Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Always a Bridesmaid...

Here is a little-known fact about me. I do not like going to weddings. I don't mind watching wedding shows on TV, I enjoy seeing people's pictures, and I love wedding dresses, but I always dread receiving those 4 pound envelopes in the mail with the RSVP cards inside. It just seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to throw a big party for 200 people that will forget all about it the instant they go home and start perusing their TiVos to see last Thursday's episode of The Office. Do the guests care that your dress has 967 pearls on it that were hand-sewn by French nuns? No. They want to drink as much as possible at the open bar and then head home to watch Dwight throw a baby stroller from the top of a pile of tires. Really, how can you compete with Steve Carrell and Rainn Wilson?

Did I have a wedding? Yes. Did I wish for a big extravagant party complete with a band and sit down dinner? Yes. Did I get it? No. My mom gently (read, not so gently) explained to me that she was not going to spend 40 grand on a big fluffy party. I was not thrilled to hear her explanation at the time, but now I find myself wishing that we had used the money she did end up spending on our wedding for something more practical. Like a new water heater. Or a deck.

So you can imagine my reaction when not only did my brother-in-law's fiancee, K, ask me to be a bridesmaid, but asked me to be a bridesmaid at their wedding all the way up in Pennsylvania...or was it China? Who knows? Might as well be China. All I know is that it is going to require a two to three hour drive up with two cranky girls in the back seat. Joy.

Yes, I realize I am being a wee bit self-centered here. But it's my blog. I can be self-centered if I want. I would never begrudge anyone her big day, but I guess I am just over the whole big white wedding phase of life. Most of my friends are married with kids, which is a whole different ball game. Parents of the bride can complain about money all they want, but they've had 20+ years to save up for their daughter to have an ice sculpture of the Parthenon. (For the record, K is not having an ice scuplture...that is just the first extravagant thing I could think of) It's the groomsmen and bridesmaids who really suffer.

Well, you say, why didn't you just say that you don't want to be a bridesmaid? That excuse might have worked for my brother's wedding last summer, but it would never withstand my mother-in-law. She loves weddings and planning weddings and showers. She is just so darn nice that I hate to upset her. Really. I'm not just saying that. I honestly didn't want to stir up anything, so I agreed to be one of K's bridesmaids.

So not only am I having to pack the family up to head to Pennsylvania for this wedding, did I mention that I also have to lug up Halloween costumes since the rehearsal is on Halloween night? I'm not big into Halloween, but I was looking forward to taking Natalie and Michaela Byrd trick or treating for the first time. Now I guess Dorothy and Glinda will have to make do watching a bunch of old people stand around. This, of course, will be after we drop all our junk off at the $200 hotel room and drive another half an hour to the ceremony site. Gee whiz. And don't forget the winter coats- because the wedding party (and I am guessing my children) will be sitting in a covered porch during the reception in Pennsylvania November weather. But, don't worry...I think they are using canvas to cover the walls. Yay.

Maybe today this is just about blowing off a little steam. I just hate to spend so much money on gas, hotels, clothes, and gifts so close to Christmas. Wedding plans are very personal. But sometimes it's nice to think of other "persons" when you are making your wedding plans. Next time, I will learn to just say "no" to the whole bridesmaid thing. Speak now, or forever hold your peace, right?

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