Catharine Hamm would like to personally apologize to the newlyweds whose wedding video includes the voice of some guy having a meltdown over his phone charger. No, it wasn't Hamm's fault; she didn't even know the guy.
Hamm, who is 59 and lives in Los Angeles, was leaving an Ohio hotel Saturday night while a wedding was wrapping up in the atrium below. The newlyweds were taking their walk down the aisle for the first time as a Mr. and Mrs. just as two very large guys were entering the hotel lobby with golf bags slung over their shoulders. One of them began shouting in a booming voice, "Goddammit, I left my phone charger in the car."
Acting on reflex, Hamm put her finger to her lips and gave the guy a "Shhhh." She explained to him in a stage whisper, "There's a wedding going on."
What happened next shocked her. The man got in her face and physically brushed her finger away from her lips and shouted even louder, "Dammit, you don't shush me. That wedding is over."
The guy was probably 18 inches taller and definitely outweighed her. A good friend's "you-don't-always-have-to-engage" advice leapt to her mind. "But mostly, I was afraid. I was afraid to speak to him again; I admit it," she told The Huffington Post. "I am a grandmother who looks like a grandmother and this guy saw someone [old] that he could dismiss and swat away."
"I walked away," she told The Huffington Post, "and now a bride has on her wedding video the voice of some guy having a meltdown about a phone charger." When Hamm posted the encounter on Facebook, she included the hashtags #CowardMe, #PissedOffFormerMotheroftheBride, #BigGuysWhoCanSquashYouLikeABug.
Two days later, the incident was still on Hamm's mind and she was plagued by a bad case of the "should haves, could haves."
"My stepdaughter was married two years ago in a hotel setting, so I understand that there is going to be a certain amount of ambient noise that can't be controlled. But this guy knew there was a wedding going on and just didn't care," she said. "I know how much planning goes into an event like this, you spend all this time, all this money ... you don't want someone's voice shouting in anger about his phone charger in the background."
Jerks will always be jerks and Hamm notes that she "can't be the policeman of the world's manners," but still she says she is angry at herself for not doing more. The incident wasn't within earshot of the hotel desk nor did she complain to the desk after. She headed out the door and to the waiting car; she left.
"I walked away. I said nothing. And that doesn't feel good to me," she said.
Readers, we promised her we would open this up for discussion. What would you have done? And do you think her friend's "you-don't-always-have-to-engage" advice was spot on?