Doing battle with daily dragons

Monday, April 04, 2005

Wedded Wierdness

I got an e-mail link from my father this morning that made me laugh. We’d been talking last night about our fast approaching trip out to the Western US when I mentioned that, during our stay in Vegas, The Rock Star and I were thinking of renewing our vows in front of an Elvis impersonator, just for a bit of a rom-com type giggle.

The link was from a site called Las Vegas Weddings.com that offers you a staggering array of tacky matrimonial ideas. What made me smile were the options on the contact form that bade the bride and groom “check all that apply.”

__We would like a traditional wedding.
__We are on a budget
__We would like Elvis to perform at our wedding.
__We would like another impersonator or theme
__We would like a quick wedding
__We are so confused!

As you might expect. When faced with the choice of being married by Elvis, Captain Kirk, Al Capone or James Bond, who wouldn’t be?

The Rock Star’s and my wedding was a much more sedate affair. (Well, sedate in that no dead celebrities were in any way involved with the ceremony.) We had the church, the big white dress and church hall reception. There were at least two notable exceptions to normality, however.

The Wandering Minstrel
- My mother planned 98.9% of my wedding. I know some women would have been climbing the walls over this, but not me. Not only was I not living in the state where the wedding was taking place at the time, but I’m bad at planning big things and my mother is really quite marvellous at it. It got so complicated at one point that my father phoned me in Minneapolis while the Rock Star was visiting and offered us $15,000 to head over to The Chapel of Love at the Mall of America and get it over with. “Trust me,” he said, his voice heavy with the burden of a wife who’s gone straight over the edge, “I’ll still come out ahead.”

So, my mother was in charge of just about everything, but I was happy to rubber stamp everything she brought up. Until the morning that she informed me that she had hired a wandering troubadour for the reception. “You hired WHAT?” was my first reaction. (If there’s anyone who DIDN’T imagine a total prat with a floppy velvet hat, ribbons tied around his breeches mincing around and singing “Hey nonny nonny” to lute accompaniment, I’d like to know.) Oddball as the decision was, she seemed really quite keen on it, so, come the day of the wedding, we had a wandering troubadour.

Believe it or not, he was actually a great boon, although he DID actually have a lute and I'm not entirely sure, but I think I did hear at least one "Hey nonnny nonny". Not only did he know some lovely ballads which, to the Rock Star’s mortification, he tried to force him to sing to me, but also a rather impressive array of stunningly dirty songs (The Scotsman being the most memorable) that he and some of my college friends began belting out in the corner, right next to the table with all of my mother’s conservative church cronies. Not only that, but he made the Rock’s Star’s best friend jump around like a monkey for our amusement.

Did I mention that we had a dry wedding?

The War Stories- Everyone on the planet has a walnut in their family apple tree. Ours is dear old great uncle Norbert, which I will call him for the sake of all concerned. Only related by marriage, Uncle N has always been a bit of an odd fish and my late great aunt Petunia was universally considered something of a saint for her time served with him.

As I mentioned, our wedding was dry, much to the chagrin of all Brits involved, so all of them came to the ceremony armed with hip flasks. (Including my mother in law) After his much-fretted-over best man speech, my brother-in-law and the monkeyboy groomsman nipped off to the men’s room for a bit of liquid refreshment. That’s when they ran into Uncle Norbert.

If you are a normal person beginning a conversation with someone you don’t know in a men’s room (although, perhaps this isn’t really an act of a normal person) you would think that you would, at the very LEAST, preface your dialogue with “Hello.” Not Uncle Norbert. Upon entering the men’s room and seeing two young men having a drink, he walks up and launches straight into a story about his time in the Pacific. It went something like this:

“I was stationed in Hawaii during the war and our chaplain was real mad cause all the native girls kept walking around with no tops on. So he got ‘em some t-shirts to wear, but you know what they did? They cut the titties out.”

Boy Racer (my b.i.l) and monkeyboy looked at him in stunned silence as he meandered out of the bathroom, feeling that he’d imparted an important piece of knowledge.

That story made the rounds in the family for a long time afterward.

If the Rock Star and I DO renew our vows this summer, Elvis will not be the strangest thing that has ever happened in our marriage.