She inspired me to think of my life in a new way.
Yeppers. That's a snapshot of a little something I like to call friendship. Drink it in. I've got my hands up another woman's skirt, and it's all business. I'm searching for superfluous ruching and smoothing out the boning while squatting in three-inch Stuart Weitzman heels. Later I'll Olivia Pope another dress emergency -- makeup on the bodice! -- with careful jiggering. This is love, y'all. And it's rare.
Despite loving everything weddings stand for, I've only stood up in one. I was the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding last month and expected the entire experience to be a nightmare. There is absolutely no pop cultural frame of reference for a positive wedding party experience. Instead of the Cinderella fantasy, recently the whole thing has taken on a Disney-fied evil domination feel. I went in thinking I'd be more like the Iago to her Jafar than the Genie to her Aladdin.
Thankfully A isn't an asshole. Basically, I've been spoiled by a bride who only freaked out a few times and never demanded anything more than regular ol' friendship. Still I wasn't surprised when I read this declassified classless email via Jezebel (and several friends' FB pages) in which one soon-to-be bride details the strict requirements associated with being in her wedding.
"You all have a big roll [sic] in this wedding," the email proclamation goes, "so before we continue I'm going to be setting some ground rules and its [sic] very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid."
Because of logic, no sane person actually thinks the rest of this email is in any way acceptable for public discourse. It's like Exhibit A in the murder trial of humility.
So instead of ripping it to shreds for lines like, "...everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its [sic] going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your [sic] going to the wrong wedding" and "...if its [sic] something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya!" Instead I've decided to offer up my own list of pre-reqs for the next bride who I'LL be doing the honor of helping get hitched.
1. If you begin an email with "Ladies" I will delete it, and possibly you.
I've been guilty of this myself and every time, a feminist loses her armpit hair. This is exactly what Steve Harvey wants. How is it that a group of grown women can rarely find any other salutation besides the most archaic and possibly sexist? To me, ladies are proper and, most of all, paid. I am neither.
2. If you refer to your wedding as "epic," I will be scared.
Your wedding will hopefully be fun. It might even be the most fun wedding I've been to in the spring of 2013, but epic is a stretch. It also puts some undue pressure on the rest of us because when I see "epic," I'm thinking some Odyssey-type adventure and look how that turned out. I'm not at all prepared to roam the world with you for decades, being the Gabrielle to your Xena.
3. Wedding planners get paid for what they do. I am not a wedding planner.
Despite having an expansive working knowledge of nearly every episode of "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", I am not, in fact, a licensed wedding planner. Those people get paid to show up at your wedding. I, on the other hand, am paying to show up. So? Asking your bridesmaids for help is, obviously, par for the windy course to the altar. But there's a big difference between Which flower arrangements do you like, Helena? and When you're done arranging 500 floral fountains, start on the Chuppah.
4. Know that weddings are a lot like the Free Clinic, everyone's been to one.
Listen I love any excuse to "do the butt" whilst swathed in silk jersey. Weddings are my jam. But I'm almost 32, so weddings have been my jam since saying "my jam" was still the jam. I know this is your first wedding (maybe) but it's definitely not mine. As much as I'm willing to zone out only after the first five minutes of any conservation that starts with "So we decided to go with..." you should be willing to actually talk about something non-wedding related at least twice a day.
I crushed it as A's bridesmaid. My speech was poignant, but most importantly brief. I stayed sober and kept my eyes on the prize -- getting her through the night with minimal muss. But that's what BFFs are for. That's why you ask your friends to be your witnesses, and not a hodge podge group of out-of-work actors you met in front of the Home Depot. If your bridesmaids have to suffer through a confirmation hearing to stand at your side, then they're not "at the wrong wedding," honey. You've got the wrong friends.