In 2018, a majority of our friends and family decided to have destination weddings. This is fun in theory, but it requires us to take flights, lug car seats, and check into hotels with two small children. By the time we get to the wedding, my wife and I are exhausted.
I mean, just getting there is one thing, but have you ever tried to clip a bow tie on a 2-year old who doesn’t want a bow tie clipped on but his Mother wants to take a family photo for Instagram? I basically have to wrestle a small alligator for half an hour just to make my wife happy.
When the reception hits, my wife and I just want to eat food, toast to the beautiful couple, and wind down the night. So if the speeches go too long, you can literally see tears forming in our eyes, not because we’re emotional, but because we just want everyone to shut up so we can stress eat some cake.
The last few weddings have been different though. Why? Because my wife has thrown a wicked curveball each time. During the reception she’ll look at me and say, “Hey, just take us back to the hotel, help me put the babies to sleep, and you can come back and enjoy the reception.”
“Is this a trick?” I think to myself. I inquire further. It doesn’t seem like a trick. She’s tired. The dress is heavy. Her feet hurt. The kids are being assholes and climbing on her. She’s over it. She wants to take a break from everything.
We round up the troops. Mother Goose and her goslings quickly do a round of goodbyes and we sneak out and return to the hotel. I help put the babies to sleep, kiss my wife, and head back to the party.
Alright, here we gooooooooo.
I start to get excited.
A free pass to the open bar?
I walk back with confidence
It’s like the words YOLO are written on my chest.
I open the door to the reception.
The music is loud.
Why is it so loud?
It’s giving me a headache.
I’ll grab a drink.
I order whiskey and take a sip.
Is it supposed to taste like this?
My throat burns.
An Uncle, who has had a thousand whiskeys, comes up to me.
He makes a joke about Trump.
I pretend to laugh.
He starts talking about the economy.
My headache worsens.
I tell him I haven’t had cake and walk away.
I’m at the cake table now.
An Auntie walks up to me.
She asks me if we’re considering having a 3rd kid.
I almost have a panic attack.
I don’t want cake anymore.
She’s ruined cake for me forever.
I excuse myself and walk away.
I sit down at an open table.
My family sees me.
They want me to dance.
I don’t want to dance.
They argue with me.
I tell them to give me 5 minutes.
They scorn at me.
Another Auntie comes up to me.
She asks where my wife and kids are.
I tell her they’re back in the hotel room.
She looks at me like I neglect my family often.
I try to convince her that I am in fact, a really good father.
She doesn’t believe me and calls my wife a Saint.
I tell her that my wife gave me the night off.
She reminds me that Moms never have a night off.
I give up and agree.
She walks away.
I remember I have whiskey in my hands.
I try another sip.
WTF, isn’t it supposed to start tasting better?
The DJ starts playing loud noises.
Why do millennials like this electronic techno trap?
It’s basically car horns and wild turkey sounds.
I see another baby.
Why is there a newborn at this party?
It makes me miss my babies.
I look at the time on my phone.
12 minutes have gone by since I got here.
I take a breath.
I look around.
I decide to make my move.
I pretend to get a phone call.
I sneak out of the reception.
I sneak back into the hotel room.
Everyone is asleep.
They are all piled in the king sized bed on top of Mom.
I cuddle my children.
My wife wakes up half asleep and says, “I didn’t expect you back so quickly…”
I realize this was all a trick.
I realize this is where I needed to be all along.
I realize this is what weddings are all about.
I realize I don’t need to get lit.
My heart is already warm.
I fall asleep…
I can’t wait for the next wedding 🙂