As the happy couple walked back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony, Gerin caught my eye, pointed at me emphatically, and with a wicked grin on his face, mouthed the words, "you're next!"
Funny the difference a few months makes, huh? Over the last eight months I've done a pretty good job avoiding most gatherings of happy couples in love. Or I've done a really damn good job keeping my mouth shut. Well, aside from that one time. It was early December, and my old neighbor Kristin was in town from the Bay Area to celebrate her birthday PB style (read: get ridiculously hammered drunk). I don't have any recollection of this, but apparently on the drunken stumble home we passed a wedding at the Zlac Rowing club on the bay, and I managed to shout out a couple of things about how horrible weddings are, how much love sucks, etc before anybody dragged me away.
Whoops. Obviously still a little bit sore about all of that. As if I'd needed another reminder. So needless to say, I've been quite gun-shy about those sorts of things since then, which I know is having a huge effect on my social life, or almost complete lack thereof. There's no guide or benchmark that I've found for "being better" and it's been an ongoing process. I'm doing better than I was even two months ago, but at the same time, I don't want to put myself into scenarios that will test just how "ok" I really am.
Fast forward to three weeks ago. An old friend of mine from the Reagan, Victoria or Vicki, called me and asked if I'd be her date for a wedding she had to go to. Great. Even better? The wedding was at the Admiral Kidd Club. This was a potential problem for several reasons:
1) Naval Recruiting District San Diego's headquarters is literally right around the corner- I was less than 200 yards from my old job.
2) The Ex and I had looked at having our ceremony and reception at the AKC.
3) The catering company that runs and provides the food for AKC is the same one that does for the OceanView Room, where we'd planned to have our ceremony.
4) Did I mention that I basically got left at the altar just a few months ago?
Vicki knew my history, and made me swear up and down that I wouldn't drink to excess, that I wouldn't go ruining the day for anybody else, and that I would be on my best behavior. As if that wasn't enough, several other of my friends, as soon as they found out I was going to a wedding, made me promise the same thing. Nice to know folks were looking out for me. So Vicki came down from LA Friday morning, and away we went to the Admiral Kidd Club for her friend's wedding.
I'd like to say the wedding was super easy to get through and I didn't feel a damn thing except happy for the bride and groom, but that would be a lie. The weather was perfect- sunny, warm without being too hot, and just enough breeze kicked up to keep the air moving without causing too much havoc. The kind of weather we'd hoped and prayed we'd have for our own wedding. Although, in a deliciously ironic twist of fate, October 18, 2009 was gray, cloudy, and decidedly cold. But I digress...
It was a beautiful ceremony- my first Jewish wedding- but for me it was just surreal. When the wireless audio for the Rabbi started cutting out, I sort of smiled to myself; our DJ had told us that he used wired mics on the military bases on Point Loma specifically because that sort of thing happens regularly. I saw the photographer walking around taking pictures, and I could JUST imagine it was Gabrielle Fox, our photographer, running around getting pictures. And wondering who was the better photographer. There ceremony was very nice, short, and fairly easy to understand- the same I would have liked my dad to do- but probably not quite like ours would have been. After all, it's no secret where I get my big mouth from. :) Seeing the happy couple, so obviously and completely in love with each other, share their first kiss was the hardest part- I had to swallow hard a few times to keep from welling up. For just the tiniest fraction of a second, I remembered what that felt like.
After surviving the ceremony, the reception was something else altogether. I thought that Roman Catholic Italians knew how to party, but I'd honestly have to say that all the Petruzzelli family gatherings I'd attended (which granted didn't include any weddings) had nothing on being at a Jewish wedding. I stuck to my promise, and aside from a taste of some rather vile Margarita punch (which we'd opted not to go for), and the obligatory glass of Champagne for the toasts, I didn't touch any more of the drinks. As an added bonus, one of my old former deppers from my time in Orange County was also at the wedding- she'd been friends with the bride for a couple of years, apparently.- so we had a good time catching up, even though I refused to talk about my breakup until after the wedding and we were back out here at the beach.
All in all it was pretty much a success- until I started drinking. Some of us at the wedding had talked about going out afterwards (including a couple of the single bridesmaids that were there), but nothing really came of it, and I ended up going out with the neighbors while Vicki and Veronica passed out here at the house, tired from the early morning drives down from LA and OC, respectively. I vaguely remember getting hit on by a trio of attractive married 40 year olds (again- I think this was the 3rd or 4th time that's happened in the last 6 months), and forgetting some girl's name that I was talking to. And unsteadily walking back home, only to fall in bed alone, again, and sleep like the dead until I had to be up this morning to go to Balboa Park for the Golden Pyramid Award ceremony. Yep, nice to know I've still got it.