One Wedding for the Price of Two
Sarah and I got married on October 20, 2008 in a state park near Malibu. We rented the park for the weekend and invited our friends to stay with us in the dorm room style cabins that were normally used for Girl Scout getaways. To our delight, we filled the place up, and ended up having a jam-packed party weekend full of parties and jam.
The wedding was beautiful, wonderful, best I’ve ever had. &c. But this is not about my wedding. This is about one of my wedding guests.
A week before the wedding, I got an email from my friend Nathan. He had sent his RSVP in months before saying that his wife, Emma, would not be able to attend. He told me that things had changed and she would be able to come after all, and wanted to make sure it was okay. “Of course!” I said. “The more the merrier!” What I didn’t say was that she would be responsible for buying her own meals. Ha ha, that is not true. But so at the end of the email exchange, Nathan said “remind me to tell you a funny story when I see you next weekend.”
As it turns out, I did not need to remind him, because Nathan’s funny story was the talk of the wedding. The weekend before our wedding it poured rain in LA. We didn’t have much of a contingency plan (read: NONE) if it had rained during our wedding, but thankfully we didn’t need to worry about it. The clouds parted and the sun opened up for the weekend, and then immediately afterwards the entire city of Malibu was engulfed in horrendous flames from forest fires.
The weekend of our wedding it did not rain. Yet, when Nathan showed up at our wedding, it was pouring rain. How does this make any sense? It’s elementary, Bugs Meany! Nathan got the date wrong. He flew all the way from Michigan to California the weekend before our actual wedding, flew back to Michigan, and then came all the way back again with his wife the next weekend.
According to legend, he got to the airport, picked up his rental car, and drove all the way out to the wedding site – a good 1/2 drive from LAX, probably more in the pouring rain. He parked his car and walked around the park in the rain for about 20 minutes. Not finding anyone, he called our mutual friend Abby to find out where he was supposed to meet us. “Um,” Abby said, relaxing in front of the fire in her beautiful cabin in Vermont, “the wedding’s next weekend, dumbass.” So Nathan drove back to the airport, rented a hotel room for the night, and returned to Ann Arbor in the morning, only to do the whole thing again 7 days later.
Now, no question this is a funny situation. Some might even say a legendarily funny situation. But, it is also the ultimate sign of friendship, and for that, I will always be grateful. Nathan didn’t just come to my wedding once. He came twice. And what’s more, he paid last minute ticket prices to bring his wife with him the second time. And that is a true friend. A dumbass friend, perhaps, but a true friend, nonetheless.