Saturday, September 06, 2008
Hurricane Hanna and the Wedding
Today I'm well into my second week of working full time at my hotel job. This weekend we had a wedding planned for today. All the preparations went on early in the week. The tent in the parking lot. The wedding planner darting back and forth. The bride and groom constantly changing room assignments for guests. Finally, the Big Day arrives. But guess who else arrived? Hanna. Hurricane Hanna. The Mother of the bride fretted and tried to get an assurance from the wedding planner that Hurricane Hanna wouldn't blow through just as the wedding guests were dining and dancing in the tent at the wedding reception.
Finally, a decision was made. No tent. The wedding would be held indoors. The reception would be held at the bride's Mother's house nearby. Saturday, the Big Day of the wedding arrives. The morning sun rises on the eastern landscape, causing the early morning fog to evaporate. I arrive early in the morning to unlock the hotel. Outside, propped up against a column is one of the wedding guests. A young man who apparently had too much reveling the night before. Perhaps at a bachelor party. I clock in and head back out towards the lobby to go up the street to get the morning papers. Upon returning with the newspapers I see the young man has now draped his body over one of the lobby chairs. He is out. His pants are off. His boxer shorts are on full display for all to see. Apparently he thinks he is at home. I respectfully poke him in the shoulder and ask him if he is a guest at the hotel otherwise he will have to leave the hotel, taking his pants with him of course. He regains consciousness and murmurs "Wedding......." and gets up and stumbles towards the elevator, shoes in hand. I return to the kitchen to relay this sequence of events to the breakfast hostess. Just another story to add to my every growing list of hotel anecdotes (so many stories, so little time.) As the morning progresses, different small business folk, all representing the tableaux of a perfect wedding begin to appear. The florist, the cameramen, the man with the palms (palms?), the men with the wedding arch (see picture), and on and on. The wedding was scheduled for 5 PM in the Parkview Room, which overlooks the parking lot where the wedding tent was installed but has since been removed. No dancing in the parking lot tonight. Right on cue, the winds and rains of Hurricane Hanna (now officially a tropical storm) arrived almost exactly at 3 PM. The time of my shift departure. Monica, my relief, takes over the reins. Almost immediately she is called outside on some urgent wedding related matter. Tropical Storm Hanna was waiting for her. Monica was soaked when she returned to the front desk. She lamented "Now my hair is flat."
I was about to venture out in that torrential downpour myself. I didn't want to play anymore. Thus I left Monica, the wedding planner, and various and sundry folks who were all scurrying in place to make this a perfect wedding in spite of the ominous weather forecast. Tomorrow, when I go in on the 3 PM shift I will find out how all the participants did. I hope they had a wonderful wedding and that the bride was beautiful. Just another day in the hospitality business. I love it.