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    Wedding

    July 31st, 2012 By Mike Kane

    I’m telling a story at a wedding on Saturday.

    I mean, on stage.

    Oh, there will be alcohol there, which means I’ll crush as many beers as my feeble stomach will tolerate and then I’ll regale my table with sob stories of high school rejections and the scars that remain.  That happens at every wedding I attend.  But I’m talking about the story I am going to tell on stage.

    At the request of the bride. I need to make that distinction as I have hijacked at least one other wedding, getting on the stage with the microphone and telling an unsolicited story about the groom and another girl he dated years before.  It went over like gangbusters, if the gangbusters were asked/forced to leave by the father of the gang they were busting.

    So I want to reiterate that the bride, as part of the celebration, has asked me to perform a story at the reception.

    This is by far the strangest venue at which I’ve ever told a story – and I told a story at the Reston Nature Center (which, turned out to be one of the most fun shows ever, but was at the Reston Nature Center, nonetheless).

    It’s the strangest, not because it’s a wedding, but because the guest list is not necessarily comprised of storytelling fans.  Many of these people must have some sort of a preconceived notion of what a wedding looks like: there’s the aisle, the alter, pictures, cocktails, meals, dancing and a garter belt.  And somewhere in there, as it’s all going as they remember, someone is going to stop and say, “Hey, you think this band sucks?  Wait until you hear this next guy…”

    Obviously, I’ll get a warmer intro than that.  But the break in the reception could very well be that sudden and awkward.  Many of the people will be well-boozed by this point.  I don’t know the groom’s family.  I’m sure they’re nice folks, but what if they have that one alky uncle that gets drunk at weddings and blurts out the harsh truths to people (I have to remind myself that not everyone has my Uncle Gary in their family).

    But do you get what I’m saying here?  I mean, if you’re at Town on the second Tuesday of the month, it’s because you’re there for the SpeakeasyDC open mic.  If you’re at Roanoke Presbyterian Church this Saturday at 2, chances are the storytelling is incidental, at best.

    The story?  Oh, that’s the best part.  You’re thinking it’s going to be some romantic story about happily ever after or something like that?  Not even close.  The story I have falls under the “for better and for worse” theme, with a heavy concentration on the “worse” part.  It’s a story about if you do X, and the person stands by you, then you know you’ve found a good one.  Of course, X in my story could be any countless number of things.  I’m focusing on one, and telling a story about it.  It could go over really well.  It could also be the day the music died.  All depends on the crowd – the crowd who’s not there for storytelling.

    I’m doomed.

    There’s really only two ways to calm yourself down from the sort of anxiety an event like this can induce.  You can say, “This is going to be insane. It could end very horribly, but, at the very least, it’ll make a good story one day.”  Or, you can get hives.

    Anyway, bride-to-be, if you’re reading this, my neurosis aside, I am so happy for you and I am honored to both perform and hyperventilate at your wedding.

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