The 12 Hour Wedding

I have something to confess. In the past year or so, I have attended over thirty wedding receptions. Yes, my dear reader, I’m a wedding junky. Although ‘attend’ may be stretching the truth a tad, as all but one were involuntary. Let me explain.

I live across the road from the local Girl Guide hall. “How wonderful.“ I hear you say with images of young ladies in beautiful freshly pressed uniforms going about their scouting business of learning to tie knots and put up tents etc., but alas in all the time I’ve been here I’ve never seen one nor heard a single ‘dyb dyb: do your best.’

The only function for this magnificent hall appears to be the occasional badminton game and more than infrequent wedding receptions.

This leads me to yesterday’s marathon.

The pattern I’ve observed seems to be a late morning affair that drags on to mid to late afternoon or an early evening into late night.

Yesterday broke all records. I with my wife had been working on establishing this blog when the first strains of out of tune noise, sorry, I mean music permeated the room. Being less than fifty metres from the stage and with the windows opened to allow non air conditioned air to fill the hall, the noise level in my bedroom can necessitate raising one’s voice to be heard to one’s partner. Not a pleasant experience for a few minutes let alone hours.

The music in general ranges from almost listenable to drunken barracking at the football. (sorry Manchester United fans )

I gave a short glance towards my wife with eye brows raised as the first notes of sound reached my ears at 10:30am . It signalled another long day of noise pollution. (The concept of noise pollution hasn’t made it to this part of the world.) A month or two ago during a short holiday period, there were 5 weddings in 7 days. Ugh! I transgress.

Resigned to another day of getting mildly irritated to being an involuntary part of the proceedings; we went about our business. I’ll confess right now this noise issue affects me mostly. Being old and grumpy I require peace and quiet to contemplate the shortening time period I have left on this planet. I understand most people want to celebrate their tying of the knot, but why drag it out? Most receptions here have what appears to be an open house arrangement. The happy couple whom in most cases look anything but happy, sit on stage as guests arrive and depart in dribs and drabs. A large part of the time, the hall seems mostly empty but the band keeps playing on regardless, progressively increasing in volume to compensate for the lack of people.

Come five pm I have almost reached the end of my tether, the fuse is short, the bomb is about to go off.

“Hang in there,” my wife said with understanding eyes. I lay on the bed, twitched, rolled, wriggled, hands over my ears.

“Let’s go out for dinner; by the time we get back they’ll be packed and gone,” I stammered back.

What a good plate of noodles and a mango smoothie can do to soothe the nerves. Ah, I was almost human again when we arrived home to witness to our utter astonishment the proceedings, instead of disbanding, had ratchet up a notch. Long days journey into night – Eugene O’Neill’s addiction without the alcohol.

The funny thing is the music or whatever you want to call it, sounded the same as in the morning. In fact I swear they played the same song continuously with only slight variants all day. The worst part is always the last few hours and especially the last half hour. The paid singer has by this time retired due to exhaustion and is replaced by some of the guests who think they can actually sing. It was singing in the shower with no water and an audience! Yes, only a completely biased mother could truly appreciate the disturbing noise coming out of their offsprings’ mouths as having any relationship to music.

Then, finally the high pitch of the ally cats petered out a little after 10 pm. The marathon came to an end after breaking all longevity records. Can’t wait for the next round, not!!

Well dear reader I have bored you enough, so I shall end this little ditty now. What is that you say? The bride and groom. Oh I suspect they slipped out hours ago and got on with the important part of the day in the peace and quiet of their humble abode.

Ps Just thought of something. If you were a thinking guest, you could have arrived at lunch time eaten, gone home and returned for dinner. Kill two birds with one stone hey.

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