Recently I did something I hadn't done in over twenty years. Hmmm... over twenty years. I seem to make increasing use of that time frame. The list of activities or events from a score or more years past to which I find myself referring has grown quite a bit lately. Looking back I realize that a good many of those activities were things (1) I shouldn't have done in the first place,(2) not worth doing again, and/or (3) not repeatable even if I so desired. On the other hand, it's better than not having anything memorable on which to reflect. What? I wandered off-topic again? So I did. Perhaps that's connected to the increased twenty-year flashbacks somehow. Probably best to not think about it.
What I did was set foot in a Catholic church, for the same reason I did back then; a wedding. The building has a floorplan that leaves no doubt that it has been expanded at various times and within limited real estate boundaries, resulting in small staircases and ramps to connect the additions and a sanctuary with pews set at many angles to the altar, which does seem to maximize seating capacity but feels like it was set up solely with that goal in mind, neglecting aesthetics and ergonomics.
The service was pretty much what I remembered. It had calisthenics (sit, stand, kneel, repeat multiple times; I passed on the kneeling due to bad knees) and, for Catholics, communion; others could go up and receive a blessing (I passed on that too). It did seem less stiff and formal than the previous service, which is fine by me. This one was also over in about an hour, whereas I recall the past one taking forever, mostly because the preacher loved the sound of his own voice and seemed to think he should use his sermon to instruct the couple on every conceivable aspect of marriage. This one also had something I hadn't seen before; we were given small tubes of soap with utensils for blowing bubbles as the couple left the church. From rice to bird seed to bubbles; soon we'll be given small bottles of seltzer to generate congratulatory burps.
The reception meal featured roast beef and chicken breasts, the latter better than the former, although that may have been mostly due to the inability of the plastic cutlery to handle the beef. In addition to the punch they also gave each person two tickets good for any beverage at the bar. An unattended cup with a tiny bit of residue of one of those beverages led to an unsurprising but amusing discovery; Grandbaby, unlike her Grandpa but like most people, doesn't like the taste of Guinness. She also wasn't happy with a 3yo boy - the son of a friend of her Mom - who took a liking to me and sat on my lap. She didn't actually squawk, but she gave him the Evil Eye.
She did like the music, however; she held onto various people's hands and shook her diaper energetically, at least after a short nap that once again made me envious of her ability to sleep under almost any conditions. My daughter also hit the dance floor hard once she got the nerve, aided by a lady who cajoled both her and an equally reticent young man into action. I limited myself to some slow dancing with the wife and trying to keep up with Grandbaby, which was more than enough to do me in. We just received an invitation to another wedding with the reception at the same facility. I don't know if I'll be able to go, but if it's anything like this one I'll definitely have to be well-rested if I do. All in all, a pretty good time.