Monday, May 02, 2005

Wrecking the Curve

A letter to Rachel and Keith:

Congratulations on your wedding on Saturday. I didn’t get to talk to you much at the reception. I’m okay with that. You seemed a bit…preoccupied. But hey whatever, it’s not like I drove all the way from Culver City to Malibu just to attend or anything.

But this isn’t about me. Although, it was the most “interactive” wedding I’ve been to. When I walked in the door I was accosted by the “guestbook” girl who insisted that I write down my favorite memory of you two. That was a lot of pressure.

Do I write something funny? Do I get all serious? Do I even have a favorite memory? And do I let you know what it is, inadvertently setting an unattainable imaginary bar for all future memories?

“Oh, sure, this is fun…we’ll remember it always…but is it as great as the memory you wrote in our wedding guestbook? Huh? Is it?! Are we doing something wrong? Are we becoming lame?!

I chose to write something funny. Actually, it was at Tanya’s request. She said, “No, write something funny, they’ll think it’s hilarious!” So I did. And I signed both mine and Tanya’s names. It was funny. At least I think it was. I had a few glasses of Merlot by that time. I hope it’s not offensive. It was about the time when my paycheck from Keith came in the mail. I was pretty proud of it until later when I saw Tanya surreptitiously filling out a memory of her own. She left my name off of that one. I don’t know what she wrote on her own. I suspect that it was an apology for what I wrote. Her lack of faith makes me think that you should just skip my entry in the book. Crumple it up and throw it away in fact. Pretend like I wasn’t even there.

But I was really impressed when you asked for my mojo. I’ve never attended a wedding with a “shell ceremony.” Did you make that up? I thought it was sweet when you gave us all seashells from the New Zealand beach where Keith proposed.

I won’t lie, I was a little sad when you asked for the shell back. I had a nice one. I named it Shell-y Duvall. Look for it. It’s brown and white and smells like Merlot.

Like I said, I was a little disappointed until I realized what it was that you were doing. You weren’t just trying to be mean. You wanted our best wishes…in shell form. You actually wanted my hoodoo. But I have to warn you, when I was rubbing my “best wishes for your future” into Shell-y, I was a bit on the cold side. When I get too cold, I loose focus.

So somewhere down the line, as the hoodoo shell jar is leaking everyone’s “best wishes for the future” into your living room, if you get an uncanny urge for an extra helping of bite-sized quiches and puff pastry asparagus thingies, sorry, that was me.

It had been hours since I ate lunch.

Finally, the crowning touch on the “audience participation” wedding was the bugs. Butterflies. I don’t like bugs. So when I heard that we were all going to be releasing creepy flying insects at the end of the ceremony, I got a little nervous. When I heard that the butterflies had once been frozen and then thawed for the special occasion I got even more nervous.

Handling bugs is one thing. But everybody knows that you never handle things that have been brought back from the dead. Butterfly or not, it has seen the other side. And, I’ve seen “Pet Cemetery,” I’m more than certain that it was hungry for human flesh.

But I held (tightly) to my necromanced bug. For you. And when it came time to let it go, I set the box on the ground and kicked it until the little guy flew far away.

It was perhaps the most romantic thing I have ever done.

So, thank you Rachel and Keith for inviting me to your fantastic Malibu wedding at the beach. I haven’t had to do that much work at a ceremony since I videotaped my sister’s wedding. But it was well worth it. As I said, it was near perfect (my perfect wedding involves no driving and no actual ceremony. Nothing but finger foods, a host bar and a reception dinner). But you’ve set the bar way too high. When I have that stroke, loose most of my brain function and start planning my own wedding, I’m going to have to outdo you by going the other way.

I’m going to have the crappiest wedding anyone’s ever seen! B.Y.O. Mad Dog 20/20 and Vienna Sausages!

Fun Fact: The average cost of a wedding is $20,000 to $25,000. About 75 percent of first-time brides will receive a diamond engagement ring. The average ring costs $2,000. The favorite honeymoon spot is Hawaii. An average honeymoon can cost around $3,000.

If you add all those numbers together, you’ll have the number of times people have asked me “why don’t you and Tanya get married.”

If you add those numbers up again, you’ll have the answer.

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