a weekend of pantslessness and wine tasting. Oh right...and a wedding
And at the risk of enraging anyone who has just promised their firstborn to the Reception Hall People, I have to tell you: small outdoor weddings are by far my favorite types of weddings. And Ohio did it up pretty good for my sister's wedding this past weekend, with soft damp grass, perfect lighting, and a short rainstorm half-an-hour or so after the completion of the ceremony. All the four-year-olds (and there seemed to be thousands of them) managed to get themselves drenched, but the adults stayed mostly dry under the large tent that took up half of the backyard.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Minutes after we stepped onto the tarmac in Dayton, my parents whisked us away to the clock shop for wine tasting. If they could have gotten their hands on some fake airport personnel badges and one of those zippy little maintenance vehicles, we could've been there more quickly, and I'll probably never fully forgive them for their inability (or mulish unwillingness) to breach airport security. As it was, we had to endure nearly forty-five minutes of baggage and driving and not being at the clock shop before we finally got down to business. Business being, naturally, wine tasting.
The following day, we started the wedding preparations in earnest. These included drinking coffee, picking up a bucket of delphiniums from the florist, buying a potted thing of geraniums, arranging delphiniums in mason jars, goats, slipping shortbread butterfly cookies into gauzy little bags, finalizing the post-wedding-brunch shopping list, arguing about bottled iced tea, moving potted plants around in order to achieve visually appealing configurations of tiny, starry white flowers around the "altar", and purchasing vodka and earrings. Some of these activities didn't actually happen on Thursday, but it was all such a whirl of activity that I couldn't begin to break it down for you.
At one point, after discussing the relative merits of silver versus ivory ribbon at Michael's for far too many minutes, my mother, sister, and I decided to go shopping for jewelry at a nearby outdoor mall. We may never know exactly what happened on that fateful afternoon, but I think I may have to take some blame for the following events. Drunk with power after having purchased not one, but two pairs of earrings, I put forth a suggestion...
...And thus the three of us we found ourselves on the patio of a seafood restaurant with the slowly setting sun in our eyes and nine partially filled wine glasses sparkling on a tray set up next to our table. There was a fountain full of laughing children, a guy with a guitar, and a handsome waiter who didn't know what a flight of wine was but seemed determined to figure it out one way or another. Mom and I managed to wrestle Julie down and pin her to her seat in spite of her misgivings about leaving the guys (With no prior warning!) (We were like wild things!) (Waaa!) to feed the boys dinner.
Julie: Wait. Where are we?
Mom: Here, take one of these.
Julie: What? What is this? Is this shrimp? With tomatoes? Where am I? Where's my son?
Jenny: No questions. Just eat.
Julie: I'm so confused. Now is not the time for eating shrimp!! Where's my son? Is he somewhere starving? Is he starving?!?
Mom: Look, Julie! Wine!
Julie: Let me just call Dad to tell him where the hamburger is.
There were other events: a big family dinner out at a place called The Pub that featured giant carved chairs at both ends of the table and people in kilts, trauma associated with the general implosion of United Airlines on Friday afternoon, bath time, brunch, a trip to Young's Dairy for ice cream and barnyard animals, and that whole thing with the M&Ms. I won't bore you with too many more details. Suffice to say, many of these activities involved either wine or flying M&Ms or four-year-old boys becoming unexpectedly pantsless ("Naked! Look! We're naked!") or all three.
(In addition to taking their pants off with abandon, the boys also enjoyed covering their heads with bath towels and saying repeatedly in squeaky voices: "I'm Raphael! I'm Raphael!") (The bath towels, of course, meant to approximate his long hair, and the squeaky voices meant to approximate his, you know, incredibly squeaky voice.)
On top of all this pantlessness and general debauchery, the wedding itself was lovely. Big tent in the backyard. Lots of grass. Cool, damp afternoon. Barbequed meat. Ice cream sundaes. Champagne. A jumping castle.
And afterwards, everyone met up at the clock shop for a wine tasting. Naturally.