Day 1495

Saturday, February 18, 2017

We headed out to Pinehurst around 1:30 or so.  Mom, Alex, Hayden and I stayed in a condo that was still decorated in early '80s decor, a golf bungalow from Dynasty.  It was fine for the occasion.  We got dressed in our wedding wear.  Hayden was funny.  He asked me, "what goes on first, the jacket? The vest?  The shirt?"  Once we were dressed, we took a small shuttle to the club house where the reception and dinner were held.

Oh, it was really nice.  I loved how Jill and Tom kept everything in the room we had and made it all elegant, festive and really fun.  There was a long captain's table for all 28 guests.  We had hors' d'oeuvres from 4:30 to 6, then dinner.  Tom and Jill arrived at the reception around 5.  The ceremony was simple and emotional.  Jill and Tom exchanged vows.  It was all very sweet.

At dinner, speeches were made.  The most memorable was Hayden's speech.  He sat up in his chair and started talking, but his emotions overwhelmed him and he couldn't get any words out.  He refused to stop and it took about four minutes or so for him to get through an impassioned speech about the hardships of the past few years until Tom entered their lives.  It was certainly a highlight that washed away a certain lowpoint that I also won't forget anytime soon.

Dad was not at his best this weekend.  Perhaps he was tired or fatigued.  Perhaps he's thinking about his own impeding demise.  Perhaps gravity is weighing too heavily on his knees, which are in such bad shape he can no longer finish a round of golf.  Anyway, his temper was short and he was a bit unhinged.  When he and Sue were lost last night, he was in a panic.  Jill said he was mad at Sue and out of sorts.  He had that angry, hostile look in his eyes which he hasn't really had that much these past few years.  Anyway, at dinner he gave a toast as the father of the bride.  It was a perfectly fine toast, though he brought up details from the past with Chris that easily could have been edited out of his speech.  He was riding the line between good toast and About Schmidt toast, but came through in the end, until he did something at his toast's conclusion that I don't think I'll ever forget.  He looked over at mom and said, "Top that," in a voice that was aggressive, confrontational, and just plain mean. It was startling, but in a way sort of captures who this guy is.  When he did that, my immediate thought was, "Yup, that's the guy I lived with for the first 18 years of my life, that's Dad."

There was a mild sort of reaction from the table and mom made a kind of grunting sound before she shook her head and stood up and said, "Well, okay, I wasn't planning to speak but I guess I will!" Without planning to say anything, mom delivered a gracious, heartfelt toast that totally nailed the sentiments of the evening while putting Dad in his place.  I'll never forget those few moments, sitting between my two parents as they dueled it out one last time.  I was so proud of mom for standing up to him and actually topping him quite easily.  Like Trump, Dad was left to comfort himself using only the power of his imagination to believe his speech was the best, even though it was tainted with an unnecessary poke and dig at mom's expense.  Boo on that moment.

Dinner was fantastic!  I loved my steak.  I enjoyed every single bite.  After dinner, we danced for about two hours, especially Hayden and Colin, who were both amazing.

The reception/dinner was over at ten, so we took the party to the Rider Cup Bar, where we closed the bar down at midnight.  I took the shuttle home and fell fast asleep.

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