First things first. I'm done with school. This means I have Finished Something. It's momentous. Really.
But the real blog fodder is the wedding I attended recently. I mentioned a few posts back that we had a wedding in NY. I was the best woman (I refuse to say matron-of-honor, it makes me sound like a sadistic, but oddly rewarded prison guard).
I had been looking forward to this wedding for months, ever since the bride asked me to be in it. It was in upstate NY, not exactly close to where I grew up, but a lot closer than I've been in years, so I was pretty stoked to go.
I flew into Houston Wednesday evening so I could fly up with my friend Jen early Thursday. The wedding wasn't until Saturday, but I thought I'd go up early and help out and Jen said she'd go up with me. Way back when we purchased our tickets, we found a really good price, except that there was a layover, which didn't seem like too big a deal at the time, but actually was when we finally made it up to Rochester. We were exhausted and then we had to rent a car at the airport and drive the 40 miles to the town where the wedding was.
One day I will tell the bird story. Or maybe I'll let Jen do it. It was bizarre.
By the time we made it to the hotel, we were giddy with fatigue. We hauled our luggage through the doors and were immediately greeted by a large, puzzling sign declaring "NO MORE R WORD!"
Jen looked at me and mouthed "R Word?" Then we looked around. Helmets and motorized carts as far as the eye could see.
Yes. That R word. We were in the midst of a 'tard Convention. And yes, I know I'm not being nice.
We were gasping for air from holding in our laughter by the time we made it up to our room. Mind, it's not that we thought a convention of that sort was particularly funny or mockable, but when you go someplace where a wedding is about to be held, the last thing you expect to see is a parking lot full of short buses and crash helmets. It caught us unawares is all.
But do not fear. This gets so much worse.
Later that day, Jen, Jethro's ex Micky, and I, ended up in an elevator with a young man with CP and his motorized chair. He asked us to push the button for his floor and we obliged. His floor came before ours and we held the door for him as he tried to manage his chair. It seemed he was having a little trouble because he'd go forward and then go back a little, forward, then back, forward, then back. We weren't quite sure what to do. I'd have happily pushed him through the doors, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings or anything. Finally he made it out the door and we let them close just as he went back again a little. The backpack on the back of his chair looked like it might be caught in the doors and we frantically tried to open them, but it was too late and the elevator started moving. We froze in panic (well, actually Jen and Micky did. I think I yelped something and started to climb the walls. I had started drinking by then) and waited for a scream. Fortunately it didn't come, but we did almost have heart attacks.
Now Jen and I were sans kids and sans husbands in a podunk little town in upstate NY. The logical thing for us to have done would have been to go to bed and get a good night's sleep. But that would not have been as much fun as going to the hotel bar.
The bartender was a hapless, 19 year old Indian boy who (as we found out later) didn't eat meat and didn't drink in accordance with his religion. This meant that in spite of a rather well stocked bar, he was not able to do more than pour beer and shots as we discovered when Micky tried to order a dirty martini. She grimaced on the first sip and asked him to make it dirtier, to which he promptly responded by pouring in more vermouth. That was pretty funny.
Then the convention, which had been in full swing complete with band and dancing (I think it was dancing) ended, and the real fun for the poor bartender began. He was doing such a brisk business in milk and O'Douls, that we were beginning to feel neglected. We met some Canadian kids at the other end of the bar and wondered aloud if we needed to wear protective head gear in order to get a beer. But all the conventioneers had partied themselves out around 9:30, and the bartender gave us his undivided attention. He apologized for ignoring us, and complained he hadn't been tipped very well. He took back the terrible martini and didn't charge us, which was nice of him. Jen, being sensible and tired, had a smoke and went to bed.
Micky and I stayed to talk to the Canadians, a very young couple who had come down to Podunkville for a Kenny Chesney concert of all things. The young man was buying lots of shots and teaching the young bartender a thing or two about jagermeister, while trying to outdrink Micky and me.
It didn't work out so well for him.
If you look very carefully, you can just make out the penis I drew in eyeliner on the side of his face. I was drawing upside down, so it's not directly even with his mouth, but you get the idea.
I don't even look drunk in this picture, but I certainly wasn't sober. We talked with the young man's girlfriend awhile (she took the picture) and then toddled off to bed.
The next day was the rehearsal dinner.
The bride and groom were getting married in the garden of one of their friends' houses and having the rehearsal dinner there as well under a lovely white tent. I called them to see what I could do, and the groom said he'd pick me up at the hotel while he went to give the bride's father his tux. Then he'd drop me off at his friends' house.
When I got down to the lobby, there was a gentleman waiting who was not the groom. He stared at me for a second and asked if I was Zelda. I replied in the affirmative and he said he was a friend of the groom's and that he'd been asked to wait for me while the groom dropped off the tux. I asked if the groom told him I'd be the one without the helmet, and he chuckled heartily. That kind of set the mood for the day.
They dropped me off at the rehearsal site, and told me my job was to stuff little clear bags full of flower petals that were to be hurled at the bride and groom as they departed. Then after the stuffing, I was to spritz the petals with distilled water so that they wouldn't wilt overnight.
Then they left. Now maybe it's just me, but I tend to feel a little awkward sitting at someone's house I don't know, stuffing petals into little plastic bags then spritzing them. Luckily, the homeowners were really nice and friendly and after a beer or seven, I was loudly regaling them and other members of the wedding party who had managed to straggle in, including the bride, with the stories of the 'tard convention, figuring that amusing them was the least I could do in exchange for their hospitality. And it was funny. I had everyone in stitches - clutching their sides with my impersonations and hand gestures, except for the bride who was kind of giving me the stink eye. But she'd always been ultra PC, and she knew I wasn't at all, so I figured she'd just roll her eyes at me, call me a peasant, and that would be that.
So there I was, happily working and chatting and drinking, and in the very best of moods when the bride's family arrived. Oh, dear god, let the earth swallow me whole and cast me down with the sodomites.
Three of her siblings had The Challenges. Three. Not one, not two, but three. And one of them quite severely. And her mom was tooling around on a motorized cart.
I don't think I can properly describe the exquisite humiliation. I took the bride aside the second I had the chance and apologized quickly, but profusely. She looked squirmy, and I don't blame her a bit, but I think I might have been an even bigger asshole if I hadn't apologized. I'm really not sure, though. I think I might just really be an asshole and no amount of apologizing will atone.
Needless to say, I was her bitch for the rest of the weekend.
It didn't stop me from drinking more though, and I managed to tie on a pretty good one at the hotel bar later. The young bartender was stingier with his coke than his rum.
The next morning was not fun. I had to be out the door by 7:30 to go to the salon with the bride to get our hair done. I hauled myself up early, took some headache pills, took a shower, and still managed to be 15 minutes late. But I felt like shit and I didn't care. Luckily the bride didn't go bridezilla and we were only 2 or 3 minutes late for the hair appointment.
The other bridesmaid had very, very short hair, so there was absolutely nothing that could be done with it, which meant that while the bride was under the hair dryer, all eyes turned to me. It seemed obvious that something needed to be done. I had discussed this with Jen and Micky and we decided a french braid a la Jennifer Aniston at the Oscars would be easy and doable. No such luck.
This was the 'do I ended up with. I looked like a 12 year old swiss yodeler from the neck up. But I wasn't unhappy. My hair was out of my way and that always makes things easier. And what do I care, really? It wasn't my day.
After the hair and make-up, we arrived at the wedding house to get the bride dressed.
This ended up being somewhat of a Herculean task. The bride is not a small woman, and she had chosen a dress of maximum complexity complete with panels and corsets. We slipped the dress over her head and had begun the process of lacing her in, when she realized she had forgotten to take off her pants.
Given my bitch status, if fell to me to remove them. It was epic.
We huffed and puffed and pulled and tugged and snapped and tied and finally it was complete. I was sweaty and exhausted, but I went around to survey the front.
My eyes filled with tears.
She was absolutely beautiful.
The bride had always been sensitive about her weight and I'm sure she had spent a lot of time agonizing over her dress. And while nothing can make a fat person look skinny, the dress did make her look perfectly lovely. And really, she is the cutest, prettiest fat chick in the entire world.
And that was the highlight of my trip. There was more good stuff at the wedding and the reception later, not the least of which was Jethro becoming enthusiastically drunk and "helping" to clear up afterwards. I finally had to tell the groom to just let him do whatever he thought needed to be done because there was just no arguing with him. That was pretty funny too. Jethro is occasionally unpredictable when he drinks.
But honestly, every other funny part aside, seeing my friend marrying a fantastic guy, beginning a wonderful life, and looking so exquisitely beautiful, was pure joy.