I didn’t really like that movie, but I loved the weekend. I loaded my bag full of intentions and text books, then boarded a plane.
I met Riley when he was the quarterback at Utah State University and I was not. I met his then girlfriend, now wife, just a couple months ago when the two of them were passing through the big apple. I did not have to know her as long as I knew him to realize where things were headed. In describing their relationship he says, “I out-kicked my coverage.” For those unfamiliar to sports cliche’ this is a compliment to her, and Riley should know, because he was the best punting quarterback in NCAA history.
It has been some time since I was in a wedding. I think my own wedding, eleven years ago, was the last one in which more than a gift was expected from me. By “more” I simply mean I was expected to email in my tux measurements and show up. At least I showed up on time.
Let me say this; there could not have been a more inconvenient time on the calendar, other than the groom and his parent’s I didn’t really know anyone, and the entire weekend I was at the mercy of others as I didn’t rent a car. All that being said, I don’t recall an event I enjoyed more. Perhaps my joy for the couple was genuine. Perhaps the company was above par.
One time while on spring break in Mexico, Riley and I spent a night at various clubs in Tijuana. The next morning we returned to the private estate in Rosarito where a girl in our group expressed her dismay and concern that we had spent the night out with all those Mexicans. Without breaking stride Riley, gazing out to sea, remarked how all the dolphins we had seen offshore appeared lazy and dangerous… must be Mexican dolphins. He didn’t let her bigotry slide.
Another time, during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Riley joined me and some of my extended family out for dinner. I realized I had failed to warn him about all the characters who would be present when one began a dramatic tale of what its like in France. It included things like “they are rude” and “in France bread is called baguettes.” I looked over at Riles who was eating with what looked like sincere, closed mouth interest. Riley spent two years in France and holds a degree in French. He let it slide.
This weekend included no such uncomfortable instances, just some new faces and some old stomping grounds.
I was of course not the only one excited for the occasion. For two days I sat, or stood, and watched as the woodwork produced crowds of people wishing to congratulate the couple. The two of them handled themselves well. If they were not happy to see every well wisher they deserve a team Oscar for the performance.
I have been to a number of matrimonial events, both Mormon and otherwise. Normally one is quite inebriated, and the other is rather staid. This one was dry till the dancing started at which point it got quite sweaty.
As the evening wound down I found myself in a de-assembly line of other groomsmen cleaning up after the party. While carrying a stack of folding chairs I looked over and saw the groom doing the same. Apparently he had no concept of the division between honoree and hired labor. He has always been that way. It is part of what makes him worthy of the honor.
Congratulations. I was proud to have been there.