I don’t know how to write about this weekend. I just don’t. I mean, do I write about the weird head place I’ve been in for the last week, mostly on account of things I also don’t know how to write about? Or perhaps I should write about my very strange day at work on Friday. Then there’s the odd story of how Saturday night I found myself sitting in a hotel room with seven strangers and one friend giggling (because, really, what else can you do at that point?) my way through a sales pitch for, um, intimate objects (believe me, I had no idea that was going to be part of the evening’s entertainment), and then less than twelve hours later, helping to set up for my brand new baby niece’s Baptismal celebration at a small, conservative, small town Catholic church with large posters announcing some sort of presentation on Holy Modesty posted on every door.
Then, just to top everything off, I sprained my ankle kinda badly in the church parking lot as we were leaving, requiring me to spend the rest of the day on the couch with my foot propped up on a block of ice. Seriously, the only thing that would make the weekend stranger would be if someone I haven’t seen in five years (and, yes, I’m thinking of a particular person) suddenly burst through the front door wearing a pink elephant costume and leading a brass band through the living room. Which the way things are going, just might happen. Let me just check to make sure that the door is really, really locked.
Ok, we’re good. The door is locked, and while I was up I limped down to the basement to cycle the laundry. Because sprained ankle or not, I’m going to need clean uniforms to wear tomorrow. Though how I’m going to wear the required pantyhose with an Ace bandage on my ankle I don’t know. But we’ll deal with that later.
Perhaps we should look at a picture of the cutest niece on earth for a moment, just to settle our nerves.
There, that’s better. That’s Sweet Pea sleeping the sleep of the newly Baptized in her godmother’s arms. The blanket was lovingly crocheted by Mariah. My own christening present, the sweater I started knitting, um, a while ago, is still missing part of a sleeve, so she doesn’t have it yet. However, she’s so tiny that she’d be swimming in it anyway, so I’m ok with this.
So this is what happened on Saturday. A good friend asked me to come to a bachelorette party with her. The bride-to-be was a work friend of hers, and while she wanted to go to the party, she also wanted someone with her. I happened to owe her pretty big for how she helped me avoid the relationship equivalent of starting a land war in Asia just a few days earlier, so I said yes even though I did not see how this could be anything but awkward. So I put on my Standard Girl Party Clothes (jeans, nice shirt, slightly fancy earrings), and was ready to go at the appointed time.
And, you know, I had heard about bachelorette parties like this, the ones with the embarassing reproductive organ adornments for the bride, and the way too much alcohol, and embarrassing public displays, but I think I didn’t really believe that real people really did this. I mean, what woman in her right mind would willingly parade around in public carrying a many times life size balloon version of a male reproductive organ? What loving relative would force their sister/daughter/cousin to wear a tiara ornamented with midget penises that light up and blink? People didn’t really do that, did they? All the bachelorette parties I’d ever been to were much more like nice dinners out with the girls, with sometimes slightly risque gifts. (My favorite was always to give the bride a couple of cans of Redi-Whip and label it “tasteful lingerie.”) And it wasn’t just because most of my friends are fairly religious. If anything, the parties for my more secular friends were tamer than the ones for the Good Catholic Girls. This party, however, was the one that was going to prove me wrong.
This party had it all: the balloon reproductive organs, the embarrassing head ornaments for the bride, the dysfunctional family dynamics. And, well, it wasn’t my family, and the poor bride (who looked like she just wanted to get through to the other end of this night in one piece) wasn’t my friend. I would never see any of these people again in my life, so I decided that I would be the perfect party guest, helps things go off smoothly, and do my best to help both my friend and that poor bride have a good time. And I think I did pretty well. All the alcohol helped. Even discovering that the two nice ladies who had been waiting in the hotel room when we got there weren’t also party guests, but consultants representing a discreet line of, well, sex toys which they were about to present to us didn’t phase me too much.
But after the presentation came the ordering, and then came the family dynamics of getting people out the door to the next thing, and then there was the comedy club, and the maid of honor who wanted all the attention for herself, and by that time I’d been hanging out with these people for close to six hours and I didn’t even know them. I was done. Thankfully my friend was willing to run me home (she ended up going back to support the bride for a few more hours), which meant I got home at a fairly reasonable hour. But still. One of the more surreal nights I’ve ever had.
And then the next morning I got up, got dressed, and headed off to help Sweet Pea get Baptized.
My dears, life is strange.
Also, if I ever happen to get married (and let’s not hold our breaths for that one), and happen to have a bachelorette party, anyone who comes near me with plastic reproductions of sex organs will get their hands cut off. Just saying.