Tuesday, August 5, 2008
"I Don't Know How the Meatballs Showed Up"
Whenever you think you've got it bad, it's helpful to talk to people who have it worse. To wit, I was talking to my friend M, who, through no fault of her own, leads an especially zany life. (It may be occasionally exasperating for her, but it's endlessly entertaining for the rest of us.) While I was experiencing the protective, parental-ish side of Lollapolooza this weekend, she was doing her most recent turn as a bridesmaid.
I'm kind of a connoisseur of weddings. I've experienced a Taiwanese/Jewish wedding, a Wiccan wedding during which the attendants performed a circular-type dance as a part of the ceremony, and a more standard-issue wedding, after which the groom--whom I was meeting for the first time and who was standing next to his beaming bride and my beau at the time--hugged me, squeezed my ass, and observed that I appeared to work out. (To which my response was, inexplicably, "Awww, thanks! I've got this exercise video. . . ."). And for sheer tackiness, I cherish the wedding I attended once that featured the bride's extended family stuffing food from the buffet into their purses. The thing is, I generally love how weddings reveal and encapsulate so much about the people planning them, as well as their most horrifying relations. Everybody has those, of course: the great aunt who, in a stage whisper, inquires whether that woman is the one cheating on her husband; the cousin who gets drunk and makes embarrassing speeches; the uncle who hits on all the bridesmaids.
It was perhaps a sign of some sort that the wedding M was to attend was at a mall, and the reception was at a pizza place. The scheduled wedding-party appointment for acrylic nails was also foreboding. I expected her to have stories. But the spectacle of M's weekend makes any of my prior experiences look classy and tame by comparison.
It started with the bride's dress, which had fit her a week earlier but suddenly didn't on the day of the wedding. A panicked bridal party rushed through the mall prior to the ceremony in order to locate appropriate undergarments. It didn't help that the bride was a larger size than is customarily available off the rack, but somehow, they found something that they could make work. Then, the groom's mother showed up for the wedding in a t-shirt and cut-off shorts, and one of the groomsmen didn't show at all. During the ceremony itself, the bride's sister threatened the groom in front of the minister and the congregation (perhaps wisely, the minister omitted the part about "if anyone here knows any reason..."). Finally, the reception hit a snag, because, as it turned out, the groom forgot to order the food (about which M observed, "Someone pulled together some iceberg lettuce, and I don't know how the meatballs showed up.").
In short, M has participated in the ultimate wedding horror show. No one, not Jerry Springer, not Hollywood, could possibly compete with that travesty. I only hope--probably against all reason and logic--that it isn't an omen of things to come for the couple.