Friday, March 27, 2009

The "I have too many friends" Dilemna

After the call from Big A, I got to thinking about what happens when a bride really can't make a decision on who should be her maids.

It isn't an easy decision.  Almost every bride I know had a bit of a panic attack in choosing her girls.  I'm not even engaged and already I am terrified of having to 'make the cut'.  I have been a bridesmaid eight times now.  So if I repay each bride that I maided, that is 8 women, PLUS the other 6 or so who I really want to be in my wedding.  That would make my number 14 which is not only ridiculous, but the Engineer has like two friends.  JJ.  He has three.

One of my good friends, who is also a perma-bridesmaid, made a pact with me.  We promised our gift to each other was not to be a bridesmaid in our weddings.  When she got engaged and called me, I have to admit that I didn't know how to end the conversation.  Usually at that point I am asked to be a bridesmaid and we are talking colours.  It was an awkward ending, seeing as we were both so not used to the non-bridesmaid protocol.  So now I am an emcee.

Okay, so now I am at 13?  This is where a good friend of mine came up with a brilliant solution.  Instead of asking all your friends to be a bridesmaid, choose just a few and for the rest give them a scarf or a necklace or a flower-brooch. Then explain to each why she is important in your life and ask her to wear said item on your wedding day.  Then make a speech at your wedding not only thanking the bridesmaids, but also all the women wearing said item.  Therefore, they are included (without the matching dress) and all those attending your wedding see that these women are the exclusive members of the 'Bridesmaid Club'.  I think it is a brilliant solution.

My other solution is to have the daughters of the brides I have maided be my flowergirls, and then their moms don't have to be in the wedding.

My final solution is to elope.  Or just not have a wedding.  Or to take all my girlfriends off of Facebook.

Woes of the non-Bridesmaid

The older I get and the more weddings I am around, the less and less I like them.

The reason?  Everyone associated with the Big Day are never really happy.  They are stressed out.

My friend, Big A, called me the other day in tears.  Why?  Upset because of a wedding.  Quel surprise.

In this case, it was the not being asked to be a bridesmaid that brought on the influx of sobs and runny nose (I suppose I am the only case now who cries at being asked to be a bridesmaid).  I must make it clear that this girl is not a bridesmaid wannabe.  This term, that I have clearly made up, describes the girl whose sole mission in life is to be the bridesmaid in every wedding for every friend/colleague/family member/bikini waxer possible.  They exist, trust me.  Anyways, Big A is not this girl.  Hence why our conversation had me in a tizzy.

Her friend has recently become engaged.  This friend has been Big A's friend for over 20-years.  They grew up on the same street in which a group of four little girls played, told each other secrets, grew up and now share a common bond of childhood friendship mixed in with the fact all their parents are best friends.

This bride told Big A that she was stressed about the bridesmaid situation.  Firstly, she wants her number of girls to match the groom's number of boys.  Balderdash I say.  Why oh why are we so hell bent on matching??  Why oh why do we care about numbers when feelings and relationships are at stake?  Plus it's not her fault her groom has no friends.  I was in a wedding once where the bride had three bridesmaids and the groom had just his brother.  We didn't:  die, explode, trip, self-combust.  We were totally fine.  And the pictures look great.  I understand if there are 10 bridesmaids and one groomsman, but seriously, it's your wedding:  you can do WHATEVER you want!!!

Anyways, the bride tells Big A that she is stressed, yadda yadda yadda.  She says that she would like to have one of the girls from the childhood group as her bridesmaid and that is it.  Big A says this is totally fine and she supports her.  Then the bride stresses that one of the childhood girls is going to spazz and be a complete freak about not being asked.  Therefore her solution is to either have ONE or FOUR (in which Big A was included).  She is going to discuss with groom and decide.

A couple days later, Big A is at a party with all these childhood buddies and discretely asks the bride if she has told spazzy-pants that she is only going to have one bridesmaid.  The bride looks at her and says,  'Oh yeah, I made my decision.  X, Y and Z are going to be my bridesmaids and you can plan my wedding.'

Punch in the stomach.

Is that the solution?  Seriously?  She went from ONE or FOUR, to THREE with the consolation prize of wedding planner?  Are you kidding me?

Needless to say Big A had hurt feelings as well as the extra sting of having 'the hardest job of all' (quoted the bride).  Gee whiz, lucky her.  She gets to help plan the wedding but no bridesmaid position?  Aren't bridesmaids supposed to help plan the wedding?  So now Big A not only gets to do the job of a bridesmaid but she is excluded from the bridesmaid club.

Here's the thing:  being asked to be a bridesmaid is being asked to be privy to an exclusive group that everyone recognizes as the friends and confidants of the bride.  Being asked to plan the wedding as a consolation prize is adding insult to injury if you ask me.

Have I mentioned Big A is an event planner?  So now she gets to plan  a wedding for free?  Give me a freaking break!!  

All of this because the bride is afraid of upsetting ONE girl who would have pitched a fit.  Because Big A is graceful and sweet, the bride thinks it's okay to exclude her, after all, she won't make a fuss.  

This really got my goat.  Of course I told Big A at least she doesn't have to wear a hideous dress or have horrible wedding hair.  She can go to BCBG and buy the hottest dress she can find.  And she doesn't have to plan, or even attend, the god-awful showers.  If you know me, you know I hate showers.

So the thing is, does she tell her childhood friend how hurt her feelings are, or does she smile sweetly and do nothing to upset the bride?

This is why I hate weddings.  Almost always someone gets hurt.  And almost always someone wears white shoes.  But that's another story.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toddlers, Tiaras and a Ton of Fun?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with lifestyle television.

On one hand, I am an addict who loves the small insight into other's lives.  I am nosy.  On the other, the sheer oddness and often stupidity of my fellow man drives me to this boiling insane point that sometimes forces me to call the network to tell them people are idiots.  It's sort of a problem.

Due to the fact that a lifestyle show is coming my way, I have been an even more avid viewer.  I have taken to watching TLC on a daily basis.  The new show that gets me in a tizzy is called 'Toddlers and Tiaras' which is pretty self-explanatory; it's about toddlers and tiaras.  

Beauty pageants have always boggled my mind.  Even as a young, impressionable and slightly awkward youth, I would watch Miss America on television and know something was amiss.  I work in a field that constantly judges people on appearances and yet I still sit here and think that beauty pageants are bizarre.

According to a documentary I watched the other day, America the Beautiful, (great by the way - go find it!) beauty pageants started during the suffrage movement.  It was a way of distracting women from fighting for their right to vote to fighting to look the prettiest in a bathing suit.  True story.

So if beauty pageants were designed to distract us from wanting to use our brains and make decisions, and we now can do that, why are we still obsessed with them?  

I am not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination.  The Engineer opens doors for me, he pays for every date, and I fully intend to stay at home with my kids while he makes the money. Call me old-fashioned but I think it is super when I don't have to pay for things.  But the beauty pageant is one place that I can't help but feel belongs back in the last century.

I am not so opposed to beauty pageants in which the contestants are in their 20's.  Although I find it odd to be judged by lack of jiggle in the thigh, these women are adults and can make their own decisions.  Often they are clever (scholarships are a big incentive after all), pretty, and have dazzling talents.  Most of the time.

I am opposed, however, to children in beauty pageants.  It CREEPS ME OUT.  And not just because of that whole JonBenet Ramsey tragedy.  They are creepy with or without a murder.

This new show on TLC follows the life of tiny girls travelling the states to compete for crowns and cash.  And it's weird.

Firstly, little girls should not ever ever ever:  wear make-up, have their hair teased, wear false eyelashes, or BE SPRAY TANNED.  NEVER!  They are so sweet in their own natural way that to make them look like 45-year-old ex-strippers is oh so wrong.  The make-up looks as though it has been applied by Homer Simpson's make-up gun set on 'hooker'.  It's just gross.

Secondly, the routines that these girls do are odd.  I don't know what it is exactly, but when they smile for the judges, the smiles are not normal.  Have you ever noticed that?  Their smiles look as though they have little hangers stuck up their bums and are trying not to cry.  It's weird and unnatural.  It's also sick and wrong when the camera pans to the mother in the audience putting her mouth in a big 'O' and circling her hips so that her child on stage mimics her.  I think when an adult does that it looks like they are suffering from a rare form of turrets and/or want to perform a strange sex act.  On a child it just looks . . . . . . that's right!  Sick and wrong.

Thirdly,  families go into massive debt over these suckers with the hope of winning $500.  They are also the only ones watching. Isn't it strange that these pageants are held in random Holiday Inn conference rooms with three people in the audience?  I mean they clearly look like cash grabs for the organisers.  

Fourthly, the mothers.  The mothers!  GAH!  And grandmothers!!!  Ummm, this is very unkind of me to say, but have they looked in a mirror lately??  More often that not, these people look like they came straight off the trailer park without the thought of a shower or the need to brush their hair.  And they are usually 300 pounds.  Clearly they have weird beauty issues.  They realized they were fugs and quickly decided they need to feel beautiful through their children.   I think they should all get the spray tan and perhaps go for a walk, or lay off the cheesecake.

So that is what I say about that.  Toddlers and tiaras do not mix.  Well they do, tiaras pretty much mix with everything.  But in the case of a child, they should be from her tickletrunk for playing dress-up.

Also, another new addition is the fact that boys are now allowed to be in beauty pageants.  I guess there goes my feminism rant, but I feel a little boy in  a suit wearing a tiara will come back and haunt him in 20 years.  Clearly, the mother wanted a little girl, didn't get one, so treats her boy like one.  Or maybe little boys like wiggling their bums and shimmying for the judges.  Again, it's going to haunt him when he starts dating.  Actually, those will be the boys who live with their mothers forever and watch the world from their second-floor window and write the daily details of their neighborhood in a journal . . . .   creepy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Technologically Tragic

I write for an online magazine, check it out:

One of the other contributors wrote about her lack of flair for gadgets, ie. breaking anything that she touches.  I realized that I too, have huge issues with anything of technological value.

When I got my new phone, I practically had to beg them for the simplest model possible.  They were pushing the iPhone and the Blackberry on me, and I had to hold my ground for a phone with buttons and the ability to make and receive calls. Because that is all I can do.  My friend has an iPhone and the first time I had to borrow it, I held it in my palm and spoke into the speaker saying: "on".  She laughed at me, obviously.  How was I to know that it didn't have speech command?  Isn't the iPhone supposed to do everything?

The most gadgety thing I own is my iPod.  And even that is sometimes too difficult. I have the mini.  Wait, I actually don't know what I have.  It's pink and little.  And I just learned that it has a clock and an alarm on it which was the best discovery EVER.

The reason I don't really care to own anything that is terribly technological is not because I break them.  It is because I smash them.

Unlike my fellow contributor who must have some sort of chemical cell imbalance that throws out weird energy which in turn breaks anything with buttons, I purposely break gadgets.  Here is a secret about me:  I have a really really really bad temper.  Like really bad.

And only two things see it:  bad customer service reps at Rogers and technology that isn't working.  

I compare myself to the Hulk.  Not that I have ever seen it, but to my understanding, when he gets mad he slowly turns into this big, nasty monster.  That is me when my fax machine wouldn't work.  Slowly, this sensation crawled over my skin and I started to only see red.  Before I knew it, I was hitting the fax machine with tears streaming down my face.  Then I kicked it.  Then I threw it against the wall.  Needless to say, it never worked after that.

Same thing with our old family camcorder.  One day, it just stopped working. Instead of calmly trying to find the problem, it too ended up against my wall in smithereens.  Then I had to take it to the fixer man to get the tape out and pretend I had no idea why it was missing parts and had bits of paint stuck to it.

This has also happened to a television set, a VCR and recently, a DVD player.  

I blame my parents.  My temper is from my father and my solution of hitting things is from my mother. That sounds bad.  Let me clear this up:  my mother never hit me.  But when I called her to ask her about the camcorder her easy solution was to kick it and see if it helped.  She just didn't know that my kick was laden with temper.

My head also doesn't get concepts of technology sometimes.  Or the point.  PVR baffles me.  You can record and watch a show, but then you can rewind while the show is actually on?  Confused.  Why do I want the entire Shakespeare library on my phone?  Nice to have, but necessary?  And even things like Twitter.  I just DO NOT understand. Why the heck do we care about your status updates every two minutes?  I digress, I can't throw Twitter against the wall so it does not belong in this discussion.

Here's the thing:  when it comes to technology I am a toad.  I can't set up at IP address or a modem (that is not an apple one, those are great - you just plug into the wall!), if something doesn't work the moment I want it to the Hulk will appear and the poor item will be destroyed.  I wish I could by savvy, I really do.  But who cares really?  As long as I can write this story for you to read online then I must be doing something right?  Right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's an umbrella, you idiot

The thing about having dogs is that they really are your children.

If my dogs were actual little boys, Mr. Mop would be the popular and athletic one that is either (a) popular with all the other kids or (b) forcibly popular with all the other kids.  He would be the one who is super smart, but doesn't really care about applying himself.  And he would give me heck about eating his vegetables or trying anything new.  Brooklyn would be the shy, geeky boy in the corner who tries his hardest to fit in with his big brother and friends, but is just too darn scrawny.  Unfortunately, he would not be the brainy geek.  My poor little muffin is just not as clever as Mop, but he really does make up for it in his easy and sweet temperament.

It's great that the sun is finally shining and we can spend hours together playing outside.  I love being able to let them off their leash and watch them have a ball.  I just wish one of them knew how to actually catch a ball.  We went the other day to play fetch. And by fetch I mean:  I throw ball, Mop chases it, carries it halfway to me, and then runs to bite Brooklyn's head leaving me to retrieve ball.  Brooklyn has no interest in the ball.  He spent the whole time barking at a newspaper that was sticking out of a bush.  

Brooklyn has a fear issue, which is good when you are eight pounds.  Really, if you are teeny tiny you should fear most of the world.  He has no fear of crows or pigeons though, which is worrying.  I am terrified that someday a crow is going to fight back.  He is afraid, however, of umbrellas.  Which is just super when you live in Rainy City.  Today we met an umbrella sticking out of the ground to which he sat down forcing me to drag him along the sidewalk.  Later we met a man carrying an umbrella, and again Brooklyn sat down and then skirted as far away as possible from the man.  

He has no fear of drugged out crack whores though, which is just great (we come across them often in my neighborhood).  I mean they will be walking (or staggering) around the sidewalk, yelling at God or whoever it is their meth-addled brain sees, and my little Yorkie will run to them wagging his tail as I force him back on his leash - making me look like a paranoid citizen (which I suppose I am).

I can't tell you the amount of times these words come out of my mouth in a day:
'stop eating his head'
'don't bite his bum'
'don't pee on his head'
'get out from under there'
'stop licking it'

Boys will be boys.