Thursday, January 14, 2010
6:20 PM | Posted by Wide Lawns | | Edit Post
So there were are with our pepperoni slices and White Zinfandel in plastic cups when Lenny Conn walks in.
Immediately my mother begins to recount every horrible, asinine thing this man has ever done. Then he adds another one to the list.
"I can't believe you never invited me to your daughter's wedding. I had to hear about it through the grapevine and I've been waiting for an invitation to your new house for five years."
"Lenny do you not remember when you wrote 'Return to Sender' on the invitation? How about when we personally all came to your house to beg you to come and you refused saying you had 2 weeks to live?? That was 5 YEARS AGO! Obviously you're fine," my mother replied.
I was afraid someone was going to hit someone.
"Well, I was dying but now I'm not."
Ok. Whatever that means.
Everyone else just stood around in amazement wondering who the hell this man with those ridiculous teeth and the frightening plastic surgery gone terribly wrong was.
"He looks like a Jim Carrey character," my husband said.
Then about five of us stood around trying to remember which one before someone remembered Fire Marshall Bill and that just did us in for the rest of the night. After that no one could keep a straight face.
Lupo Lama herded the twelve or so guests over to his family room where he was to be married in front of his faux fireplace.
But before I get into the ceremony, I have to quickly note the decor in Lupo Lama's house. He has a magnificent house. It's enormous. It used to be the biggest fanciest house on the block and it kills him that now there are other fancy, grand houses too. He's a bitter, jealous man who is obsessed with competing with his neighbors. For instance, due to a design mistake my parents had to get their driveway redone. The same week, Lupo had to get his driveway redone even bigger than theirs. One neighbor bought a Hummer. Lupo immediately went out and bought TWO. A red one and a yellow one. Just last week another neighbor bought a convertible Jaguar. Literally, the next day, Lupo went out and bought the exact same one. Now get this. HE DOESN"T EVEN HAVE A LICENSE. He can't drive because he is mentally and physically unable to operate a vehicle. We think it's possible that Lupo felt he needed to have a wedding at his house because my parents had my sister's wedding at their house. Except he has no friends and we do.
But anyway - Lupo's house is quite grand and fussy. He has a real, taxidermied lion. The whole house is columns and marble, gold, brocade and statues. Many years ago he visited Caesar's Palace in Vegas and it left such an impression on him that he designed his house to look like it. And it kinda does which is fantastic because everyone should live in a house that looks like a casino. Now because he is such a wack job and a paranoid freak, he had the house built with no windows on the sides. There are only windows in the front and back and these he keeps covered with hurricane shutters year round. At night he covers the front door with a big, metal thing that looks like a garage door. The house is a full three stories dedicated to gaudiness, however from certain angles the rooms do look pretty in an 80s inspired, Caesar'ish kind of way. You just have to see it to believe it.
Lupo wanted to be wed in front of the elaborate faux hearth. This was actually a good decision, being that it's next to the high-lacquer, white baby grand piano which was being played by a man who definitely believed he was Yanni Live at the Acropolis. No, I kid, I kid. It was pretty. They had even decorated with a weird mix of flowers that we all commented looked like they were from a funeral. And that is because THEY WERE. I mean, you don't have wreaths on metal tripods at a wedding. Lupo's latest business venture involves something about recycling unused, half wilted funeral flowers that the families of the departed don't take. He swears there's a goldmine waiting to be had in reselling unwanted funeral flowers. So I guess he was demonstrating this principle at his fourth wedding. I don't know. It was odd.
The ceremony was brief and it would have been briefer had Lenny Conn not decided to make it into the Lenny Conn Show. Mainly it wasn't a ceremony. It was Lenny Conn talking about himself and then the couple kissing. They didn't even exchange rings or vows. Lenny yammered. Lupo stood there and looked around as if he were hallucinating bugs flying around his head. He tic-ed and jerked and grunted like he does. The bride looked absolutely stunned the entire time because this is the only expression of which she is capable.
Halfway through the Lenny Conn Show, the neighbor's daughter whispers something in my ear.
"Check out the past wedding photos on the mantle," she said.
And oh my God there they were. Lupo was getting married in front of a fireplace whose mantle held portraits of his past three brides. I could not believe it. Wouldn't you think SHE would have taken them down? Did no one notice this ahead of time? My God. Really.
The happy couple then kissed on the cheek, but no. Lenny wasn't ready to be out of the spotlight. He then decided that an impromptu renewal of my parents' vows was in order.
Now I commend him for this. Their 30th anniversary is next week. What are the odds of Lenny being there and it being their 30th in a week? In some ways it was a nice idea. The thing is I knew Lupo would be enraged. He likes to be the center of attention. Remember I said he was competitive. He can't stand anyone showing him up. He would see this as stealing his thunder and it kind of was. He's so bad that whenever my parents have a party, he throws a party on the same night and tries to get people to come to his house instead. His argument is that his parties are the "classy parties" except that they aren't and whenever he throws one he bosses his guests around, makes them continually rearrange their seating, then makes them all clean up and forces them to watch his Andrea Bocelli dvds until he decides it's time for them to leave. It's not a good time.
So my parents not so much as renew their vows as they stand in front of Lenny and listen to him talk about how he swore it would never work and how they are the only people to ever prove him wrong. But in all honesty, after that he did say some touching things and it was a sweet moment that everyone loved and it worked. Lupo must have taken his meds because he didn't pitch a fit about it.
Essentially that was the wedding. When the ceremony ended, people all milled around some more avoiding the eggplant rollatini, which looked as if it had scabs, and wondered at which point it would finally be polite to leave.
Unfortunately there was a terrible British woman with a Cockney accent who was drunk and sloppy and held everyone hostage, declaring that no one could leave. Apparently she is the bride's best friend. Can you say Hot Mess? She was about 55 with a snarled rat's nest of dyed black hair and she had herself crammed into a most inappropriate and unflattering turquoise, spandex mini, tank dress. My grandfather used to have this saying and upon seeing this woman it popped into my head. She looked like ten pounds of crap stuffed in a five pound bag. Bless her heart.
But she stood and blocked the exit from the kitchen and if anyone tried to escape she grabbed them in a headlock, tried to make out with them and slurred loudly about how they needed to come back to England with her. She was like some monster out of The Odyssey. We found the secret though. You had to throw a box of wine of the opposite direction and then when she went for it, you had run for it. Tragically, the women all made it out and over to my parents' house. My dad, the neighbor's husband and my husband were stuck with her for another hour. They didn't toss the box of wine far enough I guess. I don't know how they made it out alive. By midnight I was scared we'd have to send a rescue crew to the International Terminal of Miami airport lest she really try to kidnap them to England.
But Lupo Lama got married. If it will last, no one knows. Perhaps she is Lupo's last, best hope - a real chance at love for someone who really needs a caring, compassionate influence to heal his deep wounds. Perhaps she is just another South Florida gold digger looking to make a quick million off an old, insecure, mentally ill rich man or perhaps she will come back from their Bali honeymoon ready to get the whole business annulled. Only time will tell. I can't make a prediction. I already lost my bet when I said it wouldn't happen. How long do you give it?
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