Category Archives: little black dress

Notes From a Wedding

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…

Dear Grandma,
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!

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Filed under candles, fire hazard, grandmother, hearing aid, little black dress, shoes, wedding, wine

Weddings and Funerals

“Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get married. Goin’ to the chapel and we’re gonna get married. Gee, I really love you and we’re gonna get married. Goin’ to the chapel of love…

No.  Not me.  I’m already married.  And have been.  For a long time.  That song is going through my head because my cousin is getting married.  In two weeks.  Fingers crossed, knock on wood, and God willing, he will be married for a long time.  Forever.  Maybe even, as Buzz Lightyear likes to say “To infinity… and beyond!” which is, I am pretty sure, longer than forever. His fiancé is really pretty, and really nice, and everyone likes her so we want her in the family.  If we were picking teams, like if this was gym class, we’d probably be fighting over her.  So I’m glad my cousin is like the team captain, and he picked her up first.  She’s a keeper.

Anyway, this isn’t really about my cousin, or his fiancé, so much as it’s about the fact that I have to go buy a dress to wear to the wedding.  I looked in my closet and I have nothing to wear.  I doubt that I’m not the only one who has ever been in this predicament. 

I used to have things to wear.  I’m pretty sure I even had a few nice things too.  Fancy things.  Things suitable for an evening wedding.  But not anymore.  Ever since I had a child, I stopped buying fancy things because I don’t have anywhere to actually wear them.  Heels and a little black dress are a bit too much for dinner at Friday’s, if you know what I mean.  And I’m just not into the symphony or theater enough to attend on any regular schedule that would require I keep nice stuff in my closet.  Okay, actually, I can’t really afford tickets to the symphony or the theater, let alone the fancy clothes and sequined handbags and shoes required for it, on top of the cost of a babysitter.  But I’m not blaming my child for my lack of fancy clothes, or my budget really.  If any blame is to be placed, it’s  with my friends who all got married back around the time I did, and so none of us have much occasion to get dressed up anymore.  Sometimes married life means you dress up for other people’s events, but when they are married too, and busy with children of their own, there aren’t that many events demanding you pull on pantyhose. The occasional potluck or Saturday afternoon Bar-B-Q are just a bit too casual for that, I think.  Unless you’re June Cleaver, and I’m not.

Which is okay, actually.  Until you NEED a dress.  Because you know when you need something, you’ll never find the right thing. Especially when you have a limited amount of time to find it.  Especially when you have less than 2 weeks to find it. 

Now, in all honesty, I have a little black dress hanging in my closet.  It fits, it’s fine.  It will work for this wedding.  My husband says so (although that could be because he doesn’t want me to spend any more money) and my mother says so, and a friend who’s hip and very into fashion, says so.  And I know that black is perfectly fine evening wear, even in the summer.  But still.  Black reminds me of funerals, not weddings.  Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been thinking about funerals an awful lot lately.

I can’t help it.  I’m starting to wonder if the grim reaper is stalking me.  I don’t think I’m crazy because I have this evidence:

First, I heard an ad on the radio in my car.  It was for a funeral parlor that’s located in my town.  The ad said when cremation is what you’re after, they are the place to go.  They offer a full range of burial and cremation services because they have their own crematory ON THE PREMISES.  In my town!

I did not know that.  I was creeped out at the knowledge.  I can’t stop thinking about it and now I feel like I need to drive by there and take a look.  I mean, is there a chimney sticking up and spewing smoky ashes of the dead into my town?  Is that why this area has so many farms?  Things grow well because the ashy smoke settles on the fields like fertilizer? 

And then, I don’t know how, or why, but I heard this snippet of conversation when I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day: “…and he told me that he couldn’t find anyone to build crypts in Puerto Rico, so I picked up the phone and called my guy…”  Crypts?  And you have a guy?  You have a guy that builds crypts?  Who are you? 

I’ve been listening to Good Charlotte’s CD Good Morning Revival lately too.
I picked it up at Best Buy a week or so ago, and I like it so much that I’ve kept it in my car’s CD player ever since.  My daily commute is long, and I hear the entire CD at least twice a day now.  There’s a song on there, All Black, with the line “…Never been much for weddings or anniversaries but I go to a funeral if I’m invited any day of the week…” and then another line “…Like the color of your dress, all black…” . 

Anyway, on my way home from work everyday I pass by this cemetery.  And sometimes, if the timing is right, All Black is actually playing right as I drive by.  I think it’s old, the cemetery, and possibly haunted.  All of the headstones are crooked, leaning to the side, their heavy bottoms, which should be underground, I think, are exposed.  Others are leaning forward, as if to kiss the ground.  And the rest, they are leaning backwards, as if tired of standing sentry, they are getting ready to lie down and nap.  I can’t help but think of those old horror movies, like Night of the Living Dead, for example, where the dead claw their way out of the ground at night.  I imagine, as I pass this particular cemetary, and see the tombstones all askew, that the dead are responsible.  They’ve bumped their headstones and set them off kilter as they’ve climbed from the depths below.

On top of all that, as I was driving my son to summer camp this morning, I looked in the rearview mirror to find that I was being followed by a hearse. A hearse!  A vehicle I think of as a limo for the dead.  But thinking about limousines reminds me of weddings.  Which reminds me again that I ought to go shopping for a more colorful dress.  If I can’t find one I like, then I’m at least buying a pair of new shoes to go with the dress I already have hanging in my closet.  I probably ought to to buy flats instead of heels.  That way, if I am being stalked by the grim reaper, I might have a chance of out running him.

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Filed under funeral, little black dress, wedding