So I attended a wedding last weekend. The one I mentioned here. I ended up being both too busy and too lazy to go shopping for a new outfit, so I wore the little black dress I already had hanging in my closet. I did, however, buy a new pair of shoes to go with it. At least, they looked like shoes; black strappy HIGH heels with shiny, fake rhinestones on them. In actuality, I am pretty sure they were just medieval torture devices. They felt fine in the shoe store, but after ½ an hour at the wedding, it was more than clear: those shoes were made for sitting. They were NOT made for walking. Or dancing. At one point, when a cousin commented that she liked my shoes, I offered to give them to her, right there, on the spot. Because I liked her shoes, and I think we could have made a good trade. Only too bad for us: I was wearing a size 8 and her shoes, which would have looked equally nice with my dress, were only a 7. I figured if I was going to torture my feet I might as well do it in the correct size, least I make matters worse.
The wedding was beautiful. The reception was fantastic in a fabulous setting, with great food and great fun. I think, if you had been there, you would have had a good time. I did, even if my feet didn’t.
Still, a couple of things happened at the wedding that I thought worth mentioning. In doing so, I hope to help anyone who is reading this and planning a wedding themselves, or planning to attend a wedding. You might want to be prepared for such…. situations, should they arise.
In the wedding party, there were TWO women named Emily and TWO men named Keith. I wondered if it got confusing during all the hairstyling, and dressing, and tying of ties. Did they have to use the first of initial of their last names like they do in my son’s preschool class? Because Snags will come home from school and tell me something astonishing and I’ll say “Bradley Phillips did THAT?” and he’ll say “No, mom, not Bradley P. Bradley V.” Like I’m an idiot. Clearly.
So I wondered if at some point as the wedding party was getting ready if someone, maybe the bride, asked, “Have you seen Emily? And another bridesmaid said “She’s standing right next to you!” and the bride had to say, “No, not Emily P. Emily V. ! She has my earrings…” Or maybe as the men were getting ready the two Keith’s got their tuxedo’s mixed up and panicked for a split second – “This jacket’s too tight! These pants are too long! What are we going to do? The wedding starts in an hour!” But then they sighed in relief and laughed a bit when they realized that Keith M. had been given Keith N’s tuxedo by mistake. And once they switched them, all was well. Anyway, I’m not sure if this was a problem at all, but I imagine it could be, so there you go, something to think about.
At the church, right before the wedding ceremony started, I looked over my shoulder and saw, out of the corner of my eye, the sleeve of a dress on one of the groom’s aunts. I thought, “Heyyyy… that sleeve looks mighty familiar…” and I looked down at MY sleeve, (which was easy to do because my head was already turned) and I said to myself, “Yes! HER sleeve looks like MY sleeve! I hope we don’t have the same dress on…” Only, it turned out we DID. The groom’s aunt and I WERE. WEARING. THE. SAME. DRESS! Lucky for us, this was a wedding and not a prom. I mean, nobody really cared what we were wearing, right?
We joked about it. She asked if I’d gotten my dress on sale. And I said, “I don’t remember. This dress has been hanging in my closet for 2 years.” But she had just bought hers. And that was a relief because:
1) it meant I’d bought my dress FIRST, and
2) I was still in style, baby!
I mean, hey, if they are selling the exact same dress 2 years later, it must be a classic don’t you think? So we made a pact to wear the same dress AGAIN when my other cousin gets married. He’s still in college though, so I imagine it’s going to be a while. But you can bet I’ll be wearing different shoes to his wedding.
Anyway, as embarrassing as that was, to have the same dress as one other wedding guest, I started thinking (ahem… after several glasses of wine) how the wait staff at the reception must have felt. Like me, they were dressed in black too. Black shirts, black pants. All of them. The same! And THEN, there were five women wearing the same floor length sea foam gowns! And for some reason, they actually stood near each other all night long!
I commented on the odds of all of this to my husband as we drove home that evening. The coincidences were too great. With odds like that, it seemed we should buy some lottery tickets. But he only rolled his eyes in exasperation. He reminded me that the bridesmaids were supposed to be dressed alike. As were the caterers. And so the only coincidence, after all, appeared to be in my wearing the same dress as someone else.
“Ah! Okay, you might have a point there. Maybe I had a little too much wine.” I remarked. “But it’s not my fault. My feet hurt.”
About 2 hours into the reception someone said that my 98 year old grandmother had lost her hearing aid. This wasn’t the first time that had happened and so I asked a relative how many times she was allowed to lose it before they stopped replacing it. She is 98, after all. It’s not like it was a retainer and if you threw it away AGAIN at lunch and your parents were pissed off and didn’t replace it… Well, at 98, her teeth aren’t even HER teeth. They won’t go all crooked on her again unless her Polident slips, right? And if they don’t replace the hearing aid, everyone could just shout at her, or write her notes. Her eyes are still okay, so she could read the notes, as long as she doesn’t lose her glasses…
We warned you, didn’t we? We told you if you lost your hearing aid just one more time we would not be buying you a new one. And now you’ve gone and done it, haven’t you? So here you go. We will write you notes on this pad of paper from now on. And please don’t turn up the volume on the TV beyond a level 35 when you watch The Price is Right. Any higher will blow out the speakers and we won’t buy you a new TV if you break this one…
One time, years ago, after she thought she’d lost her hearing aid while playing bingo at the local fire hall, one of my aunts spent hours upon hours combing through bags and bags of the fire hall’s garbage to find it. She felt her way through several large stinky Hefty bags full of half eaten plates of macaroni salad without any luck. But later my grandmother found her hearing aid — at the bottom of her purse.
My aunt, the one who combed through all that rotting macaroni salad swore she wasn’t doing that again, and since none of the rest of us wanted to either, many of the relatives and all of the wait staff were dragged into playing FIND THE MISSING HEARING AID as a reception game. We looked under tables, in purses, in the rest room, in the parking lot, along the pier. No dice. Maybe we thought, she was sitting on it. We made my grandmother stand up so we could check the seat of her wheelchair. Still, nothing. I suggested we check the ears of some of the other elderly guests, just in case one of them had
stolen it borrowed it. But nobody thought that was a very good idea. And as I said before, my shoes were torture, so I wasn’t going to walk around and do it myself!
The hearing aid scavenger hunt went on and on. And just when things started to look tragically hopeless, my grandmother found her hearing aid. In her ear. This was not unlike the way an amateur magician can pull a quarter from behind a child’s ear. And my aunt smiled smugly and mumbled to herself, “Ha! Now you all know how I felt!” Actually, I don’t really know if my aunt mumbled that to herself. I wasn’t standing near her when the hearing aid materialized. But if I was in her shoes, that’s what I would have said. Only really loudly. Because I’d been drinking. And her shoes were probably more comfortable than mine, so if I’d been wearing them, I could have been even smugger.
Did I mention how pretty the reception location was? It was held at a restaurant next to a pier on a river. Each table was covered in white cloth and candles. There were hundreds of candles, maybe thousands, lighting the rooms. It was very pretty and very romantic; absolutely perfect for a wedding reception. Or, um…at least it was until somebody set their napkin down on top of one of the candles. All I can say is that the fire was extinguished quickly, after a brief flare when someone tried to help by pouring the dregs of their mixed drink upon it. But nobody was harmed. The only thing burnt was the napkin, and part of the tablecloth. After that the candles were even more romantic considering they had that added mystique of FIRE HAZARD. If you are planning your own wedding with lots of candles you might consider adding small bottles of flame retardant and miniature fire extinguishers to your table decorations, along extra pairs of comfortable shoes (size 8 please), and spare hearing aids.
In all seriousness though, I wish a lifetime of happiness for the bride and groom. You guys are an AWESOME couple!