I am the last person you want working your wedding, but you would never know.
After I drop off your pan-seared, airline chicken breast with roasted asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, and topped with a shallot beurre blanc, along with your new husband’s braised short rib with creamy polenta, charred sweet peppers, and a spoonful of demi glace, dripping down the sides of the polenta to give the dish life, and ask if you need more white wine and if your husband needs more red, I’ll tell you both, “Congratulations, the ceremony was so beautiful,” — even though I never watch them. You’ll probably leave the head table to go acknowledge all of your 155 guests — leaving me to throw away 90 percent of your chicken dinner later that night — and I’ll meet my coworker Andrea outside and we’ll take a shot of tequila, which may or may not be the first one of the night, but it probably won’t be the last.
When your dad is giving his heartfelt speech about giving up his only daughter, about all the memories he has of you, and about how old he is and how old he feels — there are some speeches that are more heartfelt than others, but all bride’s father’s speeches contain an element of existential dread, just like many best-man’s speeches start with “Webster’s defines [insert marriage or love] as … but I like to think of it a little differently” — I am covertly snapchatting the whole thing with the caption, “155 people at this wedding 😮 0 box logos 😂 0 balenciagas 😳 nothing from the new yeezy season 🤔 asked the band if they knew how to play bodak yellow 🤗 they didn’t even know bardi b 🙄 smfh 😡” — yeah, that’s going on the story. After his speech, all 155 of you raise your glasses of champagne that I passed out 30 minutes prior. When I handed a glass to your dad I said, “For after your toast, which I know will be great. Congratulations, your daughter looks so beautiful, and so happy,” and he said, “Thanks for making this day so special.”
When you and your dad are sharing a dance to Landslide by Stevie Nicks — or some Tom Petty song, which is the recent trend — I am behind the wooden partition that blocks the unsightly kitchen doors from being visible, “hittin’ them folks”, ironically, mocking whatever slow song you have chosen for the entertainment of my coworkers. You’ll probably catch me dancing later and say, “Thanks for having fun with us! It’s been such a great night.” It costs around $300 for you to rent the dance floor from us, but the wedding planner always “throws it in” for free. My coworkers — excluding the wedding planner — set it up for $16 an hour. Also, that 22 percent service charge you see on your invoice? That is not a gratuity, that is a commission.
Maybe the DJ will play No Scrubs by TLC. That would be funny, at a wedding, I will think.
After me and Andrea’s second or third, or fourth shot — depending on the night — and while your whole party dances, there won’t be much for us to do besides polish glasses in the back and bring out the cake and coffee when the schedule says so. I will sit in the kitchen and make an off-kilter comment about one of your bridesmaids, again for the entertainment of my coworkers, and how I would “polish that ass” — instead of glass, get it?
We will cut the cake and bring it out. You guys will eat some, but there will be a lot left over. You will thank me again and I will go to the back of the kitchen and put a bunch of it in a to-go box to eat on my couch, alone, while watching The Office and getting stoned later that night. I will put it next to the two or three boxes in the walk-in fridge that I already have full of airline chicken breasts, beef short ribs, creamy polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and charred sweet peppers — sauces on the side. The food has long been dead at this point and can’t be brought to life, even with the sauce, however, the sauces could expedite its decomposure, so — best on the side.
After you guys leave, we will clean up. We will pick up all the decorations and put them by the fireplace for the florists or decorators, or both, to pick up in the morning. I will probably put on “Relationship” by Young Thug on the PA system and sing, “I’m in a relationship with all my bitches, yeah,” while I spot-sweep.
Beautiful Thugger Girls will be on shuffle, naturally, and “Family Don’t Matter” might come on next. I will rap along with Thugga when he says, “Country Billie made a couple milli,” as I clock out and roughly multiply my hours by 16 in my head to figure out how much I made that night. Thugga also raps, “Wax that ass like a candle, hun,’” and I will wonder about the bridesmaid-with-the-butt’s date and how much his outfit cost as I go to the back storage room and exchange my $20 black dress shoes from Ross for my dirty, white Vans from the Vans outlet — no Balenciagas. Things won’t seem that funny anymore, and my mind will run to my long and lonely drive home.
I will get in my car with my duck-taped door, jerry-rigged hatch and bluetooth enabled stereo deck. My bluetooth will connect automatically and now maybe the shuffle is on “Daddy’s Birthday” and I will rap again with Thugga.
“Dropped out of school and bought myself a chain / I must’ve taught myself a million things / I’m out the trap I can sell anything / I wish I would allow myself to hear this old dream / I pray my daughter never ever experience no train / I told her Colgate, baby you gotta keep your teeth straight.”
I will think about my future on my windy, 45-minute commute alongside the Truckee river and underneath the Sierra stars, with home likely being somewhere at the end. The sauce might spill on one of the sharper corners.