There I was, standing over the photographer’s table with two small plates, one in each hand, of mini desserts piled high and delicately balanced. I was on my way back to the “college friends” table where Jonathan was no doubt waiting diligently to devour said assortment of sweets, but I figured he could wait a minute longer while I made a quick stop to see if our photo booth pictures were done.
“Are all the photos out?” I asked, not seeing ours.
Dressed in black and wearing Converse chucks without shoelaces, the photographer’s angst-ridden teenage assistant rolled her eyes at me and sighed. She was anything but unenthusiastic about the paper cuts and hour she had left of sliding glossy photos of drunk rich wedding guests in designer formal wear, feather boas and giant neon spectacles making asses of themselves into glass frames.
“We’ve got like a million more to go,” she said, pointing to a stack of what was probably 150 prints, “so if you don’t see yours you can just wait and grab it when you leave. They’ll be on the table near the ballroom exit.”
“Great….thanks….I guess.” And then I schooled her in how to give someone attitude by rolling my eyes to the back of my head like the West Hollywood homo I used to be; only I thrust out my hip and pivoted a little too much and nearly fell over.
Pretending like nearly falling on my ass was done on purpose, I stuck around for a few more seconds and chuckled under my breath at a few of the hilarious shots. There were silly faces, the questionable use of some stuffed animal props, and grandmothers with their legs wrapped around traumatized men half their age with their cellulite ablaze for the world to see– it was ridiculous. It was refreshing too. And it was nice to know Jonathan and I weren’t the only ones getting silly in front of the camera. And that’s why I love weddings. Everyone gets drunk and just lets loose. In the name of true love, the dance floor fills with friends and family who don’t care that their hips don’t move as smoothly as we wish they would, and then we stuff our pie-holes with cake and whatever other desserts we can get our hands on.
Which was just what I was about to go do when I suddenly felt an abrasive tap on my shoulder, like someone was knocking on a door and it was raining outside. I turned around and saw what the emergency was. It was one of the groom’s distant cousins standing seductively in a skin tight bright orange dress with spaghetti straps. If it weren’t for her nips, her skin-cancer-tan triple-D boobs would have spilled out and smacked me across the face. With her tongue she massaged her upper lip slowly, making every effort to hypnotize me and my dessert plates. They’d been freshly injected for sure, and definitely put the botched Goldie Hawn lips from The First Wives Club to shame.
“Can jou help me to my room?” she said, doing her best rendition of Lolita, only much older and with some Spanish undertones. Imagine a cat, a drunk one, purring for attention.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “what?” I just needed more time to figure out exactly what was happening. I knew she was a relative, and I’d seen her earlier in the evening, but she was wearing a different dress; one that went all the way to the floor. This was her second ensemble, which was kind of amazing, and she had gold stilettos tied up her legs to just below her knees…which…well….let’s just say I was uncomfortable.
“Jou take me to my room, no? You help me to the bed…”
“Oh, well the elevators are that way,” I said, pointing down the hall, “I think we’re on the lower lobby right now, soooooo…..”
“Jou work here, no?” she asked.
I was immediately offended. Not that I think I’m better than the staff that works at the Four Seasons Miami, but because I’d spent a lot of money to have my tuxedo tailored in Hong Kong and my black patent leather Sperry Topsiders were fierce, original, and so worthy of acknowledgement. Then I realized I was wearing a cummerbund and bow tie without the jacket, I was chatting with a wedding vendor, and I had two plates full of desserts, as if I were serving a table of handicapped elders who don’t have enough hip collagen to get off their bony asses and grab dessert themselves. So I fake laughed it off.
“Oh, no, I don’t work here, I’m a guest.” I said, wondering why I looked any different from all the other men in tuxedos.
“Whooo do jou know?”
“My partner is a college friend of the groom.” I said, not wanting to get into the whole ‘gay thing’ with an older generation Mexican mamacita I didn’t know from Adam.
“Oh, so jou have a little girlfriend?”
Part of me wanted to say “yes” knowing that it was funny to think of Jonathan as my “little girlfriend” but I figured this was a teachable moment.
“His name is Jonathan,” I said, watching her eyes widen with surprise. “He’s a man.”
Immediately a smile appeared. As it stretched and grew across her face from one ear to other it smeared her slutty Mrs. Robinson lipstick on her porcelain veneers.
“Jou a GAY!” she screamed, squeezing my arm with her long fire-engine-red talons. “My granddaughter She a GAY!”
And then we were BFFs. She asked me how and when I knew I was gay, which I happily told her, sparing no detail. But with the language barrier between the two of us, I ended up using hand gestures to describe the tingling sensations in my pelvic region while mustering up my seventh-grade Spanish class equivalent of “it just felt good.”
She told me she didn’t care if her granddaughter was gay, but she wanted to know how to let her know she’d accept her and love her just the same.
“It’s probably best you don’t shout ‘JOU A GAY!’ when you see her next,” I said, “Jou know what I mean?”
That’s when her husband–a dead ringer for Mr. Burns– slithered over with his walker and oxygen tank in tow. He gave me the evil eye, which could have been gas—one can never be too sure with us Jews—and then mouthed something in Spanish to his failure-at-philandering wife. She pointed at me, speaking to him fast, and all I could make out was the word “homo-sex-wal,” which was about the time I noticed the groom and tried to make a run for it. I could have stayed and counseled the slutty grandma for another hour at least, but I thought it was best to just take my desserts and exit quietly so the hot mess could take her sickly bag of skin and bones hubby upstairs to bed.
I felt dirty and cheap; which I love, and desirable at the same time. Like when I was 22 and danced like a slut-whore on ecstasy at the LA after-hours clubs…back when I was thin! Sure this woman was in her late 60s (probably early 70s), but at least she approached me, right? I was the one that got propositioned; me, and not Jonathan. And that’s all that matters. Because, if there’s one thing I’ve learned after attending 32 weddings in the past three years, it’s that true love, the everlasting kind, is really just a competition….and one that I’m determined to win!
One of the Best Wedding Dinners Ever
What I love about Jewish weddings, especially the ones in New York, is the fact that they’re always overflowing with food. There’s nothing worse then traveling across the country, getting all dressed up in an uncomfortably tight collared tuxedo, sitting through a wedding ceremony like a sardine cramped in a small uncomfortable chair, and then not getting enough to eat…or drink for that matter. I’m convinced the key to a successful wedding is just two things: lots of good food, and lots of booze. Everything else is secondary. This wedding was especially awesome, because the bride and groom were both Miami Jews, one of which is actually a Mexican Jew. That meant there were copious amounts of food, loads of delicious tequila, and tons of shellfish!
During the cocktail hour, there were stations and tables spread out, with trays passed around by hotel staff. They hosted fully stocked bars with top shelf alcohol in every corner of the vestibule and along the hallway lined with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Miami’s Bicknell Avenue down below.
Which is when Jonathan and I did what we do best at wedding receptions, or decent buffet for that matter, and that’s the divide-and-conquer. The divide-and-conquer is our gay Jewish foodie football play….and we run it all night long scoring touchdowns, one after the other. He went to get cocktails (a tequila based drink for himself, and a Tanqueray and tonic with two limes for me) while I grabbed a selection of edibles. Kudos to the Four Seasons Miami, because everything I ate, whether casual or gourmet, was delicious!
There were the tuna tartar cones.
Since half the wedding guests were Mexican Jews, there was a lot of Latin cuisine sprinkled about like these arepas with guacamole and queso fresco.
Skewers of vegetables and steak, chicken or shrimp…
and some delicious quesadillas, which were perfect for sponging up the first few ounces of gin I gulped down before moving on to the next bite.
Make your own tacos
The fried coconut shrimp was delicious and just the right amount of greasy.
First Course was the heirloom tomato and burrata salad with basil pesto and sweet balsamic drizzle.
Now I’m usually the annoying guy at the table that makes it difficult for the wait staff when they go around and ask if you want the steak or the fish, because I say “both!” But this was a five star wedding—Four Seasons baby! So the main course was actually a combination of the petite filet and the Chilean sea bass. There was a peppercorn demi glace, sweet pepper and currant relish for a pop of color and bright flavor. The proteins were served over a chive and roasted corn risotto with crispy shallots and colossal asparagus.
And for dessert….well, there was cake….which was good, but we all know wedding cakes are made for looks more than anything else.
What I unleashed the beast on was the assorted dessert tables in the vestibule….right before I got an indecent proposal from a Mexican GILF.
Panna cotta and mini red velvet cake cups.
Mini key lime tarts, blueberry crumble spoonfuls, and chocolate truffle pops with raspberry.
Chocolate cake, crème brulee, peanut butter cookies and mini tres leches cheesecakes.