Saturday night Jackson was all set to go to a sleepover at a neighbor's house. We packed up his odds and ends, at which time I discovered that his sleeping bag smelled like Cookie's butt. Gamely setting sail against the fact that my son might for years to come be remembered as that kid whose sleeping bag smelled like unwashed bulldog, I rolled him on up to the birthday boy's door and knocked, wherewith the celebratee answered and mumbled something about having a cold. The sleepover had been cancelled! Thanks for the phone call alerting us to this in advance so that we could find a babysitter!
"Jackson," I said, "it looks like you're going to a wedding."
The wedding was held at the multimillion dollar house that Jack's company had pretty much finished only that morning. Jack's business partner was the one getting married, to the architect/designer, as it happens. Romance amongst the building trades! It is a tale as old as time itself.
Jack's pretty good about separating work from his home life. The result of this policy is both peace of mind and the fact that Jack knew everyone there and I knew virtually no one. Normally in situations like this I'm grateful to have Jackson to goof off with and take pictures of to keep myself occupied until I strike up a conversation with a the first person to offer me a spiced hamachi hors d'oeuvre. Above we have a guest-free shot of one of the more intriguing exterior details of this house: the flaming water feature.
And next to that: metal conga drums, all set up for an impromptu drum circle.
The wedding was timed to take place at sunset. The grooms wore matching white velvet Armani jackets.
These hooligans stayed in the back.
I have no idea who these people are.
After the lovely, funny ceremony there was a mile-long reception line. Jack was already deep in conversation with a client, Jackson had befriended two bartenders and the four or five other kids that were there, so I wandered around taking pictures of the house. This room is meant to be the lady of the house's office. As you can see, I bent to popular will and wore the gray suit.
Check out that tile! The interior details were impeccable, both the choices and the installation. Jack is known for demanding a high level of finish from his subcontractors. You either do it right or you do it again.
I always like how blue it looks outside this time of day.
I really dig that chair.
Eventually I found Jackson and all the other kids in the media room watching SpongeBob on one screen and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the other, while occasionally practicing mixed martial gymnastics on the enormous white couch.
Occasionally different women would come through and shriek NO FOOD ON THE COUCH! or QUIT PLAYING WITH THE ELECTRIC DRAPES! I don't know who they thought I was -- an ineffectual babysitter? But I was surprised at how some of these women talked to kids. I guess I don't get out much, but under my admittedly lax supervision, everyone under age 8 (that was three kids) deserved one turn to press the button that opens and closes the awesome automatic drapes, and then they were done. I realize I'm more on the casual end of the parenting spectrum, however, and maybe all the nervous mom energy that blew threw the room every twenty minutes was born of hard experience having to pay for broken shit, so I will cut them some slack. But can we all agree to talk to kids in a normal tone of non-condescending, non-shouty voice? THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
I didn't get a lot of shots I wanted, like of the kitchen, or of the bedroom with the yellow night stands, or of the landscape architect with the horizontal red-and-white striped silk jacket. Or of the man with the jewel-encrusted bee on his shoulder who said I looked like Katharine Hepburn. "Katharine Hepburn with bad hair, you mean?" I'm always quick with a conversation killer! A committee needs to look into why I feel compelled to turn every compliment into an insult. But also, my feet were fucking killing me. I hate wearing heels.
At the height of my need to sit down and throw my shoes into the nearest fireplace, I finally found someone both Jack and I knew: Chris, who provided the solo acoustic guitar interludes before and during the ceremony. The combined mental musical inventory of both Chris and Jack has seemed to warp the fabric of time and space here, or else there was some sort of solar flare up that only my camera could detect. Better dig out that owner's manual.
Chris and I ended up having a long chat by the pool. I actually had played in a quartet with him years ago, guitar, cello, and 1st and 2nd flute (me). There's nothing more humbling than playing a classical piece with professional musicians at breakneck speed, getting totally lost, and then just putting down your instrument and waiting for everyone else to come to a disgusted halt. Fortunately, Chris didn't bring up this painful memory, yay.
And then we went home and waited for those four Cokes Jackson drank to work their way out of his system, the end.