A Family Affair

Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Every wedding has its own series of unfortunate events.  Every. Single. Wedding.  If you are getting married today, and many people are because it is 11/12/13 at the time of this writing, more than one thing is about to go haywire. My advice, you just gotta roll with it.  Enjoy the beauty and wonder of not trying to predict the unpredictable.   You have to embrace that whatever minor catastrophe is about to befall you, it is your moment of unplanned mayhem, and you and your significant other will get to laugh about it for many years to come . . . eventually.

The worst thing you can possibly do is to believe that by dotting every "i" and crossing every "t", that you will somehow be the first couple ever to have an entire ceremony and party go off without a hitch.  If you truly get this idea into your head, the chances of you balling your eyes out at some point during the evening increases dramatically.  The only perfect wedding is the wedding where everyone laughs together when something goes awry.

Not even the Prince & Princess were without their wedding disasters!
My wedding was no exception.  I split my pants an unwearable amount early on during the dance portion of the program.  Like a caterpillar emerging from a butterfly-print chrysalis (see wedding suit), my boxers made a brief (pun!) but memorable appearance on stage.  Also, our DJ didn't get to play his full set.  Being that the DJ is a good friend of ours, his limited air-time could have been a tiny catastrophe.  But, cause it's a wedding, and because we were prepared for much much worse (chuppah collapse, missing wedding party participants, or even rain), everyone took the negligible slight caused by time's flight while having fun, and let the good times roll on.

MY boy band is better than your boy band.  And yes, that is my wedding suit.
Maybe your wedding had a best man speech that clocked in at 21 minutes.  Perhaps you attended that wedding where all the toilets got clogged and began overflowing with vomit.  Or was it your friend's wedding where everyone got naked and started taking a myriad of photo booth shots?  Regardless, every wedding has it's crowning glory of horror, and barring real tragedy, it always becomes the most hilarious memory of the day.  

I recently went to Savannah for my friends' wedding.  I had, unequivocally, a kick ass time.  That said, this is the story of that wedding's two moments of glory.  And by glory, I mean hilariousness. Posted with permission of the bride (cause I don't want to get cut).

The ceremonial first dances at a wedding are both a crowd pleaser and a personal favorite.  I know that I'm biased due to my love of dance, but the couple's first dance and the bride's dance with her father have always seemed like particularly important touchstone moments during the course of the wedding.  I have no particular vendetta against the groom dancing with his mother (did it!) of course, but something about the gender roles that were shot-gunned into my consciousness long ago makes me think the father/daughter dance is more emotionally laden with intrinsic meaningfulness. 

At the wedding in question, after the couple's first dance and a touching twirl between the bride and her father, the groom and his mother stepped to the front of the queue.  As Sly and the Family Stone came over the speakers the matriarch and son began spinning together in and sassy and slightly suggestive dance duet.  Now, the song that was play was A Family Affair, and while I have since looked up the origin of the song to realize that it was performed by a brother sister duo, I didn't know that at the time.  So when Oedipus and his mom are getting their groove on, the guests are hearing:

Mom loves the both of them
You see it's in the blood
Both kids are good to mom
Blood's thicker than mud

It's a family affair, it's a family affair
Newlywed a year ago
But you're still checking each other out
Nobody wants to blow, nobody wants to be left out

My friend leaned over to me and remarked perfectly, "this feels exactly like when Michael and Maeby Bluth sang "Afternoon Delight" together."  And she was utterly correct.  The actual benign nature of the event aside, the overall effect created by the pairing of a suggestive song with a well stepped boogie, was a new jam I like to call, "The Rumba Incestuana."

Giggles all around.  Ok, maybe a little laughter.  I snorted once, but respectfully.  By the time food hit the table, this brief vignette of southern family values had completely passed out of our heads. 

Until a few hours later . . . when we transitioned to the Karaoke portion of the late night entertainment.  Then things took a turn for the gut-bustingly real.   Karaoke is always a Russian Roulette of an activity.  Is the microphone a "anything goes" arena for the tonally challenged, or the esteemed property of those already blessed with a sanctioned singing voice.   Amazingly, our karaoke journey began with a dynamic 8-10 year-old girl belting out Firework by Katie Perry.  It was amazing.  Not Star Search amazing, but well above my expectations for a girl that age.  Extroverted would be an understatement. 

And as we are all standing there listening to her untrained voice belt out explosive affirmation, I hear "This song suckkkkksss!!!!" coming from a male voice behind me.  It took a second to register.  Someone was heckling this girl!!!!!  You know that moment when something so unfathomably horrific is going down around you, but is in no way your fault, which makes said instance the funniest thing of all time.  Yah, that was this. We are bent over laughing as the guys around this drunken guest contort into a simultaneous shush and shun.  Ye ol' shush and shun.  (I admit to being on the receiving end of just such a reaction more than once.)  The drunk guy's handlers then informed him of the age of the current vocalist.  Thankfully, he was just sober enough to understand the boundary he had just crossed. (In my mind's eye I watch him exclaim, "I don't care if she's 8!" as he escalates his onslaught.) Unfortunately, his first instinct was to supremely overcompensate by going right up to where this little girl was singing starting to shake dance (which is essentially rattling your body back and forth with utmost force) while clapping off-beat.  It was Farley-esc physical comedy. 

Just as this whole sideshow was being shutdown, the DJ announced a quick break in the instrumentally accompanied singing for a live a cappella treat.  And then, the uncle of the groom took the mic, put his arm around his sister, and began serenading her with Frank Sinatra's I've Got A Crush On You.  And he crooned.  His voice was smooth and low, really giving the words their full measure.  Except that the particular words in question were yet another incestuous insinuation, and with as much alcohol as we all had in our blood streams by hour 9 of partying, this fraternal expression of romantic affection sent our cackling bodies gyrating, gesticulating, and finally genuflecting.  

While on the ground, we caught our breathes.  Wait. Was it only me on the ground?  I'm gonna say we were all down there.  Yah, totally.  We were all down there.  From our prostrate perspective, we watched the party, almost in slow motion, jump the shark for the evening.  Not bad for 1 a.m.  
Shortly thereafter the open bar closed.

A few photo booth snaps and countless big hugs later, and we boarded the bus back to our hotel.  Flights were leaving early the next morning, but the wedding would remain in the record books. 

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