of the Year
Stories which earn the coveted honor of actually making
Miss Jeanne bust out laughing or cause some lower mandible rug rubs.
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Dec 2001 Archive
Jan-Jun 2003 Archive
Jul - Dec 2003 Archive
A few years ago I attended a bridal shower for a co-worker about a
month before her wedding was scheduled. The party was thrown by
other women in my office so everyone that attended worked together.
As a gift I got her a couple of pretty wine glasses that had been on her
registry. Besides the bride sharing a bit too much sexual history at
the party it was actually rather uneventful.
The next day the bride and the groom called the wedding off for reasons
I never knew. Everyone around the office of course felt bad for her
and she took the week off. We talked about what a headache it would
be to have to cancel all the wedding plans and return all the wedding and
shower gifts to people.
When she returned we all tried to respect her privacy and not pry into
the details. A week passed and we all started to wonder “Was she
going to keep the shower gifts that she received the day before she
cancelled her wedding?” The whispering behind her back started.
One older woman in our office (who had a daughter who had also cancelled
her wedding shortly before it was scheduled) decided she should probably
tell the bride-not-to-be that proper etiquette indicated she return any
gifts for a wedding that was not going to happen. The bride stated
that she couldn’t return them to the gift givers because she had already
opened and used many of the gifts and had returned others for cash!
Had any time elapsed between the shower and the cancellation I might have
understood this but the shower was an evening event and the wedding was
cancelled the NEXT day. I could only shrug my shoulders and laugh
but some women in my office were pretty livid.
I think a few of the gifts did end up getting returned to the gift
giver although in used condition. I didn’t get the wine glasses
back but a few weeks later I did get a thank-you note that is my all time
favorite for tackiness. It thanked me for the lovely wine glasses
and stated that she would use them to entertain all her new boyfriends!
She didn’t work at our office for much longer after this incident.
*snicker* You have to laugh
lest you cry!
The daughter of a longtime
friend of the family set her date for her wedding and invited my cousin
and I to be bridesmaids, with my cousin as the MOH. We reluctantly
accepted to keep our mother happy, but found out soon afterward that my
high school graduation would be on the same day as the wedding [which
was in another state many hours drive away.] I apologized as
best I could for having to back out of being a bridesmaid and was met with
a curt, "I'm not changing my date!" from Bride. Eventually
everyone agreed that it was ok if I attended my own high school graduation
instead of the wedding, BUT when my mother decided that she would attend
my graduation instead of the wedding, Bride personally called her to tell
her she was being rude and a horrible friend to her mother.
Then things got worse [or funnier, in the case of this story]... so, my
cousin, the MOH, was personally asked by Bride what she would like for a
bridesmaid dress. My cousin thought about this and, being a large-chested
girl, requested only that the dress have a modest neckline, be a soft
color and no have bows... guess what Bride picked out after this
conversation? You guessed it, an extremely low-cut,
off-the-shoulder BRIGHT NEON PINK dress with the biggest butt bow you've
ever laid eyes on!! The MOH and I managed to have a good chuckle over
this, as I had escaped having to wear this thing.
Then, because I was to miss the wedding, I was literally commanded to
help out with the huge, catered shower that my mother and aunt were
throwing for Bride [which was at a huge hall with over 100 women and the
groom in attendance -- when did showers become mini-weddings? I felt
like my mother and I had to give 2 wedding gifts!] No problem.
The MOH by this time had bowed out of giving the shower [she had wanted to
throw a small affair in her mother's living room, being a poor college
student on a budget, but the MOB refused, saying that anything less than a
hall was not good enough for her daughter!], but was still in attendance.
We saw the bride and groom tear into the presents like kids at Christmas,
stacking them up in a big gaudy pile without pausing to admire any gift.
At the end of the shower, MOH and I then watch in horror as Bride's many
other aunts take gallon-size plastic Ziploc bags out of their purses and
shoveling the "leftover" food into them! [I wish I were
making this up!]
Fast forward a few weeks
before the wedding. To make up for not being able to throw a
"proper" shower, the MOH decides to host a small luncheon at a
modest restaurant for the wedding party, complete with favors and handmade
invitations. Bride, still upset that her MOH was not the one to
throw the catered shower, calls up the entire wedding party and orders
them NOT to go to the luncheon, but nobody informs the MOH. So, MOH
shows up to the restaurant on the day of the luncheon with balloons,
handmade decorations, and a cake--and NOBODY shows! She sat at
a table for 16 alone for two hours waiting. So, she dumps the cake
in the trash and goes home to call Bride to quit as the MOH, but my aunt
somehow convinces her to go through with it. No explanations from
Bride--it was a few days after the luncheon that MOH finally got one of
the groomsmen to admit what had happened.
Then, a few days before the wedding, Bride tells MOH that she was not
going to be seated at the head table because the head table was
"couples only," and, as MOH's boyfriend had not been invited to
the wedding[!] she was not part of a couple and would be seated at one of
the "singles" tables. MOH almost quits again, but again is
convinced by her mother to stay.
Then comes the wedding itself. I heard from MOH that the ceremony
was ok, but afterward Bride and Groom took over an hour to take pictures,
during which the guests sat without any food and drink in the overly-warm
reception hall! MOH was only allowed to be in one photo, and Bride
specifically tells her own Step-mother of 10 years that she is not be to
in any photographs at all because she is "not family."
FOB is obviously upset by this, but is convinced by the gracious
step-mother to stay for his daughter's reception. Finally pictures
are through, the happy couple and wedding party are announced to the room,
except... you guessed it, MOH. She proceeds to her seat to at
least have something to eat [she's famished at this point], and discovers
that her seat at the kids table!
So, MOH gulps down her overcooked
chicken, tries to make her way over to my aunt and on the way sees the FOB
and Step-mother leaving the reception with their gift. Turns out the FOB and Step-mother had
been seated at the back of the hall, in front of one of the DJs very large
amplifiers and were not visited by Bride at any point during the
MOH and I have laughed many times over Bride's actions. We vowed
not be become Bridezillas ourselves when it came our turn.
My husband and I share a large office
and every time a really good story gets sent, I interrupt him to read him
the best stories. We were laughing out loud at this one. What
else can you do? Kudos to the MOH and cousin who haven't allowed
this "treasure" of a bride to ruin their
This past August my cousin B got married in a beautiful ceremony at the
Catholic cathedral in her hometown. Because she was not a member of the
parish it was a very expensive site, but she'd had her heart set on it
since she was 6 years old and had to have it, so they coughed up the
A few months before the wedding they found out that the cathedral was
instigating a new wedding policy the summer of her wedding, and that her
wedding plans would change because of it. Why? Because the rules went into
effect August 1, and her wedding was on the 2nd (don't you think it would
make more sense if it only affected weddings that were BOOKED after August
1?). None of the rule changes were crisis-invoking, but it added a lot to
her stress and was overall a hassle.
B arranged to have the priest from the hospital where her Mom worked
officiate at the wedding. At the rehearsal the priest was incredibly rude
to the large group of family in the pews who were sharing this moment.
We're a rather rowdy and talkative bunch and he kept shooting glares over
at us, and repeating the rules about flash photography and such. At the
dinner he said a long, meandering prayer that didn't seem to have much of
a point and was kind of embarrassing for the couple (they've lived
together for over a year, and aren't practicing Catholics).
The big kicker came the next day - the wedding day! The wedding
progressed beautifully and it seemed that the effort was well worth it for
this incredible church. UNTIL.... it was time for the homily. Obviously
the priest and couple didn't have a close relationship so we expected your
typical "wedding is a blessing of God's love" type thing, but
no... the priest starts out talking about how he's gotten to know the
couple and how he sees their love and commitment to the church, bla bla
bla, and that he has a gift for them. We're all like, "huh?
what?" ... this was totally spontaneous and no one - not even the
parents, or the couple - knew what it was.
He turns and pulls out from behind the altar this HUGE object wrapped
in what looks like yellow tarp cloth and string. B and C are startled and
totally unsure of what to do, so they start unwrapping it, which takes
several minutes. All this while my Uncle T is behind us whispering, "Please let it be a tennis racket, please let it be a tennis
racket." Is it a tennis racket? No. It is a huge, hideous CRUCIFIX.
By now the entire wedding party is muffling their hysterical laughter. The
priest drones on and on about how he gives them this to remind them of
Christ's sacrifice and the sacrament of marriage, etc, and the entire time
B stands there holding this crucifix, which is huge and very heavy. She
ends up balancing it against her hip, which from the side looks like it's
impaling her. I kid you not, she looked like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My
Mom lost it and almost had to leave the church because she couldn't stop
laughing. It was the most awkward and WEIRD moment I've ever seen in a
wedding. B told C that she was going to hang it RIGHT OVER THEIR BED when
they got home!
"revenge of the officiant"! This is a good example of why
churches should not rent out their facilities to non-members. The
bride, groom and their respective families get the boot into Etiquette
Hell for using a church solely for its esthetic value with little respect
shown for the facility, the religion or its representatives. The
priest undoubtedly had little input into the policies of the particular
church, he had no control over the disrespectful family members who made
his job much more difficult during the rehearsal so he does the only thing
he can do....gives the bride and groom a very visual reminder of why this
church exists in the first place.
A dear friend of mine from high school got married at the age of 18 to
his high school sweetheart. I wasn't able to attend, but my mom did
and she was a bit unnerved by the experience. Just a small
example of it's tacky-ness . . . they had their high school's colors
as their wedding color palate. Nice.
marriage only lasted about four years and the couple divorced. She
left him for a man she met on the internet and immediately got engaged and
began planning a wedding. She e-mailed out a link to her wedding
invitation website on geocities to everyone she knew, including her
ex-husband. The top of the first page had a giant image of the new
groom's family crest and a picture of the happy couple dressed in gothic
garb. Underneath it read ,"As you know the costs of a modern
wedding can be quite high. So we have decided that rather than gifts
we would like for all of you to help us in creating our fantasy wedding
day." There was a link there that said something to the effect
of "Click here to join the scarab guild" or some other such
nonsense name for the supposed club they had created for their so-called
wedding sponsors. Underneath were the names of the family members
and their level of sponsorship with titles like "Aristocracy"
"Peasant" and "Royalty" it said things like "The
Smith family -Royalty. The Jones Family - Peasants" Then
it had links on which to click and there were photos and descriptions of
each family and then some little sappy paragraph written about how much
their wedding sponsorship meant.
To top it all off my friend later
told me that in the divorce agreement he had given his ex-wife some
$15,000 in the divorce agreement as well as some monthly spousal support
that he continued to pay well after her "sponsored" wedding . .
I guess they didn't want gifts because they had plenty money to buy
whatever the heck they needed.
Woo Hoo! I want to sponsor this
wedding at the "Worm beneath the feet of a Peasant" level!
Sign me up!
This story is about an old co-worker of mine - also a friend, and
someone I had known for quite a while before her wedding. She's always
been a little... spacey, but while she was planning her wedding, she
really got a little out of hand.
In her defense, her mother and father were *no* help - her mother
refused to take part in anything, even on the day of her wedding. Anyway,
Bride decided she wanted to make her own wedding dress - she has some
sewing skills - and designed a rather lovely sheath gown with beading, all
to be done by her bridesmaids, her MOH, and herself. The fabric was very
pretty - heavy white bridal lace - and the beading was going to be
beautiful, but she thought she could do it with their help. She was
absolutely hopeless - I kept hearing horror stories from the BMs and the
MOH about how she wasn't doing much work at all, and they didn't know if
the gown would ever get finished, to the point where I offered to help. So
we got together several times and I worked hard on all the beading, doing
a good panel and a half of the five-panel sheath (all told, I probably
beaded about 4.5 yards of fabric with tiny complicated pearl and sequin
designs). In the middle of all this, I found out I wasn't even invited to
the wedding. I wasn't *too* offended, until I found out one of the BMs had
asked her why I wasn't invited (we're all good friends), and she said
"oh, I don't know... I didn't feel like inviting her". Fine - I
thought we were pretty good friends; we were both working at this small
company, I talked to her every day, we often used to go out together, but
fine. Like a masochist, I kept on working at her dress.
She had a bachelorette party - I was invited because the Bride had so
few respondents, the attendants wanted to up the numbers - to four of us.
We went to dinner, then dancing at a hotel nightclub, where we danced,
until we realized she was missing (we weren't neglecting her - we all went
out to dance one song, she refused, and by the time the song was done, she
was gone from the table), and we found her wandering the halls of the
hotel, crying because she assumed the groom was going to do something
awful at his bachelor party (he would NEVER do anything remotely suspect -
she was just a bit clingy). So instead of having a good time, she made
herself miserable, and we did our best to console her, while sighing a
little for the demise of our fun evening. But fine.
All this time, I'm friendly, cheerful, helpful... not a word or whisper
from me about not being invited, despite our constant contact. It's not my
wedding, I'm not organizing it, and I'm *certainly* not going to ask for
an invitation - that would seem like I was doing all this work just to
wrangle an invite. I *really* didn't mind that much. People kept asking me
why I was helping her - I just pointed out that the BMs and MOH were good
friends, and I wanted to make their lives easier. Plus, I worked with this
girl - it seemed like the nice thing to do.
One week before the wedding - we've put in almost a hundred hours
combined on the dress, and it's still not done, because Bride hasn't
gotten more than a quarter the way done on her panel (apparently, every
time they got together to work, she would turn on the TV, and watch it
while she was sewing - mind you, I do this too, but I get the work done.
She would sew one bead, watch TV for about ten minutes, sew the next bead,
and so on. No wonder they were a little ticked at her - the attendants and
I did 90% of the work on the dress that she said she was going to make).
So we all get together for one last marathon sewing session, and bead for
six hours straight, without lunch. I'm getting a little punchy by this
time, and that's my only excuse for what happened next.
At around 4pm, her bridal wreath arrived - she was going to wear a
wreath of flowers rather than a traditional headpiece - and I was
surprised to see it was dried flowers, rather than silk or fresh, but
whatever she wants, it's her wedding. However, when she put it on, I was
so tired, I couldn't help giggling hysterically, since with the wreath on
her blond hair, and her little round pink cheeks, she looked *exactly*
like one of those "Dreamsicles" figurines - the little cherubic
angels with dried flower wreaths. Oh, dear - well at least she couldn't
uninvite me to the wedding - I hadn't been invited in the first place.
Despite our marathon session, the dress wasn't finished until moments
before the ceremony - they were literally sewing her into the thing,
because she hadn't put the fastenings in. Apparently, the wedding went as
well as could be expected. Happily, they are still married (almost ten
years later), and have a beautiful child.
Postscript: Two months later, one of the BMs and I were in
Philadelphia's garment district, buying fabric. We found the fabric Bride
had chosen for her dress, with the beading already on it - the *exact*
pattern we had worked so long to create - for the same price that she paid
for the unbeaded fabric. *sigh* At least we got a good story out of the
whole thing - and no, I never got any kind of thank you for my work. It's
probably my fault for calling her a "Dreamsicle.
My Evil Twin made me find
a Dreamsicle Bride and add it to this story.
There is a lady whom we shall call "Jean," that often hosts
tea. She uses fine china for the tea, but for the utensils and water
glasses she uses plastic! There are regularly 15 to 30 guests at the tea,
but she insists on making the tea sandwiches herself. (So many wealthy
people these days are complete cheapskates). Jean is notoriously sparing
in the making of her sandwiches, both in the sandwich mixture and quantity
of them. Etiquette holds invariably that you should have 6 tea sandwiches
per person. (By "tea sandwich" we mean the individual triangle
quarters cut from a regular-sized sandwich). She has never served more
than 3! Lately she has just been serving 2 tea sandwiches per person! At
one tea party she had to have the sandwiches made locally because she
didn't have time to make them herself. All of the guests commented on how
good the sandwiches were this time. I thought maybe Jean would be a bit
embarrassed and take a hint. But Jean had the nerve to say "Oh no,
these are horrible. You should taste mine!" She later confided she
would *NEVER* have them made out again.
Afternoon tea is traditionally a three course event, consisting of tea
sandwiches, scones, and dessert. Jean, of course, considers the scones as
dessert. But she never has clotted cream for the scones, a common staple
of any traditional tea - especially if you are leaving out a course. At
one of her first teas that I attended, she did announce that she would
serve "a chocolate mint to refresh yourself," which I took to
mean some kind of dessert - but no. Not mints plural, but A mint. Not a
large chocolate mint patty, but an individually wrapped chocolate mint
like you might find on your pillow at a hotel or on a cruise. Many of the
guests held back their laughter and gasps of astonishment when they were
served. "Ooh, a mint!"
And yet, if you were to even suggest having tea sandwiches without the
crust cut off, she would practically faint at the thought of it detracting
from the elegance she believes her teas portray.
Having tea in America is so difficult as it is, because the social
etiquette and rules of the event must be studied by us, since we did not
learn them firsthand. It's alright if guests don't know that the spoon
should be placed on your saucer and not on the table and such other
minutiae. But to have a host so clueless, cheap, and tacky - why even
bother hosting a tea?
And remember the tacky plastic water cups and utensils? Unbeknownst to
the guests, Jean collects them afterwards and washes them for use at her
next tea party!!!! She also reuses the butter that's been left out on the
tables for hours.
kind of women continue to accept invitations to a function they deem
to be tacky? Either go and accept the hospitality graciously or
decline the invitation. For heaven's sake, it's hard enough to
get people willing to entertain people and I'm not about to toss a hostess
into Etiquette Hell because some guests have delicately snobbish
sensitivities. I don't see the storyteller stepping up to host her
rendition of a proper afternoon tea.
tea is usually a three course affair but it doesn't have to be. A
wedge of cake or cookies are just as acceptable. Here's two very
good web pages on the etiquette of Afternoon Tea I think everyone will
Faux Pas and other misconceptions about Afternoon Tea By Ellen
Proper Afternoon Tea
Just this last Saturday my husband and I attended a wedding for his
boss, a man who owns several restaurants in the XXXXXX area and is
extremely well-to-do. He brags about his vacation houses and condos
around the world. We do not have a lot of money (my DH makes $11
after 6 years, $11 in the area at a restaurant that has an average
per-person tab of over $150, but he stays because we need the medical
benefits for my disability, and I'm embarrassed to say that I accept the
disability checks I qualify for because he doesn't make enough to support
us with me being unable to work), but we bought the nicest gift we could
afford. The gift was sent beforehand though, not brought. The
ceremony was beautiful, the food was incredible, but before the best man
gave his speech, the bride and groom had an announcement. And I
quote this from a copy of the wedding video that was sent to each guest as
Groom: Beloved guests, we would like to take this time to thank you for
attending our wedding.
Bride: But we need to bring something important to attention.
G: We have spent a lot of money on this affair for all of you.
So "Linda" and I feel that the least you all could have done was
give us gifts worthy of such an event.
*jaws dropping, uncomfortable silence*
G: This reception alone is running us about $200 for each of you.
B: To make it even, we need gifts that are that much each. But to
be a gift and not just help us break even, we should have gotten something
at least $400 from each guest.
G: So "Bubba" (best man) will now read a list of who still
owes us a better gift or cash, and for how much. Please raise your
hands when he says your name. The ushers will bring you envelopes
for you to make a monetary deposit in cash or checks. If you wish to
bring us additional gifts, please inform them of this when they bring your
It was about this time we left. But on the video they actually
did this. And we weren't the only guests to leave before the list.
People were so embarrassed! Did he really expect $800 from us as a
couple? Does he not realize weddings aren't for the gifts?
This was just what he and many of his coworkers and friends needed to
leave. He had an interview today, and I am happy to say that the pay
increase will allow us to more than pay for COBRA until he qualifies for
new benefits. He starts in two weeks.
Ha ha to his stupid, greedy boss.
I tried, I really tried to get a copy of
this wedding video.
"Star", a friend I had only known for a little less than a
year, got married in August of 2002 and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her
wedding. Gladly I agreed.
Star called me up and tried to get me to go dress shopping with her.
Ummmm okay, I told her, but I'm not one to judge dresses (I am blind and
use a white cane). Star said she was sorry, that she 'forgot'. I
understand, sometimes that happens. She took her mother and later told me
all about how beautiful the dress was, and asked me if I was available for
a fitting by that weekend. Sure, I wasn't busy, so off I went with the
three other 'maids to get the expensive dress fit. No problems there, but
it took quite a bit of asking before I was told the dresses were colored a
pale yellow. From what I could tell it was an A-line floor-length gown
made entirely of chiffon. It rustled nicely, but I am a pale-skinned
redhead and I'm told yellow washes me out. Great.
Go on to the night before the wedding. Star pulls me aside and tells me
she doesn't want me using my cane during the ceremony. Well okay, if that
will satisfy her I'll save it for after. I take the groomsman's arm so he
can guide me down the aisle and Star screams at me again. She thinks I'm
trying to upstage her. I politely tell her I need something to guide me so
I don't veer into one of the pews (my sense of direction isn't that
great). Star still acts all huffy so I compromise by holding the
groomsman's arm and counting the number of steps it will take from one end
of the aisle to the other so I'll at least know if I'm wandering. The rest
goes off without a hitch and I make the walk on my own without a problem.
Just forty-two steps. I asked if there was going to be anything I should
know about in or around the aisle and I was told no, to just go straight
ahead, stop and I would be led to my place by the bridesmaid ahead of me ( I
was the second in line).
The day of the wedding comes and Star does nothing to help get anything
ready except set up piles of paper flowers for me to weave into little
wreathes that'll be set up on the tables at the reception. I do that while
everyone scurries around trying to find mislaid items. Not once does Star
offer to aid them in finding their belongings, and then she has the nerve
to throw a hissy fit when we're all late out the door to get our hair and
makeup done! Now get this, the wedding is at 1:00 PM and we didn't get to
the hair/makeup until 10:15. Star has long hair so it took the hairdresser
half an hour to style her hair to her liking and then another twenty
minutes to do her makeup. Then she stands aside and yells at the
hairdresser to hurry up and by the time the 'maids have their hair done
into French Twists and have makeup applied, it's 11:45, or close to it if
I remember correctly. Mad dash to get dressed so the others can help Star
get her dress ready. After she's dressed I ask her if I can touch her
dress and 'see how she looks'. She gets angry and yells at me that 'you'll
get it dirty with your grubby hands!'. Ummm what? I hadn't touched
anything except for flowers, favors and my lunch (which I'd eaten en-route
to hair/nails). I had been very careful to keep my hands clean. I even
asked one of the other 'maids if anything was on my hands and she said
that my hands were just fine. Whatever, I bit my tongue and smiled
And the kicker to the whole thing? At the ceremony, I walked next to
the groomsman without holding his arm and counting my steps and following
the swish of the dress ahead of me. Nobody warned me or anything....I
turned left as soon as I had counted forty-two steps and ran face first
into the side of a floral arch set up at the end of the aisle. It fell
with a crash. I heard people scramble to pick it up and someone yanked me
into place (breaking one of the heels on my shoe in the process!). I was
so embarrassed and almost in tears. I had been plainly told there was
going to be nothing at the end of the aisle! The rest of the ceremony goes
on without a hitch after the crowd is settled down.
After the reception was over, Star called me every name in the book for
'ruining her day' and 'trying to steal her spotlight' and asked me how I
could be so stupid as to not hear that an arch was put there at the last
minute. Pardon!? Nobody told me there was going to be an arch when I
memorized my path down the aisle, nobody mentioned it had been added at
the last minute and I was supposed to magically know it was there?! Maybe
everyone assumed I knew about it, so I can't really get too upset.
Star still makes it a point to bring up my blunder whenever she talks
about her wedding, and I still don't know whose fault it is. Mine for not
getting the right info or her for not giving it to me.
I tried contacting this storyteller to
get the grants for this story to put it into the next book. I never
did hear from her.
For five years I had quite a good friendship with a work colleague. We
were the same age, both single, spent a lot of time together on the
weekends and shared good and bad times. She was always the type of person
to want to be the center of attention but when things were good, I just
chalked that up to quirkiness.
After about three and a half years of friendship, she started a
relationship with a nice guy who basically worshipped her and did
everything she told him to. It was at this point that her self-absorption
became really difficult to handle as she regaled me and our other friends
with hours of stories about how lucky she was and all the presents he
bought her, never mind that I was going through a difficult breakup at the
They became engaged during a trip to Mexico and when she returned, she
asked me to come over to discuss wedding plans. She asked me to be the
maid of honor and told me that I should reserve every Sunday for the next
six months in order to help her with wedding plans and to shop. She also
told me that they would be returning to the same resort in Mexico for the
wedding and that I had to take a one-week vacation from work and purchase
a ticket to the resort at my expense for $1700. The wedding was to be held
in June—not the best time to vacation in Mexico—but I went along with
She kept true to her demand of wanting my Sundays free and for weeks,
dragged me to boring bridal shows, shoe shopping, flower shopping, dress
shopping, stationary shopping, etc. At first I liked the idea of a relaxed
tropical wedding until I found out she planned to emulate a traditional
catholic ceremony—on the beach. Rather than having the attendants wear
cool, cotton sundresses and sandals, she made us buy black taffeta and
high heels. She herself planned to wear the full regalia complete with a
veil even though it was her second wedding.
As the maid of honor, I offered to host the bridal shower for her. She
gave me a list of 200 invitees and demanded that they all get invitations
even though the majority of the people on the list were not even within
driving distance of my house. I made all of the invitations by hand,
mailed them all at my own expense and incurred all of the costs of the
shower including food, champagne, gifts, etc. At the shower, she acted
like a spoiled princess and after opening her gifts, proceeded to thank
everyone in the room except for me. My mother, who was there, spoke up and
suggested that she might want to show some gratitude for all the work I
had done on the shower.
In the weeks leading up to the wedding, she made all of the attendants
come to her house every Friday night to assist with something or other
related to the wedding. She also expected husbands, boyfriends and dates
to come and help as well.
By the time the wedding rolled around, I was starting to get really
annoyed with her but I sucked it up and made a pact to be a great maid of honor.
We arrived on a Saturday and the wedding was on the Tuesday so she asked
that those of us in the bridal party not spend too much time in the sun
prior to the wedding in case we got sunburn and ruined the photos. I spent
most of the first few days in bed or on the toilet, suffering from
Montezuma’s revenge but emerged the day before the wedding to help her
with any last-minute details. The night before the wedding, I hosted a
girls-only party for her complete with champagne which I had to buy from
the hotel bar at $100 a bottle. Again, she forgot to thank me.
On the day of the wedding, I was up at 6 a.m. helping her with stuff
and accompanying her to hair appointments, etc. The wedding was at 3 p.m.
in the blazing sun on the beach without a canopy. Apparently there were
more appropriate time slots available during the week but not on that
exact day, which held special significance for the bride and groom so we
all had to suffer. She insisted on a full catholic service and had the
resort bring in a priest from a nearby village but since he only spoke
Spanish, everything had to be translated by a hotel staff member. After
the service, the bride and groom pulled out 81/2 x 11 sheets of paper on
which they had written their own boring and sickening vows. By this time,
we had been standing on a beach in the mid-day sun for over an hour--my taffeta
dress was drenched, my bra was digging into me, my makeup was running down
my face and my hair was completely frizzy.
When the wedding was finally over, she insisted we all have a drink of
champagne although what we desperately needed was cold water, none of
which was readily available. Then we were all herded down to the even
hotter waterfront for photographs. She told me and the best man to wait
off to the side while the photographer took countless photos of her and
her new husband. I was gradually feeling sicker and sicker and after about
30 minutes of waiting patiently, I told the best man that I was going to
faint and I started to walk towards a restaurant I could see in the
distance. Although I tried not to draw any attention to myself, I was
overcome by dizziness on the way and fell down while walking away. The
best man took pity on me and pulled me into the shade while he ran to the
restaurant to get a bottle of cold water. We drank the whole bottle and I
was starting to feel a little better when the bride came up and started
yelling at me for fainting (believe it or not). I apologized profusely
(even though everyone else was telling her to calm down) and when I could
stand up again, we trekked back down to the beach to finish the pictures.
All in all, about half of the guests ended up getting heat stroke
(diagnosed by the resort physician) but she insisted that we attend the
wedding dinner anyway. Because she was too cheap to book a private dinner,
her wedding dinner was held in the resort’s buffet cafeteria, complete
with sunburned tourists and screaming children. I was too sick to eat
anything and, along with other guests, spent a good part of the night in
the washroom. After dinner, we went dancing at one of the resort bars and
the bride announced that no one could leave the bar before the bride and
groom. At 1 a.m. they were still boogying but everyone else was fading
fast, basically just sitting on the sidelines drinking water and waiting
for the all-clear to go to sleep.
Finally just before 2 a.m. I walked back to my room on blistered feet,
ripped off the dreaded taffeta dress and slept the sleep of the dead. For
most of the next day, I slept and tried to recover from my heatstroke. I
was feeling better by Thursday and decided to try and make the most of
what was left of the vacation that I had paid so much for. Presuming that
the bride and groom would like a little alone-time, I rented a car with
another one of the attendants and we took off for a couple of days. When
we returned, the bride admonished me in front of her entire family for
ruining her wedding by leaving the resort (after the wedding!!). I tried
to explain that I had been at her beckon call for five straight days and I
needed a rest and it was my vacation too but she said that I had let her
down and she would never be able to get those days back.
I got on the bus to the airport and decided that, with friends like
that, who needs enemies? She tried to call me when she came back but I
told her calmly that I was not interested in being friends with her
anymore. In total, with the trip to Mexico, dress, shoes, shower, gifts,
etc, the wedding cost me about $3,000 not to mention a week’s vacation.
One of the woman I work with was planning a big wedding when she became
pregnant so she and her fiancé' decided to postpone the wedding due to
the fact they would be having new baby expenses, they were buying a condo,
she still wanted a fairly extravagant wedding and really couldn't afford
it at the time.
Well, fast forward to about a year later...the
wedding is back on, the elegant venue is in place, the baby has her
matching white dress. The wedding went off without a hitch (or so we
thought), a good time was had by all and the newlyweds settled into
married bliss. Five months after the event, her cousin
announces that the couple has split and are deciding if they should return
the gifts. There is no chance of a reconciliation, she has moved
back in with her daughter to her mother's and the condo has been sold.
"What a shame to have to go through a divorce so soon after all
that," I tell the sister. The cousin then explains to me
that divorce is not an all an issue here!! They were never legally
married! He had never gotten a divorce from his first wife so the
whole event was a sham!!! They just wanted a party and the gifts.
This is beyond tacky.
To start this story, I have to say that I was a chronic slacker in high
school. In a positive light, this episode helped to partially cure
me of that for a while. I didn't do homework in a English class for
a few months and my grade was going to drop for it. My teacher (Mr.
J) noticed that while my homework was consistently absent, I held the
highest English average in our grade class (Test-wise)
He sat me down and made a proposal. If I tutored a football
player, Mr. J would drop my homework grades off of my average.
I was 17. I was lazy. It sounded great. I'd ace the semester
and all I had to do was regurgitate the things I'd learned in class.
"Just make sure he understands what we're going over in class.
Look over his homework and help him correct his mistakes, that's
all." Easy street, right?
Wrong. Then, I met the kid I was tutoring. His name was
'Eric,' and he was the QB for the football team. He was the only
DECENT player our school had, so if he got knocked off of the team for
failing English, then our team was destined to suck even more... if that
was possible. I had him in my science class, where he
constantly misbehaved, going through hell and highwater to irritate everyone
around him. He was occasionally intelligent when he'd ask
questions that didn't revolve around recreational drug use.
I wanted my 'A' though. So, I arranged to meet with him after
school (2pm) in the library. I sat there until 4:30
waiting for him. He finally showed up, high as a friggin' kite.
I wanted my 'A' so I shrugged it off. There was a test coming up on
"The Scarlet Letter," in his class so I asked him what he knew
of the book. He giggled and told me that he hadn't read it.
Being a slacker, I understood and was prepared for this. I
whipped out my copy of the Cliff Notes and told him to read the synopses
for the first quarter of the book. He looked at me, puzzled, and
asked me why I wanted him to do that. Gritting my teeth, I said,
"Because you've got a test on it and if you want to pass then you
need to at least be able to fake having read it." I dared to
ask if he had done the homework and he looked straight at me and said,
"That's what you're for." I tersely informed him that my
job was to help him, not to do it for him.
He got irritated with me and began demanding that I give him a detailed
synopsis of the book. I pointed to the Cliff Notes and told him that
I already had. Bad move. He started calling me obscenities,
loudly enough for teachers in adjacent classrooms to pop their heads in.
I calmly stood, told him to read the Cliff Notes and do the
homework assignments, and left.
At the next session, Eric was only somewhat ridiculously late and I'm
pretty sure he wasn't on any illicit substances. The first thing he
told me was that he had still not read the Cliff Notes but HAD done the
homework. I figured some progress was better than no progress so I
asked him if he wanted me to look at it. He said yes.
Now, when Mr. J said I'd be double-checking this kid's
work... I don't know, I guess I just assumed he would be working and not
writing down derogatory terms and sexual acts (aimed
at and involving me) over and over again in the places where the
answers should have been. Call me old-fashioned. He had a huge
grin on his face, like he'd paid me a compliment! I was dumbstruck.
I didn't know what to say or how to respond. Then he put his hand on
my thigh... Without another word, I took the paper and stood to leave.
He blocked my way and tried to take the paper back while he was pushing me
against a bookshelf.
I'm not sure if this counts as a faux pas, but I punched him,
kicked him and ran. I'm not violent but I didn't know what else
to do. The next day, I was called into the principal's office.
I was given In-School Suspension (ISS) for one week; my parents were
furious when they found out why and, luckily, with the threat of a
lawsuit, I escaped punishment. The school never even considered
On the bright side, Mr. J figured I'd put forth more than reasonable
effort and dropped my homework grades anyway. Eric failed English
and, as far as I know, he probably still hasn't read the book... Oh
yeah, and I broke his nose when I hit him. I got a strange, sick
satisfaction watching him walking around and telling everyone it happened
when he ran into a door.
My husband and I received a written invitation to a surprise 40th
birthday party of a somewhat casual friend. Invitation sent by her husband.
The invitation gave the date, time and venue ( a kind of pricey
restaurant). We RSVP'd that we'd be happy to attend. We brought a nice
b-day gift to give her. About 20 people came...we had a couple of big
tables. Menu was pre-selected. A couple of choices for each course. Good
time!.....Until....the bill came and was given to "hubby" who
pondered over it a bit and then informed us what each person owed for the
meal!!!! A lot of awkward glancing around among people and scraping up
cash which some folks didn't have enough because no one thought this was a
pay your own way thing. Never mentioned. "Hubby" told those cash
shy folks they could pay him back as soon as possible. How generous!!! I
am of the school that if you invite people to any party you fund it
yourself, otherwise make clear that it's "Dutch treat" or
potluck (bring a dish to share , etc.). If you can't afford the party that
you are inviting folks to, without informing of expected contribution,
then don't have the party! Or just make it something you can
afford....coffee and cake or cocktails at home or something! I think the
b-day gal was embarrassed even. Yuck. Bad form.
People who pull this stunt on surprised
guests are evil because they know if they said anything beforehand that
guests are to pay for their own meal, the number of people attending would
experience an immediate decrease. So, they hold off until the food
is eaten and spring the surprise on their guests.
"Sarah" and I were friends and enjoyed hanging around
together. At this time, I was dating "John". John was
interesting, funny, thoughtful and lots of good qualities. Unfortunately,
he also had some things he was dealing with and it turned out we weren't
compatible, so we moved on. We remained cordial, and warm friendship
eventually returned to our relationship.
Some time later, Sarah asked me about John and I gave her my opinion,
of both his good and bad qualities. She thought about it, and they began
seeing each other. All was great. They coped with John's issues and had a
loving, if stormy, relationship.
Years passed and they married and I got engaged. We invited them to the
wedding and their gift was that John would do the photography for us. He
wasn't a pro, but it was more than good enough for us. Sadly, Sarah was
unable to attend at the last minute. She was recovering from surgery and
the long term prognosis was poor. John still came (from a goodly distance)
and did our photos, although we told him that he shouldn't and we'd cope.
Sarah encouraged him to go and we were very grateful to both of them.
After the wedding, we lived in the same city and saw each other often.
As Sarah's illness progressed, the three of us often sat and talked, or
cried or laughed as need be. Sarah and John decided that they would spend
her remaining time pursuing their dream to travel, so they would work hard
and save their money, then travel for a few months. On return, they'd
start again, so long as her health held out.
By this time, DH and I had moved. Sarah had a job opportunity in that
town (John's home town) and we agreed that Sarah and John could share our
house while they were saving up money for their next trip. It worked
fairly well for everyone. After that, they moved again where Sarah could
get the medical care she needed by this time. I visited once to see them
and share the news of our pending firstborn. It was the last time I saw
her. She left us a few months later.
Fastforward a few months. I was in hospital following the birth when I
saw, of all people, John! Sadly, he hadn't coped well after Sarah's loss
and had been hospitalized for his own protection. The issues of his past
had come back and he wasn't doing well.
He said that he was fearful of the holidays as Sarah loved that time of
year and he wasn't sure he could cope with festivities. I suggested that
since we were going out of town to show off the firstborn, maybe he'd like
to house sit for us. There would be no decorations (since we were to be
gone) and it would be a familiar environment. He accepted gladly.
Shortly before we were to go, he told us that he'd met someone -
"Ann" (!!!) We were shocked, yet not surprised as he was very
troubled at this point. The fact that they'd met while in hospital for
similar conditions was very worrisome and we questioned his judgment.
Still, when he asked if we'd mind if she came over for Christmas dinner
while we were out of town, we agreed. We said very clearly though that we
did not want her staying over as we weren't comfortable with a stranger
staying overnight in our house - especially given the circumstances!
We left for our flight, thinking all was well. 2 hours later, we
returned home, the flight having been cancelled due to weather. We decided
to drive and stopped back home to pick up a few items for the road trip -
only to find John's "friend" already at the house, with her
suitcase, several days before she was coming "for dinner"!
We didn't have time to argue, but agreed to deal with things when we
The day before we were to return home, my father called to break the
news that our home had been broken into and John and Ann had left town
abruptly. Needless to say, we were horrified and worried the entire way
We arrived to find:
a) our home broken into and damaged but only John and Anne's things
b) a hysterical, violent message on our machine - from Anne's husband!
c) a phone call from the police, advising us of the break in and
possible danger from this man
d) a message from my dad, telling us to contact the police
We were terrified!
Shortly after, the phone rang. It was the police, wanting information
as to where John and Anne were, what vehicle they might be driving and
where they might be staying. Since we had no information, we said so but
said that my father might. So my father got a call from the police and he
told them what he knew.
A few hours later, as we sorted things out, we discovered to our sick
horror that the calls from the "police" had been Anne's husband,
posing as a police officer to try to track them down!
Over the next few weeks, Anne's husband phoned many of John's friends,
trying to track them down. He was finally arrested (thank heaven!) and the
stalking stopped. His antics didn't though. He'd call one police precinct,
pretending to be an officer from another precinct and plead his case -
"You should give "Tom" a break on this. I've been working
with him, he's really sorry, it was a one time thing, he's in counseling..."
etc etc. It got to the point that phones were tapped and security put in
place to deal with Tom!
Eventually, we wound up at trial. Tom pleaded guilty to a lesser charge
- one that didn't make him responsible for the damages to our home - and
served no jail time. It came up at trial that he'd done erratic things
before (no surprise there!) but at least by then he and Anne had truly
split and he left her alone. We left there, sadder but wiser.
Two months later, we got a wedding invitation from John and Anne. The
same John and Anne whom we had heard from once *since the day we left on
our trip* - and who had never apologized for the mess.
We politely declined.