My cousin Amy had a beautiful wedding yesterday. It was very classy, and the groom seems like a great guy with a really good sense of humor. They actually conspired with the DJ to set up the groomsman. Upon entry to the reception, they had to compete in an impromptu dance off. It was quite entertaining.
The hardest part of taking a date to a function with this side of the family is trying to explain my relationship to everyone. The bride's grandmother is my grandfather's sister, so her parents and all the aunts and uncles are all my dad's cousins. So the cousins have kids. Then the cousin's kids have kids. It's just confusing as to who is a second or third or fourth or however that works, so we just end up saying everyone is a cousin.
I felt terrible because I didn't remember my cousins Clark or Jessica. The thing is, I hadn't seen Clark since he was about five, so the fact that's he's now a grown man threw me for a loop in trying to figure out who he was. However, after the slideshow at the reception showing everyone as kids I finally put it all together.
You don't see people in so long, and they just stay the same age in your head. For a split second I thought cousin Lori's elementary-age kids were cousin Tommy and cousin Scott, who are now also grown men. I just remembered them the way I saw them last and Lori's kids look a lot like they did when we were all kids.
Half the attendees at the reception told my date that they used to babysit me. Thankfully the stories weren't any more detailed than that.
Also, history repeated itself in our family. Thirty years ago, I was the ring bearer in cousin Christie's wedding. I cried and didn't make it down the aisle. Last night, Lori's son Kelby was the ring bearer at Amy's wedding. The flower girl managed to drag him almost all the way down the aisle before he collapsed into tears and escaped into a pew. I guess the men in our family just have a natural instict to be wary of that altar.
My Uncle Jack and Aunt Mary Ann, the grandparents of the bride won the anniversary dance for the longest marriage. They were at 57 years.
It was good to see everyone. These were the people that were constantly around me during the early years of my life, yet I hadn't seen many of them in 15 or 20 years. I need to do a better job at staying in touch with family.