(Please don't mainpage!) Here it is, you guys. The Marie Antoinette bridal shower was this past Sunday... This is going to be a loooooong post.
(For the last post about this ongoing wedding saga, go here: http://groupthink.jezebel.com/even-more-brid… )
So, on Friday I took a half day off work and went up to NYC to stay with my best friend and fellow bridesmaid Laura. We tried to have a nice evening but we were just both filled with dread over what was going to happen over the weekend.
Saturday was the bachelorette party in Manhattan. We woke up to a text from the maid of honor saying there had been a change of plans. Of course. Thankfully, it wasn't bad. She had decided to skip everyone meeting at a wine bar two hours early and told everyone to just show up for dinner. That gave Laura and I the morning free to run some errands and hang out. Which was nice since we don't get to see each other all that often.
(As an aside, why do some women delight in calling their friends things like "hoes" or "sluts"? The maid of honor all weekend sent group texts that began "good morning hoes!" and "hey sluts!" and "listen up, bitches!". I hate that SO MUCH. It's so fucked up.)
Anyway. We changed into our party dresses and made our way into the city. None of these girls are ever on time, so we decided to arrive fashionably late. When we got to the restaurant, only a handful of the bridal party was there so we were right on time. They had set up shop at the bar since the hostess wouldn't seat us until everyone was there. They had brought the bride saucy bachelorette gifts which she had opened and left stacked on the bar as she chatted with the other girls. Just right there in the middle of a classy, expensive place... vibrators and frilly panties just strewn all over the bar top.
The bride greeted us and was excited to see us. I shared a look with Laura since the bride looked... different. The other bridesmaids greeted us, the maid of honor gave us the cold shoulder. We stood around talking until all the girls got there, then we went to sit down.
The restaurant was very nice. Slightly rustic in that super clean, fake way that Manhattan somehow believes "rustic" to be. The bride sat at the head of the table, ensconced in a corner. The maid of honor sat by her side. Laura and I were at the whole other end of the table, like lepers, and barely got to say two sentences to the bride all evening. We made small talk with the other bridesmaids while the maid of honor continued to be inappropriate. I have to check myself before I wreck myself here, but I think it's really inappropriate to be doing crazy bachelorette party stuff at a fancy, expensive restaurant. If we had had a private room, it would have been different, but we just had a corner in the main dinning room. The maid of honor was shoving penis straws into everyone's cocktails and shouting overtly sexual things at people. She passed around stickers to affix to our drinks that said things like "Hello! I'm a virgin", "Hello! I'm a party girl!" and "Hello! I'm a whore!".
Dinner, thankfully, went off without a hitch. Laura and I order a glass of wine each and one entree. The other girls did what I knew they'd do, which was order a crap ton of appetizers and drinks, not keeping track of any of it. The maid of honor insisted on us splitting the bill evenly and while I'm not happy about paying for appetizers and stuff I didn't eat, the amount per person was less than I was afraid it would be. The food I did eat was very nice, though.
While we're waiting on desert, the bride announces that she has something to tell us all. I whisper to Laura "I bet she's pregnant" and the bride shouts... that she's pregnant. The other girls start to scream AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS at this news. Seriously just losing their shit. The other diners all turn and stare at us like we're wild animals. Laura and I pretend we don't know these people. Some of the girls were shocked and two of the ones we were sitting across from were upset because the bride had LIED TO EVERYONE about it. She had been asked multiple times if the fast tracked wedding was because of a pregnancy. The bride had insisted it was because of an ill family member that she was close with and they had snagged a cancellation at the venue they wanted. But no, it's because she's four months pregnant. We had been hijacked into this wedding under false pretenses.
After all the screaming and hollering, the restaurant could not get us out of there faster. The waitress and the manager hovered nearby and the check was brought out as soon as desert was served. Laura and I paid our part of the bill, bid farewell to everyone and went home. The other girls continued on to the "male review".
Sunday was the infamous bridal shower. Laura and I were DEFINITELY dreading that event and just plain had no enthusiasm about it. We donned party dresses once more (since we sure as hell weren't wearing costumes!) and drove there. The shower was being held at a hotel about an hour away from Laura's house and, after getting slightly lost, we arrived basically on time.
We walked into a beautiful room with red walls, Revolutionary War era paintings, silhouettes and a big fireplace. It was actually a really pretty room (and hey, the Revolutionary War is technically on theme, since Louis XVI gave us money to fight the British! I doubt the maid of honor knew that, but still!). Of course, this lovely room had been "decorated" by the maid of honor and some of the other bridesmaids to fit the theme...
Each table had centerpieces that the girls had put together. There were purple lace table runners, strings of faux pearls, mason jars full of pastel ribbons and beads, pastel painted teapots, gilded bird cages, pink feathers, peacock feathers, candlestick holders, plastic "glass" slippers, cameos, sparkly butterflies, fans, pictures of crowns on easels, masquerade masks, fuzzy pink garlands, lace dollies, fake flower petals and tiny blue and gold picture frames that had "Let them eat cake!" in swirly script on pink brocade backgrounds.
The fireplace mantel had framed pictures of the bride and her fiance, as well as a banner that misspelled Marie ("Mariée"), a framed picture of their wedding invitation... and a frame with that famous painting of Marie Antoinette... with the bride's face glued onto it.
You can just imagine our faces. It all looked very feminine but absolutely NONE OF IT was Marie Antoinette. It was like Pinterest threw up in there. One of the other bridesmaids was there, putting up some finishing touches. She was dressed in a normal black dress so Laura and I figured none of the other girls has decided to dress up. Thank god, I thought. Then the maid of honor walked in.
The maid of honor was wearing, no lie: gold platform high heels with rosettes on the toes, white thigh high stockings with giant bows on the knees, a white lace shift dress with a diamond belt, a bright pink furry cardigan, about three long faux pearl necklaces and a blonde Marie Antoinette costume wig with a cameo headband.
I just... I can't... I still can not form the words... I just... I can't. I can't even. I just can't. THAT is what she thought a Marie Antoinette costume was. THAT.
Three of the other bridesmaids came in wearing similar outfits. Hair teased and powdered gray, tons of pearl necklaces, short almost Gothic Lolita puffy skirts with big bows on them, thigh highs, high heels, lace tops and... and I just can't. It was the most bizarre display I've ever seen. Apparently the four of them had put together all the decorations and their outfits. All of the other bridesmaids arrived in normal dresses with a vaguely French accessory, like a pearl necklace or cameo earrings.
There was no order to this chaos. Guests started to arrive and had no idea where to sit or what to do. Laura and I attempted to help but we hadn't been told what was going on either. There were set ups for games on one table, and a photo album people were supposed to write their names in and write a memory about the bride in. The photographer the maid of honor hired was walking around, taking lots of pictures. While people were still milling around, the bride arrived. She was absolutely DELIGHTED by the decorations. I didn't hear if she commented on the costumes or not. Soon people sat down at tables and generally came to order. At the bridal table, Laura and I again were at the very end and again only got to say about two sentences with the bride.
Waiters and waitresses came around, taking orders for drinks. A man arrived with two heavy suitcases and the maid of honor rushed over, telling everyone he was the artists she had hired and everyone could get themselves drawn as a party favor. Laura and I were under the impression he was going to be a silhouette artist. That's what the maid of honor kept saying in all of those texts. It turns out, he did caricatures. Like, the type you get at a carnival or state fair or something. The maid of honor kept calling him a silhouette artist though, so I'm not sure she actually knows what silhouettes actually are...?
The lunch part of the bridal shower was a relatively decent buffet and everyone was allowed to go back for as many plates of food as they wanted. There was a whole table of deserts as well full of little cupcakes, brownies and cookies. Surprisingly, despite the emphasis on "let them eat cake" there was not one cake there.
The entire shower was chaos, though. No one knew what was happening and while the waitstaff tried to get people to go get food table by table, it was basically a stampede. The maid of honor, who I thought would try to exert control over the situation, did nothing. People ate and talked and the waitstaff went around to refill drinks and offer mimosas. Well, it turns out the mimosas weren't free and at the end of the shower people were given checks for their drinks. The maid of honor got into one of the waitresses faces about that but was coldly told to re-read her contract.
Anyway, the shower was about six hours long. The maid of honor and some of the bridesmaids attempted to get everyone to play some games with various levels of failure. Most people were happier to just stand around and chat. The games were odd. One game had everyone at a table pass around a brown paper bag while the maid of honor played a song on her phone (sort of like musical chairs?). When the music stopped, the person left holding the bag had to put on whatever was inside it, like fake costume teeth or a shower cap. Another game was giving each table a few rolls of toilet paper and directing them to take one person at the table to make a wedding dress out of toilet paper for them to wear. Another game was passing around two pads of paper and telling people to write funny vows for the bride and groom. The last game, which seems to have pissed off the grooms mother, was to draw the groom in a pair of panties.
The one game I was expecting to play DIDN'T get played, even though the maid of honor was SUPER INTO IT and made all of us bridesmaids play along. She had poems about the first year of the couple's married life and we were supposed to get a bottle of wine with a label or name that fit the theme. The bride was supposed to guess which event the wine went with and then we'd read the poem. The events were things like "first fight" and "first dinner party" and "first anniversary" (which the made of honor called the "diamond" anniversary which is so wrong I don't even know where to begin. The first year is paper. But whatever. Who am I, except the person who actually knows this shit.). The maid of honor texted us excessively about which event we had picked and reminded us to bring a bottle of wine. Laura and I dutifully spent a half hour or so in a liquor store that morning, picking out wine for the game. The bottles all sat in a white and gilt basket during the shower and NOTHING WAS EVER DONE WITH THEM. I'm still pissed off about that.
There was little participation in the games and the maid of honor didn't really try to get people on board. She stayed pretty closely to the bride's side throughout the event. At one point the photographer had us all tromp outside to take group pictures and was very bossy about how she wanted us to stand and pose and kept saying things like "what's wrong with you? Just stand the way I tell you. Just do it". So, that was fun. She also kicked a family out of a gazebo on the property so we could take pictures inside of it. I was mortified.
Once back inside, Laura and I looked for a good exit. Despite being told the bride wanted money for her honeymoon as a gift, some people had brought gifts. Laura, since she has excellent handwriting, was given some paper and told to write down the gift and the giver's name. This was a bit of a trial since we were at one end of the table and had to keep asking people "who did the bride say that was?" because we couldn't hear much of what was happening as the bride opened presents.
That seemed to have been the unofficial cut off point, since people started to leave en masse once the presents had been opened. Laura and I saw our exit and tried to make a break for it. Suddenly, the bride remembered we existed and stopped us before we left and grabbed the photographer to take a few photos of the three of us. After that, we left. I made my train home with only seconds to spare and spent most of the trip weary and annoyed. I can't believe I spent that much money to barely get to speak to the bride, to suffer through all that insanity and for what? So I could sit in a corner and make snarky comments on Twitter?
Now, I mean, I know I have some failings as a person. I know I can get incredibly obstinate and bitchy when I'm forced to do something I don't want to do. I know I can be an insufferable know-it-all when it comes to history and literature. I'm trying hard to not jump onto a high horse and gallop off onto some moral high ground from which to survey all this insanity from. But it is so, so damn hard. I spent the entire weekend feeling an obscene amount of dread, embarrassment, very low level anger and hopelessness that I was trapped doing all of this stuff. I kept trying to put things into perspective, but there was no perspective to be had.
I would have written this on Monday but I was completely exhausted. Because of some train problems (some NY sports fans got in some drunken brawl on the train and it had to be stopped so the police could get them), I didn't get home until almost 9pm Sunday night and of course had work early Monday morning...
Now, I just need to get that dress altered and brace myself for the actual wedding in three weeks... god help me.