The wedding can best be summarized by our guests who filled out mad libs throughout the evening. In lieu of a live blog, I believe their combined words tell the tale:
After four years of dating, Darren finally skunked Wistar in Portugal. With the help of their ugly monkeys, Darren and Wistar finally married on December 27th in the Live Arts Church of Bunion Pad. The couple’s families were mushroomy to see the scrofulous sight. Even their dearest friends felt moist when Darren and Wistar were pronounced man and wife at last. The bride looked winterizing in a lukewarm dress, but the guests didn’t know she wore badger underneath. Darren hired a professional wedding consultant to help him with his wagon wheel, but Wistar handled his hard hat herself. When they danced to Big Dumb Sex by Unprovoked Moose Attack and Beer for My Horses by Mr. Kayak, any Little League chest protector could feel the magic in the air. In the forbidden city of Charlottesville that night, all their wedding guests knew that Darren and Wistar would joust together forever.
My sister and her boyfriend also spoke eloquently when they said, “The wedding was foggy and we were confused to be invited! May you share many eyeballs together!” I would fill out my own mad lib, but the only words I can come up with post-night-of-my-life are “exhausted,” “elastic-waist pajama bottoms,” and “the prospect of starring in another wedding is reason enough to stay married to Darren until I die.” Thank you to all the beloved silver spraypaint huffers and card-carrying cupcakoholics who made the event so fridge magnetic.
It turns out that if you want to be a published writer, you have to steel yourself for being in trouble all the time. You want everything you write to be true and good and universally loved, but sometimes what you write is false and bad and makes people hate you.
The sense of having done something wrong in public is especially hard to grapple with when you’re used to writing for a benevolent audience made up of your parents, your close friends, and boys who find you attractive. When you graduate into the “real” world of print, suddenly every opinionated stranger is privy to your mistakes. Yet each day journalists, newspaper editors, and other prolific writers – especially nonfiction writers – expose themselves to that kind of public scrutiny. Occasionally they offend, they overlook, they eff up, but they don’t stop writing. They don’t have the luxury of hiding in the bathtub until the storm blows over because the next issue is due at the printer’s at 5 o’clock and the ink is not sympathetic to their insecurity.
These people are my heroes. Meanwhile I’m in CVS buying canned soup and I’m paranoid that everyone thinks I’m a shoplifter so I buy extra stuff in hopes that the cashier will stop accusing me with her eyes. I perpetually feel like I’m in trouble. Compound that with actually being in trouble from time to time and I’m basically someone who murders people with her words. If a woman I admire wants to take me to lunch I wonder what I’ve done wrong and then I stop eating lunch for a while because lunch reminds me of being bad. (Probably too much information.)
But the best writers learn from their mistakes, even the big mistakes. And sometimes writers have to do a little ego stroking so their pens won’t freeze up forever. If I spell a word wrong, it’s probably because it wasn’t spelled correctly in the dictionary to begin with. And if I accidentally call Dr. X a pedophile when he is really a podiatrist, maybe my artistic subconscious is tuned into some larger reality where disordered feet prance around in Winnie-the-Pooh socks and drink wine coolers and beg to have their toes painted on a merry-go-round.
I think I messed up again. And I’ll probably regret it in the morning. But morning is for apologies and night is for balls of steel and writing is for people brave enough to say they’re sorry over and over again until the sun sets once more and they can spray paint the highway overpass with bad words like they’ve been dying to do all day.
This is something that happened to me today: I was driving home from Richmond with Abbey, daydreaming about wedding dresses, eating Junior Mints, naming my future children, when BAM! – the truck in front of us on I-64 lost part of the shit-shack it was towing and we swerved at high speed to avoid a spectacular death.
Everybody’s okay, in case you were wondering. The truck driver got off at the next exit and we resumed our conversation about Twilight or whatever and I feel confident that many more people will hold their noses in that port-a-potty in the future. But I’m still a little shaken. I’ve had near-death experiences in the past but they’ve never been so. . . stupid. This one had so many. . . poop connotations. It so much resembled the way I would kill off a hateful character in a novel that I wonder if someone wants me out of this awesome book.
I have good advice for how you can avoid this kind of tragicomic accident. 1) Do not giddily tailgate an unstable port-a-potty for 30 miles secretly hoping something crazy dangerous will happen. 2) Never hang out with me or Abbey.
When the bbf and I each posted the spider-sitting-on-top-of-the-frog-sitting-on-top-of-the-turtle-in-my-parents’-pool-filter photo on our individual websites back in August, we expected to receive a handful of comments like “Cute!” “Rad!” and “Aww.” We did not expect “Your photo inspired me to get a permanent tattoo.”
Aimee Pierson of California was so touched by the story of these interspecies friends working together to survive that she wanted to spread the word about their “incredible journey.”
It would not have occurred to me to get a tattoo of this image, but I am proud and amazed that our photo made such a difference in someone’s life. And the photo will continue to make a difference at every cocktail party Aimee attends in a backless gown. And at her community swimming pool. And in her sex life.
Looking at this tattoo, I feel like I’m standing on top of a smile on top of a puppy on top of Christmas morning. Thank you, Aimee, for sharing the turtle-frog-spider love.