Monday, August 3, 2009

Wedding crashers gone wrong

The week has been like playing Slow Ride by Foghat in easy mode on Guitar Hero: pretty simple, straight forward with no surprises. It would've been uneventful if I didn't get that phone call from my mother informing me of an upcoming wedding.

Weddings have always been a bit of a problem for me: beside the what-to-wear issue, there's also the who-will-be-my-date issue. The what-to-wear issue can be sorted out quick and painless like a reliable gas attendant: hallo, in, wash window, pay and drive out. But alas, it never quite happens that way.

You need a new dress thanks to the six degrees of separation theory: there's always the risk of someone seeing you wear the same dress you wore to your Cousin Louise's wedding. That's if you can still fit into that dress. The what-to-wear issue then becomes a dragged out affair like a president's speech thanks to numerous visits to the Torture Chamber (aka the Gym) and the mere mention of the word chocolate just drives you to the brink of tears. A woman deprived of chocolate is like a rehabilitated sex addict going to a porn convention. It just ain't pretty, people.

Dress hunting is worse than finding an eligible bachelor: it needs to fit like a rubber glove making you look slim, respectable and gorgeous at the same time whilst not stealing the attention away from the slightly large bride in her white tent. It is her day after all and you need to respect that and be a fabulous wall flower, but a wall flower nevertheless.

Then the date-issue. You can't just take any Tom, Dick or Harry to an Afrikaans wedding. Oh no, no no. There is always the expectation factor. As soon as you invite a man whom the family has never met, he will be interrogated. Guantanamo Bay will be like the Holiday Inn if you are not prepared. See, the man cannot wear a too nice suit because the family isn't stupid and will suspect he has a good job and ask him politely to buy the first round of drinks as he's the "new guy" and "tradition" requires it. Only problem being: it's always someone's first round.

Side note: because of numerous alcoholics in the family, open bar has been phased out and is strictly forbidden at get-togethers. Once our uncle Steve had a few too many and ended up in a swimming pool holding a goose in the one hand (no one knows where he found the poor bird) and his underwear in the other whilst still fully clothed. Uncle Steve: every family has one.

Now if your date has a modern-day mullet, the family will harass him with questions like if he's related to the Bruiser from Benoni where Charlize Theron is from and that is not really a big compliment around here.

The Bruiser from Benoni himself and no, it's not a mediocre version of Sylvester Stallone as you will see in the picture below:

The Bruiser from Benoni: a proudly South African product.

The family will ask if he has a Benoni BBQ-pack at home:

And they will even ask if he has any animals at his house since the only fur in Benoni is that on the dashboard.

I used to always just take Chris to weddings. The family knows him well, loves him and accepts him after they discovered he makes one mean BBQ and in the proper manner too: on a Weber with charcoal. That, of course, is an integral part of Afrikaans tradition and Chris being English it's like the hand of God blessed him with this gift.

I still remember the last wedding Chris and I went to. One of my friends from varsity finally succeeded in capturing a man and I just had to go as we're still a tight knit group even after graduating. It was quite a far drive, about four hours, so we googled the name of the guesthouse on the invitation and the place seemed lovely with a quaint type of feel; there were mostly pictures of the garden and some flowers and also a great shot of the reception hall and that was the best thing about this guest house: situated only a few feet away from where the reception would be held made it the ideal drink and walk destination. Chris immediately booked us a double room. I phoned my best friend a week before the wedding and she said the boyfriend and her will be staying two rooms away from us. We were happy and really looking forward to seeing the rest of the gang.

Chris wanted to leave early that morning so we would have plenty of time getting ready for the wedding and I agreed that it was a good idea. After all, no one wants to be stuck in a car for four hours and pitch up at the church all sweaty and wrinkly. Problem number one occurred when we arrived at the guest house and tried to book in. Due to the number of guests the manager decided on "her own discretion" to downgrade our double room to a single one as she "assumed we were married" since Chris booked it under his name only. She then glanced at my naked ring finger with eyebrows even Elizabeth Taylor would be jealous of.

Problem number two was the room itself. No air cooling system while it was about 40° Celsius (or 140° Fahrenheit), no kettle in the room for coffee or boiling water as I was not going to drink that funny brown-yellow gunk from the tap, no television and seriously gross looking bedding. The bedding I sorted out no problem as I just went to the room next door and swapped it with ours, but the rest of the little issues we had, we just had to swallow, in a manner of speaking.

At least we were better of than my friend because when they arrived to their (also) single room after another judgmental look, their windows couldn't even open. It seemed as though we were stuck in False-advertisement-ville.

But we decided to make the best of our time together and went to the dining room to have a drink. Sadly they only had Coke Light and when Chris asked for some ice, he was informed that the ice machine was broken (surprisingly). Not to worry, the manager said, the barman will just go get some ice from the shed.

Problem number three occurred while we were sipping away at our Cokes and reminiscing about the good old days when all the lights went off. Not to worry, the manager said in a high pitched voice, they are well prepared and will get the generator out of the shed. The shed?

"What else do you guys think they keep in 'the shed'?" Monique, my friend, asked.

"Hopefully a teleportation device to get us out of this shit hole," Chris answered.

Wishful thinking.

When we finished our drinks we went back to our rooms to get ready. Monique said they wanted to first stop at a McDonald's as they haven't had lunch yet, so we were in charge of saving them some seats. But what our dear friend the bride forgot to mention in the invitation was WHICH church the ceremony would be held at. It just said NG church. Chris then decided to find the (only) McDonald's in town on the GPS, but when we got there: no sign of the friends.

"Let's just drive straight. If you hear a church bell or see a church with a lot of cars in the parking lot, it's probably it," Chris said calmly as I was frantically phoning all my friends I knew would be at the wedding, but obviously switched their phones off when they got inside the holy atmosphere of the church.

Eventually, about fifteen minutes later, we found a church with a funny looking old car decorated with streamers and balloons which could only be the wedding couple's getaway mobile. Luckily Monique saved us some seats close to the door and we enjoyed the ceremony with tears of joy and plenty of crumpled tissues.

When we got outside to decorate the bride and groom with confetti, the weather didn't look so good. Dark clouds gathered in the sky and threatening thunder could be heard in the distance. Just as we finished saying a quick hallo to the new Mrs. Korff, the first raindrops fell. It was soon followed by hail. That was problem number four as the drive back to the reception area was on a dirt road. I'm terrified of hard rain and hail thanks to Noah's ark and just hoped and prayed we wouldn't be washed away in that godforsaken town.

Chris decided to park in front of our room at the guesthouse as the reception area was a mere twelve feet away, but separated by a wall which meant we had to take another entrance to the guesthouse. This is the part we still "disagree" on till this day.

Chris never gave clear instructions as to what to do next when we finished parking. All he said was:

"Take of your shoes and make a run for it."

He didn't say where to run to.

I opened the car door and made a mad dash towards the reception area with hail the size of healthy organic eggs hitting me on and all sides thanks to a cold wind blowing. The cold wind, however, was nothing compared to the icy water I had to run through which dammed up on the grass. When I got to the reception area, I saw car after car park in front of the door with a little carport where the lady would get out HIGH AND DRY and the gentleman would find parking in the lot reserved for wedding guests.

Let's just say I wasn't very impressed with Chris at that moment, especially since I looked like this wet cat with my hair sticking to my sore and bruised scull like little telephone cords, my make-up running down my face and goose flesh which probably suited my image of a wet chicken. It was still hailing, but I didn't care. After seeing all the lovely, DRY ladies in the lobby, I ran back to the guesthouse where I bumped into Chris halfway.

"Don't. Say. A. Word," I got it out through clenched teeth.

And he didn't. He just took my hand and ran back to our room with me. As if things couldn't get any worse, we had no power. Nothing. Nada. I just sat on the bed feeling like a turtle on its back while Chris tried to dry our clothes by waving a telephone book like a fan with a determined look on his face.

Apparently the plan was for us to go to our room first (that's why he parked in front of it) and wait for the hail to subside. It really would've been helpful if he had said it in so many words and not just assumed that I knew what to do.

There was no way in hell I was going to rock up at my friend's wedding with my wet hair, jeans and my Superman t-shirt. Can you imagine how much attention we'd be drawing away from the blushing bride? We'd be like a couple of invited wedding crashers and my friend the bride would be furious. No, I'd rather eat an eel. Alive.

After a while Chris stopped and fell on the bed too. He looked at me and gave a cough that suspiciously sounded like a chuckle.

"You look like Gene Simmons after a rough night," he said and started coughing a bit louder.

"You look like … like … whatever."
Because men don't have to worry about wet hair. Or wet clothes, for that matter. That's what all the sexy calender guys get paid to wear anyway.

I had to admit that the whole situation was pretty funny. What were the odds anyway of all these events happening on the same day? Not even those kids on Final Destination could outdo us on this day. We laughed and laughed until we both had stomach cramps.

"I'm hungry," was my next complaint.

"Me too. Let's wait another ten minutes then take the car, go to dinner in town and go see a movie."

It seemed like the only good idea he's had so far that evening and I didn't feel like sitting in the room staring at my beautiful, expensive but wet dress whilst listening to the music coming from the reception hall.

We waited and then we went to a dodgy mall with a steak house where the meat seemed a bit on the greenish side, but after the day we had anything on a plate was pretty edible. There was no movie house so we headed back to the guesthouse with me singing along to Chris's FAVORITE band in the whole wide world: Westlife. I went through a mid-Westlife-crisis in my early twenties. Chris never lets me bring Cd's into his car anymore. Bummer.

When we got back, we discovered the power came back on and after singing and dancing to a few hallelujahs, Chris quickly dried our clothes with my hair dryer while I redid my make-up. We were at least in time for dessert and after that we danced the night away with my wrinkled dress and his shrinking pants.

Chris's favorite saying these days is:

"Never judge a book by its cover."

How bloody true is that.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Do you now take a mackintosh to all the weddings you go to? To be extra safe you could wear a mac with nothing underneath and put your dress in a watertight container.

Dave King said...

We have a Golden Wedding this weekend. Hopefully it will be like playing Slow Ride by Foghat in easy mode - but I guess it aint the same as a proper wedding!

otherworldlyone said...

Too funny! I could just picture a guy frantically waving a phone book at a dress. Hahaha! Genius.

I'm usually a wedding downer, but I'm super excited about my cousin's in Sept. I'm in it, so I've already got the dress...and it's not some horrible poofy nightmare so I don't have to worry about dressing all in black, breaking into their house, and stealing all the wedding photos and burning them. And I've already got the date. Miracle.

Happy dress/date hunting! You should take Chris. He sounds like the go-to guy...and funny. ;)

Eric said...

Bring a kevlar umbrella in case of hail again.

Lola Lakely said...

I popped by from Tennyson and I'm really glad I did. You did a great job of telling that story and it sounds like something that would happen to me! I think I'll just become a folllower just to see what other trouble you get up to!

ladytruth said...

Gorilla B: we don't really have mackintosh here in sunny SA so I'll just take one of those big, black plastic garbage bags with next time - a lot cheaper and will fit nicely in my tiny handbag ;)

Dave: you just need to play that funky music, add a little liquor and a drunk uncle and you're pretty much done ;)

otherworldlyone: you're so prepared it might as well be your own wedding. I'm very jealous. Lucky break on the non-poofy dress; I still have some of those hanging in my spare room's closet and when my nieces come over to visit, they always ask to play with the "Grandma pajamas."

Eric: you know, next time I'll just stay in the car :)

Lola Lakely: I'm glad that you're glad ;) Welcome and it seems like you're at the right place if you get into the same situations: not by choice, but chance because we would never do these things to ourselves if we had any control over it, right?!

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd repay the courtesy and stop by to say hello. Great posting. It seems they're intent on bringing the mullet back over here. I'm yet to see the BBQ carrypack but it's surely just a matter of months now...

rubbish said...

Love that BBQ pack, awesome.
My Daughter, when she was a few moths old, threw up over me in a wedding. I ended up in a t shirt all day, wasn't a superman one though. Needless to say, I wasn't in many photos.

JennyMac said...

This is GREAT...except for that pic of the BBQ carryall meaty bonanza which just about made me want to vomit. And love your Foghat Guitar Hero reference bc of course, I have that. LOL.

ladytruth said...

Matthew: thank you, thanks and just holler if you want one imported. I know a guy, that has a sister that dated my friend's uncle's brother who works at customs ;)

rubbish: yes, the superman logo on a shirt just makes all the difference, trust me!

JennyMac: Someday we should like jam together, sista! Seriously though: I just can't get past medium on that damn game because I don't have eight fingers like a Spiderman