Weddings and The Art of War

Weddings; I hate them.  The thought of being shoved down the aisle looking like a meringue is enough to make me break out in hives.  It’s not an irrational fear—by all means I have empirical evidence proving that Brandy+Weddings=Disaster.  (I should clarify that I have nothing against the idea of marriage, only the actual event).

The ones I find really annoying, are those that take over 9 months to plan.  This never bodes well for anyone in the wedding party.  Ever.

I have had the honor (do my friends really love me?) to be a bridesmaid several times.  I’ve been stuck in yellow muumuus, violet ‘prom’ dresses, and something made of stretchy velvet.  I have sat up in the middle of the night with a six pack of cheap beer hand-beading a tiara.  I’ve been hit on by creepy Uncle Eddie, refereed arguments between bride and best man, been the coffee gopher for the mother-of-the-bride—and at one point, almost lost my life when the pist-off bride decided to unexpectedly change 5 lanes in heavy traffic.

So.  You’d think that being a guest at the wedding would be a welcome change?

I was newly single, with the dreaded occasion that no one likes to be single at.  My high-school friend Jenny was getting married.  Going stag to a wedding takes planning; it’s like going into battle.  For a woman you must be armed, tight dress, designer shoes and hot lingerie.  The lingerie is important.  In best case scenario one of the groomsmen is wicked hot and single.  In worst case scenario, when all else goes wrong, you’re rocking like a Victoria Secret angel under that dress—and you’re the only one who knows it.

I had my strategy planned.

1.  The Outfit

One super slinky mint green corset dress.  One pair white slip on mules with peep toes.  One pink and green embroidered garter belt with the power to paralyze men and level countries.

2.  The Bouquet Toss

Hide.  True humiliation is when standing with the ‘single girls’ to catch the bouquet consists of you and a pack of four year olds.

3.  The ‘Don’t You Have a Boyfriend’ Gauntlet

You’re not allowed to be blond with long legs and single at a wedding.  It’s a rule.  I don’t know who made it up.  Alcohol and suggestive laughter goes a long way towards ending awkward questioning.  When all else fails, spill your drink on the offensive questioner.

The wedding was a small affair held on the lawn overlooking a lake.  The ceremony went off well except for the part where the minister asked if anyone objected.  The bride laughed nervously.  We did, too.

The hundred or so guests milled on the lawn while the couple was being photographed.  Several families that my family knew from the military base in Puerto Rico were there.  I was standing next to my Mother when an older woman and a tall young man walked over.  The woman was unsteady in her heels, drink spilling over the sides and cigarette draped precariously out of her mouth.  Apparently she knew me.

“Brrannndy, do you r’member little Brucie?—You usedta babysit him (hiccup), now he’s finally old enough for you to have sex with him”.

Dead silence.  It couldn’t have been choreographed better by Yuen Wo-Ping.  The only thing that made this situation even more perfect was that ‘Little Brucie’s’ girlfriend was standing right next to him.

I’m fairly certain that I tilted my head in confusion.  I was prepared for the snarky single comments and fighting for the bouquet with the flower girl.  I was not prepared for the insinuation that I had been waiting all this time for Little Brucie to become a man.  Come here big boy; let me show you what a real woman can do—.

My Father, the only one who was in the house the whole time, walked up and asked what was going on.  At which point the drunken lady repeated it, AGAIN.  Jaysus!  My eyeball looked like Brad Pitt’s in 12 Monkeys.

I wish I could say that I came back with a quick rejoinder—alas, no.  I laughed nervously, breaking the silence.  The guests turned back around, and the gentle clinking of glasses, and soft conversation resumed.  OHthankgod.  My Mother leaned over and whispered in my ear, “These things only happen to you” and proceeded to giggle incessantly.

Needless to say I quickly exited stage left even.

I stopped at the liquor store, picked up a bottle of red wine for each hand and proceeded to call my British boy toy.

Garter belts will always save the day.

Always.

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9 Responses

  1. Hey you,

    Had no idea this was here. And based on this first piece I’ve read, I’m off to devour the rest. Not having lived anywhere more than 3 years most of my life, and so not having had a huge number of bosom buddies and all, I haven’t been to too many weddings, but I’ve always heard stories that make me wonder whether weddings are the utter singularities of weird-ass shit. You do nothing to dampen that impression, and I guess I’m glad, because you had me in stitches.

    If I knew enough about weddings, I’d write a ballad about a lady who goes stag to a wedding, and after one misbegotten wisecrack too many, lifts her right hand to her left shoulder as elegantly as a 1970s Air France flight attendant, and peels off her designer dress at the shoulder strap to reveal the legendary lingerie–garter belt and matching trim of mass destruction, complete with unfolding gossamer angel wings. She then circles slowly on her heel, eyeing the gathered as if they’re vassals behind on their tribute payments (the bride and groom have by now escaped for the honeymoon, so that the heroine cannot be accused of direct upstaging). Abruptly, she extends one leg in a pas de valse over her fallen dress, and walks out of the hall with the simple, straight lines of purpose.

    Screw save; I say garter belts always *make* the day.

    Nice one.

    • Uche,

      Weddings are defined by unusual happenings. I’m glad I had you in stitches. Although awful at the time, it’s fun to retell the story now.

      I think you should write the ballad! Whatever comedy of the absurd you invent would be spot on. “She extends one leg in a pas de valse over her fallen dress”. I think I’ll have to do that next time. Hahahaha.

  2. I thought I should separate from my balladeer comment the less sublime things that came to my head:

    * Do DJs these days play Beyoncé’s “single ladies” while flower girls and their shortie mob play prevent defense to block single guests catching the bouquet?
    * Did Brucie’s mom really expect you to flip an Uma Thurman as you took her bonny lad’s hand, singing “Boy, you’ll be a Mister soon…”
    * You ever fantasize about trussing up the brides in their own horrid bridesmaids dresses, and making them dance to the Disney Pinocchio classic “I’ve Got No Strings” a la Barbara Streisand?

    Sorry. And yes. Demented. Am. I.

    Did I mention you had me in stitches?

    • Hah!

      1. I wish they’d play “single ladies” during the bouquet mob—er, toss. Now I have the image of bunch of pre-schoolers making elbow blocks.

      2. I’m not sure what Brucie’s Mother’s intentions were. Although singing “Boy you’ll be a Mister soon” WOULD have been the perfect comeback. I could have made it into a musical with jazz hands.

      3. I haven’t fantasized about that–but I have thought about giving them roofies and sticking them on a train.

      Have mentioned to you that I believe dementia is an underrated talent? 😉

  3. Brandy,
    This is hilarious. I’m sorry, I know it was all totally uncomfortable for you, but boys, does it ever read funny. Weddings are horrible. Lots of money spent on one day that cannot possibly ever reach the expectations of the people involved. And then everyone has to go and watch this disappointment. Elopement is the way to go. Let people find out about it on their own.

    • Irene,

      Hah! I think you’re onto something. When you bring that many people into one occasion you’re just asking for it. I believe scientists properly defined chaos theory,

      –“a theory that complex natural systems obey rules but are so sensitive that small initial changes can cause unexpected final results, thus giving an impression of randomness.”

      I personally believe this was thought up at somebody’s wedding! 🙂

  4. That’s why my wedding only had my parents, Chris’ parents, and his sister. The lady who officiated is the mother of one of my friends and her husband took the pictures. The reception was at Carrabas and only included the wedding guests. The total wedding including my dress, his suite, the flowers, the rings, and the honeymoon was less then nine hundred dollars. With all the monetary gifts we got, we were able to get new things for our house and pay off the small loan we took out to cover the cost of the wedding.

  5. Well you guys did something right. You and Chris are still as adorable as ever. 🙂

    • Yup, and he’s managed to put up with me for ten years with out going nuts. Gotta love that.

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