Friday, August 8th (08/08/08)
The big day! The main event of the trip! My brother-in-law’s wedding!
But first, more banking. Back to Strata Bank to cash in another ¼ of the bonds. Over to Bank of America, where this time we were greeted at the door by Seth, who told me “for future reference” that lunchtime was not a good time to open an account at his bank. Yeah, Seth, that’s the way to go: blame the customer for your bank’s failure to provide mid-day staffing. Anyway, it was too late for the account-opening approach to our problem. A teller cashed the final ¼. Kid #1 noticed that the dates shown on all the bank’s calendars were correct today, for a change.
So now we had mucho dinero in untraceable American currency, in
eight packets with children’s names on them. What should we do with it
all? The hotel room had no safe. I put the money in a DHL courier envelope
that I was carrying around anyway (passports, terribly important papers,
etc.) The envelope was already beginning to look a little beat-up from
being carried so much; no one would ever suspect
Inquisition that it contained serious quantities of loot. When we went
into our hotel room, it came with us. When we went out, it stayed in the
car. No one ever steals anything from our car, which apparently has
acquired a “Someone Else’s Problem” field. There is value in driving a
boring family minivan: cops and robbers both ignore you.
The children were very good and never blabbed to random strangers (or anyone) that we were carrying around an envelope full of filthy lucre.
Left at 5 PM for the wedding. It was raining cats and dogs, but I didn't step in a poodle. Apparently there is typically a huge Rush Hour backup at the interchange from I-495 to I-90, which blocks the entire road even if you don’t want to get off there. The jam used up all our “spare” time and caused us to be late for the wedding. Wifey hates being late for anything! I fully expect to be late for my own funeral.
The wedding was being held at a quaint country inn. My youngest brother-in-law (BIL #3) was waiting for us by the front door, so Wifey and the kidlets got out with their umbrellas and went inside. The parking lot had a sign commanding visitors to use the special path and not to walk in the street, but the special path was a raging torrent so I walked in the street which had better drainage.
The justice of the peace was having a discussion. Somebody or other had forgotten to bring the marriage licence! Eventually it was decided to hold the ceremony anyway and fix up the paperwork later. Kid #1 recorded that the ceremony took 7¼ minutes and the words reminded her of the Borg assimilating a new species (“one mind, one heart… I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Him”). The groom (BIL #2) was confident in his “I do!” but the bride stumbled through her vows—her attack of nerves was cute! Meanwhile SIL #1 in Arizona was listening in via a speakerphone. My children sat quietly through the ceremony and dinner, causing everyone to mistakenly believe that they are well-behaved at home. (BIL #3 had left his kids at home, knowing that they were still too young to pull off such an illusion.)
We “borrowed” $200 from one of Kid #1’s packets to use for a wedding present. Each of my kids received a gift bag from the wedding couple, including treasure chests full of official USA coinage! Kid #1 (who has issues with useless presents) was reasonably good at pretending to like her gold bracelet.
The bridesmaid was the bride’s daughter from a previous marriage, who had brought along her Missouri-drawling boyfriend. They found it hard to believe that we had driven “all the way” from Canada, although their trip from Missouri was actually twice as far. My new SIL seemed to like it when I introduced her daughter to my kids as “this is your new cousin!”
We left the inn at 9 PM and proceeded to… more shopping! Wal*Mart for more Iraq care-package items and some homeschool supplies, Barnes & Noble for yet another book for Kid #1, whose Canadian ABM card (attached to her youth savings account, $50 max withdrawal per day) worked perfectly as a payment method.
Saturday, August 9th
Today’s scheduled activity: visit BIL #3 and his family in Attleboro MA. But first, a visit to mother-in-law’s house. Since MIL’s last at-home child just moved out, she has less need to cook now, so Wifey brought a bunch of home-cooked goodies that we had been keeping frozen all week. MIL gave Wifey a whole bunch of just-married BIL #2’s old Halloween costumes “to sell on eBay”. I think Kid #2 will be mixing and matching some of the pieces for trick-or-treat this year.
In Attleboro, cousin #3 is now just barely old enough to remember us from 11 months ago. Cousin #1 has been officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. His mother (my sister–in-law–in-law?) gave us a Xeroxed booklet about the syndrome, which we all noticed contained a duplicate page. Kid #1 joked that the booklet is a test: if you notice the duplicate page, you’ve got the syndrome! It seemed to me that Cousin #2 also has some spectrum-disorder issues, which were being ignored because he is “almost neurotypical” compared to his brother. New cousin #4 was not present because she was on her way back to Missouri. BIL #1 showed up and spent a lot of time playing with his brother’s kids. I asked him whether it would be nice to play with kids more often and he (a confirmed bachelor, back in Illinois now having served a tour in Iraq after being called up from Army Reserve at age 50) looked at me like I had two heads.
After the visit, more shopping! Bought a paper shredder so we can compost our own junk mail instead of putting it out for the county to recycle. And why did we need to buy this in the States, as if our car's trunk weren't already full enough? It was ON SALE!!!
When we returned to our hotel, Wifey took the kids to the exercise room to burn off some energy while I tried to get some paid work done on the laptop.[Poll #1266541]