Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let's Raise a Glass



Last weekend, I went to Northampton to visit my friends SmartyPants and FribsInCharge, who are soon to be married. This wedding will be notable for many things, chief among these is my involvement in the nuptials as the Maid of Honor. Of course it is always nice to see my dear friends and I enjoyed a weekend out of the city, but also it is about time for me to pay the balance due on my bridesmaid gown and so I also wanted to sit down with Smarty face to face and make sure that everything was still 'full steam ahead' as it were before I pulled out the plastic and booked my airfare etc... Smarty gave the go ahead sign, so it's onward and upward for Team Fribble.

I must say that my burden in this whole wedding sheebang has been a light load to bear. Perhaps not least of all because the few times I could have been of use, I was asleep at the wheel. The chores I offered to help with were largely taken up by the 63-year old mother of the Bride. The coordination is a bit difficult with the major players spread out in three citys. And while I'm sure the MOTB is happy stuff envelopes and Smarty insists it "keeps her off the streets", I can't help but worry that if the woman wasn't pre-arthritic before, she will be by the time the bouquet sails through the air. I missed the bridal shower thrown by the future mother-in-law because I was cavorting around Germany with strange men. Smarty assured me it was no big deal, but when I walked into their condo last weekend and beheld that most puzzling of shower gifts, the "wedding cake" made of hand towels in the corner, well I knew I should have been there to document the look on the bride's face as she contemplated that one. And I should have been the one assembling the ribbons for her rehearsal boquet; I could have tipped her off that every ribbon she ripped opening gifts would mean a baby later on down the line... I know how the couple feels about small families... And where was I? Probably eating an Eisbecher and mumbling my way through subordinate clauses. Ultimate Maid of Honor or ultimate Chump of Dishonor? You decide.

Unlike my other duties which will pretty much all go down on the day of the rehearsal and the wedding, there is one task I have agreed to undertake that I can get to work on now. I am speaking of course about the toast I will make to the bride and groom at the reception. Seeing as how I am a writer (hypothetical mostly) and proprietress of this here D-List weblog, I fear that expectations will be running high as guests lean slightly forward in their chairs to catch my bons mots. This makes me nervous. Those who know me will know that I used to do a lot of public speaking, but they'll also know that these days I struggle with staying on the right side of the line between 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate'. And you don't have to know me well at all to see that I'm a lazy cupcake and will most likely be composing my speech as I walk down the aisle (chill out, word on the street is that it's a long aisle).

So while I haven't actually started writing the toast yet, I have gone over some incidents and lessons from my past and have started UNwriting this toast several times over. So I now present:

"Things you Will Not Hear in My Maid of Honor Toast, List Possibly to be Continued"

1. Although it can be a cute way to show familiarity, I will not be using my nickname for the bride, "Killer", nor my pet name for her beloved, "Pain in the Ass."

2. A good way to break the ice can be to tell the audience something personal about yourself, however the joyous occasion of a wedding is not the time for me to publicly confess my fear that I will die alone, the fact that I am the favorite "Auntie" to all the children in the neighborhood bringing me cold comfort as my faithful Bichon Frise, Harry Lime, gnaws on the eyeball of my undiscovered corpse.

3. I think we all agree that an Interfaith wedding can be a beautiful thing, however this will not be the propper moment for me to do my take on Catholocism versus Unitarianism. "He believes Jesus Christ died to redeem us for our sins. She believes that a Dixie Cup full of grape juice and a lesbian reading a Shel Silverstein poem fulfills your Sunday obligation. Can these two crazy kids make a go of it?"

4. If I get the sense that things are going badly, I will not take a page out of my dating handbook, get all defensive and imply that my audience is gay.

5. While it might be nice to compare the different life paths of two friends, this should not necessarily include an analysis of why I believe all of the relationships I was in failed during the time that Smarty's and Fribs' was flourishing (see point #4).

6. Just because someone has handed me a microphone does not mean that I need to sing Soul Assylum's #1 hit song "Runaway Train".

7. While people frequently use weddings as places to network for job and relationship hook-ups, overt allusions to such goals are best kept out of the celebratory toast (but if I want to keep a few business cards in my bra, I think that's my business).

8. Popular culture cliches, whether or not they have 'inside joke' significance, have no place in something that you hope will be timeless, classic. Therefore I think we can ax "All your matrimonial bliss are belong to us," "what happens in Cohasset stays in Cohasset," "I wish I knew how to quit you." Even if a plane full of snakes crashes into the reception hall while I am giving a toast, I do not want to hear the words "snakes on a plane" uttered. Got it?

9. And really, since the only thing I'm good at talking about is myself, should I have a weak moment, it is absolutely necessary that someone be standing by and be ready to pull a fuse in the circuit breaker and cut power to the entire building if they hear be say the phrase, "But enough about Smarty and Fribs, let's talk about me."

4 comments:

MCMCMCLY said...

I'll hold the circut breakers if I get to attend the wedding as your "and guest."

Joe said...

Friends will come.

Friends will go.

And friends will peter out.

But, my friends, we'll be friends, peter in or peter out.

Nice post.

The Runaway Train started it, and the business cards in the bra tipped me over the giggling edge.

gallagb said...

i think my feelings are hurt

what cupcake didn't tell you is that she also visited ME
and we had brunch at the florence diner
and i yelled @ her for more than an hour about the lack of posts lately and how she has stopped writing


and we turned eachother on.....big time....

to new podcasts.

Cupcake said...

Sorry PatriotDave, there is going to be a slew of eligible young Holy Cross bachelors at this thing so I am going solo to the wedding. I'll be wearing a purple garter boys, and yes, all that and she's Catholic too!

BG, don't fret. I am going to make you a star, then the world will hear our whole sordid story.