August 15, 2005
Exes and Excess
The ex’s weekend wedding went off without a hitch for the bride and groom. (Save the one that was intended.) For those of us merely attending the festivities, all hours before the wedding turned into a series of errors. There was comedy, why yes, but mostly errors.

The young woman about town that I was, I drank four glasses of wine before the Best Friend (BF) and I boarded the night flight to Chicago, and eventually found myself at the A Terminal’s five-table Sam Adams Brewery hitting both locals and visitors up for “social smoking” cigarettes. I slept the bulk of the 1.5-hour flight and awoke only when we hit turbulence on landing. I found myself slightly panicked under a cloak of darkness when I hatched; at some point over Pennsylvania I had covered my entire head with my jean jacket. I also have a record of calling my parents sometime after 11 pm. Central time.

I thankfully did not require or inspire the services of an air marshal, so not all was lost.

I really must stop drinking when I fly.

We awoke the next morning just slightly less fresh than young cherubs kissed by the dew of the dawn. Wedding Day! The BF decided it imperative that she replace one green halter dress purchased for the occasion with yet another green halter dress; I of course needed my hair coiffed in a fabulous Glamour-Do style to impress anyone I would know at the affair. Three hours later, after stopping thrice for directions, being sent once to a mall THAT NO LONGER EXISTED, settling for a MasterCuts styling that was surprisingly fashionable, and having the BF berate me for telling her she looked beautiful in the first green halter dress, we were on our way. (Note to readers: MapQuest clearly outperforms the Sandwich Artist at the Subway close to Milwaukee Avenue. We should get a lifetime of free Wow chips for the world of driving hurt experienced after stopping for his input.)

As expected, the wedding was beautiful. I was struck by how grown-up my ex looked, standing there in a tuxedo that I wondered if the bride had been forced to pick out for him due to his indecision. Family members I hadn’t seen for years had grown up or just grown older. The minister talked at length of the shared interests of the bride and groom – their love for the outdoors and playing sports and living life to its somehow uncliched fullest. Despite the heat, the bride exuded beauty and the groom made it through the whole ceremony without passing out. If two people could achieve it, this is what happiness must look like.

And as expected, the reception was fantastic. Friends from California, Hawaii and closer down the street made their way to witness the union and partake of a really nice open bar. I drank. Others drank. Both fogies and young bucks danced and my last-minute Parade of Shoes purchases managed to stay with me. At some point in the night I stumbled my way through a drunk rendition of The Gambler with two friends and a thankfully very sober band (sorry, pictures still unavailable at press time). We giggled ourselves silly as we smoked more social cigarettes, clapped for the breakdancing stylings of a five-year old nephew, and hugged both lifetime friends and those we had only just met while avoiding the bouquet toss.

And then I cried. Not the chest-beating, “Stella!” kind of crying. But I sat quietly, listening to his brother’s toast for the happy couple, and the tears just came. I didn’t cry because I wanted him back. I didn’t cry because I want the white picket fence. I didn’t even cry because I had to wear a “This ain’t your mama’s” shaping garment under my dress. Well, maybe that last one was part of it.

I cried because I just don’t know him anymore. It struck me as sad that I was familiar with the first pictures of the slide show and only the initial references made in the best man’s speech. I cried because I gave several years of love and friendship (and work, God damn it!) to a relationship that for all intents and purposes no longer exists. I cried because I know that I’ll never know him again. We’ve both moved on to lives with different scripts and supporting casts, and neither of us really plans to watch those reruns again for any reason other than nostalgia.

I eventually stopped crying. I also stopped counting at five glasses of white.

I really should stop drinking at weddings.

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52 Comments:

Blogger Mel said...

Sounds like I'm not the only one who had too much to drink this weekend.

I had a similar experience at a HS friend's wedding last year.

Let me just say: you are more woman that I could ever be. I don't think I could ever go to an ex's wedding. I would probably cry the whole time, for the same reasons you did.

Glad you are back... how you feeling this morning?

Blogger JJ said...

An excellent story. And well told.

Blogger Jürgen Nation said...

Aww. You tell a very stirring story. I loved reading this.

Blogger oregano said...

I had recently written an ex that I had not spoken with in a few years. I figured that enough time had passed that old hurts would have healed for both of us and that something that was once a friendship could still be remembered. I was really happy for her when I read in her letter back to me that she was now married. What pissed me off was that they never invited me to the wedding!

Blogger lizzyjane said...

Oh Kris, you could not have described such an experience more perfectly. I've had that feeling, yet have never been able to pin it down exactly.
Here it is, staring me in the face.

Blogger Oh, that girl. said...

I shouldn't put a comment beacuse I truly and whole heartedly LOVE the electric slide! But this was a beautiful story! We so need to hang out! I am thinking road trip!

Anonymous Jorge said...

Thinking about ex's can be troubling. Especially if you look at it in terms of time.

A lot of people I talk to always ask if I think I 'wasted my time' on an ex, and the answer used to be me scrunching up my face.

But recently (in the last five years, if I had to be more specific), I have learned that I don't really regret anything.

Perhaps there were some things that I wished had happened slightly differently. But really, we are all a product of our past.

Whether we choose to use the past to bolster ourselves up, or as a guide to mistakes never to repeat.

I think that it's sweet that you cried, Kris. I'll forego the humour in this comment because frankly, this particular entry really touched me, and reminded me that my decision to never regret the past was a good one.

And that forgetting is easier than embracing and moving on. But in the long run, you feel better for it.

Just remember, nostalgia is not a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it's a beacon in the dark times.
:)

J

Blogger kimmay said...

i also attended the wedding that my dear friend kris described.

all attendees will confirm - i too drank too much. and as kris knows, i cried too. but not for the reasons that kris did. i cried for myself (because it was about me, wasn't it?). when will i ever find the true love of my life? the second member of a team that was meant to be? why does the love that the bride and groom share - a love that filled the room - continue to elude me?

Blogger babyjewels said...

kris, extremely well told story. you're a class act. it sounds like you handled yourself with grace, even with a blood alcohol level of .3

Blogger Kris said...

Mel - amazing how we all go through such similar experiences, isn't it? Hangovers and all . . .

JJ - thanks so much. I love that you still have the foot/dog photo. I might copy you and take an arm/cat photo.

JN - you are nice to me. :)

O - Good to see you. I'm happy you had a pleasant experience. My letters to exes have at times gone unreturned. Ouch.

LJ - So good to know that I'm not alone!

MPM - Sorry, sweetie. I cannot in good faith have the ES at my wedding! Road Trip it is. Remember, you promised the Boone's.

Jorge - your comments are always important to me, whether humorous or more serious. I'm happy you visit me here!

Kimmay - your Notebook awaits. It was wonderful to see you this weekend, weave of tendrils and all. :)

BJ - Thanks; I hope I did ok. Thank God for taxis at times like that.

Anonymous Beth said...

I finally had a chance to catch up on your last couple entries and I am shocked an appalled I was not aware that you were attending the wedding of an ex - how awful. My question is, did you dance with him? If not, good. If so, I hope it wasn't as miserable as the one time I did that! See your boyfriend for explanation.

Continue to love the blog. You have such a unique way of writing that brings a vivid picture to my mind every time I read them - I love it!

Blogger Jason said...

Hmmm...maybe THIS is why none of my exes came to my wedding. Great story!

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Thanks for inaccurately inflating my comment numbers! Swell!

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Blogger nutty said...

LOL. That's funny. Evil bastard spamers. It's like they're wedding crashing.

Blogger Marel Lecone said...

My husband found a picture of me and wanted to know where it had been taken. It was taken at the ex's house. The funny thing about that ex is that we are so ancient history. I hardly feel a thing about it all. He was a big part of my life at the time. We were together almost six years but we did break up in 99. So, I realize that's been a long time now. When so much life as lived in the between, the feelings are so gone. It's strange. So, I feel like I can relate. My husband and I just had this conversation yesterday. Take care.

Blogger DIVA said...

My dear I can sooooo relate to this. Actaully, the guy that I should have married tied the knot in Spain so I couldn't make it to the festivities, otherwise I would have been crying right along with you. Poor sugar.

PS I'm from DC too. Quick shout out to Cleveland Park

DIVA

Blogger Poppy Cede said...

Kris, your story is wonderfuly worded. It hurts to realize you are no longer part of a life that had its very good points. Sometimes you miss relationships because of all the good times and great people you have to give up when you break away from your lover. I occasionally find myself truly missing family members of one of my exes, but truly despising my ex and all his doggy poo he left on my doorstep. There's nothing wrong with flying drunk or stopping the drink count, as long as you don't cause a scene that gets you arrested. :)

Blogger Happy and Jaded said...

Just came across your blog and am a big fan. Count me as a new reader.

Anonymous Neil said...

Here's something to make you feel better. At your own wedding, would you really want the band to play "The Gambler?" It's good that you've moved on.

The Gambler...that's awesome. This spam crap is getting out of hand. I got one about porn today on my blog...FINALLY!

Blogger Brookelina said...

You rock. I'm immediately adding you to my bloglist. I don't want to miss any more, especially after reading your Dear John letter. Brilliant!

Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

That's a sad story. I can't imagine even seeing an ex in a wedding. But going through a wedding like that, man.

Blogger KOB said...

Amazing post and story telling. I would never attend my ex's wedding, if it comes to that. But admire you for it.

Blogger Aimée said...

Hey Boo! Great job with the recap! I can tell people, "I was there the morning she came up with the title!" Hot. And this entry is mostly true ... except for the part about the fake eyelashes ... whuh? I can also tell people that I busted you repeatedly with your head buried in your cell phone checking all your blog comments ... and when not doing that I could see the creative wheels turning in your head as you crafted your tale :-) Blog Master General :-) xoxo, the BF

Blogger Mel said...

HOLY SHIT! YOU are on DC Blogs this morning!!!

KOB sure does know talent when he sees it!

Congrats girl! You rock!

Blogger Megarita said...

Very funny stuff. I always cry at weddings, and one never counts how many glasses one's had. That's for other people, dearest.

Glad you're back safely. Weddings are exceedingly tiresome, I find...

Blogger Kiki said...

I'm with ya. I was at a wedding this weekend and it sounds very similar, although minus the ex. But definatley crying and shouldn't drink thoughts.
Oh yeah and the "social smokes".
:)

Blogger playfulinnc said...

I am so glad I read this this morning...you deserve the kudos.

I think I will write about my ex-wedding, too.


You may have started something.

Blogger Dave said...

I may have misread this entry, but it sounded like a lot of your family there. Was the ex a cousin? Did he wear a fanny pack? Is his name actually Cletus?

Anonymous Jorge said...

Hey Kris,

I like hanging out here.
It's like spending time with a female version of Dave.

Who would be a lot more attractive than a female version of Dave.

With less underwear...

Blogger bandick said...

Without getting too deep (which I'm not actually sure is possible for me), you ARE part of his life. Maybe not actively at this point but to a certain extent you formed the person that he is now. You left your little Kris footprints on him and they'll always be there.

Did I ever mention the time that I was so drunk on a middle of the night flight to Vegas that they put me in first class because it was empty and they didn't want me near the "normal" passengers? NORMAL passengers on their way to Vegas?

Blogger Princess Steph said...

good job you - I try to avoid the ex's weddings myself :) too much drama temptation you know?

Blogger Sizzle said...

great post! i just happened upon your blog but will definitely come back for more. (no, i am not a spammer.)

Blogger God said...

Just thought I would check in and say "adieu". God bless you all.

Anonymous Helena said...

This made me cry :( I'm so afraid of the day when he will marry. We said we wouldn't fade out of each others' lives. We said we would always be there for each other. Now he is almost a stranger to me.

I can't even meet her, let alone imagine going to their wedding. You have real character.

Blogger Cheryl said...

Drinks are good!

I tend not to trust anyone with a Sandwich board, but I also don't trust MapQuest either.

Love your blog!

Blogger Danielle said...

What good would weddings be without wine or an open bar? I say, have another, and let yourself cry. Thanks for sharing that story. I really felt it...

Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the tale Kris! Well said as always. I too have been a guest at the exes wedding. Was glad to be a witness, but it is like watching the past step out of your reach. I missed the old times when things were happy, and we could all be friends. I still talk to both of them occasionally, and am grateful that she was able to invite me, but being one who tries to hold on to all friendships (well past the "sell by date") it was a difficult night.

Anwyay, I posted a reply to your comment on my blog Kris. Let me know if you come up with any good ideas!

Blogger Humor Girl said...

I got sat next to a guy on a flight that was a total wino! lol I ended up getting pretty buzzed with him...but he was SLOSHED! He had to promise the airline that he would shut up during the connecting flight just so he could ride...lol It was pretty funny.

Blogger Jeremy said...

Ah, I know the feeling. One of life's nasty little inevitablities that's just fine, in theory, but hard to face.

Anonymous Jorge said...

Wow.
God visits your blog and leaves comments - in FRENCH no less..

Well, now I KNOW you're Kris of Arcadia...

Blogger Bex said...

Good story. And I know how you feel. My first love was like family to me, and it pains me that we don't talk anymore.

Blogger Mel said...

Ok, if you are checking this from your cell phone, I am going to laugh!

Busted you, didn't I? :)

It's been 2 days. Seriously, I'm dying here without a update.

Blogger Queenie said...

I love the way you told that story, the last paragraph had me teary eyed. I could never go to an ex's wedding, my friend's weddings get me emotional enough! And the wine is the vehicle that sends me speeding down that trail of tears.

Blogger Slade said...

I can't help thinking, Kris, that we would be best buds if we knew each other in "real" life...

my brother is getting married next year and his fiance's family is southern baptist and so there is no drinking or dancing at the wedding...I'll be sneaking in my stash

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Oh Sweetie you were so brave to go. Like you and Mel, I'd cry too and like Mel said, for the same reasons.

But being with that man brought you to where you are now and makes you the magnificent human being that you are.

THAT makes it all worthwhile.

hugs, Bridg

p.s. Our wedding drinking habits are quite similar too!hope you feel better?

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