The morning after the second best wedding I’ve attended; the first being my 65 year old uncle Jim’s in New Port Beach, California; there were two receptions; the remnants of the guests staying in the Melville (Long Island) Marriott gathered for bagels, coffee, juice, and some last words rounding out a wonderful weekend. A good friend of mine and former roommate Randi came as my date; we both had flights later that evening. I had received a text message from both newlyweds around 9 am telling of the gathering, naturally, I didn’t read the message until I woke up around 11. I was fully clothed from the reception, minus my jacket and tie, and once more thankful at my fantastic ability to feel fully functional and chipper after a long day, well weekend of heavy drinking.
While many feel left out when they are not in the bridal party, this was yet another experience reinforcing how much of a pleasure such freedom can be. Randi and I had a former schoolmate from High Point University, Rob, residing close by in Long Island, he was kind enough to bring us a 36 pack of Coors light around 2:30 the day before, yes apparently places do sell 36 packs! I know what you’re thinking, if we got the 36 pack at 2:30, that’s hardly a full day of drinking, so I digress. Upon first waking up after a long and hazy night of getting wild via a good ol’ fashion hotel party, I paid el bano a visit, put my time in, and discovered two stragglers in the form of Bud Light sitting on the sink. Obviously, and unfortunately they had returned to room temperature as punishment for not burying them with the rest of their friends, but it was of no matter, we were not to be deterred. The ice bucket had the half melted remains of a full load, providing to be the perfect cooling receptacle. A beer a man is hardly proper provisions, but it’s a start, and often that’s all it takes. Matt had six Amstel Lights in his room, which I must make it known was on the other side of the world, seriously. Almost the entire wedding party was on the fourth floor, with exception of a few family members directly below on the third. If you didn’t know better, it would have appeared that Matt was the uninvited guy who managed to get an invite, so they stuck him in the furthest corner of the hotel, far from the world. With Matt’s additional supplies, we were able to stay out of trouble until Rob arrived with possibly the largest case I had ever seen.
We steadily drank all day until it was time for the main event; the wedding was held at a beautiful reception hall on Long Island. We drank, we danced, and of course stepped outside for a few jibbers amidst the pouring rain that made for quite the ambiance. By the nights end it was time board the school bust and return to the hotel; due to the number of guests being transferred back to the hotel the bus needed to take two trips; Matt, Randi and myself were on the first one, while the bridegroom waited behind with their other guests. By the time we had reached the hotel I had already passed out; it was either due to being a dancing machine, or copious amounts of alcohol.. had to have been the dancing; I move like a jellyfish after all. All the others guests exited the bus while I sat and rested for nearly 30 minutes before coming to; all the while the second group of guests stood awaiting its return for their safe and only means of transportation back to the hotel. To this that I blame the bus driver, after all, why would he sit there for 30 minutes as opposed to simply waking my drunk-ass up? It is also a bit precarious why my friends exited without me, but then again, if they have been my friends for long enough, which they have, my shenanigans in combination with my inability to be woken once under via booze generally deems me a lost cause.
I eventually woke, stumbled into the hotel, and found the sanctity of my bed without shedding the clothes from my back. It is now Sunday morning, I have been informed of a gathering in Jamie and Eric’s (the bridegroom) room, so I pack, and make my way down the hall. Most of the juice had been drank, bagels eaten; however, what did remain was a 3/4ths full half gallon of Patron. This was not the bottles first appearance for the weekend; after spending Friday night at Jamie and Eric’s in Brooklyn, Eric picked Bryan (Jamie’s brother and my best friend) and I up and transported us to the hotel during which he told us of a gifted ginormous bottle of Patron that he had received that we would be drinking throughout the weekend. Little did we know that was the last time we would see the bottle, until Sunday morning. Jokingly offended I commented that I was a bit disappointed I had not been included in any of the Patron consumption, and was additionally disappointed in Eric’s inability to kill the bottle on the weekend that would mark his freedom’s death. As a result, Jamie and Eric responded that I should feel free to partake in the illustrious tequila now if I’d like (now being then of course).
While their offer was more than likely a half-ass effort to save face under the presumption that someone would have to be mad to consume Patron at 11 AM after a long weekend of drinking, they should have known their audience a bit more astutely. I gladly complied and due to a deficiency in mixers poured myself a paper cup of room temperature Patron and sipped it with a smile as the other guests looked at me in a combination of disbelief, disgust, and envy (I may have embellished the envy part). As a man of philosophy I have often utilized rationalization to abandon the traditional, reasonable, and sane for a “cherry on top” or betterment of a story; this was no exception. My flight wasn’t until much later that night; I rarely had opportunities to see and party with my bestest bud and college roomie Randeezy; and last, the Patron was gratis. You wouldn’t guess it, but this Lamb can drink like a fish; one glass, containing about four shots, turned into three or four (four), and I was feeling like a million bucks, well on my way to the drunkest I’d been all weekend.
The gathering eventually ended, we checked out of the hotel, and Rob scooped us up and took us to his home in Long Island as we still had some hours to kill before my flight. I recall his beautiful house pretty well considering; we had a few beers, chiefed a bit of ganj, and watched some football as I arranged my pickup in Detroit; my main man Zach was to pick me up at metro. We departed for La Guardia with what Rob assured me was plenty of time to make my flight; I despise traveling to New York insofar as coming and going because there is always a wide-vagina-load of traffic; again, this was no exception. While bumper to bumper I took a much needed snooze in the back hopeful that we would somehow make haste and arrive to the airport in time to catch my flight. Previously I had only missed on flight, and appropriately it was returning from Las Vegas after an all night affair; yes, another tail to be told. We arrived to La Guardia with only 45 minutes to spare before my flight; I said my goodbyes and departed from the car a hot mess with tequila running wild through my veins; upon recollecting on the events Randi shared that she was fearful for my wellbeing on almost every level possible as I entered one of the busiest airports in the world.
The lady at the window laughed at me when I asked her if she thought I could make my flight; there was a later flight that they said I may be able to fly standby on; while I didn’t recall doing so, I phoned Zach in Detroit and alerted him of my situation and later arrival. The duration I spent at La Guardia is at best a drunken blur; one thing that I will never forget is that I ran into Rob and Gloria (the bride’s parents) eating at a restaurant in one of the terminals; I left my luggage with them as I set out like a blind man in a New York City traffic to arrange my return flight home. Almost a year later I came to discover that one of my former freshman baseball players had also been in La Guardia on that particular Sunday, and was able to recognize that I was in fact lambasted. I eventually got on the standby flight, and woke up in Detroit thinking we had never lift off from New York. I called Zach (lacking the memory of already doing so) with hopes that he could still pick me up; he had a good laugh, and assured me had been waiting grading papers at a “cell phone station” for hours. My carryon was too large for the overhead so they checked my bag upon boarding; naturally after landing I walked to baggage claim only to recall that my bag was on the plane. While Zach was nice enough to suggest that I go and retrieve my items, I insisted that it was best we leave and I would return for them at another time. I cannot recall it but I am certain that night marks of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in my life; oh Long Island, and a much longer weekend.