Today I wandered out to Malden City Hall Building One (If it sounds confusing that there are multiple city hall buildings in Malden, this isn’t even the start of the story) to take wedding photos for someone I’ve never met.
Now most people who have wedding photos taken typically choose a trusted source, as in someone who has taken wedding photos before, or at least have a history of taking great photos. This was not the case for my new friend. Turns out he chose me due to a weird coincidence, you see I just so happened to be extremely intoxicated in Walt Disney World when this man decided I should be his wedding photographer.
I was in Disney in the first place visiting my coworker, technically my boss, Lisa. She was there working the college program and we talked about meeting there in Disney, and lo and behold, two weeks prior to Christmas, there I was at Disney. It was a fantastic trip and she was a wonderful host, and I honestly wish I could live at Disney because that place is magical.
Back on track to bring us closer to why I was at Malden City Hall Building One: One of the fun activities you can partake in at Disney World is known as “Drinking Around The World,” it takes place in Epcot and involves having a drink in all 11 countries, plus the African Outpost. Normally Epcot is open from 9am-9pm, which means an average of one drink per hour. Lisa and I did not have this kind of time, as she left work at 5pm, giving us about 4 hours to complete the quest of drinking around the world. We started the best way we knew how to: in England with Egg Nog, it was Christmas after all. We followed that by pounding a beer to the Canadian National Anthem in Canada, Ohhh Canada!
Now we have another coworker, who wasn’t present at the time, but he’s simply known as Sergeant Lasagna, but we just call him Lasagna. Now his name although a proper noun, can be used as a verb, such as “I’ve been Lasagnaed!” Such occasions of this usually result in comically bad things happening to you, or in some instances, to him. Everyone at one point in time at work has been Lasagnaed.
Lisa and I started working on our third drink, Avocado Margaritas in Mexico, when we noticed that the Frozen ride was broken down, which apparently happens all the time. We figured that if the ride were to open, it would only take 5 minutes to wait in a normally hour long line, and we had some drinks to consume. We figured why not finish our drinks and if the ride opened, we’d slide on in. Turns out the ride would open just as we finished our drinks, perfect timing. However, in the midst of waiting I received a call.
I didn’t have the number saved in my phone but the area code said “Fall River, MA” and I have a sister living there so I assumed it could have been someone associated to her, or enough of a reason in my semi-inebriated state that I should take the call. Turns out if was no one related to or involved with my sister, it was Lasagna. He has a favor to ask of me, “Hey Joe… I have this friend who is looking for a wedding photographer, Malden City Hall, January 5th, can you do it?”
My sister Heather had just been married at a city hall, further up the road in Salem, MA, and it was a small handful of people there, if I was guessing right, this would only be a couple of people and that screams easy money right? I’m only three drinks in, but that’s equivalent to about 12 for the normal person and I wholeheartedly agree to take photos for this guy, “Yeah Lasagna, you got it!” He put me on the phone with his friend and I told him it was cool as his wedding was the day after I was flying back in from LA, spoiler alert!
So Lisa and I go on to complete our lap around the world victorious champions, but now we must Jump ahead to LA. Lisa works for Quacks, but prior to working for the Quacks, I worked as a Photographer at a company called Photo-. I quit Photo- to work for the ducks partially because I knew it would be more fun, but mostly because I knew it paid significantly more money. Well, while I was in LA, I was meeting with a couple of my old coworkers from the days way back at Photo- and we are all much more successful and “adult” than we ever were at that company and it was a fun time and crazy to look back on all the drama that was Photo-.
Well in trying to leave LA, I encountered an issue: Bomb Cyclone. Apparently that’s the term that the news came up with to call a winter hurricane. It sounds more like a Dairy Queen and a Steak Sub made love and they called it “Bomb Cyclone.” Well this storm was causing problems because I wouldn’t be arriving home anytime soon, and even worse, I would miss this guy’s wedding. To be fair, I never met the guy, and to be even more honest, I agreed to take the photos a few drinks deep in Disney on Vacation, I was in an extremely better than usual mood, and I really, really don’t actually want to take the photos I agreed to take.
The dude and I would text, he thinks the wedding is still on, I’m convinced it’ll be cancelled, and neither he or I can contact a backup photographer with him. Thursday afternoon my last text to him says “I’m trying to find someone for you,” but I know that’s not going to happen. I hear nothing from him Friday Morning, the day of his wedding, I arrive home Friday late-afternoon, still nothing.
It’s Sunday evening and I just finished watching some football, I receive a text and it turns out the storm did actually cancel his wedding. He had it rescheduled for Wednesday, conveniently on a day I have nothing planned, because I don’t do anything over the winter. I said, once again, sure I’ll photograph your wedding.
That takes us to today, the day of the wedding at Malden City Hall Building One. Turns out there are multiple city hall buildings in Malden, all next to each other, and all serving different purposes. For the purpose of this wedding, we are needed in Building One. Nothing is more weird than walking into Building One, finding a clerk and asking them, “Did you see anyone in here looking to do a wedding? I’m here to photograph it, but I’ve never actually met him.” Turns out he was downstairs waiting for me, so I ran down to him, only to bring him right back home to the clerk’s office.
MD, NJ, and their friend (I never actually heard of was told his name) were a cute couple, right about my age. MD, he immigrated from India and was the manager of a convenience store. NJ, she was from Randolph and laughed at everything. The ceremony was held, I photographed the whole thing, all 10 minutes of it, and instead of taking the money and running, they asked if I could join them for lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant, Kashmir in Back Bay.
As we sat down together for lunch, I took the opportunity to ask my new friends how they knew Lasagna, my wonderful coworker who manages to Lasagna people into the weirdest and most comical of situations. Turns out, he had never met them either. Lasagna was in MD’s convenience store when he overheard MD saying he needed a wedding photographer and was willing to pay some money for it, so Lasanga called me as he was paying for scratchies and a drink, or something related to that.
Was I actually Lasagnaed? At first I thought I was, but then then I realized I somehow ended up being paid to eat lunch at my favorite restaurant in the Back Bay and make these young newlyweds two very happy people and capture that on film, it’s beautiful.
Chicken Vindaloo is delicious.