The ghosts of weddings past

I hadn’t heard from my cousin after he asked me to be in his wedding, so I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to get away with wearing a pair of cut-off Carhartt jorts, flip flops and whatever fishing shirt was cleanish.
But he texted me Friday night and put the kibosh on that.
I had every intention to get measured after my morning workout, breakfast and half pot of coffee but I was sidetracked by an episode of Top Gear filmed in Alaska. My moral obligation to support that show derailed my productivity for an hour.
There were glaciers, there was mud. There were trees, there were mountains, there were moose. It was going to be a good day, I had no doubt.
I breezed into the tux store and was out in less than five minutes with the measurements I then sent to my cousin. My mind then slipped into the bog of contemplation. I couldn’t help but wonder what my future tuxedo had been through.
How many summer days had induced profuse sweating in those garments? It’s not one of those things you really think about, same goes for a hotel bed. You just don’t allow your mind to consider the rank possibilities. You just blindly believe that the cotton has been washed, steamed, boiled or otherwise nuked, killing whatever DNA or bad decision might be lingering. That’s what I do. It’s like a $20 bill. It’s been passed around, traded for a sandwich, fishing lure, something Prada, something illegal, it doesn’t matter. What matters now, is that it’s mine and its purpose is more important than its past.
I was then visited by the ghosts of weddings and tuxedo’s past.
The last wedding I attended was that of my buddy Matt in New York. Led by the comfort of my own clothing, I was able to capture victory in a dance-off with the lead singer of the wedding band. The guy had a strong with long hair thing going on, but he was helpless against the power of college friends egging me on. Usually I am reserved but every once in a while the filter breaks down. This is not due to knowing the bartender by nickname, simply the occasional urge boogie. It’s cheaper that way.
Next was the ghost of the tux shirt from my brother’s wedding. Under the hot lights and piercing eyes, I put my mark on the collar as I gave the best man’s speech. How do you articulate 20-plus years of rivalry into two minutes? You don’t, you just sweat a lot and say nice things that you didn’t think applied to the person that used to sit on your chest and pin your arms down to end all fights, but actually does. Then you start to almost get emotional and sweat some more.
It was a stunningly chilly fall afternoon when my buddy Lee was married in Massachusetts a few years ago, so there was no sweating. I did wish that Lee had gone with the cumberbun, vest and overcoat look. It’s one I have never seen but would have been nice, especially next to that beautiful pond where we took pictures. Of course the dresses had to be colder, but this is my column.
I didn’t rent a tux in high school for prom. The nearest rental place was on an island three hours away by boat. I’m pretty sure the homecoming queen my freshman year wore basketball shorts, but when you are the point guard of the state champion basketball team I guess you can do what you want.
I’m positive I would have chickened out, but if I would have pulled something like that at my cousin’s wedding, the ghost would have been haunting.
I’m glad he got back to me.

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