After never having asked this question once in my life, all of a sudden I was forced to ask this 200 times within a 30 minute time frame. I didn’t even really understand the question. Was there going to be a massive all out war between the two sides? Was I about to witness each side bloodying their fists while shouting, “DOWN WITH THE BRIDE!,” or, “THE GROOM MUST DIE!”?
Despite my confusion, there I was in a small town church, black tie, black shoes and black pants, attempting to walk people to a seat that they could very well get to without my help.
It all began over a month ago. A friend contacted in the way that all close friends do: direct Facebook messages. Without boring anyone with the details, the message read something like this:
“I’m getting married. Want to be an usher?”
There are two possible answers to this question. The first option is typing ,”NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” then running away so I can’t be found ever again. While I am not a huge fan of weddings, I decided this option should be reserved for people I know who refuse to bathe or constantly make racist jokes, not people that I actually like. Plus, if I say no, I don’t get cake.
I chose the second option, saying yes.
After donning a black tie and shiny shoes in an attempt to appear presentable, I jumped into my car and drove past civilazation, down an abandoned highway until I reached Louisburg, Kansas.
Louisburg is one of those towns that, in some sort of miracle of, has roughly 72 million churches for the 4,000 people who live there. Finding a specific church is no easy task; there are a lot of them and they all look very similar.
After slowing down in front of every other church in town, I finally arrived at the one I was searching for. It looked just like every other church inside and out. All in all, it was one of the churchiest churches I’ve ever been in.
Inside, there was the sign-in table. In my lifetime, I have been to dozens of weddings. It seems like every one is getting married and having these weddings that I am forced to attend. I have probably eaten the equivalent of an entire wedding cake and seen an entire wedding catalog worth of dresses.
I have never once used the sign-in table.
To me, one of the benefits of already being married is not having to sign myself in. My wife acts as a sort of secretary, always happy to write “and Nathan” after her own name. Since this wedding contained no one she really knew, though, she refused to help me out.
“You write it,” she hissed when I asked.
“But…what do I write?” I asked, experiencing the most anxiety that a cardboard picture frame could ever give me.
“Write congratulations,” she said. Since that made a lot of since, I went with that.
Everyone went about their business, conversating and pretending that they weren’t drinking the punch that was reserved for after the wedding (I saw what you sinners were doing! I know that wasn’t water in that cup!), but I was there to work. I had been given the sacred duty of making sure people don’t get lost on their way to their seats, and darn it, if I wasn’t going to do just that.
I posted up at the door. No one would get by me without getting a seat. I was going to be the best usher ever.
“Hi. Are you with the bride or…”
They walked right past me. No matter. That is just one guest.
“Hi. Are you with…”
“We can find our own seats,” said the next couple, walking past me.
Person after person passed right by me, ignoring my attempts to find a place for their butts to rest. Was I invisible? Was this just a strange out of body experience, me yelling, “STOP!” while every one ignored me, continuing on their way.
More likely, I am just the least authoritative person ever. No reason to wait for the stupid usher, they thought.
I realized right then that I was ill prepared for this job. Ushers shouldn’t be equipped with just their charming smiles and a knowledge of the process of sitting, They need tazers and billy clubs, otherwise people will seat themselves. It will be seating anarchy.
What did we learn from this wedding experience? Number one, ushers are unnecessary. People are very capable of sitting on their own. If they really need me to find them a spot to sit, I question their thinking ability.
Secondly, we learned that I am a terrible usher. I will not tackle people from sitting on the bride’s side even if they have never met her. If people want to find there own seat, so be it. This means I am even more unnecessary than other ushers.
Lastly, wedding cake is delicious. That is why I will serve wedding cake at my funeral. Every occasion should have wedding cake.
It makes everything better. Yes, even people ignoring your authority.
- Wedding Traditions: Cake (buffalobrides.wordpress.com)
- New Twist on Wedding Cakes (onceuponyourday.wordpress.com)
- History of Wedding Cakes (theweddingcompanysingapore.wordpress.com)
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