Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 83byrpsuch©
Almost everyone in attendance took the time to speak with us during the cocktail hour, but we actively sought out the ones we wanted to tell how happy we were to have them there.
Most people have been to enough of these events to develop a repertoire of greetings from supportive to laudatory.
The majority of the people Jeff and I didn't know well would approach to shake our hands and start off with, "Congratulations," and then pause with an amused look on their faces as if they had no idea what to say next. Most would follow it with a slight head shake or shoulder shrug and say something like, "That was a new experience. It was fun."
I was amazed that just by being ourselves, Jeff and I had managed to encourage something often lacking at large public events - sincerity.
We had not been able to get all the "candid" shots like the bridesmaids finishing preparation with the bride, the garter shot and the spontaneous poses with all and sundry relatives smiling as if they had never been happier in their lives. My mother agreed we would be better served by taking actual candid shots than hunting down everyone who should be in a proper wedding album and delaying our arrival at dinner. We certainly would not be able to grab everyone who would be in those shots in the time allotted to hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
I like hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. Jeff certainly seemed to like the hors d'oeuvres, but he didn't drink. I hadn't been able to get out of him whether that was because he didn't care for alcohol, or because it was illegal for him to drink it and he would not break the law gratuitously.
I was pretty sure he would become a law breaker if he felt the situation called for it, but underage drinking was not such a necessity.
"Now that's how a wedding is meant to be," I heard from my left. It was Sunny's mom, Hari. "An expression of who you are."
"I'm not quite sure I'm that girl, but I certainly felt like it today."
"We love you to pieces, Ashley. You should have a long and happy life together like Sam and me."
She gave me a big hug and so did Sam.
"We love you too, Jeff," she added. "But she's getting close."
Sam and Hari needed nothing to stimulate their sincerity. It was pretty much the only way they communicated.
They were followed closely by Sunny and Louis. He smiled, gave me a meaningful look and hugged me. He had started the meaningful looks and other forms of non-verbal communication after his heart attack. He saw me as having made a substantial contribution to his recovery. He might have been right.
"So, are we finally finished with having to convince you how wonderful you are?" asked Sunny. "That was pretty amazing."
People have a natural psychological affinity for their family. Even when their parents do a horrible job raising them, when they subject them to various kinds of abuse and neglect, children retain a strong bond of love for their parents whether they get along or not. I suppose that was the situation between my mother and me. But I loved her nowhere near as much as I loved Sunny.
Sunny had wonderful judgment, but was not judgmental. She gave great advice, but was not bothered if you didn't take it. I could talk about her at great length. It wouldn't suffice to express the wonderfulness of Sunshine Petal Goldberg. Her students agreed. She was the most popular professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
If Jeff had not been the most wonderful man I could imagine, his family would still have been the best friends it was possible to have.
Then the final member of his family came by. She was absolutely stunning. Sandy was also the most dynamic person I ever met. I don't mean she was perky or upbeat. She threw herself into things with unreserved gusto.
"Oh, my God. Jeff is so lucky."
It made me look at the flip side of my thought about his family. If I were not the reason he was so lucky, he would still have been so lucky because of his family.
I smiled. "Yes, he is."
Soon the hors d'oeuvres and cocktails ended and the wait staff was directing people to the dining room. I saw Jeff start to follow them.
"Jeff. Hold on. You can't go in there."
His look told me he had no idea what I was talking about.
"The band leader is going to announce your parents, my parents and then the bride and groom as they enter the room."
He made a face.
"I know I said you could do whatever you wanted for the wedding as long as we got married. Can we do without this spectacle? I didn't marry you for any kind of recognition. This feels kind of cheesy."
"My parents expect it and they mostly paid for this. I think your parents expect it too."
He frowned. "All right. I'll suck it up."
The band started to play and Jeff's parents were announced.
"This is it, right?" Jeff asked. "We're not going to have a procession of important people. He's not going to ask for your loving cousins?"
"I don't have any loving cousins."
"And they're not going to be introducing your parents' household staff. There will be no song showcasing the stable boys?"
"We don't have stable boys."
"All right, the unstable boys."
I slapped him on the arm.
"I'm serious. People who have had a hand in our lives and our relationship know who they are. Most of them don't need any recognition and aren't looking for it. The only recognition that may be of value to them is ours. And that they will certainly get."
I had never thought about it that way.
"How many weddings have you been to, Jeff? I think you're thinking of the stuff they do at bar mitzvahs."
"Well, I'm sure the band leader will tell us at some point who is to get out on the dance floor and with whom they will dance."
"You're right. But, it would be more trouble than it's worth at this point to change. I'm not sure the band leader could deal with any improvisation."
"All right. But I'm not dancing with your father."