Wow. I mean, wow. To some degree, I’m honestly shocked that I made it successfully back and forth to Connecticut this weekend for the wedding of some old college friends. For a good long while, it was looking pretty damn iffy. All I can say is: Rescue Train.
Yep, Metro North, which has never seemed to give me much of a problem in getting back and forth to my mom’s, decided to completely conk out on us, so that the super early, “hey, we’re gonna get up to Stamford with so much leisure time before the wedding to change and get ready” plan turned into “my god, my god, my god, are we going to make it?”
First, there was the happy meeting in Grand Central of me, MJ, and the Science Guy. (Names have been changed, as throughout this entire blog when I remember it, to protect the not-so-innocent). No problems there, as MJ managed to mostly curb her usual late tendencies and we all happily caught the 1:07 express train to Stamford. Supposed to have been a 41-minute trip. One quick little stop at 125th Street, and then full speed ahead to Stamford. Except… no. We chugged along to Harlem, where we stopped for 20 minutes or so with only a brief explanation of “mechanical difficulties,” though our soon-to-be-best-new-friend and seatmate said she saw four cops go by to arrest a passenger. A few minutes later, relatively, the cops got off, the doors closed, and we were on our way…
… And then we weren’t. Somewhere between Mount Vernon and Pelham, we went kerplooie. Just… stopped. The conductor came on and said we weren’t taking power from the overhead lines, which was obvious, what with the lights and the AC cutting out. Did you know the windows on MetroNorth trains don’t open? Yeah, it’s fun. Also, hot. After another long pause there, we got moving again somehow, and made it almost all the way to Port Chester, where we stopped again. And this time, there was no fixing things. After another long wait, where we continued to entertain our seatmate, and ended up sharing her Zaro’s-baked goodies, the announcement went out that we were now waiting for a “Rescue Train” from Stamford, and would have to all switch to that train to continue on.
By now, I should mention, the plan that Keeley and the groom would pick us up from the train station was completely trashed. That would have worked if we got in before 2pm, as originally planned, but not as the time ticked closer and closer to the wedding. We were going to have to get the hotel shuttle instead.
So we finally all get on the Rescue Train, and take some exciting photos, hear the funniest line on an intercom ever, and continue on to Stamford, now going local. There are five stops to make now before Stamford, and it’s getting closer and closer to 3pm. I call the hotel to arrange for the shuttle to pick us up, but it’s in use, and the guy tells me we’re going to have to take a cab from the train station. “But there will be lots of cabs there, so don’t worry.” Ok, I say, well, can we arrange to have the shuttle take us from the hotel to the church, with pick up now less than an hour away? “No,” he says, because they can’t reserve the shuttle in advance. Also, they say, the church is a half-hour away in New Canaan. Uh, no, it’s not. I read them the address from the invite, and we discover there’s another wedding party also at the hotel. Of course. Grrr.
Finally, finally, we get to Stamford, and jump off the Rescue Train with a palpable feeling of relief. We head over to the taxi queue, and find an already sizable line, and not a single cab. Sigh. It’s after 3pm now, and still no cabs. Finally, one shows up, and one guy gets in it, and we lurch a little closer to the front of the queue. I manage to grab the phone number for the cab company off the car door, and call them, asking them to send as many cabs as they can to the train station to deal with the line, which continues behind us. In drips and drabs, they finally come, and we make it to the hotel. Keeley has left the key for the room under his or MJ’s name, which would be great, except he’s not there, obviously, and MJ ran off as soon as we got to hotel to find something to eat for her and Science Guy. So I have to call her to come back, and she finally comes running over to show some picture ID to get the keycard, and as we’re waiting, after I go through the funny church-is-a-half-hour-away joke again with the reception clerk, we see a couple more college friends come down, already nicely dressed for the wedding, whereas we’re still in tshirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Yes, haha, we do know the wedding’s in a half-hour. Good one.
We run up to the room, throw on our fancy duds, get a call from reception that our friends are waiting for us to take the shuttle to the wedding, and run back downstairs in record time. Sigh. Moment to breathe as the van takes us to the church, which seems to share space with a Korean community center. Huh. Our friends didn’t mention anything about that to us, but we’re sure this is it. Our fellow shuttle-busians move on ahead and disappear, as I wait for Science Guy to tie his shoes and finish getting dressed, and for MJ to come out of the bathroom. When we’re together again, and move into the church foyer, we take a quick look around. Finally, one of us says to the others, “Do you recognize anyone here?” Short answer: no, and then we overhear someone say, “Oh yes, I’m David’s mother.”
Neither of our friends getting married is named David.
We mad-dash to where the programs are piled up by the door of the church, and see our friend’s names. Ok, phew, not in the wrong place. Finally, finally! We saw someone familiar and sat down for the ceremony. Which, for all the travel and hullabaloo… lasted a mere 15 minutes. And that’s with a problem lighting the unity candle!
But it was lovely, and the bride looked beautiful, as all brides do, and the reception was fun, and hanging out with all our college friends was an absolute blast, though I did add a few more things to my list of things I won’t do or have when I get married (which may have to be another post, as this one is getting way too long already). Keeley gave a hi-larious best man speech, and put on one hell of a performance on the dance floor. Science Guy totally scored with the single hot chick at our table that didn’t go to school with us, and our old pal L.O.P. told us he and his wife are having a baby, which, while somewhat mind blowing, is also great news. If a little frightening that he’s managed to grow up, so to speak, and I’m still not. Sort of. Kinda. Maybe.
But at least I can find humor in chaos!