Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ring My Bell

For years now I have been warned that, at some point in my life, ALL MY FRIENDS will try to get married at the same time.

It's not as though I didn't believe these warnings; I believed them strongly, perhaps so strongly that I brushed them off immediately. It always seemed to me that this Special Time in my life would happen later, maybe when I could get a proper grip on it, or when my brain was ready to handle the influx of garter belts, bouquets and strong liquor that was bound to follow.

Clearly this time has come.

The signs were there, but in true form, I feigned temporary blindness and trucked ahead with other business. Maybe subconsciously I thought that if I looked reeeeally busy, nobody would dare hit me with a big fat wedding. Right? So wrong.

So wrong, in fact, that when the weddings came, they came in quickly and stealthily, and they were LARGE. These are not backyard weddings or quick civil celebrations. They were all, go big or go home, and we know you hate to go home, so put on a dress and dance. Tricksy weddings. They know my alter ego, Alcohol Andrea, too well.

The weddings had been trickling in over the past year, and I was dealing well. But The Influx began in May with a long distance call from my best friend. He lives in Colombia with his girlfriend. I was deleriously happy to hear from him. We chat a while, I catch him up on things back home, and BAM. He and his love have decided to get married. In August. In Colombia. Could I be there?

My answer, after I stopped bawling like a small child (It was my automatic reaction! I don't know why!) was: Yes, of course I'll come, I'm not about to miss your wedding, you dolt. Those were probably the words I used, although it's a bit fuzzy now - I've had a lot to drink since then. And so I flew to Colombia and attended one of the most beautiful weddings I will probably ever be invited to. I was on an emotional high from watching one of my oldest friends marry a truly amazing woman. It was exhausting, but wonderful. (See the picture above)

I come home, recover from the hangover, flu and anemia, and crawl back to work. I get a call from two of my dearest and closest friends. They have just gotten back from a lovely vacation. They miss me. They are getting married.

Good lord! Slow down people! I'm still washing the wine stains out of my clothes from the last one! But again, I am thrilled. I make a mental note to start building up my immune system early, so by next year I will have the liver of a champion.

And they just keep coming. My roommate and his sweetheart are getting hitched in a matter of weeks. My old bandmate and longtime friend just tied the knot. A friend I have known since I was born, way up in northern Ontario, married her beau and moved to Japan. It's really quite remarkable. My Special Time has arrived. It was no lie. It was not even an exaggeration.

I suspect that my shock at all these weddings has something to do with my family history. My parents never got married, and I never went to weddings as a child. In fact, my first wedding was only a few years ago, and I still haven't figured it all out. A receiving line? To receive what? A martini? Some tongue? A pile of cash? Why are they kneeling? Why are they sitting? Where is the food? And the wine? Where is the freaking wine?

I have much to learn. Let's just hope that practice makes perfect.

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