originally i didn't want to go to the wedding. it was for selfish reasons really, i didn't think i'd know a lot of the people there, and it seemed like such a hassle to get all dressed up and drive to marblehead for the ceremony. but i'm glad i went. i seem to forget that i never have a bad time at weddings. the wellspring of happiness that happens at these events is infectious. two points in a ceremony always makes me suddenly have something in my eye: when the bride and groom walks in with their parents, and when the bride and groom make their vows and seal the deal. maura was fighting back the tears and i thought to myself, this is real, they're full-invested, they're not holding anything back. maybe in my old age i'm getting more sentimental, but even a diehard relationship cynic like myself can be touched.

i didn't start getting ready for the wedding until an hour before i was supposed to leave. i picked up the car first (hard to ride a motorcycle wearing a suit) then came back home to shave and take a shower. i found my suit (the one i always wear, the only suit i have) and started putting it on. even though i don't like getting dressed up, once i am dressed up, i like it. i put my jacket on a hanger and jumped into the car with my map and wedding invitation. it was 1pm.

the trip took me back to revere beach, and if the traffic yesterday was bad, it was twice as bad this afternoon. it was bumper to bumper standstill traffic for several miles of 1A. i kept looking at my watch. even though i left early (the wedding ceremony was at 3pm), i felt given the traffic i would still be cutting it dangerously close. as it turned out, i made it to the church by 2:50. if i left any later, i would've missed the wedding.

i got a program from one of the groomsmen, while another reminded me to turn off my cellphone. i sat in one of the pews, feeling a bit out of place in a house of worship (not sure even a unitarian church would accept a devout atheist like myself). i saw a few people i knew and waved to them. soon the wedding party started to arrive. maura was wearing an impressive gown that i swear made her resemble a wedding cake (that's a good thing!). i've never been to a unitarian service before (or have i?), but like most services, there's some form of audience participation; in this case it was in the form of reading and singing (thank god for literacy, but i'm no singer, unless it's 80's tunes). after the ceremony was over, the bride and groom were whisked away in a white limo to some undisclosed location (but probably to the reception place to get photos taken).

since the reception was still an hour away (and in the nearby town of beverly), i figured i could do a spot of naturing and drove down to the rocky shores. dressed in my suit, i scurried around tidal pools looking for critters. (this wasn't my first time going to the beach in a suit: it happened a while back as well). instead of pebbles, the shore was littered with crushed periwinkle shells. there were a lot of hermit crabs that scampered away when they noticed me approaching. i also saw a small fish fry and wondered what would happen if i brought it home to raise (it could turn out to be a big fish). satisfied with naturing, i drove out to beverly to attend the reception at 5pm.

for more photos, look here.