Should a bride be allowed to tell her husband not to invite one of his best friends to their wedding?
Normally I’d say no. But in this particular case, one of the groom’s friends not only ruined the wedding but embarrassed the bride’s father for life.
This story comes from my friend Mick who is an Australian who was playing rugby on a very serious amateur team in England. Meeting Mick you could tell that his friends probably weren’t the types of guys who had high tea at 3. Mick is a rough and tumble guy. He exudes charm but you can tell he’s been in bar fights all around the world. Playing rugby is probably the least manly thing he does.
Mick is one of my craziest friends. This is a story about one of HIS crazy friends, Nate.
Mick and Nate are teammates from a very serious Rugby club team in England. Nate is a dockworker in London. He is the toughest guy on the team. He gets into a fight at almost every game. He once got into a fight after a game because someone pointed out the one time didn’t get into a fight during a game.
Nate is essentially an animal who plays rugby. His teammates love him. The ladies don’t. When he wants sex he has to pay for it. He once got crabs from a homeless prostitute.
Like most reasonable women, Mick’s fiancé Liz hated Nate. Liz pleaded with Mick not to invite Nate to their wedding. Mick understood her feelings. He knew his rugby and drinking buddy would probably do something to embarrass him at the wedding. But he had to invite him, his team would be angry plus Nate might start a fight over it. Mick promised his fiancé that he would give Nate a stern talking to prior to the affair and that Nate would behave on their special day.
The ceremony was beautiful. The reception started out with a bang. Nate the English brawler was the life of the party on the dance floor and at the bar.
There are times when you might think Nate has a heart of gold even though he once solicited the homeless for sex.
One thing had been bothering him all night: the bride’s father, Mr. Norton was in a wheelchair. He had been paralyzed in an auto-accident twenty years earlier. The wheelchair didn’t stop Mr. Norton from being successful. It simply had become a part of his life which included a beautiful family and a successful career. He escorted his daughter down the aisle. But Nate had noticed Mr. Norton hadn’t danced with his daughter at the reception.
Being a successful athlete, Nate believed the body’s limitations could be overcome if you just focused your mind. Nate began trying to convince Mr. Norton he could dance with Liz on her wedding day.
At first the bride’s father politely brushed off Nate’s comments. He had been in a wheelchair long enough to develop some sort sense of humor where he could blow off ignorant comments. But Nate persisted.
“It’s all in your mind!” he drawled. “I want you to dance with your dawwtuhh on her wedding day!”
“I wish I could” said Mr. Norton sheepishly for a third time.
And with that Nate whisked Mr. Norton up out of his wheelchair and carried the bride’s father to the dance floor. He placed one limp leg over each of his feet and waltzed with the bride’s father as a man might dance with a little girl at a wedding.
The family and guests watched with horror as the 260 pound gorilla held the frail 150 pound man tightly. They glided around the dance floor. Mr. Norton’s upper body suspended by Nate and his legs lifelessly dangling above Nate’s feet.
Mr. Norton was terrified but tried to smile politely. He didn’t know what to do. Nobody knew what to do. The bride and groom were paralyzed with horror. Just let Nate go for a minute . . . it can’t get worse they thought.
But then it did.
Nate whispered in the bride’s father’s ear one more time “See . . . it’s all in your mind. Go dance with your daughter!”
Nate released the sixty year old paralyzed man expecting him to glide to his daughter’s table and whisk her to the dance floor. For a split second for those who perceived the moment in slow motion, there was the hope that just for that moment Mr. Norton could indeed dance. That hope was short lived for the few people who witnessed the moment and also believed in fairy tales.
The bride’s father simply dropped to the floor with a thud.
Nate stared down with disappointment at the bride’s father lying limp and emasculated on the wooden dance floor. Between alcohol and his stupidity he really thought he could convince the paralyzed man he could dance with his daughter on her wedding day. There was a glimmer in Nate’s eye like he was going to give it one more go.
That’s when Mick rushed towards Nate ready to murder on his friend on wedding day. Luckily two of “Mick’s” teammates held him back while six more dragged “Nate” out as they had so many times before on the rugby field.
The groom calmed down. The bride’s father didn’t break any bones in his fall and the bride didn’t cry. Liz simply helped her dad get back into the chair and whispered “I’m so sorry, Daddy.”
The party went on . . . awkwardly.
Nate was told not to apologize though in his mind he didn’t really owe one. Mick quit the rugby team, convinced that if he ever saw Nate again he’d try to murder him.
I can only imagine how this affected “Mick’s” honeymoon.
I do know for sure how this affected the marriage. Remember, Liz asked Mick not to invite his surly friend Nate to the wedding. She has never had to say “remember when your friend took my dad out of the wheelchair and dropped him on the dance floor.”
Whenever she and Mick disagree she simply gives him a stern glance that says so. And Liz wins the argument.