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SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


My daughter is getting married in a few weeks, so if I should disappear for long periods of time, that would be the reason why. Not that I’ll be busy helping, necessarily – I’ll just disappear.

I hadn’t thought I’d be involved much, to be honest, other than giving the groom vaguely threatening talks, spending a few bucks, and taking a stroll down the aisle. Silly me. Just as a person marries an entire family rather than just their better half, both families get involved in the wedding, one way or another. Wedding planning is a black hole, sucking in money, time, energy, and temper.

The money part’s a given, of course. For all of you who think Castro or Chavez are somehow important, forget it – the gross national product of both Cuba and Venezuela can’t cover the cost of an average wedding. The Department of Homeland Security’s budget wouldn’t pay for the annual supply of wedding flowers in the Midwest alone. I used to worry that America would go into a recession if the auto industry collapsed, but that’s nothing – if people ever stop getting married, our economy will crash and burn faster than a Ben Affleck movie.

If I could save time in a bottle, I’d need the entire output of all Milwaukee’s breweries to cover wedding preparations. I’ve run only some errands; Charis, on the other hand, was just notified by Chevy that she’s earned frequent driver miles. I don’t have enough room to list all the things that must be done to prepare for a wedding, but I can say that most of them can’t be done in Noble County.

That makes no sense. People get married around here all the time; you’re seriously telling me that a wedding supply store couldn’t stay in business, with people flinging engagement rings back and forth like so much rice? It doesn’t have to be some specific place; Charis is always going to Bouquets R’ Us, or calling Best Man’s Shoes To Go, or looking in the Yellow Pages for hideaway shops that sell the little guy and gal who stand on top of the cake.

I’m not suggesting Noble County should have three dozen tiny specialty shops like that – but couldn’t we support one big general wedding supply store? Like … Mar-Mart?

Where was I? Oh, yes, energy. The reason people in the wedding party pass out isn’t because they’re nervous, or overheated – it’s because they’re tired. Some people say your life is over after you’re married – no, you just look that way, because you’ve aged about two decades. I suspect most wedding-night honeymoon antics consist of falling fast asleep with your clothes still on.

Then there’s temper. Ever hear the term Bridezilla? These people at stressed, man – get out of their way. My daughter’s been handling it pretty well, but once or twice I’ve gone home and thrown furniture against the wall on her behalf.

The second biggest reason they’re stressed, after listening to everyone in the world give them advice, is decision making. (On the subject of that advice thing, my daughter got a call recently from Raisa Gorbachev, telling Charis she should go for a spring wedding, and more muted colors. Raisa Gorbachev died in 1999.)

But no matter how much advice the bride gets, they ultimately need to make the decisions themselves. Plenty of people will offer to take a load off, but let’s face it – this is the bride’s day, and few brides want to give up that job. (You grooms? Forget it. Your decision making days are over.)

I think the stress is why brides sometimes make bad decisions, and the most obvious example of that is color. In the interests of helping out, here’s the number one rule of bridesmaid dresses: the name of the dress color should be an actual color. (We’ve discussed this before.) Charis chose a burgundy for her bridesmaid dresses, and that’s fine because it’s an actual accepted color, in addition to being fancy booze and a place in France (which I won’t hold against it).

Do not, under any circumstances, dress your wedding party in periwinkle or tickle me pink. Do not use any color that could be edible, such as asparagus or pumpkin. Eggplant’s debatable. After all, how many people actually eat eggplant? Do not use a color that sounds ridiculous, regardless of how it looks, because people will ask you what the color is:

“Oh, I’m wearing banana mania, and my bridesmaids are in beaver!” That’s just wrong.

On a related subject, don’t dress the groomsmen in fuzzy wuzzy brown. For heaven’s sake, don’t use “flesh”, which was changed by Crayola in 1962 to peach, which puts it in the food category.

These are all “legitimate” colors that at one time or another could be found in a box of Crayons. That doesn’t mean you get to use them. Even the original 8 Crayon colors are suspect: Some shades of blue or green might be doable, but do you really want to see the women in orange and the men in brown?

By the way, there’s a fine line between lavender and salmon. (Okay, not so fine.)

One more thing about color: Dress the guys in black. Just black. Don’t get imaginative. All those guys are doing is waiting for the reception. Men are not complicated – don’t confuse them.

See, it took me four paragraphs just to cover one decision, and there are 2,147 individual topics that need to be gone over before the average wedding. I recall very little of this from my wedding, which is probably for the best: Like most grooms, I was pretty much clueless. Now that I’ve learned more about wedding planning, I’m led to one, unalterable conclusion:

I owe my ex-wife an apology.

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
deborahw37
Sep. 22nd, 2006 07:00 am (UTC)
Our eldest Daughter got married last yesr


I feel your pain!
ozma914
Sep. 22nd, 2006 08:49 am (UTC)
feeling my pain
It's about right ... here. *points to head, then neck, then -- lower*
Re: feeling my pain - deborahw37 - Sep. 22nd, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
darsynia
Sep. 22nd, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
Can you imagine doing all the planning three weeks beforehand, including booking the hall and such?

I swear, I got REALLY lucky. Ours went off without a hitch (HAAHAHAHAHAHA... *crickets*) and it was one of those hardcore traditional weddings with extra fancy everything.

*hug* Good luck, and don't worry too much, I think the women tend to be afraid if they let the groom make too many decisions they'll end up hating some aspect of the occasion. I hated the food at ours, for example. Really fancy wedding... kielbasa sausage sandwiches at the reception. How they were part of the menu (and they weren't the only thing at the buffet, thank GOD), I have no idea, but I'll picture that for the rest of my life as soooo trashy.
frimfram
Sep. 22nd, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
Ours went off without a hitch (HAAHAHAHAHAHA... *crickets*)
LOL!
I mean... *tumbleweed*

:)
(no subject) - darsynia - Sep. 22nd, 2006 08:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Sep. 22nd, 2006 09:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Sep. 22nd, 2006 09:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Sep. 22nd, 2006 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Icon love - darsynia - Sep. 22nd, 2006 08:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Icon love - ozma914 - Sep. 22nd, 2006 09:03 am (UTC) - Expand
frimfram
Sep. 22nd, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
Congratulations to the couple! And hard liquour to you, in case that helps.

Although, 2147 details? Feh. The average Jewish wedding - little girls have to start dreaming of marriage from an early age, because they need the whole floorplan complete by age seven if they're going to stay on planning schedule.

I think I shall get married in a drive-thru chapel in Vegas, with Elvis somehow involved - registrar, groom, flower girl, whatever.
ozma914
Sep. 22nd, 2006 08:55 am (UTC)
Okay, now I'm picturing a cross-dressing flower girl Elvis, and that's JUST WRONG. :-)

Jewish weddings involve stopping on the cloth covered gladd to break it, don't they? That wouldn't work out for me; there would be stitches and a long wedding night hospital stay involved.
redwolf
Sep. 22nd, 2006 10:20 am (UTC)
The expense is insane. That amount of money should be used as a deposit on a house not on brinkmanship amongst the inlaws. Maybe I've just been to way too many Greek and Italian weddings.
ozma914
Sep. 22nd, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)
Funny you should mention the in-laws ... both moms have been giving my daughter a lot of grief, wanting to argue over her decisions, and I've been kind of caught in the crossfire. Not a good place to be.

If I had the money to pay for the whole wedding, I'd use it to go into a safe house until after the ceremony.
(no subject) - redwolf - Sep. 22nd, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
sharing the safe house - ozma914 - Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
spikereader
Sep. 22nd, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
My girls are to be bridesmaids next summer - one is going to be in cream, the other in lettice!!!!! I was extremely sensible and had purple as my colour - although one of my bridesmaids is now the bride in question - maybe she didn't like my choice after all. Revenge colouring in action.

ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
lettuce!

Revenge coloring, what a horrible idea. It could explain everything -- an ongoing chain of revenge, stretching from some wedding in 16th Century London. When will it all end?!
kazzy_cee
Sep. 22nd, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
I love eggplant :P

Weddings are fun for the bride, just not the rest of the family (or the groom) - getting to dress up is fun...and you just make arbitrary decisions and everyone else has to deal with it.
ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2006 02:01 am (UTC)
eggplant color or eggplant plant?
I figure I'll get in trouble for some of that, especially when it comes out in the paper next week. People will object to me making fun of the colors, or I'll hear from eggplant lovers (!), or my mother, ex-wife or Bo's mother will assume I'm talking about them (which I was). But sometimes you just gotta make a stand -- it's Charis' wedding, not theirs.
cordelianne
Sep. 22nd, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
Oh man, that sounds like a stressful time. I hope it goes well and it doesn't get more stressful. Good luck!!
ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
It couldn't get MORE stressful.

(did I just hear Fate giggling?)
synaptikchaos
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
Do not, under any circumstances, dress your wedding party in periwinkle or tickle me pink.

I definitely second that. I was my sister's maid of honor in a periwinkle blue dress.
ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
Does your sister like you?

(I'm terrible with colors -- it may have looked great, for all I know. But who can not make fun of the word "periwinkle"?)
(no subject) - synaptikchaos - Sep. 23rd, 2006 03:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Sep. 23rd, 2006 04:35 am (UTC) - Expand
cbtreks
Sep. 23rd, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
Eloping is good. The St. Joseph County Courthouse looks nice and there's a small Statue of Liberty outside to pose in front of (is that ironic?) and the magistrate will wear robes if you like.

And if they come to Vegas, they can have a Klingon wedding at the Hilton! How cool is that!
ozma914
Sep. 23rd, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
The Noble County Courthouse has a nice gazebo ...
Ah -- the Klingon wedding! Now we're talking!

Having a Statue of Liberty in a picture of two people throwing away their proverbial freedom just seems too ironic, to me. In any case, Charis is determined to have her full wedding -- regardless of who she has to kill or maim to get there.
(Deleted comment)
ozma914
Sep. 24th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
thanks -- I'll need it
I guess the point we're all making would be: Why do we do this to ourselves?
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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