The fun begins Sunday morning, when I have to head down to McCormick Place in the morning to do the marathon sign-in thing. My assumption is that I'm going to take care of the sign-in crap, then hop in Tim timmy_fuck_up's car with him, his roommate Eric, and Eric's girlfriend Adriana shortly after ten, and we'll all immediately head down to Valparaiso for our friends Nate and Angelica's wedding. Therefore, I'm already dressed for the wedding. I am definitely the only person at the marathon sign-in wearing makeup, jewelry, a dress and heels.
What ends up happening instead is that Tim and Eric show up shortly before eleven, not dressed for the wedding, and minus Adriana. I'm inwardly panicking because the wedding is at four, and Jim jwithington had warned me that due to construction and the like, it might take us over four hours to get to Valpo. (He's already there, taking care of pre-wedding business and schmoozing with Ang's family. (He's the best man. He's the best, man. (Yes, yes, I know; I'm fired.))) Eric, Tim and I drive all the way back up to the north side, go to their apartment, and wait for Adriana to get ready. Eric calls her periodically. Tim gets progressively more annoyed. (To be fair, I should point out that the guys could be getting ready themselves at this point, but opt to play video games and mill around instead. Heh.) Finally, Adriana comes over. After all that time, she is also not dressed for the wedding. Awesome. So the four of us get in the car and go. I explain again how I'm running a marathon the next day, but somehow fail to mention that this means that I'll have to leave the reception early; that, in fact, I'll need someone else to leave the reception in order to give me a ride to the train at that time.
Against all odds, we make amazing time to Valpo and find Ang's mom's house, where we find Jim, Nate, Ang, and some of her family. Then Jim, Tim, Eric, Adriana and I head to the Super 8 where everyone else is staying that night. I continue to feel pangs of regret that I don't get to hang around and party with all these cool people after the wedding. Stupid marathon.
At the hotel, everyone attempts to get dressed. Hilarity ensues. Tim has no suit pants; Eric has no suit jacket. (Jim points out that between them, they have one suit.) Eric has white socks. Jim has an extra pair of black socks for him, but not only are they covered in dog hair, they don't match. Adriana calls the front desk for an iron and tries to iron her dress, which had been stuffed in a plastic bag, but only succeeds in getting water all over it. Etc. Only Jim looks schwanky in his new suit. Tim and Eric make a McDonald's run, but McDonald's screws up their order royally and they return with about half the quantity of food they paid for. They go back and manage to get some of the food they were shorted, but not all of it. All becomes right with the world, however, when Eric produces a bottle of Captain Morgan's, which we gleefully dump into our McDonald's Coke. As Jim and I are leaving, Eric is beginning to shave his head over the sink. You know, nothing unusual.
So, Jim and I arrive at the wedding location, a pavilion-type thing in a park, decorated with pretty flowers, ribbons, and lights. I'm introduced to many more family and friends of the couple, and Ang's mom gives me an extra corsage, which makes me feel all special even though I'm not in the wedding party. It's pretty cool. Jim has his cameras and is taking lots of pictures. He takes some cool ones of the wedding pictures being taken. (I make the requisite "meta" joke.) Turns out that the officiator, Aimee, is a photography professor of Nate and Ang's from back in the day, and the wedding photographer, Kerri, is another one of Aimee's former students who just got a master's degree from SCAD, so I feel rather surrounded by people who know photography. Kerri and Jim bond over both having a Holga. I attempt a few pictures with Jim's, but I have no idea whether they'll turn out great or awful -- such is the nature of the beast, I'm learning. Jim's busy with best-man-type responsibilities, and I help out here and there with folding programs and tracking down people. Soon the rest of the guests are arriving. Jim is seeing lots of people he hasn't seen in years. Eric appears sporting a brand-new, perfect mohawk, and we all make our way inside and sit down. There's music and soon Angelica is walking slowly up the aisle, looking like a fairy-tale princess in her beautiful light-green gown and gold slippers.
I haven't been to very many weddings, and I've never been to a wedding of my friends, or of people my age, so it's a different experience. Aimee tells some great stories about Nate and Ang (their first date, apparently, was at Taco Bell), and everyone's laughing. Then comes the more serious part. I feel very proud of Jim. He and Nate have been best friends for half their lives, and I can only imagine what it must be like to stand up there next to your best friend as he's saying the vows he wrote. The ceremony goes by pretty quickly, and then there's some hugging and some guestbook-signing and the like, and finally we all head outside to chill out and have a beer during the post-ceremony, pre-reception lull. I finally get around to asking Eric if he can drive me to the train, so I can get back to Chicago in time for the race (the race!), and he's totally cool with it, since he's making a beer run anyway. There's some mild confusion regarding which train I'm supposed to be taking and where I'm supposed to be taking it from, which results in me calling Maya leadsynth and sheepishly asking her to look up train schedules online for me, and finally we're ready to go. The beer run turns into being a drive to Michigan, since apparently beer isn't sold in Indiana on Sundays -- hilarious -- but I end up making my train with just a few minutes to spare, and Eric and Adriana return to the reception for merrymaking late into the night. I return to Chicago for carbo-loading and much-needed pre-race sleep at Maya's place.
(To be continued in Weekend, Part the Second: Chicago Low-Rent Marathon!)