2.5 hours of walking at the zoo this morning, combined with several hours of standing, walking, and dancing at Eamon and Christina’s lovely wedding last night means I have calves that are screaming.  You know what they are screaming, “Hey, old lady!  There’s a reason Life Stride is in business!”  I’m whimpering back at them, “I know!  But my silver, strappy heels are so cute!”  I did ditch them around nine, last night, six hours after I put them on.  I think six hours is long enough to be in heels, don’t you?

I love weddings because they are like a fashion show.  It’s the closest your average grown-up gets to a formal, so the women usually go all out.  Two of my friends, Renae and Laura, had challenged one another to get into shoes they would normally never buy.  Each came in an outstanding pair, and somehow managed to outlast me in wearing them.  Then again, Renae’s got a thing about bare feet, so maybe she was suffering in silence.  (Renae is the woman who made me afraid to walk on hotel room carpets in bare feet.  I have to wear socks in hotel rooms now.  Thanks a lot, Renae.)

The first wedding I ever attended (aside from the one my grandmother tried to crash with me in tow), was for a coworker.  I wasn’t even 20 yet.  It was a wee affair for a very young bride and groom, and the atmosphere was tense.  Once the ceremony was finished, I followed the throng up the stairs into the reception room, and I found chair.  I sat down.

I sat there for a few minutes before I realized no one else was sitting.  Everyone else was standing against the wall, waiting for the bride and groom to make an appearance.  Of course I realized this in time to be horrified at my faux pas, but not in time to make it up from the table and against the wall before the happy couple arrived.  I’ve been worried about doing something ridiculous at a wedding ever since.  Inevitably I make a spectacle of myself somehow.

At Marjorie’s wedding, I overreacted at the sight of the roasted pig.  At Leslieann’s wedding, I had some vocal issues during my solo.  At Renae’s wedding, I started blubbering during the toast.  At Mark’s wedding, my reception dancing was–erm–memorable.  I was determined not to bring any attention to myself this time.

But that reminds of me of another table-tied mistake I made with Renae.  We were in Europe on a coach tour with some 50 other people.  Only handful of us were Americans, the majority being Australian.  In Florence, Italy, we went to dinner served buffet style.

The waiters ushered us inside and showed us to our tables, then Renae and I got up, filled our plates with appetizers and sat down to eat.  Dude, we know how buffets work!  We’ve been to the Golden Corral!

We're on the far right. I think the absinthe had already gone around when this was taken.

Horror!  It turned out we were supposed to wait to visit the buffets table by table as we had been seated.  Not having been given prior instruction, we just did what came naturally.  We were embarrassed, but couldn’t be too upset because we were also ravenously hungry.  So while we waited for our table’s turn to go through the buffet, we ate our appetizers and tried to look cool about it.  And when it was our turn, do you think we got up and filled our plates with actual dinner?  Twice?  Then had dessert?  And later, do you think I got up and sang Karaoke?  If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to read this blog over from the beginning.

Last night, because B was in the wedding party, Thor and I were honored to sit at the head table with him.  However, prior to the wedding party’s arrival (in what Will called the Photo-Dead-Zone), guests were taking their seats at their assigned tables.  There was no way I was sitting down at the head table before the wedding party got there!  Heck no.  Can’t trick me twice, Wedding Faux Pas Fates.

We did check in with the wedding coordinator, who seemed harried.  She asked for our last names and I gave them to her.  “[Johnson],” I said.  “[Johanssen]?” She held up a card.  “No, Ma’am.  [Johnson].”

She squinted.  “But this card says [Johanssen].”

I squinted, “But that’s not me.”


Weddings confuse everyone.

Thor busting a move by the DJ.

I explained that we were with a member of the wedding party, and we were allowed to move on.  Whew!  And move on we did.  And we kept moving until the wedding party arrived, trying to look casual as we drifted, finally lighting on a stair when my feet started demanding a rest.  It was the perfect vantage to watch all the prettily dressed people come and go.

Careful and aware that I had made it through most of the night without being unduly noticed, I realized that I had lost sight of Thor.  B was standing on the dancefloor with a throng of adults, making a ring as individuals danced in and out of the circle.  I wasn’t getting sucked into that one again.  I’ll save my sweet moves for the kitchen.  But where was Thor?

Barefooted, by that time, I padded over to the crowd to find my four-year-old in the center of the dancefloor, working that crowd like a pro.  I blinked.  I laughed.  I took pictures.  And I realized, I have passed the torch.  I no longer need to be the center of attention.  Wouldn’t do me any good if I did.  There’s a new headliner on the marquee, and his name is Thor.

We had a fantastic time.