J and L are married.
It was a beautiful ceremony that recognized their love for each other, their place in their community, and the privilege that marriage is. It was moving, tasteful, and meaningful. As the parents of the groom, we were embraced by J and L’s community of friends, made to feel at home among them, supported, and left with a feeling that we too were part of their lives.
Every wedding seems to have its exciting bit that will, along with all of the other important pieces, make it especially memorable. For us, this one will involve the cab rides (or lack there of).
We were asked to arrive at the wedding venue a half hour before it was to begin. Already on Thursday, we had asked the desk to reserve cabs for us to get from the hotel to Stern Grove, which they said they would be glad to do while telling us that the cab system in San Francisco is more than a little bit broken. We agreed to be ready in the lobby by 5:00 pm.
Excited about the day, we got to the lobby at 4:45, to find the grandparents already there and ready to go. No sign of M&J. The lady at the desk called the cab company. At 5:05 there was still no cab, and no M&J. We are not concerned yet. At 5:10, my wife, J decides to forgo the notion that M&J are adults and goes to their room to see what’s up. Turns out the clock in their room was wrong and they thought they had lots of time. They got ready fast.
At 5:20 the hotel desk lady is getting agitated. She goes to the curb, hoping to wave down a passing cab and then returns, asking us to watch the desk as she runs down to the corner to try a busier street. The first ordered cab finally arrives and we bundle the grandparents into it. The driver is not sure where the destination is. We send them off just as the concierge is successful at waving down another cab.
We arrive, slightly stressed, five minutes ahead of the grandparents (sigh of relief to see them) and on time, almost, to see the couple married.
After a very special time, we are ready to leave and so are the other guests. Multiple phone calls were made, many promises from cab companies were heard, but no cabs appear. Finally, one car shows up at the bottom of the hill, grandparents were given priority and they were gone. (Sigh of relief, they got a ride).
After another half hour wait, the rest of the group, including us, decide we’d have more luck at the top of the hill. More phone calls, more promises, still no cabs. We had people on three corners of the busy intersection trying to hail cabs, but there were none available. Just when we were ready to take the next bus to a more populated area where cabs might be more plentiful, we finally get a car to stop. It was a more classy cab, prepaid by another guest, but he graciously gave it to us. Thank you DR Held!
We left, warmed by the warmth of the cab, appreciative of the kindness of J & L’s friends and a little bit wiser about city living.