Wedding Bell Boots

There ain’t nothin’ in the world like a Texas wedding.

I went to my friend Elisa’s wedding in Dallas this past weekend, and I had a fantastic time.

It was incredibly weird watching one of my best friends from college get married at the ripe old age of 22, but since a large number of her friends from Texas were either already married, engaged, or thinking about getting engaged, it wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary for there.

I, of course, am freaked out by the prospect of a commitment any longer than the three hours it takes to watch my favorite movie (The Great Escape), especially after I thought I was and that kind of blew up in my face.

I dealt with the prospect of a Texas wedding one of the few ways possible: I bought cowboy boots. I’ve always wanted them, and I figured a wedding in Dallas was as good an excuse as any to actually go out and purchase them.

And if you’re looking to purchase western wear in Chicago, I heartily recommend Alcala’s, the place I got ’em. The service is great and the prices are excellent. My boots were both good and relatively inexpensive, and they stretched the boots a lot more than I thought possible so they actually fit, which was very cool.

Anyway, back to my original point, though there will be tangents. Dear lord, there will be tangents. Anyway, it was a little bit easier for me to accept the prospect of someone my age getting married when I considered that Elisa and Ray (he of the tractor pulling team) had been dating for six years.

I can’t even conceive of holding down a job for six months, let alone seeing someone for six years. So the fact that ok, at this point, you more than likely know or you don’t know, made it quite a bit easier to swallow.

The other thing was how happy they both looked. I don’t think Elisa’s face was big enough to contain the grin she was wearing, and her dress was absolutely stunning. As per the highest complement in Four Weddings and a Funeral, not a meringue in sight.

It was great to see them get married, and to see how much Ray made her crack up when he told her little jokes that nobody in the church (not even the bridesmaids, I confirmed later) could hear during lulls in the ceremony when nervousness might possibly creep up.

The ceremony was a bit weird for me, since it was the first wedding I’ve been to in a long time where both members of the couple were of the same religion, and the ceremony was not a step away from “A rabbi, a priest, and a nun walk into the Dallas Museum of Art…” Elisa’s dad, who is a preacher, married them, which I thought was really sweet.

It was a bit odd for me, since a number of Christian hymns were sung and I had absolutely no clue what the hell was going on. There was also a large amount of invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, which you also tend not to see at the interfaith weddings since the non-christian family generally is not really a fan of that.

It was interesting to hear Elisa’s dad preach, since Dr. Darrell Bock is apparently a fairly respected religious authority and a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.

While he did read a passage from the bible about the wife being part of the husband’s property that made lil’ ol’ feminist me shift in my seat a bit, he did clarify it quite thoroughly to Ray to make sure Ray treats Daddy’s Little Girl like a partner in a marriage and not like someone or something he can control.

Hooray for dads.

After the religious portion, there’s the traditional portion of the service where the rings are exchanged, but the question was not “Do you have the ring?” It was something in the neighborhood of “What token do you bring?” and the person getting married is theoreticaly supposed to say “A ring.” That was a new one to me.

My friend Jon leaned over to me during a musical interlude after the exchange of the rings and whispered, “Wouldn’t it be funny if when they asked what token you brought, someone said, ‘Well, I have these fuzzy dice…'” I had to try very hard not to crack up. Generally it’s considered impolite to laugh at a wedding, at least not without a joke being told by the pastor.

But it’s really nice, all sarcasm aside, to see two people you really care about so happy.

The reception was great. It was held at a place called Eddie Deen’s Ranch, which had much fun crap (fake old west signs, a fake old carriage) and a nice big space for everyone to sit and listen to the best man make fun of Ray in his toast.

The barbecue was really good. You are not legally allowed to leave Texas without getting yourself some barbecue, and I certainly held up my end of that legal bargain by stuffing myself almost sick with brisket with barbecue sauce and wedding cake.

The dancing was fun. The severely overenthusiastic DJ got everyone, including Elisa’s prim and proper grandmother, to do the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and even the Macarena.

I attempted to country line dance on the “Hey, I’ve got the shoes…” theory, but alas, I am clearly too much of a city slicker to understand the intricacies of the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, since I almost ran into about six people while attempting these dangerous maneuvers.

The fight between Elisa’s sister and cousins over the bouquet was entertaining (one of the cousins won, to the chagrin of Elisa’s sister).

Another amusing moment was my friend Nate getting the garter, then making us promise we would not let him and his girlfriend get so drunk they end up getting married when we go to Vegas for New Year’s like that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel get drunk and married. I think he was kidding. I think…

Nate, however, should know quite well that asking us to do something like that will only get him several bottles of Jack Daniel’s finest whiskey and directions to the nearest Elvis impersonator/justice of the peace.

It was really odd watching Elisa and Ray get into their car to drive off to the Honeymoon Suite of one of the nicest hotels in Dallas, for activities which I will not speculate upon here other than to say they are both pretty religious, if you catch my drift.

Getting married was such a grown-up thing to do, and grown-up is one thing that I certainly cannot associate with people my age, seeing as how I am my age and I really don’t feel grown up. But they did it, and as weird as it was, I’m really proud of them.

I suppose the even weirder moment will come when the first of my friends has a kid. This moment has already come via friends from home for many of my friends at school. Some of them have friends with three or four year old kids, a concept that I cannot even fathom.

For now, however, I shall simply offer my toast to Mr. Ray Laird and now Mrs. Elisa Laird. While I’m sad I’ve lost the ability to give the obnoxious greeting “Bock Bock Bock!” to Elisa, and that there is no sound that really works with the last name Laird other than juvenile giggling, I’m very glad to see how happy they are.

I’ll have to quote the one intelligent thing the DJ said as my parting wishes: May all of your children recieve scholarships and may your house be maintenence-free.

Here’s to many years of happiness in the Laird household.

Congratulations, guys!

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