July 28, 2015 § 1 Comment
Actually, contrary to popular belief, being a wife feels no different than being a serious girlfriend who’s pre-engaged or a bestie who you text every day. What is with people asking you, “How’s married life?” as if you walked through a hallway of fairy dust and are now a frequent flyer to Neverland. I felt like I was letting people down by admitting that it felt the same as before the ring.
Perhaps its a gradual thing that I’ll grow into. Wifedom can’t happen in a day. However, I’ve had to abruptly trade in my Bachelorette Card, so this will be my last post as TIB. My new husband/old boyfriend doesn’t appreciate me flouncing around on the internet with the title of an uncommitted maiden. This is fair. Laws are binding. Mister Red, I concede.
Moments after putting on the veil, becoming officially bridal. No longer a Bachelorette.
Probably about time I grow up anyway. No–Wait, I was just kidding. You can find my same old schtick under a my new name. Starting next week, I’ll link posts to the new blog on this site as to ease the transition. As for right now…
Ode to The Bachelorette:
Dearest Darling of the singles crowd. You’ve hemmed and hawed over lovers unworthy. Your stilettos have pinched and blisters bled in the name of finding that special someone. Shuffling your Uggs behind a shopping cart filled with your bounty for a table of one. While considering options across genders out of spite, you feel alone but are not alone.
Bachelorettes across the world leave their refrigerators bare, balance fitness with Ben & Jerry’s, and collect at brunch on Saturdays. Pouring into greatly Yelped establishments with hangovers veiled by Ray Bans, over mimosas and bloodies you discuss the gritty statistics of this dating pool. Like excavators, piecing together the true meaning of a man’s intentions through slivers of behaviors, texts, online alliances, and one word answers to serious questions. What did he mean by, “text you later?”
As legend has it, one day when you least expect it, you’ll meet a man who meets most (not all, but most) of your criteria for a husband. You will deny it at first as together you have your firsts, but you’ll eventually settle in as lover, therapist, career advisor, caretaker, friend, financial analyst, maid, stylist, and chef. If this is a fairytale worth telling, he will reciprocate all titles back to you.
You will discuss lifelong desires, consider raising children, argue about just about everything, almost call it quits multiple times, accept each other’s faults, and then realize you would be miserable without one another. You will ride the roller coaster of life for a bit together, trying each other’s trials on for size. Setbacks and promotions get dealt with accordingly, this time as buddies, as partners. Finding someone to marry isn’t about compromise, it’s about collaboration. Time will go by and in this good time this man will provide his bachelorette with a shiny token of his love and a promise of marriage.
With this engagement to be wed, you will become the most heinous of all your variations. Family will intervene, your thoughts shine light on doubt, the planning of the day you had been looking forward to has become a nightmare of spread sheets, bootcamps, and floral arrangements.
The dust settles on the day of wed, as the bachelorette transforms into a bride. Then in a matter of moments that bride becomes a wife. Two very short words seal the deal and the bachelorette you once were, with all your freedom, carelessness, and vigor rides further away every time someone asks you when you plan to get pregnant.
Dear Bachelorette, this is a time in your life that you only have once. You cannot choose how long it will last. You may be sorry to see it go, or you might be happy it’s finally over. You may stay a wife, become a mother, or fancy yourself a divorcee. You could find yourself a widow or perhaps a cougar on the prowl, but you will never be able to be a bachelorette again.
So embrace the blind dates, one night stands, and tasteless pick up lines while you here. Then harness the freedom you have. Go for your big dreams and own them. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t respect you or treat you how you want be treated. And always allow the cat calls to put a little pep in your step.
You look good, girl. Shine on with your bad self.
Cheers! Thanks for reading 5 years of my Bachelorette Antics. More to come as a wife.
July 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
Bridal resources tip-toe around these issues because planning your wedding “should” be a “joy” but most of it is rather unpleasant. Even if you swear up and down you’re not going to be that bride that experiences drama, or cares about the color of napkins. If you have a wedding, you’re going to have to deal with the horse shit that goes with it.
1. There will be things you just don’t give a fuck about, and they will haunt you.
You will have a list of things you could care less about. And it might be long. What color your bridesmaids shoes are, who gets a boutonnière, the angle in which the cake is displayed, what activities are available for children, what the DJ eats, etc, etc, on and on. It might not matter to you if they are roses or carnations on the tables as long as they are pink, and you only want to say it once. Unfortunately for you, you have to repeat every decision you make to everyone, like it was the mantra of a 4 week chanting water yoga retreat.
At one point you might lose your cool, only to be reminded by every single vendor you’ve hired that they do “A LOT of weddings.” No shit, Sherlock. I get it. It’s an industry. People be running a business. They might have more business if they could remember the menial details of their events so the client’s eyeballs don’t explode.
EX: I had stated from the first meeting with my venue, ivory table cloths/ivory napkins. Do I give a shit about the color of the linens? Not particularly, but none-the-less the choice was made. A choice which spawned a million other choices based on this choice. 6 months later, I’m still calling about an error, “Hi, yes, sorry, my contract STILL says we ordered white napkins, but they should be ivory.” Like I’m the dick that just HAS to have my linens be a slightly different color of a non-color.
2. This process will amplify your personality in ways never before imagined.
Are you a people pleaser? A sap? A Perfectionist? A Steamroller? Competitive? Shy? Spoiled? Anxious? Strong-willed? A push over? When the dress comes on, it all comes out.
Big or small, first or second, skeletons come out of the closet. Planning a high stakes, once-in-a-lifetime event really brings it out in people. Even if you try to be chill, at some point you are going to think to yourself “who the heck do I think I am?” You’re going to get mad, you’re going to yell, you’re going to cry over something. You’re going to go down certain rabbit holes.
EX: I didn’t dream about my wedding day all my life. Newsflash, not all girls do. I didn’t know the etiquette, I didn’t know the rules, I didn’t know there was so much to choose from. I had nothing planned out. However, I became fixated on the guest experience. And then, there I was, one week before editing the language of the ceremony to include more jokes. So many wedding jokes. There were jokes on the table numbers, the programs, the craft cocktails, we gave out whoopie cushions as favors, we had a Star Wars cake. AND THEN I got paranoid that everyone would think we weren’t taking our marriage seriously. Rabbit hole.
3. The only thing people will remember to ask you about is wedding planning.
“How’s wedding planning going?” As if you don’t eat food anymore or have a real job. It’s true that on the wedding timeline planning gets really intense, but then it’s the LAST thing you want to discuss with anyone.
EX: I was working on a TV show concept while planning my wedding. It was the best thing, and I was really excited about it. I don’t think anyone even knew I had a project. I would have blushed like a 5th grader crushing hard if someone actually asked me about it.
Additionally, for MONTHS after your wedding those same people who were asking about wedding planning will ask you “how’s married life” and you won’t know what to say to that either.
4. Your soon-to-be-husband will have little understanding of how much this sucks for you.
He’ll probably be all for helping with whatever needs to be done. Hell, he might actually have opinions about certain details. You might even give him key vendors to follow through with. He might take care of all of this with a wink and a smile, but down the line he’s going to wonder why you aren’t having the time of your life. After all, you’re the one who wanted this.
EX: Mister Red and I shared a lot of the load, and he’s amazing for getting the DJ, the officiant, and dealing with our cake vendor. But on our last visit to the venue, while wandering the desert looking for rocks for our guest book display, we had it out. Turns out we were mad at the same thing, neither one of us wanted to be dealing with any of it. And that was the most productive argument we’d had. Then we decided to treat ourselves to a dry run of the resort, you know for the guest experience.
5. You cannot wait for it to be over.
At first it’s a little bit exciting. That’s because it’s far away, you got time, spirits are high, and everything seems manageable.
There will be a moment between your bridal shower and your last dress fitting when you will want to snap someone’s pinky finger right off in the name of wedding planning. And you would probably be justified in doing so.
Details, details, details, and then you’ll want to shove some details up an ass or two. It’s a lot of work to put on an event for 60-200 people. It’s a lot of work to put on an event for 12.
EX: 3 days before my wedding and my venue refuses to change the rehearsal by a half hour. All I wanted was a half hour to accommodate my brother who was flying into town. This was not the first time I wanted to snap someones pinky right off that month, but it was the first time I admitted out loud to Mister Red how I really felt. “This has to work out between us because I am NEVER doing this again,” I said.
All of these issues are, of course, essential to your transformation into wifedom. At least that’s what I’m telling myself as I’m still emerging from my bridal cocoon with a new last name. I have a couple more important documents to update and my dress is still at the cleaners (apparently, they get A LOT of wedding gowns this time of year, shocker).
After the wedding on our drive home I admitted another truth, “I’m so happy that it happened, but I’m so glad it’s over.” I maintain that feeling about it even now.
*Disclaimer: For those who elope, they must be smarter, wiser, and have better familial relations skills than me. This was probably not their experience.
July 14, 2015 § Leave a comment
Rerun from 11/14. Mister Red and I have recently been dabbling with switching our sides. I admit, I sleep better on my side. None-the-less, mattress to relationships, a great metaphor.
I used to not have a side of the bed. For a good portion of my life I just slept like an X in the middle, arms and legs akimbo, like I the finalist for a contest of how much space I could take up per body dimensions. I would have won, btw. When Mister Red and I began having adult sleepovers on a regular rotation neither of us stated claim to pillow top surface area. There were no real estate negotiations, we eased in to our respective sides naturally. Occasionally, we switch. Mostly to correct shoulder issues from poor sleeping patterns, but we always go back. It never feels right on the other side, and all my stuff lives on the nightstand to the right anyway. It’s too much work to commit to a change.
Growing up mostly an only child, not really touchy feely, or having sorority sisters, I hated sleeping next to people. Frankly, I needed my space. I remember my first visit to a college party. My dear friend let me pass out on the bed, while he slept on the floor. Sure he probably wanted to get in my pants that night, but took into account that I’d possibly punch him in my sleep. That and he knew how to play his gentleman card.
The only time I felt the sting of the cold side of the bed was when I parted ways with a long time boyfriend who wasn’t great at sharing anything. For the first week or so I couldn’t even sleep in the bed. I favored the couch and slept at a friend’s house. Eventually I went back to sleeping in the middle and loving it. Until, of course, Red came along.
We’ve been spooning for four years now, sometimes on the couch. It always seems like we’ve been together longer compared to my other relationships. It actually feels like forever. He knows too much about me and has become very adept at outsmarting me for my own good. The last four years have been so long. Father time must be slacking.
You know why it feels like we’ve been sharing a bed for forever? I actually like him. Those other fools I had slept next to with for two or three years at a time, I’ve blocked out whole months with them. Those relationships seem short because I don’t care to remember a lot about those relationships. Essentially, I’m burning those beds. If I can’t get anyone to buy the mattress on craigslist, I’m still moving on.
There is only so much room in my head. It’s like when your bedmate hogs the covers. My memory is like the covers, I’m choosing to cover only what is important, there isn’t enough blanket for the rest. I used to think it was a bad thing that my relationship with Red seemed unusually longer than it was. Now I realize it’s because I want a future with him. I’m snuggling up every detail of our time together in my blanket because it’s paramount in holding stock in our relationship. Not to mention, heat.
I’m not worried about our nuptials sentencing us as bedfellows for life. Of course he snores on his back, who doesn’t? Sure, he elbows me sometimes in his sleep but it’s never left a mark. I think we’ve been sharing a queen (a bed, not a dude from West Hollywood in stilettos), side by side for so long that the shock of marriage might be lost on me. I’ve already bought the mattress. I know I’m probably going to have to flip it every now and again, but it has a pretty solid warrantee.
I see a lot of women holding their wedding day up like it’s their last day to experience joy. Sure there is the whole child baring thing that factors into it, but if you play your cards right the wedding won’t be the last of your shenanigans before you’re preggo. There is no impending doom that comes after ‘I Do’ unless you haven’t been brutally honest with each other.
Whatever side you sleep on, know who you’re sleeping next too and love them even if they snore. Use your blanket to hold in the heat of your passion. Don’t try to cover lovers of the past, they can’t possibly fit in the blanket burrito of love.
Furthermore, relationships are full of cooperation, and yes even compromise. Do your share of bed making, and talk openly about bedtime habits. Apparently, 1 in 10 couples argue about about what side of the bed they sleep on. Really? This would be the worst excuse for a break up ever. Adapt.
June 30, 2015 § 1 Comment
I didn’t expect it, but I feel more married after the marriage equality announcement than I did after my wedding. I was sober for both, for the record.
There is nothing like waking up to good news. When my alarm sounded last Friday morning, I hit snooze. After the second snooze, my husband, Mister Red Jump Out of Bed, began his morning rituals. Half asleep I made my case for him to take the car to work instead of bike. He had been in a bike accident last summer, the bike needed repair, his back was recovering from injury, and after a full day of work his feet, an hour is a long bike home.
This must be the type of worry of a spouse. Well-being worry. How would I ever handle the worry of children, when I worry this much about a grown adult? To my relief he agreed, the pain risk of riding the bike was too great.
Still in bed, I read the news on my phone as Mister Red made us breakfast. Supreme Court Ruling the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. I felt an uncontrollable smile swell up in my cheeks. Huzzah! Boo-yah! Woop-woop! Finally! At least we got one thing right! I ran downstairs to tell Mister Red the good news.
And the VMA for best on-screen kiss goes to…
Justice Kennedy said gay and lesbian couples had a fundamental right to marry. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
I feel this gives my own heterosexual marriage more validity. For me, marriage inequality hadn’t “preserved the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman,” but rather took away from it. If all loving partnerships weren’t recognized, and half of them didn’t work out, what was so great about marriage anyway? I never want to be part of a club that has such prejudice as sexual orientation. It doesn’t make any sense to limit fundamental rights based on those preferences. Wasn’t this whole country founded on the ideal that every person should have the right to their own preferences? We have so many freedoms, seems like who you choose to love should be a no-brainer.
What astonished me was how many corporate entities used the news to inflate their marketing campaigns. They had these specialized logos at the ready, but where was this support 8 years ago? I’m curious to find out how many of these companies actually donated to LGBT organizations fighting for civil rights, how much, and how long they’ve been supporting. In recent years, many companies donated whether they were vocal about it or not was not to make waves among consumers who’s ideals were in opposition. It makes me wonder what would have happened if these companies spoke louder. Business sure draws a fine line.
As I preach to the choir, I can only say that now I get it. Marriage that is. If those words are true, “two people become something greater than they once were,” then damn… I’m glad I’m on that list. I’m glad everyone, regardless of who and how they love, now has the right to be on that list. The extreme intimacy of this union can be enjoyed by all, making the power of finding the right person to join in this partnership infinitely greater. Who you argue with for the rest of your life should not be limited to heterosexuals.
With that being said, marriage becomes more about the person you choose to be with rather than the sexual orientation you identify with. This begs the question, will the divorce rate go up or down?
Doesn’t matter what the cake topper looks like #lovewins
June 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
In my little girl head, underneath my pigtails, I wasn’t dreaming of my wedding day. I can’t say I had large expectations for it at all. When my life really did come down to it, the decisions were overwhelming, the etiquette was suffocating, and the true meaning lost. I hadn’t dreamed of a big wedding, but I was given the job to plan one. I had my wedding bucks and I might as well spend them.Little girl forced portrait. Thank you Pintrest.
Mister Red and I wanted to elope a few years ago, but my mother had other plans. She wanted the wedding she had been dreaming of since I was a little girl. Fair enough, I supposed. I know I sound like a spoiled brat for turing up my nose at a wedding fund my parents had saved my entire life. I know I’m a horrible person for not keeping my mouth shut about it. I can only explain that I am old enough to know the importance of that kind of cash and poor enough to know exactly what I would have done with it. None the less, technically it was their money, and they could spend it however they wanted to. So let’s throw ridiculous party and sign legal papers on the same day!
As we were first planning, I took control. I’m a TV producer, I got pre-production in the bag. I knew exactly how to eek every cent of value out of the event and it started with schedule. This wedding was going to start on time.
Oh there were, nay-sayers.
“Weddings never start on time.”
“I will be shocked if yours is the first wedding to start on time.”
“Every wedding I’ve ever been to started late.”
“Weddings don’t start on time anyway.”
Um… mine does.
Tick Tock, til the bride drinks.
I was considering the cost of the venue. I’m not about to waste 10 mins of open bar at $36 per head because I wanted to reapply my lipstick or get one more bridal portrait. No, I’m paying the professional photographers to capture over 2000 pictures on the fly, I’m sure one of those will be good enough.
Everyone you hire is a professional. Well, except for the coordinator. Venue coordinators must have a turnover rate higher than the McDonalds Drive Thru window. We went through three coordinators at the same venue in less than six months. I knew more about the job than they did. We did ask talented friends to help out, not expecting that they would be more professional than the coordinator. Professionals deliver, friends deliver. You learn quickly who to trust.
Starting a wedding on time meant setting a schedule and sticking to it. I sent my PDF to key players and referenced it often. I buffered just enough time in case we ran behind, we could make it up in other areas. Then I put someone in charge of keeping us on time. I think that person is key. They have one job. I also started to spread the word among the guests that we were starting at 6pm and WILL be the only wedding they probably ever attend that starts on time.
Even though I hadn’t day dreamed the details of my wedding, my expectations became clear. I only had two (well, three if you want to count my groom showing up). One, start on time. Two, don’t waste any money on stupid shit that didn’t reflect the celebration we wanted to throw.
In agreement to party down til death.
We shaved an hour of photography cost by omitting the “getting ready” portraits. I really don’t need to be photographed professional in my underwear or without makeup. To cut down on time and so my family could enjoy the cocktail hour they were paying for, we did formal portraits before the ceremony. Mister Red and I did a first look and exchanged private vows. Okay, full disclosure it was a Top Ten Letterman List and it was mostly jokes. By doing so we cut our grief in half because I didn’t have to stay hidden from him or anyone else (I’m not into theatrics), and we cut our ceremony down to about 10-15mins, AND we spared everyone from our annoying humor and inside jokes (for the most part).
All the jokes landed, even the one about me being a piece of property.
There was a snafu with the ceremony music because our coordinator dropped the ball, but the we were AHEAD of schedule so our talented friends were able to put out the fire in time. When the processional began lining up, we actually had to wait as two guests rushed down the aisle to their seats. Our Officiant announced that it was 6:03 and we were starting on time. People cheered. Or maybe I imagined that. I was gloating. In your face everyone. What can I say, I’m motivated by adversity.
Although we did a lot of DIY (you honestly don’t need Minted.com, just card stock and a printer), we put money into our guests’ enjoyment and used the details to express who we are. Star Wars cake, dancing to Led Zeppelin, Photo Booth with handmade props recycled from another wedding, specialty craft cocktails, giving out whoopie cushions as favors. Yes, whoopie cushions. It’s kind of a social experiment to give 100 adults whoopie cushions. They were a hit.
It’s never not funny.
I think it’s a common misconception that the bride is the guest of honor. The bride is a host. She picked out the food, she picked out the venue, she picked out the colors, she invited the people, she is the designer of the event. A gracious host makes sure her guests are comfortable and happy. A gracious host gives everyone a moment of warm welcome and gratitude. A gracious host doesn’t get too drunk while getting her hair done and puke in the bathroom before she dances with her dad.
There’s got to be a guy in the back looking up her dress, I hope its the groom.
A gracious host gives the people dinner and a show. And starts that shit on time.
And throws a good after party.
June 16, 2015 § 3 Comments
Now that I am of the age where my peers are pairing up with life buddies, I’ve gotten really adept at planning the Bachelorette Party. This isn’t one of those cookie cutter sash/mini veil/bar hopping situations. Please, I’m over 30. There are no rules like “wear black so she stands out in white.” She isn’t doing a scavenger hunt or making T-shirts. There aren’t any penis cakes. No one wants a penis cake. I can’t say it loud enough: NO ONE WANTS A PENIS CAKE. Sure depending on the chick, some of the other activities and props may be relevant, but a penis cake–that’s never a good idea. What happens when the MoH gets the hairy balls piece? No one wants the hairy balls piece.
I spared you. If you google image search “penis cake” you will gag.
I like to be original. Create an itinerary with everything the bride loves, find her feminine essence, embarrass her in good fun, and load up on the booze. You can’t go wrong with a crafty poster and a bottle of Kirkland Vodka. Before I give you the exact recipe for planning the perfect bachelorette party, let’s have a history lesson. Shall we?
To find the origin of the last single hurrah, we have to cross genders. The Bachelor Party dates back to the ancient Spartans. Leave it to those rowdy warriors to make a thing out of a dude’s last solo night. Soldiers would hold a dinner in their friend’s honor toasting and telling tales in merriment. These parties preceded the name, as bachelor is a term from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which you should have read in 10th grade world literature class. The first recorded use of bachelor party was in 1922, and it said nothing about a stripper.
It wasn’t until recent history in which the party became a night of parading vixens, debauchery, and hazing. And in the 1960s the sexual revolution allowed females to participate in their own taboo pre-wedding celebrations (cheers).
Today, most modern couples copulate before the big day and often live together long before tying the knot. Riddle me this: Hasn’t all the sexual teasing lost it’s luster? I mean, she knows what it looks like, and she understands it’s one willy ’til death. Let’s not rub salt in the wound buy buying her a lap dance at Chippendales.
When it boils down, the bach party is about celebrating the girl before the guy, as an individual. It’s better than any birthday party she could ever have, this only happens once (or twice in some cases). Shouldn’t it ease the pre-wedding jitters instead of waiving penises in her face?
If you agree, here’s my recipe for a Non-Traditional Out-of-The-Box Bachelorette Party (AKA Her Last Smash).
1. Do what she wants to do. Go on, ask her. Maybe it’s a weekend some where. Maybe it’s the Tuesday before the wedding. Maybe it IS a lap dance at Chippendales. Whatever it is, ask and then make it happen.
2. Create a #hashtag. These are the times we live in. This serves as way to collect the memories from everyone in one place as well as a theme. And it’s just fun.
3. Logistics: take care of the food, activities, lodging, etc. so expenses don’t get out of hand for the group. Paypal, Venmo, cold hard cash helps everyone pitch in.
4. Booze Plan. Know what you are going to drink and where. Sure you can go off script, but this is the most expensive item. Figure out what everyone will drink and overestimate.
5. Props. Posters, hats, mustaches, silly things. This is also where you can get a little embarrassing. Incriminating photos, fake tattoos, headbands with cat ears, feather, banners, balloons. Whatever space your in, decorate it. No– transform it. Doesn’t take much to take a rental house from Ikea to Eureka.
6. Interactive Drinking Games. This might be the most challenging, but if you really love the bride, it’s worth it. Create a game that’s so big it’s ongoing for the party’s entirety. One time we did toasts or memories and wrote them down on guns, and everyone had to take a shot (jail bird theme). Another, more elaborate game was creating trivia questions based on the bride’s freelance work. If you got it wrong you took a drink. There are many ways to go, and people fall in love with it really quickly.
7. Delegate. Everyone wants to pitch in, and everyone is probably going through a lot of these. Even if the group doesn’t know each other, they will all want to keep costs low and do what it takes to pull off the best party the bride has ever had. Make sure it’s a weekend to remember, and let people do what they can to help.
For my bachelorette what-have-you, five of my most hilarious friends met up in Sonoma, CA for a weekend of wine tasting. The hashtag was #KTsLastSmash and celebratory Irish things (I’m Irish, Mister Red is Irish, you get it). My friend made a clover patch with over 50 Irish blessings and we toasted to every last one throughout the weekend. They printed incriminating photos of me, one was poster sized, and put them up all over the house. They gave me a tiny leprechaun hat, but didn’t demand I wear it the whole time. We drank a truck load of the finest wine and met a group of ladies dubbed as our future selves in one tasting room. It was the perfect weekend. Every bride deserves the most perfect weekend with her friends.
No bachelorette ever said, “You know what this party is really missing? A penis cake that reads: The Best Is Yet To Cum.”
Poster Sized Mantle Piece in Power Stance. Best Friends Ever.
March 4, 2015 § 1 Comment
I’ve had two bridal showers thrown for me. Rest assured, I’m practically an expert. Showers are often non-negotiable extracurricular wedding events. It’s expected to have one. Sometimes one for each side of the family. Sometimes your co-workers will throw you a third one depending how boring the office gossip is that particular month. Of course you don’t need to have a shower, but you will disappoint a lot of people. Kind of like eloping, or promising cake and bringing a watermelon disguised as a cake and saying smugly “it’s paleo.” So suck it up and have twelve showers. At least you are going to get the presents you picked out for yourself.
So a bunch of women gather to honor a bride to be by drinking enough to play silly games, eat finger sandwiches, and gift her household items or the occasional piece of lingerie. “Thaaaaank you, I picked this out for me.” It sounds absurd, right? So I did a bit of digging.
Let’s start at the beginning. In 16 Century Holland showers were an alternative to the dowery system. If the parents of the bride were too poor to provide a dowery the MOB will hold a party where her lady friends would pass down small kitchen items and advice on how to keep a man happy. You know the type of advice, plus whatever you had laying around the kitchen that was a duplicate.
There is even a Dutch legend to go with this common sense inception of bridal showers. It is said a young uptown girl, living in her high class world fell in love with a downtown guy. Boy, was her dad pissed. He withheld her dowery as she crossed the tracks to marry her heart’s desire, but not without a little help from her friends. Pretty soon the whole town was contributing small gifts for the start of their married life. Fortune smiled again on our young heroine and her father changed his tune. They and their dowery lived happily ever after, like all good fairy tales.
In the late Victorian era, bridal showers became events of the elite. Only ladies of high social standing would organize pre-wedding celebrations for would-be brides. Although, it was more because it was a place to get drunk and hear the latest gossip, rather than giving gifts to compile a dowery. Make no mistake, gifts were given, but not enough to fill a Uhaul. The presents would be inside a parasol, which when opened would “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts. Or knock her out cold so they could freeze her bra and draw on her face.
The next evolution came in the 1930s. Although, at this point showers in the United States were a big to-do and anyone could have one. The fad hadn’t spread to England though, probably because they were still considering noble families and inbreeding. First or second generation Americans were just starting to really simmer together in the country’s melting pot. No dowries or elite social standings needed for a little party, party.
The earliest use of this sense of the word, “shower” in print may be in the Grand Rapids Michigan Evening Press 22 June 4, 1904: “The ‘shower parties’ that through mistaken hospitality the wedded couple are forced to attend…” (WHICH IS HILARIOUS… mistaken hospitality).
When I first started working as a videographer in LA, I was hired to shoot weddings and bridal showers. Sometimes the shower would outshine the wedding. There was one at The Beverly Hills Hotel that had a dance floor, three course luncheon, and about 75 Persian women. I imagined that I was that bride and wanted to hide in a hole.
I’m not a fan of being the center of attention unless I’m giving instruction or opinion. I have present opening anxiety even if I know what’s inside. Because my birthday is so close to Christmas I have a lack of practice at these types of person honoring soirées. I’m a terrible bride to plan a shower for.
For a while, I just thought the bridal shower was just another party to have for all the women who it was inappropriate to extend a bachelorette party invite, like if they were too old or pregnant. Come to find out, etiquette says you shouldn’t invite people who aren’t invited to the wedding. Well, what if I couldn’t invite all the people I wanted to celebrate with?
I want to rewrite this invite rule. It seems stupid to invite someone to your shower and expect a gift and then invite them to your wedding expecting another gift. Just give the gifts if you want to give the gifts. Wouldn’t it be better to invite all the people who couldn’t make it or that you wish you could invite but you have 200 family members and your best good work-wife just didn’t squeeze onto the A list?
Etiquette says the maid of honor has to foot the bill, but what if that chick is broke? It seems like it should be a pot luck. Let’s not be fancy. And again with the gift giving only if you want to, I rather be showered in laughs.
It’s pretty much a roast anyway. You play games about the bride and groom’s intimate life details and sit her in a special seat like a contestant on a daytime TV show. Parade around her choices for home decor and kitchenware while we quietly place bets on how long the marriage will last. Mostly it’s just good backstabbing female fun.
Fortunately for me, both my showers were equally entertaining, mostly because of the wonderful hosts who planned around my awkward shyness with their grand mastery. Showered with laughs, a flash mob, and cards with little pictures inside them of the gifts I already knew I was getting. I even spit my water across the room in a fit of laughter. And I wore black, like a boss.
In truth modern bridal showers are a complete charade. An absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance. Except for mine, because every time my appearance is respectable I spill food down the front of me.