Assignment: Crash a Wedding
posted by October 15 at 12:48 PMon
Alexa, a Capitol Hill native, needed someone to go with her to a friend’s wedding because her ex was going to be there and she couldn’t stand the idea of running into him dateless. It didn’t matter to Alexa that I was 15 years younger than her: any man would do.
I showed up early at St. Joseph’s, a Catholic church on 18th and Aloha. There was a small crowd of thirtysomethings standing around on the lawn in the Saturday afternoon sun talking to eachother. I paced up and down the lawn looking for Alexa. I had forgotten what she looked like on her myspace profile and was starting to worry that she wouldn’t show. It felt weird being alone at a wedding so I faked a phone call. “Hi there,” I said to my cell phone. “Oh. Just at the wedding ha ha.”
Alexa arrived late, smoking a cigarette. We made pleasantries and hugged. By this time, the crowd was already starting to make their way into the church. Alexa introduced me to the groom. “This is my friend, Steven.” Alexa said. “We go way back.” We sat near the front of the church. Alexa looked around for her ex but he wasn’t there. “I really want to see that shit head,” she whispered to me.
The pastor was an 80-year-old man wearing a Britney Spears mic-headset. He talked on and on about all the divisiveness in America and then told the crowd he was overjoyed that “two Christians were getting married,” adding, “O what a blessing it is when two Christians come together in holy matrimony.” Alexa and I groaned, the bride and groom exchanged vows and I spent the rest of the ceremony plotting a failed escape to the bathroom.
I got hammered on Long Island Iced Teas at Rosebud with Alexa before the reception and I peed on some leaves in the parking lot of the Polytechnic building on Union and Broadway. Then Alexa and I wandered into the wrong wedding reception—a Jewish one with beautiful Chinese lanterns, free valet parking, and maybe one or two weak Christians.
Eventually we found the right reception. I drank more. We ate dinner. Alexa still couldn’t see her ex anywhere but seemed thankful that I was with her. Together, we danced to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Brick House” in the center of the ballroom, surrounded by friends and family I did not know from Minneapolis and Buffalo. I got behind the bride and started dancing with her. “Who are you?!” she yelled over the music. “I’m Steven!” I yelled back at her.
Eventually, I got tired and I told Alexa I wanted to leave. I thought that my role was to make her ex jealous and without him there, what was the point of it all? Alexa punched me in the arm and told me I was being a pussy. Then she said “I told you I get happy when I’m drunk! This is me happy!” I preferred the unhappy Alexa. I left.