I am sitting in "Little Jennifer's" house. She's Sunny's sister. She lives in Tacoma. I'm here until... well, I could leave tomorrow. I could hop a ride to the airport and get a hotel room nearby and just wait it out until my flight. Which actually seems like a kind of nice idea. ....to bad I didn't pack my swim suit. Did I mention my flight out tomorrow was cancelled? It appears that impending snow back at Philly has everyone panicking and flights in out and of Philly have been cancelled. So, I get to sit back, try to relax and hope my supervisor at my internship is able to cancel all of my clients scheduled for Wednesday night. So if you're looking for me, I won't be home until Wednesday night around 11.30pm.
Yesterday morning, before the wedding, I got up, threw on some clothes and headed down the elevator of the Nita Lake Lodge to go for a walk. I needed to clear my head, breath cold air deeply and enjoy a bit a cerulean blue sky before we all had to get ready for Sunny's big night. I got off the elevator and came around the corner. In the massive wooden rocking chairs in the lobby as the groom. When I greeted him, the person nearest me, turned and looked at me. It turned out it was Sunny wearing this awfully cute hat with a giant red (if I remember correctly) pompom on the top.
(One of little Jenny's cats just jumped up onto the chair that I am typing this on. It just stuck it's face into mine, sniffing my lipgloss, I think. So if it steps on the keyboard and says something ridiculous, my apologies.)
I gave her a giant hug because I wasn't expecting to see her there. I thought she would be upstairs getting her hair and makeup done already. But there she was in the lobby. When I yelped in excitement and pulled her into a tight hug, she laughed and said, "You are a freak." I laughed and said, "Yes, but you love me."
The walk in the woods was brilliant. It was a paved path that went around Nita Lake and out into nature. The path afforded views of a couple of lakes, a few streams and more than a couple of those glorious mountains I have already described. On the walk, I thought about a number of really important things to me. I thought about decisions I've been making of late, how good or protective of myself they have been. I haven't done anything really dumb; I've just been more open and sharing with people. I've been more vulnerable and authentic. I've been bold and heart-honest. But, have I really been looking for out for my heart and feelings. I think I might have stepped in a huge hole that I didn't mean to step in and it might mess with my head for a couple of days or a week or two.
After the walk, I went back up to the room, turned the shower on to hot and started to eat some lunch -- left over pizza (from dinner the night before) and a left over sub (from lunch the day before). After shoving the food in, I realized I was in the middle of an anxiety attack. I felt like poop. Really really poopy. The bathroom at the Lodge had rustic tile floors and the shower was all tiled, with perfectly clear glass doors. The floors in the bathroom were heated and the tub was big enough to swim in. I stripped off the layers, took off the Goorin Brothers hat Sunny gave me and hopped under the hot water, deep breathing.
I eventually got my makeup on and some hanging around the hotel clothes and went to find the bride and the bridesmaids, who were all in Sunny and Andrew's suite. Sunny was radiant and beautiful. When she got into her dress, she looked amazing.
Once all of the bridesmaids were in their fancy black dresses and Ugg type boots, the whole female entourage went out onto a dock on the frozen Nita Lake and stood at the end for a photo shoot.
When it was time to walk down the aisle, I was in the lead of the bridesmaids because, surprisingly, I was the shortest. As I was waiting for the nod to start walking, Sunny's sister leaned around and said, "Hey, Kim! L'chiam." I leaned back around and said, "Hey Sunny! Mazel tov!" Then it was time for me to start walking. My body was freaking out. ...this might be one of the reasons I don't want a "traditional" wedding, if were to ever get married.
I was told to start down the aisle, real slow. I did so and as I approached the guys, I looked up at Andrew, who was looking at me all seriously. I looked at him, cocked my head to the side a little, winked my right eye and stuck my tongue out of the left corner of my mouth, which made the officiant crack up.
The officiant was a taoist abbott. He was wearing a long black drapey robe and his long grey ponytail was pulled back tight. He did some taoist rituals. I'm not so sure that Sunny and Andrew were so happy with such things. I'm positive that Sunny's dad was not pleased. It was a quick ceremony, done by 4.30 and we were off to cocktails and the Seahawks game. Even Sunny was excited to be able to watch the game before recepting at her wedding.
It was before cocktail hour really got going, that Jennifer came to me and said, "I'm going up to get in my other dress. Both Jenn and I had two dresses. As soon as no one was going to miss us and the official wedding was over, Jen and I headed up and got ourselves into a place where we were much more comfortable being ourselves. I don't think anyone really noticed that Jenn and I both got out of one black dress to go into another black dress; a black dress is a black dress. But still, I was happier and that was what mattered.
Someone had the brilliant idea to get Sunny some of the hotel's slippers to wear under her dress and she happily took off her heals. The dinner was lovely. The toasts were sweet. At one point Little Jenny was giving the toast. She stated that in the town we grew up, her family were the only Scandinavians. She then stated, "Everyone else was Italian. ...except Kim." I said, louder than I thought, "I was the token Jew," and was told that that was the "best" line of the whole night.
At the very end of the night when we were all exhausted, people were emptying out, that was when they played, "Tonight's Going to Be Going to Be a Good Night," by the Black Eyed Peas. Carolyn and I danced around and whenever they said, "Mazel Tov" we jumped as much as our overly tired bodies allowed us, being rather loud at the whole "Mazel Tov!" bit.
One thing that really struck me was when we were dancing, Sunny was so happy. She was bouncing and bounding and adorable. She was whipping her dress about and having so much fun. Her smile, her attitude, her joy were all so overwhelmingly glowing. I really admired how much she was enjoying this day.
At the end of the night, some of the groomsmen were standing around. I had forgotten my bracelets on the table; I realized it when I was upstairs in the room, with my stockings off. So, I threw on the fantastic little slippers we got as we were moving into our room and ran downstairs to find the jewelry. I was standing around getting grief from the groomsmen about... not I'm really sure what at the moment. Just grief. Eventually I went back up to my room, leaving them to their shananghans in the lounge. I was invited back up to their room for scotch, but there was no need. My bed was calling and I was exhausted.
As I crawled into bed, I got to thinking. Thoughts that don't really help.
This morning, as we were leaving Nita Lake Lodge, Sunny turned to me and said, "You need to move out here." I said, "You are not the first person to say this to me." Stephanie, one of the other bridesmaids, told me as we were riding up to Whistler, the social workers at the children's hospital that she, Sunny and another bridesmaid works at only do the kind of work that I want to do. It's not foreign for their social workers to help with the emotional trauma that is sickness, while the doctors are dealing with the physical trauma that is sickness. It came up when I was going out of my walk. Andrew said that I should move to Seattle before Carolyn gets sick(er) so that we have time together before we don't have time at all. Stephanie said I should move out here. Andrew sent me a text this morning that said, "Mover your candy arse out here then and we will harass you constantly. :P" And as I was hugging goodbye and Sunny was saying that I should move out there, I heard myself promise out loud, "When I start applying for work, I will apply to your hospital." Sunny was all smiles. Then, I thought about what I had just promised and said, "I can't believe that I said that I would do that." We all know how seriously I take promises. Stephanie said that it's not so easy to get a job at their hospital. So, I'll apply and then probably have to fly out to interview. From there, we will see. If I get hired, let's see what the benefits and pay are in comparison to CHOP, which I really believe will offer me a job.