I spent nearly my entire college career at Heavilon Hall and Academy Park. Heavilon houses the English and Film Departments. Academy Park is designed in circles with four hills in the midst of thee circles. If you stand in the center circle and speak, the acoustics are as such you can here perfectly if you are standing in the middle of another circle. It is my favorite place about Purdue. You could just sit on the hill and relax before you start your day. I chose to get married in Academy Park.
We were married in August of 2004. With the elderly in consideration, Laura and I decided that we would move the wedding in doors, forgoing Academy Park. It turns out that it was cool that night. Hindsight. On May 27th, 2007 a couple of our friends decided on the same journey to the start of their lives together. It was a mild day and the air was misty. Eric’s mom brought tears to everybody’s eyes before he and Jessi confirmed what everyone came there to see. It was a breath taking moment. I, who don’t often get jealous, was envious.
We moved to the South Ballroom in the Union. This is a magnificent room. It is where Laura and I both were married and then celebrated our marriage in 2004. We followed suit in 2007 for our friends. We sat with old high school friends. We reminisced. We met new significant others. We joked. We drank. We joked. We drank.
Andy crashed. He came after the food was served, but enjoyed some beverages with us. I don’t recall dancing much at this wedding. This is something that I have grown to love. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s my apathy. More likely myself discovering my “individuality.” The reception went off without a hitch.
We went to Harry’s for a post reception party. A tradition of sorts for those of us who get married on campus. Mo was bouncing and let Laura and I in right away due to our years of dedicated patronage. Others were ID. Dave was bar tending. Again, we were served quickly and efficiently. We hadn’t been there for some time, but we are usually remembered. We stood and celebrated the new union for our friends. Everyone was in a good mood.
Even Joe was in a good mood. He had been kicked out the night before for being over served. On his way out he looked the bouncer in the face, bent at the waste, put each arm up and out to the side touching his thumb to his index finger. He then shouted, “Your mutha’s a cunt!” All of us laughed our balls off. Who says that?
Back to the post reception, everyone was in a great mood. We had been celebrating for many hours and some of us were losing the race to alcohol. I was at the bar across from the popcorn machine. Mo was sitting next to that. Andy and Laura were standing at the end of the bar, about four people in between Eric, Shawn and me. I was talking to Eric and Shawn. We drank. We joked. We drank. We rib each other. Growing up together in Crystal Lake you learn to take your fair share of shit cannery. Everyone cuts down everyone. Shawn cut me down. I looked at Eric. He asked me if I as going to take it. I looked at Shawn and play slapped him in the mouth.
Andy raised an eyebrow behind Shawn. Eric laughed. I glance back towards Shawn and he stood up and raised his arm. I knew that arm was for me so I widened my stance and tried to duck out of the way. As I was ducking I saw Mo look over. Crack! Right on the fucking ear. I didn’t know Shawn was left handed. Crack! Same spot. I looked and Dave was airborne of the bar. Mo was mid-flight past innocent celebrators. Crack! Seriously? Kid’s got aim. Crack! Thank you for limiting the pain to just one spot on my body. I stand my ground. Shawn is pinned by the mammoth bartender and black belt bouncer. Eric stands back in shock. The best day of his life to that point is being marred.
Shawn is pushed out into the street. He is pointing and swearing and yelling towards me and the bouncers. Andy locks eyes with him and yells back. Mo asks if I am okay. I am. Normally at this point both parties are excused. He said he was watching the whole time and I did nothing. I grab my beer and proceed to drink and joke. It was a night of celebration. I told Eric to forget about it. This was his night. His and Jessi’s. Nothing we can do about it now.
Next morning, everybody was scattered around the hill hitting up various places to load as much grease into their bellies as possible. I learned from Nancy that I had offended Shawn greatly by calling his girlfriend a cunt. I said that was an interesting story, but it didn’t happen. I just chalked it up to over service. She said that we had both been over served. I didn’t disagree, but clearly I saw that this is going to come down to which ever story someone wanted to believe.
I spoke to Shawn a few days later on the phone. I told him it was water under the bridge and assured him that I never said a word about his girlfriend. If I say something about a girl I don’t know, I would comment on the size of her breasts or the shape of her ass. He didn’t budge from his story. I said that is unfortunate that you feel that way. The 15 years that we knew each other should be enough of a character reference. He hung up. I’ve talked to various parties involved since. One thing we agree on is that Eric and Jessi throw one hell of a party.