after a quick breakfast of poptarts and a glass of milk, i went down to bruce and jack's place. bruce brought out his little metal thermos full of an elixir he euphemistically calls "pineapple juice." we walked down to harvard square, where their friend ed was already there waiting for us. we took the subway to charles, where we got off and walked down to the corner of berkeley and bolyston, close to the fao schwarz toy store, near the end of the parade route. we sat along the curb (bruce and ed sat, jack and i stood behind them, i didn't want to get my tuxedo dirty, there were puddles from the rain the night before) with all the other parade watchers. bruce helped ed put on his solidarity beads, and the two of them were busy "taking the edge off" with sips of pineapple juice.
the first group to come down was the lesbian bikers, followed by mayor menino with his entourage. later, bruce's et al. friend dennis stepped out of the procession to say hello, sporting a lovely dress. i caught a familiar face myself, david fitzgerald was in some kind of dance troupe, and he stopped to say hello when i shouted his name. having never been to a gay pride parade, i was surprised to see the abundance of religious groups, savvy politicians, and corporations. the churches and politicians were kind of boring, while the corporations were spectacular (e.g. starbucks) but i felt like i was being fed another advertisement disguised as a gay pride display. then there were the gay clubs, which had the most lavish floatillas, and the gay organizations (same sex marriage, gay parents, gender-neutral dancing), which could recruit the hot members from amongst their ranks to give out t-shirts, beads, flyers, buttons, and of course condoms.
having experienced my first pride parade, it just seems really fun. tons of photo opportunities, good looking guys and girls and whatever left and right, and what other kind of parades do you get freebies? unfortunately i wasn't able to stay for the last 20 minutes, i had to speed walk to the hotel down at the other end of bolyston street. i bid my the guys farewell and took off. boylston street was a ghost town, the whole street cordoned off for the parade. i made it to the hotel just in time, sweaty, but i patted myself dry with some tissue before i saw everyone. i met the wedding guests, mostly from manny's side of the family. the charter bus that was supposed to take us to tufts was late due to the many parade related road blocks, and didn't arrive until 30 minutes before the wedding. i escorted the guests to tufts, telling the driver where to go once we got closer to the school. we arrived with 5 minutes to spare, members of the wedding party quickly assembling into the correct marching order. i had some time to go down the aisle and say hello to a few tufts alumni i haven't seen in a while before the wedding started.
besides escorting the bridesmaids (i was partnered with manny's sister mimi), rich (the other groomsman) and i were also in charge of pulling down the aisle runner before the bride enters with her father. we had great seats, front row, close enough to see the candles dripping wax dangerously in a lopsided manner, or watching father reyes consume all the remaining body of christ pieces after communion. i had my camera, and instead of paying attention to the service, i was secretly taking photos in that subterfuguous manner that a digital camera with a swivel lens can make.
with photos out of the way, everyone (bride and groom, maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride's parents) piled into the stretch limo and we proceeded to the back bay hilton for the reception. everyone had champagne, i had a glass of nothing. we took the scenic route, driving around boston a little bit so we wouldn't get to the reception too early. i started to get carsick, but finally we arrived at the hotel. the concierge came out and led us into a waiting room, where the wedding photographer was already there, along with tables of food. while the photographers pulled people from the receptional hall for group family photos, i was busy feeding myself. feeling sort of left out, i wandered out of the waiting room and went to mingle with the wedding guests. after some time, somebody came by and said, "i think they're looking for you." i hurried back to the waiting room to see all the members of the bridal party posing for a photo, minus me. i quickly jumped into the shot.
once all the guests were seated, it was time to introduce the wedding party. we lined up behind the parents in pairs, and as each couple was introduced, they'd also play a special song. there was some sort of mistake, and mimi and i were introduced to some aqua tune. after we sat down, maureen and rich were supposed to be introduced, but they read mimi and my name again and then played some song from grease. i stood up and clapped for my myself.
the wedding was great, and a good part of it had to do with the fact that i knew a lot of the guests, former tufts alumni, and it wwas great to see everyone and touch bases again. jeanne, dave aronow, tiffany + rich, and perhaps the person i most wanted to see most, yung-hsin and his wife jillian. yung-hsin was my roommate sophomore year of college, and then junior and senior year we lived in a suite with manny and our friend claudio kato. when yung-hsin got married i was in turkey, i was a bad friend and never replied to his wedding invitation. but it was good to see him, it's been a few years, and we actually sat next to each other, at the table with the bridesmaids and groomsmen and manny's parents and grandmother. i felt a little crazy, a little boisterous, all without drinking thank you very much, going through the rest of the night on a natural high. occasionally i'd switch tables and go talk to dave, whose wife and kids were back at the hotel. he was at the same table with jeanne and her boyfriend, along with her daughter lily, who seemed to recognize me ("tony!" in that little girl chirp), and then for the rest of the night wouldn't leave me alone as she showered me with hugs and tried to pull me out onto the dance floor.
after dinner, there was the bridal party dance, and i was finally forced onto the dance floor with mimi. we tried to do the foxtrot that she was showing me in the waiting room hours earlier, but as i had warned them time and again, i can't dance, and i basically went up there and added it to my growing list of embarassing things i've done. it's as if watching a robot dance, and even a robot could follow better directions than i could. when the song finally ended (couldn't even remember the name of the tune), i ran back to my seat, covering my face with my hands.
the night's next round of embarassment came during the "wedding games," which was just an excuse to humiliate the bride and groom and maybe some of their guests. manny was blind-folded and all the single women plus daisy kissed him on the cheek and he had to guess which one was his wife. he course of guessed wrong, but then got it right on the second guess. then it was daisy's turn, she was blind-folded, and all the single guys plus manny were lined up as daisy went around feeling our asses to determine which one was her husband. "is it number 4?" she inquired. my face turned red, i was number 4. on her second guess however, she was able to correctly guess manny. i can see how she could've made that mistake though, when she came by to touch my ass, i purposely tightened up, i wanted to give the bride something to talk about.
as the evening wore on, the crowd started to thin out. first the entire half of the room consisting of the bride's guests, and then the groom's guests. i left close to midnight, took the t home. i waited for 45 minutes before the bus arrived, sat outside the virgin records building as the lights in the store were turned off section by section.