Let’s start with the travel to Chattanooga. I got to the airport only to have the lovely lady behind the counter call my name to inform me that I would getting bumped from my flight. Wasn’t happy about it. Not that I ever yell at people who work at the airlines. (It isn’t her fault that the 8:30 AM flight to Atlanta got cancelled and people had to get bumped) OK, so the lady behind the desk tells me she will get me on a flight to Detroit that will get me to C-town by 6 PM. Not good enough I tell her. I have a wedding that I am IN at 5:30!!! (OK, perhaps that was a slight fib. I had a wedding rehearsal that I was in at 5:30, but regardless, I should be there) So the lady (who was from the Czech Republic) is looking at the computer and I start telling her about how much I understand it wasn’t her fault and that people shouldn’t be yelling at her. BAM. Andrew is on the next flight to Atlanta. She may have even winked at me as she gave me a $300 voucher for my next flight with Delta. I can handle that.
So I end up getting into C-town about 45 minutes late, which works out because my friend Steve had gotten to the airport and the airline lost his bag. So there I am with a ride and on time with $300 in Delta bucks in my pocket. I am living the high life.
We get to the church and are the first ones there. Cool, I’m already making a good impression.
A little background here – I wouldn’t mind meeting a nice Southern woman. The accent, it sort of does it for me…..but I digress.
Rehearsal. Blah. You walk around a church, a girl grabs your arm for 36 seconds, you listen to the minister tell you it is tough to fuck up, you make some jokes that will most likely land you some place hot, and you all talk about heading to get some dinner and drink too many glasses of red wine. Break.
Rehearsal dinner – too much red wine, I got a sick watch as a wedding favor -it is brown with my initials on the back, groom’s Dad paid, groom’s Mom gave a speech, “When you are sliding down the banister of life I hope all of the splinters go in the right way.” Wiser words have never been spoken (unless somebody told him to go to Mexico the day before – which was clearly me)
We then hit the hotel bar and the night ended. Ok, that is a lie. We went to karaoke. I may have sung. I may have sung 2-Pac’s California Love. I may have butchered it. Badly. Like “Bay area and……Give me love!!!” I think when I first got up there I did a little warm up. “Sup ya’ll. Yeah. Yeah. What’s up Chattanooga.” Apparently that did nothing to help my performance. It was bad, but at least the groom was up there with me making a fool of himself as well. So that was good.
After making a mockery of one of the top 5 rap songs of all-time we retreated back to the hotel where I promptly went to my room and did not get up until the maid gave me the old, “Housekeeping!”
From there I went swimming and it was time to drink an 18 year old bottle of Scotch (which took 5 of us about 29 minutes) and put on our tuxedos. Not gonna lie, I may have checked myself out in the mirror a couple of times and pointed at myself. I loooked goooo – moderately alright.
Pictures with both the bride and groom (which makes sense – get that shit over with before the ceremony so we weren’t hanging around for hours keeping the post wedding celebration on hold) I liked where their heads were at. So pictures, more bar, then a little more bar, then the church, and then there was some ceremony – couple of people said “I do” then kissed. Some old people cried. Pretty standard. (This is what happens when you have been in several wedding partys’, you become immune to the sentimental part.
Van. Reception. Woohoo. It was held at a big old warehouse in downtown Chattanooga. Awesome spot. Different, but that’s cool. I had a couple of drinks. Did very little dancing. Looked better and better with each drink I had. You know, the standard in wedding bliss.
Back at the hotel. Let’s just say we continued the libations, which were plenty BECAUSE the bride and groom may have ordered a few too many bottles of wine – OK, too many cases of wine. We end up outside next to some fire pits drinking….well, out of the bottles. Like we all had our own bottles – young, old, male, female – we didn’t have glasses, but did have bottles – so we rolled with it. I even convinced the bartender to give me a corkscrew (I am assuming I flexed my monsterous biceps for her, but those facts remain unclear).
Well, we’ll get to the end of the night……….I get to my hotel room door (I had to switch rooms) and the key won’t work. It is 3 AM, I am tired, so I sit down in the hallway and may have taken a brief nap until I am woken by the bride and groom who are getting to their room – next to mine at 4:30.
“Andrew, ya’ll need to get up.” Said in rather sexy, drunken Southern female voice.
“Nope, I’m good.” Said in not so sexy Northern male voice.
I ended up getting to bed and woke with a glass of water next to me.(See Andrew wanting to meet a nice Southern gal)
I woke up with a swell feeling and left the hotel with everyone at around 11 AM. Went to Hooters with some guys for lunch, drank some beers, got dropped off at the airport and attempted to get on a flight (Oh yeah, my flight was at 10:34 AM)
The woman behind the counter wouldn’t help me. AT ALL. She kept asking for my flight number. DOES ANYONE KNOW THEIR FLIGHT NUMBER. I GIVE YOU MY CREDIT CARD OR NAME AND YOU PULL THAT UP. So she and I start getting into a fundamental argument over this. She then tells me she is busy – there were maybe 18 people (including TSA) in the whole place. So I look around being about as much of a smart ass as possible simply because she is being mean. Now I have to call Delta customer service who inform me that I had not missed my flight, rather I was a day early. Huh? Didn’t know that. (Side note – had the woman simply looked up my name she could have told me that in 18 seconds.)
ANOTHER NIGHT IN TENNESSE!!!!!
Quick rundown –
Made buddies with an insurance agent who gave me a ride to my hotel. Yep, got a ride from a random stranger I met in a bar. People down south sure are nice. (I am still alive so it all worked out just fine.)
The “hotel” ended up being a hostel.
I went to a bar where I drank micro brews and met a young lady who took me to another bar with her friends. All lesbian friends. Who might I add were as cool of people as I have ever come across in my life. We hit on girls together – apparently Southern belle’s are coveted in the lesbian community as well. Who would have thought there was such competition out there?
Said goodnight to my new best buddy’s after they called me a cab.
Cab drives me ten minutes cross town = $3. I think it cost more in gas than that, but who I am to question them.
Sleep in the hostel, did not get murdered or raped (that’s a win).
Got up. Coffee. They call me a cab. Cab comes. It is a 1950’s British car, an FX 4 – the classic black, London cab. It was a lot of fun to ride in. One of those unexpected cool moments in life. They guy drops me off, he tells me $15 , I give him $20, he gives me a hug. It was, well, another unexpected moment in life.
Flight. Read a New Yorker article on LBJ the day of November 22.
What a great weekend.