Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wedding Scenario

To keep your marriage brimming, 
With love in the wedding cup, 
Whenever you're wrong, admit it; 
Whenever you're right, shut up.

--Ogden Nash

I attended a friend's wedding yesterday. It's her second marriage and it was an Irish gathering with laughter, stories, food, and set dancing. Lots of set dancing. We were seated at a table that included two people who introduced themselves as Randy and Vane. Ah, a lovely and amusing adjectival couple.

Before all that, there was mass at the church. When it came time for communion and drinking the wine part, it seemed that only the people seated on the groom's side lined up to partake.

LOLLY: Hey! How come WE don't get any of the hooch?
ALICE: Ssh! For starters you haven't been to confession. Ever. Secondly, you've never been baptized. More importantly you're Jewish.

He was mollified when I reminded him that he could get bread and wine at the reception. Then I told him that I didn't go up to the altar because, after all, I haven't been to confession in a long, long--make that long to the tenth power--time. Some of the friends I keep aren't good role models, either. For example, I found out recently that Pepper had gone to see a Dwight Yoakum show at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, which she said looked to be in a converted church. The seats were even pews. But, before she sat down, she had STOLEN the show poster out of the sandwich-board display.

Now I know that in the Ethical Culture there are no rules, per se, just "expectations" on how to act in a given situation. But I'm sure they don't expect thievery.

Hello, Hell. Here I come AND I'm bringing friends.

Back to the reception. The bride is the daughter of very dear family friends. The father of the bride had died last year. He had been a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He also had been a conscientious, capable, and trustworthy employee. His job was what ultimately killed him. The nature of his work many years ago had exposed him to copious amounts of asbestos, and there had been nothing the doctors could do to keep his lungs from sharing space with grapefruit-sized tumors. His widow was there and said that she wanted to talk to me about him.

WIDOW: I have to tell you something really important about Mack. I talk to him every night.
ALICE: Oh. Of course you talk to your prayers, right?
WIDOW: No. He comes to visit me--he's invisible so no one else knows he's there-- and he told me wonderful news!
ALICE: Uh, okay, what is it?
WIDOW: Mack is God. And he's given me a choice.
ALICE: About?
WIDOW: He said that I could be the queen of heaven if I want. But I can't be married to him, then. Or I could join him in heaven and stay married to him, but I can't be the queen.
ALICE: Hmm. Difficult choice, that.
WIDOW: He is sending a bucket tomorrow night for me to use.
ALICE: What?
WIDOW *nodding vigorously*: I have to sit in the bucket and I will be pulled straight up to heaven where Mack is waiting for me. So I have to know what to do. What should I do?

Well, for all the years she has been a family friend, I have known her to behave like an absolute diva. But she was so charming and amusing in her diva-ness that we all forgave her behavior and loved her despite it. I knew how to advise her.

ALICE: Well, I think you won't be happy unless you are the queen!
WIDOW *nodding slowly*: Yes, yes. That's what I'm thinking.
ALICE: And you would get to see Mack anyway.
WIDOW: There is that.

Lolly interrupts and asks what we're talking about.

WIDOW: Oh, well, you see...

I jump in quickly.

ALICE: Oh, nothing really, just about job opportunities.