We’re in Southern Utah at the moment, visiting family outside St. George, which you may know as the city with the Polo Outlet outside Zion National Park.
Last night, we went to my second cousin in-law’s wedding reception at a Mormon stake center in Santa Clara. [a stake is made of several wards, or congregations. a stake center is the same as a ward meetinghouse, only bigger. There’s a wardhouse roughly every ten blocks in this part of Utah.]
It was a very casual affair, with a western theme. The new couples’ lassos hung on a coat rack made with horseshoes at the entrance to the cultural hall. Centerpieces of rusted iron hardware, horseshoes, bandannas, and cowboy hats sat on each table, as did a bowl of butter mints the color of over-farmed soil. I’d say they were khaki, but except for me, this was not a khaki crowd.
Men were wearing plaid shirts, jeans, and boots. Kirkland Jeans were surprisingly popular. While I got the belt buckle right–I’d changed from my turquoise truck buckle to my Montana Silversmiths “G” buckle, it’s a wedding after all–and those madras Jack Purcells that have been on clearance sale at J. Crew since about five minutes after they were released. I could not imagine a more out-of-place pair of footwear if I tried. If it hadn’t been a family affair, I would have–should have–had my ass kicked, just on principle.
After the celebration, we came home and watched our pre-ordered Dark Knight tickets become worthless as the kids refused to sleep on schedule. I snuck an Almond Joy from the 36-count case and a Mexican Coke in a glass bottle, and we sat outside in the pitch black desert, spotting what we believed to be two satellites passing overhead.