Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon Us

So here we sits in lovely Dallas, Texas. Actually, Arlington. Well, more specifically, Mansfield, Texas. Whatever. We are in Texas. The best I can tell it all looks alike. Flat. Scrubby. Lots of boots. Pick-em-up trucks with cow crud dripping down the side. You know the place.

It's been a week since I've done a wedding and so I thought I'd fly on down to Dallas and do one for the son of an old friend. The wedding is on a golf course. Last weeks was at a park. The park was fine but the golf course has already gotten me into trouble. It was the rehearsal. "Talk through it and walk through it" time. I got to the point where I asked, "Who gives this man to be married to this woman?" The bride interrupted. "Why do they always give away the bride? Why don't they ever give away the groom?" (Shaddup, Betsy.) Ok. My job is to marry them and, as much as possible, cooperate. "Fine. We'll give away the groom." The next nano-second played out in my mind in a way that leaves it re-traceable for the rest of my life. I remember thinking, "Stay within the theme of the wedding. Golf. Use a golf metaphor." For some reason that brought to mind a driving range which led me to a bucket of golf balls. Perfect. And then it was coming out of my mouth. "Who gives this bucket of balls to be married to this woman?"



The air was sucked out of the place.

This is an outdoor wedding. I turned away from the wedding party to face the first tee. I hung over the railing (we were on a balcony) and totally lost it. I was vaguely aware of the uproar going on behind me but there was nothing I could do about it. The words were out. I was just trying to find oxygen. Trying to get the tears out of my eyes. If you know the groom you know that this ill chosen phrase is PERFECT for him. And I mean that with all of the love in the world. Adam is a great guy. He just deserves this kind of slam.

About five minutes later we had all composed ourselves and the rehearsal continued. And now I have to go do the real wedding. And I know what might well happen. I am going to get to that point ... the place that blew up on me last night ... and I MUST GET IT RIGHT. NO laughing! NO tears! Certainly NO repeat! So much for protecting the solemn occasion from verbal terrorism.

On top of that, one week from right about now I will become a resident of Sheffield Lake, Ohio. You think that is not on my mind? Was Neal Armstrong thinking about the consistency of lunar dust when he took that first step onto the moon? You betcha. Were Wilbur and Orville considering the potential reality of "lift" when they cranked that first airplane down the beach in North Carolina? Darn right. To say that next weekend is on my mind about every other second is like saying "Hey, water is wet." It is a given.

Ohio? Get the pork rinds ready. Here comes the RV.


Anonymous said...

WE HOWLED!!! Our rehearsal was almost comical, complete with a dancing Lutheran pastor, but you got us beat!

My former teacher wife wanted you to note that it is pork RINDS, the Rhine is a river in Germany. She's over my shoulder, I have no choice.


Anonymous said...

Funniest most touching ceremony ever...and it was mine! People are literally asking how they can get you to marry them.
Thank you! Adam & I are sooo happy!