Ali's Basement

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My Life: Missoula – Let’s Get Married! (Day 9)

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Wedding day had finally arrived, whoohoo! Everyone got ready and the Groom came over to the house to walk with us downtown to get breakfast. He was quite calm and joking around, it was good to see that he wasn’t nervous at all. He knew he had the right girl and he couldn’t wait to marry her. That’s got to be an awesome feeling.

We ate at the The Old Post and I got one of their breakfast specials, it was decent food, but not as great as I’d been eating during the rest of the trip. I found out later from my friend’s roommate that someone else had complained about the breakfast that morning. It seems they were having an off morning as the food is usually good there. I’ll have to come back sometime to try it again. We had a little bit of time before we had to leave for the pictures, so we decided to stop by two local outdoor flea markets.

The flea market was really cool there were a series of artists, farmers, craftsman, and more selling their goods. I was able to find some neat gifts for people back home. On a side note, I had no cash on me so I had to run into The Oxford Saloon to use their ATM. The Oxford is significant because it was featured in the June issue of Esquire as one of the Best Bars in America. When I asked all the local young people about it, they immediately showed disgust on their face, I guess I hit a nerve. According to them, it was one of the shittiest bars in Missoula and none of them would ever step foot in there. So, I went back to the article and re-read it and Esquire selected the Oxford because it’s a very old bar, with a rugged and gritty clientele but it won’t attract the young Missoula crowd, and maybe they like it that way.

After the flea market, everyone headed back to the house or hotel to shower, shave and put on our gray slacks and white shirts, which were freshly pressed from the cleaners. The groom picked us up to take us to the Missoula Country Club, where he gave us our really sweet yellow-golden ties that we would be wearing. We headed downstairs to the men’s locker room to put on the final touches. I ended up knotting the ties for the groom and all the groomsman which was pretty cool 🙂 I hope someone got pictures or video, because it was a hilarious scene to see 6 guys all huddled in front of one mirror getting their ties set.

Once we were all ready, we headed outside to get our pictures taken with the groom. One of the groom’s sisters-in-law was the photographer and set us up in all of different poses and after about 15-20 minutes we were all done and banished to the locker room again. The groom was not allowed to see the bride before the wedding or while she took pictures, so we had to keep him occupied. Now, we were stumped with how to pass the time and we knew the girls would take much longer with their pictures. So, we first headed to the bar and asked for a deck of cards, which they had, score! We grabbed the cards and a round of drinks, headed back to the locker room and moved 3 benches around to take enough space for everyone. We played a few games of asshole and the groom’s soon to be brother-in-law joined us too. It was a lot of fun with plenty of trash talking and rowdiness. I think it helped to pass the time and keep the groom occupied, except that he was getting some awful hands. I guess some of us could have given him a break … nah … that just wouldn’t be us, haha. In conversation, the groom mentioned that he would be driving to the hotel with his bride in his car … hmm, that’s the same car he drove to Vancouver, to Seattle and back to Missoula, plus he’d been driving us around all week, so it was really beat up! With about 30-45 minutes before the ceremony, I asked him for his keys so we could take it to a quick car wash and get it ready for him.

The bartender gave us two suggestions on where to take it so two of the guys, our friend’s roommate, and I jumped into the Accord and took it to the nearest car wash. The first one was closed, shit, so we drove down the street to find another one, luckily there was one not too far from the Country Club. We got the car washed and had about 10 minutes to spare so we decided to run to Wal-Mart to grab some car paint and an air freshener. We were going to clean the inside, decorate the car, and freshen it up sometime during the reception when we had a chance to get a way. As I walked through Wal-Mart looking for supplies I got a call from the groom asking where I was, I told him 2 minutes away, then a few minutes later I got another call from the groom, ‘where are you? you need to get back’, I said 2 minutes away (again). I finally checked out and jumped in the car and then I got another call from one of the groomsman, I told him we were 2 minutes (yes, again) away but stuck at a light. It was 5:59 pm and we were really pushing it and you know when you’re in a hurry the red lights are the LONGEST. We finally pulled into the parking lot at 6:01 pm and rushed inside just in time to get in line, grab the arm of the bridesmaid, and start the ceremony.

There were 6 groomsman and 4 bridesmaid, so four of the guys had to double up with two of the ladies. We all walked down the aisle and got in our places next to the groom. Then the bride entered with her father to walk down the aisle, she looked beautiful, way to go buddy! It was a small and short ceremony, but it was very well done and definitely more intimate. The bride and groom recited their vows, had their first kiss as husband and wife, and finally, the pastor announced them as “Mr. & Mrs. Adams!” The guests all let out a big whoohoo! Afterwards, they went off to take more pictures and we joined them for a few minutes to take a big picture of all the groomsman and bridesmaids.

While we all waited for the newly married couple to finish their pictures, the guests grabbed drinks and mingled. After about 15-20 minutes, the bride and groom were announced again as they entered the reception hall and we all sat down for dinner. It was a buffet style dinner with steak, chicken, Portobello mushrooms, Alaskan halibut, mashed potatoes, asparagus and more. I had the halibut, potatoes, and veggies … it was great! A few minutes after dinner was served, the bridal party decided to start the speeches. The maid of honor spoke first, then the groom’s oldest friend, and then the microphone was just passed around the table. When it came to my turn, I didn’t have anything specifically prepared, but I did have a certain story in my head that I wanted to share. So, I spoke about the groom’s desire to conquer all challenges using a basketball anecdote from our college days. I related that experience to how he would use his abilities to conquer any challenges in the couples new life and throughout their marriage.

After everyone finished dinner, the speeches had been delivered and the dance floor opened up. A few of the groomsman decided to sneak out and decorate the groom’s car. We bought white and yellow car paint markers which we used to draw and write messages all over the car. We didn’t have enough time to string cans on the back of the car, but it looked pretty sweet by the time we were done.

After we were done decorating, everyone hit the dance floor to celebrate the couple’s union. If you know me, you know that I love to dance so I already didn’t need any excuses or invitations to do so. I was on the floor as soon as I got in room. Everyone eventually got on the dance floor and one of our buddies just went wild, he was dancing up a storm. It’s good to have the moves and be able to impress the crowd, no doubt about that!

A little after 11, it seemed the groom was ready to leave with his bride to enjoy his first night as husband and wife, so we pulled his car around the front as he said goodbye to everyone. When the couple walked out and saw their car they were shocked! It was a great feeling to see how happy they were. But it was time for us to say goodbye for the evening and we all waved them out as they drove away. Congrats buddy!

After the couple drove away, we went back inside grabbed our stuff and deliberated about next steps. We all decided we wanted to keep the party going downtown, so we headed back to the house to change clothes and go out. We first went to Al & Vic’s Bar and I was in a good mood ready to mingle … except someone wanted to rain on my parade. Within 20 seconds of me walking in and making my way through the crowd, I make eye contact while scanning the room with a group of people on my left and one of the guys stares at me with a scowl on his face and says, “Asalamu Alaykum”, which means ‘peace be with you’ in Arabic and is a common salutation like hi or hello. This guy, who was  5’7-5’8, stocky, and had a military cut, had obviously profiled me as someone not from Missoula and of Middle Eastern decent. I didn’t want to bring any attention to myself so I walked right past him without acknowledging him, but he decided to push it by saying “go fuck yourself”, and that’s when I decided to get involved. I turned around to let the guy know that wasn’t cool and told him to go fuck himself. Yes, I know it wasn’t very mature of me … but the guy pushed too many buttons and he was being racist and I couldn’t just ignore it. There was a little movement from both sides, but nothing major happened as his friends grabbed him and the girls with him said “he didn’t mean anything, he’s just drunk” and my friends pushed me to the back of the bar to get me away. I felt bad for getting my friends involved and I definitely did not want to start a fight in a new town when we’re all damn near 30 years old. We eventually made it to the back where we played a few games of pool and talked to some mutual friends. Unfortunately, I wasn’t done with my racist run-ins for the night as another guy, taller and with a baseball hat, decided to grill me with a scowl on his face as he walked past me towards the bathroom. I could just feel the hate in his eyes as he looked me up and down, it was a chilly feeling. I don’t know what makes someone hate or dislike someone they’ve never met or talked to but this was definitely an odd position for me. Being from Northern Virginia, a fairly diverse and liberal area, I don’t deal with a lot of face-to-face racism or anti-Semitism. Also, to be fair this was my only bad experience during my whole entire trip. But, by this point I was pretty irritated and wanted to leave so I asked my friend if we could go to a more “diversity friendly” location, he laughed and said of course. So, we headed to Top Hat again but this time it was dead. There were more people singing on stage than actually hanging out in the bar. I did have one hilarious run in. There was a cute girl at the door, which we all noticed when she walked in, so I decided to say hi and it turned out she was out of it as she was slurring. She was asking where the bathroom was, so I said that I could walk her there. At first she looked at me like I was crazy, but then grabbed my arm and let me guide her. As she walked into the bathroom she managed to say, “do always go around helping girls to the bathroom?” I looked back with a smile and said, “only the cute ones, have a good night.” I got a good laugh out of that one and even though I didn’t get a chance to stick around, I wonder what she thought after she got out or if she looked for me. I’d like to think she did, haha.

We all walked back to our friend’s house to hang out late night as we all knew it was unfortunately our last night in Missoula, boooooo! We ended up sitting around talking and laughing about our trip and recapping some of the great stories.

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Written by Ali's Basement

July 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Posted in My Life

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