August 09, 2002
Made for Maid of Honor

I'm sitting in the San Jose airport right now, waiting for a flight to Chicago. When I get to Chicago, I'll wait another two hours for a flight to Boston. Oh, the sacrifices we make in order to earn Premier Executive status.

I'm on my way to Boston because that's where Sandra Wainwright, my best friend since we were 15 years old, lives. (Actually, she lives in Canton, but Boston Logan is the closest airport.) I was maid of honor at Sandy's wedding in 1992 (she divorced the guy, who ended up being a total schmuck, in 1994; I should have known things would go bad when Sandy accidentally said "awful wedded husband" while repeating the vows during the rehearsal).

Anyway, I didn't really know what was expected of a maid of honor back in 1992, since my only experience in the role was at my sister's wedding in 1989, when I was the only attendant. (Lisa was so on top of things that I didn't have to do anything at all except walk down the aisle with the best man.) Of the three bridesmaids at Sandy's wedding, I was the farthest away geographically, which would have made it difficult to perform maid of honor duties even had I known what they were. One of the other women ended up throwing Sandy a shower and doing most of the things that a maid of honor should probably have done. Looking back on it now, I wish I'd done a better job, or at least taken the role more seriously.

I think probably it was just that I didn't really have any interest in marriage at the time, so unlike women who were in serious relationships, I'd never read a bride's magazine or fantasized about what my wedding would be like. Thus, I had no idea about wedding etiquette or bridal party duties. Basically, I sucked as a maid of honor.

Ironically, the two women I've failed as maid of honor are now coming to my rescue: Sandy as my maid of honor, and Lisa as my right-hand woman. (Right-hand woman sounds so much more pleasant than bride slave, don't you think?) I think they're bringing their experience as brides to bear on my behalf. If I didn't already love them for a zillion other reasons, I'd think they were pretty special just for that.

So I'm finally back to the reason for my trip to Boston: first of all, to see Sandy, but secondly to help her find a dress. She's already made appointments at several bridal shops for tomorrow, and if we don't find anything that way, we'll visit Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales on Sunday (if possible; I remember from when I lived in Massachusetts that many towns have "blue laws" that prevent stores from opening on Sundays, an apparent vestige of New England's puritan past). I know that the Bloomies at Stanford Shopping Center has a nice selection of formal dresses, so we should be able to find something bridesmaid-suitable (and possibly more wearable/re-wearable than a traditional bridesmaid's gown). Sandy's also got a seafood dinner planned somewhere—she knows that good seafood on every corner is the main thing I miss about Boston. :)

Meanwhile, Lisa said she was going to FedEx me some more ideas for bridesmaids dresses this week, and indeed, a package from her arrived on Wednesday. I opened the first catalog inside to find that she'd circled a shiny aquamarine knee-length dress with an enormous bow for a top (picture an X with the top two points at the shoulders, and the bottom two at the hips), and she'd written "This would look great on Sandy!" inside the circle. I called Al over and said, "do you think she's kidding?"

Al let out a burst of laughter so loud it almost blew my eardrum. I continued to look puzzled. I *hoped* she was kidding. I turned the page, and Al said, "these are awful." Lisa had circled a pink dress on the next page that looked vaguely like my 1986 prom dress, only it was made of shiny, irridescent material. There was a giant arrow over the head of the model. I scowled and looked uncertain. It was with relief that I read the note on the facing page that appeared above a model wearing a frilly dark lavender number. "Do you think the parasol is too much?"

"She's definitely kidding," I said to Al.

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"Oh yeah. Look—this says these dresses are from the Spring 1988 collection. These are catalogues from when Lisa got married!" I paged through the rest of the hideous dresses (including a black and white ball gown that my sister had labeled "Send in the clowns...Don't bother, they're here!"), and found a final note from Lisa in the back: "Aren't you glad the 80s are over?" Up to this point, I'd had fairly fond memories of the 80s, but I'm now starting to rethink that position. I hope no one looks at the attire of our bridal party 15 years from now and says, "good god, how did we ever think that that looked nice?"

Lisa called shortly after we'd looked through the catalogues, and we talked and laughed for about an hour. I'm so glad she's been helping me keep my sense of humor through all the planning. Both she and Sandy are so practical, down to earth, and above all, funny that I'm sure to make it to the wedding day with a smile on my face. I couldn't have asked for two people more made for the job of maid of honor!

Posted by Lori at August 09, 2002 12:00 PM


What the hell happened? I was almost finshed writing a witty and complimentary comment regarding this entry, and it disappeared off my screen! Now I will never be able to recreate the tone and wording of the previous attempt. Bottom line, I laughed till I cried reading this entry, and I think you should publish the entire blog as an actual book. The humor and the humanity are wonderful, as is the writing. When my bride slave duties are done, I'm available for managing

Posted by: Bride Slave on August 12, 2002 08:36 PM

Lisa, you're so great!

Posted by: Lori on August 13, 2002 11:15 AM