K was the most conventional girl in the universe outwardly, but we kids from EBF, you have to watch out for us. For no reason or rhyme, a lot of us have dark eye-liner pasts. D too was a cliché in so many ways, but he would probably fight you to the death if you called him that. Reluctant yuppies if you will. Their wedding was meant to be a standard affair, a standard outdoor wedding with the standard blazing orange, red and purple leaves of a New England autumn as their backdrop, picture perfect, as it had been many times before them, I’m sure.
That’s the thing about growing up in EBF. You have to look closely to find the cracks in the mask. We all have them. I was at the bar. K’s brother was remarking that a Vanilla Stoli in Coca Cola tasted like frosting (for the record, it did), while I had already finished my second drink. AL was ready for prime time; despite the presence of his mother and sister, kid was already getting ready to order shots, and we had to talk him down. Just a standard bunch of soon-to-be-drunk wedding guests leaning against the open bar getting sloshed. The whole thing could have seemed so bland and predictable and dull. Maybe that’s why we had taken to drinking immediately.
The cake came out, and we smiled patiently. K looked over at us, and there was a little knowing flash in her eyes. Just a tiny bit of subversion. Have you ever really watched a cake cutting? I felt compelled to pay attention that time because there weren’t that many people at this wedding, and the bride’s brother was nearby. If there is actually music for this part of the ceremony, it’s usually super cheeseball. It’s usually something like the cheesy first dance, something somber, something some American Idol contestant will be covering someday. But as we turned to watch them, out came the unmistakeable synthpop, bubbly, smile-inducing- when I’m with you baby, I go out of my head, I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough.
That’s life. Not that many of us can pull off being hipsters. Some of us have to pay the rent, or the mortgage. We have to wash our hair and look presentable at work. We have to keep our jobs. We have to play along. I say that as someone who doesn’t have a mortgage, hasn’t had a job for two years, hasn’t washed her hair in two days (don't judge!), and has been alternating between wearing sweatpants and scrubs for the past week. But I’ll probably go back to being a working class stiff soon enough.
Just look a little closely, though. There’s a little mischief in there. There’s a little something to appreciate. It would be so easy to think of K as boring if you wanted to, but she wasn’t really. Nobody who plays Depeche Mode while cutting their wedding cake really can be. And in some ways, that made her a lot more interesting than a hipster, come to think of it.