Stop thinking about stuff and start doing stuff. I think we can all benefit from this advice.
I only sort of finished what happened in Pittsburgh this past weekend. I left on a Friday at 2:30 from the heart of Philly. I did this drive in a shade under 5 hours stopping at a few rest stops along the way strictly for peeing purposes. I was never in any danger of speeding and probably averaged 70-75 mph. I arrived at generously priced Holiday Inn for $105 dollars a night at around 8pm. The slight delay was because I had to buy a wedding card from CVS that I put a hundred bucks (too little?) in to avoid having to choose a personalized gift. I showered and then proceeded down to the Holiday Inn bar for a few drinks and something to eat. After a few drinks I initiated a conversation with some man from Syracuse whose brother was in a Pitt hospital preparing for some sort of specialized surgery. The reason I mention this isn’t to prove how good I am at picking up guys at bars, but to explain the enormous difference between drinking and not. When I first got to the restaurant, I was like a mute sitting at the bar eating my food. After 3 beers I casually started a conversation that displayed my surprisingly high ability to carry conversations with strangers. This will come into further dissection as the entry progresses.
My friends arrived from the rehearsal dinner soon after and we had a few drinks and reminisced about old times. It’s funny how after not seeing people for months or years, how easily it was to enjoy each others company. Since the wedding was the next day, everyone was staying pretty lucid. Me, Steve, and Arpita decided to see some of the old college bars we were familiar with years ago. College wasn’t in session and everything was pretty tame and we called it a night relatively early. I awoke the next day at 9:30 and had an overpriced Holiday Inn buffet breakfast with Steve and Arpita. After that I went for a run around the campus and then swam a few laps in the Holiday Inn pool. I’m like a fish out of water in the pool but some aquatic exercise was still fun. At 1pm I met up with a friend who was coming in for the wedding for a few drinks. We had some good conversation for a few hours and headed back to the hotel to get changed for the ceremony.
The 45 minutes ceremony was short and sweet and we all headed over the reception which was conveniently located a 5 minute walk away. The reception was pretty standard and everything went off without a hitch. Gerald made sure to call out my tie which correctly tied improperly. I know a basic method for tying a tie but in no way is it correct and Gerald after 5 straight vodkas made certain to make me aware that I was a putz. I respect him more for doing this rather than thinking he’s a dick. The reception ended and we all headed back to the Holiday Inn bar. This is where things start to get a bit interesting. I had two conversations with people who I can only say is not in my normal repertoire.
Interesting conversation #1 was with the pastor who married my friend and his bride. The previous night of the wedding, the pastor was slugging down beers at the Holiday Inn bar which I found a tad unusual. My stereotypical thought is that the pastor is a holy man and lives by a strict code of moral conduct. I have a serious problem if my pastor was downing beers at the bar and then the next afternoon is granted the power to marry someone. It seems to deflate the bond that is marriage. Anyway, after a few beers earlier and the rum and cokes at the reception, I was going to get to the bottom of this issue so I went straight up to him and told him my problem with the situation. He just sort of beat around the bush and said that there was nothing wrong with this and my point is invalid. It wouldn’t have mattered what he said because I’m still not altering my stance from what I wrote above.
Interesting conversation #2 was from a girl at the bar, drinking water, who I can’t remember exactly how the conversation started but proved to be the most touching. After the initial introduction I found out that she had leukemia and was in the process of chemo. Now I’m sure your shaking your head wondering what asinine comment I was going to make to her but you’d be wrong. We had a really heartfelt conversation and I think she appreciated the attention from the opposite sex considering she had begun losing her hair (I could hardly tell) from the treatment. This conversation almost brought a tear to my eye after I was asking how she felt and all the other questions that come from not knowing many people who have this disease. I walked away from it feeling incredibly fortunate for how lucky I am and how difficult other people have life.
After this we went down to the bars but at this point I had had enough to drink and needed to call it a night. It was probably only 11 or so but 10 straight hours of drinking is about my limit. I wisely went back and fell asleep til the next morning. I drove back at 10:30 or so and made it back in even faster time hitting speeds of 100+ at multiple stretches of the turnpike. In the 48 hours of the road trip I spent 10 on the road, 18 sleeping and 20 waking hours. The hours that I was awake though were spent with old friends who I rarely get to see so it was worth its weight in gold. Stop thinking about stuff and start doing stuff.