Especially when the father doesn't look right unless he has his cowboy hat on and she looks like a fairy princess come to life.
OK. Maybe I have a few of Alison and Jeff that would rival the shot of my cousin, Howard, and his lovely daughter, Micajah Green Grassick. I would like to say I have sweet pictures of the newly married David Cowan and James Reed but they're goober boys and didn't provide any great poses while I had my iPhone ready.
No matter. I attended my second wedding in two weeks on Saturday. It was traditional country wedding and my date was the lovely Kirsten Jasheway. My family calls Jeff "City Boy" or just "City." They only briefly got to meet Kirsten, who is so much more city than Jeff can ever hope to be.
She grew up in Australia's capital city of Canberra and spent her early adult years in Sydney. Yeah. Indianapolis is rural for her. And I took her home with me. She silently took in the corn and soy bean fields as we drove. Sure, I was driving fast because we were running late and she might have been struck dumb by terror (It's happened before.) But she didn't let on.
I was forced to slow down around what I think of as Knuckoll's Curve in Clay County. We saw two boys running through a field, one holding a rod and reel and the other wielding their catch high over his head with two hands. It's Mayberry with a slight twist. "That's awesome," she said.
When we slowed for the turkey crossing the road on the way to my sister, Donna's house, she asked if it was going to be Thanksgiving dinner. And when she came out of the bedroom after changing for the wedding to see most of Donna's family standing about in tee-shirts and jeans, she just swallowed hard.
They were going to a dirt track race instead of the wedding, but she didn't know that.
Sadly, we didn't have time to chat, so we flew off to the Lebanon Baptist Church ( I should have entered myself in that damn race and thank you very much local police for not being around...) where the ceremony was lovely but brief for the girl used to Catholic ceremonies and had once attended a 4-hour Indian wedding.
We were among the late arrivals to the capacity wedding and thanks to my Aunt Shirley, my sister Nancy (just kidding, sort of) made room for us in their pew. We had the good fortune to run into Jeff Blanton, one of my favorited people in all of Greene and Clay counties. Like my cousin Howard, he is rarely without his cowboy hat and I've never seen him without his humor.
We got to talking about prior get-togethers where he, Howard and Jeff indulge in fireworks fetishes and I told Kirsten about how Jeff and his wife Bridget would take the kids on Gator-wagon rides through the woods.
Warming to a new audience, he threw out his hands and said to Kirsten, "You know what three things a redneck's best day has to have?"
She shook her head no. "You need three things," he said. "Something you can blow up. Some cold beer. And at least a little bit of nudity."
I told him we'd work on the third ingredient for our next time at the lake. What I didn't tell him is that he could have had one of the three later that same night when Kirsten and I changed out of our wedding finery for the drive back home. (I didn't want to backtrack to Donna's and it was dark. We were buttoning and zipping up before anyone came down the path.)
We had to get back home so we left before the bride and groom departed but we did have cake (beautiful and yummy) and we applauded Micajah's choice to substitute the garter ceremony with a quiz that involve her and Kyle answering questions back to back, holding up either his or her shoe to answer which one of them was best suited to the answer. I hate that garter thing.
Jeff and Alison spent their Saturday -- 6 hours of it -- at the Indiana State Fair where Ali and her friend Breanna Tabor apparently rode every ride 12 times and the threesome sampled just about every food item the fair had to offer. (Thanks, Aunt Cindy!)
"I only almost threw up one time," Alison reported.
I'm not sure Kirsten can say the samething. I did drive more slowly going home though.
Oh! One more thing: we were honored (and I mean that sincerely) to see Denise McFadden and Scott Cunningham on Friday. They were in town from Charlottesville, Va., and we dropped in for another fabulous meal at Petit Chou.
They are amazing people and we're lucky to count them as friends. They're the kind of people who make you realize you need to do more for the world. And they're really funny. Well. Denise is. :)
Anyway, it was a lovely weekend, which will be capped off for Jeff and Alison tomorrow when he takes her to her first concert: Bruno Mars, with opening act, Fitz and the Tantrums.
Scott, whose children are both nearly grown, informed Jeff that he represents everything that's wrong with American parenting by letting young Ali go to a concert ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. "I hope you got cheap seats so she can't see anything and has to lean down to hear," he said.
"Nope," Jeff confessed. The seats are center stage on the floor.
Scott groaned but took some small comfort in my interjection: "Uh, Jeff wants to see the opening act. It's not ALL for Ali."
Jeff has informed his daughter that this kind of event won't be coming along for a long, long, time, and that she will have to get her homework done, prepare her school bag on Monday evening like normal AND get to school on time on Tuesday. He claims I'm the one who indulges her. He is the strict one. The enforcer.
Right. I'm pretty sure that's the kind of thinking that my cowboy hat-wearing cousin had when he first was confronted with the possibility of making his eldest daughter smile.