Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The best of men

I have a list of things I want to do before I die. Some I'll do some I won't. But a few on that list are more a must than a want, like coming of age landmarks.

First crush. First kiss. First drink. First...Time. Most I've kinda stumbled into before I even graduated from HS.

Then as you grow older those landmarks become things like first house, first love, first marriage...

One of the things I've always looked forward to was being the best man. I want to plan the legendary stag party. I want to sit at the head table thinking 'thank god it's not me'. I want to give the legendary best man speech. I want to console (hook up with) the hot vulnerable bridesmaids as they wonder 'why not me??' But it looks like I just missed my last chance...

My Best friend in HS was a cat named Sherman Hu. He was a funny Chinese guy with big enthusiasm and big dreams. Reminded me of a Chinese James Bond. Unfortunately those big dreams are what drove a split in our friendship as he became involved in Amway. World Wide Dreambuilders. He kept involving me in things I wasn't interested in. The second to last time I saw him was on his wedding day where his upline Fenton was his best man. The last time I saw him was when I was jogging around the track at Holy Cross when I noticed this little girl waving at everyone as they ran past. And right beside her was her dad Sherman. After Sherm was Don Scott. Reminded me of a real life Fido Dido. Wasn't really what you'd call a best friend, but more like my partner in crime, and legendary wingman. It was the perfect partnership, he loved the Filipino girls (even the butt ugliest of the strain) and didn't like the white girls (even the hottest of the strain) which worked out perfect for me 'cause it didn't matter to me. I lost track of him soon after I had came back from a summer in NY to find out that he hooked up with the girl I was seeing when I left and was seeing when I got back. He hinted at it, she denied it, I said fuck off to both. She wasn't even Filipino. Last I heard he married some flip girl and had the wedding in Hawaii.

When I was in HS me and my cousin Carlo agreed to be each other best man. Which was cool with me because we are very close and I was single at the time (like usual) and he was in a long relationship (like usual). Fast forward to this year. After a long engagement Carlo tells me he has to get married right now (in 3 weeks). I don't hear anything else so I assume that he has forgotten our little pact and has chosen someone else which on some level kind of upsets me. But that was a long time ago and things change. Then on the Wednesday before the wedding his mom tells me to wear suit because I'd be his best man at the head table. Maybe not all would be lost if I could plan him a last second stag party, to somewhat fulfill my duties as best man. But after getting a hold of only a small handful of ppl and making arrangements at Brandys I thought all was well...till I got a phone call from my press when they told me my Newspapers wouldn't be ready till Friday night (night of the stag). Son of a bitch. It just wasn't meant to be so I cancelled it.

Carlo and Denise were Married last Saturday at a small civil wedding. Since it wasn't really a reception we had at the restaurant afterwards and with Chinese customs I didn't have to do anything so I just sat there. Althou I was really enjoying myself I found it kinda strange that Carlo's mom's life partner wasn't sitting at the head table. Then I noticed and found it somewhat strange that Denise didn't have a maid of honor and the only ppl at the head table were family (namely siblings and parents) and the fact that I was sitting beside Carlo instead of his mom when it hit me. I was standing in for Carlo's Dad. I almost started crying (admittedly I was kinda drunk and I didn't actually almost cry but poetic license and all) I was very moved. That night Carlo introduced me as his best man but I suspect I was fulfilling a more important role than needed to be mentioned.

The dinner was an abbreviated reception, Carlo made a very good speech (not quite legendary thou) they thru the bouquet and the garter...twice. Right before the first toss I decided that if it was meant to be then it'd fall right in my hand so I had a beer in my right hand and just stuck out my left. I was thinking of my brothers wedding when the bouquet weaved like a heat seeking missile around all these women fighting for it when it hit denise as she just stood there. As I was thinking this I saw the garter fly up in the air in a perfect trajectory to land in my hand...when it got caught in this tiny Christmas light sized light fixture. Million dollar shot right? It'll never happen again right? So I stick out my hand again almost daring fate to do it again. Second time the arc wasn't so perfect, but it again hit the same fixture and deflected to land right beside my other hand on the table I was leaning on after I had put down my beer. It just sat there for a beat while everyone just stared and waited for me to pick it up. I suppose I can throw it on the pile of other garters I've caught over the years.