As I find my spot on the sofa I hear “You can change the channel, I am not interested in this,” from husband, half asleep in his recliner. Suddenly wide awake he pleads, ”but please no more bride dress stuff.”
There has been a dramatic increase in our virtual and real ‘parents of the bride’ experiences. Fancy southern mansions, golf courses and other upscale event sites hold bride shows. Favored vendors line up, table to table and hawk their wares. Invitations, photographs, videographers, DJ’s, flowers, cakes, candies, tuxes, limo’s (yawn) it goes on. All smiling, all young, all have their 30 word pitch ready. Some facilities hold a mock wedding where guests walk through the process, including the meal. It is serious business here in the south. I mean serious - business.
It was a cold but bright and sunny afternoon. We were in the party mood. The doors to our most recent bride show swung wide to greet us, assisted by suited waiters. Food decorated with the grace of a florist, ruffled silk and lace table and chair covers, floral arrangements hung with twinkling candles. Sign in with a crystal and feathered pen, take a complimentary heart shaped candy. Inside was a tulle covered arch, chairs wear silk covers and sashes, tables sport center piece ranging from $100 each, EACH! Complimentary samples of wedding cake, hordes of helpful helpers hoping to sell us their help with our big day. Still in a party mood, where is the music? No music. That’s a downer.
The food was served, buffet set up as it would be for THE day. Tasties and morsels were delicious but more about presentation than substance. A pyramid of crystal stemware gleamed on the smashed potato bar. Half fill one of the glasses (I am not touching it while it is on the pyramid I ask the suited waiter to assist me, he tells me he will but he is nervous to do so. Safe stemware extraction complete I continue) I dress the spuds with a few of about 20 toppings. The new red potatoes are so tiny I ask if they have been minimized (doncha love the computer age?) for the event. I am assured this is the size that will be served. You would have to take 20 to even taste them and no guest is going to do that. Wait, I forgot about Uncle Arthur, he might. The alcohol is free, but we are not ones to drink alcohol.
With my crystal clad spuds I seek refuge in a sunny spot on a sofa. Seated in front of me are three guests, a mother, groom and bride. We are about 4 feet apart, directly facing each other. I was not eavesdropping, really. No really. Groom says he does not know what he is eating. Mom identifies it as a miniature beef wellington. She instructs him on how to fix the tenderloin, spread it with pate and wrap it in puff pastry. He says he still does not know what it is. He declares that as far as he is concerned it is “a steak croissant.” Mom acquiesces and laughs as he deliberately revels in his own ignorance. She obviously is not charmed by stupidly. She keeps score.
Bride asks mom to borrow her necklace for the wedding day as she can’t find anything she likes better. The mother describes, in minute detail, the bodice of the wedding dress. Bride is red faced, visibly upset “Mom please do not describe the dress”. Groom says “I do not want to know what it looks like.” Mom says “I was just saying” she then begins at the beginning and repeats everything she just was asked not to say. I could draw the dress she described it so clearly. Bride pleads again, “Mom don’t” she is now on the brink of tears. Mom resolute, even toned says “I am just saying, you cannot wear my pearls as they will not go with…” Yup you guessed it, dress was described again. She got him back. The score is even. Almost makes me ask for that drink. Maybe only men should go to these events.