“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.