my brother’s wedding

saturday started with my brother coming by to pick me up for lunch. (at least i think that’s how it started…i don’t remember for sure.) we dropped by the mariposa and picked up abheek (another groomsman) and headed into brenham to meet jim and josh (the other two groomsmen). on the way we stopped at a convenience store and i picked up a bottle of dayquil. i ended up using quite a bit of the dayquil over the next couple of days. normally i don’t like to take any medicine at all, but i felt like i needed to be reasonably functional if possible. (oddly, the last wedding i was in i was ill for as well. although much worse that time. that was 5 or so years ago.)
we went to the bt longhorn saloon. the saloon has a really cool, big wooden bar. i didn’t drink. we ate lunch and linc gave us our gifts. they were invicta chrome mechanical skeleton pocket watches. a very cool gift. after lunch we headed back to heather’s parents’ house and went upstairs where they have a pool table, pinball machine, darts, etc. we hung out there for an hour or two, then started to take off to get ready for the wedding.
i went back to “the out back” and took a shower, then got into the tux. i had already shaved and greatly trimmed down my goatee before leaving houston, but i tried to clean the goatee up a bit more before leaving. i hopped into my pickup and headed over to the mariposa. i was within a few minutes of being there according to schedule for groom’s party pictures, but i went ahead and was driving pretty fast up the first part of the dirt road. some car moved to pull out in front of me at the first house, so i slowed down, then stopped as they sat there for awhile. they slowly pulled out and went down the one-lane dirt road at about 2 mph. when they stopped and parked i stopped behind them, then a lady with two girls got out and came back to me and proceeded to reprimand me. “excuse me, sir, you need to slow down when you’re driving here. there’s a wedding going on and you’re going to kick up dust onto everything. so when you drive out you need to go slower.” i smiled and told her i didn’t think i was going to be leaving, but thanks. (i had planned on slowing down quite a bit once i got to the part with the houses, but i hadn’t thought about going 2 mph to avoid kicking up dust.)
once there, i hung out with linc and my parents and the groomsmen, and eventually had a bunch of pictures taken with me. (not something i enjoy.) at this point my brother and i also got to meet one of my mother’s half-sisters (blood related), who had come to the wedding. (i didn’t actually see or talk to her much after that.) and i sucked down some more dayquil. and someone brought over some smaller cups of the frozen margaritas for the reception so i had one of those. the wedding party got ready and we all walked over to the chapel.
it was a bit hot at 6pm in a tux, but not horrible. the ceremony went off well. the only abnormality i recall is when heather’s mom lit her family candle and walked away, it looked like it had fallen over. what actually happened was the wax was so soft it slumped over onto the unity candle. after my parents lit their candle, it did the same thing. we were all noticing it and laughing, somewhat humorously and somewhat alarmed that the chapel might start on fire. when the judge (who was performing the ceremony for them) got to the point where linc and heather were supposed to go light the unity candle, everyone sort of laughed. then the judge made a joke about unexpected things needing to happen at weddings, but then said she thought it was actually neat because it represented a more real combining of families with the candles touching and melting onto the unity candle. (fast thinking on her feet.) the ceremony ended and everyone headed over to the pavilion right beside the chapel for the reception. when we were walking back down the aisle, i noticed the potts’ had shown up.
the reception music was pretty much picked by my brother, so it was a combination of old country, old blues, dylan, Texas swing, etc. later in the evening some funk and more modern stuff started showing up. the groom’s cake was a rectangular white icing cake. (perhaps carrot cake with cream cheese icing? i only had a few bites, but it tasted very good.) on top were some musical notes in icing and propped up cd-size copies of three album covers: johnny cash, dylan, and lightnin’ hopkins. (i don’t recall which specific albums they were.) the wedding cake was also white, but about four or five round stacked layers. it had butterflies on it. (this makes more sense if you know that “mariposa” means “butterfly” in spanish.) i think it was white cake with a strawberry glaze inside…i didn’t actually have any of it.
i walked around for some of the reception, then sat at a table with the potts’ and drank punch and eventually got a little bit of food, talked with two couples who’d driven from brady for the wedding (friends of the family), and then decided i couldn’t really take it any more. i did see the first dance, the father-daughter dance, and the mother-son dance. but the combination of a large crowd and lots of motion and mingling, my being sick, and the fact that weddings still cause me to get emotional about my own life, led me to strike off more permanently for awhile. i didn’t really feel it would be right for me to leave though, as it was my brother’s wedding, but i didn’t really feel like being surrounded by a bunch of people, feeling bad physically and emotionally. i think the straw was when “silver wings” started playing. i struck off for my pickup, which was parked 100 yards or so away from the pavilion near a house, dropped the tailgate, and laid down on it, looking up at the sky and the stars.
after about maybe 30 minutes or something, my dad showed up and started talking with me. he said he thought maybe i’d left, and that i could go if i felt bad. i said i felt like i should stay, and he said “i’d go if i could, but your mom wants to stay.” we talked for awhile, and i explained i was over there more than just because i was sick. (i think he already knew that, but i went through it anyway.) to give an example, i mentioned my strong emotional ties to the song “waltz across Texas” and the meaning and emotion i’ve attached to it in my mind (i love the sentiment, and would love to be able to dance with someone i felt it for, especially at my reception if i ever get married again), and said i probably would have had to walk away immediately if they’d played it at some point. then a mere minute or two later, “waltz across Texas” started playing. i think my brother, dad, and i all have some of that same tendency to want to avoid large crowds and big social gatherings. although it shows up in different ways and at different levels for each of us. anyway, eventually my brother wandered over. earlier in the day i’d mentioned to him i’d brought some cigars, so he and i smoked cigars for awhile (my dad deferred) and we all talked some, then linc said he should probably get back to the reception. i’m glad my dad, my brother, and i were able to just hang out alone for a little while. a little later my mom came over and we all talked some, then my mom and dad called it a night. after a while, sue showed up looking for jack. i’d seen him head into the house with most of their kids, so i let her know, then he eventually came by. we all talked for awhile, then they took off back to houston. i tried to collect some internal energy and headed back to the reception.
by this point, a lot of the people at the reception had started leaving. my brother was surprised to see me again, as he’d figured i left when our parents did. it was originally supposed to go until around midnight, but linc and heather decided to go ahead and depart early so there’d still be a decent enough crowd around. we saw them off, then pretty much everyone dispersed. the dj kept playing, even when the only people left were the family and people cleaning up for the night. i still felt pretty awkward, just sort of standing around and not talking to anyone. (it’s what i tend to do…i don’t initiate conversation usually or jump into the middle of ongoing ones. but if someone starts to talk to me, i’m generally more than happy to converse.) eventually josh (one of the groomsmen) said a few of them were going to head over to the pool and sit there and talk. i wavered for awhile on whether i could handle any more awkward social moments, but eventually decided to go with them. it turned out to be all the groomsmen and beverly (who shot the wedding, and is jim’s wife). we sat on lounge chairs and talked for awhile, until most all of the lights were off and everyone else was gone.
as we were parting, i mentioned to jim he’d said i could give him my resume a couple of years ago since i’d like to live in austin but i don’t have any contacts there in the field i work in. he remembered and he gave me some contact info and told me he could pass it on because he works with people who do the kind of stuff i do. getting around the hr department is really the best possible path for finding a job, so if my resume can get directly in the hands of a systems department that’s good. i’ll have to get around to actually sending him my resume this time. i’m in no rush to find a new job at this point, but if something good in austin ever popped up, i’d be happy to be there.
i walked back mostly in the dark through the empty pavilion and back to my pickup, then headed back to “the out back” and went directly to sleep.

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