On Thursday, I made it out to Mississauga for the tux fitting. Mike and I roamed Square One for a bit, talking, and of course acquiring ping pong balls for the Csima's. We then had to try them out. :) I made my way back to Toronto that evening, and Rob and I met some of his friends for pool. They were lame....
On Friday, Rob and I went to the rehearsal. He then bailed while I went on to the rehearsal dinner and the after-dinner festivities (including ping pong!). SG and I kept losing at the ping pong. I didn't make it back to Rob's apartment until pretty late.
Saturday was the auspicious occasion. I took public transportation to the wedding, and changed into my tux in the bathroom. The wedding itself went pretty quickly as these things go. The highlights: Papa Csima almost tripped over the bridal gown on his way back to the pew, Rob had some trouble with the video camera, and the kiss looked a bit awkward. :) After the wedding proper, we moved on to a quite beautiful park for some more photographs.
After the photographs, we made our way to the reception. I rode in a very full car, but an amusing one. There was a whole discussion about which Disney character each of us was. Apparently I'm very much not Peter Pan (SG balked at the idea). By the time we arrived, pretty much everyone was already there. It was a nice crowd. MBD and Christina were there, as well as N&N.
The dining hall was set up with a dance floor in the middle, and the raised head table behind that. B&E named all the tables after mathematicians, and the head table was the Grothendieck table. There was all the usual: food, dancing, speeches. I spent quite a lot of time talking to SG. That was especially fun. (... and sad. Travel hundreds of miles, and see not only friends I desperately miss, but also meet other cool people I'll never see again. :))
There were a lot of great moments. Bert's parents were really getting down. And Papa Csima's always fun. But the moment as far as I'm concerned happened when no one was watching. B&E were in the corner of the crowded dance floor during one of the slower dances. Elizabeth had her head on Bert's shoulder, her eyes closed. Elizabeth was in her beautiful dress, and Bert in his tux. At the end of the song, Elizabeth said something to Bert and then they kissed. It wasn't staged or awkward. She looked happy.
There's a poem by Billy Collins. It goes something like:
The boy at the far end of the train car kept looking behind him as if he were afraid, or expecting someone, and then she appeared in the glass door of the forward car and he rose and opened the door to let her in and she entered the car carrying a large black case in the unmistakable shape of a cello. She looked like an angel with a high forehead and somber eyes and her hair was tied up behind her back with a black bow, and because of all that he seemed a little awkward in his happiness to see her, whereas she was simply there perfectly existing as a creature with a soft face who played the cello. And the reason I am writing this on the back of a manila envelope now that they have left the train together is to tell you that when she turned to lift the large, delicate cello onto the overhead rack, I saw him looking up at her and what she was doing the way eyes of saints are painted when they are looking up at God when he is doing something remarkable, something that identifies him as God.
(Forgive the arrangement. I've not seen it in print.) Don't know why I thought of that. :) I think SG made me an idealist again, for a short time....
All in all, it was a fun wedding, and a fun trip. I arrived back late Sunday. It was weird. As soon as I landed, it felt like a long dream had ended. I was back to "real life." I went to work Monday and hardly anything had changed in my absence. Just last week I was in Toronto, and now I'm back. It's quite jarring.
This weekend I'll be in Chicago. Prepare yourselves!