Today I am thinking about a wedding where I was the matron of honor. Don't ask me how I got from my job interview to that topic, but as long as it's on my mind I might as well get it out of my system. I can't remember what year this was, I think it was about 2000 or so, but I could be off by a year or two. A friend of mine was getting married and asked me to stand up in the wedding. She had stood up in mine and my sisters had hurt feelings because I had asked my friends instead of them. I doubt I will ever get married again, but if I do, I promise to spare every man and woman I know the pain and expense of standing up for the big day. The bridesmaid dresses were hideous, a sickening shade of mintish celery green that made most of us sallow and washed out, we had these stupid sashes and I immediately got into trouble for twirling mine around, the fun police were out early that night.
The night before the wedding we had gone out to a bar. I thought it had the potential to be fun, but wasn't. I was on my way out when I ran into some of the guys who were going to be attending the festivities the next day. One of them had a brand new Mustang I had noticed earlier. I complimented him on his new vehicle, we got to chatting, a couple other people joined us, and pretty soon I had an invitation to play cards. I couldn't tell you what we played, but I remember having all the fun the bar had lacked. Nobody could get me to drink anything alcoholic, perhaps I am too trusting and naive, I'm not sure I would leave a bar today with a group of people I didn't know, but maybe I would since I knew the groom well and trusted him. I drove my own vehicle and followed the crowd, one of the guys had an orange Audi and I thought that was sexier than the Mustang, but didn't get a chance to voice that until later.
After a while people were drunk and switched to beverages with caffeine in them. Nobody could get me to drink Mountain Dew, the color alone scared me. Around four in the morning the party broke up, I went home after telling people I would see them in a few and went on my way. The next morning I found out there had been some miscommunication at the salon where I was going to get my hair done. It was a frightening procedure featuring lots of bobby pins and product, I wasn't thrilled with the final effect, I felt like it was something more suited to a five year old than my twenty-something self, but it wasn't my day so I paid, tipped, and went on my way. At the house I was in trouble for being late. Apparently I had misunderstood the gathering time. I apologized, but inside my mind I'm like, there's nothing to do other than stand around waiting for the wedding to begin. I got a lot of glares from my friend who was in a panic about absolutely everything.
Rehearsal night had been unpleasant. The guy I was supposed to stand up with and I had to keep redoing our steps, we had these pieces of tape to stand on as if I couldn't be trusted to figure out how far away from the bride I was supposed to be. I was feeling irreverant and my partner rolled his eyes often enough that I felt positive he was just as annoyed as I was. Presumably everyone else had learned how to walk the right way, we stood around becoming more bored and irritable by the minute. I hated the wedding coordinator and didn't understand why my friend had hired this dragon in the first place. But I got through it so the next day I had a radiant and beaming smile on my face as I moved toward the front of the church. Sometimes things are funny and when the guy waiting for me smiled, I got a case of the giggles.
It was beastly hot in church, but after more bad music than anyone should be compelled to listen to they were officially man and wife. We practically ran down the aisle together, outside the air was sticky and humid, but at least we weren't cooped up inside anymore. I'm not sure how long we were out there, probably not more than a minute or two, we heard our names and then received icy glares and stares from my friend who told us we had to stand in line with the rest of the wedding party to greet guests. Eventually we were able to break free and I was invited to go on a liquor run. Me and two guys went to the store where we picked up a couple of things we thought would be fun including this completely vile bright pink bubblegum flavored concotion. I had no intention of drinking anything, but I was short on sleep and super pissed so I took a swig straight from the bottle when it was offered to me.
No air conditioning in a packed limo on a hot day makes for an irritable wedding party. I sat on someone's lap due to crowding. I was one of the few champagne drinkers, but I had at least one other imbiber sitting next to me. Lunch was long gone and then we had to stop for pictures. I couldn't wait to get out of the dress, but realized that in my haste to leave the house I had left my change of clothes at home. The food was disgusting, unimaginative, and mine was cold. I had to give a speech, people laughed, and then my part was over. The best man got up and my friend was not happy about what he said. As soon as supper was over I wandered over to the bar, more to get away from her than because I was thirsty. We started talking about when the dancing would start, the bartender offered me a drink, but I passed. He seemed friendly enough, but I'm not much of a drinker and I had to drive myself home that night.
Dancing was fun. I've always gotten along well with her little sister. At one point she was up on someone's shoulders after the garter went up into the lights. I was hungry, but couldn't find much to eat, I went back over to the bar, and was shocked when the bartender made a comment about my dress. Since it was such a hot day I hadn't worn much beneath my dress. He made me uneasy so I walked away and went back to join the dancers. As a member of the wedding party I not only had to decorate the hall, I had to stick around to take down the decorations. Not one other woman stayed and I was so mad it was probably a good thing they weren't around. We stuffed greenery into garbage bags and I thought the trash would be a good place for them, but did the responsible thing and helped load them up into the various vehicles.
Many people are drunk at this point in time, but I wasn't one of them. The guys told me I was fun and I said that they were. We stood around talking and they asked if there was a lake in the area so we could go swimming. The bartender was listening in on our conversation and called me over, he offered me two hundred dollars to stand up on top of the bar and take off my dress. I refused and thought that settled that. We talked about which lakes were close and I gave the guys options. The bartender raised his offer. I could keep the dress on, all I had to do was lift it. Once again I refused. He waited a while and then he said something along the lines of this being a standing offer. Anytime I wanted to make some easy money all I had to do was show up and take off my clothes.
I doubt I would have entertained the idea except then my cell phone rang. It was my Bridezilla friend who had some stupid request and wanted to know what we had done with something I couldn't find and hadn't been in charge of anyways. Bartenders get to know people. He took out a bill, laid it on the bar, and said it was mine. Maybe he felt bad for me. I left it there for some length of time, climbed up on a barstool, and threw the vomit green dress as hard as I could. He added another bill, but that was as far as he got with me. I didn't have anything else to wear so I had to retrieve my dress. The only thing he said before I left was that if I ever wanted to earn more I could come back. That night I learned that anger stripping isn't as fun as one might think. I was disappointed in myself, fed up with drunks, and still had to get myself back home.
The guys I was with went swimming. I stayed on the dock and felt like crying. When they dropped me off at home I felt worse about everything. They kissed me in the driveway and that didn't exactly make me feel better. I felt like a whore and had acted like one. Never mind what my friend had done, I had disrespected myself. What exactly did I think I was going to prove to anyone by accepting money for taking off a dress I hadn't wanted to buy in the first place. I pulled at my hair, forgetting that the stylist had glued my bobby pins into place on the top of my head. The pile of them grew as I tossed them on the counter. My hair was stiff and sticky, I was a sweaty dirty mess and as I stood under the shower I realized I owed people some apologies.
The next day my friend read me the riot act. Apparently there had been a rumor going around that the best man and I had left the church early so we could go get it on with each other. The sex act doesn't have to take long, but I was eager to hear anyone explain how two fully clothed adults could have gotten down and dirty that quickly in a church full of people where everyone was looking for us. My head ached, and I no longer felt sorry for anything I had done. I had kept my mouth mostly shut while being subjected to a multitude of indignities including a pepper spray incident at a bar we went to the night of the bachelorette party. A girlfriend of mine and I had taken off our shirts that night. I had been wearing overalls and had this shelf bra thing that didn't reveal anything, she had been wearing a regular bra, it wasn't anything super scandalous, we weren't drunk, we were just having some fun being outrageous together.
Now that I'm older I wish I had learned earlier how to be assertive. I don't care who gets married, I will never stand up in another wedding or ask anyone else to stand up in mine if I ever make it to the altar again. I'm writing this because I am still bitter and angry at the way I was treated by women who were getting married. My entire wedding cost $3,000 and we helped pay for the men to rent evening wear. My friends and family were tremendously helpful and I am still grateful for their support. You getting married does not give you the right to treat anyone else like dirt. I am a more important guest than your dog, and I don't owe you a gift just because I married into the family, but I bought you one anyways and I shouldn't have felt manipulated into that. Anyways, rant over, this felt good.
Until next time,
P.S. This was inspired by the job interview and I will write about that soon. I promise.