We pulled up to the church–which was lovely, by the way. One of those big old beautiful ones, not one of those cinderblock churches that looks like it might have been a Goodwill at one point–exactly at 4:30. "Do you want me to–"
"YES," I said to Ned, already climbing out. Yes, I DID want him to drop me at the door. He didn't care if he saw the bride walk down the aisle, because he's a boy, a straight boy, who'd never met the bride anyway and I will not mention the word commitmentphobe at this juncture.
But I did. I cared a lot. I've been dying to see Wedding Alex get married, because I was there when she burst into work with an engagement ring, I've heard all her wedding plans and offered my valuable and important input on makeup, hair and invitations. I even threw her surprise party in the breakroom. So the walk down the aisle was my reward.
I should also mention, as just an aside, that I had absolutely zero to do with her surprise party in the breakroom. They sent us an email saying a party was coming, and a card and collection were going around, which I forgot about completely till the card came to me, where I wrote something snotty. Then I forgot all over again until weeks later when I got an email. "Alex's surprise is in 15 minutes."
"WHAT surprise?" I thought, then remembered Oh right. Her wedding is coming up. God, what Ima wear to that shindig, anyway? Then I started Googling Ann Taylor till someone said, "You coming to the breakroom for Alex's surprise party?"
"WHAT surprise?" I asked, having already forgotten again.
The point is, there were decorations and a cake and cards and when she came in and we all yelled SURPRISE! and I wondered WHAT surprise again, she happened to be right near me. "This is so wonderful!" she said, emotional.
"I'm glad you like it. I planned the whole thing," I told her. "We gonna eat your cake or what? I made it." I lifted the plastic lid off the clearly bakery-bought cake.
I have no idea why anyone remotely likes me.
So I ran to the church and the doors were already shut and everyone was inside. I saw the church, I saw the steeple. I opened the door and seed all the people. I was like Benjamin in The Graduate, running to the wedding that had already started. I WHIPPED open the door, hoping to scream ELAINE!
And there was Alex and her bridal party, getting ready to start.
Tidy. I worked with a guy who, whenever you screwed up completely, would just say, "Tidy."
"NOT LOOKING!" I whisper-screamed to Alex, and I literally covered my eyes so I wouldn't see her. I tiptoed dramatically into the church, looking not at all like Elmer Fudd, and I saw my coworkers look at me, completely unsurprised that I'd be the last asshole in there.
.00004 seconds after I sat down, the music started and the wedding began and I totally got my money's worth, and by the way if you think I've already purchased a wedding gift for poor Alex, I'd like to remind you that crack kills. It's no joke.
But oh! She looked so pretty, and sparkly, and I met eyes with my other coworker Bitchy Resting Face Alex, who was also there, and we both got teary like proud parents. After we'd worked so hard on Wedding Alex's surprise party and all.
Once they were saying their vows and so on, I started to remember Ned. What had happened to Ned? I looked behind me, and nothing. Naturally there was no one behind me, as I was the last to arrive. Was he just hanging out in the car? Was he in the lobby, waiting till it was over? Had he driven home, cause he was over me?
Finally, I looked in the balcony, and there in the loft of shame was Ned's tiny head, the lone guest, accompanied only by the wedding photographer. He looked so ridiculous and alone up there that I got The Church Giggles. You know the kind. Where you're supposed to be being dignified and hanging with God, and all you can do is your Kegels so you won't pee your own self in a pew.
Oh my god, that was hilarious. Ned's solo head. Dying.
The reception was in this cool old building that at different points had been Winston-Salem's post office, jail and courthouse. It had exposed brick and cool old features and big rooms and tiny rooms and Ned said if we ever get married, we should totally have it there, and I was just reeling over Ned saying, "If we get married" without having some kind of Vietnam flashback and the shakes.
Wedding Alex did all the decorations herself, and she did a great job. There was no stone left unturned. She had this plate thing for us to write something nice ("plate thing" is the official term), and I wrote something snotty, then we all got delicious scented candles Wedding Alex made.
"Do you like the candles?" I asked guests as they opened them. "I made them all myself."
On each little table Alex had framed texts from when she and her husband were first dating. Cutest idea, ever.
Another cute coworker of mine was at my table, and clearly Wedding Alex decided to put all the really beautiful women from work at one table, hence the part where I was there. But the point is, my coworker's baby Ruby was also at my table, with a beer, and I didn't know babies drank but whatever. My point is, Ruby is a muffin and I had serious dress envy. She was positively well-behaved all night and never fussed once. Because, beer.
Ned hung out with Bitchy Resting Face Alex's husband, and I think they talked about war and spitting, which is what I assume all men do, and I also assume they play swords with their man bits, but I could be wrong about all that. For all I know, they were discussing their feelings and hugging it out. I was busy eating.
Because, dude. The food was so good. And I knew for a fact there were cupcakes instead of wedding cake. I knew this because Wedding Alex had told me when we were discussing her details, and I was obsessed by said cupcakes.
There were two flavors: chocolate shake and butterbeer. We were TOLD that each guest was expected to take one, which, pfft. One. I don't know if you can tell, but there are SPARKLES in the frosting of these. SPARKLES, man.
We were all waiting breathlessly for cake time. Truly, you'd have thought we were all smokin' the gange at my table, so cupcake-centric were we. Finally, FINALLY! It was time, and I was knocking people over to get to the table. People were all around me, so I grabbed a plate and said to the room at large, "I'll get one for me and one for Ned." See, that way I wouldn't look like such a dick for trying both kinds. I HAD TO TRY BOTH KINDS, MAN!
"I'm right here!" yelled Ned, holding a cupcake on the other side of the table.
Here is each flavor of cupcake, one for me and one for…Ned. I made them myself. When my table was eating those cupcakes, there was five minutes of all of us just saying, "Oh my God. OH my GOD." They were that good. It was the frosting, which was light and fluffy. "A lot of times, frosting is what ruins a cupcake," said Ned, who is right. "Too much emphasis on frosting now. The cake should be the main attraction," he said, and I agreed, saying frosting should just be the, you know, frosting on the cake.
And oh, dude, there was dancing. I did the Wobble, whatever that is, I danced to Push It because I party like it's 1989. I believe I also danced to This Is How We Do It. I met one of Wedding Alex's hot blonde friends, and danced with her, because I'm Meredith Baxter Birney.
Eventually, though, the bride caught me. "What can I do for you, June?" she asked, and I told her to strike a pose, and I have no idea why my phone went all Lisa Bright and Dark on me, with the light on top and dark on the bottom 1-2-3 Jello action. But look how pretty! Pretty dress! Sparkles!
I made it myself.
Ned and I were the last people to leave from my workplace, mostly because we were dancing with Hot Friend, whose name I never caught but hooo care. You know how you get attached to people at weddings and never see them again. It was a brief but passionate dance connection.
I have to say, out of all the things I did for Wedding Alex's big day, I really outdid myself making the cupcakes.