Only In Japan

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wedding, schmedding 2

We finally got to sit down at the lunch table, in a huge ballroom, at what felt like time for dinner. But first, a movie about the bride and groom's love story was projected, and I have to say it was quite cool. Funny and romantic, but not too much: just fine. And during the movie, they brought us bread! But before we could wolf it, the bride and groom made their entrance, strutted around for a few minutes, and we were summoned to see them cut the wedding cake. It was only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry, but everyone was clapping, cheering and taking pictures. Have I turned into the Grinch or what?, I thought to myself. Anyway, after the ordeal was over, we got to get back to our seats, and Champagne was served. That I can do with!

So we toasted, and I was starting to ogle my bread when the first of about 70 speeches began. So I glumly sipped my bubbly while the groom's father revealed us the secrets of a succesful marriage (never contest your wife), gloated about his son, and generally tried hard to be funny. Not a great speech, but still almost Churchillian compared to what was to follow: the bride's 6th Grade teacher's speech. The absolute low point of the day, it was something like "she was so cute, and she was a good swimmer, and she was always smiling, and everybody liked her, and she was kind to everyone, and she was a very good girl, and..." I started to feel my eyes glaze around the 18th minute of his speech, but fortunately a pair of security guards physically removed him from the mike.

No, sadly that's just a joke.

When he was done though, food was served and we got a brief respite from speech hell. Everyone was so hungry that the entrees were inhaled more than eaten, and the bread wasn't long to follow. The next hour or so is a blur of insignificant speeches, tiny servings of French food on huge plates, cheap French table wine, and polite clapping. The only thing that stands out in my memory is a videobiography of the bride and groom, which once again was very well done. Anyway, everyone started to relax once they had had some food, and I could finally chat a bit with the people at my table. They were nice, but once dessert was over I felt their attention slipping from the conversation: something big was coming, and my spidey senses told me that it involved large servings of schmaltz. And indeed... It was time for the Tear-Jerker Speech.

The Tear-Jerker Speech is the last speech of a wedding, and is made by the bride. It always goes the same way: "Dear Mother, sniffle, dear Father, sniffle sniffle, thanks for taking such, sniffle, good care of me until now, sniffle, I will never forget everything you did for me, sniffle, blah blah blah". As my friends say, "if the guests are not crying during a Tear-Jerker Speech, then it wasn't a good speech". From that point of view, it was a great speech; but as for myself, I almost puked. Fortunately, it was all over a few minutes later; I ran home and watched Kill Bill 1&2 just to wash away that horrible experience. Thanks Quentin, you saved my day.

It might sound strange, but my boss's wedding, next Autumn, I quite look forward to. In a tuxedo, he will look like the cutest little penguin ever. I can't wait.

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