I was reminded today how little I enjoy weddings in my current state.
The obvious annoyances are the traditions that aren't necessary for the joining of a man and a woman, but they occur anyway. One of these is mini-sermon that is neatly thrown into the wedding ceremony centered around 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. "Love is patient, love is kind..." Yeah, yeah, yeah...we know. Love is awesome and shouldn't be taken lightly and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Come on, padre, wrap this up so we can drink!
Then there's the toast...if it's organized with the best man and maid of honor giving prewritten toasts, it's bearable. But a lot of the times, it's just left open for any relative (or worse, friend of a relative) to pipe up with, "I just think you guys are great and, oh look at me, I'm tearing up..." Oh, man, come on, lady...
You have to be careful with leaving it open or everybody and their drunk aunt will throw in their two cents. "I'm the janitor here, and although I've only known the bride and groom for 20 minutes, I feel like I've known them all their lives. Cheers."
Then we get to watch the bride and groom dance awkwardly to a song that's not easy to dance to. It's usually a tune picked out because of lyrical content without a thought given to, "Will this make the couple look any whiter and rhythmless than they already are?" Let's follow that up with dancing with parents! Come on, everybody! Shift uncomfortably in your chairs and swig more wine if it's available.
(Oh, and hooray for free alcohol at a wedding. If you have a wedding with no booze or worse, booze you have to pay for at a cash bar, shame on you. You are the reason most of us own flasks.)
The biggest practical joke of the night is the tossing of the bouquet and garter. "Hey, single people! Let's call attention to the fact that you are alone! And hey, we're going to have you all fight over something the newly married couple will throw at you...like the rich giving their scraps to the poor."
If you can make it through all of this, and there's a fully stocked bar and competent DJ at your disposal, you can salvage the evening in the remaining 1-2 hours of the reception. Once cake is cut and eaten and the old people leave, you can get ripped and start freaking to hardcore shit on the dance floor. A lucky few may even hook up, especially if you've given bridesmaids their own rooms in the hotel where you're holding the reception.
I'm not a fan of weddings because I was engaged a year ago. Flaunting a happy couple beginning their life together in front of me is an unintentional slap in my fucking face. It's a nice little reminder of what could have been mine had I made few decisions differently in the past. You might as well drive by me at the bus stop in a 1968 Ford Mustang GT, shouting, "If you had saved all that money you spent on your DWI's, you could have bought this!"
Then you could get out of the car and slap me in the face with my own hand saying, "Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?"
Uh...forget that last part.
Here's what I do know: no amount of alcohol will make the pain of love lost go away. You might forget for a short time, but it'll come back to you the next morning paired up with a hangover. Plus, there will be something you did the night before you will regret once you remember it...or be shown it thanks to a buddy's camera phone.
Love does hurt sometimes...but you know, I like what Waylon Goddamn Jennings said: "I'd rather have love for just one hour than have the world and all it's gold." Sounds better than the Lord Tennyson line, "'Better to have loved and lost..."
Both are true. It doesn't make it any easier, though, does it?