About 5 minutes after the wedding should have been going, the mother of the bride shows up. She is drunk. She lets him in the apartment. The place is a dump and not decorated for a wedding. Some neighbors start bringing over folding chairs. In about 20 minutes time there are maybe a dozen people there. The groom shows up and is introduced to my dad. He's in his early 50s and very quiet and somber.
After the wedding was over and the paperwork was signed, the groom walks out the door and goes into another apartment a few doors down. Dad doesn't see him again. In a few minutes there are only 4 or 5 people left, all family of the bride. They hand dad a tip in addition to his normal $150.00 wedding fee, which is notable in itself because more than half of the weddings dad does are for the elite in extravagant settings. The few times dad has ever been offered a tip it has been after doing a wedding for the other half.
The small cohort that remains begins drinking and dad chats up the grandmother of the bride. She, a world weary early 60s-ish lady who tells dad that she owns her own laundromat, has a long cigarette hanging from her lips and is more than a few drinks into the day herself. Long-cig Grandma gives dad a careful looking over and then tells him what it was all about.
This town is such a bitch and a whore most of the time. But this reminds me of the line from the old Buddy & Julie Miller song, "Letters to Emily" –
May that man's love toward that woman be rewarded at the table where Abraham sits.