Weddings are awesome – celebrating someone you care about finding, in some form, The One or at least a perennial holiday date. Especially participating as a guest – no pressure on giving a toast, making sure other people have good times or any of the other duties of a party member. The downside of guestdom is the quest to look good at a wedding. I’m still not sure why this is more pressure than other parties, but maybe it’s the people taking all the pictures or the rare chance to get dressed up. Or maybe it is just the whole happy celebration vibe of the event. You want to look and feel good, because it’s such a great – and huge- day in peoples lives. A good friend was married this Sunday at St Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York. The church, located in Soho on the corner of Mulberry and Prince, is the site of The City’s first Cathedral Church. Built in 1809, it precedes adaption of the Commissioners Plan for expansion of New York to encompass all of Manhattan. At its apex, it was at the center of Manhattan.
This was one of those weddings that are basically a weekend of events, from the hen party Friday night to the service and reception on Sunday. For me, it was three days of the universe basically toying with me. This may have been a result of my vanity – why all the effort to look so much prettier, when it wasn’t my wedding and the focus should rightly be on the bride and groom.
Friday was calm until I was walking to meet the other women from the wedding, when the zipper of my dress broke. The dress fit two weeks ago, and in between I’d run 40 miles. Good grief. Luckily, a tailor nearby could and would fix it immediately. Awesome. Zipped, and back on course, I hear my name. The speaker turns out to be a gentlemen who has literally known me all my life.
Walking and talking, we encounter Her Brideliness (this is not a bridezilla in any means, just a cool mellow bride!) on the street. I tell her, “Look I got you a (middle aged) stripper.” My friend was dressed in shorts and a polo, ubiquitous summer wear of Weekend Relaxation Man. While the Bride’s mom realizes its a joke, it takes The Bride a little while to catch on. At first, struck mute, all she could do is give me an “ok, Laura, come with me away from this man ve-r-r-ry slowly and are you INSANE!” look. Not sure she ever really appreciated the joke at any point, but her mother did.
On Saturday, every train showed up within 3 minutes. WTF – that’s when I knew something was weird in the universe. I had the feeling something was off, but aside from seeing a food truck shoot flames out of its kitchen, nothing really shocking happened. Until dinner. I self-dated at ABC Kitchen that evening, and met a really cool heart surgeon from The Netherlands. Did you know heart surgeons have one minute to cut 5 veins from the organ and hook them up to a machine before they can extract the heart, or the patient dies on the table, pfft? (Surgery makes for fascinating, but not always appetizing, dinner conversation.) While at the restaurant, I showed my true klassy side by sneezing. In my defense, this is a natural body function, and I did it into my arm. However, I manage to offend the people on the other side of me with a sneeze that reached Category 5 and may have been covered by the Weather Channel. I am not a dainty sneezer, but, and this may be prejudice of me, I think only mean girls can delicately go “choo” and call it a sneeze. People fall off their chairs when I sneeze, sadly. I’m sure this has nothing at all to do with why I’m still single.
The day of the wedding, Sunday, things were going well until I got my hair done. I’m not a hairdresser as much as I am not capable of delicate sneezing. But it wasn’t my wedding and maybe the universe was trying to pay me back for being vain. Drybar, the hair salon, is apparently under new management or training new stylists and therefor running stressingly late. By the time I got seated with a stylist, I only had 20 minutes to get the whole thing done and me back on a track to make the wedding on time. From there I had left myself originally an hour gap before I had to leave for the ceremony. That dwindled down to 10 minutes thanks to the tardiness of the salon in seating people, the stylist ignoring my stated time constraint and – and this is the best part – the fact that they gouged my leg open and cut it in three other places. The salon serves champagne, and I had a glass (er, after being offered and having to remind them a half hour later). I set it on the counter; the stylist knocks into it, and – then the delicate chime of glass meeting flesh. The glass breaks across my leg. Meanwhile, the salon doesn’t even offer a band-aid, while I’ve got blood dripping down to my ankle – at least hopefully the alcohol cleaned it out.
Finally finished with a much better hairstyle than I could have achieved, I jump in a cab (it costs almost $20 to go 3 miles) and bleed through two tissues on the way. This is the reason I didn’t take the subway – can you imagine sitting next to someone who is bleeding from a couple of places on their leg down to their shoes? Gross no matter how good their hair looks. The girl who can sneeze delicately would have such thick skin from all those years of tannorexia that she wouldn’t have had any problem with this. And been able to do her hair herself. Oh well.
After rushing into a dress and spackling on some make up – admittedly, not nearly as composed as I’d like to be – I decide to take the subway to the church. The trip should take exactly 10 minutes according to the MTA site, and I have 15 minutes to get there. The subway sits at the Brooklyn Bridge station for 16 minutes. During which, I bleed through a couple of band-aids, while in a dress, a lot of Spanx and some support wear. Each bandage replacement comes with sound effects – creak, snap – and there is a slight fear of the whole thing blowing like Mt Vesuvius. A mother pulls her children in closer to her, so they won’t be contaminated by whatever I’ve got going on or if there is an explosion. (A huge moment for my ego.) The rim of my nude LK Bennett knock-off (thank you Vince Camuto) is now pink, and I’m definitely late for the service.
Luckily, St Patrick’s Old Cathedral is relatively nearby, and I am not the only late person. An insider shows the way to sneak in, but, unfortunately, it is a direct pass in front of the altar. Not sure if the Bride is still irked because of the stripper joke, I don’t want to push my luck walking in with a celebratory high five. Collectively, the latecomers ooze gently into the nave through the narthex, missing the procession but in time to see the service (and the kiss!). During which, the Officiant calls the couple’s dog “Hamillton” while his real name is Franklin (though, he’s a really laid back dog and didn’t really care, he was rocking the its not about me vibe I should have assumed) and I continued to bleed down my leg. Now the fear is some church lady in black bombazine was going to take one look at my leg, mumble “Stigmata” and faint.
Luckily for the couple, the only miscue the public was aware was the dog’s name, and at least the Father had the right historical era. Following the service, and a ride in doubledecker bus,everyone danced the night away, with an extremely happy and glowingly beautiful couple. Which is all that matters.