It’s been many years since I was a groom. My wife and I were married in August of 1973, so it’s almost thirty-seven years now. You would think that everything I did back then would all be in the past – let bygones be bygones. And for the most part that’s the way it is.
But there is one thing about our wedding that I regret more and more as the years go by, and that has to do with my choice for my best man.
I had attended college for a year and a half when I decided to head home, get a job, and get married. While I was at college I got to know a guy who was a senior when I first started. We hung out quite a bit, and I considered him my best friend at college, so when I went home and asked my sweetie to marry me, I decided I wanted Al to be my best man. And that’s what happened.
Well, the years went by. The only time I saw Al after our wedding was about three or four years later, when our first child was a baby, and we drove down to Iowa to visit him and his new wife. That would have been in 1976, I believe. I haven’t seen Al nor talked to him since then. I’ve attempted to contact him a couple times, but have never been successful.
Growing up, I was the second of five boys in the family. My younger brother Kevin was closest to me in age; we were only some fifteen months apart. We played together when we were little; we almost never fought. We went to school together and had good times together as we grew up. We were in Boy Scouts together. We shared many interests, including our sense of humor.
Looking back, I can see that Kevin was really the one I should have chosen. My older brother was long gone, in the Air Force, and he couldn’t be there. There are five years between us anyway; I never really had much contact with him after sixth grade. My other younger brothers were, for the most part, too young. But Mike was showing a lot of musical talent, so we asked him to sing in the wedding, and Brian was asked to usher. Kevin should have been my best man. I don’t know why I didn’t ask him, except I was so enamored with my good friend Al.
I don’t see my brother Kevin very often. He lives probably 250-300 miles from me, is married with kids and grandkids. He has his own life, but I see him once a year or so, at the family reunion when he can make it. Plus I can get in touch with him via e-mail very easily. That sure beats Al, whom I haven’t seen in 34 years.
I think it was a mistake to have given Kevin the short end of the stick. I do regret it.
My daughter in the Twin Cities is planning on getting married next year. The last I heard is that she’s not asking her sisters to be in the wedding. I hope she reconsiders that decision. I really don’t think we should forget our siblings when we get married.