Sunday, July 15, 2007

Update, Hangover edition

Thanks for being patient, folks. I know being out of the country is no excuse to neglect my Verbal Vomit Forum, but that's not what I was going to say. I was going to say that I don't have full time access to a computer here, so my entries until August 19 will be sparser, but don't give up on me.
The interesting thing about Ireland is that not very many years ago, and by not very many I mean 25-30, it was a very poor country. This is interesting because now they make Americans look 2nd class, economically speaking, and it's amazing how quickly they have settled into their new role as a first-world country. So if you think about it like that, that 20 years ago not everyone even had telephones, then it's pretty nifty that I can do this at all.
Yesterday, Edmund's friend got married in Cork, which is where I am now, and that makes my second Irish wedding. Let me just say, people. We simply do not know how it's done. Fireworks? Weather? Movies? Kick-ass food? We know how that's done. We wrote the book on that.
My fellow Americans, we should bow our heads in shame for not taking a leaf out of the Irish book on this one. Their weddings make ours look like a child's first birthday party. I exaggerate a little bit, as always. I also realize that not everyone can afford such an extravaganza. But what I'm talking about is quality, not quantity. The attitude of joy and celebration that people bring to these events makes it what it is. I don't think I've ever been to a wedding where everyone ate and drank until the wee hours of the morning, dancing and screaming. Maybe it's considered inappropriate to get drunk at a wedding, or to grab the bride's mother and carry her on your shoulders around the room, but it sure makes for a good time. Speaking to a guy at my dinner table, he ventured to say that he figured American weddings were much better, and was quite surprised when I told him that most weddings only served finger foods and lasted a couple of hours. Genuinely surprised, he said, "But I thought as obese as Americans are, they would have huge dinner parties."
Oh, I was only slightly amused. There was a highlight, however; there is a tradition that after dinner when the speeches are made everyone puts in a couple of bucks and bets at their own table on what they think the length of the speeches will be. Whoever gets closest wins the table's money. I was the winner at my table, and despite being accused of cheating, went home with 45 euros and a smile on my face. Whether it was from the money, or the Irish dancing, or the flood of white wine I drank, I may never know.

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