got a black-powder muzzle-loader rifle as his midlife crisis), and tossed it to a group consisting of children and old, old men.
This pack included my Uncle Robert, who is ... lecherous, to say the least. Yuck yuck yuck. He gave me a hug and kept on seeking me out. Go away, don't touch me! Rumor has it that he had an affair with someone in Fort Wayne, although it seems hard to believe because age has not treated him well.
The bouquet toss went to a ten-year old girl.
And then I waited some more, because I didn't get out of there until somewhere around nine-thirty.
Batchelorette Party and Bridal Shower
The next day, we went to a set of events on my stepfather's side of the family. Still spazzed from the events of the day before, I was not very sociable (I had enough of relatives in groups, at that point). I spent most of my time drawing, much to my mother's chagrin ... she told me that I would want to stop drawing at some point and get involved.
I sort of got involved with the sketchbook. One of the kids there asked if she could draw too, so she added some details to a sketch I had done of Sakaki going shopping during the summer. She added a choker, a bracelet, and (I'm not sure where this came in) a crucifix and a shape that looked like something that would go over a church entrance. Hmm. I decided that was enough of that, and gave her a page of her own.
And so, as the evening wore on, I did "get involved." If I am ever asked and agree to "walk" a beagle with two kids that have extreme behavioral problems, please shoot me. The dog was better behaved than the two girls, Lauren and Lindsey, in fact - they were fighting loudly over the dog and who could walk/carry her. Lindsey, however, seemed conscious of the fact that people could hear them quite aways a way, was aware that she was the dog's owner and not Lauren, and tried to keep it down. Lauren, however, was unbelievably loud, forever shouting, selfish, didn't really recognize that she was not the only person who had the right to the dog, and was generally a pain in the ass.
At one point I took the leash over from both of them, but they continued to fight over it, grabbing it lower down and closer to the dog. Now, I had not known at the time but know now, that one of the other girls who owns the dog had loosened the dog's collar. With the additional stress that the girls were applying to the leash, the loose collar had stretched enough to enable the dog to escape it - which the dog did.
IMMEDIATELY ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. Lauren went practically berserk and began crying, screaming and running after the dog (who ran all the faster). Lindsey and I pursued, shouting not at the dog but at Lauren, trying to get her back under control, to get her to listen to us (but because Lauren has "issues" and has family who uses those issues as a way of assigning blame and never letting her take responsibility, we were extremely unsuccessful).
Lindsey was remarkably under control, given that she is often very hyper. We agreed that she would ask the neighbor if she could use his phone, so we could get some backup (and a car) here. Meanwhile, Lauren was screaming "LUCKY! LUCKY!" (the dog's name) and the dog was running ever faster, away from the demon (I maintain that the dog has never liked Lauren, who is loud and obnoxious). We moved through the houses and into an apartment complex. I was reluctant to leave Lindsey behind with a strange neighbor I didn't know, but I didn't have much of a choice. Lindsey was more in control of herself, I reminded myself as I ran after the crazy one and the dog. I needed to try to make sure Lauren didn't do anything stupider than she was already doing. I was of a mind to stop, realizing that the dog would come if we were not screaming at it and sprinting after it, but I was unable to get that into Lauren's head. I grabbed her wrist more than once and was trying to get her to calm down, but she would not listen and she struggled free.
Fortunately the dog did not go up the hill and into the commercial district nearby (if that would have happened, I probably would have had to tackle Lauren, because there was no way in hell I was going to allow her into a zone with so many cars around). The dog instead sprinted through the apartment district, coming to the end of it. I got the folks who lived in one of the apartments to help us reclaim the dog, and as the dog was up against a fence, it looked like that was the end of it.
There was, however, a gap in the fence, and the dog went through that. Lauren, still completely out of control, went through after it (and I couldn't very well leave her on her own, so I went through too). I got through, and the first thing to pass through my lips was "oh, shit." The situation had gotten worse - not only were we outside of the residential area with a scared dog and a crazy-ass kid, but we were on the railroad tracks.
If it hadn't of been for the gals from the apartment that helped us, we probably would not have gotten the dog at that rate (we had run after it for probably two miles). I yelled at all of them to get off the tracks, because there was a train coming. Lauren yelled at us more than once to stop the train, as though we could get the people on it to help us or something. I shouted back, "No, the train can not stop!", but I don't think she understood.
The gals from the apartment finally nabbed the dog, which seemed to be afraid of the train. Lauren immediately grabbed it, but was scratched by something in the underbrush and handed the dog over as she started to scream "I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding." I assured her that we would get it taken care of when we got back to the house, and we refused to let her take the dog after that (the gals from the apartment had a firm grip on it).
As we were walking back, Lindsey showed up with our reinforcements - in a blessed car. Lauren joined Lindsey in the back, and we put the dog in the car. They tried to convince me to ride back to the house with them, but after the entire Great Dog Chase, I was not about to be in a cramped backseat with the hooligan, the dog, and Lindsey. So I walked back.
When I got there, I did not go back to the main group. Lauren was already recasting the story to show herself in a favorable light and place all blame on Lindsey and I, something that pisses me off no matter what the age of the person engaging in such an act. And so I went downstairs and did a quick little doodle of The Great Dog Chase of 2003, and was more than happy to leave afterwards.
Check out the crappily colored doodle to imagine the fun I had.