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Charlie Hatton
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#67. The first wedding I ever attended was my own.

This was actually quite an accomplishment, apparently. My wife had been to several weddings before ours, and most of my friends had attended a few, too. I suppose it was a combination of not really keeping up with high school chums, and then moving away after college, when most graduates stayed close to campus. (Of course, when you consider that the college was in Kentucky, who do you think made the better choice, hmmm?) So I was poor and far away during the first few years after graduating — a combination that really wasn’t conducive to attending a lot of weddings. Or any, for that matter.

And actually, I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with college chums, either. I think I’ve attended exactly one wedding where an old classmate was getting hitched. Ditto for high school, and come to think of it, grad school, too. I think I’ve only been to three weddings (not counting my own) where I was invited because I was ‘somebody’. As opposed to ‘spouse of somebody’. Sure, I’ve been interested in some of the weddings my wife’s dragged me to — we’ve got a lot of mutual friends, for whom I wish much happiness — but would I have been invited if I weren’t married to her? Um, no. I wouldn’t even be asked to valet park the cars.

And that’s okay. I once knew a guy who decided that he was successful because he had been asked to be in more weddings than he’d had groomsmen at his own. (I didn’t argue with him that while that might make him ‘popular‘, it didn’t really make him ‘successful‘. Chevy Chevettes were popular cars back in the day, but who would want to be a Chevette?) But I don’t prescribe to his theory; in my book, that bear won’t shit. (Or ‘that dog won’t hunt’. But everybody says that. Why not be a little different, eh?)

Anyway, I do wish that I did a better job of keeping up with certain friends I’ve had. I even wonder where a couple of them are, and how they’re doing. But it’s my wife who’s the social one of the couple. Oh, I schedule a lot of the things with current friends, and try to entertain, and generally get along pretty well with most people. But she’s the ‘tracker’. Once we move, or our friends move, I have a hard time breaking out of my day-to-day workaday maelstrom to check up on them. Which is a bit sad sometimes.

For instance, I had five groomsmen at my wedding — one friend from high school, one from college, and three from my current life-at-the-time. I’m pretty sure that I know where four of them are living now, citywise, but I’ve only spoken to one in the past year or more. And he called me, I have to admit. I’ve traded emails with three of the others, but not in the last couple of months, at least. And the fifth? I have no idea where he is, or what he’s doing. I should really find out somehow.

So, maybe it’s no surprise after all that my wedding was my first. I guess I’m sort of a loner sometimes. And that’s cool — I did get married, so I’m not really alone. And I do have some pretty good friends right now. (Who, yes, I’ll probably lose touch with eventually. You don’t have to remind me, jackass.) Plus, if I had all those crazy guys I used to know coming by for the weekend, or to party, I’d probably get in trouble with the missus. Some of those guys sure knew how to party. On the other hand, two of them have kids now, and last I heard, a third was well on his way. So maybe they’ve settled down. But now if I asked them over or visited, I’d have to have contact with children. Which I’ve sworn off, insofar as it’s possible to control that sort of thing. I suppose I don’t have to tell you that I don’t get invited to many baby showers, either.

And even with my late start, I feel like I’ve seen my share of weddings now. We had a couple years there when our bachelor and bachelorette friends were dropping like flies. ‘I do‘, ‘I do‘, ‘I do‘ — is there a frickin’ echo in here? So we were constantly traipsing this way and that, getting all dolled up and hearing that damned ‘Electric Slide‘ travesty of a fuckin’ song.

(Who did that to weddings, anyway? Who decided that and the goddamned ‘Hokey Pokey‘ were gonna be ‘the shit’ at every wedding reception in the country? Can you think of anything cheesier, goofier, or less appropriate for a solemn confirmation of two people’s love than Aunt Maggie flappin’ her arms and slidin’ around on the floor like a drunken idiot? And don’t even get me started on the ‘Macarena‘. Damned DJs, anyway.)

So, I think I’ve had enough. And I thought we had just about all of our friends married off by now. (Some of ’em twice!) But no. My wife’s dredged up an old high school friend who’s getting married later this month. So it’s off to New York for some nuptials, Manhattan-style. And for me, a roomful of strangers. Eh. Whatever. As long as there’s an open bar. For you see, while I’m ambivalent about how many weddings I go to, I can never be invited to too many receptions. That’s where the fun is. Now if they’d just stop playing that damned group-dancing crap…

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