Tag Archives: weddings

Story of the Day 1-25-11


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.

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Story of the Day: 1-15-11


How Shea Met Amanda

Today, I was in the wedding of my friend Shea to my other friend Amanda. The fact that they are now married is proof of the smallness of the universe. At every wedding, someone will say that the two were somehow destined to be married. With Shea and Amanda, it has to be true. Or else there is no such thing as destiny. 

Here’s the situation. I went to college with Shea. I got to know him through his ex-girlfriend Adrienne, who was my junior year roommate. I never got to be one-on-one friends with him, but I loved hanging out with him and I always wished we had gotten to know each other earlier in our college careers, before our cliques had been established. Soon after that, he started dating Erin, who he went out with for quite some time. They eventually broke up, and I tried to put the moves on Erin, which was a pretty rotten thing to do. 

After college, I moved to New York, of course. Erin moved there around the same time, so we would get together from time-to-time. The first or second time I hung out with her, she invited her friend Matt along. I remember being kinda pissed, because I was maybe thinking Erin and I might become involved in a romantic way, and what was she doing inviting this douchebag along? But it soon became apparent that the two people who were supposed to be together were not me and Erin, but me and Matt. We hit it off like gangbusters, and he soon became my best friend.

Soon after that, Matt moved with Erin and their other friend Jaime into an amazing apartment in Brooklyn. Shea would come out to visit ever so often, and every time I reconnected with him, I thought, “man, I would love to be better friends with Shea.” But he lived in Los Angeles and I lived in New York, so sadly, it was not to be.

A few years after I met Matt, he started dating Sarah, who he would eventually marry. Matt was working at Matador Records at the time, and he hired Sarah’s sister Amanda to work as his intern one summer. I hung out with Amanda a lot that summer, and I always had a little bit of a crush on her. But she was in college far away and I’d already had an ill-fated long-distance love affair with a college student while living in New York, so I decided it was best left as a flirtation. I mean, not that it was purely my decision. 

Around about this time, my friends and I started an independent publishing house called Contemporary Press. In 2005, we set up a reading in Los Angeles. Amanda had since moved there, as had the object of my ill-fated long-distance love affair, Valerie. I invited both of them out to our reading.

Valerie and Amanda met at the bar and hit it off. I remember that Amanda was looking for work at the time, so they exchanged info and we all went our separate ways.

Here’s where things get tricky. Somehow, Valerie and Amanda ended up working in the same business. Amanda got a job as an assistant to Will at the American Institute of Architecture (AIA). Valerie worked with an architect who was also connected to the AIA. I maintain that Valerie had something to do with Amanda getting her job, but I do not know this for a fact, and Amanda has disputed it often.

But the strange thing is that Amanda’s boss, Will, just happened to be good friends with Shea. 

Flash forward a few years, and I had moved out to LA. The week I moved here, I got an email through the Contemporary Press website from Shea. This was pre-Facebook, and he’d tracked me down through a Google search. “Just checking to see what Jeff Dinsmore’s up to,” he said in the email. Knowing he lived in LA, I wrote him right back. It turned out he lived about 2 blocks away from me. We started hanging out fairly regularly.

Shea had met Amanda through Will before I came into the picture, but he ran into her a few more times after I moved out. Eventually, he asked her out on a date and the rest is history.

The question is: who really introduced them? If Valerie played any part in getting Amanda her job, then I deserve full credit and will settle for nothing less. The other possibility is that it is a complete coincidence, and that Amanda got a job working with my ex-girlfriend and the friend of my college friend through no effort of mine. 

But then we also need to keep in mind that Shea’s ex-girlfriend Erin lived with Matt, who is married to Amanda’s sister Sarah. And that I met my wife, who is also named Sarah, at Matt and Sarah’s wedding. And that Amanda has two sisters – Julia and Sarah, and that my wife Sarah has a sister named Julia and my sister is named Amanda. 

In conclusion: no matter who introduced them, I am clearly at the center of their lives. The magic is in me! 

Also: congratulations, Shea and Amanda! Sweet wedding, yo!

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