anytime a friend mentions some dreaded wedding they're obligated to attend, i am quick to offer my services.
"looking for a date?"
i love weddings, particularly when i don't know the people getting married. watching two strangers pledge their eternal devotion to one another is like watching a movie. slipping into my fancy pants, gorging myself on finger food, and dunking my slice of wedding cake into a never-empty flute of champagne is my idea of a quality saturday night. and all for free? yes, please. sign me up.
i accompanied an ex to an A+ wedding on saturday evening. outside the greystone mansion, we navigated the garden paths, trying locate the ceremony. the invitation had said "formal or semi-formal," which was puzzling. it's like saying "dress for the ball or the beach." i erred on the side of extreme caution, and wore a macabre black lace anna sui dress. a summertime garden wedding in beverly hills, and i looked brazenly gothic. around my neck, an antique black onyx dangled, worn to cool the ardors of love.
we turned a corner and bumped into a well-dressed gentleman eating a banana.
"we're lost," said the ex. "do you know where the ceremony is taking place?"
"i hope so. i'm the groom." he kindly pointed us in the right direction, which of course was the opposite of the one in which we'd been headed.
my date, a college friend of the bride, introduced himself. the groom turned to me. "so you must be meghan," he said. i was impressed. had he studied a set of wedding guest flash cards the night before?
post-ceremony (which was near-perfect: brief, touching, and devoid of religion), the date and i walked the same path and discovered the groom's discarded banana peel, empty and yellow, hanging on the wall. the last hurrah.
the reception was held at the beverly hills hotel, and upon our arrival, we were presented with miniature brown boats (the groom is a sailing enthusiast). on the paper sail, the name of our assigned table was written.
"i think they're chocolate," i told him. it was the cocktail hour, and we were being assaulted with mojitos and skewered coconut lobster tails.
the tiny vessel was balanced on his extended palm. he narrowed his eyes, inspecting it.
"chocolate? are you sure?"
"pretty sure. smell it."
we brought the boats to our noses, sniffing simultaneously.
"you're right," he said. "definitely chocolate."
we tossed the paper sails and popped the boats into our mouths. the date scowled.
"i think i just chipped a tooth." he spit the boat back into his palm, newly slick with saliva.
"bad call. definitely plastic."
other reception highlights included: asparagus-wrapped mushroom hors d'oeuvre; a trivia contest; a spirited LC vs. dewey debate; my date pouring booze down my throat, attempting to lure me onto the dance floor (he was eventually successful).
once, i attended the birthday party of an acquaintance, themed "let them eat cake." per her request, every guest brought an entire cake. it was a well-attended event. i think there were at least 30 cakes inside the golden gopher that night, including a couple that were illicit substance-infused. i felt compelled to sample almost every variety on offer, and then fell into a Cake-Hole, growing numb all over and losing the power the of speech. i wandered deliriously from the bar, sugar-sick and stoned, and somehow stumbled into a metro station. on the train, i curled into a little ball on my seat, and coasted back to hollywood. that night i learned an important lesson, something that most people figure during a childhood birthday party: there is such a thing as too much cake.
at the wedding, i was having "let them eat cake" flashbacks. i was overwhelmed, and (still not completely trusting myself in presence of so much frosting) a little frightened by the volume of dessert on offer. wedding cake service followed a separate dessert course. and on the way out the door, there was a table towering with jumbo gourmet cupcakes.
"please take some with you," the bride urged the guests. "i don't know what we'll do with all of these cupcakes."
my date proceeded to grab a box meant to accommodate four cupcakes and stuff it with eight.
"what are you going to do with eight ginormous cupcakes?"
"eat them, obviously."
"you're going to eat all eight of these cupcakes before they spoil?"
"i was going to give one to you. maybe two if you behave."
"i have eaten enough dessert tonight to last my ass the month. i'll pass."
"cool. more for me. hold this while i get the car."
he thrust the cupcake box into my arms. the lid wouldn't shut and pink frosting was oozing through the cracks.
"this is disgusting. can we please put some back?"
i rode in his passenger seat from beverly hills to hollywood with the overstuffed box in my lap, and watched as the oil stains spread across the cardboard lid. exiting his car, i noticed that my goth frock had been redone in pink: streaks of buttery frosting snaked down the front, crusted into the lace.
"i'll pay for the dry cleaning," he offered, proving there's no such thing as a free cupcake.
on monday he wrote:
"Hey, thanks again for being such a great date to the wedding on Sat . . . though the cupcakes are such a gross, coagulated mess that I've decided to just toss them out. "
no surprises there.