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So I went to a wedding in my home town today...

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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 10:34 PM
Original message
So I went to a wedding in my home town today...
Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 10:36 PM by MichiganVote
(Cross-post)

Grand Rapids, Michigan....I haven't been in this town for more than an hour in almost ten years.

And I'm sitting in the Imperial Ballroom of the (SCAmway)Pantlind Hotel wondering what I'm doing here. Its a slow ride into nowhere when you're invited to a wedding as an honorary guest of the bride...but you don't know a damn soul at the party except her.

It's a beautiful room but I wouldn't exactly call it imperial. Sort of an early industrial age cross between wealthy lumber baron motif and the usual pedestrian Americana architecture. The ceiling is nice and you would like the marble fireplace. I'm too ignorant to know what kind of marble it is.

Yet in the midst of the various hues of polyester and silk, the young, fat cheeked children who make the noises no one wants...there is really a make believe museum quality to this DeVos/VanAndel world. The hotel contains scores of paintings and drawings, including a portrait studio (DeJonge) that exhibits portraits of Gingrich, Scalia, Chris Wallace, DeVos and his oh so political wife, Betsy. Gerald Ford look like a junior senator even tho'we all know he is in his 90's now. Needless to say, there were no paintings of the civil rights era or of the periods when women were seeking their rights. In place of suffrage, there is the space shuttle with Christa McAuliffe.

Its easy to grab a glass of wine when you're unknown and wander through what is clearly meant to display a reality of republican industriousness to envy or emulate. Imagine...an entire hotel to host the visual supports needed to sustain an ideology that creates a pictorial history to rival the VanAndel museum down the street.

I know the pretty, young bride was hoping for a style statement by having the wedding and reception in this domain. That's ok, its her day, I tell myself. Yet I find myself wondering, how many of these people really give a crap about this hotel and its identical salads in identical bowls paraded out by people in identical uniforms to guests who look, identical? How many of them are bored? How many wish they could have gone instead to a Polish wedding from the 60's in which mashed potatoes and canned green beans were passed among guests down 30 ft. tables and the brother of the groom always picked the first fight of the evening?

There are three things I always tell my husband you can count on at a wedding. One is the obligatory awful pseudo opera singer who can barely squawk through a proper song or hymn. Another is the one rotten relative that nobody really wants in the room and somebody always hopes they can tell off. The third is the sexily underdressed female who does a parody of herself on the dance floor.
I left before the last one but I spotted her hammering down the open bar booze in preparation for her performance.

I don't know if you're like me but I always feel like I have to measure the bride and groom for staying power at a marriage. How long will they last? Do they really seem passionate about one another? If they couldn't do this thing, this marriage, would they like, die, or something? Sadly, for me, these two fell short and I expect they will be dividing up my gift of martini glasses before two years are out. I hope I'm wrong for their sake.

For those of you who are immigration enthusiasts you'll be happy to know that most of the wait staff were Hispanic. Little did I know that I would rely on my high school Spanish to request after dinner coffee...three times. To my chagrin, no one else seemed to notice. My conversation with a gentleman who had retired from GM was interesting though. He was impressed that there was a brand new Marriott being built across the street. He said that cranes were never seen on the other side of the state and that they were hurting.

I think the saying, 'You can't go home again', is both true and false. You can go home again...you just can't expect to be as blind or ignorant of the facts as you once were. Unless you never leave in the first place. Grand Rapids was a town that at one time had a huge and varied ethnic population. The lower West side was known for having a Polish street here, the Lithuanians live here and the Irish over there. Yet every day of every year, the DeVos/VanAndel reality presents a wholly singular view of this city.

It isn't the immigrants who never assimilated, its the likes of the DeVos family who never quite got it. It's these same people who never understood that their view of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness SHOULD include a sweaty polka band now and then.

Oh and by the way...it cost me $11.75 to park for 2 1/2 hours of indoctrination and so/so food.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-13-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. I stayed in the Amway Grand once
Even spent some time in the Dick DeVos suite. :puke:

To this day, every shower I take helps clean more of that place off of me. I just don't understand how some people can live in such opulence and completly ignore the plight of the less fortunate around them.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-13-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Its a cocktail called Calvinism + Libertarianism
The Islamist extremists aren't the only ones who indoctrinate their children in sets of beliefs that are detrimental to greater good.
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ypsiguy Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-14-06 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Made in China
On an overnight stay at the Amway Grand Plaza last May, I was intrigued to find that all the wrappers that hold the little soaps, sewing kits and shower caps in the room are imprinted with the AMWAY logo on one side and "MADE IN CHINA" on the other. This fact, made into a ten second TV spot, played repeatedly, would effectively end Mr. DeVos' run for Governor.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. LOL, how true it be!
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