Jason & Efia (Part 2)

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Tasha and I woke up the next morning, and it would be an understatement to say we were a little hung over. Still, we made our way to the free coffee and continental breakfast bar and met up with a few of the guests and the wedding party. Most of them were there, except for Nicola who was still nursing her hangover in her hotel room. I grabbed a coffee and went outside to revel in the beautiful weather, and as much as I was looking forward to eating something free, I kind of wanted a breakfast sandwich which was not an option at the hotel so Tasha, Dave and I decided to take a drive into town past the area of last night’s post rehearsal dinner crime scene and onto the outskirts of the FSU campus.

We drove past a place called Zaxby’s which apparently is like the Chi-Fil-A of the south, and arrived at a well known college haunt called “Bagel Bagel.” Pretty much everything is served on a bagel there. They had pizza bagels, lox and bagels, & bacon, ham and turkey bagels.  After I incinerated the roof of my mouth from my breakfast sandwich, we all headed back to the hotel gym where Tasha and I would attempt to sweat out some of the alcohol from the previous night, while Parr and Chad sat in the hot tub enjoying the warm Florida weather in October. Shaun had to go to Jos. A Bank to pick up his tux which hopefully fit well, V.J. was shit out of luck when it came to acquiring a better fitting vest, and I believe Swift found a pair of pants which is evident in the photo below.

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(From L to R: VJ, Swift, Parr, Nut, Chad, Gary, Me, Shaun)

We headed over to the Golden Eagle Country Club and were ushered into a room upstairs. We all sat at a big wooden table as Chad broke out his binder and went over his duties as the minister of ceremonies. This was Chad’s second go around marrying two of his friends, so he was definitely a little more comfortable than P-Nut was, being that A. Chad had been here before, and B. P-Nut hadn’t.  There were some chips and sodas and sandwiches in the room, but no one was really eating nor talking a lot, probably due to the fact that we were all pretty lethargic and still feeling the effects of last night’s boozefest.

I can’t imagine what goes through the mind of someone who is about to get married in an hour.  Perhaps their whole single life flashes before their eyes? Perhaps all the moments leading up to this day come rushing back as they’re overwhelmed with emotion and nervousness, or perhaps they’re just so excited and overjoyed to finally be able to say “I do” to the love of their life in front of all their friends and family that they find it hard to communicate their feelings, or maybe they just want to be still and contemplate the next few hours in the hopes that everything goes right. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have that moment in my life, but right now the only thing going through my mind was how dehydrated I was, how happy I felt for my friend on his wedding day, and how I wish I had gotten a hair cut before I flew out for the wedding because this mop on my head closely resembled an unkempt piece of shit.

I’ve always had an issue with my hair, that issue being that I spend far too much thinking about it. It’s amazing to me that we put so much emphasis on dead protein filaments growing out of our head, but ever since 3rd grade when I idolized Jon Bon Jovi and used to spend fifteen minutes in the morning sculpting and “mousseing” my hair, I’ve always felt the need to want it to look cool. Was I succeeding in that quest that afternoon when P-Nut and Efia were about to get married? Absolutely not. On the other hand, P-Nut was having no issues what so ever. His hair looked like a dirty blonde mane, perfectly textured and styled to resemble the crest of a wave breaking on the Jersey shore. Mine looked like a dirty pile of hay sitting in a puddle in the streets of Philadelphia after a long rain storm, but as I had to remind myself, it wasn’t about me that day.

The wedding party met up with the wedding planner who went over the procession one more time and made sure that none of us screwed it up but especially, none of the groomsmen. I was the first to proceed down the grassy aisle with bridesmaid number one on my arm, which meant that I would be the groomsman furthest away from the Groom, or according to my theory, the worst friend. Wait, is it possible that this was P-Nut’s way of getting back at me for being a dick to him in high school? I don’t think so, but did he even want me to be in his wedding party at all?  Come to think of it, I don’t remember him even asking me to be a groomsman. I recall a few months back he told me he had something to talk to me about, so when I called him I basically assumed I knew what it was and when he answered the phone I said…

“Hey P-Nut, I would love to be a groomsman at your wedding.”

That statement was immediately met by an awkward silence. I think there was a issue with having an equal amount of bridesmaids to groomsmen, but eventually, it all got sorted out and the six groomsmen and six bridesmaids made their way to the “shore of marriage” before the man and woman of the hour proceeded down the aisle.

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P-Nut in his tux and perfect hair looked pretty good that day, but let’s be honest, Efia looked better. She was decked out in a gorgeous white gown, smiling ear to ear reminiscent of a classic Hollywood beauty as her father walked her down the aisle to meet “Jason” at the alter. I had a thought… What is it like to give your daughter away on her wedding day? I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a daughter, let alone multiple daughters, or what it must be like to go through the process of getting married and having to give these daughters away, but I would imagine by the time you got to that point in your life as a father, you’ve gotten past all that.

The minister of ceremonies, a.k.a. Chad presided over the formal tradition between his best friend and Nut’s beautiful bride to be. As he began to speak and reminded us all of why we were gathered there today, he was being slightly overshadowed by one of the children at the wedding who was not completely behaving themselves, and may or may not have started talking and screaming during the part where everyone was supposed to be contemplative and quiet. Chad continued on, but after a couple more outbursts, P-Nut’s mom took it upon her self to remind her grandson exactly where they were, and what the appropriate behavior was.

“Zip it! We’re in the middle of a beautiful ceremony!” She said.

I looked over to Parr the way Jim from the Office would look into the camera when Dwight said something ridiculous…or at least I tried to look over at Parr, but since I was all the way at the end of the line of groomsman, and he was at the other end, I’m not sure if he saw me. Regardless, Chad continued on with the reading of the vows, and then I started to hear weeping and crying. At first, from my vantage point I thought it was coming from where the guests were seated, like maybe a cousin or a mom was just overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t contain themselves, but then I realized it was coming from the same plane that I was on, a little further down the line right where the Bride and Groom were standing.  Aww, that’s sweet I thought. Efia is getting all teary eyed on her special day. Only thing was, it turned out it wasn’t the Bride who was crying tears of happiness, it was the Groom.

My initial reaction was at some point later during the reception we would all bust on P-Nut for balling like a little girl at his own wedding, cause that’s what guy friends do who have known each other for twenty plus years. I imagine Gary would grab a few napkins and hand them to P-Nut after the ceremony and tell him that “these are just in case you get a little too emotional on your honeymoon,” and we would all have a laugh and no harm would be done. However, in the moment as I watched one of my best friends cry during one of the most vulnerable and happy moments in his life, I got to admit, I was kind of envious.

Look, I’ve definitely gotten emotional and teared up a bit during a touching part of a movie, but I’ve never cried tears of joy. I don’t know what it’s like to be so in love with someone and happy to be with them that in the moment, I’m unable to hold back the water works streaming down my face while I look into the eyes of my soulmate on my wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve cried before, but not because I was happy, it was because I had lost something, or someone. I cried when Tasha and I broke up all three times, and I cried when our cat Jose died, and most recently, (and I can’t believe I am admitting this in my blog), but this past holiday season when I was sad and depressed for many reasons, I found myself listening to the EDM song “Leave It All Behind” by Dash Berlin.  It was Christmas Eve, I was alone in my apartment, and I was incredibly moved by the lyrics that apparently hit too close to home that I ended up balling my eyes out and breaking down on the floor of my kitchen while the song played in the background. Go ahead, you can laugh. I know it’s pretty funny when someone sheds a tear to “electronic dance music.”

Tears of sadness are a common thing, and there have been many times in my life when I laughed so hard I cried, but I don’t know what it’s like to be so affected by the love I have for someone else that it causes me to shed tears of gratification. I can’t even find the words to describe what was going through my mind that day, but I knew in that moment how much P-Nut really cared and loved Efia, and how for most of my life I’ve been missing that feeling and longing for that connection with someone. Truth is, I never busted his balls for crying at his own wedding. When the ceremony was over and he and Efia were officially husband and wife and everyone was smiling and clapping, the only thing I felt for my friend was a complete and total sense of pride and respect. If I hadn’t said it before, at least he knows how I feel now.

All the groomsmen and bridesmaids were now subject to the part of the wedding where we were secluded like prisoners from the drinks, the apps and everyone else at the wedding to engage in the arduous task of taking pictures.  The groomsmen had to wait while the Bride, Groom and the parents of the Bride and Groom were getting their pictures first, followed by the bridesmaids, then the groomsmen, then finally all of us together. I took it upon myself to grab some beers for us while we sat around and waited for our time to snap a few memorable moments. You can see in the picture below how Gary made use the groomsmen gift we got from P-Nut while we were waiting for the photographer.

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Also below you can see how horrific my hair looked that day.

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After the pictures, we were all announced to the ballroom full of guests by our legal names, except for Parr, aka Joseph T. Carr whose was announced to everyone who could hear the Emcee butcher his name…..

Now, making his way into the ballroom is ‘James’ T Carr.”

Yeah, that was it. Here comes our good ol’ friend “James.” How do you mess that up? Sure, Joseph and James are similar, because they both start with the letter J, but clearly one has an extra syllable plus a different vowel in it. As the kids used to say back in 2012, THAT was an “epic fail.”

After the wedding party was announced and all of our duties were completed, we all found our seats, got settled in, ordered a drink and then hit the buffet. Ahhh, the buffet. I think I went back twice that afternoon for more food. I must have had two helpings of the shrimp and grits because it was excellent, an extra large potion of the lobster mac and cheese, and I’m pretty sure I threw some greens and chicken in there, but it was pretty much all carbs all day for me. There was a lot of southern home-style food at this spread which is what I would expect from a wedding that took place in the panhandle of Florida. The food was great, the drinks were being drank, but I gotta be honest, none of us were really pounding down the alcohol, especially Nicola who was a few seats away from me and Tasha at the table, definitely still hung over and apparently “on water” that afternoon.

That’s me and Tasha speak for not drinking alcohol in case you didn’t know. It came about two months ago when we were at the Golden Nugget in Vegas, and we were pretty buzzed and I noticed these two girls sitting at the bar who could have been hookers, but could have also just been “randos” who were just on the prowl, but they looked suspect to the former. Anyway, I leaned over to Tasha and said to her.

“Watch me freak these girls out.”

Then I told the bartender “we” wanted to buy them a drink. He came back a few minutes later and told us their reply was “Thank you, but no thank you.” Apparently one the girls already had a drink, and the other one was, as he put it, “on water.” Is that anything like “on ecstasy” or “on LSD?”  Tasha and I started cracking up because I’m sure those chicks thought we were making an indecent proposal, but the truth is, we just like to fuck with people we don’t know when we’re drunk. Try it sometime. It’s pretty fun.

Anyway, we were on alcohol, Nicola was on water, and P-Nut and Efia were on the dance floor, while Chad stood in front of them, and asked for us all to quiet down as he raised his glass of champagne and gave a heart warming speech to the newly married couple. You might remember Chad from getting married to Mary in a past blog entry of mine, and you might remember P-Nut from such past speeches as “Diarrhea of the Mouth at Chad’s & Mary’s Wedding.” If you don’t, you can always go back and read “Chad & Mary (Part 2)” to recall some of the things he ineptly said to the Bride, the Groom, and the room full of 200 plus wedding guests that day. In the meantime, here we are three years later and Chad was finally able to give P-Nut a little payback as he toasted his friends, while bringing up the wedding speech within a wedding speech.

At this point, the wedding speech retribution was accomplished, life had come full circle, and it was time for the Bride and Groom to unknowingly predict the next two singles who were to get married. Efia stood in front of a small gaggle of single ladies, and on the count of three, she tossed her bouquet into the air over her shoulder, and into the hands of…. Tasha. That’s right. Tasha caught the bouquet, again. She caught it at CJ & Shauna’s wedding too, but I didn’t remember it happening until she told me two weeks ago after I wrote that entry. So there she was on the sidelines, bouquet in hand as all the gents gathered on the dance floor behind P-Nut and waited for him to wind up and enthusiastically toss the garter over his shoulder, and into a dwindling group of single men including me and three of my single friends. It was pretty much not a contest at all. Gary, Parr and Shaun were standing behind me and to my left, each with drinks in their hands which unequivocally gave me the advantage in catching it, and anchored to my right was an older gentleman in a blue flannel who had either changed clothes, or just wondered into the a wedding reception that day.

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That’s me with the garter in my hand raising it up over my head after catching it like I just won the Stanley Cup, and that’s Parr, Gary, and Shaun, with their drinks in their hand and a look on their faces as if to say, “Of course he caught it” because as it turns out, it landed right in front of my feet on the dance floor. I had to pick it up.  P-Nut isn’t the most athletic guy I know, but also in his defense, a garter don’t make for a very good projectile.

So I caught the garter, and Tasha caught the bouquet for the first time in the five weddings we attended together. I knew this would eventually happen. To be honest, I was happy it was her who I was forced to humiliate myself with in front of all of P-Nut and Efia’s friends and family for next few minutes. In classic wedding tradition, she sat in a chair on the dance floor, and I got down to business. With careful meditation I assessed the situation, took the garter in my teeth and applied said garter to her upper right thigh with precise precision and calculated accuracy. It even might had tickled her a little bit, and it definitely made for a good show.

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After looking at the pictures of the wedding, the reception, and the ones later on in the evening when a teenager named Brandon tried to teach us all how to perfect the “Gangnum Style” dance, it really brought me back to a joyous and wonderful weekend in my life.  Almost three years ago, I had gotten a speeding ticket at the start of the weekend, Tasha and I were flat broke and living together in a one bedroom apartment in L.A., and we didn’t know what raw deal life was going to hand us next, yet we were able to let all of that go for awhile and be a part of the start of Jason and Efia’s new life together.

This wedding was like a milestone in my adult life. I wasn’t the one getting married, or giving a heartfelt humorous speech to my friend on the dance floor. I wasn’t about to go on a honeymoon to Hawaii, nor was I making the last payment on a diamond ring I bought almost two years ago. However, I felt like I had grown up a bit that weekend as I watched yet another one of my best friends from high school start a new chapter in a novel new life with someone they love. Love is the only word I know where I can use all the other words in the English language to try and describe it, but it still can never be truly defined.

I may not be able to fully comprehend P-Nut & Efia’s love for one another, but they caused me see love in a different way, a way that I could define for myself.  The events of that weekend made me cry just a little, and laugh just a little bit louder because it reminded me of how even though life may stress us out or make us ask why, at the end of the day, if you have someone you can come home to and you care about them more than anything else in the world and they tell you “everything is going to be ok”.… then you love someone, and they love you, and you’re the luckiest person on earth.

I’ve loved Tasha as my girlfriend before, but situations change and now we love each other in a different way. She’s still the first one I go to when I feel anxious about where my life is headed, and she’s still the only one I talk to truthfully when I’m feeling down and depressed. Sure, I may not have cried at my own wedding like a little sissy boy, (just kidding Nut!) but I do understand what it’s like to love someone in my own way, and I think for now, I’m ok with that.

Yeah, living with Tasha over the next year was a little difficult, I’m not gonna lie. We argued at times, we wanted to kill each other a lot, and neither one of us got laid much at all. We were working together on this project that we really believed in, even if the synopsis of our partnership and the logline of the show still had some room to grow. Trust me, to put yourself in an position where you sleep a foot away from your ex, but on a separate bed, and split cable, power, and water bills each month, but still take separate showers shows that you must really love someone, or some thing enough to put up with those awkward and unaccommodating moments.

I may not understand crying when you’re happy love, but maybe one day I will. I know that Tasha and I share a love for each other, even though it’s different from P-Nut and Efia’s or Chad and Mary’s or different from the love that you share with your spouse or significant other. And I know what you’re thinking…..how could you live “the married life” within the same four walls as your ex-girlfriend and NOT sleep with her.  Am I right? Believe me, I STILL hear that question, and the answer STILLl is it just never happened. But you know what, it’s alright if you don’t believe me. I wouldn’t expect you to fully understand “our” love.

When we all got back to the hotel, the wedding party sat around in the lobby drinking a few beers and eating pizza that I bought for everyone. We were all a little tired, yet somehow, still a little hungry and to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the four hour drive back to Atlanta the next day so we could catch our flight home. I honestly wished we could have stayed a little longer and spent more time with our friends. As I’ve gotten older, and as my single friends have gone the way of the dinosaur, I’m starting to realize that there aren’t many more of these weddings left to go to. I guess that’s why I had a hard time saying goodbye to everyone that afternoon.

Dave and Shaun had to catch their flight, Parr, Gary, Desiree and Nicola had a long drive back to Jersey, and Chad and Mary had to pack up their stuff and their son Bastian and head back home. Sure, I know I’ll see them all again soon, but logically the next time we’re all together it will most likely be for someone’s wedding.  It certainly won’t be my wedding, even though the perfect unmarried couple caught the bouquet and the garter that afternoon. I guess sometimes life is bittersweet.

Tasha and I made it to the airport the next afternoon by driving exactly what the posted speed limit was the whole way through Georgia. It was a nice drive, and it only took us five and a half hours to drive 261 miles, plus I saved some money on the flight by flying in and out of Atlanta. What about that speeding ticket I got at the beginning of the trip? Well yeah, that part sucked, but I eventually did pay it when I got back home. No speeding ticket was going to negate the fact that I was honored to have been a part of my best friend’s special day.

On the airplane ride back to Los Angeles, I smiled to Tasha, put on my headphones and sat back in my discounted seat while I fondly recalled the events of the weekend, as I just kept telling myself  “I saved some money on the flight.”

Next Wedding: June 10th, 2015

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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Christine & Joey

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The first wedding I ever went to started out with a bang. Well, a bang of mental sorts if you will. I was traveling with two co-workers of mine to a co-workers wedding somewhere on a ranch in Carlsbad California. Please pardon my lack of memory for the exact location, because at the start of the car ride down to the wedding, I decided it would be a good idea to take a couple hits off of my friend’s joint and then settle in for the hour and a half ride. What I didn’t plan for, of course, was the panic attack that ensued as soon as my car started heading south on the I-5 freeway. To this day, I don’t know why it happened, but I didn’t say anything to my friends in the car, I just sucked it up and drove through the shuttering sounds of tractor trailers and commuters whizzing by my Honda Accord, while I tried to sing along to the Killers in an attempt to confuse the part of my brain that was telling me to pull over immediately and take a few deep breaths. Somehow, I got through it unscathed, and eighty five minutes later we arrived at our hotel, safe and sound. If the journey down was any kind of a window into what the next few hours would bring, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride.

Christine and Joey got married on June 9th, 2007. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, followed by a reception in a lavishly decorated backyard of this southern California ranch. I remember Christine walking down the make-shift aisle to the song “You’re So Cool” by Hans Zimmer, which you would instantly know if you’ve ever seen the beginning or end of the movie “True Romance.” I remember blurting out how I knew what movie this song was from, maybe a little too loud, and I remember their loving vows, the perfect weather, the bowls of pistachios on every table, and of course, the open bar. What I have come to realize at each wedding I go to is that there are usually two options when it comes to alcoholic beverage choices. When planning both events, the “marrys” have to decide whether to choose between beer and wine, OR the open liquor bar at the reception and rehearsal dinner (if you are lucky enough to be invited to the latter) Being that there WAS no rehearsal dinner, or at least none that I was invited to, Christine and Joey opted for us to get liquored up with an open full bar at the reception of what appeared to be about 150-175 people. A wise choice if ever there was one. You want to get your guests loaded the night OF the wedding, not the night BEFORE the wedding, right? Right.

After dinner, I had found myself spending the next hour a little inebriated on the dance floor, shaking and shimmying all while eyeing this one intriguing brunette girl in a green dress. I didn’t know her name, but I knew I NEEDED to know her name. When I saw her for the first time, it was kind of like those “love at first sight” scenes you see in the movies. I went deaf, the action of people dancing and singing was suddenly projected in slow motion around me, and the camera panned up towards her as she looked back at me with a subtle smile and a look on her face that I found openly endearing. I danced my way over to her and without saying a thing, I spent the next fifteen minutes in my head reveling at how bright and full of life her eyes were, and how great she smelled. Was this what I thought it was, and if so, what happens next? There I was, dressed in black pinstriped pants and a pastel blue and pink button down shirt that my ex girlfriend from 2004 had bought me. I kind of looked like an human Easter egg, and I was still kind of reeling from an excessive mentally taxing relationship that had ended over a year ago, but had still left its proverbial scars on my body. I wasn’t really sure of myself, and it kind of sucked to be me at this time in my life so I did what anyone who has low self esteem and had just had a panic attack does at a wedding, I drank a lot. I figured I would need this liquid courage if I was going to make my way over to talk to this girl in the green dress, that is until the deejay played some lame ass song that no one really seemed to like and we all wondered aimlessly off the dance floor and back to the bar.

This was a co-workers wedding, and one of the first ones I had ever attended. I didn’t really know how to act because I knew I had to eventually work with these people again. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of the people I’m going to have to see face to face again on Monday, but at this point, who the fuck really cared? So I took a few moments to discuss what I was feeling with my friend Craig and stepped out of sight to finish that panic attack joint in my pocket from earlier. I told him about what had happened and he convinced me to relax and have fun and of course, have a other drink which is exactly what we did next.

So there I was on my fifth or sixth cocktail of the night, sitting on the stones which bordered the sidelines of the dance floor, talking with another friend from work. My dinner was settling in, and excuse me for not knowing specifically what we ate because the truth of the matter is, I just don’t remember. I’m sure it was steak, and I’m sure it was really good, but somehow all I can remember was being punch drunk and engaged in watching that beautiful exotic girl in the green dress strut her stuff to the sounds of 80’s and 90’s pop music while my friend, Shaw nudged me in my elbow and in so many words, calls me a pussy and tells me to go get her.

“She just danced her way over her and flashed you her ass.” He said.

You think that was on purpose?” I ask in a tone of naivety.

Of course it was, idiot.” He said with dry sarcasm.

She DID do that, didn’t she?” I stated.

Yeah man. What are you waiting for?” He replied.

And with that, I put my drink down, and danced my way over to her again, to start a non verbal conversation with my hips. She immediately engaged me with a smile and before I knew it, we were cutting a rug where there was no rug to be cut. I kind of got lost in the moment for a bit. If you give me a few drinks at a wedding, and give me some music with a good beat, I can fucking dance. I don’t even need a partner, although at this point in the night, I was more than happy to have one. And she was a good dancer, and she was pretty, and she had this life to her that I hadn’t seen in the eyes of anyone else in a long time. I found out her name was Tasha which to me was such a glamorous name to even have in the first place. She fascinated me immediately, and at the same time in the middle of everything that was happening, I could feel these eyes on us from off the dance floor. I didn’t really pay attention to what was happening on the sidelines, but I knew people were looking at us as if somehow WE were the center of attention. I liked that about her and I, and I immediately gravitated more towards her as the sun was setting.

Next up, was the obligatory tossing of the bouquet and garter part of the wedding. All the single ladies crowded around the dance floor, and then Christine turned around and tossed the handful of flowers into the air towards a group of beautifully done up and very “motivated” women. I watched as the bouquet bounced around a few hands before landing in the palm of one girl, who I think dropped it, for it only to be instantaneously snatched up by another girl who screamed and jumped up in the air with excitement and as if she had just won the lottery. Off to the side, I could see what appeared to be her date take a very large swing of his whiskey and coke, knowing full well that her catching the bouquet was all a part of a plan. Now it was time for the men.

All the single gents stood there looking at each other clueless, as if to suggest none of us really wanted to catch this thing in the first place. I on the other hand did NOT come with a date and did NOT have a girlfriend on the side who was coaching me as to where the perfect spot to stand would be to catch such a small accessory. Still, when Joey flung that garter up into the air, I thought to myself…I’m just going to innocently jump up with about 50% effort, put my hand out, and whatever happens, happens. Apparently, half an attempt was all I needed as the garter magically landed in my left hand, which was strange because I’m totally a righty. Simultaneously, every other bachelor in the crowd immediately breathed a sigh of relief. I smiled and took their “good lucks” unknowingly to heart, but in reality I kind of didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I just thought…”yay, I caught it, let’s take a picture and get on with the drinking and the dancing part of the night.” What I didn’t realize is that I would spend the next ten minutes trying to apply the garter to the thigh of the woman who had stolen the bouquet from someone else without the option of using my hands. So, I used my teeth, because what else was I going to do, and because honestly feet really gross me out. Even my own feet are weird to look at. I’m sure there is a video out there somewhere of me putting this garter in it’s place, but I’ve never seen it, and I’m sure hoping that someone NEVER shows it to me if it does exist.

It was right about the time when I was on my hands and knees in front of everyone that I realized because of all the dancing and sweating and garter applying I was doing, the shitty zipper on my pants decided to completely fail me, which left anyone in sight of my crotch with a clear view to an open window to my underwear. I luckily found a way to secure said zipper with a safety pin that I got from the bride herself. Crisis adverted, but now the evening was winding down and it was getting late at the reception of Christine and Joey’s wedding. People were tired, the bowls of pistachios were almost empty, and the deejay was making the announcement that this would be his final few songs of the night. I looked around at the lay of the land, spotted Tasha at the bar upstairs, and made my way to where she was so and I could walk up to her with my zipper intact and convincingly say….

“Your presence is requested on the dance floor.

A few minutes later, I saw Tasha make her way over to me for the final song of the night. After the music had finally stopped, and while all the guests were milling about trying to figure out what to do next, I took the initiative. I approached Tasha and complimented her dancing, her name, and her beautiful face. Then I did what any single man at a wedding would do at the end of the night after they had spent all this time dancing with a pretty girl, not knowing if they would ever see her again. I asked her for her phone number so I could take her out when we got back to L.A.

“I can’t do that.” She said with a mischievous smile on her face.

What? This didn’t make any sense to me what so ever. What did she mean she “can’t” do that? Was that code for something? Did she have a boyfriend? How are you going to dance with me all night and make googly eyes and smell so goddamn good only to never want to see me again!? I had to find out why.

“Why is that?” I asked.

And then, I heard the six words that totally changed the energy at the reception, and brought me and everyone else who witnessed this debacle back down to earth in an instant. From behind me on the dance floor, I heard a male voice combatively exclaim..

“Cause I’ll kick your fucking ass!”

I didn’t flinch one bit, and I stood my ground and said to Tasha without missing a beat….

“Did I just hear what I think I heard?

She was giving me the most uncomfortable smile, and I couldn’t even turn around, but I knew I had to. I knew what this was. This was her boyfriend verbally pissing all over his territory in front of a crowd of about 30 onlookers who were just waiting to see what happens next. So I took a deep breath, and like a gentleman, I turned around and extended my olive branch of a hand, and with a shit eating grin on my face I said

“Sorry man. I didn’t know she was taken.

Well, now you do.” He replied.

He was about six foot something with blonde hair and a crazy look in his eyes. I don’t remember much else about him, other than the fact that I didn’t want any trouble, and apparently according to the last two minutes of my life, that’s exactly what this girl was. It got a little tense after that point. People started talking, and the gossip started building and I retreated to my group of friends who had seen everything that went down and who were more than willing to “get my back” in case anyone tried to jump me. Luckily, nothing like that happened. The bride, who saw everything came over to me and apologized, and I apologized back telling her that I hope this little incident didn’t ruin her wonderful night. I told my friends that it was ok, and even though I had a great time, a little part of me was disappointed. My heart was still beating a mile a minute, and I associated that feeling with the onslaught of drama and emotion that was in the air, and the three or four red bull vodkas that were in my blood stream. However, I was suddenly sober, a little bit bit heavy hearted, and totally ready to go back to the hotel. A few minutes later, and right before I was able to gather my friends and head back to the car, Tasha came up to me and apologized.

“Sorry about that. He’s my ex boyfriend.” She said. “He’s a little bit crazy.”

Yeah, I could tell. It was good to meet you.” I said. “You’re also a really good dancer.”

She was beaming a little bit and she apologized again but I told her that it was ok. We said goodbye, and I drove my two friends and I back to our hotel room to get some much needed rest and sleep off the rest of this unavoidable hangover. Back at the hotel, I went out to get a non alcoholic drink from the soda machine and to smoke my last cigarette. My friend Craig and I were standing in the parking lot when we saw Tasha and her ex boyfriend sitting in a dark blue Scion XA, engaging in what appeared to be an argument that I’m 100% positive was fueled by the events of that night. Turns out they were not only staying in the same hotel as us, but their room was literally across the hall. The irony.

When I got back to L.A. the next day, I couldn’t get her out of my head. I felt like even though there was so much drama surrounding that night, there was something about her that I needed to get to know more of. I told my friends Chad and Mary about what had happened last night at the wedding, and after a little speculation and a possible warning from Chad who flat out said that this is girl is probably trouble, we did exactly what people did back in 2007 when we wanted to find out more information about someone…. we looked her up on MySpace.  I sent her a message proclaiming that “I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a little crush on you.” Feeling satisfied that at this point I did everything right, I put my heart on my sleeve and I put the ball in her court and awaited her reply.

We went out on a date a few days later, and yeah, it was pretty awesome. We went to The Roost, my favorite dive bar in L.A. where we conversed about growing up on the east coast and what life hacks we had learned in our time out west. We drank about 8 Newcastles and munched on about two bags of popcorn, and then I took her to the 101 Cafe at one in the morning for a late night snack. She ordered the chili cheese fries, and for some reason, that really turned me on. We started talking about the events of the wedding and how beautiful Christine looked, and how perfect the weather was, and how ironically as it turned out, Tasha was the one who “dropped” the bouquet. That’s funny I thought. It could have been her leg that I had to apply the garter to with my teeth. I’m sure her ex boyfriend would have loved that.

I dropped her off that night without kissing her, but believe me, I really wanted to. I suppose it turned out alright because we ended up dating for the next two years and spent almost every day with each other. After that night, Tasha and I were inseparable.

Next wedding: Wednesday April 22nd

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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.