Monday, July 25, 2016

Reveling in the cool factor that IS Table 7

At the rehearsal dinner of our nephew Sam, my sister Susan and I were assigned to Table 7. There was quite a crew in the restaurant -- family of the couple, including Sam's two grandmothers; wedding party members and their significant others; a handful of clergy members (including some who had traveled from Wisconsin, where Sam attends seminary), plus Sam's and Katy's siblings.

Sam has two sisters and a brother. Katy has a sister, plus several step-relatives, eight of whom also had Table 7 seat assignments. 

Susan and I meandered through the crowd to our large round table in the corner, and we all introduced ourselves. It took a little repetition and a few pssst! Remind me who that is? -- but we finally figured out who went with whom and a little about each other.

Conversation was polite and nice and friendly, of course. And then -- what was it? What was that turning point that changed everything? It could have been when we sat down and Susan almost immediately proclaimed us to be "the renegade table." That did make us all smile and put us at ease and maybe even set the tone. But I'm not certain that was the moment I'm seeking.

Maybe it was glancing at the other tables, wanting the familiarity in Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 to be in Table 7 as well. Or, most likely, it was a combination -- a sprinkling of serendipity, mingling with the fairy dust that seems to hover over happiness venues.

Whatever it was compelled Susan to make a proclamation: "We need to be known as the fun table," she said. "On the count of three, everyone start laughing really, really hard."
So we did, which of course made us laugh even harder. Other tables looked over at us, amused. That opened us up and we kept talking and talking, feeling this mirth that just seemed to grow. At one point, one of the bridesmaids moseyed over from another table and said, "You all are having so much fun, I just had to come over and be close to all this."

I said we needed to set up a Table 7 Facebook page. Susan decided that at the wedding reception the following evening, someone should request "Uptown Funk" and when we heard it, we'd all run to the dance floor.

The toasts to the happy couple ended; the stories and memories and hoo-haws and tears stopped, and we all went home. 

The following afternoon, the wedding was beautiful and joyous. At the reception, we acknowledged the presence of fellow Table 7-ers with a wave, a smile, or with seven fingers extended. The first time "Uptown Funk" played was early on, and everyone was too busy talking or mingling or eating to dance. 

An hour or so later, the bridesmaid who had come by Table 7 the night before found Susan and me eating dinner. 

"Table 7, right?" she asked. We nodded.

"I asked the DJ to play 'Uptown Funk' again," she said. "He said he doesn't usually repeat songs, but he will if you promise to dance." Then she said, "When I get married, I want Table 7 there."

We were, quite honestly, kind of weary. But after hearing that, how could we possibly say no? We looked at each other, nodded a little, and told her that sure, we'd get out there.

When the music started, suddenly our whole Table 7-ers were next to us. We sashayed onto the dance floor, and one of us (I like to think it was me) suggested a conga line. I reached for Susan's shoulders, and she weaved us around the other dancers -- even under a bridge of raised arms, where we were going the opposite way of everyone else.

But did the Table 7-ers care? Darn right we didn't. I laughed the hardest I had all evening; at one point, I turned around, and seeing our tablemates doing our crazy snake dance behind me made me laugh even harder.

When the evening ended, when guests were handed wands of streamers and bells and lining up to cheer on the newlyweds, Susan and I saw two fellow Table 7-ers. We joked about one day running into each other in a restaurant or anywhere else, and how we'd all just say "Table 7!" and start dancing.

Susan said, "Or if you're ever feeling down, just say out loud, 'Table 7.' You never know who might be around."

"Table 7," said Landon, one of Katy's stepbrothers, "is a state of mind."

What more can I add to that? Except that when you sit at a table of renegades, you just gotta be open to laughter and to mirth. Because only then can you feel it -- that subtle sprinkling of magic; that fairy dust which brings us together, and which keeps us whole.