Wedding Memories

When it comes to getting married late, I think I have more friends than most that have waited until they well into their 40’s before they dove in.

Whether they were unable to commit or couldn’t find the right one, or both, I can count 5 guys who were past their primes before they took the plunge.

My best friend Wade was one we were sure would never, ever bite the dust. He earned 2 graduate degrees, was bright and engaging and refused all attempts to stay at a job, let alone put down roots with a woman. He had no desire to grow up and have a sense of responsibility. I must confess, having been married at 22, mortgage at 23 and a demanding job made me quite envious of his peripatetic life.If I was tied down, then by God I was going to hound him into joining me in my velvet prison.
No go.

Until he met the one.

Boom, he was done. At 47 a gonner; and like a good fisherman (fisherwoman?) she reeled his carcass in and dragged him to the altar. Not exactly kicking and screaming, but not exactly sprinting there either. C’est le vie bachelorhood and carefree lifestyle.

The sad thing is when you near 50 and getting married, the bachelor party is going to be lame. As best man for his wedding, I felt a duty to do this thing up right. I tried, I really did. All our friends had excuses: “My wife won’t let me go. She doesn’t trust you guys…” (that was funny in retrospect),”I can’t do it on Friday night, I have to work late…”
“That’s a 60 mile round trip drive, dude…”

Sadly, it was only a party of three of us at this dive bar in the town of 3,000 where the ceremony was being held. We were so grateful it closed at 10 pm because we couldn’t have stayed up any later. It was pathetic and a sorry salute to our long lost youth. I wasn’t kidding about the lame.

Luckily the wedding ceremony went very well, considering the couple was devoutly agnostic and getting married in a church. I begged them to reconsider the venue, surely that bar from the night before had an opening in their busy party schedule; but no, nothing would do but for Sally to have a church wedding. I thought it was tempting God and the fates, but given that I threw the worst bachelor party ever, I had no credence with the wedding party.

Forward 4 years later, Wade and Sally are doing great and decide it’s time to have a FAMILY. The man is 51 years old and thinking of procreating! I laugh in his face, as my daughters were in high school and just about out of my hair. He gets the job done and has a healthy, large son, poignantly born on his Wade’s father’s birthday, and carrying his initials. We’re sitting around, celebrating by having a postpartum brew, when I get to thinking. Man he’s going to be 70 years old when this boy graduates high school.
And with a little bad luck in the health department, he could be attending PTA meetings by séance.

He did not think me funny.

My older brother was right at 40 when he got married. He was really a derelict most of his life, never holding a steady job, playing cards for beer money and living with our sister and various town trollops. Our older brother went and grabbed him out of the gutter, made him shower, gave him a job and threatened him with bodily harm if he messed this opportunity up. Lo and behold he meets a wonderful church going gal at work who stupidly falls for his loathsome charm, and they are on the way to wedded bliss.

The night before the wedding, our oldest brother takes the bridegroom, myself and another brother out for a subdued bachelor party. We start and end at a local pub where we were well known, and welcomed by the owner who joined us for the 1st hour.

By the second hour, we were all pretty well lubed up and the jibes and bantering became more heated. By the third hour, we were completely boiled and as brothers are wont to do, ready to brawl. Well, at least me, the pain in the hind side youngest, and the drunken belligerent groom were ready to have a row. The other 2 brothers were trying to be peacemakers, to no avail. There were about 8 people, including the 2 women my oldest brother was trying to pick up, around this huge round table. All were screaming as we two combatants crawled over the table to get at each other. The owner, in a clear state of sanity, had enough and threw us all out into the parking lot. Before anyone knows what happens, our bridegroom brother disappears. And I mean disappears. The bride calls my oldest brother 3 hours later and says the wedding is off, for in his drunken stupor, the groom went to her house, trashed the place and showed what a horse’s rear he could be.
Meanwhile we can’t locate the groom and the wedding is in less than 6 hours, but at this point the ceremony may not even be held.

As the youngest, this is all clearly my fault, and the oldest brother comes and gets me to track down the missing groom and clean up my mess. (Me asking why bother, the weddings off anyway does not help the situation.) We locate the idiot, who is quite remorseful of the whole evening and he makes nice with the bride. The wedding is back on.

On the way home to get cleaned up and ready for the ceremony in less than 2 hours, we drive by the bar, or scene of the crime from the previous night. There in bright lights on the marquee, for all to see: Entertainment tonight THE BATTLING BAKEHORN BROTHERS! 2 SHOWS 8 AND 10!
That made the best picture in their wedding album!

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