An open bar and a look to the future

Weddings are really nice.  It sounds sentimental and a little melodramatic, but I really enjoy how positive and affirming the wedding experience is, at least for those not responsible for running it smoothly.  A bunch of people get together really just to wish some dear friends well as they start a big new thing in their lives.

I spent today at a wedding, and as usual I had a pretty good time.  The mood was positive, the food was decent, I met cool new folks, and I was just drunk enough for the little inconveniences not to bother me in the least.

Actually, the booze probably helped a lot.  There is a lesson here for anyone planning a wedding: if you want people to have a good time, spend the extra cash on a well-stocked open bar.  I’m sure it seems like a considerable expense, but it means that you can cut corners almost everywhere else and no one will care, or maybe even notice.

“Hey, this isn’t a wedding cake!  It’s just a painting of a cake…”
“Babe, check it out: the bartender gave me five cherries in my AMF just because I asked!”
“Nice!  Yeah, that reminds me, I need another double Captain and Diet.”

So, a good time was had by all.

I’m actually completely exhausted by a long day that started very early and is ending rather late.  However, because I’m sharing a hotel room with three women, I know better than to think I’ll be able to get into the bathroom to brush my teeth any time soon.  So, here at my laptop I sit.

The thing about weddings is that, for all the cheer and fun, they also get you thinking.  It’s pretty much impossible not to mull over your place in the world when you’re watching people make big formal changes in their lives.

If you’re married, you have little choice but to think back to your own wedding, and ponder the trajectory of your life since then.  Did it work out the way you imagined?  Do you wonder if you might have been happier taking a different path?  Did your spouse get ugly?  Maybe you’re gay after all?

I saw a bunch of married people looking wistful today.  I like to think that they were quietly reliving a happy moment in their past, and not reflecting on the worst mistake of their lives.

I’m not married, so instead I got to contemplate my own vacuous existence, and wonder if all this forward progress in other lives is a sign that I’m stagnating.  Which, I almost certainly am.  And, I knew that before, so the whole happy-wedding thing was really just rubbing my nose in it.  I suspect a lot of us felt that way, though, which swings the topic back around to why the excellent bar was such a key component of the day’s success.

I think the best thing about weddings, though, is how they are all about looking forward.  You may not be happy where you are, and you may be nervous or uncertain about where you’re going, but it’s still all in front of you, and you’ll deal with it when the time comes.  Even the most blistering cynic has to accept that a wedding is for walking ahead with the expectation that things are going to be better than they were yesterday.  Weddings are all about life getting better as time passes.

I like that idea a lot.

I’d like it even more if I could get into the bathroom to brush my teeth.  Also, I have to pee.

But, I still like that idea a lot.

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