I posted this on Wednesday night on the MeatBlog since we’re on our way to a food conference, and it’s sort of about food. But then I decided to cross-post it here, because I can.

Back in 1999, your beloved MeatBlog Founders got hitched in Chapel Hill, NC. We had our post-wedding brunch with our witnesses/family at this Waffle House. Today while we were heading to Greensboro en route to Atlanta later in the week for BlogHer Food 11, we stopped at Our Waffle House.

We’re off to Vegas tomorrow for Brother’s wedding. I don’t like to travel during the Thanksgiving break, but I’ll make an exception. Plus, we’re flying, not driving. I’m not going to fact-check this CBS news story because I want it to be true:

“Holiday Travel Myths Exposed

“In reality, the day before Thanksgiving is not the busiest day of the year,” said Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association.

In fact, according to official government data, when it comes to the number of airline flights, today doesn’t even rank among the top 25 busiest days.

Back in 2006, it came in 36th. In 2007, it was 55th. And last year, as the economy took a turn for the worst, there were 220 days with more flights than the day before Thanksgiving.

“It’s a myth,” Dow said. “lt’s one of those things that people expect the airports to be crazy – there’s a lot of people traveling, but it’s not the worst day of the year.”

[read the rest of the story]

We’re traveling on the 221st most busy travel day of the year. No problem. Nothing to worry about.

Right.

If I don’t need to worry about crowds, I can move on to a new neuroses. I’ve now started to worry about our luggage getting lost.

I usually check my suitcase and (knock on wood) I’ve never lost a suitcase. Also, I’m lazy. Southwest doesn’t charge extra for checked luggage so I refuse to be one of Those People who insist on hauling a small suitcase onto the plane while trying to pretend they don’t also have a laptop case, a purse, a diaper bag, a small dog in a carrier, and a large bag of cheese.

Since we’re going to a wedding and I need these clothes and running out to shop if they lose our luggage would suck, I’ve talked myself right into the paranoid belief that this will be the time they lose our luggage.

Great.

I’m not hauling my laptop so I should just go pack the dress for the wedding into a small carryon. And a spare pair of shoes. And some makeup. And extra underwear. And, of course, the things I usually cram into my carryon with my laptop: my toothbrush and my backup shoes (not to be confused with the extra shoes for the wedding) and my cardigan and my book and my knitting.

My god, I sound like Steve Martin in The Jerk.

I don’t need any of this. I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything except this [ashtray] And that’s it and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that’s all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that’s all I need. And that’s all I need too. I don’t need one other thing, not one – I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that’s all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.

You ever have one of those disturbing moments wherein you realize that your internal monologue about how you’re going to solve a potential problem is actually tinged with hysteria? That moment when you realize that, even in the safety and comfort of your own brain, your thoughts sound highly pitched and a bit shaky?

No? Really? Really?

You’re lying but I don’t have time to argue with you, I need to go repack my suitcase and this carry-on.

Valium. Musn’t forget to pack the valium. Just in case I end up sitting next to the woman with the laptop case, purse, diaper bag, small dog in a carrier, and the large bag of cheese again.

Eric and Rebecca are pleased to announce that they were married on Friday, August 6, 1999 in Orange County, North Carolina. After the ceremony, they celebrated with 150 of their closest friends who they only see once a year. This involved two days of loud music, rampant public drunkenness, a man sitting in a large vat of banana pudding, and a six foot tall female bass player who breaths fire while she plays. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here…

We know this is the equivalent of a Christmas newsletter in August, but it seemed the best way to share some of the highlights of our wedding weekend with those of you who either weren’t able to attend or have no memory of attending.

Friday, August 6th we packed the car and headed for North Carolina. Debbie and Bryan, Eric’s sister and brother-in-law, met us at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough, NC. After procuring our marriage license and a mysterious sealed bag labeled “Newlywed Sampler” from Joyce, the Registrar of Deeds, the wedding party changed clothes in the courthouse bathroom and headed for the Magistrate’s Office, conveniently located in the County Jail.

There were 3 groups present when we arrived: heavily armed law enforcement officers, men in leg-irons, and us. After the deputies paraded a dozen Guests of the County through from the jail to the courthouse, we were able to enter the building. Each Guest, as well as the deputies with the shotguns, wished us well. We thought that was real nice.

Then we met the magistrate, Amy. She was extremely cool. The ceremony was held beneath a tree in front of the Courthouse.

The wedding party then dined at the Hillsborough Waffle House. The Newlywed Sampler was opened. It contained: paper towels, dishwashing liquid, Nyquil, Bounce dryer sheets and coupons for pregnancy test kits and cleaning supplies. It was truly a thing of wonder.

Debbie and Bryan headed home and Eric and I located our hotel. In an interesting mix-up, we were assigned a Handicapped suite instead of the Honeymoon suite. We’re probably lucky we got a room at all after my call earlier in the week to inquire about whether the bed in the honeymoon suite could sleep 4 (in the event Debbie and Bryan decided to stay the night).

It was now time for: Sleazefest, day one. For those of you who don’t know, Sleazefest is 3 days of beer, bands, bbq, and sweat held at Local 506 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The music starts each day at 4 p.m. and ends somewhere around sunrise. Happy Hour is at noon. (www.sleazfest.com) Local 506 owner Dave Robertson was thrilled that Sleazefest was our wedding reception. We’ll be having a party in DC for those of you who could not attend Sleazefest, but I’m sorry to report that Eric continues to veto my suggestion that we build a go-go cage in the basement.

Our fellow sleazefesters (old and new friends) were thrilled with our wedding plans. Several of them had also been married at the jail, while others of them had served time there.

As the sun rose on the end of the first day of Sleazefest, we realized something important: you are supposed to have strippers at the bachelor party, NOT the reception. Live and learn.

One of our friends, a sometimes-member of Southern Culture on the Skids whose name I have forgotten, pointed out that it’s stilly to have one mediocre wedding band when you can have 20 or 30 really good bands. We agreed, especially when two-thirds of Jack Black joined Billy Joe Wingehead for a showstopping rendition of “Freebird.” It was magical. Or we were drunk, because we both really hate that song.

One of our friends, Linda, is a librarian and drummer from Baltimore. Linda and Rebecca danced a few sets away in the go-go cage, joined by 506 Dave and an occasional Drive-By Trucker. Eric may or may not have joined them. He refuses to confirm or deny these rumors and in the interests of marital bliss Rebecca will do the same.

506 Dave then put Rebecca in charge of Cage Recruitment for the rest of the night. She did a poor job, because she and Linda had by then decided to keep the cage to themselves because they are such great dancers (or because it was under an actual A/C vent. Probably that second one).

Around midnight, Linda and Rebecca vowed to form a band.

I’m sure there were details about the second day, but you’ll have to use your imagination because things get a little hazy.

As the sun rose on the end of the 2nd day we knew that it was time for a little sleep and the long drive home.

We learned valuable life lessons this weekend. We were reminded of the importance of proper facial protection when slicing bologna with a chainsaw. We learned that throwing fried chicken during a Southern Culture on the Skids set is serious business. We learned that the men of Truckadelic should keep their clothes on. (No offense, guys). We learned that it can actually get hot and humid enough to rain indoors in a North Carolina nightclub in the summer time. Mostly, we learned that you should never let others foist their image of the ideal wedding on you, because we think ours was just fine.

(original post date verified when archives recovered from old hard-drive, 2010, but it was definitely edited after that time)