M. Giant's
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Monday, May 19, 2008  

My Best Friend's Wedding

Late in eighth grade, a new kid showed up at my school. This was the nothern suburbs of Minneapolis, which meant there were too many Erics and Eriks already, so everybody just called him by his last name. I only actually went to school with him for a little over a year, but we enjoyed hanging out so much for so long that it didn't really matter. He was my best man when I married Trash, and although we were at different departments at the U (me in English and he in Theater), we still saw each other all the time. Theater people are more fun than English people anyway. That play I published a few years back was inspired by a show I saw him in, but we can go even further back -- passing notes and jokes back and forth with him in junior high made me realize how much fun can be had with words, and is undoubtedly a big part of the reason I'm a writer today.

Then a couple years after we graduated I was a giant asshole to him about something stupid and we didn't talk for a few years. I'm glad it was only a few, but it was a few too many.

He got married this weekend. I'm sorry to report that as far as I know, nobody got too drunk or made a giant ass of themselves or started a brawl or stripped naked on the dance floor. This bothers me for two reasons. The first is that it makes it hard to write something funny about it. The second is that since I didn't notice anyone else doing those things, it makes it fairly likely that I was the one who did.

It was a remarkable day for it. It takes courage to plan an outdoor wedding ceremony in Minnesota in mid-May, without even a canopy overhead for insurance, but clearly fortune favors the brave. It ended up being a totally TV-friendly event, with bright sunshine and just enough of a breeze to make you glad you were wearing a jacket and tie, with the Mississippi River flowing by not fifty yards away (but with the site of the 35W bridge collapse well out of sight beyond the next bend). I was an usher, which meant I got to stand behind the back row wearing a suit and sunglasses. If I'd had time to dummy up a fake earpiece for myself I totally would have.

The reception was held indoors, with heaping plates of food served family-style. We probably should have planned better for the feeding of M. Small, because after he'd had a dinner roll and some raspberries out of my salad he kept asking passing servers, "Can I have more stuff to eat?" Not really used to the pace of dining you get a wedding reception. Eventually he gave up and started tearing around the dance floor with the other kids, confident that there would be Chicken McNuggets in the car later.

My parents were invited, of course, because they've known and loved Feb almost as long as I have. This was an additional benefit because not only did this mean additional eyes on the kid at any given time, it also meant that when they took off after the cake, they could take the kid home with them. Which meant that Trash and I got to spend some quality time partying with some people we haven't seen for a long time (them living in different cities and all) without having to rush home to put somebody to bed. Plus M. Small was spared the mind-warping experience of watching daddy perform "Baby Got Back" during the karaoke reception jam. You don't come back from that if it happens to you at three years of age. I know I was never the same.

Feb and Teslagrl stopped by earlier today on the way to their honeymoon. I'm helping out with some marriage license-related stuff and our house in Minneapolis is on the way from her parents' place in the suburbs to Las Vegas anyway. And after that they're going home to Evanston, so I was glad to have a chance to say goodbye to them and wish them the best in a quieter setting, i.e., next to my front door. They deserve all the happiness in the world.

When getting married, they decided to merge their two last names to make one new one. But I hope he won't mind if I still slip and call him by that old last name once in a while, the one I've called him by for 25 years.

posted by M. Giant 8:20 PM 3 comments


I read somewhere recently that as a person gets older, they begin to realize the value of people who knew them when they were young. And as I am now in my thirties, I realize how true it is... no explanations of your past needed, old friends who knew you before you were a parent, before you weren't able to play backyard football without injuring yourself, just you as you grow up together. So glad that you started talking again, it's a tragedy that so many friends don't find each other back after something like that (especially men, so extra props to you and Feb). Congrats on a long friendship, and keep it up because you can't go back and get new childhood friends.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

Aw, so glad it went well. Good for everybody involved.

By Blogger Linda, at May 20, 2008 at 12:08 PM  

Awwww. Right back atcha, man. Let it be known that you were an usher only because the way we put together the ceremony, there was no Best Man.

And thank you for glossing over the parts where I was an asshole to YOU, for no good reason, on other occasions.

Of course you can still call me by the previous last name. You know that 'West Wing' episode with the speech about the Mars probe? You always say it right.

It's weird to be off the Web for days at a time, so I had to check in. But the wife is by the pool, and I have to go lose some money now. Thanks also to CJS and Linda.

Oh, and there's going to be a new Discovery Channel show about the space program, this summer. Saw a preview, prior to the new Indiana Jones. And when Small is old enough for The Right Stuff and Apollo 13, it's movie night at our house.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at May 24, 2008 at 11:24 AM  

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