my sister is getting married in just over a week, and my father and i will be performing the ceremony. while this is exciting and emotionally dynamic, it is not what i'm nervous about. the ceremony will be beautiful and perfect, i'm sure. no, it's not the ceremony that has me sweating profusely: it's the reception.
i used to be a wedding reception champ. i was known in the tri-state area as one of the top-ten most wanted on the guest list of any wedding. all of our college friends got married in the same 24-month span, which gave me plenty of time to hone my craft. and by "craft" i mean specifically my ability to dance like a drunken richard simmons hopped up on speed. word got out through the wedding circuit, and i soon became a hot commodity. everyone wanted me at their reception. why? because no one likes that awkward time at the beginning of their reception when the dj has to practically beg people to hit the dance floor. there's always that one really overly-affectionate couple who's practically making out while slow dancing to "gonna make you sweat," and nobody wants to join them on the dance floor. nobody wants to display their lack of dance moves for the hundreds of probing eyes just waiting to see if someone will crack the ice and cut the rug (do you mind if i just randomly use cliches like they're going out of style?). nobody wants to be "that guy."
but greg will. so i became a regular on the wedding scene (and don't kid yourself - there is most certainly a "scene"), and i even had business cards made up which i handed out to people at wedding conventions and shows, in between showing off my arsenal of awesomely awesome dance moves to the happily engaged couples who up until now had been searching in vain for an ice-breaking, rug-cutting, arm-flailing, attention junkie. once they saw me doing the "driving through the neighborhood" dance or the "pushing the grocery cart through the store" dance, (usually done with necktie carefully tied around head), they knew they had found their man. i was the king.
that was then. now, i'm several years older and i've been out of the game for awhile. the last dance i did was the "king cobra" with my 5 year old son. i've put on some pounds in the cummerbund area, and things seem to jiggle in directions where they're not supposed to. instead of pointing and laughing with comments of admiration like, "hey, look at that crazy idiot on the dance floor! let's go join him and look like idiots, too!" i'm afraid people will now be turning their gazes to the intricately designed carpet, avoiding any eye contact with the slightly-too-old and more-than-slightly overweight man trying to do the running man. i'm nervous that while doing the twist, or the twist-and-shout, or the you-make-me-wanna-shout, or anything by lady gaga, i'm going to injure a group of senior citizens who are just trying to mind their own dancing business. i'll be twisting and shouting and sweating and it won't stop until the police get involved ("please stop twisting sir, it is hard to get the handcuffs on your sweaty chubby arms"). sigh.
and so i'm nervous. but i haven't just been sitting and worrying. no, i've been training. i mean, this is my chance to get back into the scene, you know? like mickey rourke in "the wrestler," maybe it's my last chance to get back in the ring, so to speak. so i've been trying to remember how to tie the necktie around my head: was that a square knot, a granny knot or a full windsor? i've been trying to remember the right rotational angle for the slightly risque hip shake during the macarena. i've been practicing my jackie chan roundhouse high kicks (just in case the cops get involved). and i've hired this woman as a personal dance instructor, just to remind me how it's done:
(wow, there are so many things wrong with that, i don't even know where to begin. another post, perhaps). so, if you know any seriously wicked dance moves, send them my way. i'm out of practice and looking for all the help i can get. also, if you know how to lose about 35 pounds in a week, that would be super sweet, too. thanks and i'll see you soon at a wedding reception near you!