Thursday, February 22, 2007

Okie weddings

In the entire time I've been with my Oklahoman wife (11+ years dating, 8+ years married) I've been to four Oklahoma weddings.

First off, weddings here aren't anything like the dozens of weddings (including my own) that I've attended, participated in, cried at, videotaped, drank, danced, sang, slept, ate, and swam at (by accident...long story).

Wedding's in LA are like proms.

You get dressed up. You get your picture taken. You get a sit-down 4-course meal. You get to dance. You get to sit at a round table for 10 with a Chinese style lazy susan in the middle and chuckle at other people doing the chicken dance. You get to make fun of the hard-as-rock dinner rolls. There's always a sentimental final dance, a traditional light-hearted struggle over who will take home the table centerpiece, at which time you grab your lovely parting gifts and head for the valet parking.

LA weddings are great if you are in the wedding party, are close to the wedded couple or their family, or are in desperate need to do the chicken dance.

LA weddings are not great if you barely know the couple, or kinda know them through a friend at work, or are sorta fond of the groom's aunt, who you know through your therapist group. See, we're talking 6-8 hours minimum of a good Saturday, gone because of a familial obligation or some other quasi-emotional obligation to who knows who for who knows what reason.

Okie weddings, on the other hand, are quick and easy and you don't end up investing an entire day/night to attending the affair.

Case in point a wedding we attended a short time ago.

The bride was an ex-intern from S's office. She was a pretty, bright, and cheerful recent college grad, who endeared herself to my wife during her short time as an intern. She was also a sorority sister, and that blood runs pretty deep out here. Both factors combined to provide us with a familial invitation to the blissful event.

We were actually encouraged to bring the girls as well. That was a first for us, since most of the weddings we've been to normally don't include children (at $35-$100 bucks a head, I don't blame them).

So, on went our fancy clothes, and off into the early Oklahoma evening we went.

We regaled in the ceremony, the pomp and circumstance, the pretty dresses and pretty smiles. The girls dug the bagpipist and we all cooed softly at the eurasian flower girl.

Later, at the reception, several well-wishers came up to me and told me many different versions of the following statement:

You're daughter was so great in the wedding."

I didn't have the heart to tell any one of them that my daughter was nowhere near the wedding party at the time, but sitting comfortably and quietly between my wife and I in a side pew on the bride's side.

Besides, PK was way cuter than the flower girl. Just my opinion.


MichaelBates said...

So was the reception the typical cake, punch, and pastel mints affair?

I would love to know the socio-historical explanation for why weddings on both coasts are so much more elaborate than in this part of the country. Is it a matter of Scotch-Irish frugality vs. Mediterranean extravagance?

OKDad said...

Two cakes (Groom's cakes are big here, as in the South...we had one at our wedding, but only because my wife was an Okie and insisted we have one), green punch (matching the bridesmaids outfits), and some yummy hor D'oeuvres stood in for the pastel mints.

Apparently the two families joining were relatively prominent names in Enid, so they brought out all the stops.

I've discussed this very issue with some folks around town and the most honest of them told me,
"Okies marry early and have as short a too-do as possible because folk here don't have intimate relations beforehand, so they're really fired up to get to it."

This coming from an 80+ year old woman -- guess she's speaking from experience.

amfornu said...

Oops, left this message in a post from a few days ago. Reposting here...
Hey there, found this blog from a link off another link off another link. Anyway, I'm north of you in in a small town outside of Omaha, Nebraska and can relate, given you and I are in similar situations. I've started way back in your archives and working my way to your latest post.

OKDad said...

AMforNU - what's your situation up there in Cornhusker land?

Apparently there was/is a big rivalry between NU and OU back in the 70's but I think Texas has replaced Nebraska as Okie sports fans most heated rival.

I'm still stuck in my old USC vs. UCLA rivalry mode, so I can't relate.

Had a cousin who did his Master's work in psych up at Nebraska U. He liked it up there, but is now in Tenn. doing his doctoral work.

Glad you found a compadre in spirit - are you a stay at home Dad as well?

amfornu said...

That was quick. I'm an Asian guy married to an Irish/German woman with a beautiful boy and girl. Grew up in the Midwest, as did the wife. I live in a town with about 10K people, but we are a stone's throw away from Omaha so it's not as small town as it seems.
Since I grew up here I can't compare big city life to what I have now. I don't have an accent, drive a "peek up", and like beer and football so I "fit" right in. Overall, life is OK here. Family friendly community and my kids will be going to the same jr and sr high schools. Plus we are near Offutt Air Force Base so there is a small Asian community.

Both the wife and I work, but we are considering downsizing to reduce stress from the Corporate world.
We are your typical American family I guess.

OU vs NE not the same as it was back in the 70 - 80's. You're right, TX vs OU has replaced it.

Reading your blog, you and I are very much alike. Look forward to reading more!