I'm in the Knoxville Hilton in East Tennessee, on the eighth floor, next door to Chris' parents' room, killing time as Chris takes a shower. I dreamt about not being able to get scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, and about sharing a bed with my dad, and talking to him about all sorts of stuff, kind of like we were just catching up. The lack of eggs nearly caused a riot. And this morning, Shelley, Chris' mom, kept bemoaning the lack of eggs in our hotel-supplied continental breakfast selection. Chris' brother Cyrus is a travelling salesman of sorts, so he booked our rooms for us, and we got all sorts of fancy extras. Well, really the only extra is the breakfast/appetizer/free cocktails/soda/bottled water. But that's enough, really, compared with all those suckers who don't get free Deer Park water.
Last night was the "rehearsal dinner." However, like most things tradition dictates, it had nothing whatsoever to do with rehearsing anything. It involved mostly the meeting of Chris' family (there are a lot of people, but we all had name tags where we could write out our relationship to the bride/groom: mine said "Amy S, girlfriend of cousin of Bride"), drinking wine (from Napa mostly, Francis Coppola's vineyard, where Marian and Shauna and Chris and I went a while back, and some Pinot Noir from the Carneros hills), eating pork and duck, square dancing danced by people mostly under 25 and from Orange County, smoking cigarettes with the landscapers/chauffers, and drinking coffee to sober up. Mark and Cathy's house is a completely renovated 1950s modern-ranch-hidden-in-the-forest retreat, with giant windows and nooks and a lovely deck. It looks like it could be in Dwell magazine. And they were so nice. The mother of the groom, Catherine, was born in the Congo, her parents missionaries, and she was evacuated in 1960, when almost all of the whites were sent out. I wrote my thesis about that, I said. The bride and groom are two beautiful people, and very sweet and kind. I was terrified before I went to the dinner, but it turned out just fine.
Time for the young-generation brunch. Maybe there will be eggs!