Weddings are us

There comes a time in every man’s life when he finds himself having to attend the wedding of a close friend or relative.

Such times are looked upon with fear and trepidation as he knows he must endure stifling hot temperatures stuffed in a too small suit long abandoned to the back of the closet. His girlfriend or wife, meanwhile, breaks the bank getting a new dress, shoes and jewelry so she can look good for all the people in attendance.

Attending the wedding is called, “doing what’s right,” to the uninitiated. It also involves giving up a Saturday of hunting and fishing or watching the ballgame.

Weddings are a funny event. The bride is nervous and cranky, her mother cries dreaming of grandkids yet unborn and her dad watches his bank balance disappear down the wedding drain.

The in-laws hope she is good enough for their son, the organist misses a note or two and the preacher thinks the day is all about him. Mascara runs down women’s face and the men gawk at the architecture of the church while wondering why you only find those short little pencils in churches or golf courses. And for the Groom, well, does what he think even matter?

I have an aversion to weddings and funerals and swore off them years ago, but somehow my girlfriend, Paula, I mean “Trixie,” got me into a jacket and at a wedding for the first time in 35 years. That’s what having a younger girlfriend does to a man; she talks him into things long given up as bad for his health.

This wedding went off without a hitch except for the usual: the ring bearer and flower girl crying and refusing to walk down an aisle with 200 strangers staring at them like some sideshow in the circus.

After the congratulatory handshakes and niceties, we finally got to the reception which is where the men shine as there is food to be had. It was fun to watch the hopeful single women compete for the elusive bouquet and the single guys scatter, trying to hide from the market review that bridal dreams bring.

The dancing was hilarious. Liquor convinced many that they could dance in ways only Michael Jackson should ever attempt, muscles pulled, backs strained and women’s feet swelling in the high heels they struggled into earlier in the day. Food was excessive, cake fast disappearing and waist lines soon expanding.

The old married couples finally excused themselves and men took home wives intent on rehashing the details of their own wedding day and their mother-in-law’s faux pas from decades ago.

I have noticed in my long life that a definite change comes in a woman once she marries. She goes from a sexy, loving, tolerant, amorous creature to a WIFE really fast. I have heard it’s something they put in the wedding cake that makes this happen.

And, since women usually attend more weddings than their partners, getting those inoculations every time they eat wedding cake, it may be true. It can’t be living with us that changes them as men generally don’t change all that much.

We still do laundry by using the sniff test to see if a shirt can be worn one more time; drag home dead animals and stinky fish; watch football all Sunday afternoon and hang out with some friends that are questionable in moral character; and, forget to call when we are going to be late. All things we did before marriage quickly become intolerable to the new wife.

Immediately following the honeymoon a wife begins the nesting process. The house you had before the wedding that was so cute and romantic suddenly isn’t good enough or big enough. Then begins many trips to Pier I and Michael’s for home decorating items, bathroom and kitchen remodels, room additions, Christmas with her folks and uncle Charlie plus her sister living in the back bedroom while going through a divorce.

It all culminates one day when you find yourself waiting at soccer practice in a minivan and not the sports car of your youth.

Somehow we survive it all and end up standing one day in another wedding except now we are the parents and watch our kids make the same mistake -- I mean -- good decision.

I would not trade what marriage and kids brought me for all the money in the world although I have never actually seen that much money, so maybe not.

For last weekend’s wedding, Trixie and I survived the happy affair and I am thankful for good friends, family and time spent together. And, Trixie refused to even compete for the bouquet. Now that’s my kind of woman.

The valley is turning to snow activities and I encourage you to plan a weekly hike or snowshoe adventure with Dennis, Wayne or Doug at the South Fork Visitors Center. Call the Center for more information on days and times.