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I am not a nervous person in general. Call it the luck or the curse of the only child but in most situations, I just assume the role of expert and like a method actor I become my part (see: the first time I was on CNN talking politics). But my latest life role has my stomach bunched up like a perfect French bustle because everywhere you turn society (read movies n' shit) says this one is the thing every woman fucks up somehow. I'm talking about being a bridesmaid, y'all.
Now, I've declared my love of weddings as the most primo party guest alive on this very site, but what you guys don't know is that I'm also a couch zombie for anything wedding-related on TV, which includes but is not limited to "Whose Wedding Is it Anyway?", "Say Yes to the Dress," "Bridezillas," "Four Weddings," "My Fair Wedding" and so on. The list goes pathetically on so much that all of my engaged friends have tapped into to the nuptials knowledge I've soaked in, like Jamie used to do to Vicki before a pop quiz on "Small Wonder." But I'm always the bride's sounding board, never the bridesmaid.
The pop culture matrimony machine seems geared towards making brides feel either deficient for not releasing talking homing doves after reciting their vows in Aramaic or turns them into red-eyed divas who render everyone in possession of a vagina within close proximity rage-vomit-inducingly jealous. I can't think of one reality show or movie that gives the folks standing up with you a decent blueprint on how not to go ape shit on your big day.
My Spanx-less ass is not as slappable as Pipa's and I'm not nearly as malleable as Katherine Heigl. So where do I fall in the spectrum of speech-givers?
When someone asked me whether or not I was "exhausted" yet, being the maid of honor and all, I automatically feigned a put-upon pout and sighed, "A little." But in truth, I haven't done much but lick a few stamps and send a few emails with the inevitable first line, "Ladies!"
It's as if women huddled together in the satin swathed confines of a banquet hall's bridal suite will always undoubtedly morph into a vicious vampire coven with the bride assuming the role of the mad god Lilith, seeking nothing but destruction and power.
I refuse to believe this of my friend, Dee, who for the last nine months has been what everyone else is calling a "low-key" bride because I haven't gotten a 2 A.M. phone call about "a particular shade of peach."
At her final dress fitting, an impossibly small woman stuck her hands up my friend's dress and showed me how to the bustle the back of her ball gown. I could feel the beads of sweat rolling down my lifelines like pinballs. For her part, Dee's been great. She stood up straight as I took at least 15 iPhone pics of what the seamstress was doing with those tiny buttons hidden among mounds of organza looking ominously like gathering storm clouds.
Thing is I really don't want to fuck this up. It's my best friend's wedding! And unlike a Julia Roberts character, my selfishness is manifesting itself as competitive helpfulness as opposed to ho shit. I want to be the most bridesmaid-iest bridesmaid there is, barring any research on my part regarding the "duties" involved -- Googling it turned into a rabbit hole that I never want to go down again. And that's where you all come in.
I'm talking speech (should I go roast-y or try to make everyone ugly cry?) and day-of essentials (Xanax?) to get my girl hitched without a hitch. What did you all you former MOH's do to make sure your friend's big day was the bomb?