it’s the thought that counts

so, last weekend while i was sweltering in texas i was supposed to be chilling in maine…

…but finances stated a resounding “no” on that plan.

i was supposed to be the best man at a wedding of JAB’s little sister and my old radio partner/intern james. i had set them up back in the 90’s, but it petered out during the early 2000’s and they both went their separate ways. since then kathi’s been engaged a time or two, but never “crossed the finish line”, as it were. james has, and i was best man out in vegas for that one, too. that was back in 2006, if memory serves me correctly.

i realized i wasn’t going to be able to make it in the early spring when we didn’t really have a tax season so my money took a real nose dive. i had done what i warn other people NOT to do – based my budget off my income during the salad days. when things “normalized” (actually, they’ve dipped below normal and never really bounced back) i found myself short for bills regularly so the almost two grand it woulda taken to complete this nuptualcation wasn’t going to be possible. i literally gave the groom-to-be a one hundred days notice of me not being able to make it.

to balance things a bit we went out for a $100 lunch the monday after his bride-to-be had her bridal shower.

but i wanted to kick in a lil something on the day of, so last friday i came up with the idea of recording a video and sending it to the soon-to-be-happy couple. at the shop there are literally seven influencer-style ring lights, but surprisingly only one had a phone holder. this was where i fucked up, part i. while the light wasn’t needing to be on due to the lighting in the shop, it still made for the perfect height phone stand. where i erred was in order to make sure i was framed right i used the forward facing camera, which meant as i recorded i was staring at myself performing, as it were. that was weird. so i kept trying to avoid really watching it, while still kinda watching it so i knew i was still centered. this resulted in a weird “eye avoidance / not really breaking the fourth wall” effect that, in my opinion, made me come off slightly autistic.

then there was the length – as with every eulogy or toast i’ve ever done, i don’t really do notes. i’ve always figured if it’s important enough to be a thing, it’s important enough to remember, and as a result if i forget it that was a good “self edit”. so i went just over three minutes. that is apparently FAR too long for things to go, so i couldn’t get it to send as an email, text, or even facebook message. i chopped slightly more than the first half, taking it down to a minute twenty-six, and while it still wouldn’t fly via email or text, facebook was surprisingly okay with it, and i got it to em before noon. got emotional responses from both within minutes, and felt i had kicked in for the good vibes day of.

but then JAB got involved…

he heard from his bride (side note – i was best man in their wedding, too) about the video and asked for it. when i mentioned the longer, unedited version, we experimented with literally eight different options before finally getting one that got him the full three minute version which he then, against my wishes, had played at the reception.

the only reason i was against it (and it should be noted that as i’m writing this, on the tuesday after the wedding, i haven’t been able to confirm whether the actual video or just audio was played) was i looked like shit, as i’d been cleaning the shop prior, so i was also sweating like a whore in church, and there was the whole aforementioned eye thing.

also, the content wasn’t meant for parental (or grand-parental) level viewership as it contained “fuck” plenty of times and included an interactive anti-religion gag whereby i asked the happy couple to bow their heads, then burst out laughing and say, “holy shit – did you really do it?!? did you forget who was speaking to you here?” or something to that effect. apparently it embarrassed enough older people that JAB makes it out to be one of the comedic highlights of the reception, and as i was a time zone away, if anyone WAS offended, i haven’t heard shit about it yet.

so at least there’s that.

within the hour of me writing this i’ll be picking stuff up at the lockhart wal-mart, where i’m going to hit the pharmacy just because JAB’s mom works there and i wanna ask if the actual video was played AND gauge her reaction. this is the family that had me read a whore bit i’d done as an obit for their grandmother over two decades ago, and again within the last several years at the patriarch’s funeral, so i guess we’re just keeping a theme here.

postscript – JAB’s mom wasn’t at the pharmacy, BUT the happy groom texted me from his honeymoon to say he was toting back some cuban cigars (they’re in canada) since we didn’t get to smoke before the wedding and confirmed that it was only audio and it killed. so there’s some good news on the video and some great news on future smoking stuff!

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