Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cardinal sin of an ex-server

Did I mention I used to work at weddings? Perhaps this is why I am such a bitter bridesmaid. Spending a summer of late weekend nights working weddings is enough for anyone to want to take a wedding cake and shove it up the bride's dress. It actually was a fairly fun summer - we were like a little troop of wedding soldiers that would sneak food when the bride wasn't looking, help ourselves to a cocktail or two if it was an open bar, and dance to the DJ's random mix of music from the 60's to the 90's.

There are few weddings that stand out in my mind - not for their beauty but for their sheer tackiness. There was one wedding where it was a 'wrong side of the tracks' kind of girl marrying a West Side boy. One side looked ridiculous with their poor attemps to cover tattoos in gaudy dresses with mis-matched shoes while the other side appeared rife with dissaproval and upturned noses. The icing on the cake was when the bride whipped off her wedding dress, in full view, donned a sunflower covered sundress and continued to rip up the dance floor with her pre-1986 moves.

And then there are the couples who adore themselves so much that they go slightly overboard on everyone's own generosity at adoring them for the day. In one case, the couple had had a videographer record everything from the morning on. The bride getting ready, the groom nervous in his hotel room, the pre-wedding photos, the ceremony etc etc. So here these poor guests are just wanting some food and wine when the couple proceeds to set up a projector and show the video thus far. That's right. The guests had to sit through an hour and a half of video - most of which was the ceremony - THAT THEY HAD JUST BEEN AT!!!!! Talk about overboard.

But I digress. The point of this post was to apologize to those poor banquet servers that I have yelled at. Yes, yelled at. I feel so bad, especially since I used to be a server. But having been a server I get the ettiquette and I can't help but become bitchy bridesmaid when servers are being retards. One of the famed weddings was at this huge open area in an art gallery. Because it was a New Year's wedding staff was hard to come by, or so I assume, and there were these little old ladies serving us dinner. We all felt terrrible - it was if our grandmothers were giving us wine. So needless to say, the service was slightly slow, slightly clumsy and SUPER loud. So when during the speeches all I could hear was the CLANK CLANK of dishes being collected I sort of lost it. Not that i yelled at the nannies, more their boss, but seriously? When the head table can't hear the speech over the clamouring of dishes you know something is wrong.

And at the latest shi-shi wedding, we had to travel through the kitchen to get to the room where the ceremony was being held. Whatever. Just after the grandmothers had walked down the aisle (and the room was all a hush in anticipation) the kitchen staff insisted on moving dishes. CLANK CLANK CLANK!! I am standing there, arms linked with the best man, trying to listen to the music drifting from the sting quartet that is being drowned out by dishes! Seriously, are they blind? Can they not see we are about to walk down the aisle?? So I leave my post and march into the kitchen all purple dress and pretty bouqet, shusshing people. Yes, shusshing. I am ashamed that I was so harsh - but really, can you blame me? The bride glanced at me with deep appreciation (and some new admiration of my power skills) in her eyes and mouthed 'thank-you'. She was too nice to say anything - so another duty of being a bridesmaid is to pull out the bitch.

But I do apologize to any servers, not just at weddings, that I am rude to. I just have this thing about customer service. Sorry - you do a thankless job and don't get paid nearly enough. I will never be rude again. Okay, i will try not to be rude ever again . . . . .

The Shower

There is one thing about weddings in the new milleneum that I don't get - and that is the shower. Really, what is the point?? From what I gather, women (and only women - stupid men and their great deals) get together months before a wedding to give gifts to the bride sans the groom. Sometimes there are a few showers - which gets a bit much. There is only so much tea drinking and playing cheesy games that I can take. I guess what I don't get is why we have to give the bride and groom so much stuff in this day and age.

Most couples who get married, that I know, have already lived together for several years. They often own their home and have built it together. Sure, there are some remnants of university days - his coke bottle collection, her pink writing desk - but for the most part they have the toaster, the waffle maker, the tea pot. In the old days, the showers were to give the 19/20/21-year old couple the starters for their home. But we have them now!! Our baby-boomer mum's made sure of this. It isn't that I begrudge the gifts (okay, maybe I do a little) but seriously, when is enough, enough?

Plus, they are often the most boring afternoon ever spent on the planet. And I hate the games! Who wants a toilet paper dress? Who wants a hat made of gift wrap and bows? A friend of mine just recently had her shower - it was great and to the point. She is on my side about the games and hat - refusing both, so we just opened presents and drank wine. Lots of wine. Go team! I also hate opening presents in front of people - how can you fake uber enthusiasm for tea towells? Sure you need them but can you really oooh and aaaah over a set of flame-retardant material.

Remember that episode of 'Sex and the City'? The one where Carrie's shoes are stolen at her friend's baby shower? I can't help but think of that when I go to a shower. Here we are, a society that has opened up the doors for women - telling them they can be astronauts, moviestars, or engineers - and yet we still prize the bride. After all, she has been the most successful: she has bagged herself a man! Let's shower her with gifts and praise! ooooo, look at her! She can cook for her husband with her new crock pot from Auntie May! Lucky her! Give me a break.

I have two girlfriends who are fabulous and single. They are both extremely intelligent and hard working. They are leaders in their field AND they own their homes. By THEMSELVES! Under 30 and they bought condos in a city where real estate is going through the roof. But do they get a shower? No. Do they get a waffle iron as a prize for doing something good? No. And they both could probably use one - they are wicked cooks. I guess this is what cheeses me off. I am spending money on people who already have two incomes and a house full of goodies and yet my single friends get squat. When are we going to celebrate accomplishments worthy of the 21st-century? Anyone can get married - but can anyone write a novel? No!

I say we either stop the shower all together or start throwing "I'm single and I bought a house" showers. Take THAT 1950's tradition!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My top five of the day

I forgot my Top Five!


1. That stupid dance you have to do with the groomsman you walked up the aisle with. I think I hate this more than anything. Usually you don’t know the guy and he is some goofy friend or relative of the groom. They might have a girlfriend who inevitably glares at you during the song OR they are single and think that they will get into your crinoline later. The latter is the absolute worst thing that can happen (unless you want him in your crinoline) especially if he rubs himself close to your thigh and shows you had badly he wants in your crinoline. Seriously, it’s enough to make you puke up that wedding cake.

2. Matchy matchy matchy. Of course, I have covered the ‘suck it up rule’ in earlier ‘Top Five’ lists but that doesn’t mean I like it. No one is meant to match like that. It isn’t natural – unless you are twins; and that’s just cheesy.

3. I highly dislike the bouquet toss. It is a stupid tradition that should be banned. Let’s bring out the single girls and make them catch some flowers so that they too can be lucky like the bride and someday marry a prince. Puke. That being said, there is some horrible force deep inside my body that can’t help but want to catch that bouquet. My competitive side comes out and I don’t care who gets in my way: flower girls, mothers and even a grandmother. Oooops. I’m not kidding – I knocked a six year old out of my way once. And I’m still not married so clearly the tradition is stupid.

4. I hate wedding hair!!!!!! I HATE wedding hair!!!!!! Again, I have to just ‘suck it up’ but dear god! Why? WHY is wedding hair so bad? It’s like the hairdresser is so excited to do their most creative work on your head. I don’t care – my hair was never meant to look like a rats nest on the back of my head. Never!!

5. The morning after gift opening. Ummmm, whose bright idea was this? Oh please can I get up at the crack of dawn after an entire DAY of champagne and gin & tonic’s? And if I do have to go to a gift opening please provide greasy snacks such as sausages and bacon; this is only fair.

The non-bride wedding planner

Crap! I have accomplished nothing today! Nothing!!!!! I am waiting to find out if I made the top-five finalist for hosting CMT - which has me on edge in this highly annoying way. It's worse because it isn't even technically an acting job nor is it soley for actors. The thing about being an actress is you have to just let it go. Let it go! I am very good at letting it go (unfortunately I have lots of practice) but with this thing my mind is racing all over the place. Did I want it bad enough? Is the universe responding to my lack of enthusiasm at spending the summer away from Vancouver and living in Toronto for three months (ugh, no offense Torontonians but nothing beats a West Coast summer)? Should I have voted for myself more? Do I look too much like one of the other hosts? Did I even want this job? Do I want to be a host or an actor? YES! Of course I wanted this job! it pays!!! Lots. Crap. I hate losing out to non-actors or newbie actors who haven't even entered the real world yet.

So I accomplished nothing except watching some TV upside down and working out. I also planned my wedding today. That's right, I planned my fictional, non-exisitant wedding. I don't know why we girls do this, but we do (or I hope WE do, is it just me??). The thing about being a bridesmaid ALOT and going to tons of weddings is that with each year I get older and with each new wedding under my belt, I can't help but wonder: when will it be me? Ugh.

And with all these weddings that I go to, I have one conclusion: they are all the same!! So it is up to me (and my mum who gave me instructions to throw a different sort of wedding) to take the road not taken and do something unusual. Check. Today I planned a wedding in a Scottish castle, also I planned one in a barn in Alberta, and then there is the Paris wedding (very hard to do if you are not French). And now I am out of ideas. I am also fresh out of fiance. Wait, I never had a fiance to be out of but I do have a boyfriend who also plans 'our/his' wedding with me until we both stop, shut up and realize we are talking about our fictional, non-exsistant wedding that may or may not happen between us in the next two years.

I did something to my poor boyfriend, the engineer, this weekend that really does give him reason to run screaming for the door. I went to this wine club party and before i knew it, I told people we were engaged!!!! One minute I was talking real estate and the next thing I knew was these words were pouring out of me (I could blame the Merlot but this is after one glass!!). Words like 'engaged' 'getting married' 'how will we fit into my apartment as a married couple' kind of words! GAH! One guy asked when we were getting married, I told him next year and then retracted that statement and said 2009. The crazy (and somewhat sad) thing is that it didn't stop there! NO! Three hours later (this time FOR SURE fuelled with Merlot) I told this other group that I was getting married. They asked where my ring was. I sadly looked down and said at the cleaners. THE CLEANERS!!!!! Luckily the engineer was not at this party, but I merlot-emailed him later to tell him that i said some shameless things at the party. When i was able to finally talk to him, he just laughed and said I was an idiot. He also asked what happens when we go to the next wine party TO-GET-HER? Oooops. Clearly we are not going together EVER.

But he didn't deny the upcoming nuptuals. Muhahahahahaha. Paris or Barn Party??

Monday, May 28, 2007

Always the bridesmaid . . . .

I am a professional bridesmaid, or at least I feel that I am. I have been a bridesmaid 5 times in the last two years with three more times coming up in the next year. When it all comes down to it, I really do love being a bridesmaid because I keep saying yes. There are things I hate about being a bridesmaid (which you will read about later on) which have made me a bit of a bitter bridesmaid. But when push comes to shove, I am a good and compassionate friend. And I have to take some pride in being a bridesmaid so often. It shows that I have quite a few friends who are so close and dear to me that they feel confident in me being by their side on the Big Day. Basically, I’m popular.

So these are my tales and adventures of always being a bridesmaid and never being a bride (hurrah!). The ups and downs, the temper tantrums, and the happy tears that come with a wedding. But these will also be tales about being a girl in the city, auditions, bad bosses, and being in a relationship that is headed to a wedding of my own.

So let’s get started with my Top Five list of the day:

Top Five Things I have learned about being a Bridesmaid

1. At some point, some woman is going to go temporarily crazy before the wedding. It might be the bride, it might be the mother of the bride, it might be a fellow bridesmaid, or it might be you; but someone is going to get a little bit freaky.

2. After the wedding, you need a ‘de-briding’ time from the friend in which you were the maid for. The point above is often the reason or it is simply that you have spent too much time ‘worshipping’ her and clearly you need a break.

3. Suck it up. Suck up the ugly wedding hair (it’s inevitable). Suck up the dress that you are never going to wear again (even if you get a dress you could wear again you’ll always know it was your bridesmaid dress and so will always feel as if you are in a wedding while wearing it). Suck up the fact your friend is acting like a two-year old child. Suck up the matching purses, shoes, earrings, etc. Basically suck it up.

4. Be honest. Nothing hurts a friendship more than a bitter bridesmaid. If the manicure and pedicure that the bride is insisting upon is going to tip you over into credit card debt hell then TELL HER. She might pull a #1 on you, but quite frankly a good friend should understand that you have limits: financially and emotionally. And if she doesn’t, then she really isn’t a very good bride.

5. Have fun and get drunk. You deserve it! The bride might think she deserves it the most but in fact it’s you who deserves to let go. You have had to deal with #1 and #3 so drink that champagne! And even if you are wearing a bright blue caftan and have a nightmare of a bride, it always makes for a funny story for later. Much later (See #2)