======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
I froze. As a perpetual plus-one, I’m no stranger to not knowing anyone at weddings. That’s just a cost you incur. When you’re a plus-one, you just have to accept the fact that you’re going to have to shampoo some champagne in, dole out some firm handshakes, smile, and complete the act with a, “Pleased to meet ya.”
But this was different. I had been to enough weddings in this group of friends that I had some go-to guys to mingle with come the reception. You know the type — the guys you had some bourbon-soaked conversations with at previous weddings only to now hit them with a “What’s up, buddy?” when you stumble upon them at every subsequent wedding you attend. But as I scanned the groomsmen standing in a row in front of the congregation, I truly knew no one. No acquaintances. No familiar faces. No one.
“I… I don’t know who any of these people are,” I responded.
I could feel the sweat on my brow building. The combination of having to pee, being buttoned to the brim in my tuxedo, rosè, and the Vyvanse I had taken an hour before created a potent mixture of anxiety and urgency to right our wrong.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” I followed up only to receive an “Are you serious?” look from my date. The only thing that separated me from the aisle was her, so she was either going have to get out of the way or I was going to climb over the back of the pew into the aisle behind me should she decide to block me at the line from going downfield. Luckily, she put her legs to the side and gave me the nod to go.
With a full head of steam, I paced down the aisle with my hand placed firmly on my phone in my tuxedo jacket’s pocket. After asking someone in the back where the bathrooms were, I headed to an empty wing before pulling my phone out. My first reaction was to text my girlfriend and her friends and tell them that we needed to get the hell out of Dodge, but one of them didn’t even have her phone and the other two were too proper to use their phones in a church.
I ducked into a stall and opened Google Maps to see if I knew where we were. Unsurprisingly, I had no idea where we were because I was in an unfamiliar city and I’m definitely no Sacagawea. When I double-tapped my home button to clear the Maps app and save some battery, my Vyvanse told me to click into Uber so I could rate Anjay five-stars for his valiant effort in getting us to the church. But when I saw his route, I noticed that I had typed in Saint Matthew’s instead of Saint Michael’s. And forgive me, Father, but I immediately sinned.
“Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck fuck,” I muttered while finishing my pee. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
As I washed my hands and put some water in my hair to control my cowlick, I began to strategize. Should we have left to catch the end of our friend’s actual ceremony? Probably, but it felt like we had already made our bed. I knew we had to stay, no matter how uncomfortable we felt.
When I arrived back at our pew, I leaned over to both my date and her friends to explain that we had Ubered to Saint Matthew’s Cathedral instead of Saint Michael’s. Buzzed on her styrofoam of rosè in Anjay’s Uber, one of the friends had lost control of her voice’s volume.
“Oh shit, are you serious?” she said loud enough for the priest to hear before we became even louder by shushing her. But by this time, the ceremony had already started and we’d made enough of a commotion that anymore hijinks would’ve caused the bride to turn around and scold us.
I shrugged to the three girls beside me and signaled that we had no other choice but to ride out the storm. For the next forty minutes of their full catholic service, we uncomfortably sat and stood with every hymn, praying that onlookers thought we were out-of-town friends from college that they’d never met before. And when the bride finally took her final stroll down the aisle with her faceless husband in tow, we all put our heads down for fear of being labeled “wedding crashers” and embarrassed in front of everyone.
“Alright, let’s go,” I said as I reached down and grabbed my date’s hand. We tried to slip past everyone who was actually invited to the wedding, but as it goes, we got stuck awkwardly in the aisle as people hugged, caught up, and exchanged pleasantries.
As everyone posed for photos just outside the sanctuary, a part of me (read: the Vyvanse) wanted to mingle and act like I’d known the bride and groom for years. But the responsible part of me forced myself to step outside to call an Uber that would deliver us to the correct wedding reception, just a few miles away.
The app searched for an available vehicle for what seemed like ages, only to finally locate a our savior.
“Anjay will be arriving in 8 minutes in a Kia Rio.” .
Image via Shutterstock