Sunday, January 9, 2011

Evie's Rules of Engagement

Not long after I got engaged, I somehow got invited to the New York City bridal expo. I heard about it before (mostly through Jezebel's "Oh God what are we doing here" reports, 1 and 2) and heard about my mom's experience at bridal expos (they only barely stopped short of giving her foot massages in the lavish attention they paid on her, the keeper of the checkbook). So I figured, what the hell? With the fiance out of town, I called on my best gal, Evie, to accompany me.

"Free cake!" I told her. "Free champagne! It'll be great!"

With high hopes and empty stomachs, we set off. I'm not really sure what my expectations were, but my first impressions, seeing easily 1000 brides-to-be, plus about a dozen unfortunate fiances or (oh lord) boyfriends, was more of a refuge camp than anything. As soon as I walked in the door I was slapped with a sticker that identified me as the bride to the fifty+ salespeople inside and made to fill out form after form with my personal information.

It took me about 15 minutes to realize this means Very Important Bride.

For some ungodly reason, I obediently filled out everything on the forms--address, email, telephone, Dave's contact info (later Evie said, "I was really surprised that you actually did that," and I had no response except some primordial form-filling instinct in me suddenly kicked in). All that earned me was a deluge of mail from every wedding business in the tri-state area. I STILL get magazines and emails. This actually may have been the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life.

The expo itself was a nightmare, with hundreds of women crowding around the two (two!) tables with free food. We were given goodie bags when we walked in and Evie forced me to take everything from every table. She also forced me to wait in line for the free photobooth-style photos:

You can see it really get to me on the bottom left.
Yes, we are hanging ourselves with free shell-lei necklaces.

Finally, Evie took pity on my crowd-induced panic attack and we left to go get burgers. Although I encouraged her to throw away the 3lb bag of magazines and ads she had accrued while at the expo, she said, very anthropologically, that she wanted to take them home to study them.

The result of this study? Evie's Rules of Engagement, culled from the advice of a dozen terrible wedding magazines. She made me a poster. You all wish you had a maid-of-honor like this.

Here they are, in order:

Check! This is the only part of the rules that makes sense from a logical human perspective.

My favorite is the one comparing your boyfriend to a gas-guzzling SUV (and you to an energy-efficient hybrid).

I like this rule, but it would have gotten you a black eye at the wedding expo. Ever seen two hundred hungry, sweaty women fight over a mini red velvet cupcake? Now I see it every my nightmares...

Touche, Evie. Touche.

The aforementioned shot, with the aforementioned noose.

which leads naturally to...

True story: Dave's dad is impossible to buy a Christmas present for, so, jokingly, I suggested the only thing we could give him that he couldn't get himself was another grandkid. Dave laughed, agreed that that was true, conversation over. A few weeks later at our annual Christmas party, Dave, his mom, and my mom were all chatting. His mom asked what Dave and I got his dad. I was in the dining room, setting the table, when I heard this and thought don't say it, don't say it--"A grandchild!" Dave cheers.

Let me describe the scene that followed, when I ran into the kitchen. There's Dave, a big smile on his face, waiting for laughter that would never come. There's his mom, eyebrows halfway up her forehead, eyes wide. And then there's my mom, mouth open, completely frozen, with a facial expression that says something like "How quickly can I dismember the idiot who impregnated my unmarried daughter?"

"In three years!" I say. "A grandkid in three years! Not pregnant!"

The room collectively breathes a sigh of relief and my mom says, "Good, because there was no way you were going to fit into your dress."

Last but not least. I hope Sandals Jamaica got a nice boost in reservations from this.

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