Finally a Bachelorette Party That Won’t Make You Roll Your Eyes

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.playboy-bachelorette-party 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Poster Sized Mantle Piece in Power Stance. Best Friends Ever. 

Showering the Bride

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.

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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.

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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. guns grayscale monochrome brides photomanipulations 1084x1200 wallpaper_www.wallpaperhi.com_18

Engaged to be Wed (aka Doom)

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Is #tossbacktuesday at thing? Oh well, I’m re-running away. Feeling overwhelmed with bridal woes I’ll revisit the moment of inception that put this wedding into incubation. I’m ready for it to be over. I’m ready to be a wife and get on with it. Bridey doesn’t suit me, I’d rather be the boss of something. The good part is it’s mostly just toasting and drinking and toasting left to do. 

This is not a drill. I’m engaged.  THE Mister Red (and dreamiest strawberry blonde on the planet) purchased a diamond and asked very nicely if I would be his newest piece of property. It was thrilling. I’ll save the boring details for another rather gushy post. But now I would like to let you in on the thoughts swimming in my brain since I got my flashy new piece of ice.

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1. I didn’t know everyone was going to be so happy for us. They don’t tell you people are going to be so happy at your face. All the time splashy happiness. Every two seconds someone is being happy at me. It’s pretty crazy.

2.It’s not like people didn’t see it coming, I’ve lived with the man for 3 years, we’ve been knocking boots for 4 and we know too much about each other’s bank accounts. There isn’t much left to change besides my last name (which I am looking forward to because it’s going to be an alliteration. I love alliterations).

3. I’m already an ungracious host. I run out of things to say when people are being all happy in my face.

“You got engaged?”

“Yup, I got engaged.”

“Congratulations, that’s so wonderful! You guys are the cutest!”

“Thanks.” And that’s all I got.

I’m so bad at this stuff. We’re engaged that’s it. I got a pretty ring. We’ll undoubtedly have a really expensive party that everyone else will have opinions about. All I really want to do is snuggle up to watch Star Wars with my honey and make jokes. I’m trying to master Yoda’s laugh because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be him for Halloween. This is where my mind is. Not on dates, venues, or bridesmaid dresses. I’d like to practice a Jedi mind trick for that instead.

4. Why can’t it go on any finger you want? My left ring finger is the grossest of all my fingers. It has the ugliest writer’s nubbin on the knuckle too. Guess it’s an engaged writer’s nubbin now.

5. I hate (and have always hated) the term fiancé. Too many syllables. If I could have gone from boyfriend to husband, I would have. It’s going to be a short engagement because I don’t want to have a fiancé for very long. Fiancé is one ‘n’ away from ‘finance.’ Coincidence? I’m constantly reminded that I have to finance a wedding.

Also I just keep thinking about that episode from Seinfeld. You know the one, “maybe the dingo ate your baby.”  Will that ever stop? Because it just makes me giggle. Every time I say it. I don’t want to be that woman. Is there a synonym? Like F. Mony. Short for future matrimony. But that’s also an ‘e’ away from ‘money.’ Ironic?

6. This engagement put me in the dog house for the first 3 years of marriage, at least. Hardest person in the world to surprise, right here. Yup, I figured it out. Well, I had an inkling. And instead of trusting that it was going to be wonderful, I saw it coming and had to poke holes in the plot line (although, this quality also makes me a good editor). He did a bait and switch, and because Mister Red is an excellent improvisor, it was just as magical as planning every detail out before hand. As my first act of groveling, this is my public apology. Dear Red, I trust you. I’m sorry for being a crazy skeptical person thus ruining the surprise you’d been arranging for weeks. 

7. At first I wanted to plan everything about the wedding all at once. Then I wanted to plan nothing at all. Now I realize we have to plan whether I like  it or not. This is because of parental expectations. My mother has already informed me she will be wearing navy blue. I guess that’s one thing I don’t have to decide. Mister Red thinks we can do it all in a weekend. I think we might need two.

8. You can’t change your insurance without a marriage license. So, good thing I’ll be getting one of those soon.

9. Whatever happens, the dude abides. What if we had a Big Lebowski Themed wedding at a bowling ally and everyone just came in their bath robes and we toasted with white russians? Why can’t that be a thing? My mom can still wear navy blue!

10. I don’t want to get caught up in it all. I want someone to pull my hair [hard] if I start stressing about flowers or desserts. We should have eloped in our pajamas with that puppy when we had the chance.

11. A Bachelorette Party is the best excuse I’ve ever had to get my friends together and go wine tasting whether they like each other or not. It’s like all the birthday parties I’ve never had rolled into one.

12. If anything I’m relieved. We committed to each other for the long haul a while back, so my love and commitment hasn’t notably grown in the past couple weeks, but the relief I feel is apparent. I do feel more like a team. We got a diamond on it. I feel less alone, comforted by the fact that we share each other’s load. He’s helping carry mine and I’m helping carry his. And that’s what it’s all about. Not rings, not navy blue mother’s dresses, not surprise engagement parties (but it was so much fun, I want to hug everyone all at once, and I’m not a hugger). We get to have this sweet ride. See where it takes us, and do it together.

13. Does this mean I have to end my blog? I think I have a few more months.

Registry Madness

February 16, 2015 § 3 Comments

I’m stuck somewhere between being a conventional bride and being a way out-of-left-field, Dr. Seuss-style bride. Sure, I’ve thought about my wedding since I was a wee little gal, but not at great length. I never had wild dreams about it where I planned it all out. I’m also not very good at being an adult, so a lot of etiquette is lost on me because while it’s rooted in tradition, it negates common sense.

Take the wedding registry, a tradition that began in common sense. It’s sentiment is that of the father giving away the bride. He’s giving her away because he doesn’t want her anymore. So he’s going to throw in a bunch of household appliances and kitchenwear purchased as gifts by his friends and family to sweeten the deal. A starter kit for a good wife. See now, it’s all set up and the groom has little to no room for argument. Next stop: Buy a house, followed by have a baby. So simple.

It’s not so simple anymore. When I moved into my first big girl apartment all by myself, I didn’t have a dish to eat off. Over time, salary promotions, and a household merger with my future husband, I’ve acquired many fine dishes to hold food. When we need something, we buy it. My pops doesn’t need to give my fiancé a spoonful of sugar with his medicine. We bought the bag of sugar ourselves. Classic wedding logic works no longer.

This tradition now puts us in a pickle. They say register as soon as you get engaged. People want to give you gifts. SAY WHAT?! I think this is silly, and a lie. It’s not like these people asked us to get married, and the gift part isn’t the reason why we are getting married either. It’s to shut our parents up once and for all (until they want to have grandchildren). Most people’s subconscious when they are invited to weddings are like, “I’ll bring a gift that relates to my fun-time expectation barometer. Probably cash, but if I’m at the old person table I’m knocking off $50.”

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If people are invited to a shower they be like, “Damn, now I got to get her a gift she’s picked out herself, but will probably return.” It’s hard to get jazzed to give a gift that has already been chosen for you. Sure, it makes it easy for someone who doesn’t know you that well, or your uncle who’s constantly getting it wrong, but it doesn’t make it more fun.

How could I make this fun for my guests? It was a mind bender. Which is why I did the total wrong thing and procrastinated registering for gifts until three months before the wedding. What we really need are upgrades of products we already own, replacements for worn hand-me-downs, and cold hard cash. What we really wanted was decor that reflected our style and humor, adventure gear (camping is expensive for a sleeping on the ground activity), and cold hard cash.

 

Fortunately for us, jazzing up the run-of-the-mill registry was pretty easy. After all, there is a whole industry dedicated to this stuff. We registered on Zola.com because we were too far past the point of department store laser tag. We had to do something quick that didn’t want to make us gouge our eyes out. The best part was being able to write a note on each item, explaining why we wanted it. It’s like lobbing for your list of top gifts. But half way through we started not to take it seriously, so there are a lot of jokes too.

Maybe offensive to die-hard fans of wedding etiquette, but totally entertaining as you scroll through yet another registry of items people in third world countries have never seen. Another note on this off script registry, the giving is done on the digital plane. You buy online and send to my house. Super easy for you, and it cuts down on my present opening anxiety (which is a real big issue for me). Also, eliminates the transportation of goods. I’m really pleased I won’t have to drive a Uhaul to my wedding.

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It’s difficult to ask for cash at a shower. I got pots and pans, but I really need a fridge, okay? But we set up the refrigerator fund anyway. So far ZERO contributions. We were able to register for things we actually wanted like a tent and weird movie posters as well as things we actually needed like a new can opener. You don’t know how desperately we need this $9 can opener. Someone please buy it for us (it’s been years).

I hope the guests who know us well understand that we have a Shark Bathroom and we really want to deck it out like a boss. I hope the guests who don’t know us realize that we aren’t kidding about the Star Wars pillow cases. We designed it for people to get creative and celebrate what we all mutually enjoy. Mostly booze, movies, and funny tv shows.

And when should we enjoy these items? Etiquette says we have to wait until after we are married. I did not find this out until I snap chatted a fun thank you with a full glass of wine to a dear friend who bought me the wine glasses. What?! Wait to use my wine glasses? We’ve been together for 5 years, lived together for 4 years, would have eloped 3 years ago, put our money together 2 years ago, saved for the ring for 1 year. It’s not like we aren’t invested. There are things that would be harder to do than send back gently used wine glasses, should this thing not go off with out a hitch.

But you know what might make us call off the wedding? Wading through unopened boxes for the next 6 weeks as they stack up around our house. This isn’t a museum, this is my home. My little tiny, apartment home. Although, I have considered the box fort possibilities, I’ve got an actual life outside of this wedding. I ain’t got time to ponder the epic hide and go seek battle that could go down if I wait to use my wedding gifts.

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In the end, I still find it a bit ridiculous to be getting more possessions. When we go to buy something we ask, “Do we need this, or is it just another thing to have?” In the case of the Death Star Cookie Jar, we needed that, and it’s cool. We are just trying to be responsible citizens. It’s nice to have nice things, but it’s nicer to have people you love.

Share your thoughts on wedding registries. Is it a dying wedding tradition in the wake of modern relationships? Should you still have to buy china for people who have been living together for 3 years? Do you frown upon alternative registries? Would you be offended/think its bad juju to open and use a gift before the wedding?

It’s really an anomaly to me, hope you can clear it up.

How Old?

February 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

Your path may be littered with challenging people. It’s a part of life, right? But if there were no one to test our patience we wouldn’t have all these fun memes like:fdad00c17c99a190424d92b38c3b49b1 1fda85ebf0f711120a53023b7cb6c0d9

 

If our ropes have not been tested for strength we would not know the threshold of our grace. It is through gritted teeth that we smile through the annoyance of arrogance and ignorance. At least that’s how pet peeves are made.

One of my pet peeves is when people want to have a discussion as I’m about to go into the bathroom. It’s like, “Come on, you know all I can think about is urine. How productive will this conversation really be?”

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And another pet peeve is when people dare me to guess how old they are. Unprompted. I don’t want to guess. I know that’s a slippery slope.

I’m terrible at this game. I’m one of those people who wouldn’t be able to tell if you dyed your hair purple until three weeks too late. “Something’s different about you, but I can’t put my finger on it.” Same thing with weight gains and losses. Unless you really let it go, I’ll probably just think you got stung by bees. A lot of bees.

Not to mention age is a different beast all together. Take me for example, I look like I’m a good 6 or 8 years younger than I am, and my voice is probably 4 years younger than that. It’s true, as a 31 year old woman, I could pass for 24 if you didn’t look too closely at my crow’s feet (come on, eye cream). But I’m not going to prompt you to guess my Chinese astrology. That would be rude.

So I was me, minding my own business–literally, I was steps away from the bathroom. I had to pee, and I had been holding it for a bit. This was my escape. Then I was cornered by a challenger. “Seriously, how old do you think I am?” She asked, as if we had had a long conversation about it already. We didn’t.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to guess,” I said. This is always my response to the inquiry. I don’t ever lie or fib, and I could already tell my response was not going to be welcomed. I really wanted to pee instead. In fact, I was truly distracted by my brimming bladder, I couldn’t even come up with a ball park decade.

“No, really, guess how old I am,” she persisted. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I do guess and I guess too old, or too accurate, I’m an asshole. If I guess obviously too young to cover my ass, I’m clearly lying. No one wins this game.

“I can’t,” I said. I had only one thought. BATHROOM NOW.

“Just guess.”

“I’m not going to guess,” but you’re acting like a 4 year old, “you’re going to have to tell me,” because I don’t give a shit, I just want to relieve myself. 

Boasting with the pride of a child who just lost their training wheels, I am finally allowed the answer. With a generous head nod and a big, fake W-O-W, I’m finally able to complete the last two steps behind the lavatory door. That was a close one.

“Age ain’t nothing but a number.” I once met an older man resembling Santa who wore a t-shirt that read that. Then I was strapped to his belly and jumped out of an air plane. It was the 400th time he’d been sky diving. It was my first.

I have to really think hard about age to give any number gravity. I want to honor it, the time, the climate, circumstances of the year of birth, old or young. Otherwise, I don’t consider it relevant to most discussions. If you are an adult living in the world today, we can have an ageless conversation. It is insulting to assume that I would not get a reference that dates 20 years ago. And if I didn’t, I would surely love to hear the explanation. Knowledge is power.

As for physicality, age is transient. We will never age like the generation before us. We age by how we take care of ourselves, armed by the science of our culture. 60 today does not look like the 60 of 30 years ago or 30 years into the future. We have things like sunscreen now, and we may be living on Mars soon.

Of course that doesn’t take away from the wisdom your years awards you. Or perhaps, the crazy you have developed over the years, but that varies from person to person and it would be truly ageist of me to generalize that all 90 year olds are bat shit. They aren’t. Just the challenging ones.

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****As you might have noticed, I took last month for myself. You can find me posting new musings bi-weekly, and repeats on the off weeks. Mostly Tuesdays, or Wednesdays. 

Dress Discovery

November 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

There are the occasional moments in my life when I’ve stomped my foot and said, “well, I don’t care what you think, I’m wearing it anyway.” Prom is a good example of this. 2 piece, lime green, white girl with corn rolls. 10153032_843993412284725_1858851061_nOr that Christmas when I was 10 and HAD to wear a pantsuit. Another being a college freshman purchase of the most outrageous mary jane platforms. They added seven inches of glory underneath my extreme flared jeans and became a go-to until I moved to Boston. Cartoon footwear doesn’t do well on cobble stone. Selecting my wedding dress is proving to be another such occasion.

Sure I took the online test even though I already knew what I liked. I wanted to be certain I wasn’t missing anything wonderful. Of course I get the label of death: non-traditional and unique. Personally, I was hoping to find a dress that I can later wear to the Emmy’s. You never know when an award show can creep up on you. What’s a girl without a gown? Always BTP (black tie prepared).

First Stop, disappointment. My mother and I trudged to a Labor Day sale in an Armenian neighborhood in LA. I didn’t watch enough episodes of  ‘Say Yes To the Dress’ to know where I was supposed to start. A nice young girl pulled some drapey dresses. In a room with my mother, I stripped in front of them both. Topless and sporting a thong I stepped into the first number. Good thing I lift weights because this thing was easily 20lbs. Insert new word into description: light-weight. No one tells you how heavy these things are and no one tells you to leave your modesty at the door.

I stood nearly naked avoiding eye contact as the sales woman readied the second dress. I tried not to look at my stomach jiggle in the three way mirror as a climbed into a mermaid cut. My thighs glued themselves together from the knees up with the quick formation of sweat. “This is how it fits. I would order you this size.” My jaw dropped. But I can’t walk! I definitely can’t sit down. Second thing to add: must be able to sit.

As I kept on telling her, light weight, less fabric, the mountain of dress I was stepping into shrunk. The lightest dress in the store was still five layers of fabric with a four foot train. There is never a reason to wear five layers of dress in the summer. The sales woman let us loose in the store to look for ourselves. Ball gowns with vagina shaped bows costing over six grand assaulted my eyes. The picture of my dream dress began to focus up: little to no flowers, little to no lace, pearls are not me, no vagina bows.

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With a refined pallet, we headed to Beverly Hills for excursion #2. This time I brought a friend who gets me. We got champagne at this place, it was classy. You don’t go to Beverly Hills for nothing. The salesperson was fun and whimsical, and encouraged me to try on everything to see what I liked. Non-traditional, unique, light weight, not a lot of flower, not a lot of lace danceable, sitable dress. I narrowed it down to 2 and a half. The fabric was still heavy, but I could sit. However, the sample size was too big. Even with the industrial sized construction clips holding my ladies in, I couldn’t get a good read on the fit. Fortunately they had the same dress in red, in my size. Upon zip up and suck in, my thighs were welded together with perspiration. “The mermaid cut isn’t for comfort, it’s for drama,” I was informed. I usually I do not care for drama. I am not a mermaid. I like dancing on land. Lesson for this trip: sheath is my magic cut.

Deciding that my nontraditional ways were leading me away from the traditional bridal shops, our next stop was to the grand department store: Needless Markups. You know the one. Up five levels to the evening wear section, I found her, in navy blue. She was amazing. Everything I wanted. drippy, structured, sweetheart, sheath, no flowers, no lace, and for a cool eight grand I could dis-invite 70% of the guest list and order it in ivory.

Back to the drawing board in yet another bridal shop in Beverly Hills, I got my first feels. My mother and my dear friend had been tearing up every time I had a veil on, but I was too concerned about my ability to sit to be thinking about being a bride and it being an epic life moment. This incredible dress, and with the glitz in all the right places, I started to leak from my eyeballs. I was going to marry him. I was going to get all dressed up like the stuff of cake toppers and become a wife. So. Many. Feels.

As I stood there feeling feelings, one of the salespeople leveled with me. She was a tall horse faced black woman unafraid to tell the truth even if it cost her the sale. “You didn’t come in here ugly. That’s all I’m going to say.”

“What?” I was confused. Was the dress making me ugly?

“You didn’t come in here ugly. A lot of dresses you try on are going to look good on you. I see girls who want something they have no business putting on.” And with that she reclipped the dress tighter and my armpit fat spilled a little over the side. “That’s how this is supposed to fit, girl. You still love it?”

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At that moment with my thighs sealed together and the embellishment poking my ribcage from the outside in, I didn’t really like the dress anymore. It’s an important thing to remember that wifey feels do not equal dress dollars. The dress I had on was five grand. As my mother tried to refinance her car in her head, I came to my senses and put the kibosh on that nonsense.

Forward ho to the sample store. Designer dresses 30-70% off, yes please. This place was far less pressure. Me and my crew scoured the racks for try-ons. If it didn’t fit, forget it. That’s the thing with samples, it’s as is, you break it you buy it. Take if off the rack that day. No ordering. No returns. After the first few didn’t work, the southern sales lady pulled out a light silky sheath that fit like a glove and felt like a nightgown. I could actually walk, sit, spin, do the splits. Nontraditional, unique, No flowers, no lace, just right. I had a little bit of feels and pulled the trigger knowing it would need some jazzing up from a good seamstress. No turning back now.

It was anti-climatic saying yes to the dress, but it’s really not about the dress. It’s about matrimony, folks, like love and shit. Why are people so interested in what I’m wearing? Only people stalking you on Facebook care about what your dress looks like. So what if I don’t even look like that bride on top of the cake or in the magazine? I don’t care what any of them think, I’m wearing it anyway… all wife-like in my own way.

 

XO Jane Article

October 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Raise a glass! Just got an article published on xojane.com.

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