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DENTAL HEALTH GUIDE
Do You Treat Your Pet Better Than Yourself?
by Dr. Richard Glick

THE BIG KAHOONA!
Kahoona Runs Silent
by Dante Persechino

LOCAL COLOR
Wedding Crashers
by Michael A. Sisti

Local Color
Wedding Crashers

In my early twenties, when money was tight and kids were plentiful, we used to look forward to going to weddings. It was about the only time we got out for an evening's entertainment. Now, after attending over 100 receptions, from extravaganzas attended by hundreds to simple gatherings witnessed by a handful of friends, I can't say that I get excited when an invitation comes in the mail. This year we got four invitations to "must attend" weddings, and in each case we had to travel anywhere from 400 miles to over 1,200 just to get there.

Since weddings haven't basically changed much in the nearly fifty years that I have been attending them, I find myself seeking those rare observations that keep me entertained. And this year's four affairs provided me an abundance of extraordinary gems.

I find that some women have a wonderful sense of style, and others don't know how to spell it. A guest at one of the weddings wore a dress that ended at her underarms, and was much too tight for her ample upper body. The compression of flesh caused her to have cleavage both front and back, which I found unnerving, as I couldn't tell if she was walking toward me or away from me. Another woman had a tattoo of a five-pointed star on each of her calves. They were probably cute several years ago when she had it done. But now after three kids and too many trips to the Venetian tables, this graphic called attention to a pair of legs that now looked like they belonged to a linebacker. And the guys weren't much better. One thirty-something guest wore a suit that was easily three sizes too small, but I was sure it wasn't a mistake because of the haircut that varied from buzz-cut to six inches in length. The ruffled shirt was another clue. I know he was making a fashion statement, I just didn't know what it was. At one wedding, the bridal party wore dyed-to-match high heels in church, and sequined flip-flops at the reception. The problem was, you couldn't dance in either one of them, so they spent most of the night bare-footed. One wedding featured a sixteen-piece orchestra while another was entertained by a comatose deejay.

Each of these four weddings was extravagant in its own way. They ranged from catering halls to renovated historic inns to the chapel at the Citadel, but each served more food that any person could consume in six meals, much less one. From overwhelming happy hours through multi-course plated dinners to endless dessert stations, the abundance of food was obscene. And so was the cost. These weddings have gotten so expensive that in most cases, the bride and groom each contribute substantial amounts of money to the cost, as does the bride's parents, the groom's parents, the credit card companies and the banks. And when you see the equivalent of a down payment on a house evaporate in six fleeting hours, you hope and pray that these marriages contribute to improving the grim 50% divorce rate statistic.

Mike Sisti is a forty-year veteran in the marketing communications field. Most recently he served as Chief Communications Officer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. Mike and his wife Sara divide their time between Narragansett, Rhode Island and Sarasota, Florida.

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