Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Two Different Weddings, Two Different Worlds...

I had originally written this article in July after I attended two weddings. I told my friend about this post and he said I should finish it and fire it off...

July, 2006

I attended two very different weddings this past weekend. The first wedding was on a Saturday and was exactly like every wedding I've attended in Nebraska since I was a kid. A coworker (well, he's actually a grad student) got married in small town Nebraska in a small protestant church. Even though I only knew only the groom and the guy I carpooled with, it was like coming home. Every familiar small town character was there, almost like a Simpsons episode. I expected Comic Book Guy to bumble through the door at any moment.

The weird thing about these types of weddings is the general tension in the air. An almost tangible feeling that something could go horribly wrong at any moment. Everyone seems to be on pins and needles. When the candle lighter had troubles due to the blasting AC you could see the near panic crossing everyone faces.

What in the world causes this level of stress? Why were they so worried? I couldn't tell, but it didn't feel any different then all the other weddings I've been to.

The reception was quite different. There's a definite feeling of 'Thank God that's over' in the air. Food is placed out and people are encouraged to help themselves and have a good time.

Contrast that with the wedding I went to on Sunday. First of all, a Sunday wedding is pretty rare for me. The reason it was on a Sunday is part of the overwhelming differences between the two particular weddings. This was the first Jewish wedding I've ever attended.

I was pretty nervous about going. I'm not familiar with the customs and I really, really didn't want to offend anyone. I was worried about how easy it was at weddings I was familiar with to set things in motion that would snowball into a bad scene.

I could not have been more wrong. The wedding had a feeling of congenial reverence. I got the feeling that if something went wrong with the ceremony, then that was ok because it wasn't the ceremony that was important, but the long road to follow. It felt like the celebrants were saying 'its ok if this goes of the rails, God will still be happy with it'.

When I asked about covering my head before entering the temple the people at the door were very gracious and were certain to tell me that I was welcome to do what made me comfortable. They were not offended by my ignorance, nor were they pushy about what to do. It was a small thing that hinted at much larger differences. I was tremendously grateful for the consideration.

The reception was a more formal affair. Waiters and waitresses served the guests on the staff's timetable. It wasn't until the reception that I started to feel the constricting grasp of foreboding, and then not to the degree I was accustom to at small town weddings.

It was a strange weekend and I was happy to go. I have another wedding soon, I'm sure it'll be even stranger. (Cowboy weddings ne

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rude Awakening...

Its 6:15am and I still can't get back to sleep. Why? At 3:30 am I was awoken by some extremely loud booming/crashing sound. It sounded like someone was in my house tossing around free weights tied to an elephant.

I take the nervous walk downstairs (boom) with the phone (boom) in my hand. Is it the furnace (boom, BOOM)? Is it a car (BOOOM!) door?



Nope, its some dude trying to break down my front door.

Why? Who's to say. Before I really knew what was going on, I turned on the porch light and peer out the window of the door. There's some guy standing there. This guy looks up at me and he looks to be covered in blood, but thankfully he stops trying to break in. He just stands there. Every now and then he'd look around, sometimes right at me. I give his description to the 911 operator and I wait for what seems a liftetime for an officer to show up. I'm nervously fingering an implement of galvanized pipe I playfully call my mace and this guy starts to slump against the door frame. Its clear he's about out of it. The 911 operator seems to think that this guy was attacked and is now seeking help. "Is he breathing ok? Can you see a wound? Where
did the primary assailant go?"

What am I, Columbo? I don't see any wounds now, but if this jackhole gets in my house I'll sure as hell make a few.

The cops arrive and tell me he doesn't really know his name and that the 'blood' on his head is actually vomit. Well, ain't that nice.

Oh, yeah, UNL had graduation today. Welcome to the real world dude. Now get in the damb patrol car and don't come back.

Now the deadbolt and door handle on my door are all fubar and the door has some structural damage (thank $DIETY for solid oak doors). Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

The real kicker is that this isn't the first time this has happened. After the 1998 UNL/Texas game I had almost the exact same thing happen. After pounding like mad on my door that dude tried to break into my friends car.

Ah, the joys of city living....