Monday, November 10, 2008

It's My Party And I'll Cry (or Hopefully, Decline to Cry) If I Want To

I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be A Positive Post! The kind of post that normal carefree radiant brides post all the time on their normal happy blogs. About their dress! Their shoes! Their venue!

I, purveyor of so much wedding rage, will hereby attempt to be like A Normal Bride. Yes, I've tried this before, but I am feeling particularly confident that this time, I can do this!

Let's begin, shall we?

I got home from work today and checked the mail (secretly wishing that a new "Self" magazine might be inside, in the related hope that if it arrived, it would inspire me to get my (Lazy) Self to the gym). As I pulled the mail out of the box, something in the stack caught my eye. What was peeking out at me? No, not "Self" (damn you, Conde Nast!), but a lovely deep purple-colored envelope, addressed to yours truly.

I LOVE getting mail. I especially love getting mail in colored envelopes. Because bills do not come in colored envelopes. And requests from my alma mater boldly soliciting donations (from someone who simultaneously is continuing to pay for said education each month) do not come in pretty purple envelopes. Only invitations, cards, and thank you notes come in colored envelopes.

I ripped open the poor defenseless little envelope quicker than its whiter, more financially fulfilling sister which contained my stimulus check just days earlier.


It was my Shower Invitation! And honestly, I love it! It's very cute and modern - exactly like something I would have picked out myself. And it even carries through my tree branch theme. (Which, if we get down to it, is not actually a "theme", but more a "symbol" of the fact that I am getting married in the dead of winter and well, nothing is flowering, so all we have left are sad naked branches. But I prefer to think of it more as the simple and organic elegance of the constant change of life and what will soon flourish, rather than...well, a dead tree.)

Anyway, dead tree as a symbol of my impending nuptials aside, I was very excited about the Wedding Shower Invites!

I immediately called my Sister-In-Law (that would be my Brother's Wife), who I knew was responsible for picking out the invites, to thank her profusely for not picking something with wedding bells, wedding dress and/or a house of worship paired with rhyming of any sort. And then I sat down at my computer to type this post. Which is POSITIVE. And NORMAL. And focusing on HOW MUCH I LIKE THE INVITES.

This post is not, I repeat, NOT going to be about the fact that I am a little STRESSED ABOUT MY SHOWER. BECAUSE I AM CLEARLY NOT STRESSED ABOUT MY SHOWER.

This post will NOT quickly degrade into a laundry list of the reasons that I'm extremely apprehensive about the shower and/or why it has been a lightning rod for controversy over the past few months in my household (and by household, I mean two bedroom apartment in Baltimore shared with Mr F).

Indeed looking at my lovely invitation certainly did NOT remind me that the shower itself is likely going to be me, my fabulous matrons of honor, one or two friends who live nearby in New York and its immediately surrounding areas and FIFTEEN of my Mother's friends and TWENTY-FIVE of my future-mother-in-law's friends (not a single one of whom I've met). THIS POST WILL NOT FOCUS ON THAT.

[Awkward silence.]

Or maybe the post won't "focus" on the apprehension "per se," but perhaps it might just dabble in it. Just an itty bitty mention of some less-than-positive feelings, in addition and certainly secondary to, the excitement of the invitation. Just a toe in the shower water, really.

[More silence.]

I think the cat is out of the bag.


There, I said it.

First of all, I feel badly that the burden is on my bridesmaids to plan (and pay for!) this party which is really just an opportunity for my Mom and FMIL to show me off like some sort of show pony and to hang out with their friends.

To be clear, it's not that I don't like show ponies, or non-show ponies for that matter, but the idea of making small talk with hordes (throngs, really) of women who are tennis partners and co-workers of The Moms makes me feel somewhat queasy even in theory (so I have strong concerns about the reality of this event). Three hours of being asked how the wedding planning is going, when are we going to start "trying", and asking me to explain just once more why I'm a lawyer who doesn't practice law, is enough to make me scope out a vineyard, crawl inside a barrel of fermenting Cabernet, and come out, pink and puckered, three months later. (If you think this sounds suspiciously like my hibernation plan, then you would be right.)

Moreover, I'm somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I will have few to no friends at my shower. Although I know in theory I shouldn't be embarassed because my friends live literally across the country (and the shower is a good four hours away from where I even live) and as a result, not everyone can make the trip for both the Shower and then the Bachelorette a month later (and I very clearly conveyed that my preference was attendance at the Bachelorette), none of those very logical reasons comfort me. Instead I am practicing responses to the following questions "are any of your friends coming?" and "Was it just too far for your friends to come to your shower?". As such, I am less-than-giddy about the Shower.

But I suppose that only makes sense, right? This isn't supposed to be fun. Or if it was, why wouldn't they call it the Wedding Shower Party so as to indicate that this is indeed, a party, and thus, by its very definition, intended to be fun? There is the Bachelorette Party (intended to be fun), the Engagement Party (intended to be fun) and hell, even the Wedding Party (damn well better be fun or I'm finding new friends).

Wedding Shower is just so...sterile. Rather than frivolous enjoyment, it seems to be more of a hygiene-focused event. I mean come on, couldn't it least be Wedding Bath? (Conjuring up images of relaxing scented candles, whirlpool jets, soothing music and a good book.)

But no, it's just the Wedding Shower.

Which is why, when asked by my bridesmaids what I "wanted" at my shower, the only thing I requested (and I swear on all that is holy that this is true), was to be "showered" with cocktails. Because I can't deal with fifty menopausal women without a libation.

Umbrella optional.


Not Your Average Belle said...

It could be worse! Your wedding shower, like mine, could have been planned by your future mother in law and her friends and ONLY them. Mine isn't even going to have cocktails and it's being held at a church. UGH. Regardless, I feel the same way you do!

ES123 said...

At least you have far-away friends! Don't get me wrong, I love my friends, but there aren't that many of them. I may have the smallest shower/bachelorette parties of all time.

-julia said...

I feel your lawyer-not-practicing pain!

I was recently admitted to the bar, and have yet to find a job in this freaking fabulous market.

Autumn Witt Boyd to be said...

Oh my gosh you poor thing! At least you'll have a handful of friends and bridesmaids in attendance. My four bridesmaids (two are sisters) live all over the place and likely won't make it to any wedding events other than the wedding itself (yep, that's right, probably not even my bachelorette party). But you know what? That's ok. I'd rather they be happy and not stressed out by overspending on pre-wedding events when they arrive at the actual wedding that they have a great time. And I'll make sure to carve out time to spend with them then. And NOT with my mother and FMIL's friends!!

On a related note, I knew hardly anyone at our engagement party, which was thrown by my FMIL's friends, and the average age was 65. Not one of my friends was invited, and only 2 or 3 of FI's friends. It was overwhelming and a lot of small talk, but then it was over and it was fine. Actually everyone was very sweet and gushy, not prying (maybe my FMIL's friends are unusual?).

Have a cocktail with my name on it :)

Sezzy said...

If it's a morning occasion, I strongly suggest easy mimosas with the cheapish "sparkling wine" and grape juice. It's amazing how downing merely 9 or 10 of these can brighten your outlook. It certainly saved me from the panic of speaking about my two best friends in front of their grandparents and a bunch of other people I didn't know!

Sezzy said...

By grape, above, I meant orange. Clearly I need one of these mimosas this morning...

Capegirl said...

Hey girls as one who has been through this let me tell you in the end it is all about you-

Presents-some hideous-some marvelous. Moms want to have fun too. Just remember they mean well.

Don't freak over the wedding-its over in a minute and things go wrong but who cares? My husband was 1/2 late-I was there waiting.