Showing posts with label Weddings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weddings. Show all posts

28 December 2015

My Solution to Crazy Days



MY SOLUTION TO CRAZY DAYS

                    by Jan Grape


This year, 2015, somehow got absolutely crazy in December. And I don't have anyone to blame. Let me explain.

In my family this year, I have two birthdays, two college graduations, Christmas and a wedding all in a thirty day period. And just before the wedding, there's one more birthday.

My oldest grandson, Riley Fox, was born on December 20th. And his beautiful lady, Coor Cohen, was born on December 15th. That means birthday presents for both of them. It's just not fair for December babies to not get birthday presents just because they happened to be born in the same month that Santa comes to town. Many families, and I've even done it for Riley before, buying him a little extra present or spending a little more on his Christmas present to make up. But you just know as a little kid they somehow feel cheated. Some families give their December children a half-year party in June or July. It's not too easy to know what to do.

My only granddaughter, Jackie Lee graduated from Texas State University on December 12th. And her fiance, A.J. Vaughn, graduated the same day, also from Texas State, but her ceremony was at 10 in the morning and his was at six in the evening. I'm totally proud of both of them.

Of course, Christmas happened on December 25th. I have three grown children with spouses and five grown grandchildren. That surely means a few presents. And even have nieces and nephews that I want to remember.

My second oldest grandson, Jarred Lee, has a birthday on January 9th. Once more I can't just add a little extra to his Christmas present. Even a small gift seems to be the right thing to do.

On January 17th, my beautiful granddaughter, Jackie is getting married to the love of her life, A.J. Vaughn. Really looking forward to this wedding.

Guess I sound like I'm complaining but I'm really not, just trying to explain how crazy it could be shopping for all these special events and special people.

Except, I have a secret weapon. I give presents of money. Many people think that's horrible. They think you should go out to malls and search for just the right present. Or at least get on the computer and learn to cybershop. But I learned this trick from my bonus mom several years ago...give money. One size fits all and the color is always right.

It works for me and keeps me from going totally insane this time of year. See you in 2016.

01 April 2014

Honey...I'm home!

By David Dean

I know what day this is, but this isn't a joke--I'm back.  None the wiser for the hiatus, mind you, just back...and glad to be here.  I noted in my absence, that Terry raised the bar for Tuesdays so that I am almost guaranteed to disappoint.  Thanks for that, Terry.  Thanks a lot.

If you recall, dear reader, I took the time away from SleuthSayers to pen another of my unsellable novels.  It is with some pride that I report--mission accomplished!  "Starvation Cay" is complete!  My thanks, by the way, to my fellow Tuesday scribbler, Dale Andrews, for overseeing some of the technical aspects of the story.  Besides his literary value, he has a wealth of knowledge regarding all things nautical.  Useful to me, as I set nearly the entire story on board boats.  Thanks again, Dale.  Through no fault of his, I am now in the process of collecting rejection slips and arranging them in order of snarkiness.

On another note entirely, my son and heir, has gotten hitched to a truly lovely young woman.  Robin and I absolutely fell in love with her too, and apparently she was too smitten to heed that time-honored warning--Look to the parents!   

The wedding took place in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of Virginia where they both teach.  My son's side was not only represented by mine and Robin's families (The Georgia-Jersey Axis), but also by a large contingent of his college rugby buddies who double, apparently, as the school's male dance team.  Her side was family from both Jersey and Michigan.  Both sides were duly impressed with the athletic abilities of rugby players and their women, even if the dance floor became a dangerous place for the infirm and elderly.  The bride's family went very quiet during their dance interpretation of John Denver's "Country Roads," which also included a sing-along.  Fortunately, the nuptials had already been performed so there could be no "take-backs." 

As if this wasn't enough good news, our Christmas present from them was a grandparents' album.  Robin got it almost immediately.  I, however, being a former police officer, stared at it for several stupefied moments before understanding dawned.  Robin was crying and hugging the young couple, as I was still turning the album over and over in my hands, murmuring, "They're trying to tell us something...but what?  What could it be?"

Besides working on the novel, I also managed to knock out a few short stories along the way.  I'm happy to report that those did sell, and will be (or have already been) published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

As if all these things weren't enough, I've actually read a few books, as well.  But more on that at another time.

I've missed you guys.  Though I have duly followed SS every morning (it's the first thing I read), it's been a little lonely out here.  Writers are not thick on the ground in South Jersey, and as you all know, it's a solitary profession at the best of times.  So, it's good to be back amongst friends, if only virtually, and even better to have been asked.  Thanks all.   

     

 


 

12 June 2012

Wedding Bell Blues

By David Dean

June is the month of brides and I've just returned from a wedding.  As I've grown older I have found that I attend more funerals than weddings...which I deeply regret.  Weddings are one of the last bastions of open bars and bad dancing, and for people like me that spells fun.  Most people like weddings, I think.  It's one of the few ceremonies left that both attendees and participants mutually enjoy.  It's an optimistic occasion in every culture and faith; full of youth and exuberance, hopes and expectations.  And people look better at weddings--there are pretty girls dressed very prettily and men in tuxedos and suits.  Have you noticed that almost every man is improved by a tux?  The seventies may have provided the exception to this rule.  I understand the bridesmaids gowns are usually cringe-inducing, however, the selfless manner in which the chosen few submit to them is very charming and brave.  I mostly come away feeling better about people and favorably impressed with the rising generation.  The open bar may play some small part in these perceptions.

Not all weddings proceed in the effortless, swan-like, manner hoped for by the bride's proud parents.  Usually this occurs during the reception, and sometimes in spectacular fashion.  I have never attended one of these wedding train wrecks as a guest, but I have been involved with one or two professionally as a police officer.  It's very uncomfortable, and in one instance, tragic. 

As there are always the exceptions to the rule, so it is with my mention that people are mostly happy at weddings.  Some are not.  On such occasions the open bar tends to be a bad idea discovered too late.  Passions run high at wedding receptions, and they are not always amorous ones.  And once the libations begin to flow, speaking one's mind to total strangers feels almost compulsory.  Sadly, these strangers are often related to the shortly-to-be-unhappy couple whom the critic has decided to publicly indict, or offer unsavory, and inappropriate, commentary on.  Bad dancing is quickly replaced with equally poor, but vigorous, fighting skills.  These martial displays appeal mightily to the young testosterone-charged, and well-lubricated young men in attendance, tux or nay, who quickly choose sides and join the fray.  Police are called by management.  The expensive nuptials become just another Saturday night at bar break.

It does happen.  I've responded to such a call and can attest.  It makes a good story for the grandchildren someday...perhaps.  The bride's mother  is never the same, I think.

On one occasion, officers of my department had to return several times to the hotel where the reception was held to put down flare-ups.  These went on well after the reception and raged from room-to-room into the wee hours of the morning.  It was something of a Hatfield-McCoy wedding though everyone did go home at the end of it all.

This was not the case during one reception.  In this instance, it was held at a seaside hotel during the autumn and all was going well until one of the bridesmaids husband decided to go swimming.  The day before had been very stormy and the ocean was still churning when he rushed onto the beach, stripped out of his shoes and shirt, and dove in.  This was after the season and no lifeguards manned the beach.  He was last seen swimming due east--directly out to sea.  When I arrived the wife was hysterical and screaming for me to send my officers into the water after him.  One of my men volunteered, but when I took in the condition of the sea and learned that the last time he had been seen with any assurance had been twenty minutes prior, I said no.  This was very hard to do, but I couldn't risk another man's life under the circumstances.  Naturally, I did activate the Coast Guard and fire department, which also had some boats available.  It was a fruitless search that went on until dark.  I found him the next night having washed up with the tide.  I was grateful that he was unmarked.  The sea can do truly terrible work on those it claims.  It was a small mercy for the wife and family.

Weddings would seem to be a good setting for a mystery story, but I'm not aware of very many.  Perhaps I've just not come across them.  My education is sometimes spotty.  Certainly there are the requisite ingredients available: passion, drink, love, sexual tension, and that certain, "I can't be held responsible for my behavior" attitude amongst many attendees.  Additionally, as the receptions often involve hotels and overnight stays, further intrigue is possible throughout the long night.  I might try writing one someday.   

In spite of my "on-duty" experiences, I still like weddings very much.  They make me feel younger and more hopeful.  As for honeymoons, well, that's another story, isn't it?  You don't get invited along on those very often.  But crime, violence, and tragedy, stalk them as well if the news is to be believed--husbands vanish from cruise liners; wives go diving with their husbands and don't come back up.  It would seem the institution of marriage is fraught with peril from proposal to final parting.  Perhaps this explains the falling marriage rate.

Whether it does, or doesn't, it certainly provides potential grist for the literary mill and food for dark thought--devil's food wedding cake perhaps.