Sunday, June 15, 2003
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quote du jour:
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner): "No wait, I have done everything that I've been asked to do! I didn't understand it, but I've done it; and I haven't once asked 'what's in it for me?'" Shoeless Joe (Ray Liotta): "What are you saying Ray?" Ray Kinsella: "I'm saying, what's in it for me?" Shoeless Joe: "Is that why you did this... for you?" -- Field of Dreams
        
I feel trapped in somebody else's hallucination.

Yesterday was Jeremy's wedding. If you'll recall from my May 27th entry, he up and asked me to be a "vital part" of his wedding less than three weeks before the big event. The only clear requests he made were that I rent a tux and take photographs. Those sounded easy enough... but I had a feeling something else was going on. I was right.

I'd asked Jeremy about the tux. If I was just going to be the wedding photographer -- something I'd only done once before -- why couldn't I just wear a suit. He replied with, "I want all my people standing up there with me to wear tuxedos." To me, that's a big hint at groomsman. But he certainly didn't say "groomsman" did he? (I was curious as to how one could be a groomsman and a photographer, anyway.)

As it turns out, I was an usher, a candlelighter, a photographer and a character without a script in an event that I'm still struggling to make sense of. But, no, I was not one of those people "standing up there with [him]."

The wedding rehearsal was Friday night. More than once, Jeremy had told me that I didn't have to be there. The thing is that I don't like feeling unprepared when going into new situations... there was no way I was going to miss it.

I was running a bit late when I left Franklin for Smallville Friday afternoon. I called ahead and talked to Jeremy and his wife-to-be. They both said that they everyone was going to eat at 7 p.m. and rehearse afterwards. I thought that seemed backwards, but knowing that made me feel better when I pulled into the church parking lot at 7:15 p.m.

I immediately headed into the church's dining room and found the place empty. I took a quick glace across the breezeway into the sanctuary. As you guessed, I saw them rehearsing. What? Did they not want me there? As it turns out, I wasn't the only one. Neither of the two bridesmaids were there, either.

I entered the sanctuary and found a pew that put me close to the action without being too close to his family. I felt a bit like an outsider. After all, I hadn't seen Jeremy but once or twice in the last year. But what's odd is that his family welcomed me like I was part of the gang... when it had been years since I'd last seen some of them.

They wrapped up the rehearsal and Jeremy's aunt, who was serving as wedding coordinator, came up to me and asked me if I knew what I was supposed to do. I was honest. I replied, "I've been told nothing." She was the first person to tell me that I was supposed to usher and light candles. Jeremy never managed to tell me. His fiancee never told me. I was out of the loop until the night before the friggin' wedding. But, hey, that was cool nevertheless. After all, I was there to help out.

The ceremony was supposed to begin at 6:30, so I'd told everyone that we should start taking photos at 4:30. I think some folks thought that was a bit early until I reminded them that if I was still doing photos, I could do no ushering.

I made it to the church at 4:30. What did I find when I got there? An undressed groom, no bride and half the remaining wedding party missing. After much pressure and a little stress, we finally finished an abridged shoot schedule about 10 minutes before the ceremony was to begin.

The actual hitching was quick, easy and relatively painless. We wrapped up the rest of the photos following the ceremony and headed over to the reception.

The odd thing about the reception -- there was at least one odd thing about every part of this event -- was how Jeremy's wife often introduced me to others.

I was Fletch, Jeremy's best friend.

Please realize that excluding wedding related activities, I've seen the boy two or three times in the last year. He's never visited me in Franklin -- even when he lived here for a couple of months. In four years of college at Oakdale, he only stopped by once. I wasn't even a groomsman. And I'm his best friend? Wow. I'd hate to know how the rest of his friends fared.

Towards the end of the night, Jeremy walked up to me and slipped something in my pocket -- payment for services rendered. In the voice mail that started this drama, Jeremy offered to "pay [me] for doing this -- as [he] was going to pay any other photographer." Certainly, I wasn't going to charge him out the ass. He's a friend, afterall. But business is business and a little money to cover my trouble isn't asking too much.

Later on, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a single $100 bill.

Maybe I sound like one greedy sucker right now. But another friend of mine is planning her wedding and the two quotes she received for wedding photography were $700 and $1100. Granted, those guys are "professional wedding photographers," but I'm not ashamed to say that my prints look pretty damn professional. And I know that no one else would have given him that sort of quality for a measly hundred bucks.

To add to things, he wants me to hand over the rolls of film for him to have processed. Of course, I can't do that. I must process them. I must weed out the bad prints -- all photographers have them, very few are stupid enough to let them get out. He also wants the negatives. I never part with my negatives... but after this deal, I suddenly find myself not giving a shit.

He's had his wife call about 10 times today asking where the rolls of film are. The voice mails she left said that Jeremy had told her I was going to drop the film off at a processing place for them to pick up. Today's the first time I've heard that story. Obviously someone's lying and that just proves that the more things change with Jeremy... the more some things stay the same.

How disappointing... like so many other things this weekend.

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