Binky Betsy (cookie77) wrote in binky_betsy,
Binky Betsy
cookie77
binky_betsy

My Etiquette Hell story

Or rather, the story Etiquette Hell didn't bother to post!

Back in 1999, Cookie Monster and I went to the wedding of an old and dear friend of his. The groom, "Brandon", was, at the time, an Army Ranger. (He's now with the police, recently promoted to detective. This guy is awesome at everything; Elly would be sooooooo upset to meet him and find out he's taken!) The best man was his brother, "Dylan", the two other groomsmen were Army buddies of his, and Dylan's then-girlfriend, now ex-wife, "Brenda", was among the bridesmaids.

Cookie Monster and I were not in the wedding party, but were seated at the table that ranked next highest after the head table. With us were Brenda's parents. Her father was ex-Army, which is relevant, as you'll soon see.

The ceremony itself was beautiful, including a bagpiper, traditional AND personal vows, and a release of doves. After the ceremony, the wedding party apparently only took time for the groom to change from uniform to tux, and spent the rest of time leading up to the reception riding around in the limo, drinking. Which will also soon become obvious.

At the reception, all six attendants gave toasts. The bridesmaids spoke first, and I don't remember anything particular about their remarks. Dylan made a maudlin speech about how lucky "Kelly", the bride, was, to get a great catch like Brandon, the bestest brother anyone had ever had. "David", the first groomsman, then made a rambling speech about meeting Brandon in basic, then passed the mike to "Steve".

Steve continued the Army anecdotes, then somehow segued into a rant about the sacrifices our armed forces make, getting more and more belligerent as he went on. Like most everyone else in the room, I sat uncomfortably, and at one point noticed Kelly lean over to Brandon, whisper something, then sit up and bravely paste her smile back on.

Now, Brenda's dad wasn't in my sightline, but Cookie Monster could see him, and told me afterwards that during this, he was glowering more and more fiercely. When Steve got to saying, "And when you're sleeping in your warm, cozy bed, you just think about some guy who's freezing his ass off in North Korea or wherever---I mean, sweating his ass off, same difference, and you wouldn't be there without---" Brenda's dad pushed back his chair and stood up, his jaw set.

Seeing this, Dylan hastily reclaimed the mike, said something placating, then called for the guest to raise their glasses to the bride and groom. Brenda's dad sat back down, and that was the end of it. At any rate, I thought that was well worthy of inclusion in the Tacky Toasts section of Wedding Etiquette. Especially since it happened pre-9/11, and a lot of people simply didn't know what he was on about.

Footnote: That was my last bouquet toss. I fumbled the bouquet; Brenda caught it, but I was still the next bride!
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