As I figured might happen, I had a pretty memorable day involving the wedding I attended, and it started from making the decision to do some last minute errands on my way towards the wedding, something that in retrospect was a bit of a mistake. Although I was able to do my errands quickly enough, the traffic did not go speed limit during several key areas, and as a result I ended up running a few minutes late, tailing a vehicle from Washington that, based on the fact that it was going the same route that I had been recommended by Google maps, was likely going to the same place. It was. By the time we got there, I had realized that if there was anyone it would be more appropriate to tail through unknown streets in Salem while running late to a wedding, I had picked the perfect people to tail, and it turns out that while a few minutes late, I was still sufficiently on time to go up the elevator with a couple of ladies who were late for their own reasons, one of them for shopping a bit too much in Woodburn, and to hug the groom and deposit my card and find a seat before the family I had followed came in after parking their car somewhere else to not be parked next to me, something I found a bit unnecessary when I left the wedding.
The wedding itself was a glorious one, certainly one of the best I can remember for quite some time. Knowing both the bride and groom, it had the touches one would expect from knowing them–the ceremony itself was well organized and stuck mostly to the timeline. After a ceremony lasting about half an hour, which was handled well by a relatively new elder who has been having an epic summer of excitement so far, and which was punctuated by some excellent song choices, some adorable flower girls (including the daughter of the bride ), and even a recording of “Kiss The Girl” that was timed for the time for kissing the bride–which is all anyone could hope for. It was perhaps too much to be hoped for that there would not be some kind of reminders or teasing about my status as a single guy, but even given my own sensitivities about the subject, it was at least a little bit amusing to see a bunch of single ladies dancing during the aforementioned Beyoncé song during the dance. Even the inevitable cake feeding was done with class, and a classy wedding is something to appreciate, regardless of one’s own marital status.
While I expected to be poked a bit about being a flamboyantly single man at a wedding, I did not expect there to be so many reminders about the ghosts of Church breakups past. For some reason, perhaps merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time as is my habit, I ended up in a conversation where I was asked about how it came to be that I resolutely rejected following the Cogwa ministers, which involved a long story that cleared the space around me except for a little girl from Salem who decided to poke me frequently throughout the day, apparently a new friend I had not realized I had made in Preteen camp. During the reception as well, while I was snacking on food and trying to stay hydrated, something that appears to have been largely in vain, a relative of the groom who had also been in Thailand came up to ask me about my time there, with his wife and somewhat shy and clingy children in tow. It seemed as if everything was conspiring against me to make the day as awkward as possible, but as awkwardness appears to be my lot in life, I dealt with it with as much grace as possible, determined not to let my own awkwardness and that of everyone else around me from ruining my mood.
And so it was that I managed to dance, enjoy some conversations as well as good food, and even blow some bubbles at the bride and groom as they made their extremely slow getaway after first managing to clean up most of the vandalism of the groom’s car. Refusing the invitation to clean up after the dance, I drove home, with much to think about, and many questions to ask about divine providence, about the bride’s openly avowed struggles to overcome her own difficult background and broken state, about the description of the bride and groom made by their extremely emotional bridesmaids and groomsmen, including the tendency to make disastrous first impressions and yet to be a man of principle on the part of the groom, the immense growth undertaken by the bride over the course of the last few years, and the fact that both have made a commitment before God and before several hundred witnesses to love and honor and cherish each other through good times and bad times, with the understanding that life is messy and complicated and people are broken and flawed, but yet we promise to make the best of it anyway and to remain loyal to those whom we have been joined in covenant. How can one not have a lot to think after such a day as that?
 See, for example: