I have got to admit I’m going crazy. Everything around me is making me madly nuts. But, I’ve also got to admit I have no idea why. I’ve seen promos for some new show about a guy who is actually two different people and I’m convinced that’s my problem.
Take this stupid wedding favor I received at the dreaded Hell Has A Name wedding. It’s a blue crystal and silver rose in a clear crystal pot. There is a part of my that despises this knicknackytacky trinket. It’s only 1 1/2″ high so it’s not in my way, yet there is a part of me that doesn’t know what to do with it. But, there is this part of me that has to do something with it all the same. On this side of my brain it needs to have a purpose, a reason for being in my space. Instead, it just sits there looking remotely pretty.
Then, there’s the other me. I think back to how the bubbly bride hunkered down beside my table and explained the gift to me. Earnestly looking into my eyes she said it came from her country (and everything) and was veryvery special. While she didn’t elaborate on what made it special she had tears in her eyes. There was no way I was going to doubt her sincerity. I predicted I would love it, promised I would keep it. I did all this sight unseen (it was in a box I didn’t open until I got home). Then, I think back to my own wedding and how I hand cut tags for our ticky-tacky bells, an explanation of “why a bell?” in each one. I glowed at the thought of honoring my father, gleamed at the idea of passing on some history lesson (I was a reference librarian after all). I was proud of the bells and hoped people would cherish them in some way. Mom has them hanging on her baker’s rack in the kitchen, but she has bias. Really, I have got to admit they were just as tacky as the rose I am contemplating now.
So, back to the rose. What to do with this thing? The sweet side of me says why do anything? It’s sitting on a window sill, minding its own business while the sour side of me wants it gone, gone, gone. Truthfully, I’ve got to admit I don’t think this pushme-pullme attitude has anything to do with the rose on my window sill…
The name of a Barenaked Ladies album (my favorite as a matter of fact)…or what Kisa heard the night of the wedding. Both, actually.
Kisa had been king driver since day one. He got us from Vegas to Long Beach; from Long Beach to San Diego; from our hotel to anywhere we wanted to go. All without complaint. All without a single utterance of “maybe you should drive.” He drew the line at mall chauffeuring, though. He got us there but refused to sit in a parking lot. It was our last full day in Diego, after all. He wasn’t about to wander a mall no different from the ones we have at home. “Call me when you need a pick-up” he cheerfully offered as we piled out of the car. “Okay.” I was equally as cheerful even though I knew my last day in Diego was going to be spent shopping (I’ve come to the conclusion if you’ve seen one Michaels, you’ve seen them all).
Later that evening Kisa confided to me that he’d had enough of driving. He was looking forward to cutting back on chaffeuring and cutting loose at the wedding. How many times had the groom told him he had a special beer for him? I wasn’t confident it would work out. In a family of drinkers sober drivers are really hard to come by.
Somehow we managed to hitch a ride with an aunt. No driving for kisa. So far so good. Maybe he would get to enjoy himself after all. I know what you are thinking. What about you? Couldn’t you drive? For those of you who don’t know me I don’t drink a drop and get behind the wheel of a car. Ever. Not one sip. Kisa is too kind to deny me a glass of wine at my cousin’s wedding. Having me escort was out of the question.
So, back to the party. The reception was raging. People dancing. People laughing. The music was rocking. We were having a great time. Kisa was on his third or fourth beer of the night. A drop compared to what others can put away. There we were, staring at the black harbor, enjoying the gentle rocking of yachts in the marina. A full glass of beer in Kisa’s hand. We had come out for a breath of fresh air. All of a sudden he feels a tap on his shoulder…”Say,” says a voice, “are you driving us back? Hint, hint.” I could feel Kisa’s defeat as he exclaimed “yeah, sure” and dumped out his full beer. I felt awful (as I was working on wine #2). As word spread “Drink up! J’s driving us home!” people began to approach Kisa to confirm. Each time he responded his speech became more slurred and giggly. He was just messing with them, but it was funny to see their eyes grow wide. You could almost hear their brains working, “is he really okay to drive?”
Of course he was. Kisa always drives.
My aunt is Mother of the Bride for the first time. As I talked to her I could hear her nerves rattling along the wire. Nerves were bordering on wired nervous. A little over two weeks to go before her little girl becomes Mrs. Someone Else. She wants everything to be perfect. I tell her it’s not going to be. I’m not being mean, just meaningful. My mother wrote a list of everything that went “wrong” at my sister’s wedding. Live and learn I thought. When my day came two years later I tried to remedy all previously made “mistakes.” While I didn’t make my sister’s faux pas, I created my own. It was inevitable. My dress didn’t fit properly. The food line was too long. Father-in-law had the first dance…with his son-in-law. Someone stole a golf cart and a groomsman ended up sleeping the night off in a ditch. Yup. Classy. But the real question is did we have a blast? Yup.
No one has the perfect party. There will always be something wrong with something or somebody. Even if you don’t notice, someone else will. Kisa and I wanted to use stolen champagne flutes for our end-of-night toast. We opted for my great-grandmother’s glasses. Unbeknown to either of us one glass disappeared forever. That has become my deepest regret even though I didn’t know it at the time. So, pass the party perfect. It aint gonna happen. What it will be is a great time!
Hell does have a name. Hell, hell has several names. Shopping…malls…Macy’s. Take your evil. Pick your poison. Five hours of scouring racks, trudging into fitting rooms, undressing and cringing, fighting static electricity all the while, not wanting to scrutinize lines too closely, yet knowing if I didn’t someone else would, deciding “no, this doesn’t work” only to start the process all over again. Back to the racks. Pushing aside hangers of too flashy, too shiny, too young, too short, too I’mNotThatGirl, too Holy-Cow-They-Want-$250-For-That?! Finding one or two things to haul back to the all-telling mirrors. Glancing over the shoulder, deciding something’s just not quite right (oh wait. It’s me that’s not quite right). Back and forth. Forth and back.
Halfway through the process I noticed a stain right in the middle of my turtleneck and my sweater was beyond brimming with snapping static. My feet were hurting and by dress #8 I broke a nail trying to negotiate the too-tight zipper. That should have told me something right there. With each try-on I felt fatter and fatter. Uglier and uglier. I started to curse my cousin and question why big, fat me had to attend his wedding. The dressing room felt too tiny and someone had turned up the heat. Too make matters worse, some lady tried to steal my dressing room while I was in my mother’s dressing room deep in consultation. How this woman had missed my inside-out jeans on the floor, my cat hair covered coat on the seat, my purse hanging on the door…not to mention the stained turtleneck lying crumpled in the doorway, is beyond me.
Finally, frustration found me and I started trying on black anythings. Black, black, black. Not a shred of color. I settled on something with rhinestones, something fit for a funeral. Shopping had been the death of me. I was so relieved to be finished, done with the search that when I dressed back into my clothes for the final time I put my turtleneck on backwards and forgot to zip my jeans.
ps~ while this makes a great end to the story, just wait until you hear about what happened at the wedding…Hell gets worse.