June 3, 2007

Awfully Wedded Wife

Oh, you just know it's June when the newspapers and magazines are full of bridal blech. Next time you're at Shoppers, pick up one of those bridal magazines. Seriously. I think they must weight 5 or 6 pounds each.

My own column tomorrow is a small trip down memory lane to my own ill-fated trip down the aisle...some people just aren't marriage material. That would be me.

The New Yorker has a piece that has had me laughing out loud. Contrary to what you may believe, I don't laugh out loud when I'm by myself all that often. Scares the cats.

This link is every obnoxious bride, every detail saturated wedding, every shudder inducing marital moment you've ever experienced. ("E-vites are for the Guest only; there is no 'implied plus one'.We're very sorry, but it's a very small mountaintop, with limited ruins.")

Ah, limited ruins. If only one's ruins could be limited. A few years back, I had the soul-sucking pleasure of being in the company of a friend of an acquaintance (get that? I could have left, and didn't. More fool me.) who was in the process of planning her wedding. As she moved from the topic of the crinolines for the flower girls to the personalized labels on the plonk, I realized I had blasted past my two-glass maximum of wine. And was fast approaching two bottles.

There was nothing this woman/girl (there seems to be nothing as infantalizing as a grown woman stomping her foot when she's told she can't have 14 attendants) wasn't trying to control. Nobody could get a sunburn before the wedding. But they must be tanned - no strap marks. She wanted teeth whitened, hair curled, speeches written, and, judging from the registry, all her beloved friends and family to mortage their homes to set her up in hers.

I tuned out. I can't help it. I just don't get it. Go get married, shut up, and concentrate on having a marriage. It's way harder than having a wedding.

After avoiding the acquaintance (in order to avoid the friend) for several years, I finally returned to the scene of my two-bottle night. I introduced myself to the gathered party, only to be told I already knew this particular woman. I stared blankly. No, I'm sure I didn't. Turns out this was the bridelette, three years on. As I extended my hand, I made a mental note to also extend a little tolerance; we all go a little crazy when planning a wedding, and now it was securely in her past (and the groom - I'm pretty sure it was the same guy - was still there), I felt I could finally get to know the woman.

Nope. She was pregnant with her first. She commenced entrancing us with her journey to motherhood. Of course she couldn't drink.

But I could.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Lorraine; Thank you for the best laugh I've experienced in ages - both your blog & the New Yorker piece. I cannot imagine some of these "Bridezillas" making it past the honeymoon in "wedding bliss". The thought of some poor child being born to them is mind boggling!!! Keep up the good work - we love you. Sandie ( the Avon lady)

June 03, 2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger Page48 said...

Nothing in this world makes my eyes glaze over as quickly as wedding talk. Especially wedding "girl-talk". Forget about torturing inmates at Gitmo, subject them to the ladies talking wedding-talk and they will spill their guts. Everything they know, you will soon know. If you need more information from your hardened terrorist prisoners, force them to listen to the ladies discuss what the bride will be wearing.

I have managed quite a number of years on this planet without being present for five weddings. Four was my limit, the latest being almost 25 years ago.

As a young man, I dabbled with wedding attendance just to see what it was all about, the way I used to sneak a beer from my friend's Dad's basement just to see what a beer buzz had to offer a guy like me. I developed a fondness for basement beer but would not be caught dead at a wedding.

As luck would have it, I have only had to turn down one wedding invitation since the early 80's. It was easy. I lied. I made something up so I would not have to waste a day of my life, wearing clothes I never ever wear, watching someone tie the knot just so their sex could make the leap from pre-marital to marital, from naughty to nice. In turning down the invitation, I went with the first lie that came into my mind. I didn't edit it and I didn't bother to Google "can't make it to the wedding excuses". I am unapologetic about not attending anyone's wedding. I would never in a million light years expect or ask anyone to attend something so ridiculous in my honour, especially knowing they would feel obligated to provide a gift that they would absolutely dread having to pick out, as would I.

One of the things I hate about weddings is that it puts an irrevocable strain on friendships. You invest years in the cultivation of what you think is a lifelong friendship (male or female), and in the time it takes to say "I do", it's over. This is particularly difficult with a friend of the opposite sex, the one you're in love with, but who just isn't that into you. Oh, don't get me wrong, she "likes" you, but when she hooks up with Mr. Right, it's over for you, buddy. Remember the lovely birthday greeting you got from her last year, the one so heaped in warm sentiment that it would melt a polar ice cap? Don't look for that sucker this year. If she still remembers your name, she may give you the one-line "belated" birthday greeting somewhere down the road, but not unless you contact her first, tripping her guilt mechanism in the process.

But male friendships don't change when your guy friends marry, do they? Of course they do. You think Dave (not his real name) is going golfing with you like he did BM (before marriage)? Not a chance. Dave is swabbing the deck under baby's supervision. When he's done that, he's doing whatever else it takes to ensure that he enjoys marital sex sometime this month, or at least before the first frost.

Now, perhaps if I was a married man, or even if I was the object of some lovely woman's affection (thanks, Mom, but were talking apples and oranges here), I may have a different take on weddings, but I doubt it.

I'm all in favour of love,(in fact I'm always in love), although I've never found the actual reciprocal kind of love, myself. You know, THE KIND WHERE THE WOMAN LOVES YOU BACK. But weddings are not about love. They are about little girls and their Ken and Barbie fantasies, and this is why weddings can only, and I do mean only, appeal to women. If a man tells you he loves weddings, he's either looking to score a bridesmaid before midnight, or he's lying. He is not the least bit interested in what the bride is wearing, he is interested only in how quickly he can remove what the bride is wearing and possibly in engaging in a threesome if the maid of honour is a hottie (oh, and aren't they always?). He may be saying "I do" on the outside, but on the inside he's saying "your Mom don't look half bad tonight". Men are like that, girls, but we don't mean any harm.

Well, thanks for letting me talk about weddings, Lorraine.

June 12, 2007 1:40 AM  

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