“Wedding Crasher” got a whole new meaning

Berto Gonzalez, Reporter

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Weddings are supposed to be fun right?

I would like to think so, especially if you’re part of the family on either side — Frivolous dancing and inside jokes and sharing an extra special moment with two people you have grown to really care about.

You know what makes the moment that much more special?

Taking solace in the fact that your Dad’s emergency-kit sutures are holding up just enough so you’re not dripping through your glorified bar napkin bandages and onto the wedding guests as you usher them to their assigned seats. Such great moments to cherish. Allow me to take you through the journey of tender memories and plastic pool toys stained by my open wrists in the Mexican sunshine.

I was just a boy of around 11 or 12 years old during the summer of 2004. I was spending a week with my family beachside in San Carlos, Mexico as is annual tradition. There was a special vibe in the air this year considering one of my oldest cousins was getting married on the beach, and I had the privilege to be one of the ushers. As for our journey, the caravan ran about eight or nine hours through the desert landscape of Sonora. The condos are unmistakable when they enter your line of sight as you’re weaving through the bare dirt road approaching our resort of choice. The blue ocean is as pristine and genuine as the year preceding it. It’s a postcard scene if there ever was one. My favorite part of the week, before I discovered lawn chairs and cold beers in the sand, was playing cards in the condos with my fellow underage cousins.

We were gathered on that particular day inside the air conditioning, gathered around the wooden table and chairs, getting our poker faces on. My mother comes in to tell my sister and me that my Dad is about to leave for the airport because he has some business to attend to back in the states. We dart for the door and race to our condo, which is about two or so buildings over. There is a grassy hill in front of the condo that we stay in every year, and at the entry with this back patio is a big plane glass window to the inside sitting room. That day there were a number of inflatable water toys and rafts that the younger tykes liked to drag around for use in the ocean.

You know what happens when pool toys are used in the ocean?

They become slippery.

My sister and I are darting down the hill, rushing through the grass to earn the right of first goodbye hugs. Momentum is tough to counter when you have no full intention of countering it. As such, the bottom of the hill was fast approaching and sure enough, the pool toys didn’t have the wherewithal to scoot out of the way to give me hard tile to create friction under my feet. So, because physics exist, my young feet connected with the slick plastic surface of a Little Mermaid inner tube and flung my body toward the clear barrier of glass. Instinct kicked in, and I braced for impact with my forearms blocking my face. Good news: my cute boyish smile remained intact. Not as good news: I could see the glimmer of white bone through my cut wrist. Silver Linings.

As if the loud crashing bang of my impact didn’t cause enough of a stir, my mother, grandmother and aunt were in the sitting room to witness young me making a grand entrance. Sure enough, there were concerned screams. There were quick cries down to the beach where the rest of my family was. But I couldn’t hear a thing. It was all like I had over-ear, cushioned headphones on and a fixated gaze on both of my wrists as they flowed and streaked blood onto the floor outside and inside the patio. They led me to the master bedroom to soak up the stains and to allow my dad, a licensed surgeon, to assess and analyze what just happened. The crowds of my bloodline (pardon the pun) filed into the room with the same type of cautious concerned look in their eyes as they were watching my dad discuss with my uncle, a plastic surgeon, what some viable options were at this point. They decided on driving me to a medical hut a couple of miles down the road where they sewed me up like a wide eyed teddy bear with a near arterial tear that stretched seven inches down my forearm. Happy Days.

I have always been told that I have an extremely high threshold for pain. I’m not the type of guy to howl and wail and have streaming tears down my cheeks when I end up getting hurt. When I initially crashed through the window, I didn’t give as much as a “Woah, that was loud.” I kept it inside my own head until that little shot of morphine was pierced into my flesh to “numb” the pain. You might as well have sent me straight from Hogwarts the way I was sending curses left and right on that medical bench. Oh, and by the way, I could feel every single stitch that went in and out of my hand and wrists during that one-and-a-half-hour procedure. Oh, and did I mention that I had to shower up, mummify my arms, and slip on a formal Tommy Bahama shirt for the beachside wedding ceremony of my older cousin just two hours after being sewn like a twisted test out of the “Saw” franchise? Cherished moments forever more.

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“Wedding Crasher” got a whole new meaning