Monday, August 13, 2007
ALLOW ME TO PROPOSE A TOAST . . . .
Chris and I spent this weekend on the road. On Saturday morning we left for Iowa, to attend my cousin Carrie’s wedding, held near Des Moines. I had never attended an outdoor wedding in August, so sufficed to say, we were dripping with um. . . sentiment . . .by the time the reception rolled around. After the recessional, the guests didn’t wait around to see if the bride and groom planned to dismiss everyone by row. No, it was more or less a refined stampede into the air conditioned hall. Actually, once you got past the 95 degree temperatures, it was a very lovely setting to have a wedding. It was held at a golf course, and the wedding site was on a rolling piece of land, overlooking a small lake, with lots of large trees all around (unfortunately, none of which provided shade for the event, but so it goes.) I really did enjoy the chance to get to see some of my family that I rarely get the opportunity to spend time with. One of my cousins and I figured out that it had been thirteen years since we had seen each other. Unfortunately, it seems that the only time most of my dad’s side of the family is all in one place is for weddings or funerals.
The next morning, Chris and I left Iowa and returned back to Illinois. Chris’s parents had graciously offered (ok – they were persuaded) into keeping the kids an extra night for us, so that we could have one more child-free night to ourselves. We decided to stay at the lodge at Starved Rock State Park in Utica. As we checked in that day, we noticed people busy putting the final touches on a wedding being held later that afternoon there at the lodge (an outdoor wedding as well. . .since when did outdoor weddings in August become so chic?) At any rate, later that evening, Chris and I were sitting in the great hall of the lodge, having some liquid refreshment and playing a game of rummy (to all my single readers, this is what high excitement in married life looks like after ten years.) As we played, we could hear the wedding banquet getting underway next to us - - the great hall had been curtained off, but we could obviously still hear the music and the people milling around next to us. Everything that was said over the PA system was also quite public, which is how I am able to recount the following event.
One of the first things that they did at this reception (before the food was served even) was to have the toasts from the maid of honor and the best man. The maid of honor was first and gave a very short, yet heartfelt toast. Soon it was time for the best man. He took the microphone, and said to the guests, “hope you have an hour . . . I have a lot to say.” The guests all gave a little laugh. . . .little did they know that he was more serious than they realized. He then started his toast with this joke: A man walks into a bar and says, “ow.” This less-than-amusing line was met without even polite laughter, and it was all downhill from there. I will spare you all the details, simply because of the space it would take up to have to write it all down, but this man’s diatribe covered everything from childhood, high school, college, and in between. He even managed to work in the fact that his friend’s wedding date was the same date that his own brother had died on four years prior, and then went into detail about THAT event. I have no idea how in the world this man felt that his toast was in any way acceptable - - he actually went on for close to fifteen minutes with his rambling toast. FIFTEEN MINUTES!! Twice, the guests at the wedding starting using their utensils to clink their glasses in an effort to let him know that he had gone on entirely too long. He seemed oblivious to their hints, and plowed right on through. I can only surmise that someone must have had to have physically removed the microphone from him, because all of a sudden, his toast stopped short, and everyone in the room started applauding.
(and those people thought the most uncomfortable experience they were going to have all day was sitting outside in the August heat at a wedding!)