In order to get my hands on the woman who was to become my wife, I kicked the legs out from under one of my best friends, and planted a foot on his back before diving over him.
9 years ago today, in fact.
We met at a friends' wedding. I was a friend of the groom, my wife worked with the bride. She caught the bouquet, and as I mentioned I used a man I have known since we were 5 to launch myself through the air and grab the garter, leaving a nice dusty size 13 footprint in the middle of his tux's back.
200+ people then learned that, indeed, even brown-skinned women can blush bright red.
My wife was a little oblivious to what was going on. It was her first American wedding, and Brazilians don't do the whole garter/bouquet thing. Her then-boyfriend figured it out, though, and suddenly he and his buddies started popping up like whak-a-moles, looking furious. It's a macho thing, I guess. A stranger putting hands on his date, and all.
Then my friends, and the groom popped up, and things got tense. I'm half-drunk, as is everyone- the groom's half-Irish, and we know how to have a good time. I'm not going to ruin a wedding by hosting a 30-man brawl, though. My friends at the wedding were mostly union tradesmen- ironworkers, carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators, etc. Not a single one of us under 6', nobody under 200lbs. The Brazilian men? Well, they're not as small as most Mexicans, but it would have been like setting gorillas loose in a squirrel cage.
When it was suggested that I give the boyfriend the garter, though, I never even considered it. The girl with the bouquet was one of the hottest women I've ever seen, and who the hell gets to meet a Brazilian? All's I knew about was their famous waxes, and I was about to get my hand on her thighs, to boot.
I defused the situation by telling the BF (through a translator) that this was our tradition, it was fun and harmless, and if he still felt offended by the end of it, that he and I could go out back, and I'd put my thumbs through my belt loops and let him get a free shot at me... and then, to be fair, I said that if he tried taking any extra, I'd pull his arm off and beat him and his friends to death with it.
And all proceeded to plan, except that the girl didn't speak English.
The rest of the wedding was a bit of a blur. Still the most fun one I've ever been to, though, including my own. All the drama and pageantry, you know?
Last thing I said when the wedding was winding down was "You know, I hope that hot foreign chick doesn't get beat up by that midget douchebag who almost caused a scene. He was absolutely the type."
Turns out, I was right. He was psyching himself up to do exactly that when my future wife kicked him out of the car and told him to go to hell.
I returned to sea not long after the wedding, for a 120-day voyage. Halfway through, the bride asked me if I wanted her to introduce me to the girl from the wedding. I said sure, when I get home in the spring, I'll take her out one night. And then I had a laugh and thought no more of it until I got home.
Pretty sure I got mad points for remembering the date today, too. I just flew back to work today, and so I could use the boost. My ratings go down on crew change day.
A to P 5: Whole Lotta Dredging
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