Friday, April 21, 2006

The Wedding

Here is what happened with the wedding on Saturday. None of it is important, interesting, or in any way relevant to your life. You’ve been warned.

All times given are approximate. You’ve been warned—please don’t leave comments after, saying “but serna, how could this happen at this time, if that happened at that time? It doesn’t add up!” I don’t care. I didn’t keep a log of my journey at the time, so if I get the times wrong, too bad.

Background

Andrea and I have a friend who’s an artist. We decided to buy some art from him, and give that to the couple getting married for a wedding present. We thought that would be more fun than just getting them something from their registry. At the last minute, we decided to get the artist to frame it, too. He makes the frames himself, and they’re really nice. I like them, anyway.

So he said he could get it framed for us by Saturday. It would be driven to us Saturday morning by his partner—another friend of ours—in time for us to get to the wedding Saturday afternoon.

Saturday Morning

I live in Toronto. The wedding was in Windsor, at 4:00. This is about a 4 hour drive, give or take, depending on traffic and other conditions. (Luckily, it was just Andrea and I. We had originally planned to drive with some other people, but they backed out, so we didn’t have to plan around their schedules.) So I decided that it would be best to leave our place by 11:30 or so; that would give us our 4 hours, but also give us a bit of time to spare.

Unfortunately, I planned this, but I didn’t tell anyone my plan. Specifically, I did not tell Andrea that this was my plan. So she assumed that we’d be leaving around noon. So our friend, who is dropping off the painting, is planning to get to our place for noon.

Whoops. Nobody’s fault but mine. It means that we have exactly 4 hours to get to the wedding, and hopefully not run into any problems.

Noon

Right about 12:00, I suddenly realize something: Even if our friend shows up, painting in hand, on the dot at noon, we haven’t wrapped it. There’s a good chance that she’ll be late—that’s the nature of the universe, nobody’s ever on time for anything—and even when she does arrive, we’ll have to spend even more time wrapping the thing.

I mention this to Andrea, and she tells me that she’s going to wrap the painting in the car. This is good news, in terms of time, because it means that we’ll waste less, but it’s bad news in terms of chauffeuring, because I’d been hoping Andrea would do most of the driving on the way there, allowing me to read. Instead, I’ll be driving, and she’ll be in the back seat wrapping. (I realize that it shouldn’t take 4 hours to wrap a painting, even a large one, so I thought maybe she’d get to drive later on. We’d have to stop anyway, for Tim Horton’s, so we could switch then.)

Around 12:10

I nip around the corner to Tim Horton’s to pick up an iced cappuccino for myself—since iced cap is my drink of choice, for long car rides—because I figure that I’m just waiting around anyway, so I might as well spend the time usefully, while we wait for our friend.

Unfortunately, she still hasn’t arrived when I get back (only about 10 minutes), but she gets there shortly after. They have thoughtfully bubble wrapped it, too, so it’s ready for the journey. We’re ready to go!

Around 12:30

We leave. I put in my GNFNR “best of” CD, crank it, and enjoy the music, regardless of the fact that my one true love is not enjoying the music nearly as much as I am. (It’s easy to tell that she’s not enjoying it, because she’s making good use of her rapier wit.)

Around 1:00

Andrea hops into the back seat, and wraps the painting. She does a stellar job—but we’ll get to that at the appropriate time.

1:00–2:00

I drive. We listen to GNFNR. Andrea critiques GNFNR.

I tell Andrea that we’re making very good time, and that we’ve pretty much made up any lost time from leaving late. I’m happy about this.

2:00

We get to the rest station just East of London, where there is a Tim Horton’s and a Wendy’s. We stop for food (and to replenish my iced cap supply). It takes longer than I hope, and we don’t leave until 2:20.

2:20

I tell Andrea that we’re still doing okay; as long as we can coast along behind someone who’s driving very fast, we should make up for the lost 20 minutes.

But, because of this, I continue to drive. No reading for me.

2:20–3:45

We coast along behind a couple of people who are going nice and fast, so we make good time (and I don’t have to worry too much about getting a ticket).

3:30

I start to worry. We’re not as close to Windsor as I’d been hoping we would be.

But we’re still behind someone who’s going very fast.

3:45

Still not there. I know that all weddings start late, but I tell Andrea that unless this one is very late—like a half hour or so—we’re not even going to be close to making it. We’ll probably miss the ceremony altogether.

4:30

We get to the place. It’s called Willistead Manor. I’ve never heard anyone speak the name of this place to me, but I assume that there is some kind of a rule that you have to say it with a posh pseudo-British accent. And, since I’ve made that assumption, that’s how I always pronounce it.

Luckily, we see that there are still people wandering into the building. So the wedding is indeed starting more than a half hour late, and we were actually able to make it.

We decide to put the painting into the trunk, and come back and get it when we’re ready for it. It’s at this point that I realize that Andrea has only put wrapping paper on the front of the painting—the back is still uncovered. (Well, the bubble wrap is still there.) We have a nice laugh, as we put it in the trunk. Why waste the paper?

4:30–4:45

We wait for the wedding to start.

4:45

The wedding starts.

The bride, who is Andrea’s friend, is from China, meaning that English is not her first language. So during the ceremony, it gets to the part where the bride is supposed to repeat after the preacher/clergyman/justice of the peace/whatever, and it goes something like this (keeping in mind that the bride’s name isn’t actually “Susan”, but I’m calling her that for the sake of anonymity):

Guy: I Susan
Susan: I Susan
Guy: Take this man
Susan: Take this man
Guy: In sickness and in health
Susan: In sickness and in health
Guy: For as long as we both shall live
Susan:
Guy: For as long as we both shall live
Susan:
Guy: For as long as we both shall live
Susan (obviously very embarrassed, by this point, but still not getting what she’s supposed to say): …

I don’t remember the exact wording—they didn’t use the standard wedding ceremony, so the words were a bit different than I’m used to—but there was something about the phrasing of the “rest of our lives” part that she couldn’t understand. It was humourous for us in the audience, though, because it sounded like she was saying “well, I’ll marry him, but not for the rest of our lives!

I feel sorry for her, but amused at the same time. Not in a mean-spirited way, but just because it’s funny in the context. Obviously lots of other people are amused, too, because they keep mentioning it to her later on, at the reception.

At any rate, the ceremony is really short, which I’m happy about. I don’t enjoy weddings that much, so I figure the shorter the better.

5:15–6:30

The reception/dinner is in the same building, luckily, so we don’t have to go anywhere. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start until 6:30. So we have to spend the next 45 minutes or so having awkward conversation with our tablemates. “Oh no”, I think to myself; “I’m not good at small talk.”

My heart sinks even lower when we find out who our tablemates are. They’re all older than us—meaning we might not have much in common—and one woman is an American, and the first thing she wants to talk about is politics. Crap. How am I going to have an enjoyable dinner, when I have to start out by either:
  • Telling this woman that her president is a monster
  • Not telling this woman that her president is a monster, and then spending the rest of the meal feeling dirty, for not speaking my mind
But we get lucky: She’s just as much of a Bush hater as we are! And the rest of the people at the table are pretty liberal in their views on politics as well—they’re just as worried as we are about Harper becoming PM, about what will happen to health care in Canada, now that it’s getting privatized piece by piece, etc.—so the conversation isn’t as bad as it could have been.

In fact, the American woman is really fun to talk to. I’m not surprised at all to find out that she’s in sales.

6:30–8:00

Supper is really good. That’s not surprising—I haven’t been to many weddings, but the ones I have been to have all had great food—but it is something to be happy about.

Unfortunately, because we have another 4 hour drive ahead of us, we need to leave at 8:00, which means that we end up taking off right after dessert. It feels like eating and running, but the bride knew we had to make the long drive back, so she completely understands. (She also tells us that they’ll be making speeches later, which we’ll miss—thankfully—but that they’ll be especially thanking people who had to drive a long way. She wants us to know that they’ll be thanking us, since we won’t be there to hear it.)

8:00–12:00

We leave some time around 8:00. Andrea drives for the first hour or so, until her eyes start to get tired, and then I drive the rest of the way. While she’s driving, I get to try out a new mini book reading light I’d bought especially for situations like this, but it turns out to be crappier than I’d been hoping.

We somehow manage to make the drive back in less time than the drive there, even though I wasn’t going as fast (probably around 120km/h the whole way, while I was doing 140–150 on the way there). It must be because we didn’t make any stops.

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