While I was eating a PB&J for lunch today I flipped on Maury Povich . He’s always good for two things: 1. Comic relief; 2. Affirmation that my life is not NEARLY as bad as it sometimes seems. Today, though, he came in handy for a third thing – jogging my memory about the events of my first wedding.
R. and I met while we were both working at a steel fabrication company. We first became good friends, and then started dating. The crowd that he ran with had been together for years and so they were a very tight bunch. When we decided to get married it was only natural that we would ask the father of his best friend to perform the ceremony.
Reverend W was an ordained Methodist minister. We were getting married in a Baptist church. Why then, you might wonder, were we not being married by the pastor of that church? Well, I’m glad you asked. R. really did want Reverend W to marry us from the get-go, but I wanted to get married at my church home. However, after the pastor of the church I’d attended for most of my life told me that he wouldn’t bless the union unless I put my whole life on hold, found my biological mother (yes, I’m adopted – REALLY cool story for another time), and PERSONALLY told her that I forgave her for abandoning me, I was so ticked off that I decided to get a little payback by having a Methodist minister, robes and all, perform the ceremony in his very staunch Southern Baptist church. Minister Holier-Than-All was horribly offended, as I’d hoped he would be (this wasn't the first disagreement he and I'd had), and insisted on being present anyway, so we had two ministers at our wedding. But even two ordained ministers cannot trump Murphy when he decides to impose his law on any given situation.
Now, as I said, R and his buds were a tight bunch. They had a long standing tradition of taking the groom out the night before the wedding and getting him plastered. Knowing this, and knowing that R could handle his liquor quite well, but failed miserably at dealing with the ensuing hangover the next day, I threatened them with their very lives – or worse – if they got him drunk. I should have stipulated that NONE of them were to get snockered, but in my youth I was not nearly as detail oriented and controlling as I became later on. Come to think of it, the events that unfolded here may well have been the birthing ground for my later tendency toward extreme control freakishness. Anyway – moving on…
Having managed to get all the way down the aisle on my dad’s arm without having him 1) stagger so bad that he knocked me down, or 2) escalate our argument into a full-blown fist fight (yes, another long story for another time), I stood relieved and anxious, holding R’s hand. Reverend W, being not only R’s second dad, but also a very verbose orator, felt the need to give us some really great marital guidelines during the ceremony. During the rehearsal the night before he’d warned us that what he had to say was long, but important. We both loved and respected him and were honored by his concern that our union begin on solid biblical grounds, so we were willing to endure… tolerate… accept… wait patiently for him to conclude his pronouncements. Five-year-old ring bearing boys, however, are more easily distracted.
I stated earlier that I should have broadened my booze ban, and that fact became clearer by the minute as the best man, R’s very best friend in the world, began to sway noticeably during his father’s speech. He had apparently taken it upon himself to consume R’s portion of the liquid refreshments the night before. At a Mexican food restaurant. So, now, not only was he seriously hung over, he had a case of gas that would have made a whole family of skunks envious! The smell was almost palpable. I was afraid to glance sideways at him for fear that there might actually be a green cloud hanging around his back side! Of course, the ring bearer had to keep making faces and gagging noises – that’s what 5-year-old boys do at times like that! We were all trying to ignore both him and the malodorous emanations. It was difficult, but we were managing.
When the time came for the blessing of the rings, Reverend W extended the bible toward the Green Gasser. As he reached to place the rings on the bible, leaning forward ever so slightly, concentrating solely on delivering the rings without dropping them, he apparently forgot to control his rear muscles… AND HE RIPPED ONE! In the middle of my wedding, he let go a long, loud, almost juicy sounding gas explosion that I figure could be heard roughly 10 rows back. Someone in the first row – probably my mother— started giggling. R and I tried almost successfully to stifle ourselves. And poor Reverend W, for the first time in his career, almost dropped the rings off the bible when the ring bearer, having maxed out his ability to contain himself, turned and shouted to his mother who was sitting several rows back, “MAMA, HE FARTED AND DIDN’T SAY EXCUSE ME!”
The moral of this story, as the title states: Booze, beans, and boys are not a good combo – no matter how old the boys may be!