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... and there was much rejoicing!

If you've got a few free moments and feel like being obnoxious, go over to Wanderings and congratulate Don & Jackie on their new status: married!

So let's see...

Did my thing at the Rehab Institute after work, unfortunately not getting out of there in time for running club @ NikeTown, but did get to meet a pretty cool guy at Rehab who I'll be staying in contact with. Biked to my truck, drove to my apartment, packed, drove to pick up JoeJohn, caught a wee bit of traffic just outside Chicago, made it to my parents' place in Muncie by 12:30... very hard to keep the eyes open! Played briefly with Heidi, who stunk like poo poo.

Awoke at 7:30, greeted the parents & Greg, bowl of cereal, traded the truck for their suburban (to truck all the guys together in around FW), and on the road by 8:45, at the Courtyard by Mariott by 10:00, met up with Don, then Nick, then Sean. Picked up, tried on, and paid for tuxes. We all made it to Good Shepherd United Methodist in time for the rehearsal, followed by the rehearsal dinner in the party room of I forget the name but Don Hall's Factory, it was good food. The wedding party: Angela, Gina, Sarah, Amy, Nick, myself, Sean, JoeJohn. Jeff and Nate were ushers, and T was the reader. Don's Dad gave a little affirmation to the two of them, very cool. The couple gave out gifts, all very personal/thoughtful gifts. I got an awesome coffee-table style book filled with professional photographs of nature scenes around the world interspersed with scripture verses and an artist explaining God's use of art in nature. Perfect for my love of the outdoors. It was a fun evening, when we got back to the hotel we hung out in our room for a bit, then moved it to another room so Don could try to sleep, and then all went down to the pool/hottub and played in there till 11 or so. I must say that I won every game we played. ;-) Then came back up to a room and ordered Papa John's, and Lisa "flirted" with the delivery guy, more like just being funny social with him.

Don had arisen early to deliver his car to the reception hall @ the Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum with his Dad, the ladies got up relatively early to go to the church and begin the hair-glompifying ritual, and us guys had an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the hotel. Mmm... pineapple. Then we caravan'd with Don's parents, sister/bro-in-law to the church, slipped into our tuxes and just hung out, relaxing, quelling butterflies, guarding all exits from Don, taking (professional) photos, waiting for the ladies to complete the beatification... er.. beautification process. ;-) Sure felt like 5+ years. :-P The ceremony was beautiful - primarily because Don & Jackie made it so, with their obvious joy for each other and the long-awaited moment. They recited their vows, with a personal touch, from memory. The wedding party then had a few minutes of embraces in a back room, a few sighs of relief at the lack of mishaps, waiting for the church to empty of well-wishers so we could take a few more pictures now that the couple could be together, and then Don & Jackie got into a 1936 something-or-other antique car, w/ a museum employee to drive them to the reception. I got in trouble when I opened the door w/out his assistance to put some water bottles in. You know what's the next best thing to rice and bubbles when there are none to be found? Panic buttons on vehicle car keys. :) The reception was a blast, the wedding party entered via an old-school ballroom staircase.. and none of the women fell down the stairs! Bravo! There were 2 chocolate fountains with pineapple, marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and strawberries. mmmmmmm... I sat on the right hand of the couple, next to Jackie, so I had a front row seat for whenever people (mostly Don's sister :) decided to fire up the utensils-on-glass symphony. Toasts went well, I'm no toaster so mine turned out to be more of a mini speech minus the actual toast, but Schafer saved the day! Here's my portion:
:) We're finally here. We've been waiting years for THIS day, to see Don & Jackie's joy complete.

I promise I'll be real short, and hopefully able to communicate what I'm feeling. I just wanna first say something to everyone else, and then to Don & Jackie.

Everyone else: I am the unfortunate roommate that got stuck with Don ALL FOUR YEARS of my college career. I knew there was something wrong when nearly all of his clothes were on hangers and I don't think I even brought a hanger. It's ok, within weeks we were buying an inflatable couch together.

Don put up with me all those years, and despite his own insanely high academic and personal standards, never made me - proud owner of a sub-3.0 GPA - feel inadequate. Often, us discussing our coursework together was the most critical thought I would ever put into that course. I'm not sure if I would have become interested in philosophy w/out Don around to be a real life philosopher.

Things got a little more normal when Jackie came along and soon enough we were all crowded around a dorm window heckling the two of them outside, one spring weekend as they tried to part ways for just a couple of days. In other words, Jackie is leaving for the weekend, Don is out there saying goodbye to her, and all they get is a bunch of guys cheering from somewhere inside the dorm.

As most of you probably know, neither of them were all that experienced with serious relationships. So you usually get 2 very clingy people who ignore the world around them, right? Not these two. They kept their business to themselves. :) Don *remained* insanely academic, and would still waste plenty of time with his roommates. Jackie, well, after 4 years, I was still discovering the variety of things she was doing on campus. Intelligent people are supposed to be weird and antisocial, like Don, right? Well Jackie is scary smart, and she hides it well. I think what's most scary is that in recent months I've begun noticing her holding her own in logic discussions. These are discussions that usually kinda quieted down our dorm room. If a drunk stumbles into your room, he usually gets physically removed at some point, right? Well Don would discuss the alcohol out of the person's system. Something similar to a cold shower, except afterwards you're scared and puzzling over the meaning of life.

Lastly, the two of them have been an absolutely incredible model of love for our group of friends. During one of the most instable times of our lives, they have been embodying first corinthians chapter 13.

OK. Don.


Afterwards was plenty of dancing, and eventually I dragged my sorry ass out there. I really don't mind it once I'm out there. Oh and during the reception, some were outside decorating the couple's car. :) Back seat filled to the roof with balloons, erasable marker all over the car, and a few streamers around the car and up the antennae. We packed up all the items that had been used for the tables and stuff at the reception, saw Don & Jackie off, and then the wedding party plus Jen, Susan, and Lisa all went out to a pretty cool club called Piere's. It was very sprawling, had a good live band in one area, a few dance floors elsewhere, a number of bars scattered around.. it was fun going in there all done up nice and purty. A few drinks later (a couple for me, none for others, many for still others) we were on the road and back in a hotel room again, ordering pizza again, just unwinding and enjoying being together! A very happy, very fun time.

Some of us got up and found our way to Jen's home parish, Queen of Angels, for Mass, and then came back to the hotel for everyone to check out and caravan to Jackie's parents for lunch and wedding-gift-opening! Once again, really fun all of us being together, and then jam packing into the living room for pile of gifts.. I got to sit front and center on the floor in the middle of the room w/ the ringbearer, Tyler. (His little brother, Justin, was a very energetic little guy.. :) They got a TON of stuff! I seriously would go crazy trying to find a new place for all that new stuff if it was me. We then just hung out a bit longer, delaying goodbyes as long as possible, even though they had a lot of cleanup to do... eventually hit the road, JoeJohn and I headed back to Muncie, great discussion about the previous few days, a bit of rain, clear roads, and no unexpected delays or tickets! :) Just a pit stop in Muncie for some take-n-bake pizza with my Mom and saying goodbye to Heidi.

All in all, an amazing weekend. Thanks Don, Jackie! (don't forget to go harass them)

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