Saturday, August 27, 2011

Here Comes (The Uncle Of) The Bride

As mentioned, last week found me winging my way to the UP for my niece Jourdan’s wedding.
I travelled to the UP for this despite the fact that 1. I’d already been there just a few months ago for Jourdan’s graduation from Nursing school and 2. This meant missing out on the Baltimore Comic-Con (with Guest of Honor Stan “The Man” Lee), so that ought to give you some indication of how important my niece is to me.
The flight there was mostly uneventful, except for two things.
One was the little girl sitting next to me who provided a fair amount of irritation, mostly due to her attempts at singing.  She couldn’t carry a tune, so, not being able to carry it, she decided instead to beat the tune to death with a stick.
This was made more annoying by the fact that she didn’t really know the words to most of the songs she was attempting to sing.
Still, it was only a minor annoyance.
The other “eventful” thing was when, before we took off, my name was announced over the PA, and I was asked to press the call button if I was on the plane.  I did so, and nothing happened for a long time, until finally a flight attendant came along to shut the call light off and said, in response to my questioning look, “They just wanted to make sure you were on the plane.”
I shrugged it off, but there was a growing paranoia gnawing at my subconscious.  It’s not like I had anything to worry about, that I knew of, but you always hear those horror stories about mistaken identities and whatnot that lead to people ending up on “No Fly” lists, or worse.
When I arrived in Hancock and was getting off the plane, the paranoia flared up again when I was walking into the terminal and passed a Sherriff’s Deputy – there’s always one there, but at the time, given my state of mind, it seemed odd – and I was certain that I heard a voice say my name and stating that I”d just gotten off the plane issuing forth from his radio as I walked past.
(The paranoia eventually faded, then flared up again on my last day there when my bank card was rejected when I was gassing up the rental car, despite the fact that I had plenty of money in my account.)
During my layover in Chicago, I got lunch from a Johnny Rockets.  I’d wanted to get a chili dog, but that wasn’t an option, and, feeling pressured to order something right now, I ended up getting this massive lunch that made me think, “I don’t know who I thought I was ordering lunch for; this is enough for at least three of me.”
Actually, because a specific context can bring about a specific craving, what I really wanted was a slice of Sbarro pizza.  I mean, I know it’s not good, and it’s not something I would normally seek out, but when I’m in an airport it seems like the thing to eat.  However, I didn’t know if there was one anywhere nearby – or in O’Hare at all, it being Chicago and all – and I didn’t really have enough time to try to find one.
Anyway, eventually I was in the UP and, apart from the wedding itself, not a whole lot happened.  My mom has some back trouble – a bulging disc, they think – so her mobility was limited.  She had to be in a wheelchair for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.
At the wedding itself, we nearly had a “runaway grandma.”  As I was pushing her along the recessional line and she was hugging/talking to Andy, the groom, Jourdan sort of lunged at me to hug me, and I let go of the wheelchair.
We were on a bit of an incline.
Fortunately, Andy was able to grab the chair in time.
The wedding itself ws held outside at a place called “The Bluffs,” which overlooks Houghton and Hancock.  There’s a very nice building there which serves as a retirement home for senior citizens (at least the ones who can afford it; the place is, understandably, expensive).
It may sound cruel, but it seems like kind of a waste to build such a nice complex in such a scenic locale and then fill it with old people.  Just sayin’.
The reception was held in a pavilion at a park in nearby Chassell.
I have to admit that I was pretty bored.  I spent most of the time just wandering around,occasionally talking to the handful of people that I knew there.  Eventually, after the Dollar Dance, I brought my mom home, then headed back, as I’d promised my sister I’d give rides to anyone who needed them, given that I was, of course, sober.
The next day my brother-in-law Dean said that he’d kind of wished that I still drank, so that I could have shown everyone how it’s done, as most of the people at the reception had been, in his estimation, lightweights when it came to drinking.
I ended up only having to give one person a ride home.
The next day we went back to the pavilion to clean up – I did very little in the way of helping, as 1. I’m lazy 2. My contribution was just being there in the first place – and for Jourdan and Andy to open their gifts before getting on the road and heading back to Arkansas.
During the clean up my sister discovered that one of the disposable cameras that had been left for the guest to take pictures with was missing.  She mentioned that my nephew Jacob had one with him, and asked me to check the playground area, as that’s where he’d had it.  So I checked by the playground and found the camera’s box, but not the camera itself.  Clearly Jacob had taken it apart and tossed it, but he wasn’t willing to admit it.  Later, he finally admitted that he had been – and I find this hilarious – trying to “take the memory out” after all the pictures had been taken.  11 year-olds, apparently, aren’t familiar with the concept of film.  He said he had then dropped it and forgotten about it.  I made another sweep of the playground and found it.  My sister thanked me, and called me an “Ace Detective.”  I said, “Everything I know I learned from Batman.”
Not much else that was notable – or that I feel like blogging about, at any rate – happened, other than when, during the dinner at the reception, one of the bridesmaid told my sister “That was the best potato salad I ever had!”  This is notable because the potato salad had been a joint effort between myself, Jourdan, and my niece Jenni.  Jenni did the peeling and dicing of the potatoes, I chopped the onions, boiled the potatoes and the eggs, peeled the eggs, and put the whole thing together.
It was a lot of potato salad.
There ended up being a lot of cake (and ham) left over, so I’m sure my sister and her family have cake (and ham) coming out of their ears at this point.
As for the rest, well, I told you about my trip back to NoVA, so I think that pretty well covers it.
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