My Sister’s Wedding, By the Numbers
A Short Story by Tim Josephs
Written using the suggestion "Fling"
Originally featured on 06-26-2008
As part of our series "Summer Indulgence"

Ninety-four: Guests. People I hadn’t seen in years, some I’d never seen before and will probably never see again. Old, young, rich, some just upper-middle class, it was a nice variety. Almost my entire family except for one cousin who nobody really likes anyway.

 

At least seventy: People who ended up getting pretty damn hammered.

 

Two: Falls, most likely as the result of inebriation. My sister at the reception and my brother the night before at the rehearsal dinner. His injury required a trip to the emergency room and several stitches in his right hand.

 

One: Slight electrocution. My other brother, outside in a field trying to entice some cows to come over, touched the fence he didn’t know was electrified.

 

Three: D’s of family gossip my Mom told me on the ride over. Delinquents, drop-outs and divorce.

 

One: Page of Kid Rock lyrics inexplicably read by the Maid of Honor for the bride and groom’s vows.

 

Thirty-seven: Awkward-looking white people dancing, including the father of the groom and his girlfriend (wife?) who seemed to be channeling some kind of Saturday Night Fever vibe.

 

Four: Total non-white people in attendance. My wife and three Asian guys who I think were friends of my new brother-in-law. (Five if you count the woman slicing the prime rib).

 

One: Casualty. A slow moving beetle, perhaps just looking for a better view, wandered into the aisle during the ceremony. One of the photographers stomped on it, not unlike the glass that would have been stepped on had it been a Jewish wedding. (The remains of the beetle were eventually shuffled away on the underside of the wedding dress.)

 

Three: Trips I took to the buffet. Man that fish was good, and I’m not really a fish guy.

 

Two: Times I wondered what the waiter’s real job was.

 

At least twenty: Polaroids my brother took of mostly himself and girlfriend to go into the guest photo album.

One: Guy named Spank

 

Twenty-five: Estimated total number of minutes I spent talking with my aunt.

 

One: Thing I remember from those conversations. Her dog was recently sick.

 

Seven: Times I looked at my sister’s best friend and thought “Damn, she didn’t look like that when she was twelve.”

 

Two: Times my wife caught me looking.

 

653: Rough estimate of the combined ages of the eight people sitting at the table next to us.

 

One: Goodfellas reference. When my father suddenly got worried about the wait staff walking away with the unguarded gifts I said, in my best tough-guy accent, “You don’t have to worry about that, nobody’s gonna steal those here.”

 

Zero: People who got the reference.

 

Seventeen: Songs the generic wedding band played before taking a break. My brothers and cousin, with permission, took over at that point.

 

One and a half: Songs they played before the generic wedding band realized the three half-drunk guys were better and took over again.

 

Eight: Congratulations my wife and I received on our recent wedding.

 

Three: Hints of sarcasm detected from those who hadn’t been invited.

 

Eleven: People who, when it started raining, said something along the lines of “You must be used to this living in Oregon” and then chuckled.

 

Six: People who pronounced it “Ore-gone.”

 

Two: Times I realized my fly was down on those rented, itchy tuxedo pants.

 

Fourteen: Photos of me with my fly down.

 

One: Arrest. At the hotel after the wedding my sister’s flamboyant friend was picked up for being drunk and disorderly. When my Mom sprung him the next afternoon his explanation of “the cops must not like gay people” caused her to call him an idiot.

 

Three: Times my wife said she was happy we didn’t have a big wedding, after seeing the throngs of people mobbing my sister and her new husband.

 

Four: Times my wife said she wished we had had a big wedding, after seeing the throngs of boxes and envelopes filling up the gift table.

 

30,000: Low estimate of what my parents spent on everything.

 

3,000: High estimate of what they spent on my wedding. I’m just sayin’…

 

One: Great time had by those who can remember it.

Read More By Tim Josephs

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