Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You've Got a Friend (Who's Worse Off Than You Are)

Apologies for my lack of posting. Believe it or not, I've actually got a friend in town! She is one of my close friends from my previous home of the city of San Diego and thus, flexing my creative muscle, we shall call her "Miss San Diego." (This conjures a variety of mental pictures for me, not least of which is a beauty queen with a serious Mystic Tan problem and a Coors Light permanently adhered to her right hand, which isn't necessarily accurate, but I think we all know that life isn't especially fair. And it could be worse - she could be holding a Miller Light.)

Anyway, having a friend in town may not sound like a particularly interesting or significant feat to most of you, but having a friend visit is a wonderful thing for someone who moved across the country for their significant other and has spent their days toiling away planning a wedding instead of making friends. (Because despite my insistence, Mr. F assures me that the girls on "The Hills" are not actually my friends. I'm not sure if this is because they're idiots or because they don't know me - but either way - not my friends.) Anyway, having Miss SD in town has led me to some nuptial conclusions.

Conclusion #1: Planning a wedding is not as shiteous if you have friends in the same zip code.

I just realized that planning my wedding would probably be a whole heck of a lot better if I had a good friend who lived nearby. Certainly, it wouldn't stop my parents from being driver and navigator on the crazy train, but I think that it would nicely balance out the highs and lows of wedding planning (to clarify, this would mean actually creating "highs" and not just experiencing "lows") so that looking for invitations or auditioning DJ's would be fun (or at least fun(ny)), even if in the interim I had to argue with my parents about the guest list or my in-laws about whether I should wear my wedding dress to both of my wedding receptions (more on that later).

How did I come to this conclusion?

Saturday morning there is a torrential downpour (we shall call her "Hanna") and Miss San Diego and I decide to go try on my wedding dress for her. The bridal salon is also where I'm ordering the bridesmaid dresses from, so Miss SD decides we will also try on a bunch of dresses to try to figure out which she likes best (I gave my girls a bunch of styles and they get to pick whatever they like best to wear).

And then Miss SD says to the sales assistant "Do you have any dresses in the color that we're ordering them in so we can see what it looks like next to the wedding dress?" Great idea, Miss SD!! To this the sales assistant looks distraught. "Mmmm, I can look through the racks, but I don't think so." While Miss SD is modeling her dresses for me and we analyze the pros and cons of the top two, the salesgirl returns and says that we're out of luck. No burgundy color dresses to be found. She comes back with a swatch of color the size of a postage stamp and offers up the chance for me to hold it up to my wedding dress. A nice effort, but not what we had in mind. At which point she says slowly, "You know, I might have a dress in with some of the stock in the basement. Let me check."

She returns ten minutes later - victorious! She is holding a lovely satin burgundy dress. Although as I look closer at the dress, I realize it looks...small. Miss SD and I decide we love the color (which is good since I've already told everyone to order in this color), and Miss SD, ever game, takes the dress into the dressing room. She emerges a few minutes later wearing a dress that is clearly not intended for anyone with boobs. Or hips. Or a butt. Or a high school diploma.

A group of salesgirls and the salon's owner are all peering around the corner at her and seem to be having a discussion amongst themselves as Miss SD stands in the middle of the salon, open to all types of public humiliation. At which point, the owner of the salon says quite carefully, "Uhmm, I think that dress may actually be a junior bridesmaids dress." As in, a dress intended for a girl aged 8 to 9 years old. Excellent.

But what does Miss SD do? Does she flee to the relative safety of the dressing room to take the frock off upon realizing (actually, confirming) that the dress is something that has no place on the body of a 30-something year old?

No. She marches through the center of the salon and looks back at me, slightly lagging behind, mouth agape, while she shimmys through one of the top bridal salons in Maryland in a junior bridesmaid dress meant for an adolescent. "Well, what are you waiting for? Are you going to put on your wedding dress so we can see how this color looks next to it or what?"

Junior bridesmaid dress on a (sassy) thirty-something-year-old woman. All that's missing is a basket full of rose petals and a garland. I could not even contain my giddiness at the sight before me. A level of hilarity clearly not achieved when one shops alone.

Conclusion #2: No matter how bad your wedding drama is (for example, if you think it's so bad that you have to say....start your own blog about it), someone (*cough* Miss SD *cough*) likely is dealing with worse crapulosity.

It just so happens that Miss SD is getting married as well. Yay! But Miss SD's drama faaaaaaaar out-weighs mine. Boo!

This is not my story to tell, but what I will divulge is that Mr. SD's father seems not to approve of his son getting married at this juncture. (I know! Do people even do that anymore? It's so 19th century Jane Eyre! - Which ok, I didn't read, but strikes me as involving a lot of paternal "I disapprove of your romantic choices as we have a reputation to uphold in the community." And to clarify, Miss SD is not any of the following, which might elicit such disapproval: (1) crack smoker, (2) baby seal poacher, (3) unemployed gold digger or (4) circus clown. (Apologies to any crack smoking circus clowns who I have offended. xoxox.)

But this isn't just a fatherly "I need attention and I'm making a point" type of a situation (see, e.g., pretty much all of my blog posts about my parents). To the contrary, this was full-on borne-out just a week ago when Mr. SD's dad (or Captain Angry, as I will call him) was a no-show at the engagement party and made it abundantly clear that there is a strong possibility that he won't come to the wedding either. Over and out.

You want perspective - there it is. Which brings me to my third point.

Conclusion #3: You are more than likely not the only person keeping Beringer stock way up, because there are many many other women out there who are pushed to the brink by the wedding planning process (and by "brink" I mean "liquor store", where they buy a nice bottle of Prosecco because it's tasty and dry but cheaper than champagne). Translation: like Michael Jackson would say - You Are Not Alone. (Or at least as he would have said it before he stopped really singing and just playing with llamas and whatnot.)

(The earlier point of which by the way, brings me to something I've been thinking for a long time. Do you remember like 4 seasons ago on "The Bachelor" they had Andrew Firestone, who helped run the family vineyard? Do you think the major deciding factor in the selection process involved the fact that many women's modern day Prince Charming is not simply smart and/or rich - but rather, comes with a lifetime supply of free wine as well? Because that's my dream. It truly is.)


Having just spent three days with Miss SD and having waded our way through an unconscionable amout of Nobilo Sauvingon Blanc and evenings before (Jesus help us), vodka tonics (and damn it, their ugly stepsisters - chicken wings and pizza), I realized that I wasn't the only one finding that wedding planning was less utopian fantasy land and more giant black hole, slowly sucking the life (and romance) out of me. Every sentence started with a sip of wine and ended with something like this: "ME TOO!!!"

I hate the fact that what was supposed to be a happy event has caused me so much stress!


I hate asking my in-laws for money and am thinking about just paying for this myself even though I don't really have the money to do so and much prefer a down payment on a house!


I hate the pressure of deciding if letter press invitations are actually important or not!


Thus, realizing that wedding planning is not just the sweet smell of flowers and joyous pre-nuptial perfection for all of us (but rather seems to be brie squares and Bordeaux for a rising number of women), it is my great hope that Miss SD will agree to guest blog about her experience here because I can't do her story justice. (I've asked her numerous times in person, but I'm hoping maybe a more formal invite in writing and with a red carpet and trumpets (it's called imagination, use it) will be more encouraging.)

OH! And I forgot to tell you that Miss SD is a wedding/event planner. So I thought I had anxiety about whether I would be able to live up to expectations? Screw that. Not even close. Try planning a wedding when every person says to you "You're so creative! You always do the greatest events. I can't wait for your wedding - it's going to be soooo amazing."

No pressure there. Unless you count the gravitational pull from the black hole.


Anonymous said...

have you thought of asking miss sd to be a guest blogger on your site?

Anonymous said...

oops, i spoke - er, wrote. er, posted - too soon. what i meant to say was: this is the best blog ever, waking up to a new post by you makes the rest of my day wonderful! given that, i would love to hear from your friend sd. and, hopefully blogging about her shiteous (how does one pronounce this word? shit-E-us? shah-tA-us?) wedding will be therapeutic for her. my nuptial prayers go out to you both...

Anonymous said...

I have the exact opposite problem...my friend is getting married and everything is going just perfect! She is getting everything she wants done on her timeline (except her groom is totally uninvolved to the point he hasn't even come up with a guest list. But she never talks about that with me, making her even more annoying).

Lee said...