Category Archives: Wedding

Finally, a Bachelorette Party that Celebrates Pain, Confusion, and Fear

Not having fun is not an option.

My sister is getting married at the end of June, and I have the pleasure of being a maid of honor/supreme co-ruler of the bridesmaids. One of the best maid’s duties is throwing the bachelorette party. Based on movies, books, television shows, and personal experiences, these parties tend to be visual manifestations of my personal hell.

I imagine girls getting together in dresses and high heels, sipping colorful drinks and letting loose like a bunch of fillies. Shoes! Giggles! Skirts! Tickles! Lingerie! Eeeek! Heeheehee! AHHHHH DEAR GOD NO!

It all sounds pretty awful, which is why I’m planning a party that’s going to rebel against all social norms and delve into the darkest parts of our souls. The party will be constructed around the keywords pain, confusion, and fear, and these concepts will inform every aspect of the celebration.

Instead of flirty summer dresses, our fabulous girlfriends will be advised to wear something utilitarian, breathable, and sturdy, as we will be performing complex physical tasks such as digging and crawling.

After getting together and performing vigorous calisthenics before eating a refuel meal of unseasoned cottage cheese oatmeal and tap water, we will start playing games. This is usually where bachelorette parties go even further astray. The gathering collapses into a mess of giggles as the women reminisce over the bride-to-be’s romantic past with her current squeeze and try to embarrass her about the fact she wears underwear. My theory is that no one cares.

I’ve replaced the boring games with something called Bride-Chase, which is a cross between capture the flag, hide-and-go-seek, and war itself. The game begins when the bride realizes her engagement ring has been taken.

Before panic sets in, she will be told that we know where her ring is but that she will have to get past every single feisty lass at the party in order to retrieve it. Her breast friends have become her bosom enemies. We are given ten minutes to hide before she sets out for the ring. As she struggles through the Bride-Chase zone, we will pelt her from our hiding spots with Super Soakers and sequined thongs. If she is ever hit on the face, she has to go back to the beginning, and we will certainly aim for the face.

The overall purpose of the game is to teach the bride-to-be that friendships are fickle and that one day she may find that everything she believes to be true is a lie. This is the lesson of Bride-Chase.

She has 24 hours to get her ring back or it will be sold to cover the cost of the oatmeal, cottage cheese, Super Soakers, and thongs.

No party favors or prizes will be given out. Instead, anyone who proves themselves weak will be forced to do burpees and suicides until they vomit, which probably won’t take very long.

I just hope my sister will be able to understand that this party is an incredible, unique, and priceless gift that she will never forget. It is also the only one I will be able to give her due to financial constraints.

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Minimizing Bridal Threat

will she ruin her own wedding day?

Dear Sister,

Last night I finished The Bridesmaid Guide and Maid of Honor as per your request and am now ready to assume full powers as co-maid of honor/bridesmaid. Please prepare yourself to have the house and every pre-wedding party filled with “sassy bridesmaid giggles.”

The books were fascinating. I learned much about women, that we live for lingerie and high heels, that we love fabulous gifts like leopard print sheets and seashell soaps, and above all, that should anything be sublime, beautiful, or worthy, the best adjective to describe it is “fabulous,” which means “being loyal, enthusiastic, faithful, fun, gorgeous, and true” (TBG 13).  And so we shall be fabulous, dear sister.

As sweat soaks our underarms in the Oklahoma summer heat, hinting at our humanity, as family surrounds us and threatens to choke out our very existence, as we yearn to make off-color jokes and mock the world, we shall bite our tongues, stuff tissues in our armpits, and laugh it all away. We will all be fabulous, but only your fabulousness will be the talk of the wedding. That is our purpose.

But I am worried, sweet sister. I worry for you. As I delved deeper into the books, I learned of a terrible change that is going to come over you as the wedding date approaches. You, bride sister, are likely going to turn into a monster, someone even you would have despised from your pre-wedding mindset.

I found that, as a Leo bride, you are going to have moments of “arrogance and vanity,” and we as bridesmaids must appease you by throwing you a fabulous night on the town (do you even like going on the town?), and our bridesmaid motto must be “keep your eyes on the bride.” Dear God what is going to happen to you??

They say you will turn into a pile of nerves with the mental faculties of a cupcake. As the wedding day approaches, you will descend further into a continual state of hysteria, fueling irrational decision making. You might attempt anything from getting a Mohawk to having your bellybutton pierced and then running away to Omaha. You will likely scream at us in your distress, and should any one of your bridesmaids so much as hint at a problem that is not your concern, you may well go permanently insane, ruining the wedding.

I will still love you, sister, and I will protect the fragile matchsticks of sanity that remain inside your frenzied bridal head until the wedding mania passes. However, you should know that in my capacity as co-maid of honor, I can and will have you removed from the wedding should you present too great a threat to the production. Other sister will take your place as your identical body double, and the ceremony will proceed as planned. You will be put somewhere comfortable but secure, where you do not need to be afraid. I hope you can understand why this might need to happen, and that I’m only doing it for your good.

Thank you for the honor of asking me be your maid of honor, and I promise, dearest sister, that I will not let you down or let you let yourself down.

With fabulous love,

Emily

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Turns Out I Hate Crafts

The first of thousands. Literally thousands.

Having recently arrived home, where my nuclear family lives, including one bride-to-be, I have been confronted with some uncomfortable realities. One of these is the fact I don’t have my own room. Another is that there countless people (5) saying good morning to me in the  early hours when I would rather hear only the sweet hum of my aging computer. The most pressing one, however, is the fact I will physically have to do things to help my sister in her wedding preparations, and it is going to be much more work and much less glamorous than I had previously supposed.

Though I spoke boldly about how much I was looking forward to the wedding stuff and being a best maid, etc. while stationed abroad, I had no concept of what that would entail. At a distance from the nuptial hubbub, I played to my talents, which are blogging. While at home, however, I can no longer blog it in. My blogging in no way, shape, or form helps my sister. If anything, it’s a distraction and a nuisance.

Oddly enough, what my sister actually needs are people to work like indentured servants on a variety of craft projects, since she’s into the “make it right the first time” movement. It’s also cheaper than buying things from Martha Stewart. Currently we’re making big yarn globes, which will look pretty cool whenever we’re finished with them. But that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t like crafts. I’m also not very good at doing them. Consider this: the most artistic thing that I do regularly is doodle, and I only do that when I’m incapable of focusing on something else. I never choose art or crafts as an activity in and of itself, and almost as soon as I start one, I wonder when I can stop.

Here’s what’s going to happen: as soon as we start making another one of those globe things, I will instantly regret being a part of the project and begin counting the minutes until I can leave. This will to lead to me doing a poor job, which will in turn lengthen the project as we drape and re-drape strand after glue-soaked strand of yarn over the balloon. Secretly I’ll hope that by doing such a poor job you will never ask me to help out again. I recall all my former valiant words with chagrin as I’m faced with these simple tasks that prove too taxing for my attention span, which barely rivals that of a goldfish.

Instead of pretending I’m capable of attending to detail or caring about any aspect of a craft project except for finishing it with speed, from now on I’ll only do the most mindless of tasks so I will be free to distract others. This is my true gift to the wedding enterprise. My hands may be clumsy and my mind distracted, but my comments and interruptions are endless.

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Dear Sister: Prepare for Defeat

Only one will win

My triplet sister is getting married at the end of next June, and my other triplet and I are co-chairing the maid of honor. Neither of my sisters realizes that this kind of sharing is impossible. There can be only one maid of honor. The other one is just “nice sister.” Therefore, I’m viewing the entire affair as a competition to see who can be the best maid of honor, where the greatest contestant will win the title at the end of the wedding and strip the other contender of all honors. It will be a heartwarming ceremony for all who attend, especially the victorious bridesmaid.

By way of good sportsmanship, I have drawn up a list of the reasons I will make a formidable challenger in this competition. May the best sister prevail.

1. I have literally nothing else to do once I get back from Egypt in May. While my opponent is busy reviewing flash cards, I’ll be yelling at the caterers and handling all phone, email, and material communication regarding the wedding for the bride. My level of availability is unbeatable.

2. As a special service to the bride-to-be, I will be live-blogging and live-tweeting the entire wedding. People usually pay thousands for this kind of coverage, a fee I’m willing to forgo, and the publicity could even result in our entire family or just me becoming famous. No one else is willing to invade my family’s privacy as much as I am.

3. Having spent roughly 6 years studying Arabic, or should I say preparing for my sister’s wedding, I am ready to use these language skills during the ceremony in a number of ways. I could deliver of my speech completely in formal Arabic, recite a few verses from the Qur’an and/or the Arabic Bible at any point during the service in conservative Oklahoma, or translate the wedding invitations and bulletins into Arabic. My Arabic skills know no comparison (to anyone in our family and friend circle).

4. I am willing to put myself into extreme amounts of personal discomfort in order to help my sister through the wedding process; I can thrive on trivial amounts of sleep and peanut butter for months at a time provided there is an unlimited supply of Nescafe Gold. I will punish myself for my sister’s happiness.

5. As a public speaker of average talents with a great passion for being the center of attention, I promise to limit the length of my speech to 20 minutes, no more than half of which will be in Arabic. Furthermore, I pledge to put on fake accents throughout the speech, including the two I can do okay—Slavic and British—and a host of others of which I know only a phrase or two. My other sister’s speech will not be nearly as memorable.

6. Since I attended a secular school for my undergraduate degree, I have more experience in both drinking as well as getting my groove on in public and private spaces. To that end, I will make sure that everyone knows there will be no alcohol at the wedding and that they’d do best to get smashed beforehand. I will also be in charge of keeping a good vibe going on the dance floor. No wedding in Oklahoma has seen hedonism like this.

After seeing these qualifications, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if my other sister doesn’t drop out of the competition. If she’s foolish enough to remain, I look forward to the thrill of a drawn-out competition that will slowly tear our family apart.

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Say Yes to the Toothpaste!

“the one” was still being shipped

The search has finally ended. Today I found “the one”—the one toothpaste that fits me perfectly, embodies my personality, and makes me look better than everyone else. It’s a little out of my budget range, but I think we all can agree that no price is too high when you find the paste that takes your breath away. I’ve known people who have taken out second mortgages, sold vehicles, and rented out less-favorite children’s rooms to strangers just in order to afford the perfect paste. Personally, I dropped out my fellowship program in order to give this search the time and focus it deserves, and my efforts have not gone unrewarded.

I started with the go-to Crest®, Colgate®, and Aquafresh® collections. I was particularly interested in seeing what Crest® Tartar Control Whitening Plus Scope® Liquid Gel Toothpaste would do for my gum color, and I wasn’t disappointed. After a quick brushing, my gums felt as taut and healthy as a well tuned guitar string. The Aquafresh® number was also a strong competitor with its new Extreme Clean® toothpaste with Micro-Active Foaming Action and Whitening, a product developed in part by NASA. But even though the Extreme Clean® looked and fit wonderfully, it just didn’t feel like “me.” So then I tried on Colgate Total®: Enamel Strength toothpaste that also has 12 hour germ fighting protection. After brushing only once with the Colgate®, I bit through a kitchen table.  I had never felt so powerful. My friends and family also thought Colgate® was a good fit for me, but even so, I still yearned for something else.

When was at my hairdresser’s getting my bangs redone and and talking about my search for “the one,” he asked me if I’d ever tried Sensodyne®.  “It’s America’s #1 desensitizing toothpaste” he said, and “It’s been taking the feeling out of people’s teeth for over 4 decades.”“Wow.” I said. “I had no idea.”

I left straightaway and went to CVS. Standing in the oral care aisle of the drugstore, I felt a calm descend over me as I picked up what I knew would be the last brand of toothpaste I would ever squeeze onto the soft bristles of my toothbrush: Sensodyne® Extra Whitening: Maximum Strength with Fluoride. I headed for the checkout with my prize, grinning like a convict with a secret. The cashier said I’d picked out a nice toothpaste and I knew he was right. This was “the one.”

When I tried on the toothpaste at home, it felt as though it and I were one soul, long separated but at last rejoined. I took pictures of myself brushing my teeth and sent them to my entire family and posted them on facebook so everyone could know just how beautiful my teeth were going to be. The flood of comments and support was overwhelming.

All I can say is that I’m incredibly thankful to have a group of people in my life willing to stick with me and give me honest feedback throughout this process. I refuse to stop now that I’ve found “the one” toothpaste, and will continue similar searches for “the one” toilet paper and “the one” deodorant, and very soon my life will be perfect.

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