Tuesday, July 05, 2005
~ For the last few months, I have been aware of the subterfuge. Much of what was going on was on a need-to-know basis only. It wasn't that I felt I was being excluded. My nose wasn't out of joint. I was out of the loop because there was no need for me to be involved.
~ Fathers don't necessarily get involved in wedding showers. I don't know many who would want to be. We especially are not involved with the planning process. My wife, Jeanne, had been walking on egg shells for several weeks. Envelopes and bags had been appearing in my sock drawer. Articles or ads had been cut out of my newspapers. Telephone numbers and internet addresses were scribbled on my note pads.
~ I asked no questions and made no remarks, and definitely not in my daughter's presence. All the while, there were also wedding arrangements in the works. Those envelopes and bags and those numbers and URLs, some of them could have been related to the wedding, while others were for the shower. For which I didn't know, hence it was better to play mum, rather than risk tipping off the shower.
~ When my wife and daughter had begun the wedding plans, the bride-to-be found herself in a bit of a quandary. Should she choose Sharyn or Nicole as her Maid-of-Honor? Both had gotten married last year - a week apart! Gretchen had been in both wedding parties. Nicole had recently bought a house. Sharyn would soon be closing on a house. Gretchen and Nicole had grown up together. Sharyn, will soon be her sister-in-law, she is her fiance Scott's sister.
~ In the end, my daughter felt either way someone's feelings would be hurt. As a result, she instead asked a girl with whom she was acquainted at work. Gretchen is the assistant manager of a properties management corporation. This girl, Ann Marie, worked for a company which leased from management firm. In short, Ann was a client, but the two had become friendly over the years.
~ With the Maid-of-Honor chosen, she then asked Nicole and Sharyn to the be the Maids-in-Attendance. The wedding party set, the Best Man had been named when she received her diamond, the planning went into full swing. To state the obvious, there is a lot that goes into a wedding. As far as the wedding itself, everything was in place for an October the ninth date. There were piles upon piles of brochures, internet printouts, and wedding magazines from one end of the house to the other. Of course, there were also plenty of telephone numbers and address jotted down on notes.
~ Somewhere around the middle of June both Nicole and her mother Elaine, who is my wife's best friend, started calling and e-mailing. Around the same time, Sharyn started calling. Next, Mary, Sharyn's mother, and Gretchen's future mother-in-law, also started calling. The topic of all of those calls was the same. "What's going on with the shower?" "It's getting late, shouldn't we be planning the wedding shower soon?"
~ It appeared that the Maid-of-Honor had not made made contact with anyone in the wedding party, not even the mother of the bride. In very short order a dialog was opened between all who were concerned. To the surprise and much to the chagrin of everyone, she said there was plenty of time. She didn't understand why everyone was so worried. When the logistics were mentioned, such as the hall and catering, she really lowered the boom. She wanted to know why they needed a hall. She asked why a caterer was needed for finger sandwiches. To date, no one is sure just how serious she may have actually been.
~ Now Elaine, it should be noted, considers our daughter third daughter. Thus like a well-oiled machine, Nicole and her mother, Sharyn and her mother, and of course my wife had a hall and food lined up in just two day. Elaine and Jeanne have been best friends since our daughters were of Kindergarten age. My wife had been an important cog in Nicole's shower and wedding. There was no way Elaine wasn't going to take the bull by the horns.
~ All the while, thinking she needed the help, made sure Ann Marie was kept up to date. If she hadn't been dragging her feet initially, she then started gumming up the works. Where she hadn't taken charge before, she suddenly started to assert herself. The others tried to set up a face-to-face meeting so that they could iron out any differences and finalize everything. She threw a monkey wrench in the works by not being able to agree on a date for that meeting.
~ So my wife decided to try to work it out with her. But when Ann Marie hung up in her ear, I was in the next room in the middle of a project. (This project is detailed in the "Honey-Doings" series which ran in eleven parts last week.) I told my wife to cool off and go to work. I told her that if she wanted to talk to her again, wait until cooler heads could prevail.
~ Well, in the interim, Ann Marie marched straight to my daughter's desk and blatantly announced she wasn't going to her Maid-of-Honor. I'm sure there was more that was said, and if there was, Gretchen kept it to herself. As best as I could over the phone, I tried to calm her down. She was bawling her eyes out!
~ Incredibly, the girl had the audacity to return later to apologize. She claimed she said things she didn't mean because she was mad at her mother. She then calmly asked Gretchen if she could come to the wedding as a guest since she was no longer the Maid-of-Honor. God bless my daughter for the answer she gave, and I proud of her for giving it. My daughter replied, "In a pig's eye!"
~ My wife arrived at her office shortly after that exchange. She had made another call to the girl in attempt to smooth things, but with the same results. She hung up on her again! Already having fire in her eyes, she remained calm when Gretchen told her of the second visit. I was surprised that Jeanne constrained herself so well. She did say out loud, "She'll get invited to this wedding when pigs fly!"
It was learned later, that the girl wasn't at her desk but was hiding in the bathroom. According to the security guard, she wasn't seen until after both my wife and daughter had left for home. She came out later and went home also, a full hour after her normal quitting time. She apparently didn't have the nerve to face my wife, everyone assumed.
~ The result of all this brought Gretchen back to her original dilemma. She asked Sharyn to step in as the Maid-of-Honor, for the reason alone that she lived closer. Nicole, joined by her younger sister Erica will be the two maids. It was ironic, for this was what she wanted at the very beginning. Either girl, Nicole or Sharyn, as it turns out, would've been honored to be in the party no matter who served as Maid-of-Honor.
~ Things are well now. There will undoubtedly be some moments of anguish to be sure, but just as this crisis was averted, so will any other snag that comes along. Tuesday, in the morning, we all will return to the routines of our jobs. At work Gretchen will be at her desk when Ann Marie comes to work, or goes to lunch, or tries to leave her office for any reason. We don't know what may happen, but one thing is certain to say the least. That there friendship will survive, probably won't happen - not even when pigs fly!
Curmudgeon responsible for this post: Hale McKay at 12:30 AM