What a Girl Wants
Wedding bells traditionally have been rung in the spring -- remember the saying about there's nothing like a June bride -- but September appears to be gaining popularity for weddings. At least two such invites presented this fall for September weddings, which might not be a trend but more of a coincidence. Whichever is the case, on Friday I attended the first such affair.
What a beautiful day it was to be getting hitched -- or just alive for that matter. Surely a brilliant blue sky and sunshine are great signs that the union will be blessed. When I look back on what my mother calls my "starter marriage," which I believe is akin to a training bra kind of thing, the temperature being over 100 degrees (setting a record for July 2) should have been an indicator that the marriage would be less than comfortable.
Personal experience aside, I try to be optimistic and cheerful about the concept of marriage -- though I haven't had the nerve to try it on again for size, figuring perhaps once is enough. After all, I've been a bride and a wife. Hope does spring eternal though, and the bride in this case is a dear family friend who I hope and wish will have a wonderful relationship with her intended. She's the sweetest girl you'd ever want to marry, after all.
If the way he looked at her coming down the aisle with tears streaming down his cheeks is any indication, I give this marriage a thumbs up. He clearly worships her and has a terrific sense of humor -- he had a little surprise up his sleeve when it came time to exchange rings. His best man handed over a ring, which he said was not the right one. Mandy the bride seemed perplexed as she clearly recognized the wedding band in his hand, but he insisted and all the groomsmen started searching their pockets for a ring.
Finally the grandfather of the groom popped up and said, "Is this the ring?"
Mandy beamed from ear to ear as the ring Grandpa produced was the one that her husband-to-be had said they couldn't afford even though it was Mandy's clear favorite. What a cool surprise and a great indicator that their life together will be filled with delight.
I know the look in her eyes said that she believes he hung the moon just for her. There wasn't a dry eye in the room -- at least among the women -- when they danced their first dance.
During the chicken dinner, which I must say was tasty indeed (The Manor House on Mason Montgomery Road gets a favorable rating for all the wedding hoopla of the evening), a guest brought in a framed photograph of the couple exchanging vows at the altar that he'd taken digitally and run home to print off. Again, Mandy and Matt got all tearful and so did the rest of us nearby, as it just seemed the sweetest gesture for the sweetest couple.
My favorite part of weddings is the wedding cake, as I love a white cake with white icing. Mandy had three kinds of fancy flavored tiers to her cake, but maybe my taste in cake is more traditional and not current. Perhaps I need to update my own view of weddings and marriage as well.
Instead of just trying to be optimistic and cheerful, I might actually believe in love and commitment again thanks to Mandy and Matt.
A Gay Old Time
How do you know when you have watch too many episodes of Friends? I answered that question for myself last month during a state-of-the-relationship discussion when I uttered the phrase, "Let's take a break."
That is what I was thinking about while Jen and I were sitting at The Comet Friday night with a friend of hers from work, Phil, trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the night. What I really wanted to do was walk up to my most recent ex, ask her to talk outside to see if we could at least try to patch thinks up. But seeing her sitting on the couch on the far end of the bar looking really happy with another guy's arm around her quickly put those thoughts out of my mind.
Instead I ordered my fourth beer of the hour and a Jack and Coke and settled in for a night of killing of brain cells.
Phil is new to Cincinnati and is always looking for new places to go and meet women, so he wanted to hit a dance club. I guess Jen is a little frustrated going out with Phil and watching him pick up on women, so she suggested we go to Jacob's in Northside for '80s night. I started to mention to Phil that Jacob's is primarily a gay bar, but Jen gave me one of her devilish smiles and I knew she was purposely setting Phil up.
Phil made us stop at Avant Garage on the way to his car so he could buy a vintage white fake leather jacket, or as he called it "pimpin' jacket." I nearly hurt myself trying not to laugh when Jen said, "You're going to have to beat off the ladies wearing a jacket like that to Jacob's."
As soon as we walked through the door, Jen and I totally forgot about Phil. I saw a tall gorgeous blonde who I recognized as DJ Kit Sonic sitting to my right, so I instinctively walked right up to her to say hello. Jen heard a Duran Duran song playing and went immediately toward the dance floor.
Jen told me that when she turned around to see where Phil went, he was standing exactly halfway between me, near the front door, and Jen, who was near the far end of the bar, looking like a deer caught in headlights.
I guess the first thing Phil saw when he walked in the door was two 6-foot-tall drag queens. Jen told me he was standing there looking first at them, then to me, then to Jen, then back to the drag queens, back to me and then started walking very fast towards Jen. As soon as he made it to her, he whispered, "Did you know this was a gay bar?"
She gave her devilish smile again and said sarcastically, "Really? I never would have guessed."
Needless to say, Phil wasn't happy that I failed to fill him in on the exact nature of the bar. Jen had to reassure him that gay men tend to have excellent gaydar and they wouldn't be hitting on him.
Jen and I both laughed when he said he was just going to stand next to me with his butt against the wall the whole night. He quickly decided for us to go outside when I told him that if he and I stood next to each other the whole night, people would think we were a couple. He started to warm up a little to Jacob's when I told him it was a surprisingly good place to meet straight women.
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