Sex and Gender

Old wedding

Recently, I got a new taste for what they mean by Sweet Home Chicago.

The wife and I loaded up my 91-year-old father and his new younger girlfriend (89) to be their chauffeurs/concierges to witness the nuptials of my nephew. It’s his second grandchild to get married.

The betrothed couple lives in Charlotte. Their parents are in Michigan (or Minnesota or some praise state) and Pittsburgh. The “kids” met, and so they were married, in Chicago. A destination wedding downtown. Halfway between the families. It’s not Maui in the sand, but it wasn’t bad either.

Lots to do, lots to eat, lots to drink…

Dad and his girlfriend were intent on the Art Institute. The wife and I went to the top of the Sears Tower (or whatever the fuck it is called now) instead. Different kind of view.

Nothing like stepping out on the edge at 1200 feet above Chicago.

We killed more time eating pizza and hot dogs and taking the “architecture tour” on the river. Worth it.

At the wedding I noticed something weird. I did not feel old. My gray hair was “normal”. Sure there were 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen young enough to be my children, but that was it. Gray hair, stooped shoulders and girdles as far as the eye could see.

Then the band started. Didn’t count all the pieces, but there were enough to be in rows.

“Shut up and dance with me,” was the most current hit. “Rosalita” by Bruce Springsteen brought out most of the old folks, and we had to shout the lyrics back to the 20-something singer and hope he could follow along. “You pick up a little dynamite and I’m gonna pick up a gun,” seemed horribly out of place for 2022.

Every single song was a hit long before the bride and groom were born. The band should have taken more breaks — in this crowd nobody could do 2 dances in a row without sitting down for a while.

“It was the party rituals of the middle aged,” my elderly father said.

More red wine and bourbon than beer. Didn’t see a single vape pen, or ever smell the devil weed.

I didn’t meet a single friend of the bride and groom. I met 3 or 4 of my brother’s college friends and former neighbors who are definitely AARP eligible. They are no longer working for the weekend, they are looking forward to the medicare.

I didn’t ask why the crowd was older. I could guess. Who can afford to travel? Who is paying for this party anyway? With all the post-Covid weddings are the young just not going to go to any wedding except their own?

But I know “old” won’t be the story at the Boy’s wedding later this month. There will be the elderly family, but it will definitely be a party for his generation. If I had any college friends, they would not be invited. There will be no Pendejos in the crowd. I’m sure I won’t know a single song his DJ will have spun…

So what’s my new taste on Sweet Home Chicago, it’s home as in most of these people will soon be in a “home.” But Old Folks Home Chicago, does not have the same ring to it.

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