At the start of this year, we knew of 5 weddings we would be attending this summer. Ended up that 2 of those were scheduled for the same day. Freaking engineers, the date of September 10, 2011 (9/10/11) was irresistible to their numerical brains.
Rob and Andy were first to the post office though so were going to their wedding and the plan was I would drive up to Ottawa for the next day BBQ with Ash's new in-laws. Not ideal but the only way I could figure out to show my support for everybody.
Rob and Andy had organized their wedding around a harbour cruise in Toronto. I've recently described how my blood pressure spikes while being in Toronto so I don't need to go over it again. But this time, Jen and I were in separate vehicles and that seemed to double my stress as I attempted to drive one car with my hands and feet and a whole other car through the power of my mind.
We eventually made it to the right parking lot and I even lucked into a very truck-friendly spot. We made our way out to the boat and once we sat down, I could feel all the stress leaving my body. Being on the water is so relaxing. I really should have brought my fishing gear.
The ceremony was great though I didn't have the best view. Emotional but with a definite sense of humour and a beautiful setting out on the harbour. I was truly honoured they had asked us to be part of their day.
After the ceremony, we made our way back to the dining deck. People were asked to make speeches if they were so inclined. One person accepted that invitation. An individual who stood about 6'6" in what looked to be about 4" heels and a sleeveless dress that showed that this person had spent at least some time in a gym. I can only assume this person is a professional who rents out his services for anyone who wants a wedding to contain an embarrassing wedding speech like the ones you see in Hugh Grant movies. There were many threats to reveal parts of Rob's history that some may deem inappropriate for a wedding ceremony. But details were thankfully in short supply.
Rob seemed to be doing a good job in steering the speaker off the microphone but then, to my utter horror, Andrea started heckling the speaker. The drag queen's attention was then square on our table and she was coming over. Crap. I'm a fight or flight kind of guy and since this individual looked like he could easily introduce me to an emergency room I was doing a survey of the windows behind me and whether I could fit through one of them.
But it was too late. He was at our table and while he and Andrea traded witticisms, I stared directly at my bread plate. And I stared hard. I'm surprised the plate didn't shatter under the weight of my gaze and my desperate wish to be anywhere else.
Eventually things settled down and I was able to make a run to the bar. Rob, Andy, if you happen to read this, I really did have a good time, thanks again for inviting us and congratulations on a memorable day!
The boat docked around 11:00 and after some back and forthing and saying goodbye to Jen, I was on the road heading to Ottawa at 11:30.
The plan was to drive for an hour to get out of Toronto and find a hotel for the night. When I hit Bowmanville though, I was feeling pretty good. I figured I'd grab a Monster and make a run for Kingston at the very least.
The Monster didn't last long. By the time I got to Kingston, I was struggling. So I pulled off at another service center, found the darkest corner I could, cleared out the rear bench and curled up for a nap. This was about 2:30. The last time I'd slept in my car was a couple days before Schmeck's wedding when I drove out to St. John. I was driving a 2 door Civic back then. I was a little skinnier back then but not much. The F150 is quite a bit more comfortable.
I woke up around 4:30 and thought I was ready to hit the road again. I wasn't. I drove another half hour and then pulled off in some small town and had another nap in an LCBO parking lot. One more hour and I was ready to make the final leg up to Ottawa.
I had to make it. I had to put in some kind of appearance even if it was a day late. Ash was a great friend through high school and stayed one throughout all my relocations. He and Jim and Sean and Nuno made sure I didn't disappear into a self-imposed shell during my less than historic high school years. I'm ashamed to say that I probably would have lost contact with these guys if it wasn't for Facebook. But Ash was always on the ball and made sure we always had up to date contact info. When Ash is your friend, you have a friend for life. A stand up guy and I was very disappointed I wasn't there for his big day.
But I made it to the BBQ. Not in the best of shape but I seemed to fit in alright with the hangover cases that were on display there. Missed most of the guys I knew from Manitouwadge but was able to shake Ash's hand and congratulate him at the very least. I still feel like I missed out on contributing so I'll be picking up the bar tab in Sudbury for years to come until the guilt dissolves.
So, that's it. No more weddings this year! Seriously, I'm always happy for those people that find each other and want to make that commitment to each other and all the best to those couples who tied the knot this year but weddings are stressful ventures for all involved and I've had enough to last for quite a while. So no more this year. And there is nothing in the foreseeable future!
Or is there?