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As indicated before we are right in the thick of wedding season here in Chicago.  So far this year our social calendar has been pretty light on the weddings, which is a good thing.  Or so I thought.  I am finding out that I am missing the free drinks every other weekend.  Its easy on the pocket book.  But they get you on the way out with the card, so it evens out.  I always drink my fill! 

A couple of weeks back we had a wedding to attend.  It was similar to my own in that a Serb was marrying an American so there was plenty of opportunity for culture clash.  Everyone was on their best behavior however so it was disappointing for me and this blog.  There was one bright shinning star of the evening though.  He was an American who was at his first Serbian wedding.  The strange part though was that he was there with his Serbian girlfriend who he had been dating for a few years.  I would have thought she would have prepared him for the ordeal ahead.

The day started like all weddings do with Skup.  This can only be described as a “pre-party”.  The grooms family and a few select guests are invited to his fathers house for dancing, food, live entertainment and of course draanks, and lots of them.   It was a hot day, and the guy in question (I will call him “Mike”) was wearing a suit like all of us, but he refused to take off his jacket.  I could see the sweat pouring out of this guy even at 10:30 in the morning.  So there he stood, stoically, drink in hand with sweat cascading down his head.

After Skup we all headed for the church, with a full cooler of course.  When we got to the church the guy with the cooler pulls right up in front, opens the back door, cranks up the tunes and cracks open a beer.  Dynamite!  At this point Mike had starry eyes.  He was loving the nonstop flow of libations and was never without.  Thank God for the ceremony because it gave us all a little time to sober up. 

Ceremony done, back to the parking lot for more draaanks!!

We get to the reception that was at a swank country club in an affluent town.  Mike is smiling from ear to ear at this point and still in his damn jacket and still sweating like a farm animal.  And do you know what happened when we got there?  YES!!  More draanks in the parking lot!  Nevermind that it was open bar.  They didn’t have the fresh Serbian beats playin’ in there playa.

At this point the party moved inside and Mike decided he needed to sit down.  He was still throwing down the sauce but it had taken its toll.  He wasn’t acting a fool, but he was visibly wasted. 

Fast forward to dinner, then I get the question from a panicked mother of the girlfriend, “Have you seen Mike?”  I was frozen.  Panic.  All I could muster was a “nope”. 

Like Kaiser Soze… *poof*…he was gone.

And he stayed gone, for two hours.  Mike decided he didn’t want to be the drunken baffoon so he took a walk on the back nine to sober up.  And it worked.  Like so many first timers at a Serb wedding he came out of the gates to fast and made the classic rookie mistake.  But this one, this kid, he has a bright future ahead of him.  Definitely an All-Star, maybe a Hall-of-Famer.  I will watch his career as a wedding guest closely.

But next time you take a walk……let someone know.  Jackass.

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