Last night, I had to go to a wedding. With my parents.
Climbing into the car with them and a pair of their high school friends took me right back to the pre-teen days when I was dragged out to dinner with them every Friday night. Except last night, I was allowed to listen to the dirty jokes.
They made for quite entertaining dates… We hadn’t even reached the car after the ceremony when my mom was locked at the knees doing her silent, going-to-pee-the-pants laugh. My dad had realized his new pants were way too long and he was stepping on the backs of them, so he hiked them up like a Victorian woman crossing a puddle. The sight of his skinny little black-socked ankles poking out under the billows of pantleg sent my mom straight over the edge. We joked that we’d better stop for some Depends on the way to the reception and she decided that maybe if we got some for my dad too, his pants would stay up. This, of course, led her into another fit of silent, bladder-rupturing laughter…
Thankfully we made it to the venue without any “accidents.” However, when we picked up our table assignments at the door, I discovered I wasn’t sitting with the silly old people. Was that an accident? I’d been placed at a table of young couples, only one of whom I really knew—but hadn’t talked to in years. You might think this was my big opportunity to catch up with an old friend… Not so much. They weren't talkers. So it turned out to be more like my opportunity to sit awkwardly, stuffing my face with cheese, wine, dinner and cake, pretending to watch little kids break dancing in front of us.
At one point, around the second glass of wine, I broke down and told another guy at the table he looked really familiar. I couldn’t place him, but I knew I’d seen him somewhere… We grew up in neighboring towns. He asked my name… And then it hit me. I asked if he knew my girlfriend, Jugs. He said, “Awe yeah she and I went to the same gym.” That’s not exactly what I remembered…
What I remember is that Jugs had a little fling with this fellow, and when she took me out for my 27th birthday, we ran into him and his friend Tad. (Short for Tadpole. Seriously. That's what he told me.) I’d had plenty to drink and decided that Tad was the man of my dreams for the night. I made out with him on the dance floor and brought him back to Jug’s guest room where I talked with and kissed (it was innocent, I promise) him until 5 in the morning. I recall things going south as I sobered up and he told me he not only lived at home with his parents, but was working as a “private investigator…”
As the other couples, Familiar Guy included, talked about their newborns and lack of sleep, all I could think about was how much I wished Mr. W was there with me. We would’ve been talking about cheese and calling people “tools” under our breaths.
I tried to fill his void with continual visits to my parents’ table. During one trip, I watched a complete stranger drag my mom away and try to swing dance with her while my dad and I pointed and laughed. Then there was the slow dance my dad and I shared, which I followed up with a phone call to my sister to rub it in that I got to dance with Dad and was having fun without her. Dad was a good distraction…but he wasn’t Mr. W.
At several points throughout the night, people asked me when I was going to get married. My go-to line was “I’m working on it.” But right now, I’d love nothing more than to just meet him for a cup of coffee or run my hand through his curls. When I think about marrying him, it’s not the wedding I want, it’s the everyday life.