Aside from signaling the end of a Shakespearean comedy, a big family wedding also serves to bring family far and wide together. And on such a full sea were we then afloat. Okay, that’s already too many poorly-integrated Shakespeare references for this post– let me get to the point. Last weekend, I attended a classic Biggart family wedding.
For those of you who don’t know me or my family too well, let me tell you something about us: we know how to party. And that’s what a wedding is, after all: a huge party. My family loves to celebrate big, with synchronized dance numbers and conga lines headed in questionable directions, with aggressive requests for the DJ to play “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls and total domination of the photo booth. To paint you a picture of the kind of party it is, by the end of the night, odds are good that a cousin of mine will have removed his tie and tied it around his head. This is just who we are.
And pencilled carefully into my planner for the past some odd months was one such occasion. My cousin’s wedding. Last weekend. Sure, the night involved fewer love potions, donkeys and general shenanigans than your typical end to a Shakespearean comedy, but this year’s big family wedding didn’t disappoint. Collectively, we came, we saw, and we… well you know where this is going: we conquered.
Of course when I say “we conquered,” I obviously mean “we ended the night with McDonald’s.” That’s the only kind of conquering I do. (If we’re not counting the board game Risk, of course.)
In fact, I love these weddings so much that I’ve been actively trying to orchestrate a yearly family wedding each summer. Surprisingly, my cousins don’t love it when I try and force their relationships toward the altar just so that I can party with them all. I guess The Supremes were right, after all: “you can’t hurry love.” No, I’ll just have to wait.
The wedding was really only the start to this ten-day-long party that is finally wrapping up. Parents, sisters, dogs and significant others in tow, my family headed down to the Jersey Shore for a week-long vacation together after the wedding. Sadly, the 400m Men’s Olympic Track and Field race isn’t the only thing we lost to South Africa this week. My sister, Susan was notably missing from this family vacation as she jetted off to South Africa to simultaneously help teach computer skills to South African children and definitively prove that she’s a better person than the rest of us. (You did it, Susan! Now you can start recycling only when it’s convenient like the rest of us.)
But back to our vacation. It sounds like a relaxing time, right? As I’m writing this I’m chuckling because “relaxing” isn’t exactly the best word to describe these vacations together. We exchange relaxing nights in for heated Domino tournaments, for The Biggart Mini-Golf Invitational* (the most intense golf tournament in recorded history), and for boozy beach days. It’s just about my favorite time of the whole year.
*I came in first in the Women’s division and I took the bronze in overall gameplay. I don’t know how invested you are in the score, but let me tell you a few careless mistakes in the back 9 put me two strokes behind the leader. Until next year, I suppose.
It’s during weeks like this one that I feel really grateful for my family. I’m rolling my eyes at myself, guys. I know how this sounds. But fourteen cousins and counting, aunts and uncles aplenty, four great sisters, and a mom and dad who despite our teasing and general craziness still get excited when we’re all in the same room? #Blessed doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sure we can’t go anywhere discreetly (when you roll up with a party of 8, you’re kind of conspicuous), we are about as quiet as a 6:00 a.m. construction crew, and sometimes we’re not even composed, but man do we have fun together.
I’m not sure whether loving your family or hating your family is more cliché these days, but I definitely love mine. I think that that’s the big takeaway from this week: my family is the best.
Well, that and a very painful sunburn. SPF 15 is a cruel joke.