Saturday my buddy Nate got married.
It was awesome. The individually-written vows were heartfelt and honest, the guests were happy and supportive, the food was great, and we were able to see Alabama lose to Texas A&M between the pictures and the ceremony.
When you watch movies about weddings, they are either portrayed as successes with riotously jovial guests, or dismal failures with chairs filled with pessimists.
I have not been to a pessimistic wedding or one where things go terribly wrong and people meltdown. As far as I know those only exist in Hollywood, though I am sure they happen in places outside of MTV and reality TV shows. Thankfully my friends have not engaged in one, though all of them have been unique.
Nate and Mary were married in Modesto at a place that had a gym. Oh did that invite some temptation. Nate was told not to dunk or play a full speed game which I took to also mean “Don’t encourage him, Jeff”. So I didn’t, though I did get a layup out of him. He was in Chuck Taylor’s which were the athletic shoe of a time before basketball players rocked shoes with swooshes and necks with tats. It was a great moment and one I have filed away with other gems from symbolic rituals of unity.
In June my cousin Jordan and his wife washed each others’ feet, a declaration of their desire to live a life of serving others. Jody’s husband proposed while they were chest deep in a river dip-netting sockeye salmon. Jessica’s husband proposed only after they had panned enough gold to afford the rings. My buddy Stephen had two wedding cakes – one was three feet long and in the shape of a king salmon. Matt loves to eat and the reception at his New Jersey wedding had a buffet unlike any collection of food I had ever seen or probably will ever again experience. And that wasn’t even dinner. During their first dance as a married couple, Eric broke from their steps and dribbled a basketball while his wife played defense. Lee and Lynsey brought a karaoke flavor by encouraging singing contests that had to incorporate the word “love”. I rallied a couple guys together and we managed to put love in Ice, Ice, Baby. As is custom, at some point all the Arizona boys get together and sing Sweet Caroline to the bride, led by the groom. It is usually one of the most photographed moments in the whole extravaganza, next to minor events like cutting cakes and kissing. At the end of any wedding of a fellow Wildcat, we gather and sing the Arizona fight song as the crowd leaves and the lights turn on.
Yes, weddings are great and everyone at weddings are great dancers. In fact it is the only time I will set foot on a dance floor and surprise myself with how great I am at the air-guitar and how many hip-hop lyrics I know. I like to keep my dancing gyrations which lack any discernible rhythmic quality private unless I’m dressed in a suit or tuxedo though. However, I rarely miss a chance to point out that I beat the lead singer of the wedding band in a dance-off at Matt’s wedding. The guy may have felt sorry for me, but that can never be confirmed, so I will forever hold close that title.
So Nate and Mary’s nuptials have been added to my memory bank. If the occasion was any indication, their lives together will be unique, heartfelt and enjoyed by all.
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