Checking baseball scores (rooting for the Rockies and Phillies to make it in). Typical.
A half hour ago, an 8 and 9 year old, put up to it by their mother, walked up to me and yelled, "you're fired!" and then laughed and ran away. Commonplace.
But a few minutes ago, something upsetting happened.
I use the "Stickies" application on my Mac religiously. My entire life is organized on my stickies. I have about 40 current stickies, each with a different purpose. There's a short term to-do list, a medium term to-do list, a long term to-do list, about 7 tutoring company-related lists, short and longterm calendars, a poker log, a few album-related lists and schedules. Etc.
If I got married today, Stickies would certainly be one of my groomsmen-- maybe even the best man.
Things generally run smoothly between me and stickes. But just now, I meant to delete one no-longer-needed Sticky note, and I accidentally deleted my short-term calendar.
"Whatever," you're thinking. "This guy is being mad dramatic about all this."
Well take off your judgmental cap for a second, and consider that I have 17 tutor interviews scheduled this week, scattered around. I have various other meetings, a couple random dinners, and a bunch of other shit that was documented nowhere other than that crucial sticky note. Rather than ever remember anything, I just throw everything into that calendar and it runs my life.
After hopelessly trying to recover the calendar, I banged the table with my fist, prompting the weird old scratchy-voiced woman at the adjacent table to look over at me.
So I opened a new sticky and began to fill it in. There were like 50 things on the old one, from today to November, and all I could remember was two of them: "MNF" on Monday, so that I would remember not to schedule anything during Monday Night Football this week, because the delicious Pats are playing. And "Reality TV Awards" on Tuesday, a poor-man's award show I was half-heartedly invited to (I have no idea if I'm actually part of the event or just an audience-member-- nobody tells me anything).
So I slumped in my chair and tried to think of someone I could call to vent about all of this. The only person I could think of whose time I value so little as to call them about this was my sister Lindsay. Unfortunately, though, Lindsay's in France on her semester abroad.
I thought more. I knew there was someone else-- someone who I used to be able to tell anything. Someone who always had time for me. Who was it? And then it hit me--
That someone was you.
Yes, my favorite sounding board. My shoulder to cry on. My shrink.
And so, here we are. Like the old days.
Anyway, now that you're here, I'd rather hang out with you than face the reality of my lost schedule.
So I'm gonna tell you about a wedding I went to a couple weeks ago.
Weddings are like an onion. Guests fall into layers of closeness. There's the core group of immediate family, groomsmen, and bridesmaids. Then there are other family and friends. Then more distant relatives or random friends. And then there's the extreme outer layer-- the +1's, the groom's sibling's random friend, the second cousin's girlfriend, etc.-- these people don't know anyone, and no one knows who they are.
In my day, I've only been to a few weddings, and in all of them, I've been in the outermost layer.
Suddenly, one of my best friends Matt gets married, and I'm the (co) best man. None of my friends have ever gotten married before, so this was my first "friend" wedding. And suddenly I'm in the middle of the onion (that weird part in the very center that you usually don't eat).
So it was an exciting and unknown ride, starting from the beginning.
Just dealing with the word "fiance" for a year freaked me out a bit. Then "husband" and "wife" came along. These I refuse to accept. When I think of "wife" I think of the mother from the old, black and white Dennis the Menace's on Nick at Nite. When I think of "husband" I think of a man in his fifties with a mustache and a beard. When I think of "Matt Cotton" I think of a 15-year-old with a backwards hat and barbecue sauce all over his face. Maybe at some point it'll change, but for now, "husband" and "wife" are forbidden in reference to Matt or his friend Erin.
Then there was the bachelor party. I've never even been to a bachelor party, let alone planned one. But as the best man, I found myself doing just that. When I first talked to Matt about it, we were equally clueless. It went something like this:
Me: Um, so what happens at a bachelor party?
Matt: Uh, I have no idea.
Me: We don't, like, get you a whore or anything, right?
Matt: Oh. Uh, I don't think so. Right? No-- right?
Me: I mean, I don't think so. Can't be, right? Although they do in movies sometimes.
Matt: No, but. No, we can't do that. No. That's not what you're supposed to do. It can't be.
Me: Then what are you supposed to do?
Matt: Um, make t-shirts?
Me: What kind of t-shirts?
Matt: Oh, uh, I'm-- I don't know.
Me: Are there strippers?
Matt: Oh, really? No, but that's so awkward.
Me: I agree. There's nothing more awkward than 20 guys sitting in a circle around a stripper. It's just uncomfortable for everyone.
Matt: Yeah. Definitely. Definitely no strippers.
Me: Okay. How much is the budget?
Matt: Wait. What?
Me: How much are you gonna spend on it?
Matt: Wait. Oh. What? Wait, I thought everyone pays for themselves.
Me: No-- oh, wait. Yeah, I guess that makes sense.
Matt: Um, yeah. Definitely.
And so on.
Anyway, we ended up renting a house in Killington, Vermont for a weekend, and everyone had a grand time.
Then, finally, came the wedding.
It was in Ann Arbor. The whole thing was a big, fun, high school reunion.
On Saturday, we all went to the Michigan football stadium to see Michigan's opening game. They were playing Appalachian State, a I-AA team. No I-AA team had ever defeated a Top 25 team in the history of college football, and Michigan was ranked 5th, so it was an obvious blowout, but we were excited to have a fun day anyway watching Michigan put up 55 points.
Then Appalachian State beat Michigan in the biggest college football upset ever and one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.
Who would have imagined?
On a hilarious note, about 6 of the 20 guys there left with 5 minutes to go, when it seemed that Michigan had the game sealed up, and missed the ending. They refused to talk about this with anyone afterwards.
Anyway, the wedding itself was a great time, and now I have a married friend.
And it's funny. Two years ago the thought of a good friend of mine getting married would have been ridiculous-- marriage seemed like something a generation away. Now, with every announced engagement and every utterance or the words "fiance" or "husband" or "wife," the shock value is decreasing and the reality is setting in that I'm now at the age where people actually do get married. It's crazy how much that changes from the age of 23 to the age of 25. Next, the idea of a friend of mine being a father or mother will begin to seem almost normal, while now it seems ludicrous.
It all happens quite fast, doesn't it?
The cover of Sports Illustrated the week after we were at this game
Dejected Michigan fans
Not happy campers
The wedding crowd
The newlyweds. Master photographer I am, this is the best picture I have of them