Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right, Here I Am, Stuck in the Middle with You

Table assignments. Saving the best for last, I suppose? Just when you think you've got this whole "wedding thing" all wrapped up, you're left with this doozy.

I led myself to believe I was going to get a free pass on this one. After all the responses were in, I did some quick math, took out a piece of paper and jotted some names down, and WHALA! (Wala?), I was done! I decided tables of twelve were the way to go (why have two extra tables, when that means spending extra cash on two extra centerpieces and table cloths and everything else?). And besides, I like the idea of people sitting at large tables and getting to mingle with more people.

So the math led me to the conclusion that each branch of the wedding pyramid would get 4 tables to seat (that would be me and Mr F together, my parents and Mr F's parents) with likely a little bit of sharing between the three to fill in tables.

As I said, I jotted our tables down in about 15 minutes. I then dashed off an email to the Mothers asking that they pass along their seating arrangements in tables of 12.

Two days later I got my Mom's list.

5 tables. 8 people at a table.

Needless to say, Mom does not follow directions well.

When I casually mentioned to Mom (ok, so maybe it wasn't so casually) that she exceeded her table allotment, she pulled the Ace card.

She cried.

Time out here. Not to be melodramatic, but shouldn't I be the one crying big elephant tears? Shouldn't the bride be having meltdowns and temper tantrums to get my way? Is this like that book "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks (don't judge me for having read it, that's neither here nor there right now) where the Mother is actually the one getting married and not the daughter and it's a giant surprise to the reader and when you finally realize it you're like "Oh my God! It's the MOM!"?

"It's the MOM!"

I'm taking a moment. Hold on.




OK. So anyway, Mom is crying and telling me that she can't combine her tables with other random people because she doesn't want her guests to feel like she doesn't care about them. I'm trying to figure out how seating someone with another person translates into anything other than the statement "Math dictates that only 12 people fit at a table so I am seating you with eleven other people to add up to 12."

More importantly, I'm trying to figure out if the antibiotics I'm on will be rendered impotent if I drink a giant goblet of white wine while on this phone call. The orange bottle doesn't have a little sticker that says "don't drink while on this medicine" but I remember hearing that you should never mix antibiotics with alcohol because they won't work (not the alcohol, the antibiotics...I'm pretty sure the alcohol will work even better).

Oh, did I not mention that I have bronchitis and the wedding is a week away? Yeah, well if you didn't think I was allergic to my wedding before, I think we have indisputable proof now.

Since I can't keep my mouth shut, I ask Mom to explain why I should spend hundreds of extra dollars so that her friends and family don't have to break bread with others' friends and family (mind you, the "other" people we are talking about are Mr F's family and my friends - not exactly strangers off the street. Funny how Mom was all "into" the engagement and melding of families, until of course, her niece has to sit with Future Mother in Law's great aunt.)

At which point, Mom changes tactics and goes back to what a Jewish Mom knows best.

She sighs. And pauses. And then says "You do what you want, E&E." Her barely dried tears are still glimmering on her cheeks (and she declines to wipe them away). I recognize this ploy I know so well and greet it accordingly. Hello, Jewish Guilt! How are you today? I, for one, am doing shitty.

So what do I do? I choose the path of least resistance. Which is, believe it or not, just giving in to Mom. I tell FMIL that she must seat all of her guests at three tables and Mr F and I squeeze all of our guests (and some of FMIL's) at ours.


Or so I thought.

Until Mom gives me a diagram of where she wants her tables to be placed in the reception room.

All by her. At the front of the room. So that all of my friends will be wayyyyy across the room from me.

Keep following the path of least resistance and apparently you end up at the bottom of a lake of quicksand.


keyla said...

ally have to give in all the way? Is your wedding? Can they sit elsewhere? I'm feeling your pain. Hope everything comes out the way YOU like it!

keyla said...

Sorry, I meant: "Do you really have to give in all the way? Is your wedding? Can they sit elsewhere? I'm feeling your pain. Hope everything comes out the way YOU like it!

un-bride said...

Take her people & split one of the tables 3 ways. Buy ear plugs. Screen your calls. And pretend you never saw the layout thing.

Aubergine said...

did some quick math, took out a piece of paper and jotted some names down, and WHALA!

Do you mean 'voila'?

As for mothers, I believe Jewish Guilt is related to Catholic Guilt, in fact they're horrid little sisters, determined to get their own way. Nice but firm is the only way to placate their demands for more sugar.

ChendaBride said...

man, good luck with this. there's probably a middle path here, but it will probably involve more tears. maybe you should move your table to be closer to your friends. she can put her friends wherever she wants. you'll be over in the corner. haha. this is probably not helpful. again good luck.

Globetrottingbride said...

Oboy! This is a toughie. I'd say its way more important for you to be near your friends than for your mom to be near yours. Maybe just tell her it will give her a chance to mingle more going to their tables? Good luck!!

Kristy said...

Oh dear. I'm sorry. And this all a week before the wedding. Isn't that just convenient. Maybe this is wrong of me, but hey - that means only one more week of this frustration!

Hang in there. You're almost married. =)

tallulahbloom said...

The seating plan was the, THE hardest thing at our wedding! Keep strong get better and I hope it is all wonderful in the end.

redframe said...

Oh my word one week only? Where did the time go! I'm so glad you're almost relieved of this awful burden on your shoulders... Sorry that sounds horrible. What I mean is, it's almost over! And then you'll be married and happy and never have to deal with these people... Oh wait, that won't work either?
That's all I got.

Mrs English nee Trini said...

Hang in there! You'll be OK!

I feel your pain though. I get on well with my parents, but the seating plan was officially a nightmare. I really wanted everyone to just sit where the hell they wanted and spare me the drama. But we came to a very satisfactory conclusion in the end, and I have faith (Jewish, Catholic, the similarities are striking) that you will too!

Autumn Witt Boyd to be said...

I have to tell you, I finally stood up to my mother about her invitation list (which I had been asking for since JULY and only got when I told her if I didn't have it by X date, she couldn't invite anyone) and she fussed and such, but she complied with the number I asked her to limit it to and now seems to be over it. This too shall pass.

Your current conundrum is exactly why we're not doing a seating chart. Good luck, it's almost here and then it will be over and hopefully all of your parents will go back to driving you crazy about little things that you can deal with.

lazybride said...

Oh man. oh man oh man oh man. why do people have weddings again?

I'm using your blog as a roadmap of the difficulties I'm sure to face. Thank you for sharing. and for being v. funny.

Marina said...

... I think if I were you I'd be really tempted to just do your own seating arrangement and not even tell your mom about it. And when she discovered it the day of, well, what's she gonna do? And, okay, if she starts crying then at least there'll be other people around to consol her...?

This is probably needlessly mean of me, though.

Karol said...

Voila! :-)

I'm trying to go with long tables in the hopes we won't have this situation. But two Jewish moms means we very likely will.

Sharpiegirl said...

I'm so glad my flaky family can't be bothered to be a part of my wedding plans.
I'm solving the seating issue by having one large long table made out of plywood (to be used for a future swamp house)and people can sit where they want. I'm not assigning seat. If they are sitting next to someone they don't care for who cares. They are all adults and can just suck it up for 20 minutes.

Chrissy said...

Damn it sounds horrible :P
And remembers me of my soon-to-come-seating-arragement-problem...
As I even haven't met my H2B's thousands cousins and aunts I will have a BIG problem ;-)

Jenny Penny said...

OK I just read everything. Every post and I laughed and related to all of it. I am too a Baltimore Bride who hates planning her wedding. My FI is alergic to everything and the whole tux thing was him exactly. My FMIL is just like that and thinks she is crafty (she was a elementry art teacher). I want to meet you this is the best thing I could have read to take all my mind off of my planning and see that someone else feels the same way. I think you are my twin in so many ways and maybe sometime we can meet in Baltimore for a glass of wine and sushi!!!