Last Saturday the werewolf found himself in Staunton, Virginia. He was attending the "white wedding" of a business school friend he's written about previously. The werewolf learned that Staunton is the birthplace of the progressive movement's favorite segregationist, President Woodrow Wilson. Although small and remote, the foothills of western Virginia are stunning in their beauty, and the town had a quaint charm that made it tolerable for the 18-hour incursion. After clearing the vast jungle of DC suburbs, the drive itself was scenic and calming. It was also refreshing to catch-up with several friends from the days of business school yore.
The wedding itself was an experience. Despite the fact that he considers the recently minted bride a friend, it doesn't discount how unhinged she had become during time that the werewolf has gotten to know her in pursuit of her fanatical quest to get married. True to form, the wedding was replete with several cringe worthy moments that were engineered by the bride's over-zealous approach to getting married. The bride allowed her hunt for a wedding dress to be filmed by TLC's garish display of bridezillaism "Say Yes to the Dress." Highlights from the episode include her bragging about how "pure she is on account of being of 31-year virgin," crying over not getting the dress she wanted, listening to hear mother boast about how she "deserves to wear white," and watching the mother trying to haggle over prices as if she was some sort of Turkish rug-merchant. 'Twas a creepy and weird spectacle. Anyhow, back to the wedding.
The werewolf went into this whole venture not knowing what to expect other than some sort of mild disaster. True to form, it manifested early. Firstly, the wedding was aggressively marketed by the bride as some sort of hyper-Southern wedding. The dress-code on the invitation was "classy southern." (It should be noted the bride was born and raised in Northern California and didn't move to the south until college and is about as southern as the werewolf is liberal.) However, "classy southern" gave the werewolf extra-cause to do what he loves and kick his sense-of-style into high gear. He sported a blended linen-silk patch pocketed tip-over sport coat, with a yellow-blue patterned English shirt, a Churchillesque dotted bow-tie, seersucker slacks, weathered brown loafers, and his favorite Labrador themed belt. When he strolled into to the chapel, he found himself in a sea of drab black and gray, ill-fitting suits; accompanied by ties so ugly he wouldn't donate them to the blind. It could have easily been mistaken for a funeral for someone not well liked. The only source of color was the shiny and monochromatic sea foam green tie and pocket square combos being worn by the groomsmen and the mossy colored dresses being worn by the bridesmaids.
For all of the hoopla and the television debut, the bride's dress was remarkably traditional and somewhat forgettable. The fringes/hem looked as if they be cut from the gnarled roots found at the base of an old tree. However, she had a veil that was larger than the mosquito nets that the werewolf had grown accustomed to sleeping under during his time in black Africa. I guess it's called a cathedral veil, but this should be donated to some mosquito relief foundation that could be used to cover the beds of a dozen African children. It (the veil) had it's own train that must have flowed several feet behind the bride. It was so large that it actually got caught by the friction caused by the carpet and become dislodged. The seething rage behind the brides eyes at this unforeseen imperfection was most amusing.
However, some of the most cringe worthy moment occurred during the actual service.Word like submit, submission, obey, and respect were thrown around with such casualness that the werewolf was expecting a slave auction to follow. One of the lines included how a wife "must submit to the man the way the man submits to the lord," and how "submission is the ultimate act of love." Early in their friendship, the bride used to claim the mantle of being a proud, strong, and independent woman. There was one point where the minister went into speech about how he had asked the bride and groom to write letters to the lord about what they see in each other and what they expect from their marriage. The bride was quoted "liking how [the groom] embraces his manhood." That line almost set the werewolf off. On the upside, the service was just shy of an hour in length which was a small act of respect for the attendees.
However, with every yin, there is a yang. Having briefly re-entered the 18th century during the service, the werewolf was pleased that the reception was held at a local vineyard where he could re-enter the modern world with the help of some grape-distilled lubrication. Although no hard-liquor was served, the wedding was pouring generous amounts of beer and vino. The local vintage was decent and became more-so after each glass was consumed. It was here that the werewolf lived up to his jack-assy reputation. He ended up running around the reception with his fly down for a good portion of the evening. It has shown up in a few photos and made him blush ex post facto. The food was edible, the cake excellent, and the band, a bunch of kids hired from UVA, played a great set list that ranged from Miles Davis to Jackson Brown to KC & The Sunshine Band.At one point, some body's little four year old was doing these strange Pilate's moves in the middle of the dance floor that warmed every one's hearts.
It should be further noted that the wedding photographer was this petite woman who was so pregnant that her stomach looked like a large breast with an erect nipple.
As much as he tried, the werewolf couldn't find the opportunity to land the back-handed compliment he was hungry to try. In hindsight, it was probably for the best that he held his tongue. He did walk away realizing that this whole exercise in getting married was about the bride living out her longstanding fantasy of being the center of attention at a wedding more than forming a meaningful and lasting partnership with the groom. It's sad that validation is sought through such superficial status and a single event.
Here are a few pictures of the werewolf's attempt at "southern class." For the record, the chick in the first picture is 6'2 and the werewolf is not a midget.
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