Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wedding weekend

My cousin Neva's girl Brooke got married near Greensboro yesterday.  It was a lovely event, and it was great to see lots of peeps from my mom's side of the family.  For dinner, there was breakfast food, which is apparently a tradition in their family.  The bride was beautiful, the groom charming.  What was not to like?

I did find myself curious about many of the wedding attendees, kids in their mid to late twenties maybe thirties, comfortable in suit, tie, and party dress.  So many of the songs played were wedding and party classics, and had dances or singalonging well-known to the revellers.  When "Sweet Caroline" was played and the song "good times never felt so good", the throngs on the dance floor called out "so good, so good, so good."  I had never heard that one.  It was all very tribal.  As one who never quite joined the tribe, I couldn't help but look at these young guys in suits and ties, singing along, doing the little dances with aplomb, and wondering what it was like to be them, focused on learning the steps, climbing their ladders, taking comfort in belonging.

Mom took an entirely different approach. When their were step dances going on that everybody knew, she got right out their and tried to learn the steps.  This just a week and change after her 77th birthday.  It made me rather proud of her.

Natalie too joined in the dancing, with me and mom and later mom's sister Faith and her daughters and granddaughters. That was pretty awesome.  Graham maintained a wallflower atttude.

There were also a couple of black kids, 6-year olds, who were the flower girl and ringbearer, who were out on the floor the whole time, and a couple of UNC-G students (I'm guessing), who were doing funky dances with them and forming a ring, holding hands with somebody getting in the middle having a Soul Train-style spotlight on them.  That was rather cool, seeing these un-self-conscious guys holding hands like that.

In many ways, the whole thing encapsulated many of the simultaneously hopeful and mystifying characteristics of the South today:  at once old school and new.

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