Saturday, August 22, 2009
Scenes From A Parking Lot
Today, I spent 90 minutes in the car, sitting in a parking lot. Staring at a church. In the rain. Watching from outside while someone else got married. My lover. And I wept as I remembered all those steamy nights together . . . Okay, okay, actually my son is an altar server and was inside doing his duty. I didn't even know the couple. I know -- snore. But it's the truth. (Are you sorry the above isn't true, or not?) I chose to wait outside rather than getting all dolled up to watch strangers get married while my son assisted. My plan: a bottle of ice tea, some knitting, and my car radio was enough to keep me entertained. I thought. Who knew I wouldn't need any entertainment at all. Watching the goings-ons from a church parking lot during a wedding is entertainment enough. I realize many of you, not having spent 90 minutes of your life this way, may not know what you are missing. So I'll share my observations: 1. Even groomsmen slip on wet grass -- when they run. 2. Umbrellas don't protect the bottom of bridesmaids' dresses, no matter how gallant the efforts of the umbrella-holding groomsmen. 3. Little boys avoid umbrellas and make the most of the situation by fashioning their hair into a perfect point on the top of their heads. All those mothers' hard work, down the drain. 4. Brides are elusive, and if you are distracted for even a moment, you miss them. (Darn.) 5. Mysterious women arrive late, first taking huge bundles of white balloons into the reception hall before slowly strolling over to the church. 6. One gentleman arrives late and spends 10 minutes on his cell phone outside the church, arguing with someone, in the rain. 7. One sporty red car parks in the church parking lot. The driver smokes one cigarette with the window down and then leaves. 8. Hard-working caterers come out of the hall and walk around, stretching their backs and having a cigarette while the ceremony is in full gear. 9. More than one father will come rocketing out of the church as if expelled from a canon. Said fathers will have full-throttle, tantrum-throwing toddlers in their arms. Such toddlers will be arching their backs and stiff-arming their fathers and ignoring repeated pleas to stop. 10. Some fathers put such toddlers in their car seats and take off for rides up and down the road to soothe and distract their toddlers. 11. Other toddlers will not be put in car seats and will repeatedly hurl themselves on the floor before they can be strapped in. Their fathers eventually just close the car door and spend 5 minutes walking in circles around the car, not seeming to notice the rain. 12. Fathers are under appreciated. 13. All such under appreciated fathers will return to the church corridor in time to see the happy couple exit the church; no one, except perhaps me, realizing what they've just been through. The question is, will the father, knowing full well what the couple could be in for, join in the ancient rice-throwing ritual intended to bring fertility to the happy couple? Hmmm? I imagine the wedding reception is in full swing right about now. I wonder what's going on in the parking lot. And I wonder who's watching.