Before we get into the blog, I have some riotous good news to share. There’s been over 400 visitors to the site!
Yeah, that doesn’t necessarily seem like much, but in my eyes, I’m getting some attention. Which is great!
Now on to the bloggy-goodness…
Last Friday I went to a pseudo-friend’s wedding. I say “pseudo-friend” because he’s a friend of my husband’s and while I’ve met the guy, talked to him on the phone occasionally, and hung out at the unit barbecues, he’s still my husband’s buddy. Not that I don’t have a personable personality, but I get distracted and forget people before I can really make friendly with them. (Hence why I live vicariously through my husband’s stories of crazy happenings at his unit.)
This friend was getting married to his girlfriend of seven years (ah, how sweet! High school sweethearts are they!) and it was a nice, although cheap, ceremony. (Hey, I can’t blame a man for being thrifty.)
She looked beautiful in a white gown with blue trim (Dammit! The whole ceremony was patterned white with blue trim… That was what Marquis and I were planning for our ‘wedding vow renewal’ in 2011, or so. Crap! Change Colors!!) and there were so many women there decked out like streetwalkers I couldn’t believe it.
Please, if any of you happen to read this (which I feel certain won’t happen), don’t feel bad. Just understand that when you wear a dress that shows your bra–and your own 9 year old daughter says it’s not nice to wear a dress that shows your, uh, ‘ta-tas’–you look like a streetwalker!
Now, I understand this subconscious urge women have to be hotter than the bride. I felt it as I was donning my somewhat modest shirt and skirt (an ankle length skirt and a shirt that didn’t show cleavage.. wow, I did go modest). I wondered, even then, what kind of trouble the women attending would get up to. I didn’t expect the families of the couple to get into any fashion fiascoes, but . . . I have been wrong before.
And was I wrong! I like the groom a lot, and his family seems nice–but there was one woman there, from his family, wearing a bright red, boobie enhancing, mini-skirted dress. I was, well, shocked and dismayed that someone would wear the kind of dress either streetwalkers or women-going-to-a-club-to-catch-a-man wear. At a wedding! Talk about trying to steal the bride’s thunder.
(While I thought the woman’s choice of attire poor, I did get a little itch, just a tiny scratch, in my brain letting me know that something was lurking there, beneath the fabric of reality, of the ceremony. Something to explore later.)
Of course, this all occurs before the ceremony had even begun. While I’m assessing the costumed crowd, the groomsmen were on the altar goofing off, taking pictures. Well, the groom and his brother were. The other two were family or close friends of the bride and they stood there, straight faced and serious, while the groom and his best man struck a Heisman trophy pose (if I even spelled the word right) and a girly, uh, well… they were just drunk on excitement. (I hope. Though, if it was sterner stuff that had the men behaving like that, I couldn’t blame ’em. The groom was donning his *first and hopefully last* ball and chain.)
Finally, the tension was mounting. The person hidden behind the organ was pounding away at the keys. I was looking at this giant wooden cross on the wall, at least 15 or 20 feet tall. Upon it was a wooden Jesus, with drawn on pecs, and a long white robe hanging to the ground. (That’s a Jesus I wouldn’t want to screw with.) The groom still hadn’t seen the bride and I’m feeling a bit of anticipation myself, even though I did get to see her.
The music began to play, groomsmen walked bridesmaids up the aisle. Finally there’s just the bride left. People stood up, cameras flashed.
I refused. I waited in the pew, stubbornly sitting there to defy convention (and besides, I already saw the gal, do I need to stand up and make a fuss again?). And enter here….
The Horror Story
Strangely, a chill crawled down my spine and a sense of doom tickled the hairs on my neck. I felt the bride’s impending arrival as an omen of Armageddon. Tendrils of death and mayhem wrapped around me and the itch in my brain grew until it was compulsion, until I had a terrible need, like an addict for his fix, to grab my pen and jot these things down. Soon it would slip from my mind, the emotions I felt, the terrible fear and dread, if I didn’t imprint them there. (I’m one of those visual people. I learn and remember best by writing things down and reading them.)
My husband nudged me and I stood as well. He leaned around me and tried, in vain, to capture the bride walking by in all her splendor. She radiated happiness and I had to fight to hold on to the tension I’d felt a moment before.
Finally she reached the altar and the ceremony began.
Discretely, I reached for my journal and pen. I wrote down the thoughts and feelings I’d had, sketchy at best, and hoped I’d remember the feeling in its entirety. When I finished I felt sated, spent; the drug had been of the highest quality and how often does that happen?
The ceremony went by quickly. There was some singing, which I didn’t participate in because I am terribly tone deaf, and of course, some praying. The reverend, dressed in black and white robes with the white collar, walked the couple through their vows. (“I thee wed, obey, blah blah, til death does its part.” Wait, did I hear the groom right? Again, discretely, I pulled my journal out and jotted down what I’d misheard.) However, the Rev was a conservative man who believed the couple refrain from the much famed kiss–which he thought better belonged behind closed doors.
Just as the Rev was gearing up for a final sales pitch for Jesus, the groom leaned forward and placed a loud one right on the bride’s grinning face. The Rev looked dismayed and disappointed, but only for a moment. He recovered quickly and moved on while the entire room laughed and joked about the groom’s eagerness.
When it was officially declared over, the marital couple and families moved to the back, creating an impromptu obstacle course.. uh, I mean… receiving line that the guests had to run.. walk.. before heading to the reception area for food and cake.
Here I began to get nervous. (I don’t mind shaking strangers hands, but why bother? These are people I’m probably never going to meet again and I just don’t see the point in it.) I shook the hands of the people we walked by, although entirely silently. Marquis talked and joked, smiled, and I tried to smile and hoped my hand wasn’t sweaty.
Then we met the groom’s father, whom Marquis also knows from post, and I shook his hand. The line slowed for a moment, leaving this awkward silence hanging in the air. And, of course, I felt the need to fill it. This is exactly what I said.
I’m a stranger. Just walked in off the street. Saw all the cars and figured, hey, free food. I even had nice clothes on. So…
My husband grinned really wide, though not necessarily a humorous grin. The groom’s father and mother smiled and laughed–politely, I suppose–at my own weird brand of humor.
While trying to smile and play my witticism off as funny, Marquis had gotten ahead of me and was nearly at the end of the line–a full six or seven people away.
Instead of shaking all their hands and trying to mutter a word of polite nonsense, I ran forward, threw one giant wave, and exited stage right.
I thought it was funny.
And we’re just now getting to the reception.
So I’ll make this quick.
We sat at one of the four long elementary school style cafeteria tables–Marquis and me, as well as four people from his unit, including the one with the brave “ta-tas,” and his supervisor, a lovely woman who thinks I am either an alcoholic or that I need serious medication.
Eventually we got in line for the buffet, served by workers… oh, no, wait, the groom’s father was on the line. Apparently, he didn’t think the servers were doing a good job and he hopped… now the groom’s mother was on the–another and another. Hey, even the woman in red was serving! And dishing out these awful attempts at coy, seductive looks. (Ugh. Don’t get that in my food.)
I spent the next hour and a half being my usual self (and Marquis’s coworkers have a newfound respect for him).
Then the cake was finally cut and we had a piece of the groom’s cake instead of the bridal cake. Why? It certainly wasn’t because the groom’s was chocolate and the bride’s vanilla. No, the bridal cake was being cut by the bride and two women, kindly helping to dole the eighty or more pieces onto plates for the cake-hungry crowd. However, I had no idea who the two women were and the one closest to me was using her hand to balance the cake on the knife. Her frosting coated fingers made me nauseous. Being fastidious, I selected a piece from the groom’s cake. It was small and on doubt didn’t require hands to put on a plate.
I was comforted by this choice. I stood there, eating small pieces so I wouldn’t look like a sugar fiend, listening in on my husband talking with the groom.
Then I noticed a bit of blue frosting, which was absent from the groom’s cake, covered with red and white as it were for the Superman symbol (which I just don’t understand).
Promptly the cake was thrown in the trash.
Aside from the suspicious cake cutting ways of the family, and the streetwalker mentality of 60% of the women attending, the ceremony was lovely. It was also the first wedding Marquis and I have attended as a couple in our five years of marriage, so it has a special significance for us. We finally feel like we’ve made it as a married couple. You don’t make it until you’re invited to another couple’s wedding.
I wish our (pseudo) friends all the luck in the world and may their marriage be fruitful. Quickly. Multiply like bunny rabbits and know our pain! Muwahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaaaa!!!!
And there you have it. My take on an old tradition. (And a glimpse into how I get an idea for a horror story.)
Just wait til you hear how my family does Thanksgiving.
LMAO! Shanna, if you don’t channel this incredible twisted humor of yours into a Best Seller and a syndicated column someday, I’ll be shocked. Gawd, you’re a natural, and you crack me the hell up.
Hugs from Your Fan,
Coming from you, Fran, those are great compliments indeed.
And on Monday, Marquis’s supervisor really did ask him if I had a few before the wedding. Haha!
Shanna this is great. You should consider writing dark comedy. You have it down to a science.
Weddings! Where bras meet bullets… lol. I feel your pain. I endured countless awkward ceremonies when invited to the weddings of second-hand friends and the counter family. It can be horror in the truest sense a real “Call of Cthulhu”.
Nice. I enjoy reading your stuff 🙂 Michael told me you like to write, I try but I’m still not very good.
Thanks, Jessica. But everyone starts out terrible or worse. It takes a lot of practice and repetition to get any good. If you want, you can send me some of your work and I’ll let you know what I think. How’s that sound?