Highway to Happiness: A Few Words Before Brunch

We’d made it to our seats, our DoC asked us what wine we wanted to drink, and everyone got settled in chatting among themselves while we waited for our first course.

MiL Road Trip, Roadie, Mrs. Road Trip, Dr. Aunt--you can really see the respective family resemblences! | Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography
MiL Road Trip, Roadie, Mrs. Road Trip, Dr. Aunt–you can really see the respective family resemblences! | Images via Pink Shutterbug Photography

Now, we hadn’t asked anyone to make any sort of toasts on our behalf, but once we were settled-in, FIL Road Trip stood and gave us a very sweet toast–I wish I could remember what he said but it escapes me at the moment.

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Hey, would you look at that–I wasn’t he only one who changed after the ceremony. FIL RT had swapped his white sports coat for a red one. We didn’t immediately catch on, but apparently he was showing his Cornhusker pride that day!

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Then Mama Leadfoot (who chose to stay seated) told the story about how I told her I was hesitant for Roadie to meet my family as I was afraid they’d overwhelm his reserved midwestern sensibilities. I don’t remember that particular conversation (and, as such, inadvertently heckled my mother’s “toast” to us by saying as much) but the long and the short of it is that he stuck around so must not have been too overwhelmed.

FiL Road Trip asked if we would mind if he said the blessing before the meal.
FiL Road Trip asked if we would mind if he said the blessing before the meal.

Then it was time to eat!

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I believe I’ve already alluded to the fact that the menu was not exactly what we’d approved back during the tasting. Everyone enjoyed their soup (for which I’m grateful) even though mine looked like it was about to separate and had absolutely no flavor, and the bacon-wrapped breadsticks weren’t how I envisioned, but folks seemed to like them so I won’t quibble too much with that. When the second course came out I was dismayed to see that the fruited salad with citrus dressing was fruit salad on one side and a green salad on the other, with ranch and vinaigrette. And the kitchen couldn’t even figure out how to evenly portion the quiche so that the first half of the room got nice, wide slices but the other half got slivers in comparison. Finally, the country-fried steak wasn’t really, the gravy lacked the andouille sausage so was rather plain, and the last-minute vegetables were barely seasoned and only somewhat grilled–a far cry from the terrine that we were expecting.

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Not only did the chef bring down our brunch to the rubber-chicken equivalent thereof, there were serious gaps in service. Because my plates were prepared separately I would be served and a good 5-10 minutes would go by before the rest of the food came out. We’d go long stretches without seeing a member of the waitstaff and because everyone was so jammed in on the sides, moving around and visiting with others not directly to your left or right was near impossible–thank goodness we’d done the receiving line!

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But I will say this–our group didn’t let it bother them. While there weren’t many lulls in conversation, when one did occur my centerpieces came in quite handy! You may remember I’d added bits of trivia to the centerpieces just in case we needed some ready-made topics. The table my boss and his wife were seated at included the year that email was invented and she was surprised at just how far back it went. That spurred Dr. Aunt to recall her early days in academia when email was still very new, and our IT/Database guru at the third leg of the U-shaped table to chime in, as well. Even though I figured the chances slim that our guests would actually notice the trivia in actuality, I was amazed that it worked as well as I’d hoped.

Just goes to show, you never know what little touches will have an impact on the actual day!

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