Jacinda says that I am secretly sentimental, but I think you all know that it’s not such a secret anymore. I am sentimental, but not without hesitation. Which is probably what it’s taken me so got-damned long to write this flip front. They’ve been dating for a few years, and I’d thought of them as married even before they stood up in front of their friends and family and said the words. But weddings always hitting me a little harder than I expect. Not because I’m not married and have no viable husband material around me. But because it’s so grown-up. I think of me and my friends as being young (or at the very least immature) and getting married strikes me as something very adult.
When they got engaged last summer, August 2004 seemed so far away. Joe and Jacinda had plenty of time to find a reception hall, buy a dress, hire a DJ, a photographer, an officiant, a caterer. Naturally, August 7 crept up faster than we had thought, and all of a sudden I was running late to the bachelorette party I had organized. The very capable Amanda of Sole Nail Lounge took the wine off my hands and steered me over to the wall of nail polish, where I could choose dueling shades of pink for my pedicure and my manicure. Lourdes did my nails, all the while laughing at my jokes (‘cos you know I’m a funny girl) and extolling the virtues of Zenecal. Gail joked about her manicure, her nails painted a shade that could only be described as handjob red. Jalissa fretted over her delicate fingernails, worried that they might break, and made sure we all had enough cheese. Post-salon, we adjoined to Cafe Iberico for dinner — I’d only brought a couple bottles of wine to the salon, so we blew through a few pitchers of sangria with no problem whatsoever. Also, mussels goat cheese pork loin mushrooms chorizo flan and one rather suggestive dessert. Oh, and we crashed the boys’ party, meeting up with them at VIP’s. We had free coupons for admission, which meant we had that much more money for booze and lapdances. And while I’m not going to go into detail about who did what to whom, where, and how high the heels they wore when they did it, I will say that Andrew gives an amusing lapdance, and shoeshines are free. Oh, and some questions.
- What’s up with all the mirrors?
- Is it rude to ask the dancer to show you her boob job scars?
- Do all strip club DJs remix old rock songs into booty bass? Is there such a thing as ‘Stripping to the Oldies’, and could Richard Simmmons make money off off such a video?
- Is there such a thing as a strip club that’s BYOB?
- If Andrew gives you a lap dance, how much do you tip?
- When it comes to lapdances, are two dancers at a time better than one?
- Is it ‘lap dance’ or ‘lapdance’?
The night ended for me at 12:30, when I took my ass home in a cab while Jacinda, Jalissa, and the boys left standing (Joe, his groomsmen, Dan, Jalissa’s boyfriend Thomas) went off to Estelle’s and Flash Taco. Though I turned in relatively early, I still didn’t get up until 10 or so the next day. I showered, dressed, and went to the rehearsal, which was surreal. I was a bit overheated for some reason, we weren’t in our wedding garb, Joe said “Fa shizzle” instead of “I do”, which cracked up everybody but the officiant. I finally got to meet Joe’s sister and brother-in-law. And I got to see Nora, who I hadn’t seen since last summer and was appropriately fetching in a low-cut sundress.
I drank more mojitos than I care to discuss, and actually fell while walking into the restaurant after a cigarette break. My over-moisturized feet just slid out after my heels got caught in the doormat. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The food was delicious, and did I mention the mojitos? Delicious. After dinner, we danced around until the older folks started pleading exhaustion after long flights, and then we just drank until the open bar ended at 10 (thanks, Mr. Goldberg). Matt Irvin turned up for cocktails and dancing, wearing Nora’s sunglasses until I told him he looked like he was starring in a regional dinner theater production of ‘The Matrix’. And then more drinks and again I put myself to bed a bit later intended. And then I woke up and it was Jacinda & Joe’s wedding day.
Jacinda’s mom had booked appointments for us at the Aveda Institute in Lincoln Park, where a stylist put up most of my hair, leaving some of it down. She curled it all, pinning loops and ringlets above my neck. For a few minutes, before she pulled back some tendrils, I looked like I was about to dance the night away at somebody’s junior prom. It wasn’t good, but then it was good, and I felt kinda like a slutty Imelda Marcos, or that I had just finished performing in “South Pacific”. When I got back to the hotel and put on my outfit, I noticed how my tan lines just looked like I was wearing an undershirt, but it was too late to do anything. Jacinda thought I looked hot, which is really what counted. Oh, and she looked pretty good herself. Um, yeah — gorgeous, huh? She stopped everybody in the lobby, she was so beautiful.
The drive down to Bond Chapel was uneventful. Once we got there, Jacinda didn’t want anybody to see her before she had to sign the ketubah. So we hung out in the doorway of Swift Hall while we watched people walk up: Joe and Seema; Andrew, Rozi, and Foster; Bruce and Joan. Nora parked the car, and Jacinda, her mother, and I walked around to a side door where Jacinda asked us to adjust the flowerpots that held the chuppah aloft. Then there was some confusion and some stuff and I hung out at the main entrance of the church, smelled my flowers, and waited. My feet were killing me, but my shoes were fierce. We bridesmaids and groomsmen cracked jokes while Joe and Jacinda signed, then their parents and witnesses. And then they were outside with us, we formed our lines, and then Joe’s bandmates began to play ‘Jacinda’s Wedding Sonata’. As the Uhlmann boys started down the aisle, then Claire and Frank, and then me and Kissel. And then down the aisle we went.
Kissel and I made it up to the altar without me falling off my shoes and knocking him into the Uhlmanns. I clasped my flowers in my hands, turned to face the aisle as Joe’s parents walked him down the aisle. Then everybody stood, and Jacinda floated in on the arms of her mother and her grandmother. We all faced the couple, and the officiant began. The readings were from Corinthians and from the Song of Solomon. Joe and Jacinda recited their vows, drank some wine from the ceremonial glass. I looked at Claire, who looked lost in thought, and at Frank who looked satisfied in a daffy sort of way. The officiant read from their ketubah, pronounced them man and wife. Becky handed me her bouquet so she could wrap a glass in a cloth, and then place it on the ground for Joe to step on. Smash, and the ceremony was over. Joe and Jacinda kissed, and we marched back down the aisle. Jacinda and her mother and sister immediately began to cry as they hugged each other. At least, that’s how I remembered it. Or maybe the tears started once Jacinda’s mother stepped outside and I just about caught her in my arms.
Guests streamed outside, blowing bubbles and fanning themselves as Jacinda and Joe posed for a few pictures. I found my cheering section, who all seemed to agree that with the fabric flower in my hair I could be starring in a revial of ‘South Pacific’. As guests started walking towards Ida Noyes Hall for the reception, the wedding party wandered up to the Botany Pond for pictures. The Botany Pond was, of course, covered in plastic mesh and wooden frames as it was being rebuilt. So off to some nice trees and ivy behind Kent Hall, then back to Ida for the reception, where we followed the sound of the guests as they guzzled wine and beer and Champagne and snacked on cheese.
Ran into more people, like Jacinda’s boss, whose name I could not remember, and who is dating my college BA reader. Also, everybody from the rehearsal dinner, and Dan Meltz’s parents, and co-workers, and my date Thom, who relieved me of my three gazillion purses and kept them with him as the reception began and I socialized while I waited for the buffet line to get shorter. It was a bit warm, hot even, but the reception space had two balconies, where I’d nip out for a quick cigarette and a chat. Drank a great deal of Champagne, then it was time for cake and kisses and toasts. I don’t remember what I said, but the gist of it was that I’m the person people would say is responsible for Joe and Jacinda meeting and getting together. And I’m glad to assume that blame, excuse me, that honor. So my toast said something to that effect. And maybe I hammed it up a smidge, but I’ve always found the spotlight just a bit alluring. A DJ had been playing music all evening, but the dancing didn’t get going until 10 or so, when Joe and Jacinda danced to a recording of Joe singing Big Star’s “Watch The Sunrise”. And then everybody danced when Jacinda motioned for us to join them. A few more dances, and when the strains of “Hava Nagila” filled the air, we began to circle around, put Jacinda and Joe in chairs and lifted them over our shoulders as we danced below and held them closer to the light.
In the next flip front: Nick and Nadine’s last night in town; Jasmine and Olivia do Chicago; hotties of the Olympic Games; puttin’ on the ritz with Dan Meltz; ice cream with Kathy and Kevin; new contact lenses (finally!) for me.
“Do you see that crate? Sausages! They will eat sausages. Europeans eat sausages wherever they go.” (The Old General, ‘Black Narcissus’)
The Band – King Harvest; Interpol – Song Seven; Goldfrapp – Black Cherry