Monday, January 18, 2010

The Head Usher Reports

When I first posted a blog about my important role as an usher in the recently-completed Slocumb-Pitts merger; I had no idea how critical that role would be.

Generally, when you hand someone a crucial wedding role like "Head Usher" its really more of an honorary title. Really, you're not supposed to do much ushering per se. They pay highschool kids $4.50 an hour to usher at movie theaters - this isn't that kind of ushering; this is the kind of ushering where you get dressed up and walk women around in church for free.

The main benefits of ushering, as I see it (and if you're single, which I'm not), is threefold:
1. You get to prescreen all the single women before everyone else gets to take a crack at them. Think of it as "thinning the herd" so to speak. If you know where she's seated you're a step ahead of all the silly groomsmen mooning around up on stage with the bridesmaids.

2. You get a chance to bait cougars if that's your bag. You can spot the cougars from the housecats because they sashay a bit more and they generally always bump you with a hip on the way down the aisle. You bait them with a few light compliments before seating. If they come back to feed on the bait at the reception - you're in business.

3. You're positioned well at the back of the church for an early escape in the event of fire, flood, or long-winded homily.

The benefits to the good usher are many, the trials few....unless the wedding gets overbooked, for instance.

I had heard the wedding was to be "large" which, to me, meant absolutely nothing. It didn't start to mean anything until I got there and learned a few important things about white people in the south:
1. nobody will sit within two seat spaces of anyone else which leads to Usherial Horror: half-person-width seat spaces all over the place.
2. nobody will scoot down close to anyone else when it starts to fill up.
3. nobody will slide down to the outside ends so you can fill from the center.
4. everyone is saving a seat for someone else who is guaranteed to never arrive.

White people seem to assume that however many seats they want are, by god-given-right, theirs. If you don't believe me - try and bump a rich old white lady out of giving up a saved seat some time. She'll make you weep, I promise.

Having not ever been invited to a majority-african-american, asian, Latin, or "other" wedding, I can't say exactly how they'd handle things; but I'm willing to bet they'd be alot friendlier. Sure, white people may be a majority, but most of the fun at weddings is being had by everybody else - I'm convinced of that. Did you know some cultures get together and bury a burning pig in spices, then dig it up and eat it. H O L Y C R A P, now THAT is a wedding!

Of course, nobody bothered to tell me that 500 invitations went out for 325 seats this weekend. Why would they? After all - metal folding chairs just walk right on up to the rear of the church and unfold themselves quietly to seat stragglers, right? Did I mention it was flooding outside? For all of you wedding goers - you know that loud crashing boom sound that came echoing out of the foyer during the ceremony??? THAT WAS ME.

So, to each of you firmly-affixed-to-your-seat wedding goers out there with your legions of empty "saved" seats and purses placed strategically to prevent communication with your neighbors - I'd like to say this: MOVE YOUR PUDGY BUTT, LARDASS.

By the time the brave, the few, The Ushers marched our folding chairs out of storage through the parking lot in the rain to the foyer to save the day - my hair had all knapped up and I looked like a cross between slick Guido the Chubby Pizza Boy and a recently-evicted Ruth's Chris Steakhouse waiter.

Fortunately, that didn't matter because the powers-that-be "forgot" to include our sodden butts in any of the wedding photos - a merciful omission to say the least because somehow in the humidity my tux shrunk up in the legs, sagged down in the crotch, and my shirt collar refused to lay down all night. It became so intolerable that Lee Trice, the lone sub-usher who actually showed up to the wedding mostly drunk, finally gave in and traded out his tux for worn jeans and a flannel shirt.

Later, on our way out of the truly fabulous reception wherein I got to shake my tailfeathers onstage, it came to my attention that we were to leave our rented tuxes in the coat-check for the mother of the bride to return. I was pleased to say the least because I loathe men's clothing shops. So to Mrs. Pitts - fabulous idea and my thanks because I had a great time, but until then I hadn't realized it had been a real landmark wedding.

It was only when Tripp Maddux and I found ourselves standing in the coat check room in our boxer shorts and black socks rapidly disrobing; that, just as my last leg left my pantaloons, I turned and realized: the coat check girl was still on duty - huddled wide-eyed in the corner of the room behind the coats.

And that did it.

It's not a truly great wedding until a stranger gets to see me mostly naked.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

Why do all your stories where you wear tuxes end with disrobing in public?