The next best thing to having your own wedding is getting invited to one by your boyfriend. There’s something about a man who wants you on his arm at a celebration of love — with the added lubricant of an open bar. So when my boyfriend Mike asked me to be his date to his friend’s big day, I was so excited I nearly went into debt over a pricey cheese plate present and a new dress with matching lingerie — not that I planned on keeping it all on that night.With just a few months under our dating belt, attending a wedding seemed like a really huge step for “us.” And it wasn’t just any party. Since his good friend from college was tying the knot, we were to be introduced to two very important relationship moments: the first time we were faced with the eye-popping prospect of taking the plunge ourselves, and the even more nerve-wracking meeting of the pals from his past. I was surprised that he had asked me. Sure, we’d probably get stuck at the odds-and-ends guests table in the back corner by the bathroom, but I still felt like I was movin’ on up with my new man.
When that fateful Saturday finally rolled around, I had a problem. I was bloated, and my hips were refusing to squeeze itself into my slinky dress. I had to make a last minute drugstore run for control top pantyhose to zip up the darn thing. Needless to say, when he came to pick me up in a chauffeured car, I wasn’t ready. I was frazzled, I was so sweaty my make-up was caking, and I felt like sausage in skin-tight satin casing.
Like most men, Mike doesn’t like to wait — especially when there’s a meter running. From his cell phone, he heckled me. I just wanted to look good, but after three frantic, threatening phone calls from him, waiting outside my door, I finally gave in, gave up, and ran out to meet him. He was so annoyed that he didn’t even kiss me.
During the car ride, there was no small talk. He was brooding. Asking him what was wrong seemed to annoy him more. Maybe he was nervous, or maybe it was me. Either way, our comedy of errors had already begun.
We got there as the ceremony started. The setting was a garden. Unfortunately, I was wearing stiletto heels that I could barely walk in on pavement. They sank into the grass with each step. Walking around, I looked like a horse bound for the glue factory. Mike scoffed.
After the ceremony, it was time for hors d’oeuvres. While Mike went to the bathroom, I went to the bar, where a woman complimented my shoes. When he returned, Mike was all smiles. “I see you met my friend Jackie.” Friend? I’d agreed to be his date. As it turned out, I’d befriended his girlfriend from college. While they caught up, I headed for the snack table.
I piled up a plate and walked back to bar.
“Mike,” I said, as I approached them.
“What!” He swung around, accidentally knocking the plate out of my hand and onto the floor.
The side of my dress was splattered with meatball sauce. I excused myself to get the stains out in the bathroom.
In the safe haven of the ladies room, I locked myself in a stall and cried. What was I thinking agreeing to come to this wedding with a guy I’d barely been dating? I tried scraping off the red sauce with a paper towel.
I strutted back into the party with my head up and my sass back. I was an hour away from home and I was going to make the best of this situation or get have fun (and get drunk) trying.
By now, everyone had moved into the main dining hall. Like I figured, we were seated at the random people table by the bathroom. Mike was staring at his ex-girlfriend and her date. He was jealous. So was I.
Eventually, Mike got up to go mingle with his old friends and didn’t even ask me to come along. I talked to the bride’s distant cousin, who was twice my age and three times as creepy.
By the time dinner and the speeches were over, I was too drunk to stop myself from showing off my dance moves. I decided to give Mike one more chance to at least woo me on the dance floor. He said no and went off to stalk his ex while she flirted with her boyfriend. Oh, well. His loss, I thought as I hit the floor alone.
Nothing could have prepared me for the moment of clarity I had out there dancing with all the other women whose significant others had refused to dance with them.
I couldn’t wait for the night to end. I was wasted, but there was no way I was going to give Mike a chance with me. So, when the chauffeured car pulled up at my place, and my date made a pass at me, looking to come upstairs, I pushed him off me. After he realized I wasn’t interested, he asked me to fork over some cash for the car. I slammed the door in his face.
That night, I was a victim of bad circumstance and Swedish meatballs, but Mike was the worst of it all. If there ever was a justified dealbreaker, it’s a guy who can’t handle a wedding — or me.