Monday, October 13, 2008

He Just Smiled And Gave Me A Vegemite Sandwich

By way of review, my parents and Mr F's parents were both, together, simultaneously (meaning, at the Same Time) in town this weekend. It was Parent-Palooza. Parent-Gate. Moms-and-Dads-a-Ding-Dong. The Parent Trap. Parents Galore. Dueling Parents. You couldn't walk across my apartment without tripping over a parent. I actually opened up my wallet to pay for a bottle of water and pulled out a parent.

The reason for the great New Jersey to Baltimore pilgrimage: the wedding tasting, the Mecca of wedding planning. It only takes the promise of a bite per person of six types of hors d'oeuvres, three salads, eight entrees and a plentitude of crispy crunchy sweet and munchy desserts to drive four Jews from central NJ to the greatness of B'more.

I would love to say I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting. Mr F did. But he can relax and enjoy life. I cannot. All I can say is that this experience certainly reinforced the notion that I am simultaneously exactly like, and also thoroughly appalled by, my parents. Le sigh. How can one escape such a chicken-egg conundrum? (Not to mention avoid the ancillary craving for a chicken salad or cheese omlette?)

We arrived at the venue with Mr F's Parents (who were staying with us) and met Big Hugs the wedding coordinator (who hugged each of us by way of hello) and sat waiting for my parents. Tick tick tick tick. It's funny how even though I know we're slapping down more than twenty grand on just catering alone, I still feel beholden to the chef, the coordinator and every one else who is there. Tick tick tick.

Finally, my Parents show and we proceed to the tasting room, which was really lovely. I had no expectations as to what the "tasting" would be like, since I've never thrown a party for 150 people before. Actually, I take that back. I've never thrown a party for 150 people before that did not involve kegstands. In the private room, they had set a single table just for the seven of us. I was feeling very fabulous.

We discuss napkin choices (who knew I had a choice?) and then the first course comes out. We taste lots of little bite size yum yums. I look over at my father who looks unhappy. This isn't unusual, but I was hoping for best behavior.

His brow wrinkles and he looks around the room, apparently perplexed.

After a few more moments (during which I don't taste anything but instead focus my laser-sharp peripheral vision on my father's knit brow), he turns to Big Hugs, who is sitting to his right.

He asks her, "Aren't we going to taste the wines?"

I'm mortified.

And yet, happy to have wine.

But also so nervous about getting drunk and looking like a lush in front of Big Hugs and the Chef that I barely drink. (Why do I care about this? I don't know.)

This is not so for Mr F. He drinks all 6 glasses of wine that were poured as "tasting" glasses. Mr F is three sheets to the wind.

Similarly, Future-Mother-in-Law is giggling across the table. She too, does not appear to be concerned that her pallet remain sober and cleansed to try and select the right foods. She is drunk.

Future Father-in-Law has turned the wine glass on its side like a rolling pin and is pushing it back and forth on the table. Although silent (as always), he too is pretty certainly drunk (or possibly baking an imaginary cake).

Me, my Mom and my Dad each have almost our entire glasses of wine full in front of us. For we only "tasted." (My Parents have done so because they are wine connoisseurs and don't drink the whole glass of wine; me, because I have a tendency to think all food tastes equally yummy after two glasses of wine, hence the ability to clean out my fridge in a single bound after a happy hour.)

Each progressive course comes and we taste, discuss and select. And then the desserts arrive and a discussion of wedding cake ensues (to have or not to have is apparently the question).

And then finally, we're done. And I pick up the buttery Chardonnay (which apparently we will be serving at the wedding) and chug the whole thing like Gatorade. Touchdown.

Yes, there is more (come on, a weekend with both my Parents and Mr F's Parents? - of course there's more) but no, I will not write about it now. I'm spent and dwelling on the fact that I left 5 perfectly good glasses of Merlot, Cabernet, and Pinot Grigio to be poured down the drain. Or more likely, consumed by the kitchen staff. Good for them.


Shannon said...

I'm hysterical laughing (and internally crying). Your writing and experiences are so spot on!

Katie-did said...

"It only takes the promise of a bite per person of six types of hors d'oeuvres, three salads, eight entrees and a plentitude of crispy crunchy sweet and munchy desserts to drive four Jews from central NJ to the greatness of B'more."

Literally the day before I read this post, a Jewish friend of mine commented that some Jews are inspired to get married just by the promise of tastings. Clearly, this is no joke.

I found your blog when my planning trauma first started. Things got better, but I've been reading your saga like a serial. THANK YOU!