While technically I grew up in a parental divorce situation where my weekdays were spent in New Berlin with my mother and in Waukesha on the weekends with my dad, I still to this day call neither cities home. When I moved back to Wisconsin for a few years starting in 1997, I moved to the biggest city in the state – Milwaukee. With its tattoo parlors and local punk bands I kind of found myself there and have thus considered Milwaukee my home town ever since. Truth be known, even though both New Berlin and Waukesha are only 20 some miles outside of Milwaukee, I still die a bit inside when I have to go through them. Maybe somewhere inside I still see that slightly overweight buck-toothed girl dipping French fries in a chocolate Frosty because Wendy’s was the closest thing to civilization there was there at the time.
All that was to explain the reason why when I do go back to Wisconsin for a visit I never stay in a free room in my parent’s house out in Waukesha, no matter how convenient (and cheap) it might be. Which is why we didn’t when Andy and I went out to Wisconsin for my brother’s wedding last week. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Downtown with its elevator doors that tried to eat you and the maid service that didn’t care if you were taking a shower at the time; they were going to make those beds dammit.
Where was I going with this? I lost track somewhere. Fuck it, I’m forging ahead.
ANYHOW, this is about my brother’s wedding. My brother (and sister for that matter) are technically my half siblings (we share a father, though unsuccessfully so since Dad still refuses to be cut into thirds no matter how sharp the hack saw may be) but they are the only siblings I have and I have never once considered them “half”. They’re both significantly younger than me – 9 and 11 years younger to be precise – so by default I’ve always played the older sister role with great success. When I was a teenager I’d make sure to slam my bedroom door in their faces when they wanted to play because they JUST DIDN’T UNDERSTAND the angst of having a HUGE CRUSH on Paul So-n-So and he just wouldn’t look at me and OH GOD I can’t handle the way my pants fit me today and WHY DO I HAVE TO TAKE HISTORY CLASSES when I’m never going to be a dictator or the Princess of America? Of course later, when they were the angsty teenagers, I was then old enough to buy them beer (which I only did once to be fair – or maybe twice, I can’t remember), take them out to underage clubs, and give them plenty of helpful “grown-up” advice (the most of which was complete crap – like a 26 year old is ever “worldly”), and give them cash for their birthdays which is all a teenager wants anyhow.
Because of this age difference, I will always consider both of them “kids”. Even though my brother is now 27, owns his own landscaping business and can buy his own damn booze, I still sometimes think of him as that kid that shoved a “I HAT YU!” note under my door and who once believed me when I told him that the STOP signs with the white borders were optional.
Adam, not yet a year old. Me, at 9. Yeah, I thought I was so cool.
But my brother is older now, and he got married this past Friday to a lovely girl and they had a fantastic wedding. Well, everything was fantastic but the weather which absolutely refused to play along.
On Thursday before the wedding, the rains started and they refused to stop. We had the rehearsal at the War Memorial and by the time we were done there was flooding all over the city. It was a bitch to navigate through to get to Conejitos for the rehearsal dinner – there was even a spot (mini lake) that Andy and I drove through where a tow truck was just sitting there waiting to pull anyone out that happened to get stuck. While I know that driving through mini lakes isn’t the best thing for a car, it was my brother’s car that he never used and had crappy A\C so screw it! I bought him beer once! Of course this daring car swimming ended up removing half of a somewhat important bracket, but that’s the price you have to pay sometimes for decent tacos.
Dave, Maggie, Karen and Andy survive the storms for some tacos.
The Groom's Men protective rain gear.
That same night there was so much flooding that a water main broke which creating a huge sink hole in the city. What got sucked into the giant sink hole? Why a brand new Cadillac Escalade of course. I wasn’t the only person who expressed their desire for all Cadillac Escalades to fall into sink holes.
Ha ha! Oops....
The next day, the actual wedding day, was held outside at the War Memorial. Because of all the rains and the fact that it was 90 degrees anyhow, it was incredibly uncomfortable with all the humidity. One thing heat and humidity do is melt Brits:
The ceremony was nice (and thankfully short) and my brother had me come up and do a short Irish blessing. I got through the first couple of sentences before I started choking up (since I’m a bit ole emotional shit head). I will personally strangle anyone who attempts to show me a video of my performance. As well, the dress that I had custom ordered I failed to put on after it was dry cleaned so I didn’t realize until it was too late that the fabric bunched and I looked like I had 80 year old saggy tits. I refuse to show you a picture of Saggy Tits Moe though I’m sure there is some photographic evidence circling the Web of my Personal Shame.
After the ceremony there was a 3 hour gap until the reception. My relatives and I took it upon ourselves to go get cocktails and be obnoxious at Mo’s (no relation).
My family is cool.
Andy and Aunt Kenna. This is going to be blown up and hung up on the wall with all it's awesomeness.
Around 5 PM we headed to the Milwaukee County Zoo for the reception. Adam and his new bride, Shannon, set up the food tailgate style. I’m assuming this contribution to the reception comes from my brother who is a sports fanatic and even went so far as to wear a Brewer’s tie.
The rest, well, the rest was a reception. Food, drink, dancing. Adam and Shannon had previously told the DJ that the ‘Chicken Dance’ would not be allowed to be played but I managed to pout enough to convince them otherwise. I might have also said, “My brother is dead to me if the ‘Chicken Dance’ is not played tonight.” I bought him beer when he was underage dammit! The ‘Chicken Dance’ of course led into other banned items such as the ‘Hokey Pokey’ and a pretty awesome Congo line.
Dad and Karen in the Congo line. My dad is just pissed there's evidence of his participation.
NO SAGGY TITS in this photo!
Adam and Cousin Sean singing....something...out of key
I could go on but this is already too long and I’ve strayed too much at the beginning that I might be forced to do it again. All I have to say is congrats to Adam and Shannon. May your life together be filled with free beer, laughs that make your stomach hurt, and a winning lottery ticket that you will of course share with your big sister who bought you booze when you were underage.
Quick thanks to the Vegemite Wife who made me lose a day of work yesterday screwing around with photos. And check out her blog because she's funny and makes me laugh.