It was on a farm on the outskirts of town. In this corner, the vows happened (before we got there). In this corner, so many desserts (which we scooped up on our way out). In this corner, a bunch of teens played ping pong. Over here, a pack of tots talked about getting the zombies. Christmas lights circled the top of a silo, an apartment.
Deep in the barn, the bride's father's band played sing along songs. Everyone circled the bride with stray tambourines and blocks and danced to "I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock and Roll." (I didn't actually know her, but I met the groom in 1981. She was lovely).
Had a meteorite landed, it would have knocked out about 75 percent of my dates to high school dances -- and the only person I've ever coaxed into a fist fight. Every few minutes I saw the friendly face of someone I hadn't seen in a very long time. I hugged the groom's father and felt warm fuzzies for his mom.
A woman stood in front of me and said: "Remember me?"
A just-gorgeous girl, someone you'd trust to perform surgery or manage your money or teach your child French. She cackled when I went wide-eyed and said her name. (The groom's sister, who was a kid the last time I saw her).
Then: Brian Pista. No relation, but we grew up together. Our dads were besties growing up; Our moms were besties growing up. Then everyone got married to each other. This meant summer days with Brian, drinking Pepsi and playing with the Starship Enterprise while our moms slathered themselves in a quarter inch of Coppertown and laid on lounge chairs in the yard.
We got in one of those playground Fight!-Fight!-Fights! in fifth grade. I remember trying to land punches while he kicked my shins. After the Playground Lady (that was the official title in those days) broke it up, I put my head on Stephanie's shoulder and cried.
Our teacher took us into the hall and said we had to stay there until we'd apologized.
"Sorry I kicked your ass," I said, and spun back into the classroom.
It was the 1980s equivalent of #sorrynotsorry.
So he was there. I told him I heard he'd gotten into painting. He showed me a collection of paintings he made before he got bored of it and took up violin instead.
"I think that guy's wearing my suit," he said. "Hugo Boss."
There was B, who looks no different than the second grader whose feet didn't touch the ground. He would sit at his desk, swinging his legs. (Freshman and junior year homecoming).
There was K, who wrote our prom theme in high school. He got up and played an impromptu mini concert with Journey, Poison, and a commercial he wrote in the 1990s. (Senior year homecoming).
J (junior prom) barely even said hello, just burst toward us and said: "With 4-year-olds comes a WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF INDEPENDENCE."
"Where is she?" I asked.
"I HAVE NO IDEA!" he said.
Later I saw her traveling with a pack of zombie hunters.
Adam (sophomore turnabout) speaks with a Hawaiian accent, which I guess you can catch after living almost half your life in Hawaii.
It was all very awesome and just as we were going to double back and dig a little deeper into the lives of these people I like so much, we got a text from Ma Pista back on the Baby Front: Major Meltdown.
The PBG's a good little sleeper, but when she's not, she's not. She likes to coat her face in snot and tears and buck her body like a bull rider. This can go on and on and on. Last time it happened, a few weeks ago, I have the distinct image of her on her hands and knees on our bed, barfing right where I put my head.
So Major Meltdown was our cue to leave.
So many questions remain. Good thing we have our class reunion this summer. Duh, duh, duuuuh.