Blast from the past… Triggered by a random conversation this weekend with a friend. As always, trying to explain why i can’t completely walk away from my Trailer Park clan. Weddings, funerals and hospitals - often the pinning points in a family. Mine is no different.
Divorce is de rigueur in my extended family. When Dad died, he and i were the only two members of the family who had married once – and were still married. Even my lesbian sister, T, had a 5 year marriage to a Palestinian cab driver she met during the first Gulf War. Impulsive? A bit.
When my eldest sister, S, married her third husband, Dad was still alive – but not by much. He managed to walk her down the aisle, joking with me right before the ceremony – “Third time’s the charm, right?” He’d done it twice before.
It was somewhere around 2000, i think. Dad was at least 2 years in to chemo for colon cancer, and well along the way toward a touch of dementia. As Dad was walking out of the men’s room to walk S down the aisle, i reminded him to zip his trousers. Someone needs to watch the details.
But it was a nice ceremony, as far as these things go in my family. No firearms. No bickering during the church service. Not a huge crowd… just a gathering of the families. A genuinely happy day with no drama. We all knew Dad was circling the drain, and we wanted it to be right.
It was the reception that i truly enjoyed… Held at a biker bar, with a live band, we had a blast! There is video somewhere of my entire family dancing to “Freebird”. i shit you not. Freebird. And in the midst of that video is a rather chunky daisyfae, wearing overalls, dancing like a maniac – complete with hair-whipping and air guitar playing.
it’s genetic. i can’t fucking help it. Skynyrd. It moves me… It always will.
i really didn’t know JK, the man my sister S was marrying. He seemed ok. He wasn’t a drug dealing, bank robbing, suicidal transvestite like her second husband. A fireman. He looks like a country music star. He had a job and a car and seemed to really love my sister a lot, so he was ok in my book.
It was a biker bar. We were having a good time. Mom even came along for a bit to hang out – always afraid of missing something. There she was, sitting in a strip mall biker bar, enjoying a beer. She made the tactical error of complaining about the volume of the band. This, of course, led us to explain that the best way to deal with ‘band noise’ is to put cigarette butts in your ears.
Featured prominently in my sister’s wedding album are some lovely photographs of my mother with cigarette butts sticking out of her ears.
Yeah. We’re assholes. She had a good time, though.
Later in the evening there was a moment. A moment i’d forgotten. But the moment when i decided i really liked having JK in the family.
It’s a biker bar. Even though the wedding reception was held there, perhaps 30 of us in the wedding “party”, the bar was open to other patrons. There was one flaming douchenozzle who had been “flirting” with the ladies all evening. And by “flirting” i mean “groping”.
Approaching midnight. i’m at the bar collecting my last Jack Daniels and Diet Coke* of the evening. Douchenozzle grabbed the strap of my overall from behind and pulled me away from the bar and toward his lap. My right arm is coming up, palm forward, to push him away, but is interrupted by a much larger arm. An arm that is sporting bicep muscles as big as my head.
JK has stepped into the fray – from across the room – and intervened on behalf of his new sister-in-law. Douchenozzle was instantaneously disengaged from my overalls, and launched across the bar into a darkened corner, not to be heard from again that evening.
i thanked JK, and mentioned that it was nice to have a wingman. Told him that i’m used to handling these things on my own. Nice to have a brother. He gave me a quick shoulder-squeeze, and we were back to our business at hand…
*Yes. “Jack and Diet”. Suck it. It’s what i drink in a biker bar.