19 September 2004

Paying the ferryman

The remnants of Hurricane Ivan blew through yesterday and took us all by surprise. We expected rain, but not the gale force winds and torrential rains of biblical proportions, as my husband put it. Of course this was the weekend of the wedding on Martha's Vineyard, so we were ferry passengers on the mighty Atlantic during all of this not once, but twice.

We got to the island early enough to have a leisurely lunch in Oak Bluffs, where we happily watched some Yankees-Red Sox action. We had a window-side table, so we also kept a weather eye on the weather, which was so hysterically awful that we began to consider where we might spend the night if they stopped running the ferries.

After shamelessly camping out at our table for a few hours and consuming no more than a couple of sandwiches, we trundled ourselves up-island to the wedding site. Still raining, still dreaming of a respite for the wedding party and their two hundred guests. The massive white tent flapped and shuddered in the wind. The chairs were soaking wet because the rain was coming in through the few openings horizontally, and forcefully so.

I had spiders leap onto my neck and arms FIVE TIMES during the ceremony. It was like that scene in the Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbits hide from the Black Riders under the root by the side of the road, and all the nasty bugs come crawling out.

Of course, I make this comparison with absolutely no reference intended to the bride.

No-one had bothered to tell us that the wedding was formal, so while all the men were wearing suits and ties and all the women were wearing slinky party dresses with hilariously high heels, we were dressed more casually. Matt was wearing dress pants and what we refer to as his witness protection shirt: a nice silk shortsleeve shirt with a subtle pattern of palm trees inlaid into the material. I was wearing black dress pants and a nice black linen top, an artsy, silversmith-ish necklace, and, oh, yeah, goddamn sensible shoes.

So of course we got a few of those junior high derisive looks -- you know, the ones that girls give you out of the corners of their eyes, running from your face, then down to your shoes, then back up and down again, all in about .4 seconds, all with a look of "you've got to be kidding" on their faces.

Like I said in an earlier post, this isn't exactly the side of the family that we have the most in common with.

Matt and I just shrugged and said we were comfortable with who we are. Also, unlike some watery tarts I could mention, I wasn't freezing my anorexic little ass off in two square feet of fabric and five-inch heels at an outdoor wedding in the mud. As the evening wore on, I firmly believe some of the dirty looks we got were tinged with jealousy.

To make life even better, I was seated at dinner next to a charming young couple from New York City with whom I got on smashingly. The gal of the pair asked me what I did for a living, and when I told her I'm a freelance editor for Such-and-Such Publishing in NYC, she stared in astonishment. She works (full-time, for real, yo) for the same damn publishing house. Different division than I do most of my work with, but still! What are the odds! I gave her my card, and I might even get work out of it.

By the time we caught the last ferry back to the mainland, the worst of the storm had passed, and when we got home we gratefully shed our comfortable clothes for still more comfortable sweatpants and flannels, as it seems that Ivan had hit the last nail in the coffin of summer, and now it is fall. Thank God.

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