"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, August 15, 2010

...Green Bean Amandine.

I hate weddings. Let me just get that out of the way up front. Hate them. Not the institution itself, mind you. Not even the actual matrimonial ceremony. Mostly, it's the wedding reception that irritates me to the point of physical nausea.

Before we begin our nightmarish journey together, Dear Reader, a brief disclaimer: The following blog contains scenes of extreme snarkiness. Any depections of living persons is meant for humorous intent only. In other words, it's all meant in good fun.

Like a snow globe, marriage is beautiful, fragile and requires periodic dusting.

My wife and I went to a wedding over the weekend. I barely know the bride, but my wife is friends/co-workers with the bride's mother. We got invited, so we just had to go.  I was able to convince my wife to skip the church ceremony and just head right to the reception because I have a severe allergic reaction to communion wafers.

This turned out to be a huge mistake because, as we found out later, the priest collapsed during the ceremony and had to be taken from the church in an ambulance. I totally missed my shot at future YouTube notoriety.*
"Look, Mommy! Douchebags!"

We get to the reception early, which is totally awesome because the few people who are already there are total strangers. So, we find a nice quiet spot to sit and make fun of what the other people are wearing. You know, like douchebaggy sunglasses or dresses that are way too tight to be considered appropriate. 

There were some pre-reception snacks available. I recall the store-bought crackers, the Bowl'O'Grapes and the cheese plate (actually a plate of kind of white-ish cheese cubes). I thought at first they might have been some kind of pepper cheese. Then, I noticed the flies that kept landing on the plate. Not pepper. Moving on...

There was a bar. Not an open bar, of course. That would be money better spent on the aforementioned elaborate hors d'oeuvres table. As more guests began to arrive, we entered the Generic Reception Hall.** We each received a smell token of appreciation from the happy couple; a CD of music from the festivities. If I had only known of the sonic horrors to come...

AHHH! Red vest! Kill it before it breeds!
The first clue that there was trouble afoot was when I noticed that the DJ was wearing a red vest. A. Red. Vest. Who wears red vests? As far as I can tell, only riverboat gamblers, Christmas elves and members of barbershop quartets. This guy was no mere DJ, however. He was also an V-O-C-A-L-I-S-T. Aside from his tone deaf versions of such timeless classics as Elton John's Your Song and Billy Joel's Always A Woman, he proceeded to play a litany of trite, cliché wedding songs that should be forever banned from all events, be it wedding-related or not.

These abominations to the human ear canal include:

Celebration - Kool and the Gang (This used to be a good song once. Once.)
We Are Family - Sister Sledge (Really? We are? Had no idea!)
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor (Hmmmm...a cheating song at a wedding. How odd.)
Macarena - Los Del Rio (When will this abomination against humanity finally die?)
YMCA - Village People (This is why Prop. 8 got voted down.)
Cha Cha Slide - Mr. C (The best way for people who can't dance to really show it.)

The food was standard wedding fare. Choices included a ham-based product or pressed turkey with faux-tatoes and yes, Green Bean Amandine. I choked down as much as my surgically-altered stomach could handle and washed it down with a $6.25 White Russian that was more watered-down than the Punjab province. About the time the bride and groom smashed wedding cake into each others' faces, I was ready to flee from the room like a Triathlete on fire.

Finally, I was able to convince my wife that it was time to leave. I made a good case, I felt, for exiting a little early. We had both been up pretty early that morning, and the following day promised to be quite busy as well. Oh, and I also held a pretty nasty-looking butter knife to my throat and threatened to give myself a Colombian Necktie if my demands were not met.

During the drive home, I found myself thinking about the old chestnut about your wedding day being the happiest day of your life. I hope for them, it was. They are a lovely couple and, as all newlyweds do, they deserve every chance to be happy.

FYI: My own wedding was pretty freakin' awesome. Just talk to anyone who was there. Ask them about the cool boat ride to the private island, the steel drums, the wild animal who ate the bouquet or the plentiful grilled lobsters they ate. Green beans, indeed!
I got married here. Your jaw may remain agape for 10 full seconds.

*As of this writing, I have no idea what happened to the priest in question. I certainly hope that he will be just fine and fully recovered in time for his trial. (just kidding!)

** Not it's real name. ;-)


  1. Lots of people don't know how to throw a party. Yours remains one of my favorites...along side Mom and Danny's and Becca's...hmm...I'm detecting a pattern here...

  2. Didn't Becca's wedding actually include the Chicken Dance? I'm pretty sure it's disqualified on that basis alone! ;-)