Jeff Gangwer

(September 23,1984 / Hood River, Oregon)

The Wedding in San José


Nearly six months after the wedding in Utah,
My Wife and I take the plunge again—
This time in her Homeland—
Six days before the start of the World Cup

June Sixth, Two-thousand and Fourteen:

We wake to sunshine and travel to the nearby venue in a taxi

We ready the centerpieces and the decorations

I listen to arguments and opinions that I could never understand

(I notice that my mother-in-law's voice, when elevated, sounds like the Central American Fran Dresher)

We finish and return to the house and dress for the ceremony

When I return to the venue in my suit,
I "work the room" like Ginger in Casino:

I meet friends and family—
And feel like Karen in GoodFellas, who met "two dozen Peters and Pauls at [her] wedding" (and several Maries)

I kiss everybody on their cheeks—
And nobody objects because kissing is customary

My Wife arrives in a pounding rainstorm and three people help her from a car

She looks perfecto—and without apprehension this time

We walk to the front and sit at a table where the preacher tells us to value each other

He illustrates his point with a paper bill, which doesn't lose its value when tossed to the floor and stepped on—and then he demonstrates this act to great effect

(I understand enough of his Spanish to nod and smile)

I'm happy and smiling—or feliz—
One of the few words that I know and use when the guests speak to me

After finishing our meal, a sudden THUNDERING interrupts our quiet evening—
What we thought was a deadly car crash or a gas explosion—

But a Costa Rican carnaval enters the reception hall—! —

Dancers and drummers—! —
Disco lights and artificial smoke—! —
Glitter and sequence—! —
Neon bikinis and feathered headdresses—! —

Twenty-five minutes of POUNDING and PANDEMONIUM!

They place a blue hat on my head and a pink one on Rebeca's

We dance with noisemakers in our mouths

Everybody cheers and celebrates

I dance like Doctor Rockso from Metalocalypse

I dance more than I ever danced in my youth and a river of sweat rolls down my back and into my ass crack—sorry for the image

I dance with my Wife, her mother, and her mother's mother, an eighty-six-year old mistress, named Hayde

One of the drummers hands me his drumsticks and I LET LOOSE on the polyester drumhead like a madman

When the carnaval ends, Rebeca and I work the room together:

I carry her train while she doles out small bags of candy to our guests

I kiss everybody again

(And again when they depart)

When the night is spent
And the guests are finally gone,
I crash on the floor in my J.C. Penny suit—
Exhausted and happily married—twice to the same Bride

Submitted: Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Edited: Saturday, July 12, 2014

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  • Mandolyn Orwhatever (7/9/2014 10:35:00 PM)

    this line: We sit at the front at our own table and a preacher tells us to value each other:

    that's awesome. i did laugh, but i mean, it is also true and awesome. hey, value each other! do it now! (Report) Reply

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