Category Archives: Weddings

The Greatest Wedding of All Time

So … we got married! Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed with the trip to Iceland and all of the organization that comes with wedding gifts … not to mention a wicked sinus infection that I picked up somewhere … that the wedding feels almost like a fever dream or acid trip that I barely remember. Everyone warned me that it would go fast, that I would barely have time to dance or eat or talk to people, that I would have to make an effort to remember things. And wow, they weren’t kidding.

I’ve put together some things I DO remember very well, and in the fine tradition started with Kevin at Jen and Ron’s wedding almost a decade ago, I present:

Stephie’s Top 10 Memories of The Greatest Wedding of All Time

1. The Rehearsal

IMG_0380The wedding rehearsal was a hot mess. Our officiant Røb had stayed up all night practicing for the rehearsal, then took a nap and promptly slept through 99% of it. But I kept trying to remind myself of my theater/choir days: things would turn out okay.

Either way, it was the first time that I had seen my brother’s family, Erin, or Liz in a very long time. We had our very best friends and our entire extended families all in one room. Because Røb wasn’t there until the last 5 minutes, we had plenty of time to catch up with each other. And after a quick run-through, we got to get drunk and eat fried alligator. Yeesssss.

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2. When Justin Saw Me for the First Time

Pre-make-up.

Pre-make-up.

When you’ve worn your make-up the same way for at least a decade, it can be a shock to be made-up a different way. My hair? My hair that I worried about for so long? It turned out perfect. More beautiful than I ever imagined I could look. My dress? Fit like a glove, so comfortable and so adorable. My face, on the other hand, I hated. Looking back on pictures now, I think it looks okay, maybe even pretty, but I almost cried the first time I saw it. I kept asking my bridesmaids if they liked it, praying that they would demand that Kristin change it, but they all said it looked pretty. And when I came out in my dress, they all kind of melted and I almost cried. (P.S. I don’t have this in the list but I would like to mention that we were in a 4-room suite; BALLER.)

IMG_0476I was unsure all the way until the First Look pictures. We took them at this cute building across the street from ours that we’ve always wanted to buy. He stood around the corner from me, and Ben snapped a couple pictures of us holding hands, and then we turned to look at each other. Justin’s face immediately crumpled, his eyes filled with tears, and he softly whispered, “Oh, buddy!” Then I knew everything would be okay. P.S. Justin, in his red bow-tie and sneakers, looked 100% cute and 100% handsome as hell.

3. The Program

IMG_0485Old friends will appreciate this more than new, but Justin put the bridal party into a Brady Bunch picture, and he came up with that idea completely on his own. If that isn’t a sign that he’s the perfect man for me, I don’t know what is.

We listed the wedding party as “The Cast”, the parents and siblings (also parents) as “The Producers”, and made the events look like a TV Guide. Justin coined a new term, “Mom’voyage” to describe the Unity PBJ that we had our moms make, and that word makes me laugh so hard. I was also able to let everyone know that the wedding march music was a tribute to my dad. It was basically perfect.

4. The Wedding March

I first heard this instrumental version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” on a mix CD that Warren gave guests at his wedding. Honestly, the first time I heard it, years before I met Justin, I knew that I would walk down the aisle to this. And when I realized that my dad would not be there to walk with me, there was no talking me out of this idea, but thankfully everyone was game. See, my dad introduced me to Jimi Hendrix when I was in 6th grade. He introduced me to all of the greats. So, as I said in the program, “Since Jim can’t be here today, Stephanie will be escorted down the aisle by their two favorite dudes: [my brother] and Mr. Jimi Hendrix.”

I was determined to hit my mark at the prettiest part at 3:15 and have it fade out when I reached the end of the aisle, and I really thought it would be impossible to do. The rehearsal attempts were a disaster and I pretty much gave up. But then – it worked out perfectly! All the parents and bridesmaids made it down the aisle, the flower girls and ring bearer were hilariously adorable. I almost started walking, and something told me to wait. And then BOOM. I rounded the corner and hit my mark exactly. I had my brother next to me with his colorful medals. I had my “something blue” (and something important) pinned to my bouquet. I saw Steve, Ron and Peter on the ends of the aisles, beaming at me. And of course, my perfect husband at the end.

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5. Røb

JandS-283-XLNot going to lie, we were all worried about Røb after the rehearsal. But damn, he nailed it. It started with a song that I’m going to link to and man, I hope you can see this. (I’ll make a more accessible video eventually.) But from the accordion serenade to the side jokes (“The wedding ring, like the donut …”) to the perfect vows that made me burst into tears (“I Stephanie, take you Justin as you are, to be my companion and my best friend …”) to the very end (shouting “Let’s get drunk!” as we walked down the aisle) … it was flawless. We probably got more compliments about Røb than the actual marriage; it was that great. Plus, because his song was titled, “The Greatest Wedding of All Time,” that’s how people refer to our wedding now. Victory!

Note everyone cracking up in the background.

Note everyone cracking up in the background.

6. Brent’s Speech

945629_951203912806_586270824_nAll of the speeches were amazing and made me tear up (Jen gave a shoutout to Team Papoose), but Brent’s speech was astonishing. It’s probably too personal to print here, but it was hilarious, heartwarming, surprising and unforgettable. And it ended with, “May you have children of average height.”

 

 

 

7. Friends

Obviously, seeing everyone was a big deal, and so many people said things that touch my heart that I’ll remember forever. But some I’ll remember more than others. Like spending tons of time with Steve, Meredith and Janet at a wedding-themed TV Time the night before the wedding. Or when my dear friend Adam told me that he rearranged an entire family reunion (with his 6,000 in-laws) to be there. But especially when I snuck out for a cigarette and Tony handed me a phone … and my dear friend Tim, who has been wrongly imprisoned for over a year for a crime he didn’t commit, was on the other end. He had a phone smuggled into his cell just to call me. I never expected my favorite wedding memory to be me huddled behind Tony while sneaking a smoke and talking to a prison inmate, but marriage can surprise you.

Our gift bag for out-of-town guests.

Our gift bag for out-of-town guests.

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8. Dollar Dance

Most people keep the money for themselves, but Justin and I donated our money to charity. His bucket went to the MS Society and mine went to the Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation. We collected over $200! But mostly, this is a favorite memory because I got to dance to all of my favorite dudes to the tune of “With A Little Help From My Friends”.

9. Photobooth

The set-up didn’t turn out exactly like we planned, but it was still great and everyone loved it so much. Here’s the full gallery. Designed and built by Justin, run by our friend Ann’s awesome business, Photomaton.

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Justin’s initial mockup. He sewed the curtains himself!


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10. Things Get A Little Pornographic

Again, God, I hope you guys can see this video. I think Sarah has it set to my “Friends of Friends” on Facebook. I’m going to ask her eventually for a file so I can YouTube this shit. But guys, Røb wanted to serenade me with my favorite song, and then he remembered that a million years ago I wrote this blog entry, and Justin thought it was the funniest idea he had ever heard of in his life, and that’s how I got serenaded with “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” on my wedding night by someone who is not my husband, and at one point by an entire room of my friends and family. Sarah’s video perfectly captures Jen and Ron’s laughter, Fritz and Jenny’s dancing, Røb’s flawless performance, and my simultaneous delight and mortification.

Up Next: The Honeymoon! Probably more lists. I am exhausted.

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On Our Way To Iceland, But First …

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May 13, 2013 · 11:04 pm

Engagement Pictures! Hooray!

This was the best day, just wandering around our neighborhood with Ben (Benjamin Trevor Photography).

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Pleading the Fifth

Man, am I really down to one entry a month? Is that all I have in me? As I get more and more transparent on Facebook, more vulgar on Twitter, more challenged at work and busier at home, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time, energy, or even reason to have this blog. But 8 years is too long of a commitment to simply stop (especially since it’s an extension of my legendary journal that I started almost TWENTY YEARS AGO OH MY GOD). At least once a year I go through a quiet phase, and maybe this is just that? No matter what, I’ll find a purpose to keeping this alive … even if it’s simply posting journal entries from 1994 so you can all laugh at me.

The running goal is going … so-so. We’re having a heat wave right now (over a week of 100°+ temperatures for the first time since 1988) and even though I run inside year-round, it drains my energy to just be alive in heat like this. However, I think I’ll be able to make it to 100 miles this month. If not, a month and a day. Also, the pain in my calf has finally gone away, so I can stop being one of those creeps who always stretch in public.

The heat is so bad, I was actually relieved to stay indoors and miss all the 4th of July action this year. Though, we did catch a major display from our window. Even though fireworks were banned throughout St. Louis, we could see about 8 simultaneous North City displays from our window. It looked like the end of Fight Club.

Ever since Justin took the citizens class at the Police Academy and learned that gangs have annual picnics, he’s been obsessed, so he was convinced all the fireworks belonged to competing gangs. I even caught him googling “gang fireworks” to prove me wrong. “I think it’s just one of those things that isn’t talked about very much,” he said sadly when the search came up empty.

Also: the Wienermobile! It was parked right in front of my building all day!

Tony’s wedding was incredibly beautiful and insanely fun. Liz and I left the guys at home so we could room together – the first time I’ve seen her in almost three years! Such a great time with all my old friends and Tony’s family – they’ve always treated the whole gang like we’re part of the clan.

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Top 5 Moments of Tony’s Wedding Weekend:

5. Amazing fight between some random couple at the hotel. Liz and I spent at least a half hour perched on a chair with our ears pressed to the air vent.

4. Liz requested Beastie Boys, and all our friends rushed the empty dance floor for “Intergalactic”. After that, the dance floor was packed for the rest of the night.

3. Real North Carolina moonshine! I only took one sip of each flavor. Others weren’t so smart. Others weren’t so lucky. Others were much, much more entertaining.


2. Tony, Liz and I did the Romy & Michelle dance.


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1. The highlight of the night was when Ty’s new girlfriend said, “The thing I love the most about Ty is that he doesn’t fart or take gross poops like other guys.” RECORD SCRATCH. We then spent 10 minutes recalling the best Ty farts (Ty has a PROBLEM) and laughing like this:

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I had never met Alicia before, but we had time to hang out and chat on Sunday morning. Tony’s wife (oh my god, Tony has a wife) has a PhD and is adorable, hilarious, sharp as hell and incredibly sweet. As much as we love Tony, we’re all still in shock.

I was going to see Frank that weekend, too, but then I learned my niece would be in town for one night only. She is speaking in complete sentences!! I have yet to hear her say my name, but she is a total chatterbox and a bundle of energy. 3 hours with her was more exhausting than binge-drinking with my high school buddies for 3 days in a row.

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Finally, since the last time I wrote, I’ve hung out with Ramona One twice. She was crashing at some 43 year-old’s house when he suddenly went crazy. It scared her enough that she went home to her parents and hasn’t done drugs in 4 weeks. I’m glad I waited that long to see her – by the time she got to me, she was the old Ramona. (She still turned into an asshole when we were drinking, but she always turns into an asshole at midnight when she’s drunk. She’s our little Cinderella.) I’m still cautious around her–for example, I hid all my prescriptions pills when she came over–but it was nice to have my old best friend back for a night or two.

She’s finally back with her husband and kid, though the 43 year-old is still writing stalker emails to her every day. At one point, he was writing to me, too–and was really pissed when I wouldn’t take his side. She forwards all the emails to me–half of them are threatening and the other half are like, “I MISS UR TOUCH.” It’s really sad when a 43 year-old uses phrases like “no DRAMA” and “snotty backtalker”. (I am the snotty backtalker.) It’s also really, really funny when a drug dealer tells you that he’s praying for you. Anyway. The other Ramona and I are on better terms, but as you can see, one is more than enough right nah.

Wedding stuff: collecting addresses and working with my friend Ben (not photographer Ben) on the Save the Dates! We’re also playing with art supplies and brainstorming centerpieces.

Just chugging along.

 

See you next month.

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Game, Set, Match

We just signed the contracts and booked the venue, which means we’ve officially set the date! Although, after all of the paperwork and handing over a $1,500 deposit, we kind of feel like we got married already.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some celebration alligator sausage cheesecake to eat before I become a fitness and calorie-obsessed crazy lady.

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My Taylor Swift Moment

Well, Taylor Swift plus a temporary crick in my neck. That girl is like 5 inches shorter than Justin, whereas I am wearing 3 inch heels in that picture and still look ridiculous. She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts, etc. etc.

Photo by TV Time cohort and fellow Squid Ann Hubbard.

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To The Left, To The Left

A few more wedding pictures:

The aforementioned bus with a stripper pole. I am to the left, probably texting Justin with, “This bus has a stripper pole!”

Tower Grove. I’m all the way to the left. My cousin paired me with the tallest groomsman. She knows me so well.

The infamous trip to Tin Can. Uh, see that guy sitting to the left of me? Doesn’t he look exactly like Chaz Bono?

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Okay, Fine

The wedding was pretty fun. The hairdresser basically gave me a beehive, and while the back looked amazing, the front was so ridiculous that I couldn’t take myself seriously for the rest of the day. I will say, it complemented the retro dress that I picked out.

In addition to the massive wedding party, my cousin had a videographer, doves, a party bus with a stripper pole, a photobooth, and more. My cousin’s friends are pretty funny, in a fratty Illinois kind of way, and they can really put back a drink or 600. The bridesmaids were drinking champagne and beer and white wine and Wild Turkey, all while serenading the happy couple with every Usher song imaginable. I spent most of the ride talking to my cousin Bryan and people watching behind my sunglasses.

The worst was when they decided to stop for drinks at the Tin Can on Morganford. Can you imagine a bus with flashing lights and a pole, blaring Jason Derulo, pulling up in front of Hipster/Cool Kid City? And then about 30 drunk Illinois kids dressed in hot pink pouring into the bar? The bartenders and patrons were hysterically horrified. I think this is the first time in my life where I prayed that I wouldn’t bump into anyone I know. (Although, I kind of wish I had because: hilarious.)

Also, I love my family, and any time I can party with my Grandma is worth a pink dress and a can of hairspray.

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50 Memories of Dustin and Niki’s Wedding

Erin didn’t want to steal the list-recap thing from me, but it should be noted that I stole this format from Kevin’s recap of Jen and Ron’s Wedding. Anyway, here we go:

1. Graham and Erin – aka Mr. and Mrs. Fashion Emergency – impress me with their ability to “make it work” and look “fierce” and other “catchphrases from 2007″.

2. I forget deodorant! Fellas.

3. Flower girl wanders aimlessly while the front 15 rows wave her forward. Finally she sees her groomsman dad up front and runs toward him, shrieking happily.

4. Groom Dustin rocks an orange tie and vest.

5. Niki. Looks. Amazing.

6. Niki manages to simultaneously look elegant and strut, shaking her butt down the aisle like, “Y’all KNOW I look good.”

7. 3 out of 4 bridesmaids are named Jen.

8. 3 out of 4 bridesmaids dab tears throughout entire ceremony.

9. Dustin sneaks in a hand kiss.

10. Everyone is unsure of what to do with their bubbles until the reception, except me (i.e. cleavage).

11. I meet week-old baby Arthur!

12. Justin surprises people with a full beard.

13. Dan surprises people with a full beard.

14. Mid-day Tecate party at a friend’s house.

15. I touch a dinosaur! WHAT

16. Bonus points a finger at a dog and yells, “BANG BANG!” Dog adorably plays dead. Pat is horrified.

17. Erin finds a new adorable thriftstore dress with built-in pointy nipples.

18. A haiku for Hendri’s:

Wallpaper printed
With velvet peacock feathers
TollivWeir dies twice

19. Nick: “Haha, for a second I thought you were going to pull bubbles out of your bra.” I proceed to pull bubbles out of my bra.

20. Dad Don’s speech makes me cry.

21. Brother Ron’s speech makes me cry and laugh.

22. “My brother and I were always in our uncles’ weddings. I was the ring bearer. Dustin was the flower girl.”

23. Sister Jen’s speech makes me laugh.

24. “It was a 17-year conspiracy in the making, but we did it. We’re finally sisters.”

25. I almost Facebook Niki in the middle of dinner to tell her how amazing the food is. Because, my God.

26. Justin tells me that the purple-haired girl playing trombone lives in our building.

27. Teeny tiny week-old baby Arthur sleeps through dinner, dancing and endless cooing/fawning.

28. Mom Jane suddenly wearing Slash Tophat.

29. Tony dances wearing Jane’s Slash Tophat.

30. Justin and Joe bond over computer animation software.

31. Two forces collide when Laura and Jessica chat.

32. Two forces collide when Laura and Tony dance.

33. Courtney’s smile. Always noteworthy, always contagious.

34. Laura’s mom plays tambourine with the band during “Poppa Was A Rolling Stone.”

35. Bartender is really into Justin’s drink selection.

36. Drunk Jen! Yay! Drunk Jen!

37. “Hey Jen, that trumpet player lives in our building.”
“Girl, I know; I’ve been telling everybody! I’ve been stealing your thunder all night!”

38. Bonus says to Niki, “Well, aren’t you a vision?”, which is one of those adorable things that only Bonus could get away with.

39. There are rumors that Erin danced omg?

40. Ron party-fouls John’s drink to the floor.

41. I cheerfully announce that it is time for my traditional Wedding Cigarette, and immediately get yelled at by 10 people.

42. I step outside and instantly witness crazy drama! Wedding Cigarette, you never fail me.

43. I bond with awesome Lonnen! Thank you Wedding Cigarette.

44. Heart to heart with Heebner. Man, I have missed Heebner.

45. Laura insists on taking a picture with all the girls. The boys laugh as I frantically dodge the full drink she’s flailing over my head.

46. Courtney, Erin, Jen and I take another Mount Rushmore picture just for Puglisi.

47. I finally meet Courtney’s Husband (SO nice!) and tell him about the time that, while working at McDonald’s in high school, she dragged me to the drive thru window to point out her hot new boyfriend (him).

48. Justin whines that he missed getting a second piece of cake. Niki’s mom appears out of nowhere passing out a box of extra cake.

49. I hug the bride goodbye and am too ferclempt to talk.

50. Justin and I wuss out on the afterparty. “Usually I go to those things to flirt with dudes; can I just flirt with you instead?” “I guess.”

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The Land Before The Reception

In between Niki and Dustin’s (gorgeous) wedding and (insanely fun) reception, about 15 of us went over to a friend’s house to hang out.

There was a pile of rocks on a coffee table in the corner, with dozens of them in little bags, too.

Someone asked what the rocks were about, and he explained that his brother had just gotten back from a paleontology excursion to Montana, and they “permanently loaned” him the bones that he found.

My point with this is yesterday, out of nowhere, I held a 65 million-year-old triceratops bone. In my hand. I had this goal to kill time and sip Tecate with pals, and I touched a dinosaur. What on earth.

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Newlyweds

On Saturday, Nick and Jessica got married. No, not that Nick and Jessica. Our Jessica is super smart, and our Nick has a monumentally impressive taste in music. They also booked the best reception hall I’ve ever seen – the Botanical Gardens! It was a really great time and for once, I had a hot date! Some highlights:

  • Stephie mixes up the church on WoodBINE with the one on WoodLAWN. With 5 minutes to make the correction. Oops.
  • Get to church the exact second the wedding starts. Forced to sit in back with reggae band (kidding, I like those guys).
  • Guestbook Jen mouths to us, “I signed you in.” *Wink* *Thumbs up*
  • Ron rocks fierce Desmond Hair as Best Man.
  • Stephie gets to tell her favorite filthy joke involving bubbles for the 5th wedding in a row.
  • Arizona Erin!
  • Stephie guards wedding party table and abuses open bar til friends arrive.
  • Ron gets lots of laughs with his Best Man Speech.
  • Stephie requests a glass for her beer in an attempt to be classy. Everyone taunts Stephie about her gigantic glass. Classy Fail.
  • 8 year-old girl hits on Joe: “Hiiii. Hiiiii. These are my dancing shews. Hiiiii.”
  • “Katie, who’s that girl talking to your man?”
  • Mesquite-flavored shrimp makes Stephie and Justin crave cigarettes.
  • Everyone lines up for the Dollar Dance, expecting a slow song. “You Sexy Thing” blares through the speakers. Everyone makes a Sam Weir face:

  • Justin possibly does The Elaine while dancing with the bride.
  • Best Man Ron taunts Maid of Honor with a fan of dollars.
  • 8 year-old requests “Party in the USA”.
  • Tony sings and dances to Party in the USA with sheer unironic abandon.
  • Said Tony later, “When you hear her laugh you know the song is over, and that’s when I feel the sadness coming back.”
  • DJ complements Nick for his fantastic musical selections.
  • Friends and I wander around the Botanical Gardens in the dark! Spooky!
  • Top Secret Cool Kids Meetup in a Top Secret Garden. All couples forced to be photographed in the “Fertility Chair”.
  • Megan keeps diligent lookout for cake.
  • All the single men beg engaged Dustin to “take one for the team” and catch the garter.
  • Hot couple Jen and Dino catch the bouquet AND the garter.
  • Justin boasts that he could have easily caught the garter, but didn’t think it would be fair to people with shorter arms.
  • Justin and I have our first dance to the most bomb-ass love song of all time, “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams.
  • 8 year-old gives my boyfriend goo goo eyes during slow dance.
  • “Steph. What do I do? Why is she doing that? Make her cut it out!”
  • Toddler stands by sliding doors for 20 minutes, baffled and offended that the doors open for everyone but him.
  • Tony almost barfs through his nose when he tries to make the “whoa whoa” sound in “Living on a Prayer”.
  • Dustin serenades Niki with “The Humpty Dance.” Using his pelvis.

I’ve noticed that the less I smoke and drink (and the less my friends smoke and drink)(and the less I’m single)(and the less Heebner is there), the less scandalous these wedding rundowns will be. However, it was equally as fun.

Once upon a time, Nick and I logged many hours at Winifred talking about heartbreak and wondering if we’d ever find the right people, or at least someone who would treat us right. So it was really great to watch him marry someone as awesome as Jessica and see him end up so happy. Congratulations!

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Kevin and Monica’s Reception

So a bajillion years ago when a dumb boy broke my heart, Kevin was an All Star buddy. He let me call him crying 24/7, randomly stopped by with my favorite Happy Meal, and basically made sure I lived through the whole ordeal.

He told me his own heartbreak stories. But he also said that in spite of everything, he knew there was someone out there for him, and he knew there was someone out there for me. I didn’t believe the last part, but more than anything I wanted the first part to be true, because Kevin is so amazing.*

And when he pointed out Monica to me one day, and I saw the cool awesome girl from my college poetry class (that line, “You have nice trash”still cracks me up) I knew he was right. And I was so happy because I had such high standards for Kevin, and I liked her already.

Through the years I’ve watched them (mostly through pictures, as they’ve been in Korea) spoil each other rotten, make each other laugh, and bring out the best in each other. I mean, when it comes to relationships… this is a good one, gang. This is the tops.

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Okay, so this is how much I love Kevin and Monica. The reception was outside and about 200 degrees. I have zero tolerance for heat but I lived through it with a smile, instead of running to the bathroom to melt and faint and cry or whatever. If it was anyone else, I would have at least frowned through the whole thing.

And man, all the smiles and laughter were contagious. Also, the food was outside and was soooooooo good. And also, Monica was rocking it outside in her wedding dress. While looking AMAZING. A hero for gals everywhere, ‘specially big babies like me.

And all right, I’ll cop to it: during the first dance, I teared up a little.

Okay…

Maybe a lot. I mean, what on earth? Is it even legal to be that cute?

So here is something new that I’ve never experienced at a wedding reception: a big band!! How awesome! Monica’s dad and brother play in it. So cool.

And here’s one for Courtney: hula hooping! YES! I hooped for about 30 seconds before I got too hot again. WORTH IT.

RumarWillisFace alert! I thought I told you guys to not let me do this again??

After about an hour or so, it cooled down and I was able to enjoy Monica’s parents’ backyard. Bunnies. grapevines, amazing Missouri scenery… so pretty!

This is Theresa, who made the unbelievably cool cake:

There was some total drama…

Kidding, I think they were talking about karaoke. Or maybe not. You know Jen and Kevin…

The ride home was beyond gorgeous; we were driving through the country and there was a thunderstorm miles away, so lightning was flashing nonstop in the distance. It was really peaceful and beautiful.

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So okay, my BBFF (boy best friend forever) is getting married… what’s a crafty gal like me going to do in this situation? Well, I thought about the best present Kevin has ever given me – The Tetris Pot:

Yup, it’s covered in tiny little etched tetris pieces. Kevin and I bonded over Tetris in London and he’s been my main (and let’s face it, only) competition ever since. Regardless of the fact that it looks like a penis, the Tetris Pot is one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten because he made it and it came from the heart.**

The only thing Kevin loves more than Tetris (besides Monica) is Scrabble. And hell, I’ve worked with sewing machines for 5 years, it’s time that I make something. So ladies and gentlemen (or, the three of you who aren’t my Facebook friends), I present The Scrabble Pillow:

WOOO! I sewed that sucker! And embroidered it! And made piping!

Debbie taught me how to do it. Thank you Debbie!

And oh yes, that IS Project Runway Season One winner Jay McCarroll telling me to rock on.

So yeah, Kevin and Monica: a great reception for a great marriage. Love it love it love it.

Cutie Pie Attack!

*It’s taken 5 or 6 years, but I think I finally believe that last part of Kevin’s advice. More on that later.

** I’m pretty sure that if I have kids and they make me a macaroni necklace, I will be the type of mom who keeps it and wears it to their college graduation.

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Beer and Loving in St. Louis

I tried to think of a smartypants Hunter S. Thompson-themed title, but I’m tired. So there you go. Beer and Loving. It’s true. I love Sarah and Warren.

So here are my Top 5 Memories of Warren and Sarah’s Wedding

5. The Rehearsal Dinner

I am friends with Warren and Sarah’s entire wedding party and 90% of their significant others. So I was really delighted when Tony asked me to be his date to the rehearsal dinner. I sat with a lot of old friends that I’ve missed a lot, like Ty, Adam and Peter. The waiter came out to show us the menu and all of the food was so perfect that it looked fake. The shrimp was the size of my arm. Jason and I sampled each other’s food like an old married couple. Tony gave the drunkest speech in the history of mankind.* In it, he remarked that Warren had “valor”, and Warren yelled out, “You mean like a knight?” We talked about getting old. Ty showed us his gut and we all screamed.

Then Warren’s dad stood up and gave one of the sweetest speeches I’ve ever heard. He addressed not only the bride and groom, but everyone who used to hang out on his back porch every day during high school, which was practically everyone in the room. It brought back so many memories of wiffleball and band practice** and shenanigans in general. I got teary-eyed. On the ride home I teased Tony about his speech and introduced him to Gogol Bordello. There’s also another story that I can’t tell here, but ask me later because it’s awesomely funny.

4. Afterparties

After the rehearsal dinner a bunch of us went to Warren’s apartment to play poker (or make flowers out of poker chips – guess which one I did?). Ryan and Warren led us in a big sing-along. Mike showed me his mad scientist computer. Ryan changed the lyrics of every Takedown song to include “weiner” or “butt” or both. I remembered how much fun I had living next door to Warren and Mike, and realized how much I miss it.

The morning after the wedding, ten of us went out to breakfast. This is something we used to do on the last day of college breaks before everyone hit the road. It was really nice to sit and catch up with everyone and reflect on all of the excitement. I had a veggie omelet. Ty’s wife pointed out how much Dave looks and sounds like Brody Jenner, and Martha and I shrieked with laugher because it’s true.

3. Ted

I’ll tell you what – if you want to make a grand entrance, make sure your date is somebody that has been AWOL for like six years. Ted was the first of our friends to move away and grow up, and he has always stayed close with me and Warren, so I brought him as my celebrity cameo date. Ted is one of those friends that teaches you how to be a better person just by watching him. One of the first things he did was compliment me on my toenails, which… well, that’s adorable. Ted is delightfully thoughtful, always. We ended up sitting at the same table as Travis and Dave and it warmed my heart to see all those kids back together. I think Dave and Ted danced more than any other couple at the wedding.

2. Sarah’s House

If you’ve never seen Sarah’s backyard then I’m not sure I can do it justice. It’s basically the prettiest place on earth. It’s locally famous. Her sister got married in that yard, and so did her mother and her aunt. They have a waterfall, a koi pond, a bandstand and more. The wedding was beautiful. During the “in sickness or in health” line, Sarah got the giggles (and when you think about it, that’s the best place to get them, right?) Then all these butterflies came out of nowhere, which no one planned. Perfect.

The next morning, Jason and I stopped by the house to get Jason’s vest – he swore that he never took it off, but apparently he flung it into the yard with reckless abandon while dancing. Funny! Her family was lounging around (with Nick, the 90lb. Doberman that’s afraid of bubbles). They showed us some of the pictures and talked about how fun my friends are. “You guys are so cool,” Sarah’s mom remarked.

1. Dancing

I never used to dance – I’ve always felt awkward and silly and out of the groove when it comes to that stuff. However, I had just started taking Thriller classes so I was getting a little more comfortable with getting down. And right when I started dancing, somebody (I think Jason or Ted or both) was like, “You’re a good dancer!” That built up my confidence and then it was on.

Warren’s cousin (whom I had never met) approached me later and said, “May I have this dance?” YEEEEEAH! I’ve never had a stranger say that to me before and let me tell you gals, it rocks.

I requested “Dancing in the Moonlight”, which is my quintessential wedding song. Jason pulled me onto the empty dance floor and we danced in front of everybody. We kept complimenting each other. Every 30 seconds, one of us would crack a joke and we would break apart to hold our sides and laugh laugh laugh. Then without skipping a beat, we would start dancing again. I haven’t been that happy and fearless and delighted in a long time. It was lovely.

Bonus Favorite Memory

Three phone numbers. What what.

*He said he was asked to give the speech but no one will cop to it. Who requested this speech? I am offering a $5 reward for this information.

**The band was called Belgium’s Moon/Zero/Influence and basically everyone I know was in it for at least a week. I consider The Takedown the final line up, which only took 12 years to nail down.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding – Part 3

*clinkclinkclink*

I think one of my favorite moments was when they introduced everyone at the reception. It was such a sense of relief and accomplishment, and aside from my speech, the only thing left to do was celebrate. Once again, the Best Man and I were all whispery as we lined up: “Should we go with crazy or classy?” “Let’s go crazy.”

After they introduced Liz and Andy, they had their first dance… the wedding planner passed around bubbles for everyone to blow at them, so it really looked like magic. Then it was speech time.

Okay, so I did cry a little bit during my speech. I started out with a bunch of stuff about how great of a friend she is and how much I love her, and I choked up. Then I heard Andy’s family from Jersey yell, “Theyah she goes! She’s croiyin!” and I paused.

Here’s how you stop crying and make a killer speech, no matter where you are: bring props.

When Liz and I were in school, we had to do a lot of “wedding-themed” projects. Every single time we had to do this, she would find a picture of a bride and groom… then she would paste her picture onto the bride’s face, and Leonardo Dicaprio’s picture on the groom.

I mentioned this during my speech, and then I held up a magazine and said, “And I just happen to have a picture of Leonardo Dicaprio… and a picture of Andy’s face.”

So in order to make their marriage truly official, I forced Liz to paste a picture of Andy on top of Leonardo Dicaprio’s face in front of everybody. There were other jokes in my speech, but that was the highlight.

The photographers set up a slideshow of pictures to play on a laptop during the reception. They found a picture of Andy playfully choking Taj… and photoshoped it to look like Andy was choking Leonardo Dicaprio. Heeeee hee hee.

And I don’t mean to brag, but afterwards fifteen people asked if I’m a writer, eight people asked if I’m a professional speaker, and two caterers remarked, “I wish you could give that speech at ALL of our weddings.”

A Party For Mon Pomplemousse

The rest of the wedding was kind of a blur. You can tell I’m drinking tequila when I have to recap the night in bullet points:

  • The rest of the bridesmaids force me to dance to “Electric Slide” and “Ain’t No Other Man.”
  • Andy does The Robot.
  • Joe breakdances, as promised.
  • The DJ plays “Push It” during the Garter thing.
  • I almost lose an eye during the bouquet toss.
  • Liz backs up before Andy smashes cake in her face. She gets him pretty good.
  • The Best Man grabs my ass.
  • BootyDance Lady grabs Tony’s ass.
  • Taj grabs my hand, and tries to make me grab Tony’s ass.
  • Liz’s wedding dress tries to murder her, and I learn how to loosen a corset in five seconds or less.
  • Kelly cures Liz’s tummy ache with pineapple juice, OJ, and Southern Comfort.
  • Laura takes over the bar four times to fix Buttery Nipples for the Bridal Party.
  • I start a trend by ordering a margarita.
  • Taj convinces Liz to turn on the TV just as Pujols hits a home run and we score three runs. Everybody kisses the bride.
  • “I have to say, there is a considerable amount of cleavage in this bridal party.” – Best Man.
  • Laura serenades everyone in the bar with “London Bridge”.
  • During diner, Taj, Kelly and I share our favorite stories about Mr. J. Tom was an amazing dad and one hell of a guy, and we made sure he was there in spirit.
  • Because the bar is covered in Budweiser logos and a Cards game was on the TV, we rename the bar “St. Louis”.
  • Liz and I attempt to sneak cigarettes around her mom, and we giggle about acting like we’re sixteen.
  • I meet Randi’s mom, who looks younger than me even though Randi is older than me. I say, ”Shut up. You are not,” for about a half hour.
  • Incredible amounts of booty dancing. It is Florida, after all.
  • I tell Liz that Taj is NOT watching the game, just checking the score. He high fives me and yells, “Fuck yeah, Weir!” every ten minutes for the rest of the night.
  • Taj and Liz dance to “Run Around Sue” and it was the absolute cutest.
  • Tony and Liz dance to… something… and he throws her about five feet in the air.
  • Three adult cousins have to get carried out to the car. By their mothers.
  • CARDS WIN GAME ONE!!! WOOOOOOO!!!
  • Andy and Liz dance to “In Your Eyes” and I almost cry for about the eighth time.
  • Andy gives me a bear hug as I’m leaving, and promises me that he’ll take care of Liz forever and keep her safe. Then I cry for real.

Never can say Goodbye Girl

We cap off the night at Liz’s mom’s house. Tony, Taj, Randi and I are pretty drunk. We carry heavy things and eat leftovers. Taj passes out on the floor, Tony cheats on his diet, and Randi and I do a happy dance after we change out of our dresses.

Liz and Andy show up out of nowhere, and Liz and I shriek and hug when we see each other. We are all tanked. Mrs. J. tells Andy that she needs his tux back so she can return it. Andy strips in the parking lot.

You know, I’ve always wondered how well Andy would fit in with the Frat Boys. But as he stood outside lighting a cigarette in boxer briefs, an unbuttoned shirt, and black socks, I decided that he would get along with them perfectly. Then to everyone’s delight, Mrs. J pinches Andy’s butt as she walks inside.

Liz and I hugged goodbye for at least an hour. We end up thanking each other for everything that’s happened in the past sixteen years. We cry. I tell her that when I get married, she’ll be my Maid of Honor, too. We cry some more.

She follows me and Tony to the car, sniffling, and hugs us again.

I put my stuff in the car, start it up, and then run back to hug her some more. We cry.

I turn on the headlights and see her running back to us, holding her dress up so she won’t fall. She dives over Tony in the front seat and we hug, crying and laughing.

Tony finally convinces Liz to go inside and for me to drive away.

I pull out of their complex still sniffling, and Tony lights a cigarette. “Man, girls are so weird.”

Liz, I love you I love you I love you, and thank you so much for everything. Call me when you get back!!!!!!

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My Best Friend’s Wedding – Part 2

“Tony and Sneffy-head, Sitting in a Tree.” “SHUT. UP!”

On the day of Liz’s wedding, Tony and I woke up to “American Pie 3: American Wedding” on the TV. The perfect movie to watch over McDonald’s breakfast, considering our best friend from high school was getting married.

I met up with Randi and Liz in the afternoon to get my hair did. My hair has never been “done” before. I am a hair virgin. Surprisingly, it turned out pretty good. I had lots of curly thingies in the back or something. I don’t know. I’m new to this. Liz, obviously, looked beautiful.

Tony, Randi, and I took her out to lunch. We made Liz wear her wedding tiara in Applebee’s. Everybody stared, and we kept pointing at Liz and announcing, “She’s getting maaaaaarried.” Liz and I shared lunch and had the usual. This is why we are BFFs – she’s the only friend I have who says, “Let’s share the usual,” and the usual includes like twelve specific instructions to the waiter (no tomatoes, sour cream on the side) and we agree on everything.

Liz was unbelievably calm. In fact, she seemed more preoccupied on hooking me up with Tony. She spent the whole time making goo goo eyes at us, or nudging Randi and motioning to our side of the table. I thought I would spend her wedding day calming her down, giving her advice, etc. Instead I kept staring at her and saying, “Shut up. Stop it. STOP.”

And All That Jazz

We went back to her house to get ready. Somehow we had finally gotten the dresses, and at this point it didn’t matter if they fit or not. We had to make it work.

Oh my god, you guys.

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS.

I looked like a stripper. Or rather, I felt like a stripper, since everyone else said I looked great. But my boobs were on blast in that contraption. I had cleavage like I’ve never had cleavage before, and Lord knows I can make some.

Also? I couldn’t really breathe. Neither could some of the other girls, which made me feel a little better. At least if I fainted, I wouldn’t be the only one. You could always tell when someone was putting on their dress, because they would scream and gasp for air in the bathroom.

Liz is worth it, though. And by the time the ceremony started, we were a million times more comfortable, anyway.

I started getting ready early, so I spent a lot of time wandering around in full make-up, jewelry, pretty hair, the top half of my dress, and sweatpants. I looked like a jazzercise instructor, and I tap-danced around the living room to alleviate some stress.

After the photographer and everyone else arrived, it was time to get Liz ready. Wedding dresses may be gorgeous, but they are incredibly complicated. It took us a while to decipher all of the hooks and straps and gears and whatever the hell else was in there. But when we finally figured it out, she looked absolutely beautiful and we all cried a little bit.

After she attached the train to her dress, my official duties as Liz’s fluffer began. This is Liz’s favorite joke – every time she turned around or had to walk somewhere, she would shriek, “FLUFFER!” and laugh hysterically. I thought it was funny too, until I realized I’d have to bend over in front of everyone – repeatedly – in my Boob Dress.

After we posed for pictures – some more decent than others, depending on if I was “fluffing” or not – it was time to go! Agh! We drove to the location, peeked around the corner to watch everyone sit down, and then we hid behind the side door to make our entrance.

Here Comes The Bride…

Right before we walked out, the wedding planner handed us our bouquets. Kelly and I got blue ones, Laura and Randi got purple. The bouquets weren’t cascading, so we had to point them forward at an angle. The wedding planner told us to hold them at our belly buttons. Then we all giggled and made humping motions like we were in eighth grade.

Right after Randi walked around the corner, I was left alone with Liz and Taj. I turned around and whispered, “You’re getting maaaarried.” Liz smiled and took a deep breath. Taj gave me a thumbs up.

Even though we were walking IN HEELS on SAND, I managed to make it down the aisle without falling. I even wiggled my hips a bit while I was at it. Then I took my place and turned around to watch Taj walk Liz down the aisle. Then my vision got all fuzzy and blurry, for obvious reasons.

I told Liz this about a thousand times, but seriously? God bless them for not being religious. Their ceremony was about 10 minutes long, which was the perfect amount of time to stand outside wearing formal wear in 90 degree heat. It was worth it, though… Liz found the most beautiful grove of willow trees, and it was a perfectly framed setting for a wedding.

I had to give her Andy’s ring, and that’s one thing I remember vividly… I was wearing it on my thumb but it was still too big, so all afternoon I was holding it in place and chanting “Don’t drop it. Don’t drop it.” in my head. The rest of the time, I had to make sure her train was fluffy and pretty.

And Here Comes The Groom!

Right before we walked out, Liz had said, “He’s not going to want to kiss me with all of this lipstick on.” Boy, was she wrong. She went in for a teeny peck, and he grabbed her, dipped her, and gave her the smooch of a lifetime. It was straight out of Casablanca. Everybody hooted and whistled. I found out later that he slipped her the tongue, but we couldn’t tell.

There’s this great picture of Liz right after he kissed her – she has her hand on her head to make sure her veil didn’t fall off, and her face is frozen in surprised laughter. I’ll try to find it whenever they post the pictures.

Partners in Crime

The Best Man arrived to Florida on the day of the ceremony, so I had never met him. The first time I saw him was during the ceremony. As Liz and Andy left the alter, he reached out his arm for me to take it. Then we walked down the aisle and had this conversation, whispering:

Best Man: You look absolutely stunning.

Maid of Honor: Thank you. You guys looked great, too.

Best Man: Thanks.

Maid of Honor: I’m Stephanie, by the way.

Best Man: I’m [Jeff? Jason? All four groomsmen had “J” names. I don’t remember.]

Maid of Honor: Nice to meet you.

Best Man: Nice to meet you, too.

(we shake elbows)

Maid of Honor: Oh, gosh.

Best Man: Yeah, it’s hot out here, huh? I am dying in this tux.

Maid of Honor: I’ll bet. Hey… wanna walk really, really super fast?

Best Man: That is a fantastic idea.

(we sprint to the back door)

“Fluffer!!”

We had to pose for pictures after the ceremony, and I swear to god, every time Liz changed poses, she would scream “FLUFFER!” and laugh her ass off. Then I had to BEND OVER in front of the GROOMSMEN like eight hundred times as they all giggled, “Huh huh. Fluffer. Huh.”

I think I will start plotting my revenge now. Just you wait ‘til MY wedding, Mrs. D’elia.

As we were walking back inside, Taj had another touching and not-at-all-inappropriate conversation with his mother:

Taj: Huh huh, Fluffer. Heh. Hey mom, you know what a fluffer is?

Mrs. J: Yes.

Taj: Agh! Oh my god!

Everyone: Ew…

After we cooled off for a bit, we lined up for the introductions. I congratulated Andy and he gave me a big hug. And then…

Andy: So when are you and Tony gonna… YOU know…

Me: LIZ! STOP!

Liz: FLUFFER! NO!

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My Best Friend’s Wedding – Part 1

Getting There Is Half The Battle

I’ve traveled alone many times. I have no problem navigating around airports, and I can even manage to explore a new city alone as long as I have a map and a subway. However, I have never rented a car.

If you rode in a car with me from, oh, 1997 – 2002, then you know I can drive like a little old lady, ‘specially if it’s a new car and I have no idea where I am. The drive from Tampa to Sarasota is about an hour, and every website gave me different directions. So, I was really scared that I would crash or get lost or something…

…and then I got on the bridge at I-275. The ocean spread out as far as I could see. The sun was setting, creating pink and purple reflections on the water and shadows of the seagulls flying in the sky. I reached over and turned on the radio, and I heard the opening chords of “Let It Be”. And then everything felt perfect.

Tony found a great hotel for us to stay at. It was at a marina, so I got to dig my toes in the sand a little bit. Then I met up with Liz and Andy and his family. They are from Jersey, which means I automatically love them. I know people from their hometown, which means they automatically loved me. They were rooting for the Cards even though we were playing the Mets. Love all around. Liz and I shared strawberry daiquiris because we are BFFs and have the same brain. Love.

When I got back to the hotel, Kevin Federline was on Jay Leno. This could be a good sign or bad, depending on if you have my sense of humor. Either way, the Cards won and made it to the World Series. Holla!

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty

The next morning we met up to get our dresses altered. Surprisingly, my dress was too big in the boobs. All the bridesmaids giggled as we ran around in super-long skirts and weird halter-thingies. I told everyone to not laugh at my strapless bra. Then I held it over my eyes like I was from “The Fly” and everyone laughed. The lady pinned us up and we were on our way.

This is how well-adjusted I was to my rental car by then: I gave myself a FRENCH MANICURE. WHILE DRIVING.

We went to the nail salon to get pedicures, which I’ve never done before. We turned on the massage chairs and shrieked because they were so strong. The lady used that scrubber thing on my feet and it tickled like hell.

I told Liz beforehand that when my feet get tickled, my first instinct is to kick for dear life. So she spent her whole pedicure watching me as I struggled and giggled and strained to not kick the nice lady holding my foot. “You’re face is turning red,” Liz said, “You look so funny! You’re making me laugh! Stop making me laugh.” Then she laughed and laughed, to the point where the ladies holding our feet laughed, too.

After the pedicures, I had to go pick up Tony. This is how well-adjusted I was to my rental car by then: I found a SHORTCUT TO THE HOTEL. BY MYSELF.

Girl Scouts Are Always Prepared

So then… wedding rehearsal. I see Taj for the first time in 5½ years and we hug. We get warned about fire ants in the sand, and the boys tease us for wearing open-toe shoes. Everybody sweats, as it is 90 degrees. We don’t really rehearse; the lady just points and talks. The girls get nervous. Luckily, I have been taking notes during my last SEVEN WEDDINGS, so I feel prepared. I whisper to one girl that everybody always fucks up and nobody ever notices. She looks relieved. The DJ whisperingly asks me if I have any requests. I tell him Beasties. Lots of Beasties.

As we walked back to the car, Tony asks Taj if his first dance will be to a Beastie Boys song. His fiancé Randi shakes her head, meaning this has actually been discussed on numerous occasions. Taj explains that he’ll start out with a slow song, but he wants the DJ to mix it just right, so that it kicks into the Beasties. Then he demonstrates: “La lalala. La lalala. (scratch) WICKYWICKYWICKY.” Then he hops around and beatboxes. Randi winces.*

Liz talks to the dress lady on the phone. The dresses are not ready. Liz places her hand on her hip, stamps her foot, purses her lips and furrows her brows. Everyone screams “Bridezilla!!!!” we run away, laughing. Liz will laugh about it too, about 24 hours later.

Betty Crocker in the Hizzaaaaaay

The rehersal dinner was a great time. There’s nothing too out of the ordinary to mention, except for the part when we started telling our favorite Liz stories. We mentioned the best one of all, which is the brownie story.

Liz had just finished explaining that she admitted this story to her mom about five years later. Then her mom appeared out of nowhere all, “Did I hear my name?” We talked to her for a minute, then this happened:

Taj: Hey mom, Liz made brownies.

Liz: TAJ!

Mrs. J: Oooh, really?

Liz: Taj…

Mrs. J: Where are they?

Taj: No, I mean… she made brownies. Heh. YOU know.

Liz: THOMAS ARTHUR JUNIOR!

Mrs. J: Oooh, BROWNIES. I get it. Haha.

(Mrs. J walks away)

Liz: I am going to kill you.

Taj: What? C’mon.

Liz: Dead. You are so dead.

We fed her champagnee for a couple of hours, until she finally admitted that, for real, that was hysterical.

Tony and I Glimpse the Future

After the dinner we walked back to Liz and Andy’s place. Liz ordered Tony to propose to me. Then she mentioned our wedding about twenty times, told us that we are in L-U-V, and made everyone else agree with her.

Laura forced her husband to refill her wine glass about once every half hour. Then she ordered him to refill Kelly’s glass as well. Laura is hilarious, so every time she snapped her fingers, we would laugh as Joe headed to the bar.

By the end of the night, she was lecturing him on how to use a ballpoint pen. “No no, honey. CLICK the top. This button, right here. THEN you write.”

Tony leaned over and whispered with mock hope, “We could be just like them.” I laughed so hard that I choked on my champagne.

We went back to the hotel and fell asleep watching Ghostbusters II in Spanish. ¿Quién llamará usted?

*Taj has been a Beastie Boys fanatic since the beginning, which means that Liz, Kelly, and I have been Beastie Boys fanatics since the beginning. In high school, Taj’s license plate on his car said “SABOTAJ”, which is still the coolest personalized plate I’ve ever seen.

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Message In A Bottle

Here’s what my big brother heard when he checked his voicemail on Sunday morning:

Beep!

“Hey Patrick, it’s me. Guess who just got married? Cousin Tiffy! Doesn’t that make you feel old? Oh wait – you’re thirty. Hahaha you are thirty. Thirtythirthythirty hee hee. Anyways, it was a really pretty wedding. Call me back.”

Beep!

“Hey Pat. We’re all hanging out at Aunt Sandy’s while they take pictures, and she forgot to give us the keys. Everyone is drunk and trying to break in. Have you ever met Uncle Jim’s family? They are DRUNK. Anyway, I’m going to be here forEVER so call me.”

Beep!

“Okay, me again. I was wandering around the property and remember that green Oldsmobile we used to have? It’s just like, sitting here in the middle of the woods. What the fuck? That’s the first car I remember riding in. Was that the first car you ever rode in? God, who puts green interior in a car? It’s so green.”

Beep!

“Pat. Grandma is wearing shoes covered in sequins, and she just called them her “hooker shoes”. Pat. Oh my god.”

Beep!

“Pat. PAT. MOM JUST DID A SHOT. MOM. PICKED UP A SHOT GLASS. FULL OF BOOZE. AND DRANK IT. Where are you. Dude.”

Beep!

“Hiiiiii Pat, it’s Aunt Sandy. HELL YEAH I MADE YOUR MOMS TAKE A SHOT! Woooo! I am a bad influence.”

Beep!

“Pat, did you hear how drunk Sandy is? When you come to town we are getting drunk with Sandy. And possibly mom. Heh.”

Beep!

“Pat, I just…. I can’t even… holy shit, Pat.”

Beep!

“Pat, I’m at the reception. Tiff and Jason just walked in, and the DJ played ‘Another One Bites The Dust’! How crazy awesome is that?”

Beep!

“Cousin Brian says hi. Oh yeah, during the wedding he totally cried. Hahaha! Anyways, they are giving out little champagne bottles as party favors. Want some?”

Beep!

“Don’t worry, Grandma just grabbed a couple bottles for you. Or at least that’s what she says at least. She grabbed two more for herself. Her purse is clinking. It’s hilarious.”

Beep!

“Pat, Grandma just told Uncle Jim about her hooker shoes and he sprayed beer all over the table. I think mom got it on camera but I had to tell you anyways. I think we are leaving now. Call me when you get to town. Love you! Bye.”

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Yo, I GOSTA Have Sex Tonight!

Okay, I probably won’t develop the pictures for a while, so I should write about Ty and Sara’s wedding now. It’s a Memory Mishmash, so bear with me.

I rode up there with Timmy, so it was a good road trip. By the time we got to Lee’s Summit, everyone had gathered together at a bar. We drank a lot (surprise, surprise). There was a live band (with a jazz flute!), so Ty dragged me out on the dance floor. I blinded everyone with my whiteness. He made me promise to dance with him at the wedding, which was sweet. I saw a lot of old friends and made a few new ones, too.

Also: I’ve been hearing crazy stories about two guys named Crossland and Bluto for years… that night I discovered that Crossland and Bluto are the same person. He seems nice, although I’m still combining all of those stories into one file in my head.

The thing that I love about the Frat Boys and that whole group of friends is that we’ve know each other for so long… we really are one big extended family. Lots of parents and siblings came up for the wedding, and they drank and gossiped and carpooled right along with us. Tony’s sister sang during the ceremony, and she was unbelievable as usual.

Adam and Melissa brought their baby, Ian, and this was the first time I got to hold him. He’s really beautiful. He has Melissa’s eyes and Adam’s mouth (“Woooooo!”). All the boys sat around Ian and debated whether he was going to play football or baseball. Adam sang the ESPN theme song like a lullaby. I can’t wait til he’s old enough to play wiffleball with us.

Ty’s dad took us all out for a crab lunch on the day of the wedding: Ty, Tony, Peter, Warren, Adam, Melissa, Ian, Tim and me. It really felt like old times and I was glad we got a chance to hang out together. But why does every reunion involve Adam and Ty wearing a bib?

As far as the boys and their tuxes go, I think I covered that feeling when I wrote about Adam’s wedding. It never ceases to amaze me.

I sat with the rest of their frat during the ceremony, which was fun. We made bets on who would cry first. Most of us bet on Sara or Tony. Imagine our shock when it turned out to be Ty. As Warren and Peter walked down the aisle with Ty’s sisters, his face crumpled up in a way I’ve never seen before… and then everybody in the room started bawling, including me. Thanks Ty.

My favorite moments at a wedding are the unexpected ones, like when somebody flubs a line or a baby squeals or something*. Sara was so nervous that she grabbed Ty’s right hand instead of his left, and Ty whispered “The other left”. Then she looked at us and shrugged adorably and we all laughed. At the end of the ceremony, Ty kissed her for so long that she had to grab his cheeks and push him away, like, “Oh, Ty.” Then we all laughed again.

The reception was held at a Top Secret location; we lost half of our caravan getting there. Even though rain was predicted and we could hear thunder in the distance, the sky was clear above us and the temperature was perfect. Most people ended up hanging out outside, which was perfect because the party was packed.

We all held our breath when Tony gave the Best Man speech, but he did a great job. I have no idea who caught the bouquet, but I should have considering I was taller than half of the girls (one of the benefits of a Johnson wedding). Ty’s dance with his mother was adorable – people could not stop talking about how amazing Cathy looked.

And I kept my promise to Ty… when they announced that it was time for the dollar dance, I was first in line. Our conversation consisted mostly of “You’re MARRIED!” “I KNOW!” or “I just got MARRIED!” “I KNOW!”

All in all, it was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception. I really could not be happier for Sara and Ty. They’re supposedly moving back to STL next year and they’d better; we miss them a lot.

So people always assume that Tony and I are dating, and the wedding was no exception. I stayed with Tony the first night, but he had to check out early the next day so I switched rooms. Somehow, a rumor started that we broke up. Hee. I got hit on a few times as a result, but that was nothing compared to what happened to Tony.

I can’t really get into Operation Rescue Tony, but it was pretty funny. After Ty and Sara left the party, that’s how we occupied ourselves. We were so worried for Tony’s safety that even Ty’s mom tried to help us rescue him.

Note to Adam: never yell “SHE’S PSYCHO AND SHE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!” during a secret rescue operation.

I passed out in Timmy’s room between a snoring Peter and a drunken Bobbo. You can’t beat that.

*My favorite part of Jen and Ron’s wedding was when they were supposed to repeat something to the priest and then turn and face each other… Ron just turned to Jen immediately, like he was so excited that he couldn’t wait to look at her.

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Oh, Did I Mention Jen Got Drunk?

Okay, Katie and Joe’s wedding. No offense to the other weddings, but this one was pretty awesome and I don’t know if the other ones will be able to live up to it.

Katie is one of the prettiest people we know (and she used to be a wedding dress model, for pete’s sake) so there was no question that she would be a beautiful bride. But still, when she walked down the aisle, everyone gasped. Niki commented later that she looked just like Cinderella.

We also gasped because Katie’s dad? Is the spitting image of Terry Bradshaw.

When couples take their vows, it’s always touching and emotional and somebody cries, but those two were just so damn CUTE about it, too. The monsignor looked absolutely smitten as he interrupted to remark, “You sound like you really mean it!”

The reception was fantastic. They had a polka band! A POLKA BAND! Even better, they have an amazingly artistic and eclectic circle of friends and a big fun family, so it was an absolute blast. They gave everybody pint glasses with their picture on it, and Katie (who is unbelievably talented) fashioned a ceramic Katie and Joe for the top of the wedding cake.

The cutest moment of the night (not involving Katie and Joe) had to be when a little girl ran up to Jessica and announced, “I want a boy to dance with.” Jessica said, “I’m on it.” and promptly took her over to Nick, and all of us girls giggled as we watched them dance. THEN the girl ran back and said, “Okay, now I want another one. Younger.” She was almost pushing it at this point, but it was still cute. And man, don’t you wish we were still young enough to get away with that?

I’m normally the sole smoker of the group, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked outside and found a giant tribe of fun new people. I felt like the Bee Girl at the end of the “No Rain” video. The smokers were such a fun bunch that I saw SIX non-smokers take at least one drag by the end of the night. It wasn’t peer pressure so much as the sign of a really fantastic party (like those parties every February where people break their New Year resolutions). And Jen got drunk, which kind of sums up everything.

I have tons of other little memories, so I’ll just pull a Kevin and list them for you:

  • “Did the same girl just walk down the aisle three times?” – Erin, about Katie’s sisters/bridesmaids.
  • Dan chooses a particularly quiet moment in the ceremony to wind his disposable camera.
  • When the head table is called to the buffet, Ron and Nick (the groomsmen) immediately taunt their mothers and special lady friends for having to wait in line.
  • Maid-of-Honor’s speech: “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our dad looks like Terry Bradshaw.”
  • Someone mentions “that hairless rat pet thing” during their speech, and the whole room screams “STELLAAAAA!” Since most of us went to Webster, a theater reference was inevitable. And also: we were drunk.
  • During his speech, Joe orders everyone to drink. “A lot.” Everyone complies, including Jen “Half Pint” Stanza (!!).
  • Dan and Erin bet on who will puke first.
  • We spot a guy with a Hitler-esque mustache standing in front of a German flag.
  • Niki and I fake pose in front of the flag so that Erin can get a picture of Hitler.
  • “I guess they’re German?” – Everyone sitting near the flag.
  • We all agree that the bartender is almost putting too much booze in our drinks. Almost.
  • I tip the bartender at least half of my paycheck.
  • The dollar dance lasts for like four songs, because who doesn’t want to dance with Katie?
  • Erin and I are super impressed by Jessica’s America’s Next Top Model stilettos.
  • Becky and Stephanie bond over America’s Next Top Model.
  • Everybody comments at least once about how hot Marcel is. And when I say “everybody”, that includes a few married men and all the moms in the building.
  • The polka band plays the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and Proud Mary.
  • Nick “hilariously” berates me for being single. While everyone tells me to kick his ass, I just glare at him. Ten seconds later he drops his drink. I made him drop his drink with my brain, you guys.
  • “It’s like he’s my best friend!” – Ryan, about the bartender.
  • Everyone goes back to Winifred to party.
  • Lots of funny/deep/meaningful/insightful conversations take place, which no one will remember because we are DRUNK. And when I say “we”, that includes Jen.
  • I tell everyone in the car that I’m too good for Mensa. Luckily, this is about the same time I stop drinking.
  • I wander into a really heavy conversation, and bust out my most successful distraction ever: “So… there’s a hot Italian guy playing guitar on the balcony. Wanna watch him with me?”
  • And finally, my favorite quote of the night: “I’m STAG! And I’m drinking STAG! WOO! STAG!” – John

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#*$%ing Married People

If you’re married or about to be married, then skip this entry.

This happens to be about 75 percent of my audience, but guess what? It’s my blog and you don’t get to have everything. Now get off the computer and go see “The Lake House” or something Married like that.

So for everyone else: don’t you hate married people?

Kidding. But married people are kind of bored and they love hearing about O.P.P., so they’re totally still reading this.

All right, fehyne. I warned you. So here’s a rundown of what I did yesterday:

  • I listened to one of the graphic designers at my work talk about the great reception hall she’s renting for her wedding.
  • Then Vee got her pictures back from HER wedding, so we sat in her cubicle cooing and giggling over her photo album.
  • Then I checked my e-mail, and I found out that my old friends Emily and Ben just got engaged
  • Then I checked flights to Florida for Liz and Andy #5’s wedding.
  • Then on the way home from work, one of my friends called and I told him about how Ra eloped, and we talked about Ty’s wedding.
  • Then I had to go to Target to buy Katie and Joe’s wedding present.
  • The chick working by the registry recognized me because I have been there three times in two weeks.
  • Then my cousin called to talk about her upcoming wedding, and I almost hung up on her.
  • Then I had to pick out something to wear to a pre-wedding party, which will consist of 90 couples and a guy who hates me because I broke up with him.
  • Then I was just plain pissed off and tired and sick of all this wedding bullshit. And all I wanted was to relax with my friends and have a few beers and laugh about life. And I met up with them, asked them what they’ve been up to, and one couple smiled and looked at each other and can you guess what they told me? CAN YOU GUESS?

I get really defensive when Ray makes fun of Missouri, but this time he’s right. What the fuck is wrong with you people? When did you decide to all get married at the same time? Did I miss a meeting or something? Is this why my mom yelled at me for skipping cotillion?

I called TSGoC because he feels that the institution of marriage is a pointless charade, and we had a nice conversation about everything else that matters in the world. And then I gave him the rundown of my day, and he said, “What the fuck is wrong with Missouri?” He’s right. I’m moving.

I used to be like everyone else, but it wasn’t my fault. I had a boyfriend who used to talk about getting married all the time. And he was always the one who brought it up, not me. I’d catch him staring at me, and he’d say shit like, “I was just thinking about what it will be like to start a family with you.”

“Awww,” said all the married people, who are still reading this. Then they leaned over and gave each other a kiss, because married people do shit like snuggle and read blogs together*.

But then he read some article that talked about the rising divorce rate, and how businessmen and musicians always cheat on their wives. And since divorce is his biggest fear and he’s going to be a musician/businessman, he became convinced that if he ever got married, to anyone ever, he would inevitably get a divorce. Ergo, no wedding.

Then he acted as though he was my savior, because this way I wouldn’t have to experience the heartache of a broken home. And also: “I just – I don’t want all this pressure.”

Me: “But I didn’t say anything, Einstein. It was your idea.”

But hey, if he’s right then technically I only have to be mad at 40 percent of you… you people.

Man, I remember how it used to be… the first time a friend of mine got married, it was so exciting. I spent a lot of time picking out the presents, housing friends from out of town, listening to all the details, etc.

Hell, even their one year anniversary was awesome. I slaved over a lump of clay for months making a Meatwad bowl, because I love my friends and I am so thrilled when good things happen to them.

See? See how happy I was for them? I wasn’t always like this.

So for the nine couples (Nine!! NINE couples, which equals EIGHTEEN of my friends) who have asked me to celebrate their special day with them this year: I do love you and I wish you the best, and I truly am very happy for you.

I’m just… tired. I’m too tired to get excited about that shit right now. I’m sorry. I don’t have that much clay. I don’t really have the time or the money either, but I’ll still be there because I love you. You’ll just be getting a nice set of bath towels, is all.

P.S. Because Jen and Ron got married before all of the insanity, the statue of limitations allows me to still be happy for them. They are my best friends, amazing people, and the least annoying couple I know. I love you guys.

P.P.S. And if you’re one of the newly engaged people who read this anyway, it’s not about you. No no no, not at all. It’s the other eight couples, I swear.

* I hate you guys.

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