Carried Away (A Wedding Story), Part 1

At my wedding reception, I was surprised when a group of ninjas appeared and lifted me off of the ground.  I’m not even exaggerating; that actually happened.  As it turns out, ninjas really do attack in unexpected places at unexpected times.  Clearly, my wedding reception was an exciting affair, even more than my wife had wanted, which is saying quite a bit.

She comes from a robust line of veteran celebrators.  They plan extravagant parties for each other’s special occasions, and because there are so many people in my wife’s family, they get a lot of practice.  My family, on the other hand, tends toward more modest gatherings. Our party plans mostly involve remembering who agreed to get what from the grocery store.  Naturally, I thought my wife’s plans were a bit intimidating when we first discussed them, in the way that a forest fire might be cozy.  I should have trusted her family’s experience, though. The reception was generally wonderful with only a few small hiccups, none of which was either family’s fault.

We usually blame the deejay, although we laugh when we remember it so we’re obviously not upset.  He was very enthusiastic about his job, and he successfully kept the party energy flowing.  We only question some of his methods.  For example, if I had been the deejay and someone had told me that certain family members didn’t want to dance, I probably wouldn’t have used the public address system to call them to the dance floor three minutes later.  (In all fairness he might have misheard me, or maybe he thought he’d help them face their fears, including perhaps their fear of public humiliation.)

Had I been the deejay, I also most likely wouldn’t have chosen to play such an impressive selection of early rock-n-roll songs about unfaithful women.  While they weren’t the most inappropriate songs I’ve heard at a wedding–I went to one wedding that featured Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody rather prominently, because there’s no better congratulatory sentiment than “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me”–they did inspire a couple of people to ask if the deejay was trying to give ideas to my new bride.  (To be fair again, all of the songs had cheery tunes and were good for dancing.  It’s not his fault that people in the 1950s and 60s danced to misogyny.)

Finally, had I been the deejay, I certainly wouldn’t have tried to make the cake cutting anything more than the cutting of cake.  What our deejay did instead is a bit too graphic for me to describe, which was entirely the problem at the time as well: it was too graphic.  Somehow he tried to weave baseball and cake together into an excuse for public impropriety.  It was an awkward time.  Oddly, in retrospect I mostly wonder how baseball got involved.

Either way, had we televised the whole reception, it could have become a sitcom legend.

I suppose that at the time it was more stressful for my wife than for me.  I spent the entire afternoon on a happy cloud of newly-wedded bliss.  Someone could have told me to do any number of unpleasant or ridiculous things–hop around like a rabbit, run for public office, stay at a wedding reception for five hours–and I would have merrily done them without asking too many questions.

Thus the ninjas merely surprised me, rather than alarming me, terrifying me, or causing me to wonder how I ended up in a movie. (Followed shortly thereafter by wondering if I were enough of a major character to survive the stylish martial arts fight in which I was about to be involved.)

For more on that story though, stay tuned for Part 2, during which there is actually some concern about decapitation, although not at the hands of the ninjas.  Ironically, people thought the bridesmaids might be responsible for it.


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