I don’t consider myself a sappy person. I don’t gravitate towards romantic movies or books and I’d say a lot of people haven’t seen me get extremely emotional, unless they were with me that one time in that one car when I got that one phone call (you know who you are). The secret is, I’m actually a highly emotional guy with a heart made of soft-serve ice cream when it comes to certain things.
One such thing: my sister’s wedding. I flew to Pittsburgh this past weekend for it. The bride-to-be was my youngest sister, too, so that comes with all sorts of “the baby grew up so fast!” sorts of emotions. Damn it if the whole thing didn’t put a little rain in my eyes, if you get my euphemism.
I was truly, incredibly excited and happy about everything. It was beautiful. I hadn’t been to a wedding as a guest in more than 12 years. I did get to officiate my friends’ wedding last year, which was all sorts of hellacious fun. At least after I stopped being so nervous about officiating that I could barely string together a sentence about the disc golf we played.
The whole wedding was the most laid back I’d ever seen – the groom got his clothes the day before, my sister made her own floral crown, we gents had an impromptu wedding day brunch — all very low maintenance. It was my kind of wedding.
But that’s not what made it truly great. It’s not what makes any wedding truly great. Greatness doesn’t come from location or food choice. There are no wrong choices (there are). I’m just as excited for my other sister’s wedding, which will be completely different.
Almost all wedding details are interchangeable, really. You can have a ballroom full of the most expensive ghost orchids and platters of gold-leafed orgasm-cake, or you can get married on top of a dumpster wearing just socks and a bowler cap — in the end, it doesn’t really matter.
This wedding hammered home the one thing that does matter. This one thing was very present and very obvious — these two, my sister and my brother-in-law (who’s been a brother to me for years), were dedicated wholly and completely to each other. They didn’t take their eyes off each other during the ceremony and they were just happy and excited to start this journey. They had zero doubts; zero fears.
That’s what all great weddings have in common — no fears, no doubts; just adoration and excitement. You’re scared while you’re getting married? You’re not 100 percent focused on your future husband/wife? Maybe hold on a sec. Because of all the negotiable things in a wedding, that’s not one of them.
All these thoughts ran through my head, watching my baby sister get married to a man amongst men. And it brought a lot of rain in the eye area, and I’m still riding that rain train this whole week. I couldn’t be happier for them and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, as they do, that it’s going to be grand and infinite. They’re starting something truly amazing, and I mean that in the old sense of the word when people didn’t use it to describe carrot cake mini-cupcakes.
Just to be clear, the rain euphemism refers to the fact that I cried like a tiny infant baby with a history of depression.
Bennett Rea is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles, CA. A survivalist with various primitive skills and a distrust of Snapchat, he’s just trying to be a human in an increasingly technological world. He also works at an art gallery on one of the country’s trendiest retail blocks and constantly battles the urge to flee for a cabin in the mountains filled with books and bourbon.