Weddings have always offended my sensibilities. They are like a masquerade where no one has any fun, yet everyone must pretend to have fun. The woman comes down the aisle wearing a hideous dress that she would normally never be caught dead in, with hair piled high on her head in a manner she would never wear and make-up that is worse than a Halloween mask. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the dress is frequently either ugly or boring, it is usually the most expensive dress a woman will ever wear. What a waste of a good opportunity. The one time in your life that no one will look down on you for buying the most expensive outfit you can possibly afford and we are condemned to strip ourselves of all individuality and buy the same stupid white dress.
And eat bad food.
And dance badly to bad music.
And the men appear just as ridiculous and even more uncomfortable.
About a year before my sister got married, I was initiated into the expense of weddings by the unfortunate occurrence of being asked to be a bridesmaid. I’m convinced this woman hated me. I have no idea what I had done to her to deserve such punishment. Would you ever ask a friend to do such a terrible thing. Apparently, being a bridesmaid entails helping to plan this monstrosity known as a wedding. She, another college friend and sacrificial victim, and I schlepped out to some place in Queens. Don’t ask me where, but the bride-to-be in question insisted that this place was well-known as having the world’s biggest selections of gargantuan white dresses. I still have nightmares of being attacked by headless dresses. A woman asks you what you want and brings out a series of gowns. Personally, I thought the entire process was geared to getting you to spend too much money. At one point the sales woman coerced the bride into a thing that resembled the costume worn by a ballerina doll I had as a child. The sales clerk turned her to face the mirror. “You look like a china doll!” she exclaimed.
“I’m fucking Malaysian, and I don’t want to look like a goddamn doll!” She may have been born in Malaysia, but she was raised in Brooklyn and proceeded to display the vocabulary to prove it. She ripped the dress off and threw her street clothes back on. On the subway back she said, “And did you see the damned prices on that crap?”
Ah, the prices indeed.
So a year later, when my sister announced her revenge for all the mean things I did to her as a child by making me her maid of horror, we decided to forgo the whole wedding dress boondoggle from the get go. I said to her, “When was the last time you bought a dress without even considering the price?”
She said, “Never.”
I suggested that she go to her favorite store buy a white dress not marketed as a wedding dress. “Don’t even bother looking at the price. Just buy one you think is pretty. It’s almost guaranteed to be less expensive than what you would buy if we went shopping for a wedding dress.”
She said to me, “Can you do it for me?”
A few days later I phoned and said to her, “I saw a pretty dress in a store the other day. I think it would look good on you. Do you want me to take a photo or something.”
“Nah,” she said, “Just buy it in a size eight and stick it in an envelope.”
So I did.
She looked great, but the was one little problem with the dress. We couldn’t find any underpants that weren’t visible. It was the strangest effect. Without underpants, nothing was visible, but no matter what we tried, even the thinnest littlest thong, we could still see them. Finally, we all decided that my sister had to get married sans panties. All day long my grandmother kept jabbing her with her finger, laughing, saying, “You’re the bottomless bride!”
Better a bottomless bride than a bridezilla.