Monday, June 7, 2010

I can hear the bells

"Do you remember the time Al walked in on you handcuffing Steve to a chair?"

I looked across the room at the previously compromised individual, who also happened to be the groom. Initially, my answer was negative and a strong denial was on my lips before a scene floated to the top of my memory of a college room, a chair and .... ah.

"The reason was innocent," another friend helpfully chipped in. "There was a cops and villains theme that night."

I hoped it was innocent. If it hadn't been, the very least I could have done was remember it. Still, it was not so surprising. Steve and I had adjacent rooms the first year at University; who else would I try a pair of handcuffs on? I looked around the table. Seven faces looked back at me and, frankly, they were all perfect candidates for such an occurrence. Pleasingly, my memory had at least given me ammunition of my own:

Did we, per chance, recall the time a member of our table procured a kebab after an inebriated last night of term and, rather than consuming his purchase, packed it in his luggage?

What about the random guy who tried to climb into a (male) friend's bed, having gotten the wrong room?

Or the fact that the same friend mirrored this event himself one drunken night down the line?

Then there was the bucket of tar in the police car park, which had been reached by climbing over a wall (ironically in an effort to get home), the traffic cone that sat in our hallway for a week, the 'mind your head signs' that appeared all around college (ok, that was me again) and the bar crawls. Really, we had enough material for several weddings.

Of course, not everything changes over the years:

"Do you remember when you reached for the mouse in the computer room but grabbed the hand of the girl next to you instead?"

"Oh, I do that all the time!"

Without a doubt, the concept of someone throwing a gigantic party and inviting you and all your friends rocks. It is perhaps a trace stressful for the bride, groom and immediate family but I'm prepared to tolerate their discomfort for the massive benefit to my own. To add to the complete win of this occasion, the ceremony was held in an idyllic village church and the reception was on a farm. When you live abroad, there is really nothing more exciting than a sheep. Except maybe a cow. Seriously, I could have hugged them all, except that might have disturbed the groom's family (the owners of the farm) even if it probably would not have surprised the groom himself.

My restraint was rewarded by the presence of plastic farm animals and a fuzzy-felt build-your-own farm yard on each table. The small toy hare was the same size as the cows which served as a warning to all guests on the perils of non-organic farming. Then there was wine, a hog roast (if you can't hug 'em, eat 'em), more wine, desserts, champagne and a ceilidh.

It was somewhat of a miracle that as dusk fell we were still capable of organising the flat-packed set placed into our hands into a lantern. These paper globes were lit at their base and then rose into the air to float gently off into the sky. Or crash and burn, depending. There was probably a profound analogy to be made regarding the fate of paper lanterns and our paths through life, but the only questions on my mind right then was how the bride was still looking beautiful and energised and whether there were any cup cakes left.

It was only when the un-handcuffed, newly wed groom came up to say hello and said how much it meant to have me there that day that I understood why people cried at weddings. I wonder if I could persuade them to do it again next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment