With the exception of my brother Dan, everyone in my family hates parties, no matter what the occasion. A baby's first birthday, a graduation party, heaven help us if its a wedding, an engagement party, family reunion, 70th Birthday, you name it. When an invitation arrives in the mail at my parents house, its treated like a jury duty summons, a letter from the IRS or a stink bomb. Sighs are heard for miles around, how-can-we-get-out-of-this schemes start percolating immediately, dread builds. I have grown to accept and mimic this party hating mentality, to the point where I thought it was only right to dread my own wedding, to a man I am wildly in love with, because that is just what you do.
The other evening we were at a friends wedding and the father of the bride was giving his speech. I don't know these people all that well and I would imagine that my distance encouraged my ephipany along. As the sea of "your so specials", "I love yous" and "were just so happy for yous" rose around us, it finally hit me. Like a brick of RSVP cards falling from the sky. It had been a coping mechanism of all of us, to sit in the corner making snide comments about the lack of eloquence in a wedding speech, or laugh at an awkward dancer. But not this time.
This time was different, because I realized that this was a very important day in the lives of everyone around us and even though they were giving in to the wedding machine, saying the same hackneyed phrases over and over, that this was it. It was like some mystery to life had been finally been revealed to me, I felt a lightness and then an uncharateristic warmth in the place where my heart should be located. Now maybe I am just growing soft in my old age, but I'll take it.
Life should be a series of celebrations for things, no matter how insignificant and this, my friends, is all there really is. Because what else do you really have to do that day, because you will never fondly remember sifting through the pile of junk mail, or channel surfing, or making a ham sandwich with swiss, like you did instead of going to the party. If you cant celebrate with others, even if it involves cake thats too sweet, weak paper plates, terrible wine in plastic cups, bad jokes and a few awkward moments, you are just really missing out.