Friday, December 29, 2006

The Vows I Had Written


The worst wedding I ever attended wasn't my own. It was right after my would-be big day. I'd taken the liberty of writing the sermon since the preacher who had been made clergy through an ad in the back of Rolling Stone wasn't going to, and I found myself leaning toward a lot of Shakespearean cliche and yawn-inducing sentiments about forever and ever. He had a book of ceremonies he'd delivered before, but I didn't like any of them as they were all too sappy and way too heavy-handed with the Kahil Gibran, we are trees growing together/apart/ winds dance between us -- you get the idea. Mine wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't my most convincing work of fiction, and the best thing you could say about it was that the whole thing came in under ten minutes which was good because Mr. Rolling Stone forgot to tell the congregation to sit down. The wedding after that one was the worst one -- my then-beloved's ex-fiance and her new husband, a Japanese man named Aki who broke out in huge ringworm-like sores when he drank which was often had their ceremony a few months later. To add to the incestous horror, I had dated the bride's brother, who was also there. Who says I don't know how to have a good time?

So I sat in the pew, feeling fat and stupid and sexless, wishing myself dead, having made a wrong turn myself and already knowing it. I'd picked out a shapeless royal blue tent of a dress with a Peter Pan collar and the dress kept sliding off my shoulders. I sat there, sick dying smile plastered to my face, when the same preacher began reading the vows. The vows that I had written, word for dumbass word. I had known the bride a little bit, a quiet beautiful woman who kept to herself, one of those women that men love more for what she doesn't say than what she does. By the reception, I felt ready for obliteration as her brother skulked around, drinking like a fiend and the groom had already broken out in the ringworm marks. A table full of dullards said how wonderful they thought the vows were, how well-written. The bride told us that it was a tradition in his family for every groom to drink until he couldn't stand at the reception, and that the bride's wedding night was spent making sure he didn't choke on his own vomit. It wasn't the ending I would have chosen for the night, but hey, I'd already gotten to write a lot of the script.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child. " Judy Garland

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: The Velvet Underground at Max's Kansas City -- Velvet Underground

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Friday!

6 comments:

The Walking Man said...

Where do all these people come from? God makes me happy to not be you Michelle. But you know i have offered many times to write something or other for you. My sermon would have had no Skakesperean cliches or even any thought of him.

Maybe some Brautigan (thank you again) or some Bukowski cliches would have made their way into the words but I garauntee you I would have been sitting as the matchbook cover preacher delivered my words which would have come in, in under four minutes and had a lot of fucking and shit words in it, because they are good earthy words and so variable in their usage.

What the fuck is a peter pan collar anyway and why would you be feeling fat when the thing kept falling off of you. I doubt have never weighed more than a 130 pounds max. And that would just be on those water retention days.

Like most everything else though except funeral home visits i tend to skip things like weddings and parties because I become invisible and watch the hilarity of people like the groom getting so fucked up he looked like he had a face full of ringworms and the brides dashed expectations of good sex replaced by not allowing him to choke on his vomit, which if he had an estate I would have fed him even more liquor and layed him on his back once he passed out.

And the incestuous horror thing..did you sleep with the bride too and were they your cousins? I am just curious about that because of the way you describe the lifetime felt in that moment.

Strange story but reality as you always say is stranger than fiction.

come back home soon, where life is placid and calm and peaceful and detroit and the burbs miss you very much.

Peace

TWM

Anonymous said...

muchos kudos and happy new year!

Tim said...

That wedding tradition of the groom getting so drunk he can't stand sounds like a real fun night for the bride.
I try to shy away from attending weddings as much as I can, but when I have to go I've found that the non-Catholic ones are a lot shorter than the traditional Catholic ones... like in and out in ten minutes compared to sometimes an hour long wedding mass.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, interesting view and charming lovely post as always. Is that your Daddy's workshop? Catholic weddings with High Mass are not for the impatient that much is true. To your charming post and most especially to you near New Year, Bravo!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I spent my honeymoon not choking on vomit but preparing for my wife's grandfather's funeral. I was a pallbearer. Also, I took the week off to reshingle my house. Now there's a true "dullard" for you. Have a Happy New Year, Michelle.

Anonymous said...

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