As previously mentioned, I’m getting married and it is unequivocally the worst life experience I have ever faced. It’s one of those horrible things wherein literal strangers feel justified in sharing unsolicited advice. Apparently there are a lot of rules where weddings are concerned that I had not previously been privy to. A few examples:
Horrible Person: So where are you going to register?
Me: Oh I’m not going to do that. We don’t need anything.
HP: Oh but you have to register. People like to have options.
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that since I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life with Boyfriend and have invited people to this event that I now also have to throw away all my worldly belongings so that some woman that my mother shared a dorm room with in college can buy me a $400 steak knife. Does that seem reasonable to anyone? I LIVE IN A FUCKING STUDIO FOR FUCK’S SAKE! At this point if anyone buys me dishes I’m going to have to move. Also…I fucking registered. It was terrible.
Horrible Person: That’s so cool that you’re getting married.
Me: Whatever you say, Jane from accounting.
Horrible Person: No, seriously. That’s so exciting! How much weight are you trying to lose?
Um…Jane. I don’t know if you’re getting this but you literally just called me fat. Is there some rule that requires me to become a significantly smaller person upon agreeing to marry someone? Is this so that when the wedding approaches no one will be confused and wonder why Boyfriend decided to marry such an obese lady? Is it so that I can look awesome in my wedding pictures and then stare at them longingly for the rest of my life and ask myself repeatedly how I could have let myself go after relentlessly attending all of those Bridal Bootcamp classes? My boyfriend has seen me, Jane. He already agreed to marry a regular-sized person so I see no reason to slim down for his sake. Also, do you think there’s some scenario wherein I knew how to lose weight my entire life but just thought about actually applying it now? I’VE BEEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT SINCE I LOST MY VIRGINITY, JANE! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FUCKING LONG AGO THAT WAS? I DON’T EVEN THINK I HAD A DRIVER'S LICENSE YET, JANE! IT DIDN’T WORK, OK?! THERE’S NO MAGIC ANGLE WHERE I BECOME ENGAGED AND THEN BECOME ATTRACTIVE. LET IT GO, JANE! YOU ARE BEING A TOTAL BITCH RIGHT NOW!
Horrible Person: So what does your dress look like?
Me: It’s short and it’s pink. It was on clearance.
Horrible Person: *Just slowly backs away*
Ugh…the wedding dress. I knew that process was going to be a nightmare. When I went home for Christmas, my mom set aside an entire day that was dedicated to finding “the dress.” I knew we were in for an arduous experience — particularly after she informed me that our first stop would be David’s Bridal.
I don’t pretend to know a lot about weddings, but I knew enough to know that David’s Bridal was the bottom of the barrel as far as wedding boutiques were concerned — yet I played along and tried to keep a brave face. When we arrived, a teenager was standing at a podium and asked whether or not we had made a reservation. Um…you’re David’s Bridal lady, not Chanel, so no…we did not make a reservation. I’m not sure if you noticed but your entire store is covered in plastic. It’s disgusting. Let’s not try to pretend that this is luxurious. You’re located in a strip mall and the carpeting here is more stained than a preschool’s so just relax. Needless to say, they were able to work us in.
Enter Andrea. Andrea was an overweight black woman who seemed to be in her mid-30s and was feisty as shit. She had more energy than I could process and she was asking a lot of questions about the “big day” and how “he” proposed and how much weight I was planning to lose, and then she asked to see the ring at which point I realized I was holding a stranger’s hand again which is not my favorite, and this time it was worse because I was standing in a dusty David’s Bridal. It was clear that Andrea needed to be reined the fuck in.
Andrea: So what are we looking for today?!
Me: Andrea, calm down.
Andrea: Are you thinking white, ivory or nude?
Me: Andrea, listen to me. I’m from Los Angeles and I am not impressed. I want a short dress and I want to spend zero money. I don’t need any bridesmaid’s dresses and renting a tux is gross so just keep it together. Short. Dress. What are your thoughts?
It was clear that I had thrown Andrea, but she would not be deterred. It took her fifteen minutes to find three dresses she thought might work. One of them was long. I could tell she was playing me for a motherfucking chump.
The first dress seemed to literally just be a tutu she had found in a dumpster out back, the second dress was long and I almost broke my neck trying to get out of the fitting room (which of course Andrea insisted upon entering with me so now, not only are we holding hands, I’m naked) but the third dress…worked.
I was shocked. I had planned for a day of screaming at my mother and driving for hours around the south suburbs of Chicago. But when I tried that third dress on, I thought, “Shit, I think this is it.” My mother, Mimi, thought it was it, too. At this point we didn’t know what to do and Andrea was just standing there, smug as shit, and asked, “Do you say yes to the dress?” Well we did and then all hell broke loose. Before I knew it, I was being whisked to the front of the store. Andrea insisted that I close my eyes and then she put a bell in my hand. She started screaming to everyone in the store as if it were my birthday and we were at TGI Fridays:
“Here at David’s Bridal we have a tradition. We wish you all the happiness in the world as you embark upon your beautiful marriage. Once you ring that bell, all that happiness will come to you and we want to thank you again for saying Yes to The Dress. Now Alison, ring that bell and open your eyes. YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!”
I don’t know if it was the smell of a burned vacuum motor, the sight of streak-stained mirrors, or the sound of crackling plastic, but something had obviously fucked with my senses because when I opened my eyes and rang that bell, I. Was. Bawling. Not only was I bawling but I was bawling in a David’s Bridal, wearing a wedding dress, embracing Mimi and Andrea while screaming, “I’M GETTING MARRIED!” It was fucked up. Weddings are stupid.