Sunrise, Sunset

I’d post the actual pictures from their wedding, but my son and daughter would object most vehemently to that. After all, I’m older now. And easier to catch.

            The two of you who read my column last week, Till Unmasking Do Us Part, know where I was Memorial Day weekend.  For the multitude who did not (and probably aren’t reading this, anyway…in which case, how would you know and what’s the point?), I was in Blacksburg, Virginia.  No, I wasn’t drinking beer and roasting weenies (especially my own) in celebration of the unofficial beginning of summer.

            Okay, I was drinking beer.  More than my share, but that’s neither here nor there.

            No, I was at the home of Virginia Tech (NOTE:  unpaid plug for the Hokies) to witness the marriage of my second child to a woman who hasn’t yet come to grips with what kind of family she married into.

            She’ll learn.

            Anyway, as the COVID pandemic begins to loosen its grip (along with the ludicrous face diaper mandates), it was a return to the type of celebration that we had all grown used to.  Sure, there was no dancing or type of rituals you’d normally associate with a wedding reception (e.g., throwing of the bouquet and garter), but it didn’t matter.  Everyone had a great time regardless, lack of a chicken dance notwithstanding.

            Two more family weddings will follow at the ends of June and August.  And, even though they will be held in the asylums of New York and Washington, a good time will no doubt be had by all.  Especially me.  Both my son and daughter are married, don’tcha know.  I can go to these weddings as a guest and not have to be one of the role players of the event.  Not that being father of the bride and father of the groom were onerous tasks, mind you.  It’s just that I had to maintain some some semblance of dignity and gravitas, is all.

            The fact that I won’t be able to stay up all night partying is actually a plus.  The earlier to bed you get, the less partying you do, the better any hangover.

With age comes wisdom. And odd smells.

            Before I continue on with my point (trust me, there will be one.  I think), I must mention  my daughter’s nuptials last September.  Thumped by restrictions wrought by the pandemic, her wedding at an oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach had to be cancelled.  Instead of a planned grand affair (and grand it would have been), she and her husband said their vows on the actual beach, accompanied by direct family only.

            A lovely event, to be sure. Even though it didn’t come close to being the type of celebration she had planned, I’ve no doubt that in years to come she’ll look back on it with fondness.  I know her mother and I will.  After all, she wed the man she loves and that’s really all that should matter.  Not watching her father mangle the Hokey Pokey.  As funny as that would have been.

            So…both of my kids are married.  I’m now left with the feeling of “Jeez, where’d did the time go?”  I remember ignoring my own parents when they told me that youth is fleeting and that one day I’ll be staring in the mirror, wondering who it is who’s looking back at me.  And what’s up with those eye bags?

            PFFFTTT!  Well, what do the old people know, anyhow?  I’m was in my 20s, don’tcha know, acid jeans, moussed hair, and my own bad self.

            Well, here we are.  The brown hair has turned white, the smooth face has become a road map of wrinkles, and, to tell you the truth, those are eye “suitcases,’ rather than ‘bags.’

            Mind you, there are other signposts to “late middle age” (I refuse to go gently into that good night of senior citizenry and call it that, AMAC membership notwithstanding), but that’s none of your business.  Let’s put it this way, fiber has become my friend, my knees make more noise than a mariachi band, and I generally need a nap after a good fart.

            I remember the terrors of potty training, keeping britches on my daughter, and kindergarten.  Luckily, kindergarten cured that “britches” thing.

            Likewise, the “talk,” first dates, and driving lessons.

            NOTE:  We pause now for this brief story.  At nine o’clock on the night my daughter got her drivers license, she asked me to drive her to the store.  I started to reach for my car keys, hesitated, and said, “Yeah, I’m going to bed.  There’s the keys.”

            I also chuckle when I recall how worried my son was when he fretted he would only be as tall as I. 

Fortunately for him, he favored that part of the family which catered to normal height.

            High school graduations gave way to college graduations which gave way to first jobs and first houses.

            I watched with great pride as, along the way, they became adults in their own right.  My heart would swell, if proper cardiac care wasn’t such a concern nowadays.  If the purpose of life is to give the world something of yourself, someone better than you, well, mission accomplished.

            Although, it wasn’t until I watched our son walk down the aisle that I realized that his mom and I were now the older versions of the flashiest models in the showroom.  Much like Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof , I’m left thinking “Is this the little girl I carried?  Is this the little boy at play?”

            Yes, yes, I know quoting lyrics from an old movie is exactly the type of thing you’d expect from a …ahem…older gentleman.  Shut up.

            Okay, sure, I realize this sounds like a pity party for the young man I once was.  You know, that’s not it at all.  It’s all good because, on the contrary, this is a joyful celebration that my little girl and my little boy have found love.  An added bonus?  While certainly not a requirement, they’ve found it with two remarkable people.  I eagerly look forward to the journeys they will experience as they make their own way through the wonders of lives together.

            I’ve had my turn.  Let’s see what they can do.  I bet they do better.

            Sunrise, sunset.

            Sure, one day, they’ll find themselves in the same spot as I (while people speak of me in the past tense).  They may have kids of their own, they may not.  In any case, however, I hope with all my heart that they will, as do I, look back fondly on lives well-spent. 

            After all, that is the way of things.

            Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not ready to check out just yet.  I still have lots I want to do.

            For instance, I wanna do something about these eye suitcase things.

Till Unmasking Do Us Part

Not the actual wedding party.

                For the two of you who breathlessly await one of these, I apologize.  I was at my son’s wedding in Blacksburg, Virginia this weekend.  Perhaps not surprisingly, a movement is afoot in that small western Virginia town to rename it “Burg of Color.”  Since the college, Virginia Tech, is out for the summer, I think the effort will fail due to an overwhelming amount of brain cells.

                NOTE #1:  I’m kidding, but seriously, would it surprise you?

                NOTE #2:  Incidentally, if you are breathlessly awaiting one of these, might I suggest intensive psychiatric help?

                In any event, it’s been more than three weeks since I wrote anything besides personal checks.  Things have been busy, and I now find myself at my son’s and new daughter-in-law’s house in Richmond, watching their dog.  Who has a remarkable ability of licking himself.  Sigh…if only…

                Anyway, the wedding was a blast.  Happily, nobody got injured or arrested.  This all despite the fact there was an open bar.  There were more than a few hangovers the next morning, I’m sure.  Not me, you understand.  As father of the groom, I held myself to a high standard of gravitas and dignity.

                This was not the case the evening before at the “Welcome Party” held at a local brewery, mind you.  Somewhere that evening, I lost the power of speech.  And my pants.  So there’s that.

                So, what’s the point of this entire screed, you might be asking?  That is, if you’re still with us.

                My point is that I didn’t see a mask the entire wedding.  Okay, sure, the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam (He of the Blackface), rescinded the Commonwealth-wide mask decree the Friday before.  A lot of private businesses are still allowed to require patrons to don the face diaper, though (by the way, I have zero problem with this.  If a private entity wants to go this route, do).

                The only time I saw a proliferation of masks was at our hotel.  That was cool with me, even though quite a few times I just didn’t wear one (same went for a lot of guests).  I kept it with me just in case an employee asked me to throw it on.  No way would I give them any grief about it.  None did.

Wrong mask

                The existence of vaccines has resulted in this shift.  I’d go for the reemergence of common sense, but okay, whatever.  I’m just thrilled to be able to walk around without a piece of cloth hiding my face.  Although, it was nice being able to hide my cold sores and not have to shave on a regular basis.  Still, I’m happy.

                The skeptical among us wonder whether this has anything to do with the Idiot-in-Chief’s botching of just about everything besides eating ice cream and sniffing little girls.  Removing mask directives could be a way to distract people away from the seemingly countless disasters coming from Washington.  Maybe, maybe not.

                Establishments have posted notices that if you have been vaccinated, a mask is not mandatory.  Of course, this requires all people to be honest about their medical status.  Personally, I think that’s placing a whole lot of faith in humanity.  If you doubt that, how many people do you actually think pay attention to “55 MPH” signs?

“I do. Especially on sidewalks. Oops. Pooped myself.”

                To ensure compliance would involve asking folks to produce proof of their vaccinated status.   HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…yeah, good luck with that.  So we’re clear, if ANYone asks whether I got the shot or not (hasn’t happened yet), I’m prepared to answer “Nunya.”

                NOTE #3:  For those who do not know-“None Ya Bidness.”

                I hope to see an increasing number of bare faces in the coming weeks.  I honestly feel that the more people ditch the diaper, the more other people will feel comfortable with ditching the diaper.  Just like before it was mandatory, when people put on masks just to fit in with the crowd, so it will go in the opposite direction.   Although, if I see “mask not required” at the store entrance I have no trouble sticking that nonsense in my pocket.  I’ll admit, though, that some folks may be hesitant to do the same.  That said, I maintain that the more people’s faces you see, the more comfortable you will be joining them.

                Disturbingly, I’m seeing the response to this entire episode becoming political.  My goodness, why?  Is common sense, logic, and critical thought dependent on whether you’re a donkey or an elephant?  For some, it apparently is.

                Likewise with the fact that the states leading the way are largely governed by Republicans, despite being accused of “Neanderthalism” (I made that word up.  Feel free to use it).  Even though places like Florida and Texas have lower reported cases of COVID-19 while eschewing the mask than the sideshows of, say, New York or California, the Left beats the drum that Red States are irresponsible.

                For pity’s sake, numbers don’t lie.  What’s more, the same people who bleated “follow the science” (we won’t get into the fact that science isn’t infallible all the time here.  I’m talking to you, Al Gore) aren’t following the science now since it doesn’t fit in with their narrative.

                Incidentally, what’s even more disturbing?  I wonder how many people wouldn’t be leery about getting the vaccine had Donald Trump been reelected (I won’t get into whether that’s true or not here, either).  Call me cynical, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republican Party would then be leading the charge into shot clinics.

                After all, it was his administration which aggressively green-lit the things in the first place.

                To be seen as a mask-wearer is to be seen as a Republican “Anti-Vaxxer.”  I really wonder what the case would be if the shoe was on the other foot.  Like I said, call me cynical, but I ‘ll bet that many in the Democratic Party would be bitching about the vaccine.

                In other other words, if Ron DeSantis thinks the sun rises in the east, Nancy Pelosi would demand a special commission to determine if it’s so.

                Oh, and if you’re wondering whether I got vaccinated or not?  Nunya.