By Cherimie Crane
It wasn’t the stares, the whispers, or the calling of security that made me realize that sitting in the produce section of Piggly Wiggly, petting a peach and crying like Tammy Faye Baker may have been an inappropriate way to handle stress. It was the realization (and possibly the calling of security) that at some point all women, especially those staring down the barrel of a huge white dress and awkward family speeches do, in fact, at some point reach their limit. When this limit is reached it wouldn’t matter if she is addressing Congress or counting cookies: a meltdown of monumental proportions happens every darn time.
The peach isle of the produce section was my time and place. What can you do? After assuring the kindly confused, somewhat sympathetic, and obviously terrified produce protecting security guard, that I had no intentions of harming the fuzzy little nutrient, or throwing it at any unsuspecting produce prowler, he saw the signs of the pending commencement of the monumental breakdown and politely, yet with commanding conviction, asked me if I needed a ride home.
Walking back to my car, (well, being escorted back to my car,) I realized that there is a positive to this somewhat humiliating event. Hiding amidst the possible incarceration, the loss of all self-respect, and the refusal to surrender the peach in question, there is a public service announcement that seriously needs to be announced.
I have organized a list that very well may save your life, or, at the very least, your produce, on things NOT to say to a stressed out, overwhelmed, underfed, and teetering-on-advice overload and bound-to-break-down bride.
1. Have you chosen your (insert any wedding term here) yet? We realize you mean well or maybe just don’t have anything else to say, but truth is we haven’t chosen anything, because everyone else is choosing it for us and telling us how much we like it. This question only reminds us, that we, in fact, have no choice.
2. You have to have the (insert any wedding term here)! It could be bouquet toss, cake cutting, sword swashing, or Olympic size toasting flutes … don’t say it. Although these things are greatly important to the solidity of our marriage, we are more focused on not puking on anyone telling us of the grand importance of these celebratory salutes. Personally, it would somewhat freak me out if my hubby-to-be has his hand up my dress looking for a garter in front of 175 people. Maybe that’s just me.
3. I hope you guys make it. Well now if that just isn’t the cotton on Peter’s tail! Thank you, we hope we make it too, otherwise this overly expensive dinner party would seem a wee bit ostentatious.
4. What is your theme? Maybe I have been in a coma for 20 years, not sure. I had no idea that we needed a theme. I thought the huge white dress, the overdose of flowers and the elevator music would give it away!
5. Remember honey (dear, sweetheart, starved angel, whatever floats your boat) it is ALL ABOUT YOU, it is your day. Alert the security guard … this could get ugly. It is in no way all about the bride. The bride is the social planner, the mediator, the Emmy deserved statue of smiles, the robot of reassurance, the princess of pleasantries, the family counselor, and the only one who suffers from bouts of severe panic every 17 minutes. The bride is just the one who is praying the dress fits, the families agree, the bridesmaid behave and the groomsmen show. (There are 597 more items on this list, but they won’t let me have the entire newspaper!)
If you find yourself in proximity of one of these unpredictable creatures of circumstance, back away slowly. Do not run. If you run, so will the bride, and she is faster and hungrier than you. If you can’t back away slowly, then approach the situation with caution and vodka. She is human, mostly, and is in need of someone to talk about something, anything, but the pending nuptials. Place your hand on her shoulder (unless you are holding chocolate, then nothing can save you) and tell her that there is life after wedding, she will survive, and if not, that is why God made passports.
By Cherimie Crane