Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Perfect Storm

Rebecca got married on Friday and Saturday. Notice I said Friday AND Saturday. I say this, because this person who told me she just wanted to elope had a TWO-DAY wedding. I'm going to spare you my rant about how this should be illegal and how it is most definitely offensive to the Constitution, the Magna Carta, AND most of Aristotle's books on botany.

Whether or not a two-day wedding should be illegal (it should), the important thing is that it was extremely inconvenient for me. And I'm what matters here.

I've been referring to this weekend for some time as "The Perfect Storm" because in addition to Rebecca's TWO-DAY wedding where I swear to you there was a tree-planting ceremony, East Indian dancing, a wedding picnic, Chinese origami, singing in Hebrew, a ukulele-led march to a meadow, and a freaking tepee, I also had a two-day law firm retreat in the mountains, AND a two-day law school 5-year reunion.

BECAUSE IT HAS SOMEHOW BEEN MORE THAN 5 YEARS SINCE I FINISHED LAW SCHOOL OMG YOU PEOPLE ARE GETTING SO OLD.

Unfortunately, the events geographically spanned about 1 hour, which made it really difficult to bounce back and forth between all three things, which I somehow managed to do. Looking back I think I may have been using one of those plot-destroying Hermione time-turners from Harry Potter III.

And now I have Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" screeching through my head.

And now so do you.

The whole exhausting mess finally culminated in the grand finale, the wedding picnic, which I told complained to you about last week. You guys. I was exhausted. And my car was completely packed to maximum capacity with all of the crap that Skylar and Matt had accumulated for this thing. I had been hauling this stuff to and fro all weekend because I didn't have time to go home at any point during The Perfect Storm.

And now, on Saturday afternoon, with only a couple of hours to go until the wedding picnic, Skylar was dragging me in that very packed car to every establishment in the greater Mountain West area to pick up the food for this thing.

I admit it. I reached a toxic level of irritability. People go to parenting classes to learn how to handle how I was acting on Friday afternoon.

Skylar deserves a Nobel Peace Prize just for being in the car with me.

But then he made a huge mistake. He made me go to Costco.

Let me be clear: Eli on his very best day should never be taken into a Costco. Costco is worse than IKEA. It's worse than ALL of the IKEAs in the world.

By the time we left that place, three and one-half eternities later, Skylar was actually doing breathing exercises in order to not kill me.

We drove to the park. Skylar sat with two giant hams and oh-my-gosh-such-an-unnecessary-amount-of-cheese on his lap, fuming and so sick of me that Facebook sensed it and blocked me from his page without him even having to log on.

And I started to feel bad. Because Skylar deserved absolutely no part of my bad attitude, which was doing a fine job of covering up my gratitude for all of his selfless work to ensure that Rebecca's wedding picnic was a smash hit.

So I apologized. It was an amazing apology. That apology was probably my life's greatest work. Three angels got their wings somewhere by the time I was done.

We arrived at the park. Skylar, Matt, and Mr. Pants set everything up. And it was exceptionally wonderful.




Some time later, bride and groom arrived, with friends and family in tow.

And the wedding picnic (which isn't a thing) turned out to be a really really nice occasion.

Skylar took his hosting duties very seriously.


After some mingling and eating, they asked some people to say a few words. I had not prepared for this and so ended up announcing to Rebecca's very surprised and conservative extended family that she and I lived together for some time. Rebecca's very French mother later jokingly(?) scolded me for "airing our dirty secrets in a public forum!"

If I could turn back ti-iime!

Oh well.

I wrote down my little speech after I gave it because most of you failed to attend the picnic, which was a shame considering that we had enough cheese trays there to feed America, China, Djibouti, and Azkaban.

So, here:

I met Rebecca 7 years ago while we were in law school. Sometime in the last 7 years I started referring to Rebecca as "a complication in my life." This complication became a daily reality for me a few years ago when, out of the blue, she pushed a shopping cart full of personal belongings into my apartment and told me she needed to stay with me "temporarily."

I immediately began referring to Rebecca as "my living-in-sin" roommate whenever I talked about her to any of my friends. She would always correct me when she heard this, insisting that our arrangement be labeled a "social impropriety," considering that no actual "sin" was happening and that our situation merely looked bad to our very conservative family and friends.

Over the next four months I came home from work each day to find some new mess. Cupboards were left open. Pots were boiling over on the stove. Keys were lost regularly. On at least one occasion I found more than 10 pigeons in my apartment. Every day of my life felt like a new episode of I Love Lucy.

And then, one day, without warning, I saw Rebecca push a shopping cart full of her personal belongings out of my apartment. And I was sad about this. Because I had sort of grown to like the open cupboards and boiling pots and lost keys and more than 10 pigeons. I liked those things because they came with Rebecca, and I quite like Rebecca.

She left and started a new life somewhere else where she met someone else. A few years ago Rebecca and I were talking to a mutual friend of ours. Our friend was from Brazil and because English is his second language he had a funny way of saying some things. The three of us were sharing anecdotes about our dating mishaps. This friend looked Rebecca in the eyes after she told him about some of her frustrations in this area and said as seriously as I've ever heard anyone say anything, "Rebecca, you deserve to find a man who will hunger about you."

When Rebecca called me to say that she had caught herself a man and that she was getting married, my first question to her was whether she had found someone who hungered about her. She optimistically said, "I think so."

Rebecca knew that within the joke I was asking her whether she had found someone who would respect her and treat her the way anyone who knows her believes she should be treated. 

Rebecca is one of the best people I know. And I will never stop being grateful that she fell onto my path at a time when I really needed her.

It's hard to see her get married, because in a way, I feel like she is pushing another shopping cart full of herself out of my life. But she seems pretty happy about where that shopping cart is going. So I won't be sad. I'll just congratulate her, wish her the best, and hope that she doesn't push that shopping cart too far.

I love you, Becky. You are my favorite complication.

Mazel tov.

~It Just Gets Stranger

34 comments:

  1. Skylar made you go to Costco on a Saturday? OF COURSE he deserved your bad attitude. That is hell. (Not that we know what hell is, Cathie?)

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  2. Dude. Points for using a Cher song in your post. Twice. But minus a few points for claiming that it was screeching. Hater.
    Love, the biggest Cher fan. EVER.

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    1. Hey, YOU assigned "screeching" a negative connotation. I love the word. It reminds me of my childhood. #bobandcathieyellingatmeforbeingaterror

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  3. This fills me with woebegoneglee . . . .

    Was the picnic in place of the reception?

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    1. The picnic wasn't in place of anything. It was in addition to EVERYTHING. The reception was held the night before. Right after the tree-planting ceremony.

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  4. If I could turn back time I would make you come give speeches at my wedding picnic! -and I would have had a wedding picnic!! Because they are a thing now, I read about them on this really popular blog. Apparently you have to hire some guy named skylar to set it all up. Anyway, my point here is well done sir.

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    1. I love you for using "if I could turn back time" in this comment.

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  5. That speech was gorgeous! I'm getting married on Oct 1st. Could you come make a toast for me?! And bring the wedding picnic! I love that idea! We're having a flash mob wedding ceremony!

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    1. Please tell me you're on the Imzy group and will post a video of this flash mob wedding ceremony . . . .

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  6. Loved your speech! Also, Skylar is a saint and I love him.

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  7. This is my new favorite post ever.

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    1. Amen. I actually read it twice.

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  8. But didn't you get to perform the ceremony? and you still did all that? You ARE an exceptional fried.

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    1. Nah. Becky wouldn't trust me with officiating duties. EVEN THOUGH I'M A PROFESSIONAL.

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    2. I want to know the end of this sentence:

      "You ARE and exceptional fried . . . ."

      Fried what? Fried Chicken? Fried Rice? Fried Green Tomato?

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  9. The perfect pineapple post: All hard, spiny and ugly on the outside while being sweet, juicy, and beautiful on the inside.

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  10. I love this! I have only recently found this blog, but I really appreciate you sharing your stories. They always make me laugh, yet cover the beautiful aspects of life. Keep writing! Glad you survived the perfect storm! ��

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    1. Welcome Mitchell! In case nobody has warned you, don't click on any posts in which "Tami" is tagged. You can thank me later.

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    2. Hey! Tami doesn't deserve this hate! Especially not this week. (She's really upset about Branjelina).

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    3. I'm a little ashamed to admit that the Pitt-Jolie thing has filled me with glee. And not woebegoneglee but honest to goodness break out in song and dance glee.

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    4. I appreciate the warning, I think? And my heart goes out to her - I still haven't gotten over the Taylor and Calvin split. We're in a war people.

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    5. I think I love you Mitchell.

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  11. I hereby order that you give every toast at my wedding. You can just read the one you gave to Rebecca. It won't make sense, but I like it anyway.

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  12. This is probably the best wedding toast ever written. I don't know you, I don't know Rebecca, but I know the emotion behind the toast, and I might have teared up a little.

    PS to the person who asked, my guess is this picnic was in lieu of the wedding breakfast, generally held after the ceremony. I'm guessing there was also a reception later. And, apparently, a full day of revelry before as well.

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  13. To Eli's credit, I did make him buy an awful lot of cheese. To my credit, you can never have too much cheese.

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    1. Tell that to Mr. Pants's constipation this week.

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    2. Mr. pants would trade his entire colon for cheese. Constipation is but a minor inconvenience for him.

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    3. Mr. Pants's colon is probably so cute!

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    4. Eli - I kinda plagiarized you. I'm on this FB group called "No Context Quote of the Day" and I totally stole that line and put it on there.

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    5. To be fair, that quote in context is no better.

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  14. Skylar is so cute I can't even handle it!

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  15. I thought you were joking about the tree-planting!

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  16. Um thanks for ruining book 3 of Harry Potter for me....

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