Summer has gotten a little busy on me. Those beers aren’t going to drink themselves, you know. I am surprised by the number of people who have actually taken some time to read these, um, stories. So, thank you if you are reading this… it is nice to know that I am not just writing for myself and that when I do put a book together (notice I said when, not if), that maybe a few people would be interested in reading. Thank you again.
This might get a little mushy and sensitive and you may not be interested in that type of story today… you have been warned.
Early, June 28, 2008. When I say early, I mean 1 AM. First, let me fill you in on what was happening preceding this day…
When Jenni and I first got engaged we had the opportunity to see Jerry Seinfeld at the Orpheum in downtown Minneapolis. And, as fate would have it, the majority of his show was about being engaged and wedding plans. One thing he said that I swore I would remember (I don’t think my fiance made the same oath) is, “when you are engaged you think your wedding is the most important event in the world but, in reality, nobody else cares.”
While I did remember this advice, I didn’t really apply this knowledge in a useful way and found myself getting wrapped up in a few of the details and began to worry about them obsessively (as I do about everything). There were three things that I worried about and thought about until I was on the verge of insanity.
1. Who my groomsmen would be… Important to me, nobody else cares.
2. Wedding cake. For whatever the reason having a wedding cake was important me… nobody else cares.
3. Weather… we’ll get to that.
Without getting into details, I wasn’t allowed what I wanted. Looking back, I don’t even understand why I cared so deeply about these things but they were a constant source of stress. For the record, I think our wedding was the best wedding I have ever been to and wouldn’t change a thing (nobody cares…).
The day prior to the wedding was dark cloud covered day, but the rain managed to hold off the majority of the day. Our wedding was going to be outside, no tent over our ceremony… this is why weather had been on my mind for the better part of 12 months.
As we were going through the rehearsal of the wedding the clouds began to get a little darker and darker and then a little greenish… then the rain came and we had to take cover under the tent where our reception would be held the next day. Luckily, it was about 20 yards away. It’s ok, I thought, let’s get the rain out-of-the-way so that it will be clear tomorrow.
The rain didn’t let up and we went to our rehearsal dinner at my brothers restaurant. (Side note: My brother, PJ, is the best chef west of the Mississippi and is running the kitchen at Bar Harbor on Gull Lake. Go. Eat. Enjoy, you won’t regret it.)
Our dinner was beautiful. My dad gave a toast that I think I could still recite word for word and is something I that I will never forget (Despite his best efforts, I didn’t cry… I almost did, but not quite).
Then, we separated from my bride to be and went back to my parents house for fun and cocktails… lots of cocktails, mainly Dr. Mcgillicuddy and as we say at family functions, “the doctor was in.” We drank and had a great time… Then we watched a movie that my brother made that compiled lots of old home videos from when I was a kid (chubby, awkward, freckle faced, buck toothed… remember?), this did make me cry, but that is easy once I am loaded.
After the movie, people were leaving and it was time for us to head out to the guest house (my grandma used to live in this house… not sure why I felt the need to explain this but I couldn’t leave it as “guest house,” it just sounded weird).
June 28, 2008 – 1:00 AM. Apparently, all of the stress that had been building was looking for a way to get out and it chose to do so early morning the day of my wedding when I was hammered drunk. Somehow, I decided that I would take this out on my groomsman Andy. So, I decided to wrestle/accost him for about an hour all over the house… I don’t usually act like that, but like I said there was a lot of stress that needed to be released (for those of you that know Andy, I think we can agree that we would all like to take out some stress on him at some point). After I wore myself out, I decided that I needed a shower before I retired for the evening. The problem was that there wasn’t a shower curtain and I didn’t feel like standing… so I curled up in the fetal position in the tub. The problem was that I didn’t lock the door and Andy came in the bathroom, evaluated what he was seeing and said, “what the fuck are you doing?”
I decided to respond honestly and said, “I was HOT!”
Needless to say it was an interesting night…
The next morning I woke up ready to get married. However, there was a slight misunderstanding on the time we were supposed to be there for pictures prior to the wedding. We were drinking Miller High Life and watching The Goonies when my mom came and said we were supposed to be at the wedding already… yes, I was late to my own wedding… I am sure my bride was mad but she did not show it when we showed up.
Now, you hear people describe moments like this, but this was the first time that I had ever experienced this…
They were already taking pictures when we showed up for pictures. I was nervous the entire car ride there. It wasn’t “cold feet” nervous, it was more like the nerves you get before you have to stand up in front of a crowd.
It was cloudy, the air was heavy and it was hot even without the sun. The grass was still wet from the morning dew and there was not a breath of wind. I finally saw my bride and felt a pang hit my heart that slowed everything in that moment. I have never seen such a beautiful woman (yes, she was a woman in that instant) in my life. If she was nervous at all, she didn’t show it. I realized that I was looking at the rest of my life and if it turned out to be a tenth as beautiful as the woman in front of me I would be extremely lucky. From her hair, her makeup, her dress, I couldn’t dream of anything that beautiful. I felt like I didn’t deserve her and, truth be told, I probably don’t.
Once the wedding started and I saw her walking down the aisle towards me I went from nervous to excited. I started to realize that I was so lucky to be starting the rest of my life with Jenni… this was only the beginning! As we started the ceremony, it started to mist… the mist turned into drizzle. Next, the sky started to get a little darker and a little darker… I had seen this story play out 24 hours earlier and I knew what was coming. Only, the rain held off until our ceremony ended and all of the guests were in the safety of the tent. Then, the rain fell. It was like someone had cupped their hands under the shower head until they were full and pulled their hands apart letting the water surge to the ground in one big splat.
We had a great party and dance. It was so humid in the tent, but nobody seemed to… (say it with me..) care! It went by way too fast… If given the opportunity I would relive that day at a moments notice. At the end of the night we made our way to our suite at Maddens on Gull Lake.
I woke up the next day and, of course, it was a perfect summer day. Not a cloud in the sky, no humidity, perfect. Why couldn’t we have had this weather yesterday? I thought. But, when I looked at the woman who I would be spending the rest of my life with, I thought about Seinfeld’s words of wisdom and realized that nobody cared about the weather, the groomsmen, the cake, any of it.
In that moment I realized, I didn’t care either.
It is our 4 year anniversary as a married couple. The best 4 years of my life. She is my wife, my muse, my world but, most importantly, my best friend.