Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Brooke Shields hates me.

I have to go to my cousin's wedding in Virginia this weekend. It's a Greek wedding that's going to be formal dress in 95 degree heat. Who does that to people they love? Greek weddings mean a lot of dancing. A lot of dancing means a lot of undergarments designed to tuck and suck you in. A lot of layers in the southern, sticky, humidity means I run the risk of dehydration. It can't be good.

I don't know of anyone who receives an invitation to a Greek wedding who goes, "Oh wow! I can't believe they thought of me!" It's more like, "Dear God. What did I do to deserve this?"

As soon as the invitation arrives, I know that I have 48 hours before the phone starts ringing off the hook...

"What are you going to wear?"
"When are you getting there?"
"Are you going to wear your hair curly or straight?"

(Mind you, all of these questions come from my mother.)

Yet the only question I want the answer to is, "Is there going to be an open bar or not?"

With this wedding in particular, the trouble started when I went home to visit my family in Maryland for Memorial Day weekend. As soon as I got there my Aunt sat me down and asked why I didn't bring my dress home for her and my Mom to look at.

"Why do you want to see it?" I asked.
"Because we all want to be prepared" she said.
"For what?" I asked.
"For the wedding!"
"It's a wedding, not an apocalypse. What are we preparing for?"
"We just want to make sure you look nice, is all" she said.
"I'm a fully functioning adult. I know how to look nice. Besides,it's already paid for."
"Well what does it look like?"
"I don't know. You want a picture?" I asked.
"Well your Mom and I don't want to look nicer than you." she said.
Then my Mom chimed in, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
At first I was mad, because I could have sworn that last piece of advice came from a hair commercial. And then, it suddenly became hilarious to me that these women were implying that any opportunity I may have to meet my future husband at this wedding may be thwarted by their undeniable beauty that they were making every attempt to mask, for the sake of my future happiness. Clearly I come from a long line of well-intentioned but slightly delusional women. But truthfully, all I kept thinking was,"Are these women serious or have they been drinking while I was on the Amtrak down from New York?"

After my weekend home with the family, I arrived back in New York to my apartment with the brand new US WEEKLY sitting on my kitchen table. I decided I deserved to flip through some mindless drivel before I got back to thinking about my real life. I kicked off my shoes, put my feet up on the couch, and nibbled on some Junior Mints (that's the poor girl's Bon-Bon's.) There, in my lap, out of the blue, on PAGE 61 OF US WEEKLY was Brooke Shields. IN.MY.DRESS! Holy Crap. The fact that I bought a dress that a celebrity could fit into (or vice-versa) blew me away...(Actual photo of Brooke Shields in "said" dress has been included in this post for your viewing pleasure.)

Against my better judgment, I called my Mom.
"I have a picture of my dress. It's in a magazine."
"What magazine?"
"US Weekly" I said half mumbling.
"What's it doing in US Weekly?"
"Brooke Shields is wearing it," I said
"Is it a maternity dress?" she asked.
"No, Mom. Come on. It was before she was even pregnant."
"Do you look like her in it?" she asked.
"Yes, Mom. I've lost 30 pounds and I've gained a foot in height. Brooke and I look like twins. It's scary."
"Well, I was just asking. Dresses always look different on, than they do on the hanger."
"What does that have to do with anything?" I asked.
"Nothing," she said "I just didn't know if I ever told you that."
"Yes Mom, since I was two!!! Just tell your sister that she can go to the grocery store and see my dress in a magazine at the check-out. Now can everyone just calm down?"
"Yes honey. We just worry because we love you."
"Goodnight Mom"
"Goodnight, Kukla." she said. (Kukla means babydoll in Greek, a term only used when someone is trying to butter me up.)

An hour later the phone rings. It was my mother.
"Honey, your Aunt just went to the grocery store and looked at your dress."
"It's beautiful!" she said.
"Are you being serious right now?" I asked, in shock.
"Yes, but we want you to wear a shawl."
"What? Are you for real? Why?" I asked, annoyed because I had only myself to blame, for calling her in the first place.
"Well you are much bigger up top than Brooke Shields."
"But it's going to be like 1,000 degrees at this wedding!!!" I pleaded.
And then it hit me...

"Wait Mom, I'm not going to wear that shawl unless I see a picture of it. You and your sister begged me to let you know what that dress looked like. I did, and now I'm getting screwed here. You want me to dress for a funeral, when we're going to a wedding! No picture, no shawl!! I got you a picture, now it's your turn."

My Mom held her ground by staying silent and then letting out her loud, long, strained exhale. The exhale that quietly screams, "You cause me so much pain that it even hurts to breathe." Finally she spoke,"You will bring the Brooke Shields dress. We will bring the shawl. That's it. And please, for your Grandmother, blow out your hair. She doesn't understand what the hair gel is all about."

Dear God. What did I do to deserve this...


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