Two Cents Worth – Oct 14, 2015

Karl and Carly   So anyone who read my column last week knows I went to Colorado to watch my friend Karl marry the love of his life, Carly.  Thankfully, none of you decided to take the opportunity to break into my house and steal all of my stuff.  For that, I thank you.

For the record, my wife and I had a wonderful trip.

We had an early flight out of St. Louis Thursday morning.  Our first stop was Salt Lake City, where we switched planes to head to Denver.  I’d like to take a moment and hope that someone who works at Delta Airlines is reading this so they can think about how flippin’ stupid that is.  Geography was not my strong suit in school, but even I know that to go from St. Louis to Salt Lake City, you have to PASS OVER Denver.  It’s irritating how impossible it is to get a direct flight anywhere out of St. Louis unless you spend another $100 or so per ticket.  But I digress…

I was warned that the oxygen levels in Colorado are less than in Illinois.  That whole mountain elevation thing.  When I stepped out into the open air, I remember thinking that it didn’t seem so bad.  However, I was reminded all weekend long every time I attempted to do nearly anything that there was indeed less oxygen, leaving me winded and out of breath.  And no, it’s wasn’t just because I’m pleasantly plump…

My wife and I took a tour of the Denver Broncos stadium, which was pretty neat.  One of the interesting points told to us during the tour is that 95 percent of the seats at Mile High Stadium are held by season ticket holders and that there is a wait list a bit over 53,000 people deep for their own season tickets. The approximate wait time to receive two season tickets is around 30 years.  If only the Rams received that much support locally, maybe they wouldn’t be looking at greener pastures.  And before anyone says its because of Peyton Manning, they have been at 95 percent and developing a wait list since the 70’s.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, where I got to see another guy I went to college with for the first time in 11 years.  To be honest, it’s hard to remember exactly why Joe and I stopped talking and drifted apart.  I’m sure there were reasons, but what was nice is that they all seemed to go away at that dinner last Friday evening.  We were talking about our lives and where we’re at now.  Joe really grew up a ton since we last spoke and I’m really glad Karl (the groom) put us back into the same room.

Saturday was the big day.  The groomsmen helped prep a few things but basically sat around in a cabin for most of the day.  To clarify, the wedding was at a state park and we had two cabins rented for the guys and girls to get ready in.  It had been so nice temperature wise during the whole trip, but of course, it decided to get hot when it was time to put on a tux and go trek up a mountainside to take a few photos.  I hope I’m not too drenched and winded in the wedding pics…

The ceremony was held outdoors, which ended up being very pretty.  However, holding a ceremony like that in a public park, you unfortunately have to deal with the public.  Like the group of guys who decided to start an impromptu game of shirts versus skins tackle football, or the guy walking the dog that needed to pop a squat right behind the line of groomsmen. Overall though the ceremony was very nice and Karl couldn’t help but start crying during it (I made it until after my wedding ceremony before I started to boo hoo).

We had a wonderful trip and great time at the wedding.  I only bugged Angela and Nathan a few times about stuff going on back here in O’Fallon. I caught up with some friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time and made a few new acquaintances in the process.

Heading home was a bit sad though (and not just because I had to fly from Denver to Salt Lake City, just to fly OVER Denver to get back to St. Louis). It always becomes so obvious at events like this that we allow people we were once very close with to drift far away and get away from us.  We always all intend to call each other regularly or keep in touch somehow, but we never really do.  Oh sure, we’re all friends on Facebook, but “liking” the occasional photo isn’t quite the same as sitting down and talking to a friend to find out what’s going on in their lives. And as much as I will tell myself that I’ll change and make a real effort, I know that’s probably not going to happen because I’m busy, my friends are busy, we all live in different time zones, and we all have our own lives to attend to.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Additionally, this weekend allowed me to reflect upon past relationships and realize that when you completely shut someone out, there is the possibility they will change for the better and you won’t be around to see it. We were all goofy, stupid kids just over a decade ago at SIU Carbondale.  We were all too worried about going out and drinking, finding some good looking girl to go talk to at a bar (and then getting shot down in quick fashion), and playing video games all night long. We said things and did things that we’d probably regret today, if we could even remember them all.  For whatever reason, I shut out a guy that I was pretty good friends with and he changed into a much more mature, responsible, and stable guy than I knew.  And I missed it and regret that.  I’d like to hope that I grew up and changed since then too.  But most who know me these days probably are still waiting for me to grow up…

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Karl Strappini and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day.