Friday, September 26, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Tale of Two Weddings" - 9/28/08

The Tale of Two Weddings:

My two sons were married within a year of each other. I need to say upfront that nothing is more important in my life than my three kids and now my two (soon to be three) grandchildren. I have always enjoyed participating in their lives. The weddings of my sons were very significant occasions my life.

The first son was married in an outdoor ceremony on the grounds of one of the many beautiful country clubs that the Myrtle Beach area is famous for. I was a groomsman and very proud to be part of this event. As father of the groom, I honchoed the rehearsal dinner. It was held in a clubhouse on the beach and I had it catered southern style: barbecue and all the fixin’s. Many of the guests were from the north and had not experienced a genuine pig picking. Since most of the attendees were coming from out of town and arriving early, we elected to invite all invited guests to the rehearsal dinner, instead of the customary participants. Nearly all of them were able to attend. As a result, we ran low on food long before I was ready to stop serving. I ended up running to a local pizza place and buying a dozen or so pies to supplement our spread. It was a great party and everyone seemed to enjoy the day. The wedding went off without a hitch, even though we were worried about an outdoor affair in the sweltering heat of August. I have many fond memories of that weekend, which I felt very much a part of.

The second son was married in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, a God-awful place, which looks like Myrtle Beach without the attraction of the beaches. The ceremony took place in one of those tacky chapels that usher one wedding out one door as another is entering through another door. The proprietors were rude and surly, as was the photographer. I was not a part of this wedding at all. The rehearsal dinner was a weenie roast at a cabin in the mountains conducted by one of the bride’s many uncles or cousins. I was invited, though I definitely felt like a crasher at a family reunion. I was such an outsider to the wedding that I was told I would not need a tux, until the last minute when it was decided that it would be better for the wedding photographs if I did not wear my golf attire, so I was allowed to rent a tux. It was not necessary, since I was only included in one photo (which I did not receive a copy of), while even the most obscure, shirttail cousins of the bride were posed in every possible combination. Anyone viewing the wedding album would assume my son is an orphan. I am surprised my son allowed to keep his name. Not even a hyphen. But, I felt the most sorry for my ex-wife (mother of the groom) who was shown absolutely no respect at the wedding. She was not even escorted into the chapel. She had to find her own seat and endure the same embarrassing questions by other guests that I did: “Who are you? With the bride or groom?” While a child's wedding is of great importance to the dad, it is doubly so for the mom. She flew across the country to be dissed. I have exactly the same amount of happy memories of that weekend as I have photos to commemorate it.

I have been counseled to use this forum to discuss things that bother me in lieu of my previous method of holding it in until I destroy property and inflict grievous bodily harm on others. When the Sunday Scribbling’s prompt was “Wedding”, this is the first thing that came to mind. It was not written to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is just an honest account of these two events and the contrast in the way they were conducted.

13 comments:

keithsramblings said...

So sad that what should have been one of the happiest and proudest days of your life was ruined in such a way. I guess I've been fortunate. All three of mine had wonderful yet totally contrasting weddings. I bet you feel a little better having aired your feelings in public!!

linda may said...

Yeah not everything turns out the way we might have guessed. I've been listening to and enjoying your music. Who'd have thought Ozzy could have sung song as straight as that, I remember him from the old days. He he.

B. Roan said...

Quite a contrast there. I think both you and your ex should have been upset. Had it been me without an escort to my seat, I probably would have sat in the back row and sneaked out early. I think you handled it well. BJ

Redheels said...

I am sure it was very hard for you and your x-wife to endure such treatment. Did you wonder why your son would allow this to happen?

When my children are involved I allow similar treatment to happen. And then I am furious at myself for not speaking up or perhaps just leaving the event.

And yes, I do wonder why my children would allow it to happen?

gautami.tripathy said...

You did right by saying it all here. It needs to be told..

Now come read my macabre post..

Weddings and Beheadings

forgetfulone said...

You sure had a lesson in contrasts. I want to remark about your comment about your ex-wife, the mother of the groom. I sincerely think it is so admirable on your part to recognize the importance of such an occasion and how that must have hurt her. Many men would not care if their ex-wife's feelings were hurt, but you do, which proves you're a pretty good guy.

I wish you had fond memories of both weddings.

Beautiful Witch said...

Weddings should be about family - I have cousins who invited friends they never saw again after the wedding to stand up with them in their bridal party, and didn't ask family members. I hope your second son's marriage is a vast improvement on his wedding...

GreenishLady said...

That really is a shame, to have experienced such a markedly poor welcome at your son's wedding. You do right to say what it felt like. Weddings are so often a place where people are hurt, and really if they're about anything they should be about unity, welcome, inclusion.

Linda Jacobs said...

Good for you for writing about that horrible experience. I hope your son and his wife read your blog!

Patois said...

If that post isn't a reason to have a blog to talk about what's important to you, God only knows that reasons there are. I'm going to hazard a guess that you and your ex weren't particularly surprised by your son's behavior.

Alone on the Isle said...

I can only imagine how painful that must have been, so much so that this post hurt me . . . . You are a better man for showing up, I may have skipped the event all together.

myrtle beached whale said...

I would have never missed my son's wedding. He is too important to me for that ever to happen. I doubt he had much say about the planning for the wedding as he has not had much say about anything since. He is a gentle soul who just likes to get along with the least amount of turmoil in his life. Luckily, I didn't marry into that family, he did.

TC said...

Wow. That's ridiculous. I hope someday you and your ex are able to communicate to your son how that experience made you feel. Until then, writing it out is good.