Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

Begin Changing

29 April 2011

Dear J-

The big event of the celebrity day is, of course, the Royal Wedding. Of course the cool kids are all claiming that it’s no big deal and no one’s really excited by it, but we recorded the whole five-and-a-half hour BBC feed over PBS and, having skipped over the droning commentary and endless gushing, the actual ceremony was pretty nice and fairly understandable to us on this side of the Atlantic. Good for them, and good for us — we ended up watching maybe a total of half an hour, oohing appropriately over the dress, wondering aloud at the Royal jackets (how much gold braid does any one person need? Excluding Michael Jackson, that is.), and observed all the right traditions and precedents — at least as far as the BBC is concerned, I guess.

The parts we did watch were filled with commentary on the bride’s father, Michael Middleton, and between effusive speculation on how proud he must be, the remainder of the talk is about how his social stock has risen from the son of an airline pilot to father-in-law of the king-to-be, as though the greatest contribution to the world is a bit of genetic material. You are self-made and have the means to send your three kids to expensive schools and own multiple houses in places people vacation and the government station feels it necessary to knock him into place, continuing to remind him of station and situation. It is part of the difference between tradition and trade, the vulgarity of new wealth versus having earned it years ago.

They say that America is the land of opportunity, and that means more than just a belief, that there’s an amnesia that applies to how you get your money. For as much as we may have problems with Machiavellian businesses seeking money for money’s sake I wonder about the ethics of those who don’t have to work for their money: does it make it any better to inherit? The spectacle and circumstance of today are really no different than ceremonies from a hundred years ago, literally passing the bride’s hand from father to groom, and attitudes have ossified in the same rigid patterns. I can’t help but think how lives might have changed had Charles chosen Camilla in 1972 or been encouraged to do so.



Wedding Album

14 September 2009

Dear J-

The album is the ubiquitous photo storage tool. Analogs exist in every computer, whether it’s an online photo site or something as prosaic as the humble folder; the good ones mimic physical albums and the really great ones go a step beyond, giving you a tool to index photos by content and date (this is why I prefer flickr: the tagging system). Back to the album, though; more often than not the album would have a window in the cover to insert another photograph, some thumbnail sketch representative of the content within. For those of us too cheap to splash out on double prints back in the day (guilty), you had the dilemma of finding a photo to go into the album cover and yet not able to use that photo later in the album itself. This is partly why I have embraced the digital trend wholeheartedly; digital copies are free and cheap.

The concept of a summary photograph is somewhat strange; perhaps a contact sheet would be more helpful, but abstractly, the photograph is a slice in time, and the summary photograph is one which you’re asking to represent the whole album, whether it represents the events of a day, or a year, or a life. What do you pick as that photo? Why? The why is more interesting than the what, and probably more consistent. Perhaps it’s signature moment that stands bold in your memory, or perhaps it’s your favorite cousin; maybe it’s something funny, but it’s always unique to the person putting that album together.

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Case in point: last night’s wedding, with the hordes of people; I spent a good portion of the night alternating between lamenting the loss of what felt like my right hand — the E-1 — and chasing after figgy, who wanted to ascend the dais to the head table, or run around under the waiters’ feet, or break into the chocolate that was left on each plate as favors. All the while, she would want to be either held or shielded from strangers. And yet as the night wore on and we greeted more and more of my relatives with hugs she would start to throw her arms wide for a hug of her own. This was capped off by the bride and groom’s entrance, set to clapping and stomping; once they were seated figgy made her way up to the front and, unprompted, opened wide to hug the bride. Yeah. Signature moment for me.


Wedding Vignettes

13 September 2009

Dear J-

Big Wedding

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The bride’s brother (both my cousins) confided their family represented perhaps the alpha and omega of wedding sizes; his wedding last year had sixteen guests, and the wedding today had three hundred and forty. You could almost call it the perfect confluence of My Big Fat Armenian Wedding (groom’s side, inviting family, friends, and distant acquaintances) and my giant family (where just inviting all the cousins means adding fifty hungry mouths to the guest list). At least this time none of the prospective spouses were daunted by the overwhelming family size.

Big Babies

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Seriously, what’s up with the wacky size distribution? All the other kids we know besides figgy are either zeroth percentile teeny tots or (as we found out today) ninety-fifth percentile monsters. After doing some clothes shopping based on ages for the other kids, we were warned that it was good we got a gift receipt; several of figgy’s cousins, despite trailing her by twelve months, were just as big. Maybe we’re not feeding her enough, or maybe we need to discontinue the whole notion of a baseline.

Food Service

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Dinner was good — we’re big fans of Mediterranean food — but I’ve never been to a reception where a seemingly endless array of appetizers stretches out on your table. We all sat around for a good half hour before digging in, as no one wanted to be the first to start eating, especially on the absence of the bride and groom.

Restroom Pervert

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Towards the end of the night we had to change figgy; after scouting it out, theVet beckoned me in to the ladies’ room to help. But immediately after I walked in, she went into a stall for some toilet paper, leaving me alone, wiping a half-naked figgy on the counter as some other guests arrived to give me the stink-eye before they also disappeared into their own stalls. Great, just what I needed right after being that guy who ruined the first dance by letting figgy nearly escape onto the dance floor (in restraining her, she let out a tremendous yell).


Sequential Story

18 July 2009

Dear J-

The end of the story is that we all had a good time, and everything turned out as we expected. figgy continues to sleep like someone exhausted, and we’re out a substantial sum of cash between the babysitter and gift, but it’s been a fun day for everyone. Yet I continue to bore you with details and conclusions instead of saying why.

We had a wedding to attend — the veterinary clinic’s office manager — so the whole day was spent in preparation and anticipation; such is life with figgy. Where once we would have just picked up and gone on a moment’s notice, we had to arrange a sitter (one of the nice ladies from daycare) weeks in advance, then do the chores madly in the morning, hoping to eke out a few hours at SeaWorld in order to tire figgy out so she’d be pliable enough for the baby sitter. After lunch we all (all the adults in the house, that is) fell into a trance/coma, then madly scrambled to get ready before the sitter came at five (yet another near thing, as we were both essentially undressed when Bean announced our visitor).

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We spent most of the night hoping that we wouldn’t come home to a frazzled baby and sitter; much like when she first went to day care, we needn’t have worried. We’re lucky that we’ve got a tractable baby and an experienced sitter; it all feels a little suspiciously easy, if you ask me, but just like how high school movies didn’t prepare me for that experience, I suppose neither would parenthood one.