Performer: The Temptations
Songwriters: Smokey Robinson, Ronald White
Original Release: Single
Definitive Version: None
The first wedding that Laurie and I attended together after the crucial first one (story to come) was of her friend Paul, who was one of the first people I met when I first visited Laurie.
He was marrying his longtime girlfriend, Leila, in June 2007 at the Racquet Club of Chicago. It probably was the ritziest wedding I’ve attended. The place, which is located on the Gold Coast for a reason, is so exclusive that its website doesn’t even let you get past the home page without a membership number. (Check it out.)
Let me pull back the curtain a bit. The ceremony was performed in a west-facing drawing room that had floor to ceiling windows. After that we adjourned for cocktails in an even more massive sitting room that had about the largest fireplace I’ve seen. You could stand in it (when a fire wasn’t roaring, of course).
To the side of that room was a glorious study that was filled with important ancient books, and here is where they set up the open bar. James, a mutual friend of Paul and Laurie’s (and another person I met early, because they all performed in the play Laurie was in when I first visited her), took a picture of me and Laurie in the study. Laurie keeps it on her desk at work. I’m in a suit, and she’s in a dress. The sunlight is filtering through the trees into the window, and we appear as though we’re in Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. (Yeah, I know which one I was. Let’s move along.)
The reception was held in the adjacent ballroom, complete with sit-down dinner (I had the steak AND the fish) and live band. This was one of the first songs that was played after the dance floor opened up to everyone. Laurie and I had to dance to it.
We had a great time. At one point, Laurie and I snuck off to wander around and see more of this incredible building, but we got lost and ended up walking around the hallways of rooms where people could stay. I had a momentary thought of sneaking into one of the said rooms for a little reception of our own, but I thought better of it. Maybe next time …
Anyway, the party was going apace and the free wine was flowing. I was in the study talking with a member of Paul’s family about my work when Laurie came in and announced it was time to go by knocking over a glass of wine on the bar.
She had me drive, which was a big deal. Laurie used to have a thing about letting anyone else drive her car. I had to drive it from Wisconsin in 2006 to get home for work, but she never let me drive it otherwise. In fact, I think the night of Paul and Leila’s wedding was the first time she let me drive it in Chicago when she was with me. She’s since gotten over that, but that night, practicality outweighed insecurity. I was fine, relatively speaking.
So we’re on the Lake Shore heading home, and we’re about at Montrose, which is a mile before our exit. Suddenly, Laurie announces that she’s going to be sick. I zoomed down the exit ramp at Montrose and pulled over at the stop sign, but as soon as I did and she opened the door, I noticed a cop parked to the right of us at the intersection at the bottom of the hill.
So did Laurie. I’m OK, she said. Keep going. I asked if she wanted to me to pull off at the next exit, but she said she was fine. And she was. She didn’t get sick at all, either in the car or at home. It was like seeing the cop and knowing that we certainly would be pulled over for DUI focused her mind.
It worked out for us, but, unfortunately, it didn’t work out between Paul and Leila. Paul is now on wife No. 3, but I’ll always associate this song with that night with my girl.