Monday, November 17, 2008

wedding chronicles, part I

I have been bestowed with the grand honor of being my friend's "MATRON OF HONOR."

Not that I need to dissect the atrocities of this particular appellation, but I think I will anyway because it's my blog, and I said so. A "matron" is not a fucking fancy 25 year old woman with a tattooed ass and colorful sexual history. A "matron" is the dumpy old battle axe who runs the nurses' ward at an army hospital, okay? She's overstarched, undersexed, and never plucks the weird fuzzy hairs from her chin. She's NOT ME.

Okay, so now that's out of the way, I suppose must protect the identities of the parties involved (even the guilty ones), so let's called the bride.......Errrrr......Ummmm.......The Bride, I guess. That'll work.

So The Bride has been seeing this nice nice man. We'll call him The Groom. The Groom, from what I can tell, is a prince. The first time I met him, he bought me an enormous dinner, and then he ordered every dessert on the menu for me, The Bride, and The Bride's respectfully titled MAID of honor, errr, The Maid, to share. He then chivalrously excused himself for a smoke (okay, ew) while we three little piggies gorged ourselves on sundry calorie-laden delights.

So I like The Groom. The Groom can stay. He even likes her fucking cat! This cat is a piss monster who pisses in her BED, shits right beSIDE the litter box, and takes every opportunity to snag your favorite new sweater with his wretched little claws. And hey, if you're reading this, you probably know - I am a cat lady. If I don't like a cat, that cat is guaranteed to be a first-class asshole. I attribute his ability to like the cat to an already threadbare wardrobe and what must be the most underdeveloped sense of smell ever.

Okay, so they got engaged. Cool. Nobody saw that coming, but great. I had often worried for The Bride because she sometimes seemed rather unhappy and lonely. This is not to say, mind you, that the lack of a man makes one unhappy and lonely, but when one wants a man but remains monogamously entangled with an incontinent cat, well.........unhappy and lonely, yeah.

So she tells me they have to get married sort of quickly, for some rather sad family reasons that I won't include. "How quickly," I asked. "Well," she replied, one fine September day, "in December, before Christmas."

So, she tells me, she's already booked the venue - it's at a local fancy-pants place. At - get ready for it - At. Eight. Thirty. Eh. Em.

What the fuck?

"Well," she continued, oblivious to the fact that that is fucking WEIRD, "it was either 8:30 a.m. or 8 o'clock at night, and I was not gonna do that."

"Uh huh," I nodded, as I thought she had finally gone totally fucking crackers. Of course she wouldn't want to have it that late, and save money, because nobody wants dinner or anything that late - serve your wedding cake, some coffee, and everybody goes to bed. Prohibitively uncomplicated and affordable, I totally agree.

I politely steered the conversation to the details of planning - a justice of the peace, or a minister? Justice of the peace. How many guests? Maybe 30ish. What about your hair? "Oh, I'll do it."

"What?!" I shrieked, unable to mask my fright.

"Well, I figured I can do it, but anyway Mom'll be there, and you'll be there, and my cousin who used to do hair....." As she prattled on about this family-reunion homemade hair nightmare in the making, I imagined myself at eight-forty eh em in the bathroom of the aforementioned fancy-pants resort, with a tearful bride-to-be with something like the illegitimate two-headed child of a pineapple and a french twist spackled to her head with dollar-store hairspray. This, I told myself, THIS, is Just Too Damn Much. I was NOT gonna deal with that clusterfuck when, not IF, WHEN it happened. Because it would.

So in an outburst purely driven by instincts of self-preservation, I offered, "How about if my wedding present to you is that I pay to get your hair done?"

"Oh! Well! We can see about that."

We discussed a few details, who does her hair, how to get in touch with him, and how likely is it that we can get this guy anydamnwhere by 7 am to do her hair. I suggested a coke binge the night before, so he'd actually still be awake and have no idea how early he was up and working.

We pretty much left it at that. Next order of business: an ickle celebration of sorts? Sure, she's having a family-only wedding pretty much, but she deserves to have a little girls' night out with her work buddies, some informal cocktails at the local bar or something. So I suggested as much - would she like to ask around the office and pick a Friday they could all go out for drinks? I'd be happy to send out some emails and organize. What followed can only be characterized as a bridezilla moment -

"Actually, yeah, you can throw me a shower. And we can have it here*; they have a new party room you can rent."

What? Who can rent? I looked wildly around, confident that some Rich Best Friend had walked up and joined the conversation, unbeknownst to me. Nobody to the left. Nobody to the right. Behind? Nope. Fuck!

Wretchedly, I mumbled, "Uhhhh....heh-heh....yeah. We'll see......"

Some of you may not know - a formal fancy shower is NOT something you invite people to if they aren't invited to the wedding. Showers suggest gifts, and you should NEVER mix uninvited guests with compulsory gift-giving. So basically what she was asking me to do was the worst breach of etiquette known to matrimony.

A week or so later, The Bride and I traveled to a dress shop to pick out a shiny, ill-fitting, matronly monstrosity to wear to in her wedding. The dress we settled on was actually not unutterably foul, so I thought perhaps she had regained a measure of her sanity since we last talked wedding. I gathered all my courage and began, "So about the shower thing.......Look, Bride, there's just no way I can afford to have it at a restaurant. I'd be more than happy to have it at your place and cook, or someone else's if that's too much for you to worry about, but I really just can't do it at a restaurant." I waited for her to graciously say, "Oh, of course! I totally understand, no worries."

I'm still waiting.

What she actually said was, "Oh, hon, don't worry about it. People will chip in, and Mom gave me a credit card to help cover expenses." Knowing all was now officially lost, I drooped in defeat, and my credit cards trembled with fear. Stay tuned.

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* "here" refers to the somewhat pricey seafood restaurant where this all went down.

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