Wringin' out the mask

By Emma Testerman | Oct 08, 2020

The year 2020 has not been kind. I think most, if not all of us, can agree.

How many times have I started a column with that intro this year? Anyway.

With those vibes aside, I was really lucky to be able to go to my cousin's wedding during this beautiful, autumnal season. Since my cousin's announcement a year ago, I literally was counting down weeks to days on my calendar.

While traveling to Connecticut for the ceremony was somewhat disconcerting, given the pandemic precautions, it did nothing to dampen the excitement and thrill of adding his now-wife to our family.

This often surprises most people, but this was the first wedding I've ever attended. Certainly not the first I was ever invited to, as I desperately wanted to go to my cousin's in Texas a while back, but some hair-brained idea by a paternal party-pooper in my immediate family felt it would be best if I save my travel money for a celebration closer to home. Cue the accusatory glare.

Nonetheless, I learned many things after attending this holy matrimony. So for those who have yet to go to one or are just eager to see what mess I got myself into, that I had to learn, here are my life tips for you:

When Kate came down the aisle in her pure white gown, it was like a dam broke inside my tear ducts. Before anyone could see her glide down the aisle, we all heard her contagious, musical laugh, and I knew my happy-ending obsessed self was going to absolutely lose it.

As I watched my cousin and his wife exchange rings, I kept leaning over to my mother next to me. "Does my mask look okay?"

I swore it was soaking wet from happy tears. "No, you're fine." she quickly whispered back, patting my knee.

After the pastor gave a heartfelt speech and announced the new couple, I joined in the thrilled cheering. But once again, leaned over to Mom and hissed, "Mom, are you sure my mask is okay?!"

She looked at me with that look us daughters all know. But I could've sworn my face mask had the shadow of my nose imprinted on it! I didn't want to go to the mother of the bride during the reception with a soppy mask and warm wishes!

So if you're ever attending a wedding during COVID-19, or during any pandemic in the future (knock on wood), I'd recommend a mask that you don't have to wring out in the bathroom after the ceremony.

I didn't actually do that, I'm not that gross. Thankfully.

During the delicious meal of steak, which as a post-college grad was absolute freeloading perfection, my uncle came over to our table. Patting my back roughly, he asked if I cry a lot at movies.

"Oh yeah, for sure. The live action Beauty and the Beast wedding scene, the Finding Dory movie, hell, I think I cried happy tears at the last FIFA game I saw." I joked back, glad to hear his laughter after months of long distance living.

Another thing I learned about weddings is that you're always going to enjoy yourself as a guest, but always be stressed out if you're involved in the planning.

But I'm not worried about that, I think my Pinterest board was last updated in 2019, so that's one less thing to worry about when that time comes.

I think the only thing I spent the most time stressing over is what was appropriate to wear as a guest. You obviously can't wear white (and if you do, well, look at you, Kelly Kapoor!), couldn't wear black because that's the bridesmaid color, do I wear white tights or black nylons? Are these heels too tall? Is a shawl overdoing it? Is this pattern too 'in-your-face?'

You get the picture.

Meanwhile, across the aisle was some dude with a clip-on tie, cargo shorts and construction boots.

I get how a rustic-themed wedding could allow a little bit of wardrobe wiggle room, but come on. The clothes match the respect, fellas. Even if your clip-on tie has camo on it but you at least wore long khakis and boat shoes, that's a hell of a lot better than looking like you just finished a shift at the local Cabela's.

"Don't judge a book by it's cover," How about, don't judge a book unless the book isn't wearing a proper dust jacket at a book sale?

It's been a week and a half since the wedding, and I'm still coming down from the happy high of having a new cousin to pester and bother with love and affection. I know the year isn't over, and the road ahead is going to be a difficult one. It is 2020, after all. The newly weds couldn't go on their honeymoon because of the pandemic, of course, but they still were able to carve out a happy memory for themselves and our families this year. I couldn't be more grateful for that.

It was a blessing to have them visit this weekend during their vacation. And as we ate our fill of lobster mac n' cheese and enjoyed a campfire, I couldn't help but smile at the two of them being so adoringly gross in love, and thank my lucky stars I have a family that finds happiness out of thin air.

Us Testermen are magical like that.

But what do I know, I'm just the dingbat from away.

Emma Testerman is The Courier-Gazette's copy editor, as well as a blogger and writer. She currently resides somewhere in the back woods, often mistaken for a cryptid. She can be reached at etesterman@villagesoup.com.

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