05.24.08

A Wedding For The Ages

Posted in Monthly at 7:56 am by Pasha

She floated down the aisle, flanked by fathers on each side. I watched my sister, only two years my senior, plunge into the rest of her adult life. I wept as she said her vows.

When Paulaya told me she was marrying Steve (ok, I knew it way before—her husband was excited) I was relieved. I do believe that for each person there are only a handful of truly compatible partners. I don’t think that there is a couple that are better for one another.

Their wedding was like a fairy tale; a fairy tale that only happens with hard work and extensive planning. I flew to Buffalo a week ahead of the nuptials to offer inexperienced advice and some help with the more mundane projects. I was soon stuffing favor bags with Scottish biscuits that represented Steve and Honduran coffee for Paulaya’s birth place. The chancy couple ordered their flowers online and commissioned us to sort and strip them. After several hours in the dank basement with my oldest sister, Gleamer, the stalks were barren of thorns and leaves and the cantor lilies were banded together. We claimed the titles of OFG—Original Flower Girls. I think there is still a thorn in my thumb.

Thursday started the real bridal festivities. We celebrated with a Latin-themed Bridal Shower, complete with momma’s burritos and my loaded nachos. Within a few hours there was enough gas in the house to fuel a commercial jet. Paulaya received various cooking apparatus as gifts. I don’t think she will use 90 percent of it to actually cook in her kitchen. But hey, it will be pretty in the cupboards. Although I must say, I thought a kitchen gift shower was a little silly for someone who really does not spend all that much time in the kitchen. If I had to guess, one of her favorite gifts was the sandwich maker. Oh yeah, that’s Paulaya.

The bachalorette party came later that night. We decked Paulaya out in all things phallic and headed to a honky-tonk in downtown Buffalo. After we each took a turn on the bucking bronco, Paulaya took two, we headed to another bar where the bouncer had offered us a bottle of champagne to celebrate. We slugged it down like only mother’s who never have the chance to boogie down do, and hit the dance floor. Level was void of customers, save for the six of us. We tore up the lonely dance floor.

By Friday I was a bit shot. But we all forged on for another wedding celebration. The rehearsal was easy, entailing a rapid, Paulaya-style rundown of the ceremony. The dinner afterwards was relaxed and included the obligatory couples picture slideshow. I cried. I always do.

My eyes sprang open early Saturday morning. We rushed to Paulaya’s to go to the salon for our hair. I brought double-double coffees and bagels from Tim Horton’s—a well deserved nourishment. Several hours and an inexperienced hairdresser attempting to finger-wave my hair later, we were back at wedding central, pulling on our carefully tailored dresses, curling the little girls’ hair, and putting kilts on the Royal Ring bearers of Scotland.

By the time the limo pulled up to bring the bride to her groom it was pouring outside. During the short ride to the ceremony the sun forced its way out of the clouds. We couldn’t help but sing, “going to the hotel and were gonna get ma-a-a-ried!”

When Paulaya started towards her new husband I absolutely lost it. This is one of my best friends, the closest sister I have to me in age. We have lived together and fought over apartments and boyfriends. We have confided to one another on so many issues over so many years. As friends we can’t resist each other. After a fight a few years back, we eventually called each other because we just missed each other so. I will be lonely without her on the rocky single road. But if I had to choose for her, I would have chosen Steve.

During the evening I got to know another part of Paulaya, her foster child, Daryius. For the past five months I learned about him over the phone; how he is oppositional but sweet. I did not know that I could fall for him in just one night. But by late evening he was looking into my eyes and stroking my skin, accepting me as a new auntie figure in his life. Daryius’ personality, a fire and sugar mixture, reminded me of the new Grocott’s. During the reception I absolutely fell for the troubled three-year-old.

We danced into the late night, nobody ready to leave when the DJ stopped at 11 p.m. I whispered to my mother, “I never have as good of a time as I do with my sisters.” I meant it. The night felt so good, the little boy’s in their kilts running madly in circles. The children’s hands inside of the hands of adults, swinging and singing. And my whole precious family, the ones I miss every day of my life, leaning gently on one another in exhaustion.

It was truly a wedding for the ages. The entire affair will always warm my heart and tear my eyes. And they lived happily ever after.