Indianapolis Interim

As I noted Saturday, I was in Indianapolis, Indiana this weekend for my older brother’s wedding.  The last time I’d been to Indianapolis was twenty years ago, for a Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) Teen Talent competition.

This trip I did not get to see much of the city, as I arrived late in the afternoon Friday and flew back Sunday, and everything in between involved wedding events (and, of course, the wedding itself).

I’m notoriously bad about taking pictures, so I don’t have many of my own to share.  But the wedding was at Laurel Hall, which I’ve been describing to people as “a Gilded Age castle.”  It’s not properly a castle, but it’s certainly a mansion, and was constructed in 1916 as the residence of a wealthy family.  It served many functions, including as a children’s hospital, and a fraternity owns it now.

All that said, it was a very good trip, even if I had to fly to get there.

The flights themselves were—thankfully—uneventful.  I flew out of Charlotte, North Carolina directly to Indianapolis, perhaps the first time in my life I’ve enjoyed a direct flight to anywhere.  That took much of the stress out of flying, which I often find to be tedious.

I did note a difference between the TSA agents at the Charlotte airport and those at the Indianapolis airport:  the ones in Charlotte were much nicer.  Granted, they seemed to have fewer of us meat puppets to shuffle through their various checkpoints than the Indianapolis airport, so maybe they still view us as human beings.  The Indy TSA agents were pretty tight-lipped, other than one very nice lady agent who was all smiles after we made it through the full body scanner.  They weren’t meanper se; they just lacked in that effortless affability and hospitality for which we Southerners are so well known.

I notice something similar with the flight attendants:  on the way to Indianapolis, the flight attendants were sweet Southern ladies.  I guzzled down my in-flight Coke Zero and wolfed down my pretzels, and the flight attendant said, “You’re fast!”  I told her I was very thirsty, and she offered me another Coke Zero—and brought me one of those little Biscoff coffee cookies.  And by “another Coke Zero,” I mean that we were getting full cans of soft drinks.

On the flight back, by comparison, the stewardesses were very perfunctory and business-like—again, not mean, just not very friendly.  We received miserly drinks portions, and they hawked us on an American Airlines credit card at the end of the flight.  Granted, that latter part came from corporate, and I’m sure they hate having to read ad copy during the flight.  Regardless, I was happy for the drink and the pretzels.

But what about Indianapolis itself?  My brother and his wife (note:  they were legally wed back in September, and this weekend was the big splashy “for fun” wedding) live in a very cool brownstone-style walkup smack in the historic district of downtown Indiana.  Their house includes three stories and a finished basement, and it shares a wall with their neighbors.  It’s a massive house, and while I wouldn’t like schlepping two flights of stairs to the master bedroom, the verticality of the historic home is impressive.  The neighborhood looks like a tightly-packed suburb, but it’s smack in the middle of downtown Indianapolis and every house is distinct (and most of them are beautiful).

The wedding itself was sheer swank, which doesn’t surprise me too much given my sister-in-law’s lavishly bourgeois tastes.  There was the obligatory cocktail hour (translation:  camp next to the kitchen door so you can pounce upon the waiters when they finally bring another tray of food, then try to kill time until the real meal is served), followed by a delicious dinner.  The highlight of that meal was the stuffed salmon, which had some kind of amazing breading on top of it.

Needless to say, I went into the weekend a porker, and have come out even portlier than before.  I’m trying to live up to the title of this blog, naturally.

My one job on the day of the wedding was to bring my brother’s dog, Joanie, to the venue, as well as his wife’s miniature Dachshund, Charles.  Charles had a little tuxedo, and Joanie wore a collar with pearls.  The dogs weren’t allowed in the manor, and the photographers were running behind, so we stayed warm in my brother’s old-school Honda CR-V.  It was snowing the day of the wedding, but not sticking.  Still, it was bitterly cold, and I was glad when we could get the dog’s photographed.  I had to run them back to my brother’s place, then rush back to arrive in time for the ceremony.

Earlier in the day, my sister-in-law’s father picked up Jimmy John’s for the ladies who spent entirely too long gussying up at the venue.  I’ll never understand why the girls have to arrive so early the day of the wedding.  Even with all the elaborate makeup and coiffure, I always hear the same thing:  “I’ve been here since [insanely early in the morning] and have basically been sitting around for six hours.”  Is there a way to streamline the process?  Is it a feminine power move—the bride knows she has her harpies captive to her capricious whims, and can therefore inconvenience them maximally?  Ladies, please weigh in on the inefficiency of the bridal party wedding day experience.

Anyway, there was one sandwich left.  I snuck it into my coat pocket and kept it there for the duration of the (short) ceremony, but had fun pulling it out beforehand to show my younger brother and my cousins, who got a kick out of the idea that I’d be sneaking bites of a submarine sandwich during a wedding (to be clear, I did not, but it was tempting).

Sandwich-related shenanigans aside, it was a good wedding.  My niece and nephews danced until they dropped, and we all enjoyed a massive brunch Sunday before going our separate ways (as if we needed more food—ha!).

And now I’m back here in Lamar, plowing through life as usual.  I’m looking forward, though, to a return to Indianapolis, and letting my brother feed me delicious, high-end foods.


P.S.—Murphy stayed in Fort Mill, South Carolina with a friend, who also graciously took me to and picked me up from the airport in Charlotte.  Murphy was also living the high-life:  treats, sofas, and a fenced in backyard full of squirrels and wild rabbits to chase.  She also had three canine pals to loaf around with, and she only tried eating one of them once (in a dispute over a frozen piece of broccoli).


45 thoughts on “Indianapolis Interim

  1. Glad you enjoyed yourself, Port. I still can’t believe that someone put clothes on a dog though. Each to their own, I guess. 🙂

    I get bored with flying as well. I haven’t flown for a while but when I did, I used to drink myself silly before I got on the plane knowing that I’d fall asleep when I was on it. Flying – from checking in to boarding to flying and checking out again – is one of the most tedious things you can do. Way too much waiting around and it’s not as if you have much room to stretch your legs when you’re on the ruddy thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, well, the “tuxedo” was a little collar that had a tuxedo-looking piece of fabric dangling down from it. It worked pretty well, though!

      I agree—it’s tedious. Fortunately, I am good at entertaining myself, and I was able to get some work done waiting for my flights. I’m also the paranoid type who arrives far too early to the airport.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Re: the TSA. I think I have the record. I got dropped off at the Kearney, NE airport about 30 minutes before flight time (give me a break: it was an 0645 flight and I live an hour away). In any case, I walked into the terminal and down the Kabuki Theater lane, the lead agent looked up and said, “Good morning, Mr. Christianson.”

    You are correct, smaller airports are far more personable, although desperately short on bars, not that they don’t get the job done, but they have enough time to be reasonable about it. Although I’ve also had pretty fun ones in Phillidelphia. One of the more fun ones was at DFW when a senior TSA agent, ended up joining me for dinner at Friday’s. Normally I am a suspicious type, but the joint was packed, and we had a good conversation. And if you’re really lucky, you might even get a Texan Stewardess (or whatever they’re called in these enlightened times).

    Ponty, like most Britons, fails to realize that we fly where they take trains. It still takes 3 days (if you’re lucky) to cross America by train, whereas anything domestic is doable in one (sometimes long) day. But then, last I looked, to fly from London Heathrow to Norwich, was two flights taking 8 hours, no wonder they take the train, even if they aren’t as nice as ours.

    Oh, and yeah, I love Naptown, spent many happy days (and even better nights) there in my wasted youth. Too bad its crime is now on Chicago levels, but electing Dems does that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh I get your cross country journeys by air and I understand the convenience. If Tina and I lived there, we’d drive though, just as we would for long distance trips here. Tina’s scared of flying and I find it boring which is perfect because I love driving.

      As for small airports, we have a few here and I haven’t found the personal touch in any of them. I think that’s mostly because we’re a grumpy lot and find saccharine pleasantries nauseating. 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Actually our preference too, and has been since before World War II, but there is a considerable difference between 80 or so mph and 600, even considering the lost motion on both ends. Now if AA didn’t think Dallas and/or Chicago was on the way between Kearney and Philadelphia…

        Liked by 2 people

      • I would love to drive across the United States, but it does take about a week if you’re really booking it (probably a bit shorter if you’re REALLY booking it, and have no regard for sleep depravation and the safe operation of a motor vehicle).

        Sorry to hear you Brits don’t appreciate small talk and banter. The cashier at The Piggly Wiggly will tell you her whole life story if you ask the right questions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Finally catching up on all of these excellent comments. I love your Kearney story. That was roughly my experience in Charlotte, though with not quite that degree of personal touch.

      I love flying out of small regional airports (other than dashing to reach connecting flights) for that reason. You can breeze right through security and aren’t hassled too much.

      What did you and the TSA agent discuss at the airport Friday’s? I think we’re supposed to call stewardesses “flight attendants” now, but I use both.

      Yeah, we can drive and take trains here, but for super long distances, neither are feasible for different reasons. I much prefer driving if possible, and have driven twelve hours before in a single stretch (and longer, once, when I was much younger). But the English mind cannot perhaps conceive of how HUGE America is. Ponty, et. al., can pop on over to the opposite end of the country in a brisk afternoon stroll (kidding, kidding—hyperbole to prove a point). We need massive metal tubes with wings if we want to do the same.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Not much of any import. In fact, I don’t remember.

        Indeed, I remember Jess, being proud they had driven two hours straight, of course I reminded her that my local airport was three away.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The nosh sounded great and it sounds like you had a fun time. I would hate the travelling though. I haven’t been to London for about fifteen years but would love to go just to trundle round the British Museum again or The Tate gallery and even though I could get a train from a nearby station that would take me straight to Paddington the thought of negotiating the underground gives me the vapours. I am such a stay at home these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You would have loved the food, Alys. I think it would have lived up to your exacting standards. There was certainly a LOT of it. Hard to go back to frozen pizza and spaghetti after all that.

      I’ve become a homebody, too, but a trip down to London might be rejuvenating and exciting for you, too. I would love to see the British Museum and the Tate.

      Liked by 2 people

      • In the area of museums, there’s none better than the museums in New York. None better. Look up the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Natural History (every school kids favorite – they have dinosaurs, lol!), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and also take a look at The New York Public Library (main).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Audre, Audre, the best museums and art galleries are in London. There is no equivalent of The British Museum or The V and A anywhere and the Natural History Museum is wall to wall dinosaurs if that is your heart’s desire. For art The Tate, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery are all long standing insitutions housing collections second to none. You dearest Americans, bless your hearts can’t do art and history the way we can in stunning buildings which are historical artefacts in their own right. All the above mentioned institutions are free of charge to visitors.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re wrong, but I love you anyway. Our big museums are free as well – but each doorway has a small box for donations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Love you too but come on, fifteen hundred years of history (at least) compared to a couple of hundred? Show me a building anywhere in the States that can compare to the least of our great cathedrals which are works of art in themselves. I would like to see Thomas Jefferson’s house in Virginia though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Monticello is pretty cool. Of course, I write that, and I’ve never been there myself!

        The only way to resolve this Battle of the Museums is for me to undertake a personal tour of both nation’s institutions. I’m very pro-American, but I’m also an unabashed Anglophile, with a Romanticists love for all things European (well, except the democratic socialism and the utter lack of national defense).

        I shall render my judgment… probably twenty years from now, when I have both the means and free time to undertake such a tour! : D


  4. Neo, doesn’t America have huge connecting roads from one compass point to the next? I hear there are some great driving roads thousands of miles long.

    We’d love to take those but after watching The Hitcher the other day, I don’t think we’ll be picking anyone up! 😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

      • Scenery or no scenery, I like it. I like wide open plains, which I hear you see a lot of in Nebraska and I love countryside drives. A nice mixture of the two would do me fine. As I said, if we ever make it there, I’ll rent a hire car and drive everywhere. We’d probably go to Norway first though; to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road in a country that sees little traffic.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Or maybe producers are more interested in a quick buck than given the audience some credit.

    Anyway, off for the night. Dentist tomorrow. Nite nite. 💤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ‘Sorry to hear you Brits don’t appreciate small talk and banter.’

    Oh we do. It’s just the ‘have a nice day’ brigade. Thankfully, we don’t get that over here and it’s good we don’t. When faced with countless delays and terrible service, the last thing you want to be told is to have a nice day. It’s the kind of thing that’ll send you over the edge. Or maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a good film too. 🙂

    Just submitted a piece to TCW about the Lia Thomas, Emily Bridges insanity. Also, a couple of polls on one of our radio stations where the majority of voters say that men can get pregnant and women can have penises. We’re living in hell, mate, so it’s good that I get occasion to write the odd movie/game review.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s one of the reasons I decided not to teach after I’d qualified. Like you said the other day, I call a spade a spade and I don’t pander to other people’s neuroses.

        Just got an email back from Kathy – it’s going up tomorrow or Friday. Some people will probably accuse me of being transphobic (the last and only refuge from those who have forgotten what debate is) because I refuse to refer to men dressed as women as ‘she’ or ‘her’. So be it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Looking forward to reading it. They’re going to call you names regardless; “transphobic” is probably the least bad. Yes, I’m proudly against indulging grown people in their delusions. Wear it like a badge of honor, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

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