Monday, July 12, 2004

Weekend Wedding Wandering 

Seems like everyone had a wedding to go to this weekend. My parents were in California, watching an old friend's daughter tie the knot, by the time we left for their Newton home by midday Friday. We arrived by 4 (the unlockably broken front door that much more convenient now that I've stopped keeping a key), dropped our stuff, checked the road atlas against the invitation, and bumped into my dressed-up-for-another-wedding sis in the driveway on our way out to Bob and Tom's rehearsal dinner.

It was a straight line through Newton's ritzy Oak Hill neighborhood to the Roxbury home of awful-nice hosts Kay and Mike for the wedding rehearsal. Here, the wedding of Bob and Tom would take place among lush flowers and newly-dropped sod in the first yard landscaper, old roommate, long-beloved friend and now nervous groom Bob ever terraformed. The flute bit I'd been practicing came out acceptably, the groom and groom nervous but easy with each other and clearly in love, the groomsmen (and groomsgirls) playful, the minister horse-faced and grinning. Many "blahs" were said, and giggles given; Willow chased butterflies in the well-kept garden, and the chicken wings were sticky and sweet. I wore the shirt my brother gave me for my birthday, plain athletic grey blockprinted I Deserve A Beer, and got offered several.

A shop stop at the suburban-riche Whole Foods Market on the way home for basics, and kept the costs down pretty low (though counting raspberries and dollar-apiece cookies as basics) since Mom had left a note saying she'd pay for it. Found that great microbrew coffee we loved so much in Alaska last summer for the first time in the lower 48. Bed for Willow and Darcie.

It was weird to be in the house I grew up in, to have it all to myself late at night, twelve years after moving out, and almost six after giving up a key. Feeling nostalgic, I went out for a latenight trip down memory lane: Golden Star, the same cheap chinese restaurant similarly-nocturnal friend PJ and I used to haunt, the only thing open past 10 unless you wanted to drive into the city. Was glad to find the egg drop soup with mushroom was still awful -- it seemed comforting, somehow. The menus and booths haven't changed since I left.

Slept late on Saturday, showered and ironed our best summer casualwear, and headed out to the wedding by 1:30 or so in one of my father's ties. The wedding ceremony was brief and elegant. The flute playing seemed pure and easy, everything coming together in performance as it always does. The minister managed to keep the activism inevitable in a gay marriage ceremony subtle but present, though there was great applause whenever anyone mentioned the GREAT state of Massachusetts, and Bob and Tom's vows were funny and sweet.

The reception lasted for hours. I switched over to beer after a too-strong margarita and a little too much sun, and swung Willow around and around at the end of my outstretched arms in the garden while everyone mingled. The food was cream-sauce-and-mushroom-heavy, the desserts deep chocolate and rum-laced, and all was divine. Willow was the belle of the ball, bringing tiny bottles of water to everyone just to be praised and regain the center.

Much later, strange again in the dark familiar house past midnight, I thought about blogging, but didn't. Instead, I sat for a while in my father's upstairs office and browsed the world's best CD collection, coveting everything from the new Toots and the Maytals duet album True Love to Dave Carter and Tracey Grammar's Tanglewood Tree to Donna the Buffalo's studio albums, and thought about my father, and how much of his life he's spent alone and by preference in this little room, and missed him terribly.

Don't get me wrong. It was potent and weirdly wonderful to have the house I've always loved for my own all weekend. And I understand innately the beauty of a room of one's own like my father's room, for I am a lot like him -- I need and love the things my father needs, both room and contents. It's nice to play house, to wander, to commit to one another.

But it's better to go home again.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:26 AM |

Post a Comment
coming soon
now listening