Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weddings and Weird Cousins

Well, I’m participating in Something Clever 2.0’s Theme Thursday again (see link to the right) and this week the topic is weddings…which is an easy one for me since Opie and I just got married a year and a half ago.

Here we are:

And yes, of course, our wedding was romantic and beautiful and perfect in every way…and that’s not bragging because I really didn’t have anything to do with making it perfect. See, my parents are great at organizing things.  And I am equally great at letting my parents organize things.  In fact, right after Opie and I got engaged, I said to my mom “Hey, you’re going to sort of…you know…take charge of the planning, right?”

And she allowed as how she thought she better or else there was a distinct possibility that—on the day of the wedding—I’d be all “Flowers?  Oh crap, I forgot to order flowers.”  And “What do you mean we had to RESERVE THE CHURCH?!”
Which, sadly, is a 100% fair assessment.

So I cheerfully handed over the reins (retaining only the power of veto) and went on my merry responsibility-shirking way.
But there was one responsibility that I couldn’t avoid: Seating assignments at the reception.

Which probably seems like a pretty innocuous task but stressed me out no end…for the 3 following reasons:
1.    The wedding was being held in the small community where I grew up…and in small communities you just naturally have family friends who were once married to, dated, or worked for other family friends but who now are married to, dating, or working for different family friends.  And while it’s all very civilized, it can still be awkward to have them sitting too close to each other—particularly at an event that includes copious amounts of alcohol.

2.    I still remember my friend Martha’s wedding when this HORRIBLE woman had her boyfriend interrupt the formal receiving line to complain about her table and demand a different placement.  When that didn’t work, she tried to hijack my seat.  And I couldn’t even scream at her because I try not to cause embarrassing scenes at my friends’ formal events…though, rest assured, I did get my seat back.

3.    I’m also still tortured by the memories of the worst wedding seating I’ve ever been forced to endure.  I was just out of college and I’d been dating this guy, Carl, for about six months.  When one of his cousins got married, we went to the ceremony together and I met his ENTIRE family for the first time.

The wedding in and of itself was a little odd…ultra conservative, very religious-which is fine, I had a traditional religious ceremony myself—but one that focused a little too much on that Bible verse from Ephesians that talks about the wife submitting to her husband.  It was included in one of the readings and quoted in the vows…the ceremony was even punctuated with recordings of the bride singing a song about it that she wrote herself, the refrain of which was so horrifying that I still remember  it all these years later.  “I submit to you with all my will, my master, my leader, my lord.”

Equally horrifying was the fact that NO ONE else in the entire church seemed to catch the completely inappropriate slavery/S&M overtones.
Being the most generous of souls, I was willing to overlook these oddities and enjoy the reception.  Although, to be honest, that generosity could have been due to the fact that there was an open bar.    Which, considering the conservative religious nature of the ceremony, was a miracle in its own right.

But one we weren’t able to immediately enjoy because as soon as we walked into the hall, Carl’s sister gabbed his arm and hissed “Weird Cousin Wayne’s at OUR table.”
There’s probably a Weird Cousin Wayne in every family…he’s one of those guys who stands a little too close, stares a little too long, bathes a little too infrequently, and generally speaks in grunts.

To make matters even worse—and due to some tricky maneuvering on Carl’s part—I , not he, ended up right next to Wayne for dinner.
Which goes a long way toward explaining why THAT relationship was doomed to failure.

In any case, the worst part of the evening  occurred right after dinner.  Carl had just gotten me a fresh drink—I was deep into my amaretto sour phase at the time—and I took 3 or 4 healthy sips before putting the glass on our table and heading for the dance floor.
A little while later, we came back to our horrible assigned seats just in time to see Wayne taking a big old drink out of my glass.

Perhaps he didn’t know it was an open bar, maybe this was a result of my violating some drink abandonment statute…I don’t know and I didn’t ask because as soon as we made eye contact, Weird Cousin Wayne put the glass back down on the table and began slllooooowwlly sliding it back over to me.
“No, no,” I said quickly.  “No need to return that.”

And he snatched the glass back, cradling it to his chest and smiling the kind of smile I imagine a rat has right before it eats its young.
Seriously, I feel like showering just remembering it.

Now, neither Opie or I have relatives THAT creepy but I still stressed trying  to figure out seating arrangements…and if anyone who is reading this was at my wedding, I certainly hope you liked the people at your table and that you had fun….
Because believe me when I tell you it could have been so much worse!

Please feel free to share your own horrible wedding stories below (unless, of course, it involves MY wedding :-) ) and check out some the other Theme Thursday wedding posts:


  1. In my family, Weird Cousin Wayne is my brother.

  2. Did the author of 50 Shades of Grey plan that wedding?

  3. I know! It was so weird...and even weirder that no one else seemed to think so!! I kind of wish I was still in touch with Carl but only so I knew it his cousin's mariage worked out.

  4. Yeah, Weird Cousin Wayne is totally PTSD worthy. I would've been freaked out, too.

  5. That's so nice your parents planned your wedding. If I had wanted a big wedding, I probably wouldn't have planned it. Oh my goddess! That song is truly horrifying! I grew up around those ultra-conservative types and am still working through a lot of shit. Lol I'm trying to think of who is the equivalant of Weird Cousin Wayne in our family...

  6. At my SIL wedding, her vows included cherishing and obeying her husband, which could have been ignored as traditional, except my BIL didn't contain that part.

  7. First of all, I'm jealous that your mom planned your wedding and it was wonderful. When I was going to get married, I was having to plan out everything, and the people trying to help me had some of the stupidest ideas on the planet! Congratulations on pulling that off! Shirking responsibility (especially BIG ones) takes a lot of talent.

    Second, ohmygodohmygodohmygod! Weird Cousin Wayne had my cracking up. I'm SO glad that I wasn't drinking something when I read that because I would have made a mess.

  8. @Stefani--I still have flashbacks!

  9. @Haley I think the song is almost more disturbing than Wayne...I'm a church person (sort of) myself and the day I call my husband "my master" is the day after NEVER.

  10. @Running Mama, my hubs asked if I was planning to say "obey" and I almost choked to death I was laughing so hard.

  11. @Jen I know, I'm so lucky...and my mom likes to plan stuff like that whereas it makes me want to stab my own eyes out!

  12. Ha! Nice of you to refrain from screaming...did you over-talk her instead? Such an effective method of getting people to just give in!