A Coked-up Wedding
Our wedding took place on July 7th, 1984, in the basement of Towne House Restaurant in Media, PA. It was an event that revolved around the usual exchange of vows, ceremonial preaching and linner (in between lunch and dinner). It was exciting, because it gave me the opportunity to have a side helping of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, for which I developed a taste while Bartending at Anna Maria’s in Washington, DC. It gave me chills just knowing I would soon partake of the world’s best noodles. Being the Groom, special attention was mine.
As protocol dictates, my Bride and I arrived after everyone else. Being late is OK, because we were the beautiful couple. Our guests eyed us while descending the staircase, but my attention was directed to the bar, where my twelve-year-old son, Sean, was downing another Coca-Cola; his favorite beverage. As a parent, I attempted to regulate the sugar intake of my tots, but in this case it was too late. “Open bar” means infinite Cokes to my son. By the time we arrived, he had several, because his drinking could not be monitored.
Soon we began the ceremony. Sean was my Best Man, and my daughter, Pamela, was a Flower Girl. It seemed an exciting time for them, too. We went through the wedding procedures, eventually sitting down for our meal. The waitress took my order, with an emphasis on Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. “Bring it to me now, Fair Maiden,” I thought. “I am the Groom and shall have whatever desired.” I felt like Henry VIII. Shortly thereafter the meal arrived, followed by a distressed son with a belly ache. “Dad, I feel sick,” he moaned. “My stomach hurts.” So, we walked outside to kill the gas pains, caused by the indulgence of unlimited soda on an empty stomach.
It felt good being a dutiful parent and helping my son with his difficulty. Walking around the streets of Media with my little pal by my side was a parental thrill. I was doing a good thing. After what seemed like a short stroll, he felt relieved enough to return to the affair. I went back to my table, gave my new wife a peck on the cheek and sat down to enjoy my meal.
The Spaghetti Aglio e Olio had been removed. My walk down Main Street apparently took longer than I thought. The food was gone. They must have assumed I wasn’t coming back. During the excitement of all the people talking with my lovely Bride, it slipped everyone’s mind I ordered vittles. The untouched plate must not have alerted the server. I could have made a big deal out of it and screamed at her, but the loss of my pasta was so devastating, it didn’t occur to me to complain. The funk of not having my favorite dish cleared my mind of any other thoughts. “Olio? Olio, where are you?”
I’m not sure of everything that took place after my traumatic experience. We went to a nearby hotel where we were staying before our morning flight, with our relatives and wedding guests for drinks and dancing. The loss of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio weighed heavy on my mind. After a few cocktails, disco and heart-felt kisses from my Bride, my interest in Olio waned. We were beginning our honeymoon, so food was not as high on the list as usual.
The loss of my side dish was not the end of the world. It’s just that it isn’t on the menu at Towne House, and they made it special for me because it was my day, too. It’s not as if I can use another bowl of pasta, carrying with it about 700 calories, but for them to go out of their way to cater to me, and then for me not being able to enjoy it, left the eventual compliment unuttered. How could I rave about food uneaten?
I probably should have ordered the Baked Fish.
Bake My Fish