First off, because it was a small town, and there were relatives coming in from all over the place, the hotel was full. Mr. Needle's brother, sister and their respective spouses stayed at our home over night. We bunked at our folks. The other important thing to know, was that it was then as it is now, Grey Cup Sunday.
Normally gift openings are your immediate family, aunts, grandparents and ladies from the community who knew them. A normal crowd usually has tea coffee, some dainties and checks out your gifts, and who gave what, and then goes home with a tiny bit of gossip. Our gift opening wasn't normal.
Mr. Needles brother and brother in law decided it was in their interest to bring our TV to the hall. Once other sports fans realized they would not miss the game, they called buddies,and more people came. Wives called husbands, husbands brought sons. By game time, the crowd who came to gift opening was almost as big as the entire number of people invited to the wedding in the first place.
Men and boys crowded around that 21 inch screen as men never did in those days before big screen TVs and bars with sports themes. It was the biggest Grey Cup party anyone had ever been to, and none of them was providing the beer. My mom worried about running out of food, and my dad worried about running out of beer.
The gents were settled watching the game, the entire assembled horde had been fed and watered, and my mom said it was time to start opening gifts, or we would never be done. So we looked around for my bridal party.
Who weren't there.
In that huge crowd of people, not a single one of our 3 bridesmaids and groomsmen were there. They had not been seen all day. I hadn't seen my little sister either, just my very, very pregnant sister. Only Mr. Needle's married siblings. A few close friends were missing too. Suddenly it seemed that an awful lot of important people missing.
We were midway through opening gifts when in walked the bridal party and assorted hangers on. Some of them were still in wedding finery. They looked really tired, happy but really tired. They apologized for sleeping in, and we fed them anyway. They wandered around, talking and visiting and having a nice time. They were nice enough to let both Mr. Needles and I know when they were leaving. Just to show us they had good manners, they complimented us on having the best wedding ever, and told us how much fun they'd had. Some asked us if we could do it again.
The game was done (I have no idea who won), the guests left. The family who had stayed at our place remained, as did our folks and 3 very good friends. We loaded the gifts into half tons, and I went with Earl, Mr. Needles bachelor hunting buddy to get started unloading. Mr. Needles followed with a second truck. I knew something was up the moment I stepped on the porch.
My afghan was covering the kitchen window, and a 'see no evil, hear no evil,' statuette was taped to the door. Earl just kept saying oh my. In other instances it would have been a thing of beauty.
Everything was upside down: sofa, chairs,tables, stereo, bed. Plants stands, bookcases , and lamps were affixed to the ceiling. Every surface not upside down was festooned in toilet paper. Long lovely loops of toilet paper hung from surfaces I didn't know I had. The mail was in the fridge, there was beer in the 'Body on Tap' brand shampoo. There was plastic wrap over the toilet bowl, there was rice in every pocket. Every fly on every single pair of pants had been sewed shut, every leg hole and sleeve as well as well.
There was no doubt in my mind who the evil doers had been. The wedding party had indeed worked very hard for most of the day. No wonder they looked tired and pleased. No wonder at their effusive praise at our choice of wedding attendants and the lovely party we had thrown. I had absolutely no doubt whatsoever when they said they had a lot of fun.
Mr. Needles brother, sister and their spouses took their suitcases, deciding the best thing they could do would be to let us clean it up.
Later that evening after everyone had gone home, and a semblance of sanity was restored at our abode, we got a call from Mr. Needle's brother. Strangely enough, their pockets and hems, and sleeves had been sewn closed too. After a short interrogation, members of the wedding party claimed they could not take the chance that it wasn't our honeymoon luggage.
So today, on our anniversary, both Mr. Needles and I would like to thank our wedding party. We will raise a glass to your honest and sincere efforts. We appreciate your hard work.
But couldn't you have taken some pictures?