A Wingman Flies Solo: The Scott Isaacs Wedding Blog
Throughout the course of time if you are as lucky, as I have been, you will have many friends. Many friends that you will know when they are single and you will later see them get married and start a new life with a person who will hopefully grow to become your friend as well. You may remember them single before they met their future wife and see them grow up due to the effects of a long-term female influence, before your very eyes. Some you may have seen getting married and some you thought would be single for about as long as you would be.
If you have ever tried to penetrate a social circle in hopes of achieving a long-term relationship, a dating relationship, or even a one-night stand you know that it is a task more daunting alone than with a friend's help. Men have embraced the "Wingman" technique so much that it has become a marketing slogan identifiable to all men. The wingman may take a lesser friend off the object of your desire's hands and he will expect you to do the same the next time around. He may initiate conversation when you are too shy to do so yourself. He may assure all a woman's friends that you are a decent man and will treat their friend with respect if she is to leave them for you.
For three years, Scott Isaacs was my wingman. Our lives are eerily similar. We met coming home from a bar when he proclaimed his life was not much more than "Professional Wrestling and Mountain Dew." I, not knowing there had to be much more to a life, instantly recognized Scott as someone I would get along with for quite sometime. We lived life Monday Night to Monday Night off delivery food that will be sure to bring us to hopefully minor heart attacks in our later years. We both joined and were kicked out of the same fraternity. We both fell hard for women we knew we were too good for in college, and thought anything that happened in college was the beginning and end of the world. We both tried very hard to pick up women on a given Thursday night. We traveled all over the country for baseball games, Syracuse University sporting events and pro wrestling...to the EXTREME!!
For three years Scott has been dating and living with Sharman a television reporter in Albany who first caught his eye when he worked at her station some time ago. She is a classic settle-down type woman. Mature, career-focused, strong-minded, very much a change from Scott's past three girlfriends. Still, I never thought I would see the day Scott would e-mail us to announce that he had proposed to someone and was set to get married.
But of course I am writing this blog from the wedding which took me not far from my home. Andover, Massachusetts specifically. I am one of Scott's groomsmen for what is an event of apocalyptic proportions, the Sharman-Scott wedding. I pick up my tuxedo, stop to get gas and a Red Bull and begin on the half hour drive. Upon arrival to the Andover Inn, I do not see anyone I know but do see a nice looking young lady on her cell phone flash a smile towards me and I know I am in friendly territory.
Your lineup is as follows. Myself and three of Scott's friends from home (friends from as far back as second grade): Chris Banningan (Banz), Chris Leonardo (Leo), Kevin Blanchard (Blanchard). All three great guys, who include me in their group whenever we're together, never had a problem with any of them, ever. Scott's best man is Ted Hartman, Scott's oldest friend and a lawyer who at one time was based out of New Orleans. New Orleans is a good place for entry-level lawyers because there are no laws there. Murder, I think is a $50 fine, you just have to mail it in.
The other side is Scott's sister, whose softball stats are kept in Scott's dad's memory and announced every time I see him; Sharman's friend Kerry, and my walking partner in the party, an attractive young lady who is with boyfriend of course; Sharman's sister whose name escapes me because she was referred to as "the pregnant one" all weekend long; and Sharman's cousin Mary Beth, the young lady on the cell phone. The Maid of Honor is Sharman's sister Maria, who looks, talks, and acts exactly like Sharman. The resemblance weas scary. Besides Scott’s sister and Kerry, none of the bridesmaids are planning to stay at the hotel, as they are all local, as close to ten minutes away from the Inn.
The General Manager of the Inn runs the rehearsal. This guy puts the General in General Manager, yelling at the bridesmaids to simulate holding their bouquets as they practice walking. I want to yell to this guy with my best Allen Iverson, “We’re not even talking about the wedding, we’re talking about REHEARSAL!” Blanchard and I are given the duty of rolling out the runner. God help us if we screw that up.
The rehearsal is followed by a nice Italian dinner at the Chateau restaurant. Scott says some nice words about me and the other groomsmen. He presents me with a picture of the 2003 Syracuse University Men’s Basketball team autographed by Carmelo Anthony. I enjoy delicious cannolis for dessert and sip a few 22 ounce Harpoons. Then I head back to the hotel for some Albany media talk, that although interesting is over my head since I know no one being talked about, so I call it a night.
The wedding is a mixed-faith presentation taking place at 6pm at the Andover Inn, so as to come close to a sundown wedding in the Jewish tradition but allow time for heavy drinking in the Catholic tradition. Now I will be going to at least two more Jewish weddings and I hope to have figured out the traditions by the last one, but Scott has to sign a contract that gives him something like ten sheep. I never quite understood this. When does he get the sheep? Does he get a two sheep signing bonus? Where is this kid going to put all the sheep; he doesn’t even have room for his DVD’s?
The wedding takes place in a Huppah (spelling butchered I’m sure). This much I know from Meet the Parents. A Huppah is like a house-shaped archway, supposed to symbolize a home, I think. They break the glass at the end, and I say Mazel Tov, that much I know, but even that has two meanings. Like I’ve said before I need to pick a religion so I know what to do and what’s going on at these weddings. Luckily the priest is going to translate the rabbi’s Hebrew readings, so my goyim ass can understand.
Of course Blanchard and I screw up our job. We miss rolling out the runner for the bridal party and barely get it out in time for Sharman’s arrival. Anyway the wedding goes without a hitch, the weather is beautiful Scott and Sharman are married. Hooray!!!
Picture and cocktail hour does not go without the General letting Blanchard and I know we screwed up the runner. I am being chased by cocktail waitresses offering us shrimp every third minute. I could have a heart attack by the end of this reception if this doesn’t stop. It is almost as if I’m at the Sharman-Gump wedding.
Finally, it is time for dinner, although after so much shrimp, I don’t quite see the point anymore. Through some seating mix-up or twist of fate, I am seated not next to Kerry who I was partnered with, but rather Sharman’s cousin Mary Beth. Let me quickly describe Mary Beth. She has medium brown hair, pale Irish skin, cleft chin, in shape (not a water buffalo by any means), thick New England accent. She goes to (that’s right goes to, she’s 20 years old, and if you think that’s creepy, I work in a restaurant, I see 45 year olds hitting on 20 year olds for as long as 8 hours a day, now that’s creepy) Northeastern University, where my parents both went. Her last name is Sullivan she is as Irish as I am. We talk about music, Italian food, and the Red Sox. We’re both talking throughout the entire dinner because we can’t stand to eat anymore … we both filled up on shrimp. We can still drink though so we take a couple trips to the bar. Things are going well. Very well. She and I both ask, “When do we start dancing”.
Dinner ends and the music starts. It is the typical wedding selection: “Electric Slide”, “Celebration”, “Get Down Tonight” and her and I are on the dance floor for all of it. Except for the Electric Slide. I just refuse. She attempts to teach me swing dancing and although I fail miserably at it, I am obviously succeeding in the big picture. Things could not be going any better.
A side note here. The DJ at this event was horrible. He played the same kind of song for ten straight songs and then had the nerve to wonder why half the party was outside smoking cigarettes. He played maybe three slow songs the entire night. He played Top 40 Dance Music for an hour straight from 11:30 to 12:30, which almost killed my game. His last song of the night was “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. About as poor a choice for a night ender as you could get. Still it is a chance for Mary Beth and I to dance and things are just about perfect. Or so I thought…
While we were kicking back Amaretto Sours and Amstel Lights and dancing to Kool and the Gang, a counter-plan was in progress. The Maid of Honor, Sharman’s sister Maria either took it upon herself or upon orders from family members to book a room at the Inn for herself and Mary Beth to stay. And to make sure Mary Beth stayed in that room and of course, not mine. Maria became our personal chaperone for the rest of the night, not letting Mary Beth get farther than an arm’s length away from her. She even took to the step of physically locking arms with her, and flat out telling me, “she’s my cousin and she WILL be staying with me tonight”. We are never outside of this woman’s sight for the rest of the night. Where was this woman at Josh's Wedding?
These actions were taken with her not knowing 1) I had already agreed to take on a roommate at the Inn, in the form of my thrifty friend Pete Mason who didn’t want to spend 120 bucks a night for a hotel room and 2) The combination of liquor, beer and wine did not have me at peak sexual ability at this point in the night and 3) I didn’t really want to have a one-night stand with this girl, I just was hoping to get her number and go out for some Harrison’s Roast Beef someday. I swear. You must believe me. Honest.
And to be honest with you, Kobe Bryant could be asking my sister for a “Private Baton Twirling Lesson” and I would not have taken the extreme actions that Sharman’s sister did. Incomprehensible.
By 4am, Maria took Mary Beth to her room; I got a peck kiss and a hug to end of the night. I felt as if someone had taken a Triple H sledgehammer to my spine. My extremities shriveled as if I had been injected with a shot of Yellow No. 5 and while this was going on, my wingman was upstairs consummating his marriage. Leaving me with the truth that I am now a lone soldier. A lone, attractive, charming soldier who if not for the dedication and above and beyond action of one Maid of Honor would have had himself one amazing story to tell… instead of another.
To Scott and Sharman, best wishes on a lifetime of happiness. Thank you for making me a part of it all.