The Bride Wore The Traditional White Gown And Blue Goggles Of Insanity

“It’s roughly five hours from Ottawa to Toronto on the express bus. One of the interesting things I learned from my hour kneeling in front of the public toilet is the chemical tank has an outside vent, so when you’re kneeling over the toilet hole there’s actually a very pleasant cool breeze.”
The Dry Heaving Horror Show Back In Row Thirty; Feb. 11, 2009.

The bride is always right. For some reason I only ever attributed this cliché to the moments when she was rational. But the only experience I’ve ever had with a bride has been on the television programs which seem determined to only show their irrational moments.

So I just assumed the rational must outweigh the irrational moments otherwise those programs would be months long. These programs, went my assumption, must simply be made up of the worst moments. TV logic, I keep forgetting, does not translate well into real world logic.

Because it turns out the “Bridezilla” programs are actually made up of purely random moments of a bride’s life, not a condensed soup at all but like a bowl of Alphabits where the contents of every spoonful is different, but still basically the same alphabet of crazed lunacy.

The bride is always — always — right, especially when they’re totally unhinged.

This could be the most important lesson about relationships I’ve ever learned… and totally reinforces my faith in the awesome truth telling force of television.

Just after Christmas my brother and his fiancée were sitting on my couch when they invited me to come to Toronto a week before their wedding to hang out.

When I finally arrived, after a five hour bus ride from hell, she had degenerated into a ball of hate and panic. She was angry at her mother, her sisters, my mother, me… and I had just gotten there.

She had become lost in the minutiae of wedding planning. She was totally overwhelmed by the smallest details. Every little detail had become something which needed planning… it wasn’t getting a hat box to her aunt so it could be decorated and become the place where people would put envelopes filled with cash at the wedding…

It was arranging a time when her aunt would be home, making sure there was gas in the car, making sure her aunt had the right decorations, managing the decorating, getting the hat box back home, keeping it safe until the wedding, is it the right size, is it the right shape, what if it doesn’t fit in with the decorations at the reception, oh my God who’s in charge of getting the decorations at the reception hall done, what about the table, who’s in charge of making sure there’s a nice table to put the hat box on, should the table be decorated, who’s in charge of decorations, why won’t anyone tell me anything?!?

So she left the hat box on the kitchen table for two months and lashed out at anyone who asked where it was. Until, just a few days before the wedding, her mother took her own antique box to her sister’s place and they decorated it together. Case closed. But, of course, my brother’s fiancée got pissed off at her mother for interfering. Because she’s the bride.

So I was sick on Friday when I first arrived in Toronto. It turned out to be motion sickness and not taking my diabetes meds properly, but just in case I volunteered to stay in a hotel the first night so I wouldn’t pass on any viruses to the lucky couple.

I saw my brother’s fiancée for about ten minutes on Saturday, a bit longer on Sunday but on Sunday evening and all day Monday she locked herself in her bedroom. A piece of me thought she was avoiding me, but that didn’t seem to make any sense as she had invited me to stay with them and had two months to change her mind.

On Tuesday she stayed overnight at her sisters. So I told my brother I would move back into the same hotel for the rest of the week. I was sick again, and so was he, so my getting out of there seemed like a win-win for everyone.

I’m not a big fan of irrational behaviour. While my brother explained what had been going on over the past three months I actually got pissed off at her for putting my brother through her crap. But whenever she had a freak out he would patiently explain how everything had been taken care of and her only job was getting to the wedding.

I never really saw him like that before. He has a patient tone that he adopts when speaking to an employee, but this was different. She actually told him the wedding was off at least once the week I was there, but he just patiently explained away all of her concerns.

My brother pretty much put the whole thing together, that’s actually what he does for a living. And it was a great wedding, and the reception was a lot of fun. And she seemed to relax and accept that everything was looked after towards the end of the rehearsal.

But she said all of ten words to me the entire week, including during the reception. It was very odd. Especially since I was in the freaking wedding party as the Best Dude.

I know she absolutely loathes my mother… mom set up a meet and greet coffee reception after the wedding rehearsal so the two families could have some face time. It was a huge success. But, of course, it not being organized by the bride made the bride extremely pissed off.

It’ll be interesting to see how long my brother’s new wife can hold onto the hate she developed during the process of getting married. I know it’s not real, it’s irrational… people get scared, they stare into a $25,000 project and the fear they feel is rational, but they react to the fear by hating the people around them. By blaming people for the fear they feel.

People who are desperate and out of control need someone to blame. Like a bride needs their future mother-in-law as a scapegoat.

I know not every bride is like my brother’s, or the ones on television, but that’s basically something I think we all learn in hindsight. So it’s just easiest to deal with the insanity by repeating “the bride’s always right”, no matter how many wedding dresses she burns, or how sane she acts.

Of course, after the ceremony, she’s not a bride anymore… which is when the healing begins.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, White Russians. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Bride Wore The Traditional White Gown And Blue Goggles Of Insanity

  1. bine says:

    oh heavens above – this sounds like a very bad case of wedding heebie jeebies. i’m surprised she didn’t call the whole thing off, but then she might have, if not for your brother’s angelic patience.
    i hope she’s calm down some after the big day is over – if she turns out to be this irrational on a regular basis i guess you and your family are in for a lot of fun!

  2. thordora says:

    This is why I’m glad we had a small wedding-no time to freak out and be uber bitch. And I would have-all that money, wanting it to be perfect-she’l calm down…don’t take it personal. It’s her whole life ahead!

    At the end of the night, they were dancing and smiling and happy, right? It’s all good.

    I don’t much like my MIL. Never have, likely never will.

  3. Soire says:

    😦 I’m sorry she was so crazy. She must have had a lot of anxiety.

    When people are like that, I often chant “The psychological response to anxiety is control.” closely followed by “This too shall pass.”

  4. raino says:

    all i can say is ewww. i hope this isn’t something that will continue. poor guy and poor her. obviously something is ‘goin’ on there’.

  5. womaninblack says:

    I thank all that is holy that I have taken a vow to live in filthy sin rather than ever succumb to the lure of marriage. As a control freak of the highest order, I can foresee only bloodshed and loathing if I had any part of an event that involved organisation on such a grand scale. And I am the Woman in Black. I don’t do wedding dresses.

  6. Hella Stella says:

    Sounds like hell on a stick! I hope you still had some fun through the cloud of Bride Hate. I’m lucky to have not seen any Bridezilla behaviour in the weddings I’ve attended. It may have spoiled things a bit. I may have also tried to empty the bar…

  7. Gabriel... says:

    The thing that pissed me off the most, and continues to piss me off, is how my brother’s fiancée dismissed my mother. When someone asked my brother’s fiancée about anything regarding the wedding her response was to shut down, sulk and get pissed off. So, of course, when no information was flowing to my mother about any part of the wedding mom started emailing and calling my brother and his fiancée, which pissed off his fiancée even more.

    My mother wanted to be a part, however small, of her sons wedding. This makes complete sense to me. But… as an example, the official wedding photos took place just before the wedding. So only the wedding party was supposed to be there… which included, as groomsmen, our youngest brother and our step-father. So mom stayed away, as she was told to do. Except the bride’s mother and father showed up and got their portraits taken with the bride and groom. So the only person not in the photos is our mother.

    And that pisses me off.

    I’m trying to be supportive and not go off on a rant because my brother does read this blog, and has read this post. But it’s harder not to rant about this stuff than I thought it was going to be.

    I don’t like people who dismiss members of my family, but especially my mother. I know what she has been through and what she has done, and she deserved a lot more respect from her youngest sons bride than she got.

    Other than that everything was great:

    1. It was an open bar, and the bartender knew how to make an awesome White Russian.

    2. People insisted on teaching me how to dance, which was great.

    3. Most of those people were sizing me up as wedding material for their cousins, sisters and even aunts. Which was weird.

    4. My brothers’ friends from way back in high school were awesome and we had a great time.

    5. His friends, their dates and myself finished off the evening in one of their hotel rooms drinking rum and Cokes and reminiscing about the insanity that is/was our youth.

  8. bromac says:

    “I’m not a big fan of irrational behaviour”

    Perhaps b/c of your own irrational behavior from the disease?

    Ok, fair enough, but cut her some slack. Girls (not me, but plenty) dream about that day for their entire lives. A little irrationality and anxiety is to be expected. Though not the thing with your mom. In the end, all that matters is that your brother is a happy new husband.

  9. Gabriel... says:

    I actually feel like I cut her a lot of slack in both the post and my previous response. I think I rationalized her behaviour quite fairly and accurately, and for every paragraph I wrote about her pissing me off there’s at least one explaining how I understood why she did what she did.

    “People who are desperate and out of control need someone to blame. Like a bride needs their future mother-in-law as a scapegoat.”

    My brother is a happy new husband, and I expect him to be a happy husband for a long, long time. They make a great couple and, as I said earlier, once she relaxes her grasp on the feelings she has used as a shield against her fear and anxiety over the past few months, I’m sure she’ll be a lot happier as well.

    A “little irrationality and anxiety” was expected, that’s what weddings are about. But the wedding’s over… and that’s pretty much what I meant by “she’s not the bride anymore, so let the healing begin”, as in it’s time to start handing out the apologies.

  10. XUP says:

    I’d go mental too if I ever somehow found myself embroiled in wedding plans as the bride. What a crazy, completely irrational ritual that is to begin with. Anyway — maybe next time take the train? It’s quite a bit more pleasant and about the same price if you check for specials and/or if you collect airmiles you can buy vouchers for VIA.

  11. Gabriel... says:

    Akakáume Xup, and thanks for commenting. It’s totally rational to be irrational in certain situations, and I’m perfectly willing to rationalize her pre-wedding irrational behaviour away, even forgive her slights and disrespect towards my mother, as soon as she realizes just how irrational she had been and actually apologizes.

    The train was my original plan but there were scheduling problems and issues surrounding my complete lack of any valid identification — also no credit cards, so no air miles. I don’t think the end result (me kneeling in front of a toilet) would have been much different… although it would have been way cooler to watch the tracks flying by through the hole.

  12. voodoo says:

    glad you enjoyed the reception. As for the bride, she needs to do s0me soul searching. My husband and I have been married a very long time. The advise I would give her, if I knew her, would be to compromise. It is not all about her. Her husband also has feelings as well as his family. Give and take. That will also make for a long happy marriage also.

  13. The White Russian is a damn smooth beverage.

  14. dame says:


    i wasn’t a bitchy bride, so i can’t relate.

    but then again, my marriage failed. so… yanno…

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