Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

From Lake to Lake and Shore to Shore, Michigan, My Michigan

It was a traveling weekend for Velvet. While I usually spend my weekends baking in the sun, duty calls. After the 7+ year courtship of HandyMandy, the CosmicGoof finally made an honest woman of her. I have been friends with these two for quite a few years, and you would think they could get married in their homestead and my favorite U.S. city, Phoenix, Arizona. But noooooooooo. My fat ass had to fly to Detroit, where there are no cowboys for Velvet to take home as a parting gift.

Aah Michigan. It’s a land like no other. When you ask anyone in Michigan where in the state it is from which they hail, they immediately fashion their hand into a mitten shape, thumb alongside the palm, hand flat, and they point:


If you’re really lucky, they will also give you the “Upper Peninsula,” just to be accurate.

It’s amazing that the entire state behaves in this manner, even doing it on the sly, under a napkin, because it’s just so ingrained in them.

So, leaving my brother’s house just in the nick of time (21 hours baby,) I head to a place called “Stockbridge, Michigan” for the wedding. I’m glad I’m not one of those prissy girls who is intimidated by directions, driving and finding places.

Finding La Casa of HandyMandy’s mother was no small accomplishment. Couple that with the fact that I do my best blog writing while I’m actually driving the car, I’m flying down Interstate 96 east, with pen in one hand, camera in the other, directions balanced in my lap. Stockbridge is a small town buried between several major interstates, but not immediately accessible by any. Directions from my beloved Mapquest indicated portions of my journey would be on unpaved roads. What I would have preferred for my directions to tell me was that I would be passing this:

and this:

Ok. So, on to the wedding. I was so happy HandyMandy chose to get married at her mom’s house. I’m soooooo anti-establishment formal wedding. I just don’t believe in spending tons of money on a wedding. (Frankly, I don’t really believe in spending any money on a wedding, but okay.) I’d rather take that money and sink it into a house and just send out an announcement that “Billy Bob and Velvet swung by the Justice of the Peace on their way home from Famous Dave’s BBQ and got hitched!”

Seriously, what is the point of spending all that money? Isn’t the wedding really just about the marriage? The union of two people in love? Why do the flowers, reception halls, cakes, food selection and limos have to complicate things? And ugh, the weddings themselves!! The humiliating bouquet toss, the peer pressure of the drunkards to make the sober guests participate in such delights as the Electric Slide and the Chicken Dance. Good Lord. It makes me understand why it is necessary to be drunk for any and all weddings, including one’s own.

I was painfully sober though, to witness not only the atrocities mentioned above, but the groom’s grandpa who seemed to have Tourette’s syndrome. While the LADY was carrying in the cake, he screamed, “I HOPE HE DOESN’T FALL!” During the ceremony he just started screaming out something I couldn’t understand. I was also sober to witness the groom’s father backing the grooms jeep up to Grandpa Tourette’s, almost taking out HandyMandy’s cherished pug Mojo in the process. Mojo narrowly escaped injury death as Grandpa was shuttled off, screaming all sorts of funny ass shit on his way.

On a not so light note, a guest at my table told me that 7 families a day are moving out of Michigan. Work is drying up, and some major homebuilders have pulled out of the entire state. And if you also listen to my seatmate on my flight home, Michigan’s economy is dying and people have to go elsewhere for jobs.

So, that answers my question from the whole weekend. Why are Michigan speed limits 70 mph on all highways, non-interstates included? To get the people out faster, silly!

And on my flight home, and continuing in the spirit of jokes, I ask myself, so, what do you have when you build a virtual hell on top of a swamp and breed a bunch of dirty lying politicians, hangers-on, and bottom feeders?

A little voice just said, “Welcome back sucker.”




  1. KassyK

    Sounds like a blast hahaha. But I am still lol about the grandpa and his obscenities. Glad your back girlfriend. I’ve had some weddings where they are SO MUCH FUN bc of a fun band but for the most part (as a wedding conneseuir at this point)…they are all the same. I want to elope…Take a cd of it and send it out to everyone that would be invited and say…Hey check it out we got married in the Carrib. Enjoy. HEHE.

  2. Washington Cube

    I’m tickled that your plane mate let you shoot his hand for the blog. How did you explain that one? “Well you see…I have this BLOG…”

    It’s never pleasant hearing about areas in economic hardship :::cue to Michael Moore and Flint:::

    Grandpa sounds like he made the wedding fun. Afer reading all of this I had to Google Jiffy Muffin Mix. Sure enough. The Chelsea Baking Company of Chelsea, Michigan.

  3. johnny


    All must worship the giant white penis.

    I mean, really!

  4. Old Lady

    Ha! You are so with me on weddings. Take the money and run!!!!!

  5. Serena

    I’m with you on the whole wedding thing. After my brother’s wedding fiasco, I promised my mom I’d do Vegas or something equally “non wedding”. One thing for sure, I do plan on wearing flip flops.

  6. Barbara

    i can so identify with this post, being dragged to Detroit for my yearly visit with the inlaws. Most of urban Michigan seems like one big strip mall to me. But there are trees, I’ll given them that. And the upper peninsula (the top hand) is beautiful. However, it’s a state without much of a personality. I loved your rationale for the 70 mph speed limits — so true. Sometimes it takes going away to really appreciate this swamp we live in.

  7. cosmic shambles

    Traditional weddings are downright unbearable and affirms our need for alcohol in order to survive the event. I attended a wedding recently and at the reception the “open bar” did not open until 6PM, while the guests started arriving at 5:30. You would have thought there was going to be a riot as we all ganged up on the bar tending staff and demanded our drinks!

    FYI: Here in Baltimore when someone wants to know from which part of the city we hail we demonstate by shaping our hands into the “shocker” symbol. Heheh.

  8. Scarlet

    Yeah, I’m more into a wicked small wedding with no church decorations and then a crazy reception/party. I like flowers but spending tons on them makes no sense to me.

    I think I’m glad I can’t make the shape of Virginia with my hand. Besides, it’s more fun to say “northern Virginia” and see people role their eyes.

  9. Mel

    As someone who attended a wedding in Jersey (or “Joyseee” pronounced by locals) last weekend…I for one wish I was a bit more unconventional with my wedding. However, this Joysee wedding was long, boring & the outfits were horrible. Church started at 3p, we didn’t eat dinner til 10!!!

    At least I fed people sooner than that…

  10. Mel

    I meant to mention: Wow, another post with pictures, look at you go!

  11. Raincouver

    Hey Velvet! Welcome back! I loved this post – and the pics. I have more of a 12 hour expiry date on the drama thing. Visiting the famdamily in August. Crap shoot poop.

    As for the frilly undies, glad to see yours are not quite as puffy. Hahahaaaa!


    P.S. What did you bring back for thora and sammy?

  12. jamy

    Small, at-home weddings are the best. I could never spend that much money on a wedding; it seems crazy.

    I love the hand thing that Michiganders always do. My ex-bf from the UP would have appreciated the two-handed version.

    Welcome home. I know it’s swampy here; but it’s a beautiful city.

  13. mappyb

    Ah, I LOVE the MI hand thing, it’s great. Everyone from there does it, it’s funny. And don’t call them Yoopers (from Upper Pen); they don’t take kindly to that. Although the pastys are good (like chicken pot pies).

    Nice photos!!!

    Oh, and use Google Maps, SO MUCH better than MapQuest, Yahoo, or Mappoint, Rand McNally…you get my point…

  14. Tilly

    As a former Michigander myself, I am guilty of doing the hand thing, but I have to also point out that the “top hand” for the UP would be more accurately portrayed with the thumb down. I’m just sayin.

    Also, I spent my weekend further north than you and there is no other place like it–gotta take the good with the bad, I suppose.

  15. minijonb

    Haha! I’ve been to Stockbridge while trying to find a shortcut between East Lansing and Ann Arbor. I now live on the west side of the state, so most of my journeys are up to the “pinky” of Michigan and not over by the “thumb” … now I need to find a hand model to show off the Michigan hand map on my blog. Cheers.

  16. CosmicGoof

    I was hoping to see you use the “Prison area do not pick up hitch hikers photo” as a metaphor but busting on my gramps (actually my “pepere” for fellow french canadians)is a good twist. You forgot to mention the part about HandyMandy’s nephew running to save mojo and the gaggle of drunks that ran screaming to the Cherokee slapping on the windows. By the way Pepere doesn’t have tourette’s, he is 85% deaf and seems to have lost a lot of memory after 2 recent strokes. The swearing is just a fucking Massachusetts Masshole thing.

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