Wedding season is almost upon us and I should know. I’m almost 40 years old and most of my friends and one of my sisters are in that fun stage of life where they’re divorcing and moving on to their second marriages. It’s awesome for me because I LOVE being a bridesmaid. I also love how, for once in my life, I’m the person people look up to.
“Wow, Shay,” my best friend once said to me slowly, eyes wide that she was actually entertaining the thought while she and her husband were trying to work out some issues, “it feels so weird to say this, but your marriage is the one that everyone strives to have. And you were the person we all thought would be the first to fail at it.”
I nodded sagely. “I know, dude. It’s like I always tell you guys: You weren’t slutty enough in college. It’s what makes my marriage work now.”
I stand by that. I was such a humongous whore in college that I quickly (well, after about 2-3 years of skanking out) learned that it was all the same. I could be boning Brad Pitt (which I never was, by the way, but only because he’s not hot enough) and get sick of boning him after about a year. It doesn’t matter how good someone looks—look at Tiger Woods’s ex-wife versus the girls he was slutting around with—you will eventually get bored. It’s simply human nature.
So basically, I knew that when I found a good-hearted, smart, stable, handsome one, I should keep him—but only when I was sure that I was ready to settle down. I understood that things might get boring—even mundane, I dare to say after 11 years of marriage—but that when you have a good thing, you should work at it because the next relationship would get just as stale after a lengthy period of time.
So while all of my friends and family were chuckling about my slooter habits (Older sister, shuddering: “How can you stand to wake up in a strange bed with some strange guy that you only met the night before?” Me, shrugging: “It’s just what I do. I think I’d feel weird waking up in my own bed without a hangover.”), I was learning a very valuable life lesson, one that would help me not get divorced in the long run.
Anyway, I don’t say this to be all holier-than-thou, because we all know that I’m not. It just feels good, when you’re normally the dumbass in the room, when your family and friends all agree that you were actually right about something for once in your life.
And so, in honor of wedding season (whether it’s your first or your third), I present to you…
“Three Ways to Get Kicked Out of a Wedding”
1.) Don’t be invited in the first place
This one happened years ago, and it’s one of my favorite (albeit very hazy) memories. My best friend and some other college friends and I had just come off of a Garth Brooks concert where I’d gotten into trouble for STANDING UP. (Side note: Who the hell doesn’t stand up during “Standing Outside the Fire”? If you’re not standing up during that song, then YOU DON’T BELONG AT A GARTH BROOKS CONCERT.)
I was also very drunk.
After the concert (which was AWESOME, by the way), we happened upon a bar that looked really fun. People were all dressed really nicely and dancing and eating, so we decided to join them. When we walked in, we saw a buffet table set up with the most gorgeous spread of food. And it was all free!
I helped myself to a heaping plate and sat down at a table full of really nice guys who started laughing and giving me shots. I didn’t notice that my friends were still standing, unsure, at the entryway to the really fun bar. My face was nose-deep in a pile of free chicken fettuccine alfredo (my favorite!) with a bunch of hot guys in suits egging me on and feeding me shots.
It wasn’t until security came to the table to (very kindly, I must say) escort me out that I realized that it wasn’t a bar that we had happened upon; it was someone’s really nice wedding. The guys at the table shouted jovially that I should get to stay, but the security guys were having none of it.
They let me snarf one more forkful of alfredo before it was time for me to go.
2.) Get caught stealing a chicken finger off of the head table
I still stand by the fact that this one was not my fault.
My best friend and I (I’m starting to notice a pattern here) attended a wedding just last year, and although we had actually been invited, RSVP’d, and placed our handbags at a table in order to secure our spots while we went to grab a drink at the bar (there wasn’t assigned seating), by the time we got back to that table just a few minutes later for dinnertime, someone had moved our handbags—TO THE FLOOR—and there weren’t any spots left at any of the tables.
After we had squatted uneasily, drinks in hand, to the floor to grab our handbags, we stood there awkwardly for a minute while everyone else was seated and waiting for the wedding party to make their entrance. We were literally in the middle of the small room full of occupied tables standing there like dumbasses while people openly gawked at us. The dicks who had stolen our seats actually joined in the gawking—as if the entire situation wasn’t their faults. Assholes.
My best friend and I decided that we would go back to the bar, which was on the other side of the room, just so that we could escape the embarrassment of looking like wedding crashers. This was years and years after our first wedding crashing experience, and we didn’t really think it was funny anymore. We looked like losers.
While everyone else ate their goddamned grilled chicken, fish, or steak with asparagus tips smothered in butter, my best friend and I stood at the bar, out of sight, making friends with the sweet lady bartenders. At one point, some douchebag walked up, slipped a five dollar bill—A FIVE DOLLAR BILL—into their jar, winked, and said, “Remember me later.”
My favorite bartender actually tinkled out a shy laugh and responded, “Yes, sir,” as if he had just put a one hundred dollar bill in that jar.
When he was a few steps away—but close enough that he could still hear me—I barked out a laugh. “Did that DICK just tell you to ‘remember me later’ as he put a goddamned five dollar bill in your jar?”
The bartender lost it then. She laughed uncontrollably and said, “Girl, some people put a quarter in there and say that. So five bucks isn’t so bad.”
After witnessing that awful display and drinking 3 of my favorite bartender’s strong drinks on an empty stomach (remember that my seat had been stolen so I’d had no dinner), I was on fire.
When I saw that most of the head table had finished eating and moved on to their various dances (first dance of the couple, mother of the groom dance, father of the bride dance, etc.) and were completely occupied (or so I thought), I danced my way to the head table, where I had spotted a plate of fried chicken fingers. I grabbed one and shimmied back to the bar, where my best friend watched me eat it.
“Where’d you get that?” she asked me, salivating.
I flicked my chin toward the head table. “On a plate over there. I’ll go get you one.”
I walked to the table and started to grab another chicken finger when I felt a small slap on my hand. I looked up to see the groom shooting me a dirty look. “That’s my STEPSON’S plate, SHAY,” he said rudely. “He’s THREE. He needs to EAT.”
“Well, dickbag,” I retorted. “I’m 39 and have had 3—wait, 4—strong rum and cokes and I NEED TO EAT, too. I understand that you just became a father 7 minutes ago, but in my experience, a hangry adult is much worse than a hangry kid. If he was so hungry in the first place, why hasn’t he touched—“
This is where my best friend saw the commotion and grabbed my elbow. “She’s sorry. It’s just that between getting ready for the wedding and traveling here, neither of us has had anything to eat all day.”
“What about dinner?” the groom asked, motioning toward the tables.
My best friend looked at him apologetically. “Someone took our spots and there weren’t any more chairs.”
So we weren’t exactly kicked out, but we were embarrassed enough that we slinked off to a bar down the road. When my best friend tried to talk some sense into me, I quickly shut her down.
“Well, Shay,” she said, digging into the hot dog and fries that we had each just ordered, “you DID take a chicken finger off the head table.”
“Oh, yes,” I replied, squeezing mustard onto my own hot dog. “Because people who hang out with us are so classy and have never done anything worse than that. Remind me, Leigh—isn’t this the same guy who, just last summer, got drunk and tipped over a full port-a-potty while his best friend was in it, then laughed when the poor guy walked out all streaked in shit?
“But I get it,” I added exaggeratedly. “He’s a married man, a father now. Way too classy to put up with someone on an empty stomach who took a goddamned chicken finger only because there hadn’t been a place for her at a dinner table even though she’d been invited.” I looked at Leigh with wide eyes dripping with sarcasm. “MY BAD.”
“Well, when you put it that way…” Leigh acquiesced.
I think maybe I’m still bitter about the whole situation?
3.) Talk to the mother of the bride
Except you don’t realize that she’s the mother of the bride, and you say something like, “My little sister can’t remember if she actually had sex with the groom or if they just made out.”
My little sister had been standing next to me when I made the snafu, and she gasped and slapped me in the arm. She shook her head and rolled her eyes at the lady in an “I’m sorry; she’s slightly retarded and can’t help herself” way before saying out loud, “Shay, that’s Caroline’s mom.”
“Oh! Shit!” was all I could reply.
Later in the bathroom, I apologized to my little sister. “I didn’t realize who she was,” I explained.
My sister gave me a look. “So you just thought you were telling some random woman that I couldn’t remember if I had sex with the groom or just made out with him?”
I could smell what The Rock was cooking. I knew what she was trying to say, and she was right. I had no words.
“Why do you guys take me anywhere?” I asked, sincerely apologetic.
My little sister looked at me in the reflection in the mirror, a sparkle in her eye as she put on her lip gloss. “Because you’re so damn fun. Everybody loves you.”
Somehow that one worked out in my favor. In fact, we ended up not getting kicked out but instead sitting at a table with the mother of the bride and taking shots.
Happy wedding season, everyone!