The Curse of Two: The Jeff Horstman Wedding Blog
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about having friends is who we meet through them. Meeting girlfriends, wives, and family of those we know and like always arises a sense of curiosity. Sometimes you click, and you become as good of friends with them as you are with your mutual friend. Sometimes you don’t and you end up dreading seeing them at events or visits thereafter.
I met Jeff Horstman during my first junior year at Syracuse. Jeff is my friend Josh’s best friend a graduate from Penn State who visited Josh about one weekend a month up in Syracuse. I only knew when he was coming because Josh would be frantically cleaning his house saying “If I didn’t have friends over this place would never get clean…douchebags”, when I would visit that Friday morning. Upon his arrival Jeff got shitfaced, spit out wrestling lines, and hit on drunken girls like it was his job. Needless to say we “clicked” and he became my friend “Horse”.
Jeff is the only one of my friends who has perfected “The People’s Eyebrow”, stared down a Syracuse Riot Police officer, and told girls in a bar that he was the Kicker for the Penn State football team. Today you can get arrested for two out of the three, but Jeff got away with it. You can imagine my surprise however when he told all of us that he met the woman he is going to marry and planned on proposing to her. As recently as this past August, the day after approaching two angry New Jersey girls faking an Australian accent, as a means of introducing them to my friend Greco and myself, he told me “I meet tons of girls, but none of them come close to my fiancée”.
I will say this, compared to the two ex-girlfriends of Jeff’s I did meet, none did. I don’t know Meg well but she has been the friendliest (at least to me) of all of Horse’s girlfriends. That said, picking a card for their wedding was a little bit of a task there were cards that said “May love enrich both of your lives forever” and “Here’s to life full of love and happiness” none that said “You used to put your friends in wrestling holds and hook up with girls while they were passing out, now your settling down…good job buddy!”
I manage to get a card and hop on a plane to Philadelphia. I have been to a countless number of US major cities and I must admit Philadelphia is my least favorite. Once you’ve ran the Rocky steps, seen the Liberty Bell and walk the Freedom Trail all you have is rude people, lousy service, and signs that make it impossible to get around the city. As the Southwest Airlines commercial says “It’s like a mini-New York”. Plus there are no restaurants in the airport, at least not at the Southwest terminal.
Horse on the other hand LOVES Philadelphia. He used to be a 49ers, Braves, and Penn State football fan. Now he has converted to the Eagles, Phillies, and St. Joseph’s Basketball. In fact, this wedding is only happening because Horse’s several phone call proposals to Terrell Owens were left unreturned.
Greco picks me up from the airport in his BMW X5. The stereo is playing “Soul Survivor” by Akon and Young Jeezy. Something about a guy singing “You can find me sitting on a block with my thing cocked, possibly sitting on a drop” while sounding like Alvin the Chipmunk just isn’t convincing. Music commentary aside, we drive to Plymouth Meeting, stop at the Plymouth Meeting Mall for some McDonald’s and check in to the Doubletree which is ironically across the street from a Bertucci’s (the company I work for), unfortunately the “no free food on Fridays and Saturdays” policy is still in place so the McDonald’s has to do.
Luckily this wedding falls on a piss-poor college football weekend so I can concentrate while getting dressed. We meet with Coach and his fiancée Stacey. And of course we get lost, please note of all the weddings for which I was not in the bridal party and a limo has been provided, I have gotten lost on the way to. I think that’s God’s way of telling me, I should be nowhere near a church (haha, I kill me).
We do arrive at the church on time and with me in it it surprisingly does not fall over. Our wedding this weekend is brought to you by the Catholic Church which means two things 1) at least an hour long mass and 2) Derek the half Catholic-half Protestant/agnostic/follower of the Church of John Elway doesn’t know what to do during the ceremonies. Do I sit during the prayer? Do I kneel? Do I repeat what everyone says out loud? Do I mumble and pretend to say what everyone is saying? Do I just stand there like a goof? Do I eat the crackers they give out? Or will I go to hell for that? I wish I could die for one day, find all this shit out, then come back, would make life a lot simpler. I decide to go with not eating the crackers, mumbling when people are speaking, and a half sit/half kneel which looks somewhat like a catcher in baseball trying to block the plate. I’m sure I look like an idiot and God is laughing his ass off.
Driving back from a wedding in the rain is nothing worth writing about so instead let me summarize Horse’s bachelor party since I didn’t blog it that weekend but could have. The attendees were myself, Josh, Coach, Greco, Beers, Vabilla, Horse (of course), Horse’s friend Scott(?), Horse’s friend Nells, Horse’s friend Ed, and Horse’s brother-in-law Frank. Scott barely said a word during the entire bachelor party; Nells would speak only to insult Horse’s “BIG FAT HEAD!” Ed really enjoyed the strippers, especially the African-American ones, maybe a little too much. We lost him in the strip club after two hours. Frank has his own story.
At the very beginning of the bachelor party, everyone convenes at a sports bar in Philadelphia to watch college football, drink a first beer and eat cheap cheeseburgers. About 15 minutes after I arrive, a young woman, fairly drunk but not obliterated shows up. Before even telling us her name, she reveals that she uh hum…hasn’t received…uh hum…a “tossed salad”…or…uh hum…a “facial treatment”. Now instincts would tell you that a girl that volunteers this kind of information isn’t exactly Fort Knox, you don’t need security clearance to get in. So I’m talking to this girl about EVERYTHING, from college football to what she brought up, when Frank says to her something to the likes of “You’re a whore, stop looking for attention”. She hangs around for a little while longer but the spirit is killed and we never hear from her again. Frank is given the name “Cockblock Incorporated” which is then abbreviated to “CB Inc.” CB Inc. never really redeemed himself at any point during the bachelor party. He is married with two kids and may have just not wanted to see a single guy succeed.
We arrive back at the hotel and gather at the hotel bar because the Cocktail Hour doesn’t start for another thirty minutes. The hotel bar has Amstel Light on tap or as I call it “gold” so I am downing big frosty mugs one after another. Immediately, the discussion turns to my prospects at this wedding. Our eyes immediately turn to the photographer’s assistant whose wearing tight pinstripe pants. Unfortunately she’s on the clock, which isn’t convenient for me (or the clock). Stacey reveals that one of her friends thought I was cute back at their engagement party but was discouraged by the fact I wasn’t Jewish. I did not bring up the possibility of converting her to the Church of John Elway.
Cocktail Hour begins and there is just something wrong about drinking beer at an open bar. Unfortunately Red Bull Vodkas are not offered at an open bar, since their like 8 bucks at a night club, so I am stumped as to a mixer of choice. Coach and Greco go with the Jersey Shore favorite “7 and 7”. I drink Whiskey Sours munch on some peculiar stuffed mushrooms and veggie dip and make our way into the reception hall. CB Inc. is spotted with his two daughters. This may be an explanation...but it's not an excuse.
Of course the entire Syracuse crew is sat together, in a corner, as close to the open bar and as far away from any family members as possible. At my wedding, I promise to put my Syracuse friends in the front, center table far away from the open bar. Of course that will be because we will all have had liver transplants by then but still, my heart will be in the right place.
Josh, the best man for this wedding, gives a home run best man speech, however he made the room go quiet when he mentioned Jeff “staring down a Syracuse riot police officer”, maybe not the best thing to mention in front of a bride’s grandparents. We’ll give him a mulligan on that though.
Sitting next to us are Josh’s table with his wife, sister, future brother-in-law, family, his former roommate Krista and her new fiancée “Smokey”. As recently as a year ago Krista lived with Josh and his then fiancée Erin in a “Three’s Company” like arrangement. Krista as the well endowed blonde was the Chrissy. While Josh never took advantage of this, just about all my friends fantasized about Krista. So to find out she was engaged to a guy named “Smokey” was a little defeating, nobody wanted to like this guy. So of course “Smokey” (real name Matt) turns out to be cool as hell holding conversations about wrestling, ultimate fighting (specifically the second Matt Hughes-Frank Trigg fight which is a must-see for all ultimate fighting skeptics), poker and everything else a guy could care about, he’s dragged to dance with his fiancée comes back and says “where were we before I was so rudely interrupted?” Needless to say, I can’t hate this guy.
The bouquet and garter ceremonies and two things become apparently clear. 1) When you are one of the last single guys out of your friends and write a few wedding blogs about hookups and near hookups at weddings, you become a focal point at every wedding you go thereafter. My friends are coming up with strategies to deflect the garter to me for me to catch, I wish I was kidding. I didn’t end up catching the garter, Horse’s friend Ed did. He then proceeds to wear twirl the thing put it on his head and then his arm for the rest of the night. Remember the name Ed Lynch, its coming to a sex offender list near you. 2) If you take out the women that weren’t with boyfriends at the bouquet ceremony, and the married women that weren’t in the bouquet ceremony, you have TWO (2) single available women at this wedding, both friends, of course one in black, one in red, I don’t remember their names, take that as a sign of how things went. As an expert in singlehood, I can testify that you never want to see women in twos. One is perfect, three, and four, you can usually pry one away. Five or more is a sign of a “girl’s night out” and it’s usually best to stand clear but two is the absolute worse number. No girl is going to leave another girls side during a wedding if they are both single and there is no one else to talk to. Their conscience won’t stop torturing them with the thoughts of the poor other girl not dancing or talking to anyone. It’s kind of a divine secret of the single girl sisterhood. So the girls never leave each other’s sight, I never get to throw any game and I will be spending this night alone. Coach’s wedding is July 4, 2006 stay tuned…
The highlight of the rest of the wedding is a dance-off between Horse and Vabilla (nicknamed for a dance routine he does to Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’). I’m not sure what is more disturbing. That this happened, or that at this point I don’t even find this gay anymore. The final song of the night…The Philadelphia Eagles Fight Song.
The night ends in classic “kliq” fashion, everyone around a poker table. Horse’s new bride with that “you’re not playing poker on our wedding night” face, Josh’s wife Erin in a Laveranues Coles Redskins Jersey mocking Eagles fans by performing fellatio to a Miller Lite bottle and me tucking in early due to a 10am flight out of beautiful Philadelphia International Airport. Yes, your friends will take you on many journeys meeting many interesting people, and more often than not, you find a little of yourself inside each one of them. But you will never find any part of yourself inside any woman, if she is one of only two.