Friday, June 19, 2009

Of hailstorms and June weddings

We've been having the sort of weather the past few days that I suppose Alabama, and the Deep South in general, is famous for. The sort of weather that makes people say things like "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." I rather like it. Highs have been in the mid-to-upper-90's all week. You wear the humidity like a heavy coat. I can't wait for summer.

Earlier this week, LJ and I unintentionally reenacted The Perfect Storm, except in a car instead of a boat. We were golfing Monday when it began to pour on the 17th hole. It was also thundering a bit, but being the true golfers we are--and let's face it, not having that much to lose--we finished the round.

On the way back to LJ's, they were giving thunderstorm and tornado warnings on the radio. The rain intensified to the point that I was having trouble seeing. I distinctly recall the phrase "Where is the road?" being used at least once, and also running over my mental checklist of what to do if I spotted a tornado--which pretty much consists of halting the vehicle and jumping into a ditch. At one point I may or may not have been cruising down the turn lane for an indefinite period time, but I'm pretty sure I was.

Then it started hailing, like I have never seen in all my 36 years of mostly unfulfilled potential. We were still probably 4 or 5 miles from LJ's and by this time, traffic had slowed to like 20 miles per hour. My vehicle was getting absolutely pelted, so I decided to try and find some sort of shelter. I noticed a couple of cars had pulled into a church parking lot and parked underneath trees, so I joined them.

Didn't help.

The sky was angry that day, my friends. For about five minutes solid we sat there 'neath a cedar tree, listening to and watching quarter-to-ping-pong-ball-sized hail bounce off the hood. It felt like the windshield was going to shatter at any second. We both agreed we had never seen anything like it. I may or may not have been cursing the entire time, but most likely was.

Driving home that night, there were widespread power outages. It was quite eerie to be driving along with no street lights or lights from houses. At one point, I saw what looked to be several flashlights up ahead in the otherwise pitch blackness. As I was trying to figure out what was going on, I nearly crashed into two trees that were completely blocking the road, forcing me to backtrack and take another route home.

Tuesday morning shed light on even more destruction. Trees were down all over town. On my way to work, I saw several that had fallen onto houses. By that time, I felt pretty lucky to just have some scratches and dents on my car.

Speaking of harrowing experiences, my old roomate is getting married this weekend. And you guessed it, I'm in the wedding. This despite the fact that I never see him and we talk maybe once year. Those are the best.

This will be my 5th or 6th wedding to be in. You know what they say: Always a groomsman, never any cute single bridesmaids.

For some reason, someone with apparently no appreciation for convenience and common sense came up with the brilliant idea that the groomsmen would buy their suits for this wedding instead of renting them.

Wha-? Why? I'm befuddled.

First of all, no guy wants to be in a wedding, ever, no matter what he tells you. I mean, sure it's a great honor. (Not really.) But at least when we do find ourselves in this unappealing situation, the tuxedo rental makes things as painless as possible.

The tux is the prostitute of the fashion world. It's convenient and relatively hassle-free. There's no commitment. You know where to find them and you know what you're getting. You pay a hundred bucks, use it for a few hours and return it, barely worse for the wear. So why would anyone want to complicate the process?

On top of that, come to find out that we're not even getting the whole ensemble. We have to furnish our own white dress shirt, socks, and black shoes. And there's no vest or anything. So basically, I'm buying a jacket, pants, and a tie. And I'm still not 100% sure we get to keep the tie.

The "logic" I was given behind this idea was that it would be better to pay a little more and be able to keep the suit than pay a hundred bucks and have to return it. Well, riddle me this: Where else am I ever going to wear this suit?

Every wedding has a different, specific style of tux. The chances of this suit matching the tuxes for any future wedding I may be in are astronomical at best. I'd have a better chance of being killed in a hailstorm. Actually, in light of recent events, I would like to redact that last sentence.

And finally, since he was my roomate for a year, and since I most likely won't be allowed asked to speak at the wedding/reception/after party, I would like to impart a bit of advice. Actually, you know what, let's make it a toast.

To the blushing bride: Don't ever leave any food sitting anywhere that it might be found unless you are OK with it being eaten.

Hear, hear!

"Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry. In five days from now he's gonna marry. He's hopin' you can make it there if you can, 'cos in the ceremony you'll be the best man..."


  1. The tux is the prostitute of the fashion world.
    Always wondered who the prostitute of the fashion world was

    Loved this post. Felt that I was with you in the hail storm

    like I have never seen in all my 36 years of mostly unfulfilled potential
    Instant classic

    I'm waiting for my goddaughter and it's too hot to go onto any of my decks. Poor me. And I have to water my garden after the sun goes in. Kind of wish

    The sky was angry that day, my friends
    another classic

  2. this was priceless..

    ..and I'm watching Wedding Crashers while I read this.. funny.

  3. With hail everyone always says it was the size of golf balls (or ping pong balls) but it never really is. But for some reason, you I believe.

    ps. Heard a rumor that Alabama is playing in Happy Valley in 2011...

  4. The tux is the prostitute of the fashion world... excellent choice of words. Sorry to hear your car was dented up in the hailstorm. In light of houses being destroyed I would say you guys were lucky. Have a great night.

  5. The most memorable hailstorm I've experienced was in Nairobi, Kenya... of all unlikely places. But wait. You parked under a TREE during a storm?! We were probably safer careening around the flooded streets of Nairobi. ;)

  6. Ah..thunderstorms. one of the many reasons I left Huntsville for the sunny shores of Los Angeles.
    Of course, right now, L.A. is in the middle of June Gloom so it's all overcast and muggy and slightly cold.

  7. Buy a suit, huh maybe that don't want the guys to feel left out anymore since bridesmaids have been buying dress they will never wear again.

    Southern storms - gotta love um.

  8. Pia - Thank you. That's the feeling I was trying to get across. Since I couldn't take pictures because I still haven't bought new batteries for my camera, I had to try and paint the storm with words :)

    Glad you're finally getting to experience some southern heat. I was beginning to wonder...

    Shelby - That is funny, because I was thinking last night while standing there during rehearsal, this would be so much more fun with some wedding crashers.

    Susan - Yeah, I've always kinda been the same way. But now I believe.

    Yep! And I think Penn State comes to Tuscaloosa in 2010. Get ready :)

    Michelle Johnson - Why, thank you. That was definitely one of the lines I was most proud of.

    R8chel - Um, yeah. After I saw the literally hundreds of trees down the next day, I was thinking that probably hadn't been one of my better ideas. Oh well, hindsight.

    Xinh - I'm not familiar with June Gloom. It should be nothing but scorching here until at least late September.

    PennyCandy - Apparently. Next thing you know, they'll be having us go together to get our hair and nails done the morning of the wedding.

  9. I'm sorry about the hail but was kind of hoping you'd have had your windshield cracked too. ;)

    Now that you own a tux you can go on one of those cruises the elderly love so well, the ones where you have to dress up for dinner and there is always a "seriously formal night or two.

    You may even find the granddaughters some of the elderly bring, to help them up and down the stone paths in Athens with their walkers, to be pleasant companions.

    Brilliant piece dear Bone.

  10. I'm sorry about your hail damage. I hope the repairs to your car aren't too expensive and that folks get their electricity turned back on soon (if not already) cuz life in the south without AC can be deadly...gotta keep the old folks on ice. ;)

    and who is this crazy person for making the guys buy suits...and it cost $100 to rent a tux?!??! Really??? I had no idea. Shoot I don't know how much the guys paid to rent the tuxes we had for my wedding...they never told me how much, just said if we rent so many we got one free. We let my nephew have the free tux rental. I suppose some thinking could be that the girls have to buy their dresses, but they don't have bridesmaid dress rentals that look decent! I actually tried to arrange for my bridesmaids to have a place to sell their dresses afterward but they all wanted to keep them...go figure!

    I guess I should be greatful that I've never been asked to be in someone's wedding.

  11. *makes mental note that when presented with a possible tornado situation, the safest place is actually under a tree that is in a church parking lot.* Does it matter if it's cedar? We don't be having much of them up here.

  12. and also running over my mental checklist of what to do if I spotted a tornado--which pretty much consists of halting the vehicle and jumping into a ditch

    This has been bothering me. Didn't your father teach you to go into a car if there was a possibility of a tornado?

  13. We've had storms but aren't that hot, thank God. Good luck with the wedding--here's my toast for you: "may there be abundant cute and single bridesmaids from which you can choose, and even one or two with money!"

  14. I may or may not have been cursing the entire time, but most likely was.

    Someone needs to teach LJ that he should carry a tape recorder with at all times to catch such events for us :)

    Glad you survived the Perfect Storm, Bone. Scary that you almost hit those trees :-/

    I can think of no acceptable reason for most men to own a tux. I mean, that's just gonna make you look like Nikolas Cassadine, and who wants that?

    I hope the wedding wasn't too horrible of an experience for you, and that there was a cute bridesmaid or two for you to flirt with after all.

  15. Great post! I loved this sentence: You wear the humidity like a heavy coat.

    The suit buying business is crazy. Would anyone know if you hired one? I know the answer to that really; it just seems such a bizarre decision. At least if they decide to renew their vows at some point, you'll have the suit all ready and waiting!

  16. Cooper - Why, thank you dear Cooper.

    Although... hoping for a cracked windshield? You're one of those people who roots for the coyote against the roadrunner, aren't you? :)

    Renee - Back when I first started renting tuxed, for proms, you could get one for 50 or 60 dollars. But nowadays they're pretty much 100 bucks a pop.

    Maybe I could trade mine for a nice meal at Mendy's? Or maybe I should become a conductor, like the Maestro.

    I've never been asked to be in someone's wedding.

    How have you managed that? Care to divulge your secret?

    Murf - Actually, using that hindsight thing again, those cedar branches didn't seem to offer much protection. Maybe try an oak?

    NoStrokes - That's true, he did. But he never got as far as telling me what to do if we actually saw one.

    Sage - Haha, nice toast. That's the dream, isn't it?

    TC - Ooo, Nikolas Cassadine. Good call! I guess I could host my very own Black & White Ball.

    The wedding actually turned out not bad at all. Got to see quite a few people that I hadn't seen in years, as I suppose one is prone to do at weddings.

    J Adamthwaite - Thank you. Well, I had a black suit at home. I thought about just wearing it. Wonder if anyone would have noticed.

  17. Hail storms, hail storms. They suck. Of course in California the only things we have to worry about are fires and earthquakes (hopefully not at the same time). California -- NOT being Alabama -- is just plain hot, period. No humidity. Rarely. You ever been out here during Santa Ana season? Holy shit: wind like hell is on its way, and heat like...well, hell is on its way. Sucks donkey d$#*.

  18. I've never been asked to be in someone's wedding.

    How have you managed that? Care to divulge your secret?

    apparently I don't have any friends who are getting married. After highschool I moved away and after I got married, I moved away again...oh that's it...I keep moving! My middle brother was going to have me be in his wedding, but the day he announced his wedding was the day I found out I was pregnant. oops! My oldest brother eloped and the youngest isn't speaking to me. Even my own mother didn't have me in her 3rd wedding! humph!

  19. OMG, I was so scared for you, and yet you still made me laugh out loud. How do you do that?! By the way, when I say I was scared for you, I was referring to your weather situation and not your wedding Your tuxedo comment was hilarious...thanks for starting my day off with a big smile, Bone! :~)

    I'm glad you survived both the storm and the wedding.

  20. I think your encounter w/ the bad weather would have been the perfect "Storm Chasers" episode! Too bad you didn't have the camera rolling. I'm glad you made it thru safe & are still around to write about it...It made a hilarious post! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall or should I say window! :-) We've experienced the same heat wave in south alabama - it sucks that @ 10PM its still 90 degrees! I've lived in the south all my life and still can't get adjusted to the humidity on some days...c'est la vie. Good luck at the wedding. I'm sure you'll be more handsome than the groom! BTW, thought you might be interested to know that my nephew made the All Saban Team at summer camp - 3rd out of 60 linebackers. Not bad for a 16 year old 'eh?! I might have to learn to yell those two dirty words after all...LOL!

  21. Customer Servant - I've only been to California once, and I don't think I experienced the Santa Anas. I've read about them, but I'm guessing that's not quite the same.

    Renee - Wow, that's quite the plan: Renee's Guide On How To Not Be Invited To Be In Anyone's Wedding.

    Fledgling Poet - I'm not sure how I do that. Maybe my specialty is the dramedy genre :) I'm glad you got a big smile out of it anyhow.

    Missy's World - Yeah, I was thinking about the humidity as I was running yesterday. It feels almost like someone has sheets hanging on a clothes line and you're running through them constantly.

    Wow, congrats to your nephew. Can we go ahead and get a commitment from him? :)

  22. And here I was thinking you were 34!


  23. 'The sky was angry that day, my friends...' Thank you for that almost Seindfeld reference. :o)

    The guy I'm dating has to be in a wedding in a few months. The tux - purple. At least he's renting.

  24. The J-Mo - You want it. You got it.

    Gautami - That's a common misconception :) Please feel free to continue thinking that.

    Charlotta - Good job on getting the near-Seinfeld reference!

    Purple? *cringe*