Back in March of 1999, I started working at a small software company downtown. I got there about a week before their network administrator quit, to be replaced by a quiet guy named Jeff. Jeff was an agreeable fellow who would listen patiently when I wandered into his office to talk his ear off about last night's TV or the latest movie I'd seen. It soon became apparent that Jeff had a formidable memory for facts and details; he could identify obscure actors, recall chemical names and properties from his grad school days, and could reel off all kinds of sports minutiae which still don't mean anything to me. You could talk to Jeff about just about anything—food, science, sports, celebrity gossip—and he would be able to hold up his side of the conversation.
Jeff soon became my number one work buddy, my go-to guy whenever I needed a break from my computer and wanted a chat, my faithful lunchtime companion, my reference for all things operating system-y, my fellow sufferer of workplace bullshit. Once we skipped out of work for the afternoon to see The Perfect Storm.
A year or so after I met Jeff, I started taking singing lessons. The girl whose lesson came after mine was named Kathryn; our music teacher introduced us once, but I didn't pay much attention because I'm a lazy cuss with limited social skills. My laziness came back to haunt me when a few weeks later a pretty, animated girl walked up to me in choir practice. "Hi, Amy!"
"It's Kathryn! From singing lessons?"
Oh, yeah. I'm a dork.
Fortunately Kathryn forgave me and we became fast friends. One day I invited some friends from work, and Kathryn, over to play Trivial Pursuit, eat pizza and drink beer. Jeff, as usual, kicked our asses in Trivial Pursuit because he never forgets anything he's ever learned. Kat was struck by the breadth of his knowledge and also his unassuming, agreeable manner. She decided he would be a perfect match for her little sister Colleen, herself a games nut and formidable repository of trivia.
But first we had to wait for Colleen to break up with her boyfriend at the time. Then we had to try and get the two of them together in the same room. That took a couple of years. Finally in September of 2007, they were both invited to our deck party, Colleen with specific, illustrated instructions to seek out and interact with Jeff. Sure enough the pair of them hit it off and chatted all night. Kat and I nudged them together over the next couple of days, and...
Yesterday they were married.
The ceremony was at U of T's Miller Lash house in Scarborough. It was short, sweet and sunshiney (most of the female guests seem to have gone home with the sunburn booby prize, myself included). There followed a long break for lunch, during which Blake and I came back into the city to drop the girls off with Baba and Zaida, and (in my case at least) take a nap. Refreshed, I trowelled on some spackle (I mean makeup), wired my underwear and outerwear together, glued my hair in place, wrestled with some strappy sandals, and thanked God I don't have to look like a girl every day. Finally Blake and I caught the #54 bus and rode it all the way to the end of the line, for the reception at the East Rouge Community Centre. "Community Centre" conjures up images of sweaty basketball courts and ice rinks, but this is actually a very classy venue, an elegantly casual, good-sized hall with a balcony and a fireplace.
This might sound a little bit lame, but I was really excited to go to this wedding reception. Between being a stay-at-home mum and economising, we never go out for a fancy dinner, and I haven't gone dancing since Delphine was born. The idea of a nice dinner with tablecloths and wine and interesting company, followed by dancing, was pretty thrilling. Fortunately (considering the commute) the night more than lived up to my expectations.
Dinner was served buffet-style, with chicken stuffed with goat cheese and peppers, and grilled sirloin with caramelized onions and a selection of sauces, grilled polenta, orzo salad, caesar salad, and little potatoes. For dessert there were butter tarts, lemon tarts, meringues with lemon custard, brownies, homemade Italian cookies, and berries and whipped cream. Oh, and wedding cake after that! Gastronomic bliss, and my wine glass was never empty.
After a few short but heartfelt speeches, there was great music for dancing. Blake doesn't dance, and at first I was too self-conscious to dance "by myself", but soon enough I was dancing with a bunch of girls and having an awesome time.
But enough about what a great time I had last night—it's wonderful to see Jeff get married, and it's gravy (for me—what? It's my weblog!) that he married someone I'm connected to in another way. Because Kat and I are so close, and I'm so fond of Jeff, I feel like this marriage has created a circle of connections which somehow vaguely includes me. I hope Colleen and Jeff are happy together forever, and I hope they (and Kat) stay a part of my life for just as long.