Last week I googled "the responsibilities of a best man."
It was in preparation for my debut in the role at my brother's wedding later on this year. A lot of it seemed straight forward enough but no matter which site you looked on, they did all emphasise one common theme. The need to be always on hand and available to the groom in your responsibility as best man.
My first test of this was to come sooner than I had expected.
At my brother's stag do last weekend in Marbella I knew a lot of the guests. In fact I knew them all quite well, but they didn't all know each other. I imagine this is one of the main purposes of stag do's. For the wedding guests to get to know each other before the wedding.
Try as I might inevitably this ended up in people breaking up into smaller groups as the day went on. Personally I had no problem with that. But it did leave me in a precarious situation. I was caught between several groups. For the most part everyone got on but it did throw up one interesting conundrum for myself.
At 8pm on Saturday I was starting to get hungry. One of the groups I was with offered me to come get food and I didn't need a second invitation.
After a nice meal I'm walking down the road on the way back to the hotel and who do I bump into only the groom himself.
Unbeknownst to me he had actually gone back to bed for the afternoon and was now ready for dinner.
"You coming for food?"
Without a moment's hesitating I agreed.
People talk about moments of fight of flight in life but this was really only a moment of one option and that was to fly. What am I gonna do, say I just went for dinner with all the others without you?
I could probably eat another starter anyway.
Walking down the road a stark realisation hit me. We would almost invariably completely definitely end up back where I was.
Not more than ten minutes after I left the restaurant I was walking back into it.
"Back again?" The waiter quizzed jokingly having just served me no more than ten minutes previously.
To be honest it wasn't a massive restaurant but I did think it was big enough for him, especially with me being part a group of six, to have forgotten me.
Taking our seats at this point I was just going to fess up but then I thought to myself "if I can eat the soup for starter surely I can find it in myself to eat one more main course as well?"
I owe it to the founders, hell the forefathers of hilarity to order the main course as well.
It was settled.
"Back again?" The waiter repeats looking at me and me only as he comes back over to take our order.
I smile but again don't acknowledge it. At this stage I'm in it as much for my own amusement now. No point walking straight back into a restaurant and ordering a second meal without playing nonchalant about it as well.
To his utter disbelief he takes my order and then as soon as the pen leaves his pad dashes straight back to the kitchen to tell everybody what has just happened. Out of the corner of my eye I can see him pointing, faces looking over counters and lots of people nodding heads.
It's at this point the manager comes over and asks me directly, smiling.
"Weren't you just here?"
Captive to my role, I shake my head sincerely. Dumbfound, she returns to the rest of the waiting staff who are now all beginning to question their sanities. A restaurant in disbelief.
I got through the soup ok and although the lamb shank wasn't the best of choices for a second main course in an hour given its size I did manage to get through that as well without much plight.
For the entire duration the waiter tried desperately for me to fold. Eye contact, smiling, asking me if I was hungry today, but I gave him nothing. We paid the bill took our stuff and left.
Few steps down the road and I had forgot something and had to go back. Of course I went back in and told the waiter what had happened.
To this day I don't think I've ever seen relief like it.
"Thank god. I thought I was losing my mind."