Wedding Bell Blues
I met a girl at a wedding.
The wedding was for two people I met the first year I moved to Chicago but then never really hung out with again. But they asked me to DJ and I said yes. Since it was in a lake community in Indiana and most were traveling from Chicago, they offered me food and shelter and transit. I rode with a co-worker of the groom’s, these two men who lived in this amazing small apartment in Bucktown inhabited by two huge cats, many plants, and a lot of vintage art. We didn’t say a lot on the ride, which was fine.
They told me I’d be staying in a cabin with someone I’ll call Kaylie (fake name!!!! hi kaylie!) and immediately my inner machinery starting working, already predicting I was going to try to flirt with whoever Kaylie was. The guys who drove from Chicago to Indiana were not staying in the same cabin as me, and they dropped me off at mine. It was this old beautiful lakehouse, painted yellow and purple, full of 40’s toys and art, a kind of shabby chic aesthetic, screen windows to let the breeze in. No one else were there but the fridge had beer in it, so I picked out a bed and threw my stuff on it. Someone had mentioned that the rehearsal dinner was around the corner so I walked out to see if I could find it; there was to be a pizza party after.
On the road outside their house I encountered the bride and groom, hugging a tan white woman with wavy hair and a scrunchy face who was introduced to me as Kaylie. The look on her face when she met me made me think I should probably flirt with her. Like she made a face, or gave me a look like “Oh……. hello”
It was a lovely intimate gathering of people I hadn’t seen in years and some people I didn’t know at all. One was this girl Valerie who used to live with my friend Steve’s girlfriend. Steve is the reason I know any of these people. Another was this woman Natasha who was a friend of the bride who I actually met at the same time and had a crush on. Just a lot of people of various stripes convening in a yard in Michigan City Indiana lake community with a food truck and a canopy.
So after I went to get pizza, I saw her standing alone and I went up and chatted with her and IMMEDIATELY the conversation was like buttered popcorn, just slippery and easy and flowing and it was clear we were pretty into each other. Why can’t it always be this easy!!!!! When I told her she was staing in my cabin she literally did a fist pump and was like YES! Like this is how green the lights were.
I went back in the line to get more pizza and got caught in a conversation with a guy I didn’t know who was British. Soon I was in a group with British guy, my friend who introduced me to bride and groom in 2008, his girlfriend, and the singer of his band. Meanwhile, Kaylie was sitting talking to some queer ladies who looked very cool and I wanted to be part of whatever conversation that was.
I couldn’t quite break back into that conversation for a couple hours it felt like. I awkwardly stood on the fringes of conversation before eventually going back to my cabin and filming some snapchats of it for my adoring public. WheN I got back, Kaylie was alone again and we chatted and it was good again. She said something like, can we hang out the whole weekend, like if either of us ever needs a buddy can we tap in? and I was like absolutely that is what I want. So for the rest of the night we were walking around together at the party. I was trying to get her to go with me to the beach, but we couldn’t get in without a key. I showed her where our cabin was, and nothing happened there, but she did ask if I was single and if I was straight and we confirmed both of us were available. Why isn’t it always this easy!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally, a whole group of guests and the wedding party were going to the beach like in a group. They had keys to the private beach and we all followed. I sat next to Kaylie in the beach and she said she wanted to get her toes wet so we went and stood in the water. The waves were crashing against the cold sand and it got the bottom of my shorts all wet. There was a total blackness on the beach without stars. The only indication at all that there was a difference between the black sky and the black water was a thin sliver in the middle that someone said was Chicago,the light pollution of downtown.
We sat in the sand again, and eventually both confirmed we were tired. “Do you want to go back to the cabin?” I asked. And instead of saying yes or no, she peeled away and started talking to someone else (there was a whole group). eventually it was late
and I felt like I was just waiting for her, which seemed silly because what if she never comes, I should just take care of myself. So I tapped her on the shoulder and was like hey and she was like “HEY!!” and I’m like “I’m gonna go back to the cabin. Can you find your way back?” “i DEFINTELY can.” “OK, see you later” “OK”
I walked up the grassy/sandy hill in pitch blackness following the british guy who was pretty cool.He helped me get out of hte gate which also locked from the inside and he went back to his cabin and I went back to mind. The other people sharing our cabin (these two couples who turned out to be really cool) were hanging out in this screened in porch and because all the windows were open, I could hear every word they were saying. They were just having a private party in there and being really loud and I think it wasn’t until like 4am that I actually fell asleep. Maybe earlier. Kaylie came in at one point and she was like, yeah it’s loud, i’m going in this other room.
I was no longer feeling the green lights I was feeling before. I no longer felt like I could go so far as to say “Hey, do you wanna mess around before we go to sleep?” and I didn’t feel welcome in the room she was going to, didn’t make me feel welcome. So that sucked. My hopes had gotten very high and I was now forced to admit that none of that was actually a green light. A person can ask if someone is signal without it being an invitation to make out. A person can want to make out at 10 and change their mind at 4am. I wasn’t going to try. I was just going to bury my head under a pillow and try to fall asleep.
I woke up 4 hours later and looked at my phone. Kaylie got up to go do yoga with the bride. It was her wedding day and she wanted to start it off with yoga with her friend. In the rain. Although I guess it wasn’t in the rain, they went to like a place to do it, not just in the woods or something. I walked over to the other house where everyone else was staing, the place the party was last night. There was breakfast happening and people hanging out. eventually Kaylie came and she didn’t really talk to me. She was being kind of hot and cold. It made me feel really unattractive. It’s really weird, when someone is being really gregarious with me I feel like I am really attractive and I like myself a lot. When someone seems like they are icing me out, I feel really fat, weird-looking, creepy-seeming, and ugly. I say as little as possible to avoid revealing to others how weird and creepy I truly am inside. Then they’re nice to me again and it all goes away. Woohoo therapy!
I went back to our cabin to put on my wedding clothes. That was when I encountered Gwen(fake name). She was one of the couples who was staying in our cabin. I don’t remember her husband’s name. I think we talked about how I was DJing and getting everythign ready. I asked Gwen if she would take some pictures of me in my wedding clothes. The one I decided to Instagram was the really blurry one she took because it looked like I was on drugs. They asked me if I wnated to walk down by the beach with them, which I accepted. At this point I got really sweaty because I was in pants and shoes and a button up shirt and it was hot as balls.
Nevertheless, I sat on a beach chair and watched the waves roll in. They told me they were from LA and I asked them if they were in The Industry. they laughed, and said no.
When we got back to the top of the hill, we went our separate ways. I went to the house on Breezy Lane where the party was and they went back to our cabin to get ready. Eventually a bus would be coming to pick us up and take us to the wedding which was like 20 minutes away. Kaylie was also at Breezy Lane and she didn’t really say anything to me. On the bus I sat by this guy Tim who sent me his resume to pass on to my friend who works for a magazine. Steve’s GF sat ahead of us, next to Kaylie. She talked to me a little bit and I felt a little bit better, but mostly on my own.
She asked me what I was going to play, if I would play The Weeknd; I said I would.
During the wedding, she sat somewhere else and I sat next to Steve’s GF. Steve was in the wedding band. They played instrumental jazz and bells decorated the seats. As the ceremony started we rang the bells. An uncle officiated. There was a trading of a garland of flowers, burnt sage by some hippie, and a crying baby that no one asked to leave. Then, once they said their tearful I DO’s, the entire wedding marched through the park (International Friendship Garden) ringing bells. There was even a uniformed police office sitting on a bench and ringing a bell.
I checked out the tent where the reception would be held and didn’t see the sound equipment and got very nervous. I’m kind of a hack as far as DJs are concerned. I just plug in and play music. I don’t know anything about sound. Anyone who hires me has to do the sound themselves. I am a total fraud. But they reassured me it would be ready once it was time fo rme to do it. At one point during setup, Steve blew a fuse, literally, and all the lights went out under the tent. This was fine, because someone was still playing music on a guitar or something as people mingled and started to sit. Kaylie flitted around me a little bit asking if she could help in some way, and in that moment I was able to confess that I felt very useless since I didn’t know how to set up sound. It got fixed eventually and I started playing. An old lady who had been sitting next to me at the ceremony wanted to check out my set up and asked if I could play Melancholy Baby which is an old joke. She was my favorite.
My least favorite were the old dudes who had a lot of bad requests and were just asking what rolling stones i had, none of which was appropriate for a wedding. People who request songs are the worst. I know you want to request music. I know you want to. But I have a lot of music picked out, some of which was sent to me by the bride and groom and by the bride’s mom. Like we got it covered. Someone requested a song I had already played. Fucking christ, you guys.
As things started heating up and people started dancing, people started complimenting me and that felt really good. I felt like a rock star.
At a certain point we faded out so people could do toasts. Natasha told some story I don’t remember. Steve glossed over a few anecodtes but remaind mysterious. And the mom told a real long story.
At the end I asked if there were any more toasts and if not I would say a few quick words.
I told them I hadn’t prepared anything so I would try to make it quick, but that I had actually been present when the bride and groom met. I met the groom through Steve at a house they used to shows and band practice at in Uk village. One night we went ove rhtere for grillin’ out and these two girls showed up. One of them was Natasha, who was very strange and gregarious and charming, and who, I told an entire wedding crowd, I had wanted to flirt with and get ot like me. I said I was really insecure and was wasting my time and she was probaly weirded out by me, but whil eI was tring to win her affections and failing, the bride and the groom who had just met that night were actually hitting it off. And now here we were at their wedding. And I said i hadn’t kept up with them over the years but thye asked me to be here to DJ because I was there that first time, they had said I was the reason they got together and I’m not sure if that was why, but maybe it was? but i never expected to have been invited, but I held up my glass and said “I’d rather be here” and then played Talking Heads or something.
Throughout the night people approached me and said that my speech made them cry and i was like THAT speech made you cry? oh please.
I asked a few people if Natasha had been sufficiently embarassed or if she had gotten pissed or anything
One person said that she was laughing herself under a table. Steve said she could stand to be taken down a few pegs, since she had just translated poetry into Russian that had won the nobel prize or something.
And eventually Natasha came up to me and was like oh my god your speech! if only i was single, she said, andI hugged her, and when she left I realized she had not said “if only i was single we would have done something” what she was saying was “if only i was single , you would have gotten me laid, because your portrayal made me seem desirable, and SOMEONE ELSE would have had sex with me” You guys people are really weird to me and I am also bad at understanding the information being communicated like most of the time. Why would you go up to someone who just said “I had a crush on you in 2008” and say “Thanks, maybe this will get me laid” like why would you do that?
ANNNNYway. The dancing continued. Sometimes I danced with Kaylie. It was a lot of fun. Like i said, I felt like a rock star. People were really into what I was doing. I made old ladies dance to Le Tigre and Outkast so I think I did a pretty OK job.
Afterwards we all convened at our cabin before going back to the beach. I felt like I had won over this party and now I was one of them. But Kaylie wasn’t oging to go to the beach,she was just going to go to bed. On my way to the beach I realized I should have said “Do you want to go to bed or do you want to make out?” but i didn’, and that’s on me i guess, but maybe better that I didn’t considering the hot and cold.
The beach was great. people swam naked. There were drugs. and a fire. and the boys I drove with lit off fireworks until a neighor called the police. I went to sleep around 5. Woke up around 10. All in all a successful night. The only weird thing is 2 past lovers texted me about insecurities they were feeling. So I guess I am good at making people feel better. Two at the same time. One of whom I spent hours on the phone with, while I was on the beach, and peopl ewere singing songs around a fire and lighting sparklers.
The conclusion of the Kaylie story is, both Steve and I offered to let her stay at our houses in Chicago before her Monda Am flight, and she said yes to both of us, until eventually telling me she would just stay at Steve’s. “Come to New Mexico sometime!” she said.