Ok, people...after reading many emails/comments that I need to post, I'm going to post. And I've discovered that there's more than one person reading my blog. Seriously, I thought it was just Rai.
So here goes a couple of weeks worth of updates:
Kim's wedding was beautiful and very amusing for those of us who know her well. Her nephew was the ringbearer and was given a large bell along with instructions to yell "The bride is coming!" Considering the hyperactivity of this 4 year-old, I think this was far better than entrusting the actual rings to his small hands. No Wagner was allowed, so instead she entered during "The Great Gate of Kiev" from Pictures at an Exhibition. The boisterous opening bars played on a loud organ in a small stone church startled a good portion of the guests. I was informed beforehand and therefore was allowed to make observations and giggle. The groom's father sang a beautiful song - he might have written it, too, but I'm sure on that.
The humorous part of the service for me came at communion. I'm Catholic just so we're all on the same page and the wedding took place in a Protestant church. I am not supposed to receive communion - its a simple difference in beliefs about the meaning of it all and a whole other post. Anyway, a small group of people get up and grab these trays of tiny pieces of bread and little cups of wine or grape juice or whatever...it would have stained my outfit either way. The way this apparently works is that the tray carriers pass the trays down the row and then they get passed back. On to the next row. I had thought about this and even mentioned it to Kim, so I wouldn't cause problems at her wedding. It seemed simple enough - I just pass the tray on.
No. I wasn't counting on the persistence of these people. The girl handling the trays passed it to me and I passed it along. Then, I tried to give it back to her and she took it. And held it right in front of me. I whispered a "No, thank you," but she didn't seem to hear me. So, I repeated myself. She still didn't get it. By this time, the other handlers were way past her and I could sense an impending scene should I have to talk louder in that echo-y church. I don't know - maybe she was deaf? So, I shot her a Look and waved my hand to suggest she move on. With a glare, she raised her trays indignantly and proceeded to the next row. This wouldn't have been all that embarrassing if my friends weren't unsuccessfully stifling laughter next to me.
A week later, to satisfy my need for impossible arguments and swollen eyes, I trekked back to my parents' house. By the time I had gotten there, I was exhausted. I had sat in a doctor's office, spent several hours conversing with the Residency people and driven over 2 hours. At precisely 11pm, my father cut off the TV and said, "We need to talk." I now understand the dread men feel over this phrase. To sum up our 2 hour discussion, I'm self-centered, overly naive and lack motivation. By the way, I didn't get in-state residency and was told that I needed to show proof of a student loan without a family co-signer. Translation: I'm screwed. This is what set my father off. This situation was my fault; I should have come home for the summer and worked at a friend's restaurant. Ledo's was the direct result of my selfish desire to screw my family and stay in my apartment.
The grad school discussion is what set me off - I'm used to the other shit. How am I going to pay for it? How do I know I'll get in? Couldn't I go for some other degree because I can sing and the degree makes no difference in auditions for opera companies or Broadway? And speaking of, didn't I always want to set up my own business right around here and sing in church? Wouldn't I be happy just singing in church? And the voice problems I've had, aren't they my fault for stressing too much and, if I stress so much, isn't that a sign that I'm going into the wrong career? Etc, etc, etc. I am proud to say that my father raised his voice and I snapped right back, "Don't talk to me that way!" Um, maybe not smart, but still a step for me. Since then, things have settled back down, but I know it won't last.
Speaking of grad schools, I'm planning on going up to Manhattan during Fall Break. Aaron is going to try to travel with me, but he's staying at one of his friend's places. I'll stay with someone else - I'm not sure who yet, but there's the possibility of one of Tony's friends letting me stay. Don't worry, I do know these people and I completely trust Tony not to stick me with a crazy person. I've got a few ideas about teachers and I'll contact a few this week about setting up a lesson. Its so exciting! Oh, and my parents don't know........ :)
I've gotten several messages about that last post, so I should explain that. My best friend in elementary and middle school was a guy named John. About halfway through 6th grade, his family was transferred to Florida and we were serious pen pals until a received a particular letter. He said that he had shot his sister. Not badly but enough to get arrested for it. His letter was written quickly and sloppily with a distinct note of desperation. He kept asking me to pray for him. Three days later, I received another short letter in about the same style.
I don't remember if I ever wrote back. Actually, I didn't remember those letters until I found a box recently of his letters and little things he gave me. I was reminiscing fondly when I came across those two letters. Suddenly, I felt cold and guilty - he was begging for my help and the person he trusted most, loved, confided in and routinely stuck up for was never there when he needed her the most. I just have this strong feeling that I didn't. The horrible thing is I can't remember why. Did I get freaked out or did my mother (who made a point to read my letters) forbid me to write? Both are possible, but after much brain-racking I still don't know. I had one letter two years after those others written in his normal style. Quite frankly, I sobbed that night. Not the I'm-in-trouble-with-my-parents-again cry, it was an odd, immensely painful episode.
I waited a day to settle my nerves and composed a letter apologizing for not keeping in touch. I didn't mention why I felt the strong need to contact him, just asked about him and updated a little about my life. I sent it to the last address I have for him. I have yet to receive a reply. I'm not terribly optimistic, but I wanted to try. I had to try. And I can think of several people who would laugh at me for such an attempt. He may have gotten the letter and torn it up. I may never know, but at least I tried. And that, in itself, has made me feel a little bit better.