The family wedding.
This was one for the books. My cousin Nadine got married, and it was ANYTHING but ordinary. Before I dive in to the nuptials, let me back up. I love NY. It’s pretty much my favorite place in the world and my time spent living in the city, while short, was nothing short of amazing. So I will jump at any chance to go back. And this wedding was the perfect chance to combine a little vacay with a little family time.
We spent the first part of the weekend eating our way through Manhattan, which we are really good at. Like so good that if there were a “Foodie Survivor-ish” show, we’d totally win that shit. One of the reasons I know Jason is my soul mate is that our travel priorities, especially eating, are taken very seriously. This was our second NYC “food tour” in less than a year, and he even pulls together a google map to pinpoint all of our destinations on our feeding frenzy. Yep! He’s a keeper.
After a great brunch and a few other stops (including TWO visits to Dominique Ansel Bakery – I mean we had to come back for the chocolate chip cookie shots after 3pm), and some shopping in SOHO where I scored some essentials, we had a great dinner at Catch with his parents. They even graciously obliged when we told them they were not allowed to touch the food until it was all cataloged in my iPhone so we could effectively document every delicious morsel.
So we got our city fix, and headed back to Strong Island. We would be traveling to Nadine’s Brooklyn wedding as a group – my whole family (almost) – caravanning like the Griswalds on crack or steroids, or both.
Before we even left my Aunt’s driveway for the schlep to Brooklyn, a number of notable things happened…
My uncle came downstairs dressed like this…
My Aunt accidentally used her green eye liner as lip liner
And my cousin Gary was holding his head in frustration before the car even backed out of the driveway.
Frankly, we are lucky we made it in one piece. I lost count of the amount of times Aunt Sharon was correcting the GPS and also how many times we fishtailed from hitting a sewer cover. We may as well have been off-roading in a jeep wrangler instead of packed into a Pathfinder on the BQE.
Upon arrival to the wedding, before everyone took their places, Aunt Sharon received a special gift from the bride. Totally awesome and perfect for her.
Naturally, we went straight to the bar. I’d say we averaged 2-3 drinks each before the ceremony commenced (really I might have been the only one who had two or three but I’m trying to maintain an image of my family here). And this ceremony was the tits. It included a fabulous MC, lots of laughter, no formality and a bridesmaid tossing sequins instead of a flower girl throwing rose petals.
The bride and groom threw down in rock paper scissors to determine who would go first in reading their vows (I’m dead serious). The Groom won. Both were the perfect mix of heartfelt and hilarious. And my cousin Bret’s speech (brother of the bride) was fucking phenomenal. I think the highlight was reminiscing how his grandma, Aunt Mae (my grandma’s sister) use to make grilled cheese – which involved a frying pan, a little butter, some cheese and bread, and an ashtray expertly placed on top of the sandwich to make sure it all melted deliciously. True story.
There was no Pachelbel’s Canon, no veil, no priest or rabbi. But, there was lots of love, realness and moments…and booze. There was also a first dance to Erasure and a dance circle forming for Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Crazy in Love. It was theatrical, magical and entertaining – and that was just the men! I’m actually trying to forget that based on the amount of skinny jeans/pants worn by the male guests, I’m pretty sure they have smaller waists than I do and I hate them all.
When the ceremony ended and the announcement was made that the buffet was open, my family (and only my family) was first in line to eat. Not surprising. It’s also not surprising that my cousin Jonathan polished off the Sopresetta (the only tray that was accessible and uncovered or there may have been some very hungry wedding guests) before the ceremony even started. In between bouts of shoving cured deli meat in his mouth, he couldn’t stop marveling at the venue. If I had a dollar for every time he said “Look at these beams, when was the last time you saw beams like this!”, I’d rival a stripper at Mons Venus in Tampa (if you don’t get this reference you need to listen to more rap music stat). I could totally make it rain. Pour actually.
There were many moments when my cousin Tony strayed from the group, which is allowed but frowned upon. The first time, we found him stealing a flourescent yellow blazer from a guest.
The last time we lost him was when we were all trying to leave and he was in the corner…eating…again…alone.
My mom was one of the only family members who didn’t make the trek. So naturally she needed to be debriefed immediately following the event. When I called she said, “Are you drunk or crying?” so I’m guessing I did not sound too hot.
This was probably why…
Then she needed to speak to my aunt to double confirm wedding deets. Then she needed to speak to Jason to triple confirm that I wasn’t leaving out a single thing. It’s like she was searching for holes in my story.
We also had this text exchange…
Now this is a real thing that happens in my family. It’s called the Root Dance and it does not involve their real penises, rather their figurative penises. The men form a circle and take turns pretending to have an insanely hard time lifting, throwing and whipping around their massive figurative penises. If you’ve ever frequented the bar/bat mitzvah circuit, think” tie dance”, but with an imaginary penis instead of the bar mitzvah boy’s tie. Surprisingly, it did not happen at this wedding and I’m not sure why because it would have been glorious.
When I asked Nadine what to wear to a Brooklynite wedding like hers, she said “wear sick shoes”. So naturally I busted out the Louboutins. And while the ladies may not have noticed, the gays did and really, that’s all that matters. Being complimented on your wardrobe by a stylish gay man is pretty much as good as it gets. Because you know they are telling the truth. Bret’s & Nadine’s BFF Alan came up to me and said, “Corey and I were talking about you in the corner and said, ‘of course that bitch wore her Louboutins'” To the layperson that may not seem like a compliment, but trust me, it is. Made. My. Day. Mission Accomplished.
And while I represented in my red bottoms, the bride stole the show with shoes that looked like they could double as a torture device, S&M toy, both? Happy Wedding Night you two ;)
After another bumpy ride back to Long Island we arrived safely and did what anyone does after and open bar, BBQ buffet-filled wedding. We ordered pizza.
My uncle took his position in his lazy boy to watch some painfully boring show about mud volcanoes.
The rest of us ate while we ignored each other and played with our iPhones. I was uploading pics to Facebook, Gary was sending pics to me via text (like the gem above) even though I was sitting 10 feet away, and Jason was playing 2048 which I should have never told him about. Then, I was jarred by a weird, loud noise.
Me: “What is that?!?!?”
Aunt Sharon: “Uncle Tony’s Vibrator”.
After almost choking on my Sicilian slice I turned around to see him using a giant hospital-grade looking vibrating mechanism on his bum knee. Strangely I was the only one who noticed.
Jason and I like to round out our trip with an obligatory visit to Century 21, so that’s exactly what we did the next morning with his mom after we left my aunt’s. As we were standing at checkout, my aunt pops up out of nowhere. She had a free period at work, decided to stalk us, and appeared out of nowhere looking like a Jewish version of Jane Lynch a la Glee in a track suit (she’s an elementary school gym teacher). After running through the dressing room yelling my name (that really happened), she found us. It wasn’t even weird. It was par for the course that a family member would show up at a random department store in Westbury in the middle of the morning.
Next on the list was Roosevelt Field so we could get our Crumbs fix. It’s not a successful trip unless my carry-on contains things like Crumbs cupcakes, Momofuku milk bar cookies, birthday cake truffles, crack Pie and candy Bar pie.
It is however NOT a success at all to fly Southworst Airlines (not a typo – it’s the worst). I don’t know where their pilots train but it’s like launching into the sky like a rocket instead of a normal, gradual take off. Every. Damn. Time. I am not a great flyer to begin with, but this was a doozy complete with a running start to the bathroom to toss my cookies as soon as the seatbelt light was off.
When I got back, Jason leaned over and whispered the words in my ear that added further validation to us being made for each other…”Well, at least you don’t have to worry about the Shake Shack you had for lunch.”