Exactly one month after my son was born I had my first big night out. A good friend and his partner were getting married and I’d known for months about the wedding. I mention this because there is absolutely no good reason for, at 11:30 pm the night before the wedding, Jason and I to suddenly realize “Dude. We have a kid. What do we do with the kid for the wedding???” No, we hadn’t forgotten about the wedding and it snuck up on us, we’d been talking about it for weeks, excited to see our friend Rich walk down the aisle and to party with our girl Sharla. We were well aware we had the wedding… we just didn’t really think through the fact that we also had a kid.
“So, um… do we take him to the wedding with us?” Uncertain.
“I don’t know man, I’ve never had a kid before. I don’t know the protocol here.” Dumbfounded.
“Maybe my parents can watch him?” Questioning.
“Oooo, yeah—let’s check out that action!” Hopeful.
So, first thing on Saturday morning Jason called his parents and luckily they were free and willing to come over and watch Baby Hugh so Jason and I could have an unencumbered evening out to celebrate our friends Rich and Derek! SUCCESS!!
With that obstacle out of the way Jason headed off to class and I went about cleaning house and watching Hugh until it was time to start getting ready for the wedding. All day. I had all day to get ready so obviously I didn’t even get in the shower until about 45 minutes before we needed to leave. As I frantically did makeup and hair and bypassed any lost hope of painting my nails, it suddenly occurred to me that while I had planned on wearing a maternity dress I had worn to my cousin’s wedding in July I hadn’t actually tried it on post-pregnancy… and was forgetting that my feet grew in pregnancy and I had no dress shoes… Fortunately the dress was very long so an old pair of orthopedic looking sandals were mostly covered and somewhat fit, but unfortunately, while the dress mostly fit… I hadn’t taken into account a part of my body that had grown quite a bit since giving birth. That’s right… the tatas. Dear. God. My boobs were gushing forth from the deep ‘V’ of the dress and threatening to burst a seam if I dared tempt fate with a wrong move. But, it’s all I had so I grabbed my furriest pink coat as cover and, with my oozing orthopedic sandals and bubbling breasts, was ready for our big night out.
Now that Jason and I are on Newborn Time it means that, regardless of how well we plan or organize, we are always running late. The question isn’t IF we’ll be late, it’s HOW late will we be. That day we were about 20 minutes late which meant we were walking into the church just as our friend was starting his way down the aisle. As an usher frantically, and quietly, waved us back, the ceremony began and we hid out of view around the edge of the doorway. When it was safe and all eyes were back up front, admiring the handsome couple, we snuck into the back row. It wasn’t smooth, but we made it.
The ceremony was beautiful… and made us realize it was the first time we’d been to church together. Jason was raised Mormon and I grew up Lutheran with some Catholicism thrown in (because really Lutheran is just Catholic Lite, sort of the decaf version of the real deal) but neither of us are practicing and both lean toward the Agnostic. That said, muscle memory runs deep and without even realizing it I was singing along with the hymns, mouthing along with the prayers and creeds… and apparently freaking Jason out. Since faith is very important to our friend he actually had a full Lutheran service as part of his wedding ceremony so I knew it was getting close to time for communion and sat there quietly debating with myself if I wanted to go up – did I feel it was appropriate, I didn’t want to be rude, but I also didn’t want to be disrespectful, yada yada yada… The minister had welcomed all, regardless of faith or belief, to share in communion so my concerns of disrespect were alleviated but then the sudden fear of remembering what to say struck me and I had decided I’d just stay put… AND Jason’s exiting the pew with a big old grin. Non-practicing, formerly Mormon, currently Agnostic Jason is walking up to the alter for communion… Um. What?
“Jason, we don’t have to go up for communion. It’s fine to stay seated…” Desperate.
“Are you kidding me?? This may be my only chance to try this!” Sheer excitement.
“Hold your hands out like this, take the wafer, but HOLD ON TO IT, you’ll want to dip it in the wine. If you pop it in your mouth you’ll have to take a sip from the chalice and that’s just kind of gross.” If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
After communion it was the downhill slope. We returned to our seats, I freaked out Jason a bit more with my unintentional chanting and then BAM! Rich and Derek were married and kissing and the whole sanctuary burst into applause and cheers!
Next came the awkward post-ceremony milling around that tends to take place before people slowly realized it was time to go fight for parking places at the reception site, once that realization kicked in we were OFF!
The reception was held in one of those big open spaces that’s part urban industrial and part garden chic. The food was fabulous and the alcohol was free flowing. Ah yes, alcohol. I’d had some wine the week before to celebrate my 40th birthday and realized quickly that the legendary tolerance I’d so carefully crafted over the years had been absolutely demolished during my forced sobriety (you’re welcome Baby Hugh). And here I was at a wedding, with an open bar. Shit.
Speaking of Baby Hugh, the reception is when I realized I was doing the whole “first time away from my baby” all wrong. As I impatiently waited for the bar to open (don’t judge, we’ve all been there at these things) I glanced over and noticed Jason sneakily working away on his phone.
“I waited as long as I could, I just have to check in on how he’s doing.” Anxious.
“Oh. Um. Right. Yeah. Good idea… Um, am I awful that I wasn’t even thinking about it? I mean, let’s face it, your parents know what they’re doing WAY more than we do when we’re there. Like, right now, in theory, he’s better off than he normally is. Right?” Justification.
Just then the bar opened and our attention shifted to lofty heights. Now, obviously Jason was driving because the smell of wine was getting me drunk these days. Shoot, I was probably already working a small buzz from my dip in the Mogan David (communion wine). Fortunately the food was really good so that slowed me down and gave me a solid base. But, I still probably had 3-4 glasses of wine throughout the evening. Okay, fine I also had the champagne toast, but bubbles really rarely count. Until they do.
The couple had gifted all the guests with cute champagne flutes engraved with the couple’s wedding info as a little keepsake. When it was time to leave I made sure to grab my champagne flute… and swing by the bar to fill it up one more time… then turned to Jason and drunkenly exclaimed –
“What? It’s Missouri – open container bitches!!”
And proceeded to bring my fancy little champagne flute, full of champagne, to the car with us. After Jason got me buckled in I found some 80’s tunes on the radio, cranked up the sound, opened the sunroof and began waving my hands in the evening sky while sipping on my champagne and belting out “I come home in the morning light, my mother yells when you gonna live your life right…”
It was 8:45 at night people. EIGHT FORTY FIVE!!! Boobs bursting, cheeks rosy, just drinking champagne and singing along with Cyndi as we rolled home in our nondescript, mid-sized, silver Momzda. Girls really do just wanna have fun.
Awkward Mama Jean