Saturday, August 11, 2007

I haven't mentioned this yet-

- but I happen to be getting married next January.

I haven't brought it up on the site before, partly because it's nobody's business, but also because it depresses me slightly that there is no chance my bachelor party will be anywhere near as fun as anything thrown by the Staal brothers. But mostly, I haven't said anything because if there is one activity that doesn't have a damn thing to do with the game of hockey, it's wedding planning, or at least it didn't until very recently, thanks to a situation I will shortly explain.

The cliche of the male role in wedding planning is that the groom-to-be stands around slackjawed and nodding while the bride-to-be and her mother begin whirling about in an estrogen fueled daze, flipping through catalogs, selecting caterers, registering for sets of linens, and holding up an endless series of false choices in front of the man's bewildered face,almost perversely daring him to utter the words "Baby- who fucking cares?"

This cliche is true.

Still, it is flawed in one respect. While there are a number of decisions relating to the minutia of design and detail that the male mind (or at least this one) is simply unsuited to handle, this does not mean that the wedding itself, or, in a larger sense, what being married *means* is unimportant to him. He just sometimes has a difficult time conveying the information that there is a qualified difference between 'not giving a fuck about the napkin design' and 'not giving a fuck about the relationship." It's a bumpy road at times, but in our case, for the most part, this message has gotten through. Both my fiancee and I have learned to sense when the other is beginning to lose patience, the same way a racecar driver knows when to ease off on the turns before careening headlong into the wall. Within that metaphor, who exactly is the driver and who is the car has been subject to some debate, but either way, she knows that while I am interested and involved in the process, there is only so much I can handle.

Which brings it back to hockey.

We're getting married on January 20th in New York City, a date we decided on because it's balls expensive to get married in this town, and if we did it on a Sunday in January it would be significantly cheaper. January 20th happens to be Martin Luther King Day weekend, so we can have the wedding at the Sunday rate, and nobody has to go to work the next day.

It's a win-win.

Longtime readers of this site also know that I happen to be a die hard fan of the Boston Bruins. So after the wedding date was selected and the venue secured, It was only natural that I would scan down the newly released NHL schedule to see when my wedding fell. Suspecting that perhaps I'd be missing a largely forgettable NHL All Star Game, which traditionally falls around the 19th or 20th, I was stunned to see that not only was the NHL in session, but the Boston Bruins were playing, during the day, and against the New York Rangers at 1:30 in the afternoon, a mere 10 minute cab ride from my home. It was a sign: The stars were aligning, and this day would truly be one of the best in my life.

Hockey is a tremendously important part of my life and the Boston Bruins are a tremendously important part of how that happened. Being able to have that part of my life be a part of this day, in a city that is not even Boston seemed to me to be a miracle. Taking into account that my Bride to be, as much as I adore her, is a woman who can take up to 40 minutes selecting a tank top, I figured that she would be busy getting ready, freeing up me and my groomsmen to go to the game. Even with a shootout, I'm done by 4:30 at the latest, dressed to the nines by 5:45, married by 7:00, and the day goes down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

So great in fact, was this moment in my mind, that it did not occur to me, even for a second, that it might be a bad idea to inform my Bride-to-be that I, already known to possess a dangerously high level of disdain for napkin patterns and linen registries, was planning to, in her words, "take in a hockey game" 5 hours before "the most important event of our lives."

And that's the rub. It's not that it was a bad idea, but I certainly didn't pitch it very well. I started by saying "What time are we getting married?" And followed up with, "Well, The Bruins play the Rangers at 1:30- how great is that?!"

Despite her initial reaction, which was about as positive as it might of been had I suggested getting married in a suit that "lets people get a better look at my balls," she has come around a bit. Marriage, like wedding planning, is a series of compromises. She understands now that attending this game would not be a callous distraction from the day, but an addition to it's joyfulness, and I add that understanding to the ever lengthening list of reasons that I adore her.

Still, that doesn't necessarily mean I can go.

As it stands now, the game is a great idea, and members of my family can attend, but until all the kinks are worked out, I need to be able to remain flexible and in a place where I can be available to help deal with potential problems, meaning "not sitting in a seat at Madison Square Garden."

Which is fair.

Of course, if the day arrives, every detail is in place and we are ready to go, would it be so bad if I had a ticket in my pocket? You know- just in case? That seems OK to her.

So if you'll excuse me, I'll wrap up this post now.

I've spent too much time on this already, and I have some napkin patterns to approve.


Anonymous said...

When I see people getting engaged or married at hockey games, I always think if that was me I'd be all, "Aww sweetie Iloveyoutooyay. Ok. Game on."

If you actually go to the game on your wedding day, you will be my new hero.

Anonymous said...

First off - congrats. Secondly, whether you're in MSG or down the road in a loud sports pub, keep that cell phone ringer on loud. I hope for your sake that all the bows and ribbons are tied by the time January 20th comes around, but small, seemingly insignifact (note - not to her) stuff tends to pop up at the last minute. Trust me.

As big a hockey fan as I am, it boggles my mind that you'd be able to attend a game the day of, without a worry in the world. This is the difference between men and women? This is also why my anniversary's in August. :-)

- desdemona

ToddM said...

I second anon's comments about unexpected minutae taking up pretty much every last second of your single life.
I had originally planned to see a GWAR concert the night before my wedding, but instead, spent the night making wedding soundtracks and putting jelly beans into tiny jars. Well worth it.

Great article, BTW. Sent it to my wife.

Alec said...

two words brother....



Anyone know someone who might be able to hook us up, or help us out with that???

The Dark Ranger said...

First I started reading this post thinking 'what the hell am I reading this for?' ...until it got REALLY INTERESTING....

Congrats first and foremost, and secondly, congrats on staying engaged. I attend probably 30 of the 42 home games per season, and I even married a Canadian from Toronto -- covering all the bases for my love of hockey.

Now YOUR story, I could have never gotten away with without misery and grief.

See you at the Garden that day. I know you'll get there.

The Dark Ranger

Kevin said...

Please, please, please pull this off.

It will get me out of jail for going to a bills game on my first anniversary when I show her this.

Anonymous said...

When she murders you, can I have your ticket?

Desiree said...

Congrats Ritch!! I would totally go to a game on my wedding night - BUT - just make sure you don't put an announcement on GardenVision. You'll be viciously booed. Talk to you soon.

Andrea said...

And if your team loses, can you put away the pout?

A Sunday in September is the way to go. That way, your honeymoon's over just as they're dropping pukcs across this great land of ours!

But seriously, congrats! And should the Bruins beat Lundqvist that fateful day, I'll consider it a gift to you from us, the Rangers faithful :-)

Cheers to you both.

Michael said...

You're financee is sending everybody over here for your take on the wedding.

Since you are only 10 minutes away, you could maybe check out one or two periods. Just tell her you have to go out for some breath mints.

I think if you can somehow let somebody in the Rangers or Bruins' "organization" then you could get a free ticket, or maybe they'll change the game time for you.