I haven’t been to too many weddings this year. After last year’s complete lack of nuptuals, I’m up to my second. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go any further than a couple of kilometres. After my jaunt to Japan, having to only go a few kilometres was a nice change.
This wedding was for my friends Jon and Pearl. Jon is an ex-Critical Masser, and oft-visitor of the game nights Chris and I used to hold at our place. We haven’t seen much of Jon since Chris left, but that would be mostly due to not having the gathering we used to.
Needless to say, this was a chance for the lot of us to gather again. It started just before 13:00 this afternoon. Alex and I arrived at the Sheraton Cavalier and found our way over to the McKnight West room, just past the Starbucks.
Isn’t there always a Starbucks?
Jon was waiting outside the room with his groomsmen and family. He looked nervous. He sounded nervous. He was nervous. He uttered to me:
"Don’t ever get married!"
We took a seat on the groom’s side. Although I knew Pearl just as well, I felt that I needed to sit on Jon’s side. We were among the first on Jon’s side to arrive.
By a little after 13:00, both sides had filled in. Virgil and his girlfriend had sat behind us, Doug taking a seat next to them. Fritz and Jin sat behind them. (Sadly, Adrian was a little slow that morning, and missed the wedding. We made sure to give him grief for the transgression.)
The ceremony was a civil one, run by a justice of the peace. I was surprised at the lack of any cultural aspect to the spectacle, since both Jon and Pearl are of Chinese descent. It was simple and brief. It was something that Pearl had been wanting almost since I first met her.
Ceremony over, we went through the receiving line. Pearl’s parents were nearly ecstatic that people had come to the festivities. Jon’s parents were decidedly more reserved. Jon was looking a little more relieved, but only a little. Pearl was bubbling, she was so happy.
Virgil and crew were headed over to Joey Tomato’s to kill a few hours (the reception wasn’t until 18:00). Alex and I had a few errands to run, so would meet up with the rest later.
Our first stop was at London Drugs. More pictures from our trip to BC, plus some wrapping paper and a card. (I hadn’t a chance to wrap the present yet.) We followed up with lunch at Pizza Hut.
Our errands over, we went over to Aunt Brenda’s to while away the rest of the time we had. This included wrapping presents and helping Brenda and Mom with their literary works. They’re going to Pam’s bridal shower tonight, and need something to go along with the presents. Alex spun the best limerick of the bunch of us. (So yes, there will be yet another wedding before the end of this year.)
We got back to the hotel just before 18:00. Virgil and his date were already there, the others still to follow. Pearl and chanced into a pearlescent (get it?) Chinese-style dress, still as bubbly as several hours earlier. We talked briefly, and chatted amongst ourselves as the guests returned. We were in the same room as before, but with the dividers removed to give us all enough room to sit.
The group of us were at table 14: Fritz, Jin, Doug, Adrian (who we wondered was going to show up on time), Alex, myself, and Virgil and his date (whose name, sadly, I can’t remember).
Dinner was simple, yet tasty: salad with mango and papaya, steak with vegetables and mashed potatoes, followed with a three-layer chocolate mousse. Lively conversation made for an easy evening.
I schmucked out, though, when it came to the dancing later on. I’m not a dancer, I never have been. I hate it, I always have. When Van Morrison’s "Brown Eyed Girl" started playing, Alex wanted to go dance. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just hate dancing that much. I wish I knew why.
So Alex, I know you can’t fully understand, but you accepted me as it was. I’m sorry I let you down. It was unfair and selfish of me, and thoroughly heartless. I feel quite bad about it. You are my Brown Eyed Girl, and always will be. I’ll try my best to make it up to you. I might not be able to dance, but at the very least, I’ll make an effort to sweep you off your feet.
We left not long afterwards — many of the guests had already left. Alex and I were the first of our table. Tonight was a reminder of what our group had once been like, long ago. It’s almost sad that it’s become like this, but as with all things, change is inevitable.