Thursday, October 05, 2006

Salty Brother-In-Law...To Be

I dislike weddings and funerals equally. To me, they are unnecessary ceremonies reflecting natural events. Consecration of love, the passing of life.

My family is in hyper-wedding preparation mode. I am extremely happy for my sister. I would have had no problem if I could just go to her wedding and sit in the back of the church or at a table set discretely in the back of the reception hall. But, apparently, there is some sort of tradition that the brother has to be part of the wedding party. So, in a couple of days, Joseph K becomes groomsman number 5.

I have a lot of good friends who are married. Most of them didn't have groomsmen or didn't ask me to be one. Either way, I was stoked. I don't like being the center of attention at social events. At work, I have no problem playing that role. It feeds the type A in me. When it is all about pleasure, I want to blend in with the crowd. The inner introvert takes over

I like my brother-in-law to be a lot. It is nothing against him. I think he and my sister make a wonderful couple. I just want to applaud the union from a distance. The requirements have made me kind of a grouch these days. I have become a less pathetic version of Pagliacci's clown. Happy on the outside, grumpy on the inside.

Girlfriend K, to her immense credit, has been working on me. She's excited about the wedding. She's got all kinds of appointments to get herself ready for it. She realizes all the romance and joy of it and tries to get me to see that. Today, she asked me the wrong question.

"So, are you going to be this much of a grouch at your wedding?" The initial silence lasted too long for her taste. "Probably not," I finally said. For a second, I was pretty sure I lost her. Then, she did what she tends to do. "We'll just need to work on that."

And, she's right.


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