Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor of Love

I’m back from Down East. My cousin’s wedding was a smash success. The food was delectable, including the best lobster you could ever want, salumi and imported cheeses from the storied Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, and a taco station anchored by a whole roast pig. Val looked absolutely luminous, one of the bartenders took a look at her and told me, “I want that gown for my own wedding.” One of my eleven year old cousins was tasked with helping her older cousin with the veil and train. When he walked Val up the aisle, my uncle Tom wore a top hat- he’s the only man I know who could pull that off, being one handsome, dapper man.

Cousin Val just earned her doctorate in pharmacology and her husband is a rocket scientist- could there be a more perfect union? His family is from Texas, and his sister, her husband, and their kids drove up in a minivan with “MAINE OR BUST” stenciled on the rear window- need I say that I took to them instantly? For the wedding, the boys wore bolo ties and big belt buckles- the youngest, carrying the rings, wore a scaled down ten gallon hat.

Among the highlights of the party were my Aunt Barbara and two of her grandchildren- she had given them a crash course in dancing the lindy the night before the wedding, and those girls did their grandmother proud. I had a blast cutting a rug with my little cousins.

One of the funniest things about the wedding was my encounter with the boyfriend of my cousin Val’s cousin on her mother’s side. Our conversation ran like this:

“I’m from Yonkers.”
“Where, I’m from Yonkers too, by McLean and Kimball.”
“I’m from the Midland Ave area, by the tailor shop.”
“The owner is a family friend, I went to school with his son.”
“He does all my alterations, he did this suit. I also have his record.”
“I have his record too, he’s the best!”

I’m planning on getting a whole crew of cousins and my cosin’s cousin and her boyfriend to hang out at the upcoming street festival.

The day after the wedding, I had to help my Uncle Richard and my cousin Matt close up the camp for the season- with school and work schedules, the cabin won’t see any use until the Spring. Shutters were put up, propane lines shut, the septic system was to be flushed and winterized with antifreeze (the toilet is a recent addition, but being a traditionalist, I used the outhouse, which involves much less work). I also don’t use the shower that was installed, there’s something hilarious to me about jumping into the lake with a bar of Ivory soap (it floats) and taking a lake bath before putting on a suit (unprecedented for me in Maine).

On the way down, I had my Uncle Richard riding shotgun, and had two generators and his stuff in the car as well. It was a less frenetic drive than my solo drive up, and the company was welcome. He’s the keeper of a lot of the equipment for camp, so we had to unload the generators at his place- when I finally got home to Yonkers, I was wiped. I called mom to tell her I was safe and sound, and to give her a précis or the weekend, then promptly passed out after brushing my teeth.

It was a busy weekend, a weekend devoted to love. Congrats to my cousin and my new cousin- centi baci!


StringOnAStick said...

What a wonderful weekend of family love! Congratulations on being a man rich in the things that truly count on life.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks, I am fortunate indeed.