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Here Comes The Bride


You should have received the invitations by now, those calligraphied rectangles in cream colored cardstock announcing that some acquaintance of yours is suffering under the tyranny of a bride-to-be – and her mother; the mail that sticks out from all the others because of sheer weight alone announcing that You, the lucky recipient (and family) have been invited to become a part of (cue brass fanfare): Her Special Day.
At least, for the moment, you have ample warning as to which family among your acquaintances to avoid in the coming months. Oh, you may try to invite one of them out for a quiet lunch just to “catch up,” but two minutes into the conversation you will find yourself listening to a manic rant about how surely their little tramp cousin can’t expect them to invite whatever male she happened to sleep with the night before and how ridiculous not to receive some sort of discount on the flowers since you just know they’re going to fill most of the bouquet with that tacky baby’s breath and there are never enough roses…
You read a lot of sentimental stuff about weddings. We just love to picture mother and daughter sharing a sentimental moment in front of the mirror, both smiling dreamily at their reflection together. Pan to the proud father-of-the-bride, eyes glistening, yet not a manly tear falls, as his daughter descends the stairway (people in ranch houses apparently do their marrying elsewhere).
We all know those moments never happen. Because while her daughter is dressing, the mother-of-the-bride is still screaming at the florist over the phone that “cream” and “off-white” are vastly different colors and this hideous tulle will not do and her daughter wedding is ruined because the boutonnieres look like crap. And Daddy is not at his post at the base of the stairs because the tux they ordered for him came with a bow tie and who the hell knows how to tie a bow tie these days and these socks – are they brown or black?
But it won’t matter what anything looks like because the photographer will just slap a diffuser lens on the camera making it look like the wedding occurred just as the fog was rolling in. And that’s fine because the only thing the bride will remember of her wedding day is what is in the pictures.
The thing is, I’ve never heard anyone exclaim, “Oh boy! Myrna’s wedding invitation is here! I’ve been invited!”
People dread weddings, doubly so if you’ve been chosen for the dubious honor of being in the wedding party, a position that is a veritable minefield of traditions and ceremonies for you to trip up on, thereby blowing your friendship to smithereens.
Now don’t get me wrong: I am all for the institution of marriage. I’ve been institutionalized for almost 19 years. This is the point that tends to get lost in all the talk of honeymoon destinations and which step-parent sits at the head table. That when you come home from your whirlwind romantic vacation you have to go back to work and someone will have to be responsible for cleaning the toilet for the next 50 years.

But the bride-to-be can’t think about the marriage now because she’s got a wedding to plan!
There’s the reception room to secure, see about a champagne fountain, the ten doves to be released upon the utterance of the vows, an open carriage drawn by horses…make them white horses, a cake taller than anyone can reach up to (that no one will eat because the decorative frosting tastes like spackle), oh, and an orchestra that plays “their song,” which she will have to think of really quick because her real favorite song contains language that will cause Grandma to pass out. She doesn’t know how much any of this is going to cost and it shouldn’t matter to her family because she’s dreamed of these things her whole life and it’s Her Special Day.
But, most importantly, she must find “the perfect dress,” usually something white and long. Some have enough beads to make you wonder where it plugs in to light up. It’s a dress you wouldn’t wear on a bet if it were any other event because the color stains, you can’t wash it and there’s not much call for formal attire these days, certainly not formal attire paired with a headpiece that looks like a fountain coming out of your head.
If you showed up anywhere else dressed like that, they’d seat you in the back by the kitchen and the waiter would spit in your food, especially because you’re escorted by a man wearing the same thing as the maitre d’.
When I am named Empress of the Universe I will outlaw all weddings. There will be a simple marriage ceremony performed with just the couple and the politically-correct-overseer-of-choice. Then, say 10 years down the road, after the couple have been through financial hurdles, in-law issues, weight gain, Sunday afternoon and Monday night football, a flooded basement and, perhaps, a pregnancy or two, and they still want more of it, then they can have their celebration.
By then they would have worked out who is going to write 350 thank-you notes.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 8:27 AM | Permalink

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