You know that romantic first song at a wedding, sung by a wonderful vocalist and infinitely more touching than the original version because the bride and groom are holding hands, starting at each other in front of God and family, getting misty-eyed before they pronounce their vows? It was in the middle of this wonderful moment for my brother and his new bride Sunday when her two-year-old daughter and flower girl, Lexi, tugged on her mother’s gorgeous, white gown and whispered, “Mommy, I gotta poop!”
Fortunately, the matter wasn’t urgent and Lexi was discrete enough in her innocence so that only the nuptials, maid-of-honor, minister and I (the best man) heard her. The ceremony continued and my baby brother, Morgan, is now a married man, pooping step-daughter and all.
Milestone events and holidays are rather troublesome for my family. We’re from Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, so there’s always an element of redneckery that pops up. I’ve been to weddings for both family and friends that included many features most civilized people would consider, well, not. Those include:
Of course, that doesn’t include the countless line dances, ex-girlfriends who show up to fight, 20-year-old dudes hitting on 40-year-old married women and one wedding in which two guests included one of the couple’s probation officers AND the judge that sentenced them to prison.
Despite my pleas to the contrary, Appalachia does partially earn its reputation.
My brother’s wedding added a few chuckles to my list of Stuff I Can’t Believe Happened, but was mostly a beautiful affair from the rehearsal dinner (which my mother organized and knocked out of the park) to the wedding and reception (held in the same venue — an added bonus for convenience and hunger’s sake). My brother was incredibly happy, as was his bride and both of our families. And that’s what matters.
At the reception, I was sitting with my O’Briant-McCoy cousins — the clan from Logan, W.Va. — when Cousin Mark asked me how I was going to summarize Morgan’s wedding on my silly little blog. As I drove home that night I gave it some thought.
My brother and sister (twins, 11 years younger than me) have all grown up, as have my cousins. We all have lives and jobs and kids and such. Our parents get on our nerves, but we understand why and how to deal with them now because we have children of our own. We’ve been stuck with each other long enough to know that no matter how shitty we act or what stupid things we do, we’re still family and we forgive each other and love each other, no matter what.
So on Sunday, I sat with my wife and children, mom and step-dad, sister, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and family friends and watched my little brother get married. I thought about our grandmother and great-grandmother and how they, like the rest of us, would be so proud of Morgan and what he’s overcome over the years to straighten his act up and find someone he can love and who loves him.
And I said a little prayer to thank God for my family.
And that Lexi finally got to poop..
December 4, 2012