Always a bridesmaid? Not even
May 19, 2002
I must be the only female on the planet who doesn't have an obligatory hideous pastel taffeta dress hanging in the closet, just waiting for that occasion that it will once again be perfect for ... a re-enactment of the prom scene from "Carrie." Oh, and I don't have the died laughing, I mean dyed matching, satin shoes, either. Call me slightly bitter, but I have never been a bridesmaid.
Most women console me with the irreverently patronizing, "It's no big deal. I've been in --- (fill in the large number here) weddings." To those women I pleasantly say, "*$#@!!!!!."
I have not had the pleasure of shelling out for the shoe-and-dress ensembles, or attending bridal showers and bachelorette parties. And I have missed out on the catty support sessions of pre-bridal bliss, too. Pass the Kleenex, please.
I have had one bridesmaid proposal in my life. A college friend was getting married to a rock star. I was dating the band's lighting guy and she was in love with the drummer. Since we both went to the same school and showed up together at the various tour gigs, crossing forbidden state lines, I was asked by proximity default.
I was so excited. I'd get to wear midnight metallic lame, not TAFFETA! I could actually wear this dress again to a spiffy cocktail formal. Even the shoes were cool. Two hundreds dollars for that ensemble, in days when affording mac and cheese was a major dilemma, was harder to deal with. But hey, it was a rock star's wedding! I had access to a student credit card full of Monopoly money.
Deep in a cloud of magical pre-wedding bliss, I reveled - even if it was someone else's party.
As they say in all of the VH1 "Behind the Music" profiles, "And then tragedy struck." After I had my first tactile encounter with that sensuous lame at the fitting session, I was asked to step down from my appointed bridesmaid post.
Last one in, first one out, was the ruling. They couldn't cough up one more groomsman to display on my arm. Down was our bridal leader, by exactly one tuxedoed match from the groom's side.
Apparently, it is exponentially more difficult to get a man to fill a penguin suit than to get women to buy a bad dress. Maybe men have a masculinity challenge when forced into pastel ruffles and a cummerbund. At least their outfit is recyclable at a rental establishment.
As the new player arrangement was called, I went from the middle of the huddle to the nosebleed section of the wedding stands in just under three seconds. I attended the wedding, however, to watch history being made. By history, I mean that they are still married and have two beautiful little girls (probably in college now, nabbing their own faithful rock stars).
As if one wedding bridesmaid invitational snub wasn't enough, the cruelest version of the cut came closer to home.
I was napping in my dorm room when the phone rang. My groggy slumber was met with my mom's voice declaring, "I'm getting married!"
"I'm awake now," was my reply, not taking the announcement seriously. You see, she had a New Year's bet with a girlfriend to date 365 men in a year. It was February, and I think she was at guy No. 19.
Attending a conference in another state, she was rushing into wedding No. 2. Since we were best friends, and also because we had made the sacred bridesmaid pact (you be mine, I'll be yours), I was totally expected to win that coveted maid-of-honor spot.
Alas, the maid role went to an unknown understudy - a mere acquaintance who was at the conference. I gathered my thought pennies to figure out a way to get to the event in time. But Mom brushed off the possibility of my attendance, opting for a better time later, when I could celebrate with them during a preplanned, less-expensive, holiday visit. I didn't even get to go her wedding!
Karma? They're divorced now.
At least at Dad's second wedding years earlier, I got an invitation. Plus I got to wear a really stupid floral lace frock, rounding out my geeky high school freshman "look" with poodle-permed hair, Bill Gates-style egg-shaped glasses and wicked overbite. And you guessed it, I wasn't a bridesmaid. With that bow-wow look, though, I would have completely messed up their wedding photos.
Karma here? They're divorced now, too.
I don't know if I'm bad feng shui for weddings, since most of my friends are already married for the first or second time. And the others are permanently - I mean blissfully - single.
I may never achieve bridesmaid status, or get the maid-of-honor salute. At my grave site, my headstone could very well read, "Here lies the Bridesmaid Virgin - To all who didn't put her in their bridal party, she could have thrown you one heck of a racy bachelorette party!"