Okay, lets see if I can paint an accurate picture here because gratefully NO digital bits or bytes were expended to cement embarrassing moment #578 for posterity.
The story begins with our family arriving at the reception venue 2 hrs. before the reception was to begin. The wedding ceremony took place at 2:00 and the reception was scheduled to begin at 5:30 so we had time to kill. What's a family to do in a strange town? Well our family likes to make sure they locate the reception landmark and just hang for a while... We're wild and crazy like that. So we walked around the resort and located a room (doors closed) with a sign that read "In Honor Of Jerry & Jessica"... Hey, we just attended a wedding for 'Jerry & Jessica' so this must be THE place. It appeared to be a rather small room but a short distance down the same hall on the other side was a large banquet room where the wait staff appeared to be setting the tables for the next event. In my mind it all became obvious... The first room was where cocktail hour would take place and then we would all be ushered to the larger hall for dinner... I get it, no problem... This is where we show up at 5:30.
Around 3:30 we meet up with some cousins who were staying at the resort. We were starving so we grabbed some snacks at the gas station mini mart located just next to the hotel. We went back to our cousins room and munched away, all the while watching news reports that tornadoes had been spotted in the area and hoped the wedding party didn't choose to have their professional photos taken in the direct path of the nasty weather.
At 5:15 we decide to head down to the lobby. We found the majority of family members had entered the bar just off the lobby and were visiting and sharing drinks. We decide to join them. At that time I made a point to get out my camera and catch a few shots of the family mingling. My kids kept asking me, "When are we going to the reception?" I don't know, I guess when everybody starts moving in that direction. I should note that we walked down the hall earlier and saw a bouncer type waiter standing in front of the 'cocktail hour' room so I figured at that point it wasn't yet time to get the party started.
Seats at the bar had pretty much been taken up everywhere and my legs were getting tired from standing... My kids were continuing to nag me over when we were going to leave the bar. My husband was talking to a relative and I told him we were heading over to the reception. Knowing I would be taking more pictures soon, I left my camera hanging around my neck. I had my purse slung over my shoulder (Have I mentioned before how much I HATE carrying a purse?) and the wedding gift nestled in my left arm. I had forgotten to pack my hairbrush and having spent the ceremony in an un-air-conditioned church, on a day when thunderstorms packing heat and humidity were racing through the area, well, you can just imagine the horror that sat upon my head. I had given my camera case to my son to carry for me and as we walked down the hall to the 'Cocktail Hour' room my son, being oh so gracious and helpful, tossed my camera bag over my head so it strangled my neck and hung down my back. I was not amused, as I was schlepping all the goods and my son and daughter walked blissfully empty handed, swinging there arms to and fro in unencumbered glory. I snapped at my son, gave him a vicious look and fortunately her removed the case from my neck.
We at last approached the 'Cocktail Hour' room and I was perplexed that at 5:30 the door was still closed, I opened it anyway and stepped inside. Holding the door open I looked into the room to see the entire wedding party having a pre-reception gathering with cocktails and drinks. I would later realize this was the room where the wedding party would hang out until they were formally announced at THE RECEPTION HALL.... AFTER the cocktail hour. Did I realize this at the time?... NO, definitely not! Instead, in all my doofus cousin glory, I said something to the effect of, "Is it time for us to be here now?" The entire wedding party looked at me, took in the glory of my idiocy and all gave me a look that said, "What the ____?" I think I heard the bride say something like, "Um, no but...." I couldn't hear it over the sound of the ocean of embarrassment flooding my ears. I turned confused and left the room. I looked at the banquet room across the hall and saw wall to wall people all of whom were quite obviously NOT members of our family (It was a convention for AME Choir Members)... I turned on my heel and headed back to the bar with my kids trying to ask me where do we go? At the far side of the lobby I saw my husband looking confused and saying to me, "Where did you go?" What I couldn't figure out was WHY he wasn't with us? For HE was the one to point out the 'In honor of Jerry & Jessica' room to begin with! Instead he pointed just to the left of the bar to the entrance of a grand hall with a sign at the entrance ramp that said, 'In Honor of Jerry & Jessica - Private Party'... There was a crowd of people gathered around the table at the entrance, all of whom were busy locating their table assignment card. My daughter was in one ear telling me to grab our card, my husband the other telling me to sign the photograph on the easel and all I could focus on was what an idiot I appeared to be to the entire wedding party. I might as well have worn a sign around my neck that said:
"I'm only here for the photos and the food, not only that but I have attention deficit issues and a lousy sense of direction. Please spend the next 20 yrs. of your married life remembering this moment. In fact, recall it as often as you wish, so that you can make one another laugh during moments of boredom or tense situations... And thank you for allowing me this contribution and for asking me to share in your day."
I know, it would need to be a pretty big sign, but fortunately they didn't need it, I allowed them to draw their own conclusions.
With all the noise in my head, the continued sound of the ocean, the questions about table tags and signatures... My husband directing me to put the gift over on that table, my daughter saying, "Wait, we don't know where to sit." My son pointing out the DJ inspired lighting effects... My husband, my son, my daughter.... All talking at once! I just wanted to burst into tears right there, right at that moment. Instead I set my stuff down at our now discovered place setting and said to myself, "Go somewhere quiet and pull yourself together." I announced as everyone continued talking to me, Husband: "What would you like to drink?"
Daughter: "What do you think they have to eat?"
Son: "Did you see those lights?"
I said, "I need to use the rest room."
I went off by myself to the restroom. Found an empty stall and pulled myself together. Surely I made too big a thing out of going to the wrong room. In the hustle and bustle that is part of a wedding day, I doubt my little mistake even registered on their radar... And even if it did, was I going to let it ruin the entire party for me? I stopped shaking, I cleared my head, I went to the sink and put on fresh lipstick and took a look at myself in the mirror... My hair didn't look near as bad as I thought it did, in fact it had kind of that half-sexy mussed look that some women use gobs of hairspray to achieve. I exited the restroom, stopped and signed the photograph, found my seat and informed my husband I'd like a diet-coke... And then I let the party commence and enjoyed myself immensely!
Labels: absurdities, Family, Life