Sunday, August 01, 2004

Every wedding has an "And then..." 

You're all knodding your head in agreement right now. You, too, are aware of the "And then..." portion of any story related to a wedding. Inevitably, something will always go awry. This wedding, however, was close to flawless. I carpooled there with my three dates, of whom all four of us were friends and former co-workers of the groom. For their own anonymity, we'll call them girls #1, #2, and #3. They all look gorgeous. I'm looking pretty dapper, myself; sporting a pinstripe suit and thin black tie.

We're driving up in my car from Los Angeles to Augora Hills. For those who don't know, that's about an hour drive thanks to Saturday traffic on the inept 101 Highway. But the location of the wedding was this mountain country club which is nigh impossible to find unless you have x-ray vision. Long, windy, mountainous, single lane roads with poor street markings stood between the highway exit and our destination. Needless to say, we missed the turnoff the first time and ended up driving an extra 15 miles down to the Pacific Ocean before realizing, "Well, shit. We clearly missed that street sign that doesn't exist." So I make a u-turn and not much later we see Cornell Way, the road we were looking for. Sure enough, the sign coming from the opposite direction (the way we were originally going) had fallen off. So we finally find it and proceed to take a myriad of curvy, windy roads that lead down to a lake and the country club. Huzzah! According to our watches, we were a half-hour late. However, nearly everyone was late. That road sign is a bitch. So the ceremony, which was a lovely outdoors affair overlooking the afforementioned lake and surrounded by lush greens and hills, started about an hour later than scheduled. No biggie.

On to the reception! Possibly the most fun I've had at a wedding. Yes, I was driving, but who can resist the temptation of an open bar? If you answered either A) no one or B) Communists, then you're correct. Plus I figure I'll have plenty of time to sober up before we actually leave. So my dates and I as well as a couple more work friends are all seated together, drinking, dancing, enjoying the food, good times all around. When you have three "dates" at these kind of things, though, you have to be sure to spread the dances out evenly, otherwise their could be some unrest. So I did just that and my feet were killing me by the time it was all over. Anyway, the drinking is fully underway and girl #1 is already drunk off a glass and a half of white wine. She's flying. She's that girl. And she's having a great time and we're all very happy for her. In her defense, though, none of us had eaten all day so the alcohol hit her that much faster. As the evening progresses we all have our fair share wine and champagne. I step outside for a brief moment to get some air in an attempt to relieve a minor headache; staring off at the lake as my mind wonders a little. Girl #1 is still loopy. It's only towards the end of the party the Girl #2 starts to feel unwell. She steps outside to take a breather, then rushes into the bathroom to get sick. Girl #3 is there to make sure #2 is okay. After booting in the bathroom, poor thing reveals that she has a migrane. It's right about then that the four of us decide its time to call it a night. Just as well, too, because it was midnight and the party, itself, was coming to a close.

I blame myself a bit for the next phase of this story. I stupidly had perhaps one or two more drinks than I should have. I'm not a fan at all of letting other people drive my car, but I knew that Girl #3 was sober so I bestowed the keys to her. The plan now is head home to Girl #1's apartment so that we can drop her and Girl #3 off, while I have a chance to sober up (didn't need much) and drive Girl #2 back to her place. The scene in my car: driving -- Girl #3, passenger seat (reclining all the way due to her migrane) -- Girl #2, passed out in back right -- Girl #1, struggling to stay awake so that I can provide directions in the back left seat -- me. Remember how twisty and curvy and winding those roads were that I mentioned? Well, their twistiness and curviness is amplified greatly when you're drunk. Fortunately, as I mentioned, Girl #1 was passed out and Girl #2 was pretty much lying down and getting a steady stream of fresh air. We're almost to Girl #1's apartment... AND THEN...

We needed to make a left turn on to Girl #1's street, but Girl #3 -- our driver, ladies and gentlemen -- starts puking! I immediately think to myself, "Oh great, here we go." She tries her best to hold in the first wave and we swerve slightly into oncoming traffic. My heart skips a beat. Thank god that Girl #2 realized what was happening and nudged the stearing wheel to get us out of harm's way. By now, Girl #3 is just throwing up all over. We miss our turn off, but she manages to make the next left, parks immediately and unloads all the chicken, salad, pasta, and alcohol in her system all over the drivers seat, the dash, the wheel, the seatbelt, and finally the street. We stop and I immediately bolt out of the back seat to check on her. Girl #3 is a veritable sea of vomit, mortified beyond belief. We're all out of the car by now attending to her. In tears, #3 apologizes to me profusely. I assure her that its okay. That these things happen. That she isn't the first. And by "isn't the first" I do of course mean, "isn't the first to get sick in my car." Although she is the first to do it while driving, so gold star for her. Frustrated and grossed out at her current state, #3 rips off her chunk-ridden skirt and, pantless, is escorted by #1 (thought to be the drunkest and yet the only girl not to get sick) to #1's place so that she can get cleaned up and bring cleaning supplies back to me. Girl #2 stays to keep me company. #1 returns with some Windex and paper towels. Its something. So I do my best to wipe down and spray away the nastiness. While I'm doing this, #2 is starting to feel ill again (probably from the nauseating smell) and #1 takes her back to her place so that she can get sick. She comes back to me again with more cleaning supplies, as I've already exhausted the first batch. "I can't believe I'm drunk," she says, wishing that she could be more useful. Sweet girl. She's done everything that I could ask of her which are take care of our primary concerns -- our sick friends. The car is secondary.

We walk back to her place so that I can get some water in my system and clean some of the backlash off of my pants. #2 and #3 have been sick again since I saw them last. #3 is laid out in some of #1's clean clothes on the bedroom floor, still apologizing. She felt terrible. Again, I assure her that the only important thing is that she's okay and cleaned up. #2 requests that I take her back to her place, saying she'd recover easier in her own bed. I acquiese, thanking #1 for her help.

It's a little after 2 a.m. #2 and I get back to the car which, now, absolutely wreaks to high heaven. I reach for my seat belt and pull back a hand of sludge, not realizing that #3's projectile assault covered the seat belt, too. So its windows down, no seatbelt for me. No problems getting #2 back safely.

Called them all this morning checking to see if they recovered alright from last night. Sounds like they're all fine even though I was only able to reach #3's voicemail. So how did I spend my Sunday, you ask? Cleaning the interior of my car, incessantly trying to rid it of the awful puke stench. You all know that smell. It lingers forever. I've gone through many lengths to erase it, but I'm still not convinced that its gone. Side note, my car interior hasn't been this clean in months.

Know what's going to be fun? Going to work tomorrow and spending the day with #3. Yay! She's going to feel so embarassed. Boo! Poor thing. I feel bad for her. My car hurts, but not nearly as bad as she does.

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