3 Things to Consider Before Going with the Grilled Cheese

Like Lady Gaga, my coworker got engaged on Valentine’s Day. I am now forced by circumstances to listen to her plan her wedding. My coworker, I mean. Not Lady Gaga. While this has the potential to become very, very boring, right now it’s sort of interesting to listen to her debate the merits of this florist versus that caterer. 

She has a couple of sisters, and they’re dying to know what kind of bridesmaid dresses she’s going to pick. I’m sure Lady Gaga’s potential bridesmaids are also curious, and probably rightly so. Pretty sure they’re going to end up dressed like grilled cheese sandwiches, wearing traffic cones on their heads. All designed by McQueen. I guess that’s the chance you take when you sign up to be in Lady Gaga’s wedding.

I’ve been in a couple of weddings, and had my own, so when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, I have Thoughts. This is an area where you should tread carefully: you are picking out what someone else will wear, and unless your bridesmaids are Rockettes, it will be something that has to look good on a range of body shapes and sizes. 

This is notoriously hard to do, and you risk epically pissing off at least one person. There will always be someone who looks horrible in what you choose, and you have to decide if you can live with what they could to do you dress-wise if they ask you to be their bridesmaid one day. It isn't necessarily the worst idea to make sure anyone who looks awful in your dress is already married.

I have some friendly advice to share from my own experiences and conversations with friends through the years.

Don’t try to get something “everyone can wear again!”
This is easily the most persistent myth about bridesmaid dresses—that what your girls wear will be sufficiently un-bridesmaid-like that everyone will be able to wear it to a fancy party down the road. I’m pretty sure Eve said that about the fig leaves she picked out (she might also be the only woman who was ever right).

I promise, no matter what, there is no way anyone will ever think this dress is anything other than exactly what it was. I had a friend who even went to the department store and bought dresses off the rack from the fancy department for her attendants. It made no difference. Once a dress is worn in a wedding, it’s like it picks up an odor that emanates from it for the rest of time: anyone who gets near it immediately knows what it was originally. Don’t ask me why, but it’s true. The last thing anyone wants to hear at their company holiday party is, “Cute dress—did you wear it in a wedding?”

Skip the excessively twee accessories
I had a friend who got married on rainy day, and had to provide umbrellas for the wedding party. She found someplace that would rent umbrellas, and got cute ones that matched her flowers. This is fine. If you need to provide something functional, and you can do it in a fun way, great.

I’m talking about dressing everyone up like Little Bo Peep and giving them shepherd’s crooks, or worse, actual sheep to herd, with darling floral garlands around their fluffy necks—and in case you read this and thought, “Ooohhhh…heyyyy…” let me just say right now, NO. Your guests will not thank you if they step in sheep poop in their good shoes, and the sheep will eat the garlands off each other’s necks.

If a bridesmaid dress reminds anyone of anything worn at the Wilkes’ barbeque, the box social dance in Oklahoma!, or something from the Royal Ascot scene in My Fair Lady, skip it.

Filter based on price
Traditionally bridesmaids pay for their own attire. Try to remember this when you’re shopping. No one wants to pay $800 for something they’ll never wear again. If it were me, $200 is about as much as I’d be willing to pay. If you just cannot let go of the $500 dresses, it’s nice to offer to pay the difference. Yes, they get to keep the dresses, but really, they will never wear them again. Unless like one of my friends they’re invited to a, “Come in your old bridesmaid dress” party.

If you can relinquish control (not one of my strengths, but everyone is different) and give everyone a color or a pattern and tell them to find a dress, it can work. One friend told us to wear black dresses—she didn’t care what they looked like, or what style, as long as they were all black. The result was three women wearing dresses they already owned, that flattered them, but matched after a fashion.

It’s challenging to exert your will over others—in a situation in which you are completely within your rights to exert your will—without turning into Kim Jong-Il, demanding everyone have the same haircut or whatever. But remember that as much of an honor as you’re conveying on them, asking them to be in your wedding, they’re honoring you by agreeing to do so. And if I’ve managed to convince you of nothing else, remember: they will never wear it again. I swear.

Some Whining and an Annoucement

I’ve been kind of quiet for the past couple of weeks. Sorry about that. My husband won us a trip to Las Vegas by selling the hell out of the world’s most boring product (sales tax software—it’s not just software, which itself is a total snoozefest, but it calculates sales takjfadf;kjsdfsj  see? I nodded off just telling you about it). We came home from that trip to turn around four days later and fly to New Hampshire to clean out my father in law’s house.

This was even less fun than it sounds, because on the last day—the Last. Damned. Day.—we got a call from the shipping company telling us they wouldn’t be able to pick up our shipment until the next afternoon. That was a deal breaker, because the house had to be empty for a walkthrough Friday morning. Shipper number two could come get it that day, but they wanted SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS because the pallets weren’t standard size and couldn’t have anything stacked on top of them. They wanted us to pay for the cubic space above each of them in the truck as well as the weight we were shipping. Apparently air in trucks is much more valuable than regular air, and this air was going to cost us seven thousand dollars.

As my husband dashed out to buy packing cartons so we could pack up a bunch of this crap and UPS it (plan B), my kids asked if they could play in the basement. I’m not sure if I’m glad I let them or not, because they walked down there and found Lake fucking Michigan on the floor. As I attempted to mop it up, I realized water was still flowing but couldn’t figure out from where.  

While I was on the phone with the plumber, one of my kids came over, tugged my arm, and pointed to a leak in the kitchen ceiling. Of course. An ice dam.

This story does have a happy ending (two, in fact): the basement water problem turned out to be the hose bib which was repaired the next morning, the buyers bought the house even with the ice dam problem, and we were able to get everything to the UPS store to ship by the time it closed. I did come home with a desire to rid myself of every material thing I own, leaving us with a coat hanger and three salad forks as our sole possessions. I'm sure this will pass, but right now the urge to get rid of it all is pretty overwhelming. Still, if it prevents one unnecessary purchase, it won't be a bad thing.

The OTHER happy ending is that I get to tell you about a very exciting thing that’s happened to me. You may have heard about the anthology that Jen Mann over at People I Want to Punch in the Throat is putting together (it's all over social media). It’s a follow up to her earlier awesome and successful anthology called “I Just Want to Pee Alone” and it’s called (you’ll never guess) “I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone.” You’ve probably already figured out by now that I am IN this book. Yes! Me! Along with a shit ton of other super funny and fabulous bloggers. I've spent the last few weeks virtually pinching myself because I'm so thrilled to be included.

Today I get to show you what the cover is going to look like! Ready?


As you can see on the shot of the back cover to the left, I am in outstanding company. In case you want to check out some of my amazing co-contributors, here's a list:

Bethany Kriger Thies of Bad Parenting Moments
Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying
Alyson Herzig of The Shitastrophy
JD Bailey of Honest Mom
Kathryn Leehane of Foxy Wine Pocket
Suzanne Fleet of Toulouse and Tonic
Nicole Leigh Shaw of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist
Meredith Spidel of The Mom of the Year
Rebecca Gallagher of Frugalista Blog
Rita Templeton of Fighting off Frumpy
Darcy Perdu of So Then Stories
Christine Burke of Keeper of The Fruit Loops
Amy Flory of Funny Is Family
Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures
Sarah del Rio of est. 1975
Jennifer Hicks of Real Life Parenting
Courtney Fitzgerald of Our Small Moments
Lola Lolita of Sammiches and Psych Meds
Victoria Fedden of Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds
Keesha Beckford of Mom's New Stage
Stacia Ellermeier of Dried-on Milk
Ashley Allen of Big Top Family
Meredith Bland of Pile of Babies
Harmony Hobbs of Modern Mommy Madness
Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha
Sarah Cottrell of Housewife Plus
Michelle Back of Mommy Back Talk
Tracy Sano of Tracy on the Rocks
Linda Roy of elleroy was here
Michelle Poston Combs of Rubber Shoes In Hell
Susan Lee Maccarelli of Pecked To Death By Chickens
Kris Amels of Why, Mommy?
Mackenzie Cheeseman of Is there cheese in it?

The release date is March 27. You realize that's in 31 days? Not that I'm counting or anything.