Terrorized by other people.

LAURIE: We have combined my guest list, his guest list and his mother’s guest list, and there are nearly 250 people on it. I have gone around and around trying to reassure myself that many of them won’t come, but I fear we’re still going to be 10 or 15 people over limit in a space that accommodates 170 (140, if it’s raining).

The madding crowd.

I take small, selfish consolation in the fact that our list includes:

•a elder relative drinking himself to death
•another relative and veteran of many recent surgeries and other invasions who is refusing to eat or drink
•an Alzheimer’s dementia patient
•a cheerfully but profoundly deaf 93-year old with a scant handful of teeth
•people of good hearts but modest means who live in far, far, far away places
•an entire side of cousins with whom I haven’t had a relationship since the mid-1980’s.

On the bright side, our list guarantees us the company of:

•a distant relative whom I’ve nicknamed “Donkey Sex” but who has not, to my knowledge, had congress with any animal
•another distant relative who proudly illuminates his heritage by declaring, “I’m half-Irish, half-Polish. I’m a dumb drunk.”
•semi-religious Muslims, less strict Muslims, strict-ish Jews and many who identify as ‘cultural Jews’, fairly serious Catholics, lapsed Catholics, honest-to-God veterans of Hitler’s youth corps
•lots and lots of young children, whom I hope will form a pack or two over the course of the weekend; there will be swimming and boating in a small lake over the course of the weekend, which would make me happy, if I were a young guest at a wedding in the summertime.


Although there are those kids who have never experienced a lake, who might think it’s gross to swim in one. But that’s their deal.

Terrorized by other people.