Monday, October 11, 2010

Only One Thing Was Missing

Last Saturday my Mother (Margo) got married (!!!). It was an amazing and beautiful day. Her new husband is one of the sweetest, funniest, kindest men I have ever met & I loved him the moment I met him. So, needless to say, this was one hell of a happy occasion for all involved. My Mother is awesome and deserves someone great, so when the two of them announced late this past spring that they were getting married I was overjoyed.

 I remember going online to Anthropologie (I can not even begin to tell you how much I love that store, I think 99% of my clothes are from there) that night to look at dresses to wear to the wedding... finding one that I loved, then getting the big sucker punch of reality when I saw the price. I waited till it went on sale... and when it did, it was only available in a size 4. I don't think my feet have ever even been a size 4... and at 5'11, I won't ever be either- that'd be gross. Months later I managed to find it on ebay (& win it for like $5.00) as well as shoes to match(!!)... the whole outfit, including shipping cost me under $20, so that was awesome.

Granted the person selling the shoes scared me by telling me he had posted the wrong size, yet had a different color in my size (11)... but I took the size 10's 'cause I needed & wanted them to be ORANGE.... and hoped for the best. (And after a week of wandering around the house in them, up and down the stairs to do the laundry in them, and cleaning the kitchen in them... the suckers fit.)

I love orange, I love wearing orange.. and I have no idea why I had it in my head that whatever I wore to my Mother's wedding HAD to be predominantly orange... but I did.
(my little, yes LITTLE, brother & our Mother)
Oddly enough, when I finally asked my younger brother what he planned to wear, he told me all he had picked out so far was his tie... which was.... wait for it.... wait for it.... ORANGE! My reply to that? "FINALLY! Proof we are siblings after all!" (Ok, there are other things... like the fact that he & I are both waaay taller than average, and can, individually, do some of the best spot-on impressions of our father... & Pres. George Bush Sr. ... cause we secretly think they might be the same person)

So, the day finally arrived... Saturday October 2nd 2010. It had been crappy out for the previous 24 hours, and everyone was worried that the ceremony would have to be moved to an indoor location. I, however, had been adamant that "at noon [that day] it would be 65˚ and sunny" because Mother Nature (the bitch that she is) owed me BIG TIME for this past winter and spring. Well, she came through. It was PERFECT out! (65˚ and sunny to be exact!) Not too hot, not too cold, bright sunny skies... everything was going as planned. All signs pointed to the ceremony starting on time!

All I had to do was swing by my best friend's (Wendy Mae) work and pick her up, then drive back to her place (which is conveniently located on my Mother's property where the reception was going to be), let her run inside & change, and grab her two boys... then we would drive to the ceremony site for family pics before the wedding.

When I pulled into the driveway I noticed that there were a ton of people out on the wrap around deck at my Mother's... and knowing my Mother like I do, I started to worry that it was stressing her out.

You know how some house guests are, right? They are trying to be good, and overly polite...asking your permission for everything, no matter what you may be doing at that moment... even if you are the bride, it's your wedding day, and you are in your bathroom trying to get ready to get married (stuff like: "Do you mind if I use a glass to get some water?"... "is it okay if I turn on the tap to get some water?"..."do you need anything?"... "can I help?"....") I know people mean well, but sometimes, especially in situations like that, it really puts people over the edge. Plus, because she's my Mother and I know her better than anyone else in the house that day... and I know I have a tendency to want to react to things the way she does sometimes... she was probably about to go bananas.

So I walk into my Mother's house, ask where she is... and head into her room. She's in the bathroom getting ready... and what do I do?

"Mama? You need anything?"

"Yes, to be left alone."

"Ok, just checking... now open the damn bathroom door so I can give you a quick hug."

*sigh* "I can't.. just.. I'm just trying to get ready..."

"Ok, I understand.... now just open the damn bathroom door or I'll slam up against it and start making out with it...loudly"

*door opens, my Mother smiles, I hug her, she hugs me back...*

"Could you help me zip my dress?" she asks.... and I get all misty eyed on the inside as I do it. My lil' brother was the one who was walking her down the aisle... so zipping up her dress, and seeing that she was wearing the small pale blue aquamarine earrings I bought her the day before in a panic of "but you don't have "something blue" you have to!" was a nice little moment for me.

I went to go leave the room, but asked once more if there was anything she needed done... & then we picked out her shawl. I took the thicker one out to her sweetie and asked him to put it in the car in case it was chilly/windy at the lighthouse where the ceremony was... and then the phone rang....

I picked it up w/out looking at the caller ID... and heard my brother's voice. He was sick, VERY sick. He was scared he might not make it to the ceremony. My mother was all of 5' away from me as he was talking into my ear... so I just sat there with a smile on my face, and used the calmest, most soothing voice I had to say "That's ok, don't worry about anything. It will all be fine. Everything is covered" etc.... Then I had to calmly & gently tell my Mother that her son was ill and might not be able to make it to the lighthouse in time for the picture taking, but that he'd be there for the ceremony. (I was convinced he would be, so I wasn't lying...)

I must have sounded really convincing, 'cause she was just like "oh, poor thing, his stomach was bothering him so much last night, I hope he's okay." (Typical of my Mother... there's a chance your son might not show up to your wedding to walk you down the aisle, and the ONLY thing that is on your mind is that he isn't feeling well?! God I love my Mother! )

I leave, go grab Wendy Mae & her boys, and off we go to the lighthouse in East Chop where the ceremony was taking place.

The photographer was supposed to be there early, along with the wedding party, for some photos of the site, the bride & groom, family photos... stuff there wouldn't be time for afterwards since there was another wedding happening like an hour after my Mother's. (Can I just tell you once again how awesome and sweet my Mother is?! She found out there was someone else getting married an hour later at the East Chop Lighthouse, so she contacted the bride so the two of them could make arrangements regarding the chair rentals. (We set 'um up, they take 'um back) and she brought, on her own wedding day, a sweet gift all wrapped up beautifully...for the OTHER bride. Seriously, how sweet is that?!)

Upon arrival it was apparent that the photographer was not there. I started to get really mad (on the inside only), I tried calling- no answer. I wandered around the grounds hoping I'd missed him and he's actually there... and then I saw my Mother & Wayne arrive with the rest of Wayne's family. (Did I mention that my mother's new husband is named Wayne? Well, he is.) I do EVERYTHING I can to distract from the fact that the photographer isn't there... and avoid all questions about the location of my younger brother (who did show up with 15 min to spare!!) I individually, and rather secretly, went up to every single guest I saw with a camera and politely said "we aren't sure what is going on, and we hope nothing bad has happened, but for some reason the photographer isn't here yet, so... if you were planning to take some pictures... please don't hesitate to get right up in there. We'd all really appreciate your help." (just a side note here- on the off chance you want some KICK ASS pictures of your own wedding, or someone elses... go on and hire a photographer, but ask them to dress like a guest or something and not make their profession known... and convince all the guests that they are now the wedding photographers 'cause the hired one never showed.) I have never seen a group of people take so many incredible wedding pictures before. Everyone wanted to help out.. and they did. The ceremony started exactly on time.. and the photographer DID show up in time for the vows... his car had broken down, but he showed up, camera in hand, and car grime on his clothes... poor guy, that had to suck.. but he showed up.

Everything went perfectly, the ceremony ended... My Mother & Wayne were now husband & wife.......
(Wendy Mae's 12 yr old son took this awesome picture with his phone, that kid rules!)

Wendy Mae, her boys, & I left for the reception in my car and stopped off at "Our Market" in Oak Bluffs for drinks... 'cause I was so beyond dehydrated I thought I was turning into a raisin. Mind you, not THAT kind of drink silly! I wanted some Vitamin Water or lemonade... and of course we all stood in front of the large glass refrigerators discussing the finer points of Orangina, but came the collective conclusion that while it is indeed yummy, it was the shape of the bottle we liked the most...

At the reception the photographer, who happens to be a friend of mine, pulled me aside and told me about the car troubles... and then we all sorta noticed that he had somehow miraculously managed to rush home after the ceremony, get showered and changed. Impressive, no?

Guests arrived, there was no "assigned" seating... with the exception of the one head table meant to be for the Bride & Groom ... and their family. Which meant my Mother & Wayne; Wayne's kids, their spouses & kids; plus me and my brother. No one was officially sitting down yet so I stopped to talk to family friends and do my part (as well as have a good time) by trying to talk to everyone. As the food came out.... people started sitting down at tables...I looked over at the table where I was expected to sit (& where I was planning to, and wanted to sit... you know since IT WAS MY MOTHER'S WEDDING) and this little bitch, who shall remain nameless... because "little bitch" seems to suit her better than any other name she'd go by (& because she's a friend of my brother's, which drives me batshit crazy because I do not personally know one single person that truly likes or trusts her)... yeah LB decides to park her ass at the head table to sit next to my brother. I'm sure my brother wasn't even paying attention to the fact that that table was supposed to be for family only (& this one time I'll let that part slide, he was violently ill all morning after all).. but  did LB even think for a second that that was probably not the place to sit? Did she choose to not notice when I walked over and one of Wayne's family members said "aren't you sitting at the family table?" and I just politely smiled and said "doesn't seem to be room" and then went to go sit with other friends.

When the time came for toasts/speeches... I gave mine. I read them something I had written the day before that started out as just a letter to the two of them... but read it aloud under that big tent.... as I stood by my Mother at the family's table ... and refused to let my eyes wander down to the other end of the table where LB was sitting.
I heard people laugh at parts, which was nice... especially when they laughed at something I MEANT to be be funny, as opposed to just laughing AT me, but at the end when I looked around... people were freakin' crying. What?! Damn, I made people cry... is it irony that I didn't intend to, but felt kinda good about that too?

(pretty sure you can click on that & it will enlarge it if you're inclined to read it)

The rest of the day went swimmingly. I even got a text message from my ex-fiance (who is a great guy) to wish my Mother all the happiness in the world... the funny part was that he sent it from his younger brother's wedding which was happening at the exact same time as my Mother's, only in New Orleans. I was invited to that, but had to choose which to go to, ... sorta obvious which one I'd be at, right?

The "Fauxtobooth" (get it? fake/faux photobooth) we had set up in the outdoor shower was a hit. ( I kinda knew it would be, I don't associate with people lacking a silly side) It loosened everyone up and many more laughs were had throughout the reception as random people would stroll by with a big clown nose on, or a feather boa. (There are STILL random feathers floating around my Mother's property from that... let's just say they weren't the highest quality ;p )
 (Yes, that is my mother on my lap... with Wendy Mae & Leandra lookin' extra stunning behind us)

The food was delicious, but I knew it would be since my friend Danielle was doing it. She owns The Scottish Bake House and is just plain out of this world fantastic.

...... and did I mention that the wedding cake (which was a most excellent gift from my mother's best friend Anne who got it from Cakes By Liz) totally matched my dress? How cool was that? It's almost like we planned it... but we didn't... plus it had strawberries in there! I could have died it was so good!

All the family has gone home now, Wayne's two kids & their spouses, & THEIR kids are all back home... even my Mother & Wayne have left the island to travel back to where Wayne's house is (I kinda love that they are keeping both their houses so they don't have to stay in one place... clever if you ask me, and can afford it)... and all the cake is gone, the booze has been finished, the tent is down, the decorations have been given or thrown away, my orange shoes are now at the back of my closet, the dress hung for the winter, and all that remains is what can't be bought...... I woke up on Saturday October 2nd 2010 with 3 parents (my Father is remarried), one brother and one sister (Wendy Mae isn't blood related, but she is family, plain & simple)...... when I went to bed that night I had 4 parents, 3 sisters, 3 brothers, and 3 nieces.... and as I drifted off to sleep I became more grateful than ever before that I had convinced my family years earlier to stop celebrating Christmas with gifts, and just relax to a good meal, good drinks, and lots of laughter.

What was missing?...... "My Jerk" ♥ sent my Mother a very sweet message that afternoon which made her smile... and then made my heart ache more that he wasn't there.