Column 4 – Part 2

Number Five: Chip’s tribute to me

I am talking with some people hovering around the carrot cake when I hear the DJ announce “And now we have a request from Chip Cullen going out to the best man and the Ann Arbor crew.” I was like, “Ok, this should be good,” and headed back out to the dance floor. I was intrigued at the possibility of what our song could be. I thought that only girls could have “songs” but that is Chip, always breaking down those barriers so men can be more like women.

On comes Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a prayer”. I love Chip, and honestly, I think at one point during the night, he was more excited than I was about the whole ball and chain thang. But, I still don’t have a flipping clue what that song had to do with anything. You can’t dance to it. You know what I’m talking about Donnie Osmond.

I barely even knew the lyrics. But all the crew from AA got out there and looked like idiots so Chip didn’t have to alone. That is why it was so fitting. Bizarre and random, but that has kind of been our expression throughout college. I don’t think there was ever a joke that either of us got, told by the other one. But if he had requested a song that had some meaning, I probably wouldn’t have even remembered it so vividly and quizzically. So here’s to you Chip, Mr. Random-wedding-song-requester and your punch colored vodka.

Number Six: Mr. Kittleman likes ‘em young.

We had some awesome pairings for the wedding party. All of my best dudes paired up with a gorgeous young Chapman girl. Thomas and Tony might be about as little as the girls, but you know, all the matches looked natural. Then there was Josh Kittleman, our sole usher. Both Sarah and I went to private school with Josh while Josh was still wearing Moon boots and tucking his shirt into his pants every time he took a wiz. Josh Kittleman entered the reception with our flower girl Anna Gagnon.

Now mind you, Josh isn’t a football player, but I am sure he felt a frickin ogre. He has this bashful beard and big round jovial eyes and as he stooped over Anna as he opened the door, she took off on a mad dash to her mom.

Josh told me some crazy story that she was mad at him for telling her the truth about the Easter Bunny. This seems to be a typical reaction all ages for Josh, but you will be happy to know that they reconciled their differences by the end of the night. Just remember Josh, her favorite color is blue, and she has to be home by 8:30.

Number Seven: “Yeah I called you fat, look’it me I’m skinny”

My best man and I have had some great memories reaching way back before our sixth grade year. In senior year of high school we took an exotic camping trip up to his grandparent’s backyard. We biked, ate greasy pancakes and even greasier hamburgers and washed it all down with something we called sludge. (Justin’s sinful concoction of a half s pitcher of water and powered Kool-Aid, mixed with two cups of sugar)

We biked around, talked about female body parts, and claimed a little ditty by the name of the “Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground as our anthem. In the middle of senior year I had gotten the bug to find this song after I heard it on the radio. I loved the nostalgia so much that I tracked down the album online and bought it, just for that one song. We learned all the lyrics and thought we were cool. We even figured out “I’ll drink up all the Hennessey you got on the shelf…” Good times.

At the reception, Justin dedicated that song for me and for a short time we remember what it was like to not have student loans and thoughts of lifelong matrimony. We recited every single lyric to that eighties rap about a guy with a huge nose, and it was beautiful.

Number Eight: And we can always count on Amanda Chapman for snappy banter.

It is nearly 12:00 and I was in serious need of some nookie. Sarah and I had “started” to leave around 11:00 after we had sat through our eighteenth polka and said, “My Amish Aunt Paulina could have been a better DJ than Senor expiration date!”

So we started saying our final goodbyes, multiple times, and I finally got permission to completely get out of my monkey suit.

I told Sarah, “I don’t care if you need help or not, I am helping you out of that dress.” “Oh yeah, it’s naked time,” I thought. She didn’t think she needed any help but gave in knowing it would shut me the hell up.

Her little freshman sister was around for this conversational exchange and when Sarah said “Why is it so important for you to help me change?” Amanda chimed in, declaring her sexual awareness like a foghorn, “Because he wants to see you naaa-ked.”

I looked at her; she shrugged and giggled like Rudy Huxtable, turned around and left. I just laughed.

I laughed even more later when Sarah and I were sitting around and I got the rest of the story.

Not only did Amanda give my naïve new wife some very helpful insight, she also reminded her again later. Sarah was running around trying to find her civilian outfit and Amanda very politely, with her hands behind her back, a lean and a devilish smile said, “Come on Sarah, Jeff is waiting to see you naa-ked.” Not all that shocked, I surmised that Amanda just liked to say naa-ked like a potty mouthed sheep.

Number Nine: Booze vs. the horizontal mumbo

It is the end of the night at Terra Verde and the reception is coming to an end. I know my friends are all staying at one hotel in Coopersville, a tiny nearby town that has one streetlight and 4,000 cows.

My friends smuggled copious amounts of vodka into the reception, which I knew would surface later that night at the hotel. But to top it off, my friends all left together to go into Grand Haven. The one time that my friends from all over the eastern US are in my little home town, I am leaving for the one time I will ever get to go to the southern US.

About the time they were going down to the beach, laughing, and dipping their toes in the cool refreshing lake, I had bloodshot eyes. I am trying to concentrate on the road and taking deep breaths, upset that I let Sarah change out of her wedding dress. I had the option of making love to a woman in a car sized handkerchief, but let her change into jeans and a tee-shirt.

When they went out barhopping in Grand Haven, laughing and drinking, I was making a short stop, in the pouring rain at my apartment in Grand Rapids. I had to pick up my cosmetics and directions that I had left in my mad rush to leave on Friday.

When two of my friends were meeting up with another friend and to hang and drink at his house in Grand Haven until three in the morning, I was blinking, trying to stay awake, frustrated, tired, and lost in Lansing.

Boozing with your pals, or sex. From the dawn of time it has been the hardest choice any man has had to make. But I got the better end of the schtick, I got the week off work. How old AM I, that I held my breath for that?

Oh, and I also….

Number Ten: Had lots ‘o…..

SEX! An average guy thinks about it every seven seconds. Like I said, we had a week with no where to go and nothing to do.


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