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Heebie the Bridesmaid

Posted on 2014.10.18 at 11:38
Another weekend, another wedding trip. This time we're in Atlanta, and my dear friend is getting married. I'm a bridesmaid, not wearing this:

October 18, 2014 (1)

because it is heinous. (Jammies: "It looks like you have no neck.") The online photo pretended I'd look like this:

October 18, 2014 (2) October 18, 2014 (3)

(Now I'm mid-dispute with the credit card company and the sellers. You are going to take your fucking heinous dress back, bitches, and refund my money. For a long time they refused to give me a return address. Eventually I spent $40 mailing the dress back to China. It is still in transit, or maybe disappeared forever.)

Instead I'm wearing this:

[Maybe I'll insert a picture, later. Right now I'm fed up with pictures of myself.]

Sure, fine.

Hawaii is wearing this:

October 18, 2014 (9)

as the flower girl, and Hokey Pokey is wearing this:

October 18, 2014 (12) October 18, 2014 (11) October 18, 2014 (10)

as the ring-bearer. So you can see we are all in.

For the bachelorette party:

We went to a Korean spa, the kind where you are naked and get manhandled. First we were given hospital scrubs, essentially, for the coed areas. There were six saunas in the coed area, which were beautiful. Little huts with ceilings of embedded amythists and jade and white stones.

I didn't take photos, because please, but snagged these from their website:

October 18, 2014 (4)   October 18, 2014 (5)

The floors were all heated.

Then there's the naked parts. In the gender-segregated areas, you can soak in hot tubs, roast under heat lamps, shower, or enter the body scrub arena. The body scrub area had about 15 masseuse tables, with older women scraping and buffing away on other women. "See how red that woman's skin is?" the bride pointed out, as we walked by. The woman in question was lying on her side, and her back was white on the yet-unscrubbed parts, and lobster-red on the already-scrubbed parts.

I was very apprehensive about the body scrubs. I don't like being touched, I don't like being naked, I don't like being scraped, and so on. On the other hand, I like to talk about things I tried one time.  Also, maybe they'd scrub the zits off my upper arms and thighs.

I got naked, and felt self-conscious, and signed up on a dry erase board. Then we were supposed to soak for a while. The women who work there will bark at you to get back in the tub if you try to emerge too soon. I'm not really supposed to soak in hot tubs, so as not to cook the baby, but they did not hassle me about getting fully submerged.

When our numbers were called, we were taken to our tables. Our scrubbers were clad in bra-and-panties sets. They had big bowls of warm water which they sloshed over the tables to keep the plastic slippery and us, too. They put wash rags over our eyes, as though we were about to relax. Or maybe to hide the carnage.

It was not relaxing. It was abrasive and unpleasant. The scrubbers used loofah-ish oven mitts and went over the same skin again and again and again. As you rolled from side to side, per instructions, you could see yourself become covered in little gray serpentines of dead skin. They seemed to focus most on the thinnest skin - side of your breast, underarm and under-belly of upper arm, etc.

Eventually she switched to a soapy washcloth. After that there was a quick massage. Of the three: loofah mitt, washcloth, and hands, my favorite is a washcloth. Now I know.

Then there was a painful hairwashing (why? Quit yanking my scalp) and then we were done. Now I know better and will never be scrubbed again. (The bride did admit that she enjoyed the scrub and found it relaxing.)

I did feel smoother and softer afterwards? maybe? Let's pretend I did.

The next day (Friday) was dedicated to decorating the venue:

The venue is an aerial dance studio, because the bride does aerial dance. So she invited us to start the day with an introductory class in aerial ballet.

Each person got two long silk(?) lengths of fabric, suspended from the ceiling. We tied the two strips in a knot in the bottom, as a seat, so that you couldn't really fall out.  First you put the knot against your lower back, and lurch back and forth, using the knot as the fulcrum and yourself as the see-saw.

If you keep rocking, then you end up upside-down, with your legs outside of the fabric so that you are supported by the fabric as it cuts across your thighs. I did get upside down, which I was very proud of.

From being upside down, if you straighten your legs and wrap them this way and that in a knot, then your legs are your anchors. You then pull yourself up and over your legs, to the standard sitting position that one does fancy tricks from.

I followed instructions, and had some assistance, and got up above my knotted legs.

October 18, 2014 (6)

Lumbering but up in the air. (Maybe I actually don't have a neck, in real life.)

Everyone took a lot of photos, which we then admired.  Every time we got to the lurching manatee wearing my clothes, tied up in the ropes, I felt self-conscious, compared to all these lithe, slim contorting bodies.

Today I am a bit bruised and sore, but kind of pleased with myself.  (At crossfit, I have become some sort of unwilling class mascot. People cheer as I lumber around, or run my last lap with me. I get that they're being nice but I also want to disappear.)

Before we left for the trip, I met with my former advisor, L. Since he knows the bride, we started chatting about her wedding.  I mentioned that her (conservative, awful) parents are not attending the wedding, because the groom is also a bride.

L. said "I can understand that," and I was shocked. I sort of went after him, asking him what the problem was, and he basically shrugged and said "If one of my kids ends up marrying someone of the same sex, I'll be there and support them, but it's not what I want for them." He said it grossed him out. I really thought there were taboos against that kind of confession, amongst self-identified liberal people.  I mean, taboos don't mean the problem is gone, but I had a secondary surprise that he felt so comfortable disclosing his homophobia to me.

Today is the wedding itself. I wrote a toast, which I'm not at all clear on whether or not I'm supposed to give, but better to be prepared.

Yesterday was also Jammies' and my five year anniversary. Both of us forgot, entirely.  (Not entirely - we exchanged gifts and went out to dinner last week. But on the actual day, it escaped us.)

He got me this watch:

October 18, 2014 (7)

which is exactly what I wanted. I got him this iced coffee cup:

October 18, 2014 (8)

and he also got himself some sort of gadgety speaker thing.

(Jammies is truly the best, in every sense (sexual sharknado) and I am unfailingly happy to be married to him. Here's to five more years!)


lolliejean at 2014-10-19 04:16 (UTC) (Link)
Well! You've been quite a sport through the unusual pre-wedding activities. Way more so than I would have been.

The kids look adorable. That dress was criminal.

Happy Anniversary to you and Jammies!

The End. :-)
heebie_geebie at 2014-10-26 15:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! The nature of my friendship with the bride is very much that we pride ourselves on being good sports and game for anything, so I found myself drawn into that roll from force of habit as much as anything else. But still it made for an eventful weekend!
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-10-19 15:44 (UTC) (Link)

Horrible Parents, Etc

Good God, I'm hating on both the bride's parents and your advisor. Well, it's more shock than hate. IDK if I've ever told you, but my nephew is gay. His father is the drunk asshole far-right racist conservative (my worst brother), and EVEN HE, when my nephew finally came out to him, did not behave like this.

Also: Wow, that is a horrible dress. Bridesmaids dresses are always horrible, but that's just...special.

I love angry Pokey! So much!

And beautiful Hawaii. I went to a wedding at around her age, in a little blue dress that looked something like that, but my expression was much more like Pokey's.
heebie_geebie at 2014-10-26 15:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Horrible Parents, Etc

The brides' parents are THE WORST. See today's entry, but in brief: they wrote her cruel letters that were supposed to arrive on her wedding day and wreck her day. (The letters did in fact arrive on time, but no one checked the mail.) I am absolutely appalled at their cruelty.

I have to take responsibility for the dress - all the bride required was something in the beige-gold-champagne family of colors. While she did locate the dress online, she in no way mandated it. The dress I ended up in was much more...harmless.

(Pokey was so adored at the wedding. You could see the photographers clicking away at the brides, and then getting distracted by him and snapping a bunch of photos of him. I mean, the girls were fawned over, as well, though. But he was so unaware, running his cars and ninja turtles over the pews, in the setting sun, etc. Irresistible.)
parodie at 2014-10-25 07:59 (UTC) (Link)
That bridesmaid dress! Oh, it's so terrible. Of course pregnancy isn't exactly a time that makes most people feel elegant and lovely (though you seem to pull it off well!) but that dress is really over the top.

Hokey Pokey's expression is really priceless.

As for L's reaction ... Sometimes, older, seemingly open-minded liberal people can be surprisingly conservative when it comes to their children, in the guise of "only wanting the best for them" etc. *sigh*
heebie_geebie at 2014-10-26 15:26 (UTC) (Link)
I think that, historically, there's even been a place for "only wanting what's best for them". I remember, maybe circa early 1990s, asking my dad what they'd do if I were gay. His answer was along the lines of "We'd support you but feel bad that you'd be facing a much harder life than if you were straight." Not quite maximally "We'd get out there and fight the powers that be!" but not exactly mean-spirited either. But it's definitely an out-of-date notion at this point. Not that gay people don't face plenty of discrimination, but by-and-large the social disapproval is aimed at the homophobes at this point. I think you're right that at this point "wanting what's best for them" is a fig leaf for "I'm not okay with this when it comes to MY kids."

(In defense of the bride, she had only stipulated that the dresses be in the gold-beige-champagne family of colors, and everything else was up to us. She had located that dress as a possibility, though. It seemed plausibly fine on the website!)

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