The weekend after my early July visit to Paul, we had a wedding and a graduation party to go to. My dad’s cousin Diane got married for a second time, and apparently my aging grandfather had some cranky things to say about that. He’s old-fashioned–couples shouldn’t live together before marriage, that sort of thing. Yet he was caught cheating on his wife, snuck around with a woman when I was a child, and strung along another woman who had feelings for him in the process. He’s the grandfather whose relationships I don’t use as a model.
The wedding was very small. My parents suspected we were invited on short notice for a reason, but I’m not that cynical about the family, especially with such a small wedding. We ended up being the only representation from my dad’s side of the family anyway.
The wedding may have been small, but it was still beautiful. Diane and her new husband both looked really happy, and her dress was really pretty. They did a sand ceremony, which I’ve heard about but never seen and really liked. It was also a Baptist ceremony, meaning it was short and sweet. It was the first time I’ve been to any religious service that wasn’t Catholic, and immediately I noticed subtle differences–aside from the female minister. Church didn’t fill up from the back and people didn’t whisper–they spoke out loud, openly, and were happy to be there.
The reception was buffet-style, which I actually think is a great idea, but being from southwestern Pennsylvania, almost none was vegetarian-friendly. That ended up working out because of Julie’s graduation party and good, hearty polish food like many pounds of gnocchi.
My favorite part about outdoor summer parties, and Paul’s house in general, is endless food, pool access, and bonfires.
Paul got a little drunk and we all laughed at him. I got a little drunk but can handle that. We mostly just hung out and eventually played one of those campfire games I haven’t played since I was a kid where everyone says a word or a phrase to make up a story. I surprisingly hate them, but this one surprisingly entertained me.
Really, I had a great day. Mind you, this was a week and a half out from the 4th of July debacle, so I was still thinking about a lot. Thinking about everything tends to lead me back to one conclusion–that ditching my friends was the best, healthiest decision I could make for myself. I know I keep repeating myself at this point, but I had more fun with strangers and acquaintances than I’d had with most of my friends in a long while, not to mention they actually care.
At the end of the night, Brandon insisted on driving me home because he’s convinced that even after I sober up after a few wine coolers, I will kill everything in a 100-mile radius if I drive.