Read Part I.
There are several issues with mixing a stimulant like adderall with alcohol, one of which being adderall’s appetite-suppressing qualities. The issue with being a groomsman in a wedding is that your meals are few and far between. You’re busy for the duration of the day, so you have to eat when you can. Unfortunately, once you can finally sit down at the reception to shovel down your dinner before you have to go straight back into mingling, it’s too late.
“Are you serious right now?” she shout-whispered as they sat at the wedding party table situated at the front of the country club. “Are. you. fucking. serious.”
Todd looked at her blankly after being absent for most of the cocktail hour. The groomsmen had gotten their photos out of the way faster than the bridesmaids and took to the bus for some bourbon that the groom’s father had gifted him earlier that day.
“I’m fine,” Todd said with his hand placed firmly on what appeared to be a scotch-rocks. “This isn’t my first fucking rodeo.”
She shushed him for fear of Caroline hearing his somewhat slurred speech from two chairs down only to realize that she hadn’t yet sat down for dinner. She grabbed his hand underneath the white table cloth and clarified, “You need to lock it up, Todd, we’re right in front of everyone. Stay here, I’m going to go make us plates.”
She stood from her seat and grabbed Victoria by the hand leading her towards the kitchen where she planned on demanding plates of food from the wedding planner. As she slid by the seats and attempted to escape from the wedding table, she nudged Katie and asked, “Where’s your new bestie? We need to get these boys some fucking food before they pass out.”
Katie shielded her mouth and turned around so the rest of the attendees couldn’t read her lips.
“What the hell is your problem?” Katie responded. “Finn’s fucking fine – and who is my new best fucking friend?”
She crouched down to become eye-level with Katie. “You know who the fuck I’m talking about – the planner you’re using to make yourself the star of the wedding. It’s Caroline’s day,” she said before standing up and walking away in search for food that she didn’t have to wait in line for.
Scouring the perimeter of the ballroom, she and Victoria searched for the planner between getting interrupted by seemingly everyone’s parents complimenting how beautiful they looked. Their ability to switch from private investigator to schmoozer surprised even them until they finally found the planner who was sneaking a glass of wine in the room where the bridesmaids left all their belongings.
“Oh, real nice, Janice,” she said immediately upon seeing her. “Why don’t you do your job and help us move this thing along before everyone gets hammered.”
Janice rolled her eyes and approached the doorway the girls were standing in before pointing around the corner to the kitchen where they were preparing everything for the buffet.
Janice put her hand on her elbow and sarcastically said, “Everything will be fine, honey, I’ve already instructed them to serve the wedding party first. I can see a waiter bringing food to your boyfriend – or is it your fiancé? – now.”
“Oh, fuck you, Janice,” she snapped back before turning around and dragging Victoria back to the table where Todd sat with a half-eaten filet in front of him. She sat down, straightened the top of her dress, ensured her hair was in place, and asked Todd if her makeup looked okay despite the fact that he had no idea what “okay”-looking makeup was supposed to look like.
He slurred, “You look beautiful, babe,” only to realize that he did, in fact, sound drunk.
Every fiber of her being wanted to lecture him on how he shouldn’t have been drinking so much while taking some of Finn’s adderall, but she also memorized the wedding itinerary by heart and knew that she was going to be asked to give her Maid of Honor speech soon. Setting her cracked iPhone 7 Plus on the table next to her plate of food, she reviewed her notes while also grabbing Todd’s hand to ensure he was 1. stable and 2. not going to leave her side and disappear.
Startled by a hand on her back, she looked up to see Caroline hovering above her with John, hand in hand.
“Oh my Godddddd, where have you been all my life?” she asked Caroline while almost tipping over her chair as she stood up. They embraced as if they hadn’t seen each other in years despite the fact that they had only been separated for all of an hour while Caroline mingled with distant relatives and high school friends.
“Sorry,” Caroline began, “I just got yelled at by fucking Janice to sit down because we have to start the speeches.”
A smile came across her face when she heard Caroline precede “Janice” with “fucking” because it signaled that she, too, did not like Janice. This was the closest confirmation she had up until this point that she was winning against Katie to be a better Maid of Honor.
She loudly chimed in so Katie could hear her, “Right? Janice is being suchhhh a Debby Downer.”
“Alright, sit, sit,” Caroline signaled as the wedding band quieted the music and her father stood up to introduce the couple and say a toast that would officially kick off the speeches.
Finn was the first to deliver his speech, the only groomsmen who would end up giving a speech that night. Todd was considering saying a few words, but there was no possible way that the mic was going to be handed all the way down to him in his state. Finn handed the microphone off to his wife, Katie, who would make the first of two Maid of Honor speeches.
On the other side of Caroline, her other Maid of Honor sat next to Todd, again with her phone open reviewing her notes. She could feel the adrenaline pulsing through her body while Katie delivered her speech. There were no words she could audibly make out, just noise. She heard laughter between a series of “awwws” only to be followed by more laughter. Between re-reading her one-liners and seeing the notifications coming in from the boomerang she had posted earlier that day on Instagram, she felt an elbow dig into her arm. It was Todd signaling that she needed to raise her glass of champagne which signaled the completion of Katie speech.
Katie, with a smile across her face and the room in the palm of her hand, handed the microphone across the happy couple into her hand. She stood up and peered down at her hand which was shaking from a combination of excitement and nerves.
She began, “For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been Caroline’s best friend for as long as I can remember.” She turned to look at Caroline and smile but also took the extra millisecond to look at Katie who was giving a smile that looked genuine to the rest of the room but was clearly fake.
As her eyes diverted from the people next to her and back onto the rest of the room, she paused. On her speech notes, she had written “Pause for aww” but the pause was lasting longer than she had planned for. The crowd didn’t give nearly as much of a response as she had hoped for and this spawned a lapse in her mind of what to do next. Thoughts of, “What is happening right now?” replaced the anecdote she had read over and over to herself for the week preceding what she considered to be the biggest moment of her life.
“I…” she stuttered. “I…..”
Todd put his hand on her back in an attempt to calm her but it only distracted her more. She laughed nervously and mumbled, “Sorry, I’m not usually this nervous.”
The room was a combination of silence and whispers which she considered to be people talking about the imminent bombing of her speech. Todd grabbed her phone and unlocked it with his thumb trying to open her notes, but she was too stirred by looking into the dark crowd to realize what he was trying to help.
“I…” she attempted again. She had to say something. Anything, really.
“I just want Caroline and John to know how happy I am for them,” she finally spit out. “I love you both so much and couldn’t be happier to be friends with both of you.”
She again racked her brain trying to think of any story to tell to give her speech some life but again came up blank.
“I’d like to raise a glass and cheers to the happy couple – may you have a long life of happiness together.”
She turned to Caroline and hugged her while holding back tears. The crowd immediately began clapping, seemingly to make sure that the awkward encounter that was her Maid of Honor speech was over.
While the wedding band began playing music to signal the end of the speech portion of the night, Todd grabbed her by the hand and said, “You did great,” again slightly slurred which made it sound completely insincere.
“Shut the fuck up, Todd,” she said looking straight ahead while still trying not to burst out crying. “This is so embarrassing.” .
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