Hi, I am trying something new this week, my posts are getting a bit long, so this one is going to be divided into two posts. Enjoy part one, and check back next week for part two to find out what happened at the bridal shower!
My brother is getting married on May 31th. . I would say that with an air of anticipation if they had not been engaged already for a few years. You would think he had been dragging his feet about the wedding because of some sexist assumption that that is what men do, get cold feet, but no my brother’s engagement to his beautiful betrothed was mired in bad timing, kind of like this post. Bad timing can crop up for a myriad of reasons, the onset of illness, a work crisis, a total spiritual rebirth and that was what happened, all of those things to my brother. The one thing that never changed was his desire to be married to his fiancé. I am not sure either family thought it was the right thing or the right time, so fast forward two years we are at the altar. I say we because it’s not just the people, it’s the families that are getting married – for better or worse. Thank God we live at opposites ends of the island, just in case there is a fight about who can be the best mother in law.
My mother has already had a hand in her two daughter’s weddings and they were both lavish affairs, and if I thought her enthusiasm for her third and hopefully final wedding had waned- I was mistaken. My mother actually had even longer to plan, although at times it was twinged with “When will it happen,” angst. As this is her son’s wedding she had to take a back seat to both the bride’s parents, and the couple and she tried her best to keep to her decorum according to the Emily Post book of wedding etiquette and accept the role of “mother of the groom.” It is hard to take a back seat, especially if you are GiGi and on occasion the mask has been known to slip.
GiGi has an especially close relationship with my brother, one that has been on occasion called “weird” by observers, but she has never really wanted to let him go and now she must. It has been a two year learning curve, and perhaps the long lead up has been just what she needed to tone down her own influence over his past, present and future.
We live in the East of the Island and my brother’s fiancé, Dani is from the West end of the island. There is an age old rivalry between each parish, from cricket teams to teenage gangs with guns. Without much encouragement, my mother strapped on her doo-rag, gold chains and “money over bitches temporary tattoos” and fully accepted their chosen theme of East vs. West.
I have been tasked at creating a slideshow for the rehearsal dinner so at the end of last year when I had some time I went to the bride’s mother’s house and collected photographs to scan for the slideshow. During my visit Christine told me of her plans to throw Dani a surprise bridal shower, which I thought was a fabulous idea. A month or so later my mother and sister decide that WE should throw Dani a bridal shower.
“Mom, when I was at Christine’s house she said SHE was planning a shower.”
“I already sent the email and SHE didn’t say anything.”
“SHE is being polite.”
“Your sister feels that because neither of YOU went on her bachelorette you should do something for her.”
“Did SHE really want her sisters in law on her bachelorette?”
“SHE would want us to throw a party.”
“Why don’t you ask Christine if SHE is already planning something.”
“SHE won’t mind.”
“Two parties are better than one.”
“You can at least ask Dani.”
“SHE would like you to make your chicken apricot salad without mayo.”
“I will have to check my calendar.”
So that is how it happened- the tale of the dueling bridal showers. Ours was first. My mother cleared her calendar and got the Souleiado table clothes dry cleaned and her silver polished. If she was going to loose her son, it was going to be to a Princess! Nothing was spared, our toddlers were uninvited and the guest list tallied and menu decided, and the date was set for April.
In the week before, anticipation was mounting. My mother started to ask me what I was planning to wear, if I had had purchased a gift, if I had arranged babysitting. The answer of course was “No, not yet.” If I was organized at one aspect of my life, the disorganization would just slip into another area of my life, and so it was that I woke up the Tuesday before the bridal shower with a present idea and not a lot of time to realize it. Back when my friends were getting married I started a personal ritual of getting them kitchen themed embroidered aprons emblazoned with their new last name, for instance:
“Hertzog’s Hussie, Troutman’s Tramp, Bostic’s Babe.” You get it.
And when it was my shower I got “Worsick’s wench” on an oven mitt in retaliation.
Remembering my old faithful idea, I called the embroidery place.
“Can you embroider an apron by Friday?”
“Yes, what colour?”
“What would you like it to say?”
“Um, Spurling’s…. um”
“SLUT…. Yes, Spurling’s Slut.”
“We will call you when it is ready to collect.”
Satisfied I started my work, a few hours later, I imagined the shower, all the women in Dani’s life gathered around, the maid of honour poised with her notebook and pen dutifully note taking who gave Dani what, and then Dani is handed my gift, she unwraps it with the exitement of a little girl at her first birthday party. She lifts it out of the box and reads its adornment…
There is a pause and then a few gasps and then they all stare at me and I wish I could take it back. Perhaps I should give this more thought we were not really as close as I am to Hertzog’s Hussie, Troutman’s Tramp, and Bostic’s Babe.
I called the Emrboidery place back, No answer.
I waited five minutes then called again.
My palms started to sweat. I looked at my watch it would take me thirty minutes to get there. It would take me 30 seconds to call Chris.
In moments my husband mounted his motorbike and within minutes he was outside the embroidery shop. He raced inside hoping he was in time to fix my latest mistake…
“Stop the machine.!”
He looked down and there the hot pink thread came to a winding stop as it finished threading the letter “L”
“We need to make a change.”
“Spurling’s um, um,…. I know…..”
With his quick thinking Chris saved the day, and saved me from unintentional mortification but I was not sure anything would save me from another one of my mother’s parties….
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF MEET THE FOCKERS, NEXT WEEK.