I should preface this by saying, I do not bring my kids to bridal showers.
Hell, I barely get excited about bringing them children’s birthday parties, because balancing three flimsy paper plates full of pulled pork sandwiches and explaining why you can’t open other people’s presents 4000 times is akin to eating at Long John Silvers. You think a basket of popcorn shrimp might be a good idea at 2am, but it never is.
I do, however, bring my kids to baby showers, but that is more of a public service announcement.
Last weekend I was able to get away for a few hours to attend the bridal shower for a former co-worker. I hadn’t seen her in at least four years, and aside from her twin sister, I wouldn’t know anyone there, but I went because I’d been alone with three small children for 7 days and I figured there’d be a warm meal involved, possibly some cheap wine.
I don’t believe in going off the registries of first time brides. Controversial, I know, but how do they know what they need to make a marriage work? Fancy plates, white monogrammed towels, serving dishes, 5000 count Egyptian cotton sheets, frames with pukey quotes about love and family on them. Idiots.
If I was getting married again, I’d register for rubber sheets, a roomba, noise canceling headphones, and a towel color dark enough that Andy wouldn’t freak out like a baby when I am on my period or cut myself shaving.
So, I stopped by Bed Bath & Beyond and got her a set of knives, a Ped Egg and a book of commemorative William and Catherine Wedding stamps.
The shower was at her grandmother’s condo in a retirement community. When I walked in, the woman at the door asked me if I was pregnant, and when I said no, she handed me a Corona out of the pail of ice next to her and told me to put my purse on the bed in the back bedroom. I hate leaving my purse on strangers’ beds. I have no idea who has access to them, and now for a week, my bag will smell like cats and medicaid.
It was a medium sized shower, if I had to guess, maybe 30ish people crammed into a small wood paneled living room decorated with sombreros and donkey shaped pinatas. I secretly hoped they were stuffed with tiny airplane liquor bottles and prescription drugs, this had the makings to potentially be the best kinda Mexican themed party ever. Until the mother of the bride caught me quietly shaking one in the corner and assured me they were just for show.
They obviously didn’t understand how pinatas worked.
So everything was going fine, I briefly caught up with my old co-worker, who looked nothing like I remembered her, and was eventually seated at a table of random strangers eating burritos as the bride got all teary introducing each member of her bridal part, one of which, was wearing an eye patch.
Then we were all served cake and left to quietly chit chat between the oohs and ahhs of opened shower gifts. The brides twin sister, Rachel, had the task of feverishly recording each gift and gifter, every so often shrilling screaming out, slow down Sarah, you are opening stuff too fast and who got her the salad tosser, there was no card, where’s the card, who didn’t put a card with their present!?
I mind numbingly picked the fondant from my cake and decided to make small talk with the middle aged woman next to me.
So, how do you know the bride?
She’s my cousin, but I haven’t seen her in ages.
Me either, I was shocked to be invited to this thing, actually.
Well, I don’t see her on account of the fact we live in Wyoming.
Oh wow, I heard it was just gorgeous there!
It’s nice, we moved there for my husband’s work.
Oh, what does he do?
Well, he used to work at the post office, but he recently signed with a talent agency there.
Oh my God that’s amazing, is he an actor or something?
Kinda, he’s an impersonator, he does OJ Simpson.
I’m sorry? Like…the Juice?
Yes, well, mostly it’s just his voice that sounds like him, because he’s Chinese.
Right. Ok. That’s awesome.
Where the hell was I?
I excused myself and walked into the kitchen, which, as it turns out, was full of children watching Scooby Doo on a teeny tiny tv, eating deviled eggs off a glass plate shaped like a cactus. One was around Gigi’s size, and the other two were maybe 6 or 7. I stood next to them at the counter, eating eggs, until the bride’s mother came in to tell me it was time for games.
Fingers crossed I win a scented candle, my house smells like grilled cheese and armpits.
I returned to my seat and started filling out a pink colored quiz about Sarah and her soon to be husband; where I thought they’d met, what song would they dance to at their wedding, how many years had they dated before getting engaged?
And as I sat there wondering if it would be appropriate to ask if I should factor in the 6 months she was secretly messing around with our manager at The Gap while doing the math on their time together, her sister Rachel stormed into the room all shrieky.
Excuse me everyone, but whose is this?
At that point, I had been wearing the two week contacts I had put in last April, so I couldn’t really make out what she was waving around in the front of the room.
And this, whose bag is this?
Ok, that was definitely my purse.
Um, well, that’s my purse?
Brittany, why in God’s name would you bring a bottle of pills and a bag of razors to a bridal shower where small children would be present?
This felt exactly like when my elementary school gym teacher made fun of me because I was too fat to do a backwards roll. You would think rolling would be easy for chubby people, but it’s not.
You mean, the bottle of medicine with my name on it and a bag from Walgreens with the disposable razors and gum I bought on the way over here that were in my purse?
My daughter Madison is 2, and I walked into the bedroom to find her holding this stuff, she could have eaten those pills or gotten seriously hurt.
Honestly, I didn’t realize an unattended toddler would be going through our purses.
Everyone was quiet and nobody was looking at me, not even Asian OJ Simpson’s wife.
I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I knew what I wanted to say, but the only thing I really remembered about Rachel, besides the fact that she was Sarah’s shorter fraternal twin, was that she got suspended in college for stabbing one of her sorority sisters with a pencil when she was drunk. At the time, it was the best story I had ever heard, but now, I just can’t afford the co-pay.
I went up and grabbed my things from Rachel and said goodbye to Sarah, who walked me out awkwardly and presented me with a shower favor; a small maraca with a white bow around it holding a bag of monogrammed M&Ms.
I’m not confident I will be invited to the wedding, but if I am, I’m wearing a fanny pack.