Sunday, July 6, 2008

Advice for wedding guests.

Don't give every piece of formal clothing you own to the dry cleaner at the same time. I guess you could combine this one with an admonition against procrastination. I had put off going to the dry cleaners for a while. I've been preparing to physically move my work office, so this week I was going business casual, wearing clothes that I launder myself, and I just let the dry cleaning hang in the bag I have for it.

I turned it in last Wednesday, I was going to ask for a shirt and pair of slacks to be expedited, but the ticket I got back said I could pick it up after 9 am on July 5th. Cool! That's plenty of time (the wedding was at 6 pm).

Saturday morning, July 5th, I go to the dry cleaners to pick up my clothes. They're closed for the holiday.

So, I have no shirts I can wear with a tie. Off to the clothing store I go. I find a couple of great shirts 50% off, they're winter weight (which is why they are on sale in July, I'm sure), but otherwise really nice. I'll be inside somewhere, I thought, no problem that they're made of this luxurious, high thread-count cotton.

The wedding was outside, in a very light rain (which makes for 100% humidity). The reception was in a beautiful open-air performance space that offered no relief from temperature or humidity.

I should note at this point that I had a number of beautiful summer-weight shirts at the dry cleaners.

One doesn't need a date for a wedding. I had asked a dear friend of mine to accompany me, a beautiful woman herself, as a favor so I wouldn't have to go alone. She graciously accepted, but I wasn't great about communicating and reminding her of the actual date and time of the wedding.

It was a wedding for a close friend of mine at work, for the last two weeks the bride had been coming to me to rant, ask advice, and generally blow off steam about the pressure of planning it (a ritual I really enjoyed, I actually encouraged her to do this). So, the wedding was regularly on my mind. My companion was not hearing about it all.

So, the day came and she is understandably perturbed that it crept up on her. This only compounded the mood she was in, which could be described as "why am I going to a wedding for people I don't know and will never see again?"

Well, my middle name was "fifth wheel" as a teenager and young adult. I never had a date for anything. My invitation came with a "plus 1" and that opened up all those wounds from my youth. I wanted to go to something with a date for a change, I wanted people to see me as someone who could get one. This was all regression to unfinished business, it was not about here and now. Well, that's a great recipe for craptasticness no matter what the event or who the companion.

I didn't share all this with her ahead of time, so she was just thrilled to be going out on a hot humid and rainy July day to stand in the rain and sweat just because of some vague intention she expressed weeks ago and had since mostly forgotten about. I told her she didn't have to go, and I genuinely meant that, but I did want her to go, I still was living my 17 year-old's pain all over again, so I don't know how genuine my reassurance that she could stay home sounded.

She went, and she looked like a very hot, as in looking good, and dissatisfied goddess.

The bride inquired about the status of our relationship beforehand, and I told her that we were both just friends, single and looking. She sat us at the table with her single friends, and she talked me up beforehand with two of her most gorgeous single female friends, they were both really interested in talking to me, and here I am with a dissatisfied goddess on my arm. The men at the same table, also attractive people, were talking her up, but what could they do with me sitting there? It was like going to a pastry shop when you're on a diet. Argh.

Don't do that. Going to a wedding solo is fine. Asking a loyal friend to go to a wedding for someone they don't know and will never see again is not something to spend the currency of friendship over. If your friend wants to go, that's another thing. Don't ask it as a favor.

Finally, being the designated driver where there is an open bar is just masochistic.

Also, get over the prom before you're in your late forties. Actually, do it now if you haven't done it already.

Post a Comment