Sunday, July 15, 2018

#270 Be A Bridesmaid

Ever see the movie 27 Dresses? Well, I can sort of relate to that movie. Ever see the movie Bridesmaids? Well, I could definitely relate to that movie. That movie was a riot. I laugh my ass off every single time it is on TV.

I mean what wedding ever goes off without a hitch? Hilariously scary and undeniably epic moments are going to occur in just about every wedding event. It wouldn't be a real wedding if there weren't a few quirks and quacks in my opinion.

From the moment the proposal is accepted until the morning after the reception, there is a journey of planning, preparation and events each bride must endure. And, one of the first decisions a "bride to be" must make is choosing which girlfriends she wants accompanying her on the pre-marital odyssey to inevitable insanity. Personally, I would recommend choosing women who won't judge you when you have a white satin, lace trimmed, beaded bodice, mental breakdown. It's going to happen. The collapse is inevitable.

Here are some tips for Brides to Be when choosing your bridal party.

  • Choose women who will help ease the stress and anxiety of cake tastings, seating charts, arrogant photographers, misspelled wedding invitations, arguing relatives, over priced everything and your unapologetic quest for the perfect shade of cerulean by offering lots of alcohol, carbs and empathy. 
  • Choose women who won't take offense when your demeanor turns from sweet, modest 1981 Princess Di into an electric razor wielding 2007 Brittney Spears. 
  • Choose women who are willing to squeeze their pizza loving bodies into super tight corsets while baring their not so toned arms for a strapless gown gun show all in the name of their love for you. 
Those are your peeps.

Just kidding. It's really not that bad. Well..... maybe I am not kidding.

Renee's wedding. My beautiful bridesmaid bouquet.

All I know is I have always wanted to be a bridesmaid. Wedding fever touched me at a very young age. Not gonna lie. When I was three years old, I had the honor of being the flower girl for my cousin Karen's wedding. It was so much fun. And, 40 years later, I still have great memories from that event. I've been hooked ever since.

You see, being a bridesmaid is like getting to be a princess, a supermodel, a VIP, MacGyver, Frodo, and all the drunk people that hung out at Billy Madison's house in one shot. It's a total rush. Very addicting. And while I have not been a bridesmaid 27 times like the aforementioned movie, I have been a member of the bridal party for 7 beautiful brides including my cousin Karen, my Aunt Lisa, my sisters Alicia and Stephanie and my good friends Jacy, Jere and Renee.

I will cherish all my memories from each special day and laugh at the many, many humorous "moments" that have gone along with each experience. In fact, after watching the movie Bridesmaids, I recognized so many "moments" in that movie that I could definitely relate to. Not the whole feuding thing but the piss your pants laughing, it wasn't funny at the time but is now "moments".

I am going to compare "Bridesmaids" movie moments to some of my Bridesmaid moments. They are nowhere near as extreme but they parallel each other somewhat.

Moment #1
Annie and Helen fighting over the microphone.
Me trying to steal the microphone. 

Me playing with the band. Age 3.
My inner Stevie Nicks came out at a
young age. So did my fear of clowns. 
When I was in my cousin Karen's wedding as the flower girl, my dad's band was the entertainment for her reception. Of course, being the curious, somewhat sassy 3 year old I was, I kept hanging where the band was playing. Daddy was over there so of course I wanted to be over there too. I adopted one of the tambourines as my own and began trying to sing into the microphones.

The band leader, Johnny, saw me eying up a silver and black microphone which was a live mic. He walked over and explained it was an important microphone. It was a live mic and the band needed it. I was sad about that so he gave me another microphone to sing into, which was not live. It was very nice of him.

The mic happened to look like a clown nose. The mic must have freaked me out because the moment he turned away I went over and started ripping at the silver one while trying to sing into it. Johnny ran over faster than lightning and took the mic away from me.

I am pretty positive I pitched a temper tantrum over this.

Of course my parents had to intervene and scold me. I am also pretty sure I kept circling around the live microphone off and on throughout the wedding like a Great White, stalking a school of fish, making Johnny a nervous wreck. Maybe my fear of clowns goes back even further than I thought because the trauma of being given the red, fuzzy microphone that looked like a big clown nose still haunts me to this very day.

The stunning couple, Karen and Frank. To this day, she will always be the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. My dad danced with me in between my band sets. LOL! Think it was the other way around but let's go with my story.

Moment #2
Annie freakin out at the shower.
Me freakin out cooking for my sister's shower.

Yea so while I didn't make a scene at my sister's shower, a scene was definitely made. It happened the morning of her bridal shower, in my kitchen. I decided I wanted to make most of the food and desserts for my sister's shower. I was not planning on the weather being 117 degrees the weekend of her shower. What I was planning on, was making a ton of food because I am a classic overachiever who is in major denial that my time management skills rank in the lowest percentile of the entire world's population.

Cooking food for 40 people in 135 degree weather is pure torture. The hot weather doesn't necessarily affect the consistency of cooked dishes like pasta, meatballs and chicken fingers. However, baked goods and desserts are another story. The weather most certainly affects those delights when the heat is on. Icing becomes a runny mess the minute you remove it from the fridge. Cookies do not cool down. Homemade candy does not set.

Of course fridge space is a precious commodity when you are cooking and baking a ton of food for 40 people in 175 degree weather. There is only so much room to chill items. The clock is ticking. You have 18 different dishes and desserts started. You are dripping with sweat. There is no more room in the fridge. There is no more counter space. There is no more oven room.

You are ready to pass out in the sauna that was once your kitchen, you have been awake since 4 am, and the icing for your Italian wedding cookies will not set. (And I thought Hell's Kitchen was just a clever name for a section of NYC.)

The nervous breakdown was inevitable.

There was screaming. There was crying. There was foul language. Oven and refrigerator doors may have become victims of such intense slamming that they actually shifted several inches from their original spots on the floor.

Mushy cookies, brownies and candies may have been thrown into the garbage can so forcefully that the garbage can fell over, spilling all of it's contents onto the shit show that was now my kitchen floor, inciting further rage.

A frosting covered beater could become a deadly weapon to a poor unsuspecting kitchen wall when thrown with a Steven Seagal accuracy you never knew you had. Yea, that left a mark.

I have no pictures cuz I was too busy freaking the F out!
I recall a moment of  lucidity wash over me upon realizing that I was the midst of a one woman food fight with......myself. I was being utterly ridiculous and completely nonsensical. I was praying none of the neighbors called the cops. Having a "domestic disturbance" with my kitchen in 200 degree weather would surely be grounds for a straight jacket fitting.

"Maybe the neighbors didn't hear anything." I told myself. Yea. Ok Chrissy. The entire Northwest side of town heard your sanity break in half. I will say that the shower went lovely. In fact, by my demeanor at the shower, you would have never been able to tell that I had opened the most epic can crazy on myself just two hours earlier. And did I learn to stop being an overwhelming overachiever with ridiculous goals from this experience? No.

Moment #3
Annie getting arrested at the airport.
Me and Lisa going through the DUI checkpoint.

Ah, the city of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, home of the DUI check point. Why do I say this? Well, rumor had it that Jim Thorpe was known for DUI checkpoints. And as with most rumors, there is usually a little bit of truth laced in them. Or there is a lot of truth, as I would ultimately come to find out. But before I get to that, let's dial it back to earlier in the day.

My hair for Jacy's wedding. I can never get it to
look like this on my own. I have tried. 
I was bridesmaid for my friend Jacy's wedding. The wedding was at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall. It was one of the most beautiful halls I had ever seen. Everything was so nice. We were having a super fun day and everything about the wedding was amazing.

As luck would have it, it became even more for amazing for me. You see, I met someone at the wedding. He caught my eye immediately from across the room. I noticed he was a bigger guy. I liked that.

He was sporting forest green and creamy gold which complimented my hunter green and black bridesmaid dress perfectly. He was so smooth and classy, but could totally be the life of any party if he wanted to be.

I walked over to him slowly, hesitantly. I could feel my shyness taking hold of me but I held it at bay as best I could. With a big smile, I introduced myself to him. We hit it off immediately. Turns out, we had so much in common. We were both Irish. We were both wearing green. We both liked ice cubes and having fun.

Pretty soon we were holding hands. Then we were cuddling. He convinced me to dance with him. Before long, I found myself wanting to kiss him. So I did. Several times. It was quite passionate too. I loved how he tasted. There was something in his kiss that reminded me of oak barrels and malt. I couldn't get enough of him but in the back of my mind I knew I had to compose myself or else this bad boy might get me in trouble.

His name was Jam E. Son. That had such a sexy ring to it.

My date for the night. The bride is an Eagles fan. Loved that she incorporated it into her wedding. 

The bliss was short lived though. I knew I had to drive that night, so after dinner, I left my love for sobriety. It pained me so. There was heartbreak, jealousy and a few tears were shed. To this day though, I thank the good lord that I finally made a smart decision at a wedding. It doesn't happen often but tonite, an angel was watching over me.

My love. I miss you!
Later that evening, after hanging in downtown Jim Thorpe for a little while, I had to take another lovely bridesmaid, Lisa back to her hotel. Lisa was feeling good. She had me cracking up the whole night. I had so wished I could have partook in the drinking festivities as well, but that angel on my shoulder told me not to. Turns out that angel saved me about $10,000.

As we were driving over the hill towards the hotel, I saw flashing red and blue lights ahead. I also noticed a line of cars stopped before the flashing lights. I felt the color instantly drain from my face as a cold wave a nausea washed over me. I looked over at Lisa and exclaimed "Fuck! It's a checkpoint!"

She laughed and said I would be okay. She was the drunk one and I was helping her home. She wasn't wrong but I was still nervous as hell. I took a few deep breaths as I waited in line for my turn. This was my first ever checkpoint. I prayed that all the Jameson was out of my system. It should have been. It was almost 1:00 am. I stopped drinking around 6:00 pm.

When my turn to go through the checkpoint came, a nice police officer approached my window and shined his flashlight into my car. Before he could finish saying "Good Evening Ladies," Lisa volunteered that she was the drunk one and I was driving her home. The officer smirked and let out a laugh.

Appliances are assholes!
He noticed our dresses and the flowers in the back of my Blazer. He asked if we were at a wedding. Before I could say "Yes", Lisa gave the officer a detailed explanation about the wedding, our dresses and how much fun it was. I think the officer could sense that I was ready to puke from anxiety. My knuckles were bone white as I gripped my steering wheel.

Lisa also volunteered to get all my driver information out of my glove compartment even though the officer did not ask for it. I burst out in nervous laughter as I watched her struggling to open the glove compartment.

She kept reassuring the officer she was there to help. I told the officer not to worry, there were no weapons in my glove compartment, just a bunch of napkins from McDonald's. He kind of just looked at me when I said that. I smiled and told him I watched too many episodes of COPS. He laughed. I almost passed out.

Just shoving placecards and tree branches
 down my dress. Nothing to see really. 
The officer told Lisa she did not need to retrieve any of the information but she had finally gotten the glove compartment open. She was pulling out all the papers and napkins, trying to read them. The officer shined his flashlight to the back seat of my Blazer again. I felt myself get dizzy with panic. I forgot I had opened bottles of left over booze in a box on the floor of my backseat. FuuuuuddddddggggggEEEEE!!!

While Lisa continued to struggle with the papers, the officer asked me if I had anything to drink. I told him I did drink at the wedding but stopped around 600 pm. Lisa stopped what she was doing to validate my statement. She told the officer she kept trying to get me to have a drink but I was good and didn't have any drinks. I looked at the officer nervously, flashing him an anxious smile. By this time the officer was doing everything in his power to not burst out in laughter.

After checking my ID, the officer told us to behave and be safe. Lisa thanked the officer profusely on behalf of both of us. By this time, he could not contain his laughter. As I drove away, Lisa was still thanking the officer for doing a such a great job. I knew I was sober but if on the slight chance there was any alcohol flowing through my bloodstream, it was definitely gone now. It dispersed in the cold sweat pouring out of my skin.

I got Lisa home safely and chain smoked the entire 30 minutes it took me to get back to Hazleton. Yep, that angel did me good.

Moment #4
The girls trying on dresses for the wedding and getting them "dirty".
Me trying on a gown and getting it "dirty"

Another event to remember was trying on gowns for one of the weddings. None of us had food poisoning or anything like that but damage was done to one of the dresses. We were at a wedding shop browsing dresses for the bride and bridesmaids. While the bride was trying on gowns, another bridesmaid and myself were looking at some fancy dresses on a rack.

One of the bridal shop employees asked if we would like to try some of them on. So, we did. There was one dress I was particularly fond of. It reminded me of a something a mermaid would wear on her wedding day. It was so elegant and feminine. I couldn't afford it by any means. It was still very expensive even though it was on sale.

That and I really wouldn't have any reason to purchase a dress like this. I don't go to Regatas or charity balls or movie premieres. I would love to go to all of the above mentioned events but they are a little out of my league. I attend events like fantasy football drafts, farmers' markets and purse bingos. I can wear stretchy pants and sandals to those events.

I just wanted to see what this pretty dress would look like on me. We gathered the dresses we wanted to try on and headed to the fitting rooms. I put on my dress and the nice lady zipped it up. When I turned and looked at myself in the mirror, I gasped. I actually looked beautiful in the dress which was something I was not expecting at all.

My expensive, white mermaid gown. It was only like $400. 

This dress was so flattering on my figure. I couldn't believe it. That is so hard to accomplish. No matter whether I am in one of my thinner stages or one of my epic fat stages, nothing seems to flatter my figure very well. It's always been that way. Of course I immediately fell in love with this expensive dress.

My friend and I took pictures of each other in "our" dresses. I wanted to prance around for a little bit in the dress I could not afford so, I just kept walking around the bridal shop, checking myself out in the mirrors, doing little turns and shimmies in the fabulous dress. I pretty much wore the dress the whole time we were there, which was about 30 minutes.

Eventually, I had to take it off. It was time to leave. Sadly, I wandered back to the dressing room but to my dismay, no one was around to help me with the zipper. I peeked out from behind the curtain. There was literally no one around. Where did they go? They were just there. I took a deep breath and tried to contort my arms behind my back to pull the zipper down.

That is when I heard a loud tearing sound.

I stopped what I was doing, arms frozen, while a cold sweat broke out all over me. Slowly I lowered my arms. That sounded like a pretty big tear. I totally freaked out. All I kept thinking was, I just tore a dress that cost half of my paycheck. Panicked, I ran out of the dressing room to find someone to help with the zipper. Finally, I came across someone on the other side of the store who was able to assist me in getting the zipper down.

Quickly, I ran back to the dressing room while cradling the top of the dress to my body as to not give anyone a peep show. Once I was back in the dressing room, I flung the curtain shut and carefully tried to step out of the dress. That wasn't working though. It wasn't going past my hips. I remembered that because of the way this dress was sewn, I had to put it on over my head. The nice bridal shop lady even told me that.

Common sense eludes me more
than I care to admit. 
Gingerly, I pulled the dress over my head. Immediately I started looking for the tear in the dress. I couldn't find the tear but I did find the huge, brick red lipstick streak I left on the entire inside of the dress.

Yes people, Chrissy was going through one of her red lipstick phases and thought it a brilliant idea to try on an expensive white dress while wearing it.I was beyond mortified. I was naked and afraid and on the verge of an epic meltdown in my little fitting room. Immediately, the asshole part of me said to get dressed quickly, put the dress back on the rack and pretend like it never happened.

The decent part of me said the bridal shop employee saw me in this dress and knows which bridal party I belong to. I should just tell them what happened and hope they only charge me to clean it. This internal debate between good and evil went back and forth the whole time I was getting dressed.

I am not gonna lie, even I did not know what I was going to do as I walked out of the room with the dress in my hand. Sheepishly, I walked over to the rack and hung the dress back on it. I then proceeded to drag my feet over to the employee who assisted me. I explained to her that I got lipstick on the dress and was willing to pay for any cleaning the dress would need.

She just smiled at me and said not to worry about it. Normally I would interject and say, "Are you sure?" but not this time. This time I blurted out "Okthankyou." and proceeded to get the hell out of that shop. As I waited for the other girls outside, I smoked a whole cigarette in like 30 seconds to try and calm my nerves. I didn't work but I had a wicked head rush and some nausea to accompany my shaking.

Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson that day. Never try on a dress you cannot afford to pay for.

Moment #5 
The gals dancing to Wilson Philips.
Dancing to 40lb head at Jere's wedding. 

Jere and Chris' wedding was pretty epic. Everything about it was awesome. From the blushing bride mimosas in the morning to the sparkler boat send off in the evening, this is one wedding I won't soon forget. And one of the best parts of the wedding was rocking out to a live band during the reception. No, it was not Wilson Phillips. Thank God. Not a fan.

The band was Chris' favorite local rock band, 40lb. Head. We had all seen this band many times in the past, but unfortunately, there are very few venues around my area that have live bands anymore. It's devastating. Growing up, every weekend the local newspaper would advertise tons of live bands playing the local bar scene as well as bars and clubs surrounding the area. I could not wait until I was old enough to see these bands myself. My father being a musician in a local band also added to my interest in seeing the live local bands.

40 lb. Head hamming it up!

Every wedding needs more cowbell!
There was always so much musical talent in the area. It was awesome to be able to go out and dance to the local talent. And while there is still so much talent in the area, there aren't as many places for them to play and it sucks because honestly, there is nothing like enjoying live music. Don't get me wrong, DJs and Karaoke are great too but man, seeing talented singers and musicians rock out is so awesome.

Jammin' out to 40lb Head was so much fun. The drinks were flowing, the funny props were plenty, and everyone was having a damned good time. The band was a complete riot. Not only were they amazing musicians but their personalities were so cool. We even got to play with Chris' wedding cowbell because everything needs more cowbell. We were being our silly, fun loving selves and so was the band.

The Crolls and I having a blast!

So on my wedding day, I will need you more than ever, Please say you’ll be my Bridesmaid… And my friend forever!

Bonus Moment

Megan Taking A Bunch of Shower Favors AKA Puppies
Me Taking A Bunch of Shower or Wedding Favors

Let's face it, one of the coolest things about weddings and showers are the favors. For whatever reason, I am a huge fan of them. I don't know why, I just love them. Like, really, really love them. Like, one is just not enough love them or have to have that in my life love them. I'm sick. I know this. I just go stupid for wedding favors and centerpieces. And the cakes and goodies as well. I'm a wedding junkie I guess. I love the different themes and colors and flavors of weddings and want to bring them back to my house. LOL

I have seen so many cool and unique wedding favors and centerpieces in my wedding adventures too. Some of my favorites were china tea cups filled with roses, pastel M&M candles, vintage style memory boxes, orchid and river rock vases, engraved shot glasses, daisy seed place cards, homemade seasoning salt, personalized mini wine bottles, baskets filled with gourmet flavored popcorns, candy bars, caramel apple bars and campfire s'mores kits.

The apple I made from the caramel apple bar and the s'mores favor. Loved it!!

A Candy Bar!!!!

Cookie Cutter Favor With Recipe

Memory Box Shower Favors

And while I am always polite and perfectly happy with my one favor, if someone gives me the green light to take more than one favor or a centerpiece, I most certainly will. Like I said, I am a junkie over stuff like that and have no idea why.  There is no logical reason for my desire to take more when offered, but I do nonetheless.

In fact, when making my sisters wedding shower favors, which were roses made from votive candles and tulle, I had to make about 15 extra ones just for myself. I did that with my own wedding favors as well. I just wanted more. No reason. Just cause. LOL!

So, when I saw Megan driving away with 8 puppies in her van after leaving the wedding shower in Bridesmaids, I literally pissed myself from laughing so hard because I totally got what she was putting down. That would so much be me, but only if given permission to do so. And I am not gonna lie, a lot of the wedding favors and centerpieces I have received are still on display in my home or put to good use for seasonal and holiday decor.

I use Jere's popcorn basket to display pretty paper plates and napkins at parties. Jess' river rock vase is on my bedroom dresser as a beautiful decor piece. Shawna's pink and white gerber daisy vase sits on my patio table in the spring and summer. Jilly's white candelabra was also a centerpiece on my patio table until the raccoons ruined it. Renee's Christmas themed vases are a beautiful decor piece in December. Alicia's hydrangeas sit on my bookcase next to pictures of my kids. Nikki and Doug's wine bottles have made some wonderful scampi dishes and Gerry's seasoning salt takes our french fries to a new level.

Let's just say, all that stuff is going to a good home where it will be used and loved by a sicko wedding junkie. No lie!

Daisy seed paper place cards.

Jere's centerpiece. I got one. :)

I decorated my hotel bathroom with flowers from Jere's wedding. It was nice! I didn't even spill any
of my stuff on the drunk bus back to the hotel. 

In closing, I can honestly say, each wedding party I belonged to had their own unique, beautiful style to them. None of my brides were Bridzillas. All of them were truly wonderful. It was a sincere pleasure to be a part of each and every bridal party and I will cherish the memories made during their journeys to the big day for the rest of my life.


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