Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stupendous Saturday

My immediate family – Dad, Meg, Mom and I – went to breakfast shortly after we got up on Saturday morning. I had a tasty meal of French toast and fresh fruit; it turned out to be exponentially more delicious than the meal we were served at the wedding.

The ceremony wasn’t until 6:00 pm. We had many daylight hours to kill. After stopping by Aunt Marie’s hotel room for a bit of late morning chitchat, we gathered my Aunt Annette (who is my dad’s sister) and her family from the lobby. Their room wouldn’t be ready until precisely 3:00 pm.

The ladies of my family, Aunt Marie’s family and Aunt Annette’s family decided shopping was in order. Macy’s was our destination – being just down the street and on account of the fact that Aunt Annette has an employee’s discount (she works there part time just to get the discount, believe it or not).

Aunt Marie, who can maneuver around her house with just the aid of a cane, had to use her wheelchair. It is humbling to see her in the wheelchair. And it is heartening to see how, nearly two years after she broke her ankle and nearly lost her leg, she has accepted her disability. Where she used to cringe at the idea of being pushed around a store, she now realizes that riding in a wheelchair is part of who she is. I’m sure that it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a big, big deal.

We shopped for a few hours. I snagged a glorious purse. We went back to the hotel to get ready.

Meg, Emma, Anna and I had to be on the first shuttle to the wedding site. Supposedly, we had a job at the wedding. We were to be the greeters. Shiny, smiley and blonde, welcoming wedding guests and directing them to where the ceremony would be held.

(Kinda weird that they asked us, right?)

Anyway. We get to the site – where the wedding and the reception would be held – and it is, like, painfully obvious that greeters are wholly unnecessary. The entryway is narrow and guests are coming in huge groups dropped off by the shuttle. I go to ask Uncle Ed what exactly we were expected to do and he walks by me wearing one of those fake smiles that you give strangers who you come across while walking your dog.

Ooookay. Guess you didn’t want to talk to me.

Just before the ceremony was to begin, Uncle Alan appears. Glorious Uncle Alan. The first to quit the family; the first sibling who betrayed my mom, my aunt and my grandmother.

He’s dead to me.

And, judging by the amount of interaction I had with him over the course of the evening, I am dead to him.


The ceremony was nice. A rabbi married them. Which is sort of insane. The groom is Catholic and, while Mara’s dad is Jewish, I don’t think she has ever been to synagogue. But, I guess she identifies with being Jewish and its great that they found a rabbi who would actually marry them.

Mara looked beautiful. And the groom was obviously elated.

Cocktail hour? Eh. I have nothing interesting to say about it. Except that MY UNCLE ALAN IS A FUCKTARD. He saw my Aunt Marie, with her frigging cane, going down the stairs into the venue and said one thing to her: “you look a little wobbly.”


It is the only thing he said to her all night.

Dinner was, eh, dinner. The service was slow. It wasn’t that great. Oh, and the table that Meg and I were assigned to was at the very back of the room. Next to the kitchen. Which said enough.

Here’s what also said enough: I was never spoken to, gestured at or otherwise acknowledged by Aunt Louise, Uncle Ed or Evan the entire evening.

I don’t count. And neither does my family.

That was pretty much the resounding feeling of the entire weekend.

You’re related to us, so you should be here.
But we don’t really want you to.
You’re embarrassing.
Not good enough.
And mostly inhuman.

Here’s a little story that sums it all up.
At the reception, my grandparents were dancing. Dancing up a storm. Which is what I would imagine that you’d want your guests to do when you have “the best wedding band in Chicago” playing at your daughter’s wedding reception.
My grandma, being a cute little old lady, asked one of Uncle Ed’s friends to dance with her.
And Uncle Ed went sprinting off to find Grandpa. Because my grandmother asking one of his friends was completely inappropriate.

Because we’re completely inappropriate.

We were there because that’s what you do. You invite your family.

Even if you don’t like them. Acknowledge them. Care if they’re alive.


Anonymous said...

Those are some horrible people.

Um, yeah. Horrible.


Stace said...

Ok you might have to email me the story behind all of that. I recall, but yet I don't. Although I'm glad you endured the pain, and made an appearance.

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