What a great story.
Pierre and Amy got married this weekend.
Chrissy put it best when she said that she loved the fact that she expected the whole weekend to be really fun and exciting and great to see everyone again…. it was all that and more….
She was so right… it’s great to let your mind hype an event up and up and never have to be worried about being let down….. so the months leading up to the wedding were full of bliss and anticipation….
Bliss and anticipation. At 31 years old…when do you get that? When you were younger it was birthdays and Halloween. But the luster wears off after a while. At some point in time, Halloween becomes just candy that you give out. Birthdays are just mortality reminders.
Pierre and Amy’s wedding was to me what Christmas is to 5 year olds. Bliss and anticipation.
I was calling random people in the weeks before the wedding trying to hype it up and build energy. The Thursday before I was calling people and saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” because how often can you tell some people in your life that? There are so many people you would love to say, “I’ll see you tomorrow” to but can’t because it’s just not true. You won’t see them tomorrow. So it’s important to say it while it’s true… or else you’ll miss it…. And just like everything else it will have slipped through your fingers like sand.
Bittersweet. Twilight. Torn. The exact moment when day turns to night and night to day. Moments where intense happiness and sadness, joy and pain co-exist. Each new year brings higher levels in both directions. Being pulled in both directions with new levels of tension forces you to bear down and find your true center. Usually when that happens I’m forced to my knees to pray.
The time came. 4:45am my eyes blinked open. The alarm was set for 5am to get ready to leave to go to the airport to be ready for the 6:50am flight to Laguardia.
The sun would be out soon, but it was rising and setting inside me. Owen was in the crook of my right arm. Isaiah was on my left against the wall. Ethan on the other side of Owen. Sleeping.
We spent the night at Rob and Ellen’s so they could watch the boys on Friday.
It was time to leave the boys.
Again, I was never left alone. My parents never went anywhere without me. So I don’t know how this works really. I got up and paced around a little. Watching them sleep and snore quietly by the glow of the moon and nightlight. So much of me in one little bed. I was broken… torn. I knelt at the bed at their feet, folded my hands. Forehead to my hands to the sheets. Beseeching, imploring, begging, requesting.
Please God… please please take care of them… to be away and something catastrophic to happen while we chose to celebrate a million miles away would be too much to handle. You promised to never give me more than I could handle. Please don’t. Please watch over them. Blanket them. Enclose them. Hold them tight to Your chest when we can’t. Should something happen to us, please please God let them know that they were and are loved. Should something happen to them, hold me up and help me endure that suffering. I couldn’t even finish a Lord’s Prayer correctly because my mind was so anxious in those moments before leaving. Please God, please please please keep them safe.
I converse with my son’s hearts sometimes while they sleep. “Can I come?” whispers Isaiah’s heart to mine. There’s so much implied in that question. There’s so much involved. “Sorry buddy, maybe next time.” My heart whispers in reply. “Why not, daddy?” In these silent conversations I envision the answer being burned onto Isaiah’s heart. I feel the need to speak to a more mature Isaiah. “Isaiah, I love you so much. I have to leave and you have to stay because of many reasons. We need to celebrate the joining of two separate lives into one. Mama and Papa need to unplug, catch our breath, relax and laugh with old friends without worrying about diapers and juice. We can’t afford to bring all of you with us. Logistically, Isaiah, bringing you guys with us would be a nightmare. But mostly buddy, mama and papa need to rest.”
I wish his heart would answer, “Okay, papa, I understand.” But it didn’t.
I kissed their feet and told their hearts that I loved them. I wanted to promise them that mama and papa would be back soon. But I’ve lived long enough to learn that every day promises like that are broken. We live in this world and mama or papa doesn’t always come home when they’re supposed to. The only promise I can make is that no one will ever love you more than mama and papa do.
Good-bye my little sweethearts. My little men.
The part of their hearts that I converse with misses me. The other parts of them are thrilled to be at Noah and Elly’s house. Those parts of them don’t miss me so much. Noah is Isaiah’s best friend and my God son. I would say Elly is probably Ethan’s best friend right now. To me, dropping off your child to spend some time with their best friends, so that you can spend time with some of your best friends, is much more palatable than all the self torturing thoughts I was thinking.
So the sun inside me set and the sun outside was rising, and it was off to the airport in the Outlook. I had finished Twilight. Starting New Moon on the day of Breaking Dawn’s release. Traveling to the city where the author happens to be signing books. Stephanie Meyer. Google her. The media machine is gonna have a field day with her books. Said to be the next Harry Potter. A little teeny bopper for me, but whatever. Point is, I have something fun to read in the airport and on the plane.
When the plane takes off I say prayers. When the plane lands, I was so engrossed with Bella and Edward I was startled to feel the rumble. Sweeeeet. New York. LGA.
I packed: 3 boxers, 3 t-shirts, 2 shorts, suit. No one to impress. This crew loves me as I am.
Went to get the rental car. Made a reservation earlier that week through Hertz with AAA discount. $283 including taxes and fees for 3 days. !!!! That’s so expensive for 3 days! One thing I’ve learned is that a lot of times, it’s not about the cost, it’s about the feeling of getting a deal. I wanted the feeling of getting a deal. So I was emotionally prepared to pay $283 but since we had some time before Tracee landed, let’s call the other rental places. Called AVIS and they said with the AAA discount it would be $240 for 3 days. Woohoo! That’s still a lot of money, but it’s not the cost, it’s the feeling of getting a deal! Yes! Waited until Tracee landed and I wanted to call AVIS again to make the reservation to lock in my $240 deal. When I called, I decided to go into my spiel again… What’s the cheapest I can get a car from now until Sunday. “Well, we just started to run a special, and I can get you it for… $220.”
!!!! Woohoo!!! Double bonus day!!! The feeling of getting an uber deal!! Wheee!!!
White Hyundai Accent. Uberdeal. Let’s be real though, $220 for 3 days, that’s so expensive considering I want to buy a boat for that amount that will last me 30 years. But uberdeal double day feelings were too hard to beat. I was so happy.
When Tracee arrived the weekend officially began. This is what it was all about and what I imagine what we were all so excited for. To see faces we haven’t seen in so long and look at those faces and smile and have them smile back. Kimmie has meant so much to me and my family and to see her happy and with one of her best friends again made me so so happy. I have no comments on how much they email each other.
I am a genius and I printed off directions to and from Laguardia to the Andrews Hotel and to and from JFK to the Andrews Hotel. Kimmie and Tracee were the first to join my soon to be growing posse of people I was honored enough to pick up or drop off at the airport.
We wanted the first thing we did in New York was eat something authentically New York and indigenous to the area. So we did all this research and wanted to try some New York Ice Cream at this cute little New York French Bistro called Baskin Robbins. Pronounced, Baske Rohbaens, emphasis on the ‘baens’. It’s French or Franche if you’re elitist. And we were. It was around lunch time now so I got Pralines and Cream and Kimmie got a bagel and Tracee got Mint Chocolate Chip.
The French bistro was attached to this really sweet Russian/Italian place called Dunkin’ Donuts. Very chic. Nice atmosphere. New York is such a magical place.
It was here I learned that Tracee was Miss Michigan 3rd Runner up some time in her younger days. That explained the paparazzi. We left the quaint patisserie and made for the hotel. It was too early to check in so I asked the dude what there was in Great Neck that we HAD to check out. He said Bruce’s Bakery up the street. The area was about 5 notches up from Birmingham. Really really nice, but not very very expensive. Circling the hotel looking for a parking spot I had already spotted my favorite place in Great Neck.
\gə-ˈzē-(ˌ)bō also -ˈzā-\
: a freestanding roofed structure usually open on the sides
Lined with flags, this model of Americana culture sat invitingly in the park amidst playgrounds, seat benches a mini water park and grass.
My heart was like, “Gazebo! Gazebo! Yaaayyy! Gazebo!”
But since Kimmie and Tracee were there, I was like, “Maybe we can hang over there.”
We chilled at the Gaze Bo and tried to re-enact movies that involved Gaze Bos. Tracee said the Sound of Music earlier and I was like, “yeah, haha” but I really couldn’t picture the scene. But when I walked to the gazebo and sat in the bench, I felt like I was sixteen going on seventeen and all the memories came rushing back of my days as a little girl in Austria, innocent yet fearful of the Auschwitz. We proceeded to do the turn kicks off the benches, you know, the turn kicks that capture the essence of new true secret love when trapped in the rain. Those kicks, except better.
After picking some Edelweiss, talking about a few of our favorite things and strolling around the park we proceeded to check out the shops and make our way to Bruce’s Bakery. Bruce’s Bakery was like we really didn’t know what we were experiencing while we were experiencing it, but we were aware we were in the presence of greatness. You knew the place was great because Bruce has a million pictures of himself handing celebrities their birthday or special event cakes. Many many celebrities. Got the award winning Challah French Toast and a mushroom, sausage, cheddar cheese omelette split between me and Kimmie and Tracee. People should split meals more often. Society here has inflated serving sizes. You’re getting more for your money! Um, no. You’re making me eat too much.
The food was fantastalicious. You know it was on when a waiter dropped off an assortment of square and circle pastries, rolls, and coleslaw before the meal. Who gives pastries out before the meal? Awesome. Bruce, baker to the stars, I applaud you. Tiny golf clap.
By this time we could check into our room.
“We upgraded your room for free.”
Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Welcome to Triple Super Uber Awesome Savings and Deals Days here in New York City!!! Where the Mike’s Hard Lemonade flows like So Co and lime, the rates get lower on rental cars every time you call back, and rooms upgraded for free because we feel like it!!!
Room 301. Not the sleep room.
Kimmie and Tracee went to get their mani-pedis. I had just enough time to enjoy the A/C and relax a bit on the couch before driving to JFK to pick up Chrissy and Jon G. Members 3 and 4 of my posse. I LOVE picking up and dropping off people from the airport. I love the excitement of seeing someone I haven’t seen in a while and how happy they are to be picked up thus marking the end of their airport experience for the time being and beginning of awesome time. I learned that Chrissy is looking fabulous despite a broken knee that she MUST stay off of because not playing outside in California should be a federal offense punishable by caning. She has to be fully healthy before she can play so she can play forever and ever. Jon G is a balling architect that is kicking butt in SF but is thinking about NY. Man I love these two. So chilled, so laid back, so good to go. Mission See Everyone is slowly being accomplished.
Amit and Alison arrive at the Hotel. More feel good feelings of feelings of joy. Room 215.
5:30pm Jon Yang arrives at JFK. I was debating on letting him cab it, but when I heard his voice I had to go get him. Jon G navigated. Time with this heavy thinker in a car is like gold to me. I would pay tons of money to talk with Jon and a few other people in a confined space. I wasn’t gonna let this opportunity pass. This was why I came. Back to JFK. Member 5 of the posse. Jon Yang and his life partner James Wang recently bought matching luggage. They’re really pretty. I love talking basketball with Jon Yang. We both know it’s just basketball. But we also know it’s so much more than basketball. Basketball can shape individual hearts and entire countries.
At this point, one of my worst fears for the weekend had already begun to manifest. Fracture. The A-Listers were in the city and trying to get together for dinner. Lynn, Palak, Jill, Steve, Sam, Dann, etc. You know, the REALLY good looking people. The people who make you wonder why you’re writing long blogs instead of working out or eating some green vegetable.
Hmmm…. A-Listers in the city or Panchos The Best TexMex since 1991.
I mean, there’s a reason I’m a C-Lister and it probably has a lot to with beef enchiladas.
I’m sure there was slight FOMO for all parties involved. But Panchos was the venue for the first group culinary culmination in my microcosm and it would more than suffice.
We talked about best friends and the definition of a best friend. We talked about some people’s need to define a person as a best friend and other people’s need to not. We discussed the dangers of labeling friends as “best” because of how emotionally vulnerable that leaves you. I loved it because I love best friends. You can tell so much of a person by their best friends in each stage of their life. But there are those who would rather not label friends as their best friends. I loved that too because it makes me try to think of different vocabulary and language to try and understand those people also. If you can tell a lot about a person from their best friend, yet they choose to not label anyone as their best friend, how can you learn as much about that person as you would if you knew who that person’s best friend was? If you can tell a lot about a person by where they live, but they don’t have a place they call home, how can you learn as much about that person as if you did lie on their bed and experience their home? How can you learn more, how can you connect more, how can you share more in less familiar circumstances? Is it really good to keep everyone at arms length because you choose to not be that vulnerable?
I put Jon G on blast to share with the group about his speed dating experiences because I’m so so curious about that whole phenomenon.
I split nachos with Tracee and beef enchiladas with Jon Yang. How is it that Jon eats just one meal a day? I think it’s genius if your body can do it. During the week I try and get by on like… 1700 calories a day….pump it to about 2400 on the weekends to keep the metabolism high….
I’m seeing all these parallels between Edward Cullen and Jon Yang. Noticed it all weekend. Devastatingly beautiful. Wise beyond his years. No need to eat food. No need to sleep at night. Unnatural interest in 16-17 year old girl’s lives.
I love all the new questions that old friends bring up without even trying. It’s like your mind gets in this rut, pondering the same things for so long… and friends you haven’t seen in a while are the perfect vehicle for drifting into new areas of thought again.
That’s the greatest part about getting together and breaking bread together. Or in this case crunching tortillas together.
We lingered and the time came to pick up Annalisa and Babbs. Right then, Kyle showed up like the baller he is. So tough, so cool, but just the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He even offered to pick up them up from the airport because I must be tired. But I love picking people up from the airport… so I shot over to LaGuardia. On the way, Babbs tells me he’s stuck in Detroit. HUGE disappointment. I was so looking forward to picking up Babbs.
Annalisa got stuck next to big smelly I-don’t-know-what-personal-space-is guy. Annalisa really cannot handle that guy. But… her amazingly inspiring experience that she had at the American Cancer Society National Conference couldn’t keep her down. I LOVE when she’s inspired and excited about the people in her management that are striving so hard to find a cure for cancer. When was the last time you were inspired by and excited about your upper management? I love when she talks about great and moving experiences at work.
When we got back, I think Martin and Aileen were waiting for us. Aileen is beautifully 5 months pregnant with Alaya Hope Bruce. Martin pulled out this scrapbook and I think officially became the first guy I know to scrapbook. I REALLY wish I had that in me. The most I can do is take pictures with my Canon SD1000. He’s saving the ultrasounds and writing by hand in the captions. It is so awesome. They are such a beautiful couple and I am so excited for their baby to be here so I can hug and kiss her. Martin is so great about asking for advice for the weeks and months and years ahead. With all that Annalisa and I have learned about caring for babies, we are more than happy to dish out advice and opinions. Seeing Martin again was like another puzzle piece of my heart clicking into place for the weekend. I love where he’s at right now. 5 months pregnant with your first is no joke. Very intense time. Worried about exposure to smoke, hypersensitive to your wife’s needs, but still not wanting to sacrifice all that you are. I love that he’s in it because it’s another guy friend that understands that point in life. Annalisa and I kind of got into all that stuff earlier than our friends, so it’s great to be there for them now that they’re in it.
When Annalisa got to spend some real time with Chrissy my heart felt so full. She’s wanted that for so long and she really really misses her best friend. All of that plays such an important role in my life because if mama isn’t happy, nobody can truly be happy. So I loved that Annalisa and Chrissy got to spend so much time together this weekend. Breakfasts, pedicures, sleeping, dancing, pizza in the rain, all that.
Finally, maybe around 11:30pm Babbs called and arrived in Laguardia… oh yeah baby.. more quality time in confined spaces with juggerthoughts Babbs, Jon Yang, and Jon G…. that’s what it’s all about….. We jumped a little deeper into the best friend discussion and somehow, I think probably from Jon Yang coaxing, he got me talking in a different direction. I voiced my desire to talk about deeper things with this particular group of friends. I told him I kind of wanted to get into religion and politics. I wanted to talk about McCain and Obama, and abortion, and gay marriage. Jon Yang was all for it and Jon G voiced all the concerns my heart already had with such a discussion in these types of settings. It could blow everything up. People could leave the conversation emotionally charged and angry at other people’s mindsets. Before where there was gray area that we could all wade in and enjoy, those waters would be more distinctly black and white. Once there stood a person who you had the utmost respect for and now you only see another radical pro-lifer or choicer. Do we really want to risk that? Do we really want to risk all the love that pervades and permeates the group dynamic now? The line is precarious. It could all come crashing. Why then? Why risk?
Significant reward. For me at least. I have a Bible Study that I discuss these issues with but since we’re all studying the same things and trying to stay aware of what the Catholic Church is teaching, the all too important counterpoint is missing. The genuine and real other side of the story. The different vocabulary. The challenge. The deep and personal challenge that I may be living my life incorrectly and that maybe I should rethink my stance and that maybe I should change my ways. It’s that challenge I crave sometimes, not because I doubt my positions, but rather to see how strong my convictions are. The whole process in my opinion leads to more strength. Possibly and probably more breakdowns, but eventually more strength. That’s why I would risk. But it is a very significant risk.
I guess what I’m saying is that if we can’t talk about this stuff with our friends without all of it blowing up then I’m worried that the only people talking about it are the politicians…. And I trust their circle of friends far less than I trust mine. Potentially, we have an absolutely dominant think tank on our hands here. If we do, I want to tap into it. If we don’t, it’s scary to think about the love lost along the way.
Emotion is the key in these discourses. Too emotional and things break down. Not enough emotion and you may come off as not caring. Being in perpetual search of my emotional center is kind of what I’ve unwittingly subscribed to as a parent. So, rocking the boat on the water is not as difficult as it was when I was younger.
That’s what Babbs was getting into when he got in the car. Talking about talking. Conversing about conversations to come.
For some reason everyone loves Babbs. I don’t know anyone that thinks he’s a dick. He’s got such an incredibly sensitive soul. He makes himself completely vulnerable. That’s why I think the lows are so low with him and the highs so high. He’s one of my favorite people because he can disarm with his smile and his words. He listens and challenges and questions. He creates words that mesh into meaning on the fly. He weaves together past and present in stories that amuse and captivate. He’s probably one of the most likeable people I’ve ever met. And if you’re a pretty girl, he’s got you without even trying. I imagine girls imagine what it would be like to be with Babbs. I imagine my sweet jumper floating over his outstretched arm and anguished face hitting nothing but net. That to me is sexy.
So Babbs rounded out my posse for Friday. 4 perfectly wonderful runs to the airport. 2 to LGA. 2 to JFK. 4 times I got to see faces relieved and happy to see me. I live for it.
Everyone just wanted to see everyone. That’s all that they wanted. “What did you want to do this weekend?”…. “I just wanted to see everyone.” That’s it. That’s all we did then. We sat around the chill room and munched on pizza and laughed. I realized one of my goals for the weekend was to get to know Alison better. She was the youngest in the room and not affected by it at all. She’s half Columbian half Haitian and her parents had the same worries about her having an accent growing up as mine did. Apparently she has a beautiful singing voice, but I can attest that she has a beautiful conversational voice. Breathy yet light. She has to be careful in the non-profit world. It can be so difficult. Apparently upon meeting Amit for the first time, he communicated in a post script that they would be best friends. Yet he failed to mention to her that he used to clog. So their relationship thus far has basically been one big lie. Complicated, I know. This is also what I came for. This is also what I wanted and want more of as I sit in my cube.
After cuddling with Amit and Babbs under the covers a bit. They eventually left like the whores they are and I got to sleep next to my wife on the fold out bed.
Sleep. There are so many processes in your head that let you be aware of what needs to be done. At home, if one of the boys wakes up with a virus, I know which ER to bring them to and how long it takes to get there. In New York, that process is running but I don’t need it to because there is nothing I could do about it. So I shut it off. Multiplied by the hundred processes necessary to maintain three boys, and you’ve got something not dissimilar from a re-boot.
Oh, thank you PZ. Thank you Amy. Thank you for loving each other so much that Annalisa and I might get a chance to re-boot. Start, log-off, re-boot. Sleep.
Free continental breakfast. I’m all about ‘em. Kimmie woke up first. Tracee shared a ridiculous dream about her hairdryer breaking. Annalisa ridiculously told her not to worry because she brought hers. It was a dream, come on, that’s ridiculous. That’s what I woke up to.
I had to run. That’s what my body is used to doing. I love running in new surroundings and my body wants to anyways, so I ran. I asked a native where to run and he told me where another park was. I discovered another gaze-bo and a beautifully manicured baseball field. I had visions of playing kickball with my homeys. On a wonderfully muggy New York day, I ran about 3-4 miles.
This is it. The big day. The weather was nice but it started to drizzle during breakfast. I heard it might be an outdoor wedding…. Usually when I hear that, it’s usually not an outdoor wedding. So rain wouldn’t matter either way. There was all this debate over when the people dancing should practice. Things officially got crazy when Palak, Rudhir, Sam, Jill, Adarsh, Thripa?, and Thyda showed up. Yes…. More and more…. Rudhir helped me figure out what I should do about the boy’s childhood education when he should have been napping… Maybe I will go with the Michigan Education Trust and just take out a loan to pay for the boy’s 8 semesters. Got Soul? Snuck away to practice in a parking structure with the radio blaring. Love it.
Annalisa and Chrissy left to get pizzas and then…. Down pour… Monsoon style. I forgot to feed the meter after my run that morning so I got a parking ticket. That’s how I knew I was with Ann Arbor people. Went to get the girls and pizza. We feasted. Pizza was such a good call.
Suj and Stella showed in time for pizza. My goodness these two looked fabulous. Suj, I believe is a lawyer and Stella plastic surgeon. What? I instantly wondered what part of me I could enhance. Maybe better pecs like Suj.
As people got ready, I got a chance to take a picture with Sam. He was wearing a black tuxedo with the white tuxedo shirt untucked. That along with his mane and polka dot bow tie and green watch made him look so cool. Me? Gray suit, shaved head, blue shirt tucked in, yellow tie. Booooooring. He’s bringing sexy back and I’m setting sexy back about 50 years.
I guess while we’re on the self-conscious self bashing comparing myself to other people train, what’s up with Dann Lee? “Hey Dann, what’s up? I’m gonna go lift something heavy multiple times. Maybe a bushel of corn or a Volkswagen. How many times? Oh, I’m thinking 43 sets of 30 might get me to where you’re at.” He could be so mean and intimidating if he wanted to be, but he’s not, he’s kind and unassuming. It’d be easier to hate him if he was just meaner. But he’s not, so I love him. I just hate me and my flab.
The whole weekend was a testament to Amy’s genius. There’s no way that PZ could have been this smart. Shuttles to the ceremony/reception was perfect. People could imbibe as they pleased and not have to worry. I sat in the back of the bus with the other troublemaker kids. Called Lynn to see if Ed was going to make it. Her, Leslie, and Sharon were on their way, but Ed was hurting in Chicago.
The venue was amazing. Stone mansion like structure with deep brown wood floors and trim.
When I stepped outside to the back of the mansion, I discovered the extent to which an absolute crisis was averted. There were rows and rows of the beautiful white wooden chairs you see in movies facing a white arch laced with purple flowers and green vine. Under the white arch were the unity candles and a table. Through the arch you saw a beautiful field, past the field was a lake, past the lake was forest. THIS is what Pierre and Amy envisioned when they chose this place. This is what the monsoon a few hours earlier threatened to take away. Now knowing that this could all have not been here made the place immeasurably more magical.
Scott, Ant, JB, Shao, Poon, Jason Lee… pimped out and ready to go. Pierre and Amy rolling like thirty deep now. Their love reaching across space and time to reconnect smiles and lives. Looking around the room I didn’t know who to talk to because I wanted to talk to them all. Learn everything. Calm down. Just enjoy.
When we were called to go outside again and sit, I wanted front row seats. I really wanted to be there. Right in the mix, watching it all go down.
Leslie, Lynn, and Sharon arrived all looking amazing. Leslie has the sweetest and most caring heart. Lynn is hands down one of my best friends. Sharon I love to pieces even more now that I heard she helped Lynn try to choose wedding dresses. Lynn should be picking dresses with her best friend Connie and when that is difficult because they never see each other, I worry that my friend Lynn won’t have anyone to pick dresses with. Every girl should have girlfriends to pick wedding dresses with.
Then the most soothing honey dipped voice came through the speakers encouraging us to sit so the ceremony could begin. The officiant was this beautiful actress like lady that I swear could have been one of those models at the auto shows expertly telling you about all the new features of the BMW 7 series. She was graceful and practiced and warm. She comforted you with her smile, gaze and her maternal aura. She could casually tell you to jump off a cliff and you’d consider it because it sounded so nice when she said it.
There are very very few like Pierre. He’s concerned and caring and motivated. Armed with a great sense of humor and a laid back nature, it’s fair to say that everyone loves hanging with him. Throw in the fact that he’s a goof in front of a video camera, is an extremely hard worker, and arguably one of the top 3 dancers ever to come through FunKtion, and you’ve got a guy that can literally rock worlds. The combined caliber of the people who attended the wedding in my opinion is one of the greatest testaments to who Pierre is. He moves people. He moved me.
The little hug he gave his dad before walking down the rows of white chairs started me off. You could tell he’s a kid that dared to dream, and in the midst of the dream coming true, he was emotional. If it were easy I don’t think he would have shed a tear. But I know the stress and joy of a wedding. I know the love and sacrifice. Let the man be emotional.
But come on, pull yourself together man.
I loved it. His eyes were red and puffy when Amy descended from whatever cloud she was on to grace us with her smile. My goodness she was stunning. She was stunning on the wedding window website. She was stunning in the picture when you first walked into the mansion. She was stunning as she walked toward Pierre now. I told Amy Kuo later what I thought of Amy Wang’s beauty and she said she thinks it’s because her internal beauty matches perfectly with her external features, and that’s why she has that extra something people can’t put their fingers on. I think I completely agree. I went back to look at the picture of Pierre and Amy at the front of the mansion and I thought, “Dang dude, I love you man, but I have no idea how you got a girl as gorgeous as that.”
When the velvet voice returned she shared personal stories about Amy and Pierre, one of the comments she made stood out in my mind... it was the one about how Pierre never asked her to be someone she wasn't... He accepted her for who she was and never asked her to change her beliefs... These comments were so significant to me because of their history, why they broke up in the first place, and the hurdles they've overcome so far just to get to the point where they were now. I think Amy was wiping away his tears now or picking some dust off of his forehead. Man, she was a rock.
The exchanging of vows is always a big deal to me at weddings. Forever and ever and ever... no matter what.... that's essentially what they're saying. I love that part of the wedding because it makes me remember my vows, and all my promises to Annalisa. I squeeze her hand and think I'm gonna take care of her forever and ever no matter what.
The whole ceremony was classic movie worthy. The rain earlier really cooled the whole thing to a manageable warmth and humidity.
It should be noted that the best man did a great job of keeping the bored ring bearer in check and Amy Kuo and Steve also did a good job not crying. Now that I think about it, Steve did a great job all weekend. He is a perfect groomsman because he's so willing and incredibly able. Sometimes you got dudes that want to help, but just are good at it...Sometimes no one really wants to help... Steve was a great groomsman in my opinion.
When they walked back down the aisle as man and wife I was so happy for them and so excited for the rest of the night. Everyone was pretty much giddy at this point. Soaking in the moment and the sun, I moved inside to case the place again.
Yummy cheese noodles... probably tortellini was served... I was in line when Steve came to me with that look... I can never turn down friends when they got that look.... I don't know if it was genuine or not, but it looked like he needed me. In the end, he really didn't need me, it's just that he really wanted Annalisa and I to be part of the dance no matter how small the role, so he etched out a tiny little place for us. One that we could handle, and he knew it. So even though I told myself I wasn't going to dance no matter what because I didn't have the energy or time to commit to it, there I was, practicing a routine I hadn't practiced for about 6 years... I was so glad to have a tiny little part though because I loved seeing everyone slightly nervous. I love the feeling of being nervous and seeing grown professionals clearly nervous also. some six figure freaks that command board rooms are worried again about 8 counts.... amazing all the aspects of dance physically and mentally... There in a small alcove in a corner tucked away on the outside of the mansion, we did what we did so many times over in college. Sweated and crammed and got silly and serious before a big gig. At one point, Aileen asked me, "Is this how it was in college?" At that point in time, Shao was practicing with a drink in his hand while Jason and Dann were smoking while rehearsing. I said, "Yeah, but in college we didn't smoke and drink as much during practice." When these Koreans get together they are freaking hilarious. They drink so much and play off of each other so much, it's a great energy and so fun to be around. It was really amazing to see all these pretty girls dancing again also. Their collective beauty was really breathtaking. A sight to behold. I got a chance to catch up with Rollen also... he's working for a defense department... if his missile bay doors don't open... then the missiles can't fire.... oh my goodness he has an important job....
Dinner. Dinner was a riot. People could literally not stay seated. Pierre and Amy had us next to the music. Our crew took up at least 4 tables.... that's 40 deep at least. It was raucous. Wilson Phillips Hold On drew swaying and eyes squeezed tight with clenched fists and loud singing... Firehouse To Be With You did the same... Every time a Backstreet boy or NSYNC song came on I could see Stella, Scott, Steve, and Ant mouthing all the words at the next table along with Chrissy, Leslie, and Sharon 2 tables over... Multiple trips to the bar for my weak Peach Schnapps and sour mix drinks... except when the Koreans got ahold of me... then it was shots of SoCo and lime... Shao asked me if I wanted a drink, we walked to the bar, and all of a sudden we were knee deep in a conversation involving career, spirituality, and family. I loved it. Shao was loving the whole evening and the whole evening was loving Shao. I am so blessed to have him share his story with me and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him. It's hilarious that he's a successful 25 year old professional and Sam can make him feel like a 17 year old freshman again. One day I think he might go postal on Sam though. "I'm a grown ass man!!"
There were sooo many good songs being played at dinner. My tenderloin was good, Annalisa's bass was better, but Kimmie's duck was best I think. I like when JB fed Shao.
The energy at our tables was tangible and everyone just seemed to be so happy. Multiple toasts and lots of hugs and loud singing.
I was so curious about the dresses and the ladies did not let down. The polls were open and the dresses were beautiful. Jasmine and Sharon jumped out to an early lead with Jill close on their heels. Jasmine’s was this blue and gold swirly thingy with these two handle thingys in the back. Sharon’s was this simple deep blue with flowers on the bottom thingy. Jill’s was dark chocolate brown with this center sparkle thingy. Adarsh’s girlfriend, Thripa?, won best accessory with this large circle red characters emblem thingy.
The best man and maid of honor speeches were fantastic.
“I’m a snowflake.” Wow. I got no words.
Drunken uninvited speeches. I think these speeches have to be my favorite. I love it when Amit tells the old stories about how he founded FunKtion and 2XS by himself. They just bring back great memories of when I could be in the same room as him. Haha…. He was so worried he said stuff that made him sound like he started the groups himself. I personally didn’t hear him say anything like that. But clearly he was self conscious and drunk, so why not feed his fears? Drunken uninvited speeches though. I like.
I was hyper aware of the time slipping away all night. I would have love to press pause on that dinner. But it eventually finished and we were invited to move to the dance floor. Annalisa got emotional during the father daughter dance, and when she cries about stuff like that, it always sets me off too.
Rudhir and Palak’s vibe all night was pretty great to be around. You can kind of tell how into each other they are. Palak looked so happy and comfortable. Same with Rudhir. He was just the coolest guy in college and he still is. The fact that he seems to care for Palak and makes her so happy makes him that much more awesome. However, the Michigan Movement took a huge blow when Palak informed me that she had given up on Michigan. She couldn’t find a job there and moved to DC. I felt a deep sense of loss and exasperation when I heard the cause had lost Palak. I soldier on alone. Move to Michigan.
“By God, there’ll be dancing.”
Dancing. Gyrating. Shaking. Shimmying. Freestyle. Choreographed.
These are just a few of the words that describe what bound us all together in the first place. I believe that when two people engage in intercourse, parts of their souls are bound forever. That explains the intangible link that people feel with someone they’ve been intimate with before. Even though there’s no reason that many years later they should feel anything. There is no reason why I should feel drawn or close to these people anymore. I haven’t seen them in so long, and there is so much of each other’s lives that we’ve missed and were not apart of. But something happened a long time ago…. And we’re all bound.
Pierre’s Friends danced the crap out of a routine that spanned the ages. People were going all out. These are awesome gigs because there really is no chance of failure. You just dance your ass off, everyone screams for you because they love you regardless. You can’t lose really. I’m still so good at cheering for people when they dance. It’s a gift I think. I just love cheering for people when they’ve got their silly face or hard face of sexy sexy face on and banging out moves.
I know that Pierre and Amy appreciated it, and it was a great gift to get. I would give tons of props to Steve and Sam. They are really born leaders. I would follow them anywhere really.
Annalisa drank with peeps. I drank with peeps. I requested DeBarge and Cherry Wine. He played them. I don’t know who requested Let’s Hear it for the Boy, but damn that was a good call. During sexy sexy dance and grind time, I had to cool off, because the last few times I felt sexy I kept having kids and that’s getting kind of expensive.
There are really no amount of paragraphs that can capture how fun it is to dance with these guys. They are just so hilarious and silly and in touch with the music. Truly nothing could faze us. We were invincible again. Young.
As the night came to a close Martin and Aileen saved a wonderful surprise for me and Annalisa. They shared with us that we would be Ninong and Ninang to Alaya Hope Bruce. Oh my goodness. Annalisa started to cry, I lost it again. We were so happy and proud. We’re going to California for the baptism! I can’t wait to meet Alaya. I want to hug and kiss her and sing songs to her telling her how much Jesus loves her.
The time came to go home and I was seriously thinking about leading a coup on the DJ. Forcing the DJ to play music until we all passed out on the dance floor sounded so right to me. It was clearly our destiny to dance into oblivion. But the shuttles were leaving.
Kaking Lai. Jullo. Ba. Halekana. I forget the Korean one. Figures, the Koreans weren’t listening anyways.
But it was time to go back to the Andrews.
On the way back, I lamented with the driver about Kwame Brown going to Detroit. We stopped for alcohol and I bought 2 40’s of the good stuff. MHL.
Ed was in the lobby when we got back. Here’s why Ed is awesome. He just had the crappiest day, he missed the whole wedding, and didn’t get to spend any time with Lynn. It was perfectly within his right to act all bitter and bitchy. But he didn’t. He was cool, relaxed, sleepy but kind. Ed is awesome. I love how much he loves Lynn and I love that she’s happy.
Little by little people started falling asleep. We tried to play games but I think everyone was just tired. Ant was sawing logs and it was getting serious. So Jason and Poon asked, “Why so serious?” in their own special way.
It was late but I had some energy so I tried to make a push to the Gaze-bo. Babbs was going to come but he relieved himself in Amit’s room instead. Me, Amit, Jon Yang, Daniels, and Kangs went to the gaze-bo. I sang Part of Your World with Amit, Jon, and Daniels.
Sleep. Art Fair. Bruce’s Bakery. Gaze-Bo. Sam’s. Sam’s Helmet. Sam’s Scooter. Habana. Babb’s relieving revelation. “She told him to.” Spirit Airlines are poopy.
My goodness I had such a wonderful time. I feel a slight melancholy now that it’s over and it’s interesting to me that it took just about as long to write this blog as it took to experience the experiences. But anytime I’m inspired to write anything must be pounced upon. I have a serious FOMO when it comes to that. Again, I can really only attribute all that inspiration to the love between Pierre and Amy. I love to think that none of this weekend would have happened if they didn’t love each other so much. How can love between two people move so significantly so many others?
That’s love I guess.
That’s Pierre. That’s Amy.