Tux to Be You

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Well, Jared and Nichole’s wedding turned out fine, despite Nichole having the flu, and despite a lot of people not showing up because it conflicted with the BYU/University of Utah football game, and despite my involvement as the best man.

My humility issues cause me to have a hard time with a title like “best man.” I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging. (“See all these other guys? Yeah, they’re only second-best.”) In any collection of men, it’s rare that I’m the best of them, except maybe at a carnival or at a movie theater that’s showing “Black Knight.” I’m usually one of your more average men: not much to look at, and certainly nothing to write home about. (“Dear Mom, There’s this guy, and he’s average. Love, Susie.”) (Because apparently, your name is Susie.)

I don’t even know what a best man is supposed to do. Can you just stand around being the best? Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it. I would have thrown Jared a bachelor party, but I couldn’t imagine him wanting to spend an entire evening apart from Nichole, and goodness knows she wouldn’t have been invited, what with all the debauchery. (Nichole is staunchly anti-debauch.) So that didn’t happen.

At any rate, the wedding day came and I put on a tuxedo, in which I looked like I should be playing piano in an Old West saloon. I mostly followed Jared around the reception hall, asking if I could do anything. This was when guests were milling around waiting for the ring ceremony to begin and Nichole was collapsed in a heap upstairs trying not to vomit anymore. Jared kept telling me there was nothing in particular I could do, and so I did nothing in particular. I sat and did some people-watching.

What I learned from this is that before going out in public, some people need more help than they’re currently getting. There were two different men wearing white socks with their dark pants and black shoes, for example. One member of the wedding party had been unable to show up in person for the tuxedo fitting, so he sent in his measurements. The trouble is, he used a tape measure — you know, the thin metal strip-in-a-box that construction workers use, the kind that doesn’t really bend to the contours of the body. As a result, his pants and coat were four inches too short for him.

I was not beyond reproach myself, though. I bit into an eclair and sent cream shooting out the back end (of the eclair). Soon I began doing this on purpose, for entertainment.

Nichole, bless her heart, was finally able to get upright and non-hallucinatory enough to stand in the receiving line. As best man, I was in that line, too, putting a serious strain on my small-talk abilities. I didn’t know a single person who came through. So as I shook each person’s hand, we’d do the thing where I explain I’m a friend of Jared’s and the person explains his or her connection to the happy couple. One man said, “I’m the husband of So-and-So, who used to be Nichole’s roommate.” And I said, “So you and I have absolutely no connection whatsoever, except that we’re both humans.” And he said yes. And then we had to keep talking, because he was still standing in front of me, because the line moves so slow.

It was a fun experience. I usually avoid wedding receptions, plague-like, but I was honored to be tangentially involved with this one. Not that they’re reading this, but I hope Jared and Nichole are having a nice honeymoon, and I hope I remember to return my tuxedo to the place they rented it from one of these days.

Being a best man at a wedding was one of those things that sounds like it should be rife with column material, but that actually wasn't. Most of the jokes I came up with were too much at the expense of people I like, or the families of people I like, so I tried to leave them out.

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