We all made it to the church on time for the next day's wedding, then celebrated at the reception for over seven hours, during which time there was a full bar where every drink was gratis. I averaged a Cape Codder every twenty minutes. For all that, though, I was still standing when we left for the after party at a local pub. To my drink-dulled consternation, several guests ended up joining me in my rental car for the confusing drive over. I then spent the next few hours drinking lots of beer and getting hit on, bizarrely, by some undergraduates from Villanova. I knew better than to drive back to the motel. I gave the keys to John, who brought us safely back.
The next day I met my cousin, his then-wife, and my uncle for a traditional Philly breakfast. I could barely speak. But I managed to plough through a pile of scrapple in the interest of family bonding, then left for what seemed like an excessively long drive to the airport in Newark. And you know what? I remember the whole experience with great fondness. It's nice to recall the abandon with which I lived in the months prior to my own wedding. So much has transpired since, from the breaking up of our circle of friends, to our move to Arizona, to the horrors of the present Bush Administration, that 1996 feels a lot longer ago than it actually was. The photo, which I'd never seen before today, brings that time of lost innocence back. Not to mention that it also proves that I actually have worn a suit, "just like George W. Bush," as my daughter likes to say.