It was a beautiful day on Sunday in the Catskills. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and I had free food and drinks at a wedding. It was a day to celebrate the love of two people who were joined in holy (and legal, by the way) matrimony. With all the love and joy floating around, you would think it would be enough to distract me from how hard the cater waiters were working, but it wasn’t. Despite my best efforts to enjoy the reception, my thoughts kept ending up with the servers. Have I served for so long that even the wedding of two good friends is not enough for me to not think of the servers first? Nope.
The first thing I noticed was how far away the kitchen was from the cocktail reception. It was an outdoor wedding, so the kitchen was set up in a tent over by the chicken coop over the little wooden bridge and past the pond. All I could think was, ‘That is a long fucking way to walk carrying a tray of pigs in a blanket and crab cakes, that sucks.” Seriously, it was about a hundred yards. The best part of it being so far away was that guests couldn’t crowd around the exit to the kitchen tent so they could latch on to a deviled egg before anyone else. I noticed a server walking back to the kitchen with one crab cake on her plate. I knew what that sneaky bitch was up to. She was saving it for herself to eat as she made the trek back to refill her tray. I kept my eye on her and sure enough; after she crossed the bridge, I saw her pop it into her mouth. Smooth move.
The cocktail reception ended rather abruptly when an old lady passed out and fell flat on her back. Everyone was screaming to dial 9-1-1 but it was the fucking Catskills so cell phone service was as rare as a cater waiter who doesn’t stuff crab cakes into her mouth when she thinks no one is looking. This lady in the grass looked like she needed some major help. There was doctor and a nurse at the wedding so they went right to work on her. I took advantage of the distraction and headed to the bar where I knew there would be no line. Within two minutes, the banquet manager was ushering us to the barn where dinner would be served early. In other words, “Let’s move away from the old lady who may or may not be dying on the happiest day of two brides’ lives.” As the crowd headed over for dinner, I watched the manager urgently speak into his walkie talkie and say, “Start icing right away, they’re coming over. Now! Now! Now!” I felt uncomfortable because I knew that the timing was off and the servers were going to be stressed out. I was still probably more comfortable than the old lady in the grass underneath the cocktail table.
When we got to the barn, I saw waiters running around icing waters and then then I noticed that the bartenders were breaking down the bar in the pond house and dragging all that shit over to where we were now. “Totally shitty,” I thought. I have to hand it to the crew though. They were all so nice and a special shout out to Devon and Barney who were my bartenders for the day. Dinner went off without a hitch. Okay, it was a little awkward that the ambulance parked right next to where we were eating. It’s not very appetizing to watch a lady in a gurney get wheeled over the river and through the woods past the goats and put into an ambulance, but I took another sip of wine and felt better.
When it came time for each table to choose a champagne bottle captain, I designated myself and took charge of the situation. The champagne toast was coming up any minute and I wanted to make sure my glass was full. It’s like when I am on a plane; I always volunteer to sit next to the emergency exit because in the event of an emergency, I trust no one more than myself to get that door open and get myself the fuck out. At the wedding, I trusted no one more than myself to get that champagne bottle open and glasses poured.
As the sun set, the plates were cleared. It took a lot of effort to not get up and grab a tray and do it myself. It’s a sickness I have really, this need to clear tables, but I resisted and went instead to the ice cream truck that took the spot of the ambulance. I had a Choco Taco and another beer. It was a good wedding. I left before the wedding cake action happened because I was facing a two hour drive back to New York City. Besides I had already had my Choco Taco so anything else would have paled in comparison. Not to mention, I would have wanted to grab the cake slicer and help divvy up slices for 110 guests. It was time for me to go. The wedding was great. The food was wonderful and the service was even better. Thank you to all those cater waiters who make events like this wedding so special. Congratulations to Kim (Not Kardashian) and Randie who had the most awesome wedding ever. It was a privilege to be there.
The old lady was talking as she was put into the ambulance. Word is she was released from the hospital the next morning and is fine now. Her biggest regret other than the grass stain on her new dress was that she didn’t get to enjoy the reception. I am not a lip reader, but as she rolled by on her way to the ambulance, it looked to me like she was saying, “I just want a goddamn Choco Taco before I go, is that too much to ask?”