by Slo Mo
All this election hoopla (which continues to rage on our decimated front lawn) has been good for one thing: it's helped distract Dog and I from the harsh and depressing fact that we have a family wedding to attend.
First of all, who the hell plans a December wedding in Boston? And secondly, who the hell expects someone from Florida to attend? My evil half-brother, that's who. More specifically, my evil half-brother, Ted, and his super-evil fiancee, Sabrina.
Technically, I should be exempt from this wedding:
1. The last time I spoke to Ted, we were eleven years old and he accidentally-on-purpose set fire to my ballet slippers - while I was still wearing them. Call me anal, but The Ballet Slipper Incident fostered a lifetime of resentment and ill-will. My toes get hot just thinking about it.
2. I've met Sabrina a grand total of once, last New Year's Day at my grandparents' house, when she showed up in a prom dress, criticized my pierced tongue, asked my grandparents if she could inherit their Royal Doulton collection when they die, and then got caught snarfing cookie dough straight out of the freezer. I decided she and Ted deserved each other... So I spilled some red wine on her prom dress. Accidentally-on-purpose, of course!
Yes, I should definitely be exempt. Unfortunately, weddings aren't about exchanging vows in front of loved ones. Weddings are about blowing the wad on a really expensive gown and then inviting as many people as you possibly can so you'll recoup the cost by winning big on gifts. Even if you and your invited guests wouldn't normally give each other diddly-doo. Even if you and your invited guests mutually abhor each other.
In other words, being a bride means having no shame.
So Dog and I received our invitation in August. Correction: we received a triple-embossed, lilac-scented, gilt-edged royal scroll that looked like something Liberace would have chosen on a bad day.
Actually, it was only addressed to me. I promptly phoned my mother and told her, gee whiz, I was soooo sorry but I just wouldn't be able to attend Ted's wedding. Why? Well... Because Dog doesn't have a kennel to go to. Since when? Ever since he was, uh, kicked out of Happy Hounds dog camp for participating in an orgy.
Unfortunately, my mother is very, very clever and very, VERY conniving. She immediately solved the problem by telling me to bring Dog as my guest. Oh, and since bringing Dog would mean I'd have to drive, because Dog is afraid of planes, I should be a good girl and stuff the trunk with enough Florida citrus fruit for the entire family. Plus three bags of saltwater taffy and a crate of that lovely Key West rum, thank you very much. And have a nice trip, dear.
Dog didn't speak to me for a week after that. Apparently, sitting in a car hunched on a pile of oranges in the dead of winter for 1600 miles of mind-numbing freeway scenery en route to the world's tackiest wedding isn't high on his wish list. Join the freakin' club.
But that wasn't the worst of it. Hell no! Two weeks later we received yet another gilt-edged, lilac-scented missive: the gift registry. Apparently, Ted and Sabrina scoured all of Boston AND New York for the most expensive gifts possible. Then they sent everyone little notes telling us what to buy and where to find it. Bad enough that the cheapest thing they registered for is a pair of $400 ice tongs. Even worse that Sabrina circled it in lilac ink (what's with the purple?!?!) and wrote, "Mo - I hear you're broke and homeless. But if you manage to find a job between now and the wedding then we certainly expect to receive these tongs. Hugs and kisses, Sabrina."
I gave the gift card to Dog as a chew toy and then found a constructive outlet for my aggression: I bought a Barbie Dream Bride, named it Sabrina, and used it as a voodoo doll. Guess where I stuck the biggest pin?
By now, I should have learned not to open anything that was gilt-edged or lilac-scented. But when do I ever learn? I was shanghaied once again in early October when another gold-and-stinky letter arrived via UPS.... Announcing the dress code. Get this! Sabrina, with the help of her "wedding publicist", has color-coordinated not only her bridesmaids, but the entire congregation. According to her plan, I will be seated in the green section, which means I have a choice between wearing mint, celadon, or seafoam. However, we in the green section must try our best not to look like rejects from a St. Patrick's Day parade. And absolutely no hats or other large accessories without Sabrina's written permission. That includes shamrocks.
(At least I'm not sitting in the yellow section. I suppose those people must try their best not to look like they got peed on.)
The fourth and final insult arrived right before Halloween, but it was a stealth bomb. No floral stench or tacky gold borders to tip me off. Instead, just a plain white envelope from an address I didn't recognize. So I opened it and... Up popped a cut-out figure of Sabrina wearing another stupid prom dress.
AAAAAGGGHHH!!! Bridezilla attacks!
This little Sabrina was even worse than big Sabrina, because she had a soundchip. "Come to my shower! Come to my shower! Come to my shower!" The only way to shut her up was to stuff her back down in the envelope, but then I had to pop her back up again so I could read the invitation. Up, down, up, down... (Honey, I shrunk the bride!)
I assumed I was free of this shower obligation, seeing as I wouldn't be in town until the day before the wedding. But just my luck: Sabrina had a built-in default for out-of-towners. We were to phone the maid of honor with our credit card numbers and she would pool our contributions toward a lifetime's supply of Tupperware. Maybe Sabrina needs all that Tupperware to store her heaps of cookie dough. Whatever.
So there I was, "broke and homeless", with only a month to prepare for Ted and Bridezilla's wedding. Did I get a job to pay for the $400 tongs? Did I go in search of a lovely mint-green ensemble? Did I call the maid of honor with Dog's credit card number? Did I go up to Indian River to get 20 bags of grapefruit for the family?
You guys know perfectly well what Dog and I did in November. We almost drowned in a charity aquathon, got our asses embroiled in an election scandal, destroyed a few hibiscus hedges, and celebrated Thanksgiving at the beach. No time for wedding crap. Dog and I were busy, man.
So now it's two days before the wedding and we're preparing to load up the car and head north. (Well, I'm preparing. Dog is outside digging a hole.) Here's what Ted and Sabrina and everyone else can look forward to in honor of this very special, momentous family occasion:
Something old - my Peter Pan costume, which is pretty skimpy but definitely green
Something new - California navel oranges from the discount bin at the grocery store, cleverly disguised with a Florida label from one of Dog's chew toys
Something borrowed - a very classy pair of aluminum sugar tongs I swiped off the table at Denny's
Something blue - a Smurf disposable camera, to catch the expression on Bridezilla's face when she walks down the aisle and sees me over there in the green section, smiling in my Peter Pan outfit and waving a spoonful of cookie dough.
Okay guys, time for me and Dog to hit the road. Wish us a safe trip! Wish Dog a comfy ride atop all those oranges. Wish my mom the best of luck in finding any Key West rum left in that bottle by the time I get to Boston. Wish Ted and Sabrina a lifetime of happiness, goddamn it.
And most especially wish me the fortitude to behave myself at the wedding reception and not set fire to Ted's tux while he's still wearing it. Accidentally-on-purpose, of course.