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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Katie's wedding

I flew out of Baltimore/Washington International Airport at 5:30 AM, landed in Charlotte NC, 1 hour layover, landed in Kansas City International Airport. When I landed, I met Dorothy and Wesley who took me to Katie's house, where I met Katie's parents, siblings, fiancee, Sarah A., and Beth E. It felt like a lot of them were sizing me up. I hope that it's not the case, but it felt like I received an extra dose of suspicion from the groom. I can understand why, if it was the case: he had heard about this "Anthony" character who Katie had spoken about, but had never met him. Was I there to steal her from him? Was I going to mess things up? Was I just a normal guy who was only there to see them wed? I guess it's a fairly reasonable thing to wonder. Hopefully, I'm just being overly-suspicious about our introduction...

In any case, everyone continued going about their business. Beth and Sarah took off, the rest of the family went about their business, and soon it was Katie, Wesley, Dorothy, and myself. I felt a little more comfortable, since I was with fewer people whom I didn't know. I asked how I could help out, and I began assisting with wrapping the presents for the bridal party. There wasn't much else I could do. The rest of it involved dresses for the wedding, and if these dresses were going to live to see the next day, I couldn't touch them. Iron burns and other forms total ruin awaited them if I were to even look at them...

That evening, we went to the church. It was at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, IA -- a very nice church, nice and large. I walked around and found where Our Lord was kept, although it took a while...

The rehearsal went well, at least from my perspective. Everything went smoothly, and Matt and Katie learned how to get married. It's usually a good idea when two people are faced with the fact of marrying each other on the next day.

Beth and I discussed the music for the wedding. Katie had sent us both Charles Gounod's Ave Maria and C├ęsar Franck's Panis Angelicus. I had reviewed and practiced both of them, but I did not have a high enough voice to do that Ave Maria well. Essentially, I would only be singing the Panis Angelicus. I offered to get a harmony for it, so I went online that night and found one.

The rehearsal dinner was good, and when we left it was about -2 degrees. When I left BWI at 5:30 that morning, it was about 40 degrees. This was ridiculous.

Late that evening, Katie and Beth were discussing music for her wedding. I sat in and listened, but didn't really contribute much. I was more of a backup singer than anything, so I didn't really need to say anything.

The next morning, I got up, had breakfast, and went to the church with the family. While at the church, I said some prayers, and I was then summoned up to practice with Beth and the pianist. The Mass that Katie wanted was Mass XII, Pater Cuncta. I've never actually heard it, but it was very simple, and quite nice.

Mass went very well, or at least I thought it did. If Katie and/or Beth read this, I'm sure that they'll have their own things to say. Beth was freaking out about not sounding good, but I assure you, she sounded quite good. Katie looked like she was freaking out on the altar. During the readings, it looked like she was bracing herself to jump up and take care of any problems. I tried not to laugh, and I mostly succeeded. I couldn't help but grin at Katie and mouth the words, "Calm down." I think that I would have had to try to cover up a laugh if I hadn't.

After Mass came the reception. We drove a few miles to the reception location, and I found my table. I was half-worried that I wouldn't find it, but it always happens when I go to a reception. In any case, I found my table, and I found that I was the only Christendom person at the table -- in the entire room -- heck, the entire weekend.

The reception and the dinner was very nice. The food was great, and the music was loads of fun. The music opened with Frank Sinatra, continued with Kenny G, and the evening kept picking up to all sorts of dance numbers, ranging everywhere from Michael Jackson, to Glenn Miller, to Vanilla Ice. It was pretty wild.

When Katie and Matt came into the room, everyone began dinging glasses. Shortly after this, the DJ announced that the bride and groom would not kiss just for glass clinking. If you wanted to see them kiss, you had to get up and sing a song. I was extremely nervous about doing it, and I certainly did not want to be the first person up. However, after about half-an-hour to forty-five minutes, no one has sung anything, which meant that there had been practically no kissing. Considering this, it made for a somewhat disappointing wedding reception, from my humble opinion. I had to rectify the situation. So, I made up my mind to sing Shipoopi from the Music Man, convinced myself that it was a good idea, and then got up and did it. Well, only one verse and the refrain, but hey, it was good enough. Besides that, I was nervous as all heck. I did get to see a good kiss, though, so I was happy...

Following that, I went up and chatted with the bride and groom for a few seconds. The rest of the evening was spent listening to fun music, doing a little bit of dancing (the dollar dance, the train, and the chicken dance) and other such stuff. I didn't do any freestyling, or swing, or anything else. This was part of the beginning of my resolution to learn how to dance.

On the other hand, I got through a few questions of the Summa Theologica. Why would I be reading the Summa at a wedding reception? I don't know. Call me a reclusive jerk if you will, but it was entertaining for me. When I wasn't reading, I got to see some fun dancing. it only furthered my resolve to learn how to do it.

The next morning, I went to Mass with Katie's mother and siblings. After Mass, I had a rather large breakfast, said my goodbyes, and Dorothy and Wesley picked me up and drove me back to the airport. In the airport, I read more of the Summa, and even called Ken to ask him some questions about it.

I landed at BWI and was back at my apartment by about midnight. Am I ready to go to back to work? Not really...
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