Monday, August 23, 2010

47 days until the wedding!
Christina’s bridal shower was last Saturday, and for those of us in attendance, it was a lovely event.  The location was perfect, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, the food was delicious and Christina received some really nice gifts.  What a joy it was to see her in “bride” mode; so happily in love and excited to begin her new life with Charlie.

And now, with pleasantries aside…. on to my rant about the breakdown of polite civilization, common sense and courteous consideration.
Abbreviation usually included in invitations to request the invitee to let the host know if he or she would be attending. From the French term, 'Répondez si'l vous plaît’: please reply.

After sending out the shower invitations, it became quite clear to me that people no longer seem to know or care about the concept of the r.s.v.p.   Since I did not have the luxury of being able to spend an hour on the telephone, calling all of the people to whom I sent invitations, I had no idea of how many to expect at the shower.  Thankfully, we had far too much of everything, but it would have been embarrassing had it gone the other way and we were in short supply.
How little effort it would have taken to call and leave a message, or to drop me a brief e-mail stating their intentions!  This was a real wake-up call for me regarding the wedding invitations which are going out in a week… appears as though I am going to have to hound, pester and chase people down to send back their response cards so that we know how many to expect for dinner.
This does not sound like a happy afternoon activity to me….so much so that I am considering making the response cards into something akin to the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes enticement:  “You MAY have already won a fabulous prize!  Send in your response card to find out!”  And then to Photoshop images of luxury cars, mansions and diamond necklaces all over the envelope.

It might get the point across.

On a lighter note, Christina’s shower was a gathering of people who love her and are wishing her well.  We played some shower games, laughed and enjoyed the afternoon.

The last bridal shower I put on was back in 1989 for a friend from work. She had mentioned to me at some point that she had been to a shower where a male stripper had shown up, surprising and delighting the crowd of wanton females with his scandalous show.  I took this as a hint that she would be amenable to having the same sort of entertainment at her shower, so I went right to the yellow pages (no Google search back in those days) and began calling around for quotes on male strippers as though I was getting my three estimates for re-siding the house or a new exhaust system for the car.
The day of the shower arrived and the guests began showing up at the proper time.  We had a good turn-out, the bride was happy and all was proceeding beautifully.   There were a few surprise guests who did not think that they would be able to attend the shower, but made travel arrangements at the last minute and turned up without consulting or alerting me.  Specifically, the groom’s 87 year old great-grandmother, a spinster aunt from Des Moines and her older sister, the Catholic nun.

As we were all sitting around watching the bride open her gifts of blenders, toasters and bed linens, panic was beginning to grow in my mind as I envisioned the stripper gyrating and grinding his goods in the faces of frail little Great-Grandma and the quietly demure nun wearing a very large crucifix around her neck.  I considered sneaking off to phone the stripper company and cancelling the whole deal, but just as I pondered the ramifications of this option, he arrived 40 minutes early, dressed as a police officer and knocking forcefully on the front door.

A hush fell over the women in the room, and I went to the door with my heart pounding.  The stripper (dressed in a realistic-looking police uniform, complete with handcuffs and a gigantic flashlight which was later revealed to be a loudly vibrating sex toy) announced from the doorway in a booming voice that he needed to see Mary (the bride) immediately.  Since this was a surprise strip show, the only person in the room who knew what was happening was me.  I looked around at the stunned faces of Mary’s friends and relatives and immediately regretted this half-baked decision to provide filthy and salacious entertainment for her bridal shower.

The stripper/cop entered the living room.  I caught a glimpse of his badge which read:
“Officer P. Ness”.  Had the situation been more comfortable, I probably would have laughed out loud, but now was not the time for lighthearted mirth.  Mary sheepishly raised her hand to identify herself and “Officer P. Ness” said that there was the matter of 37 unpaid parking tickets he needed to address with her.  I saw the look on Mary’s face change as the realization of who this really was began to dawn on her.  Slowly, others in the room recognized that this was not a regulation police officer’s house call and nervous tittering, giggling and murmuring began to fill the room as the officer asked Mary to stand up so that he could put the handcuffs on her.

Precisely on cue, the stripper’s assistant entered through the front door with an enormous boom box and hit the “play” button.  Dance music began blasting in the living room, and the show began.  Mary sat, handcuffed and blushing as the stripper started removing his uniform and wiggling his various body parts in her face.  The spinster aunt was out of her chair, clapping and cheering.  The nun left the room and did not return until the mayhem had subsided.  Great-grandma remained seated, expressionless, and without comment, but obviously quite interested in what would happen next as each article of his clothing came off.

Many of the guests willingly dug into purses and wallets for dollar bills to stuff into the stripper’s g-string.  One woman hurriedly scribbled her name and phone number on a scrap of paper and folded it into a five dollar bill which he took from her hand with his butt cheeks.  The music thumped, most of the guests hooted, hollered and laughed, and the bride seemed to enjoy herself once she relaxed into it.
Eventually, the show ended and the stripper graciously thanked us all.  He asked me if he could use the bathroom to change clothes, and I showed him the way, assuming that he was going to put on street clothing and leave the house once I paid him for his services.  To my surprise, he emerged from the bathroom about five minutes later wearing a blue velour robe and black socks.  He went to the buffet table in the dining room, took a plate and began helping himself to sandwiches and carrot sticks as though this was perfectly acceptable behavior and part of every strip show in which he exposed his private man parts to a room full of strangers. 
I watched in confused dismay as he mingled with the guests, chatted up the ladies and found a comfortable seat for himself on the couch next to the spinster aunt who had many questions she wanted to ask about his chosen profession and marital status.

After about an hour, he excused himself to the bathroom once again, this time, emerging in his street clothes and shoes, much to my immense relief.  I wrote the check and put some cookies in a doggie bag at his request.  Then he bid a happy farewell to the shower guests and was gone.  

I learned later that strippers are not usually invited to bridal showers, but were the mainstays at bachelorette parties….the meat and potatoes (so to speak) of that event.  Thankfully, I did not feel compelled to hire one for my daughter’s bridal shower…..and I’m positive that she is relieved that I saved her the embarrassment!


  1. Oh my God that is hilarious! You should have done it, think of THAT story she would be telling herself for years! You just missed your last great opportunity to TOTALLY embarass your daughter! Seriously though, I am so glad it all went well! On the RSVP note, I find that to get a decent response you must indicate a "respond by date" always. Good luck, you are doing awesome and it will all turn out amazing! xoxo Jen

  2. LOL!! Your story is the funniest thing I've read in a really long time!!! I'm so happy for you and Christina that things are coming together and you have your humor in tacked!
    I agree with Jen about putting a "respond by date". Then you need to have a box of "Boobie Prizes" at the door for those you show up without responding! Hmmmm....what would be in THAT box? I can only imagine!!! LOL!! Have fun with that idea! =)
    Hugs, Therese =)

  3. Susette,

    I'm so glad you asked me if I'd seen this. Woowee, you are one of my favorite authors, sweetie! And I am SOOOO with you on the RSVP thing ... oh my, I finally have simply given up. I no longer throw RSVP-required parties. I just don't! I surrender! People are an endless sources of surprises, aren't they? But on to your hilarious account of 1989 ... that was priceless. Thank you! XO Kel

  4. Thank you all for following along with my blogging adventure!