Monday, July 26, 2010

Jamaican Me Crazy

As you may have read from my controversial, and emotionally-riveting blog post Destination Nowhere (now up for a Bridezilla "woe is me" Award), I wasn't too excited about having a wedding here locally. It's not that I was trying to ditch the family, but let's be honest...sometimes being around family is stressful. Plus, weddings are stressful. So put those two things together, and your brain could explode.

But I've been in the thick of this wedding planning stuff for two months now, and I gotta say, it's going pretty well. I would almost be so bold as to say that it's borderline enjoyable. I keep waiting for something to go wrong or for a big fight to break out between me and my parents. Or a fight between me and Steven. Or me and Steven's family. Or me and Brooklyn even. But there have been no fights. I was planning on fights. I was counting on fights. I was anticipating fights so much that I considered putting an argument ticker on my blog that counted the number of fights between now and our honeymoon in Jamaica. I was gonna title the ticker, "You Jamaican Me Crazy." But so far, an argument ticker hasn't been necessary.

I'm getting along great with my parents. My dad and I spent roughly 7 hours together on Saturday in record-breaking 105 degree heat, and we didn't even speak rudely to each other. I almost think he was even disappointed when I had to go home.

A month ago, me and my mom went wedding dress shopping. I was positive this would cause some sort of emotional breakdown between the two of us. I was not looking forward to dress shopping at all, but she was pumped about it! And with every episode of Say Yes to the Dress that she watched, she got more and more enthused. I had my doubts. Those dresses looked tedious and uncomfortable to put on. And I had looming fears that I wouldn't be able to find a dress that was right for me. I was embarrassed at the idea of coming out of the dressing room and standing on a pedestal like some sad Olympian in a taffeta gown, everybody in the bridal shop staring at me and shaking their head, "No, no, no."

Plus, I was worried about my mom. I love my mom, but the older she gets the more she seems to enjoy breaking the rules. It seems that as she gets older, she feels that mature age gives her a pass to do whatever the hell she wants. It's mostly small things -- cutting in line, saying brash things, putting my dog in the pool. I recently found out that she drives with the earphones of her ipod in. I told her that was dangerous and illegal and she responded, "It's not illegal for me." Now, these are not major criminal offenses, but my mom is really not that old. It seems that she's using her "I'm Old, I'll Do What I Want" license a little too early. If she's doing stuff like this now, what will she be doing in her 70s, petty larceny? Armed robbery in her 80s? Drug smuggling in her 90s? My mom has developed a contempt for rules, and bridal salons have a lot of them. All I could think was -- how many would she end up breaking?

But my mom was persistent in us going to try on dresses. I couldn't avoid it any longer. If anything, then hopefully the horrible experience would cure her of her wedding enthusiasm. But I was wrong. We had a great time trying on wedding gowns. There wasn't a problem in not finding the right gown, but actually finding too many right gowns. There wasn't a gown that I tried on that wasn't a contender.

And my mom wasn't the worst part of the experience, but the best part. Instead of losing her enthusiasm through the appointments, it just grew stronger. You've heard of a blushing bride? Well, this was a beaming mother of the bride. My mom is not the bragging type, but on this day she was. At the first bridal salon, my mom got so excited, she would just spontaneously yell things out like, "This is the most beautiful dress in the world!!!!! My daughter is so skinny!!!! We've rented a beach house!!!!!" She would just yell these things at no one in particular. And she was animated too. She would sorta hop up and down, and pump her fists in the air while she yelled these things. (Picture a marathon runner crossing the finish line.) Once or twice, I told my mom to calm down, but I didn't really mean it. I loved her uber-excitement. It was contagious.

By the third bridal salon, my mom had settled into a joyous calm. We almost didn't go to the third (and final) salon because it got bad reviews on-line, but another shop owner encouraged us to give them a chance. Right away, we knew that we had found the winning spot. They had a ton of gorgeous gowns that put the other contenders to shame. But more importantly, they had Betty, the sales lady. She was tiny, knowledgeable, and spoke with a thick Filipino accent, complimented by a lisp. If I couldn't have my destination wedding with a hard-to-understand wedding officiant, then this was surely the next best thing. At times, it was near impossible to understand Betty and my mom would just stare at her intensely, not even blinking. I kinda think my mom was hoping that captions were going to appear under her.

The captions never appeared, but the winning gown did! I was happy. My mom was happy. Betty was happy. (I think that's what she said.) And the Jamaican Me Crazy ticker was still unnecessary.

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