Eyebrow Wax, $9
“Hello,” I said to the owner of the sewing shop. A beautiful tulle-and-satin creation hung from a hook by the cash register. “Here’s my dress! I love it so much!”
“This is your dress?” she asked from behind a wall, around the corner of which I could see a huge wooden table covered in lace and pins. “Oh, good. It’ll be ready tomorrow.”
This was the Monday before my wedding.
I had intended to come to pick up the dress on Saturday, but had been told then by this very shop owner not to come. That day, I took a five-minute breather in my car alone (which would actually have been TLC gold) before arranging to leave work early to retrieve it on Monday afternoon.
“No it won’t,” I said. “I already took off work today.”
Giving orders this way was out of the ordinary for me. I am not an Assertive Person, but I am an impatient one who is running very low on PTO due to having a wedding this year. Twenty minutes later, I found myself wandering around the neighborhood where I had attended high school years before, waiting for the last touches to be put on my dress and feeling entirely too much like a Bruce Springsteen song. The nostalgia got to be too much so I ducked into an eyebrow place to numb it with searing pain.
Bland Dog Food, $21
Gretel the Boston Terrier, of the Stomach as Fragile as Waterford Crystal, was handling the wedding chaos like a champ … until the day of the rehearsal dinner. I was across the apartment doing various getting-ready things, distracted, when I realized that things had been eerily silent for too long.
I went into my bedroom to find evidence of a, uh, gastrointestinal issue, which I cleaned up in my long dress while fielding calls to my husband-to-be about implementing the Diarrhea Plan we’re all too familiar with. I administer the Immodium, he goes to pick up that foul-smelling canned food she loves so frigging much. We made it to the rehearsal dinner only half an hour late.
Sometimes I wonder if she does this on purpose, because, really, that bland food smells awful and my gag reflex prefers to feed her kibbly things. Just kidding, I swear I’m a loving dog mom.*
*Fun aside, one time my dad tricked a seven-year-old me into feeding our cat by telling me that it would be my very own cat if I just took over mealtimes. After one round with its canned food I was like, all yours, Dad!
Transatlantic Groomsman, $200
My mother gave me some wise words weeks before the ceremony: “The things that look like disasters on your wedding day are the things that will make you laugh years from now.”
That being said, meet the Transatlantic Groomsman.
TG has been our good friend since we first started dating and has been living in a castle in a mid-sized European city as a resident artist for the past six months, where things like staying caught up on laundry and having lots of American money understandably have fallen to the wayside.
We intended to do for his dirty luggage what we normally do ourselves, which is use our parents’ laundry facilities, but wedding events + a new eco-friendly washer with a 2-hour wash cycle meant we were running very low on time, so he and New Husband had to run to the nearest department store to grab a dress shirt and some socks to see him through.
TG did a wonderful job of being the perfect groomsman. He left a charming impression on everyone. He gave a toast that was, according to consensus, second only to the speech my nine-year-old brother gave. He enjoyed the wedding festivities immensely and even teamed up with the best man for some bonding over leftover wedding wine at our house, while Husband and I were at a B&B.
We came back the next morning to find him still asleep, and set about quietly putting away the cards and too-high heels that filled the backseat of our car. Husband went over to his desk to check his email.
“TG?” he asked in a stage whisper. “Did you know there was a glass of wine on your computer?”
“WHAT?” TG asked, suddenly springing out from beneath the covers on the futon in our living room. “It’s all over,” he implored, holding his MacBook sideways. White wine dripped out onto the floor.
“Don’t you have your work backed up?” Husband asked. “It’s a minor setback, I promise…”
I had to hurry to a family barbeque while they worked on fixing the problem. Later it was revealed to me that, though the work was backed up over on the other side of the Atlantic, the computer itself had several thousand dollars of Bitcoin on it, that they managed to extract, after an unsuccessful attempt with a $30 hard drive thing (I don’t know much about computers or Bitcoin, sorry!), with free software online. The MacBook was about 10 years old and TG managed to procure a refurbished one he loved before leaving.
He reimbursed us with a check and the story, luckily, is priceless.
Diet Coke, $2, toiletries, free
The night before, my bridesmaids and I slept in a Hilton Garden Inn, where we ate pizza in the hot tub and watched Golden Girls. Of course I forgot all my necessities (NOT blaming the dog here. I was getting married!): deodorant, toothpaste, my very own 12-pack of Diet Coke.
I snuck down to the front desk first thing in the morning to get the necessities, and got to pick from a lovely assortment of Colgate and Lady Speed Stick. The bottle of soda was not free.
As I paid for it, I may have been crying a little, because it’s not every day that you have the privilege of buying your very last Diet Coke before swearing eternal love, fidelity, and commitment to someone awesome.
Heather Funk lives in Louisville, Kentucky and writes mostly about misplaced apostrophes on Twitter @meangrammargirl.
Photo: Délirante bestiole