Monday, April 23, 2012

Guest Post: The Inaugural One

I started thinking not too long ago about how many great storytellers I have around me. Seeing as I often go through times where I can't quite get the words out, I thought "Why not let someone else?" Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to the newest Gonna Girl feature: guest posts. Feel free to submit your own stories to

For the inaugural submission, enjoy this lengthy but hilarious piece by BF's sister. If you like the style of David Sedaris, read on. If you just like to laugh your ass off, read on with the fury of a category five hurricane.

Wedding Fun

We are to be at Duane’s mom’s house at 8 a.m. to make 14 GALLONS of salads for the reception. Jenny had bought several bags of cubed cheese, and then decided it was too big for the salads and told me to cut it. I ask if she wants it quartered. She gets a confused look on her face and said, “No, honey, I want you to cut it in half, and then half again, and then you will have four pieces the same size. Quarters are big and round like the cucumbers, there is NOTHING round about this cheese!” If a car is traveling 80 miles an hour… never mind.
'I am not telling you how to do your job, but I am.'
After spending all day Thursday making salads and food for the reception, we head to Salisbury at 8 a.m. We are supposed to check into the hotel at 9:30 a.m. and be at the church at 10, according to our “Ternary.” I assume she meant itinerary. By the way, you cannot make this shit up:

We arrive at the motel and Jenny has a 40-minute discussion with the poor hostess at the desk on what rooms we are supposed to be in. Jenny changes the arrangement four times and keeps saying, “I am not telling you how to do your job, but it is MY WEDDING and I require it THIS way.” When it was my turn to pay for my room, I have a choice of three that are available for our group. The hostess asks where I would like to stay and I reply, “In another county.” I am put in the room RIGHT beside the bride... damn!

We arrive at the church late after the drawn out check-in process. We begin to unload the fifty boxes of crap that will be used to turn the church into a “dreamy island oasis.” Jenny goes up to the altar and immediately gets into an altercation with the music director because he will not move the drum set off of the altar. Jenny stomps her foot and shrieks, “This is fucked up!” Right there on the altar in front of her future in-laws, Jenny’s true class shines. She proceeds to have one of MANY meltdowns. Relatives rush her out of the church and off of the premises. We continue to unload and try to decorate the church to her taste, or lack thereof.
She returns about an hour later more calm and collected. After taking her father’s credit card for some retail therapy, she is willing to accept the fact that the drums will not be moved. Since eating is not on the "ternary" and we are all scared to leave our designated places, we are all shaking with hunger (and some with fear). Finally, we are provided with pizza. After a 10 minute prayer, we each get a few pieces of pizza before heading off to the reception hall to turn it into an island oasis, too.
Going Off Like a Bottle Rocket
In October, Jenny and her husband chose to have their reception at the local VFW hall. They toured it several times and determined it was the best place. They negotiated an excellent price and my check to the organization was quickly cashed.

We arrive at the VFW hall, sweaty and tired from decorating the church. When we arrive, I am surprised how many tractor trailers are there. Jenny had arrived before us and I see her going off like a bottle rocket. She is running through the parking lot, shrieking and threatening to sue this SOB for everything from “defecation of character” – perhaps he did shit on her character – to “libel and slander.” It turns out that although the organization cashed my check, they forgot to hold the hall for her and rented it out to another organization that would be there through Saturday evening.

The bride is uncontrollably upset and the manager's offers to assist only seem to agitate her more. The whole crew pulls out cell phones and start a mad scramble to find another alternative while taking turns consoling the bride. At this time, I call work and offer ALL of my vacation for the year if they call and request that I come back NOW! I know if I start walking I could be there by the next morning. 
Duane manages to find a place for $600. It also requires a $600 deposit that is fully refundable if the hall is left clean. The bride is outraged at this amount and has a MAJOR meltdown because if she spends $1500 (her math, not mine), she will not have enough in her fund for the honeymoon. After almost 20 minutes of screeching and crying, her sister wisely offers her $600 if she will shut up and calm down. We all second that motion!
The bride remains inconsolable and it seems that no acceptable solution can be reached. She begins to shriek that SOMEONE is going to DIE for this, and I stand up and offer my services as the first sacrifice. Others in the party quickly volunteer for this option as well.
Praise God
One of the girls in the group is married to a Nazarene minister, and she calls the local Nazarene church. They have agreed that for a “love offering” of $100 we can use their hall tomorrow. The bride agrees and we all sing "Hallelujah!"
Apparently the entire town spells just like the bride. I cannot locate the church, and I am told again and again that it is on "Eisenhower Road," like the president. Turns out, it is on "ISENHAWER Road." At any rate, we locate the hall.
Most of the crew has to go to the rehearsal dinner. I am one of the few who does not have an official “job” at the wedding, so another girl and I are left to turn a gymnasium into a “dreamy island oasis.” I spend an hour assuring the pastor that I will leave everything as clean or cleaner than I found it, and I will put everything back just like I found it. I pull 27 tables and 158 chairs from every corner of the church and arrange them in some sort of functioning design. I arrange it to have a dance floor, a food line, seating for 158 guests, a cake table, and a gift table while being “island flowy.”
I Hate Girls
Just as I am finishing putting up the 158th chair, the brides’ friends from her hometown arrive with the wedding food. They decide that the entire layout was flawed and have me rearrange it, and that doesn’t look just right, so move it over here… Um, you know what? I liked it better the first way, or was it the second way?... The most ironic part was a 20 minute heated discussion on the parent table. Some of the girls were upset that it was not at the center. I am biting my tongue because I do not know these people and I am praying that if I am nice enough I might get to eat SOMETHING. It is now around 9:30 and the only thing I have had all day is two slices of greasy pizza.
At 10:00, Duane and the crew arrive from the rehearsal dinner. Duane tried to get a plate for me, but the caterers had already packed everything up and left by the time they walked down the aisle FOUR times! The bride hates everything, and we have to change the layout over and over. The “good” news is that there is cold pizza in the van, and I get to have two more pieces of cold, greasy pizza. I was told that the wedding food was off limits. I snuck a cookie and a piece of ham.
By 11:00 my bad knee is swollen to two or three times its size. There is a good chance I am facing knee surgery, and my knee has caused me issues for more than a month. I have an appointment right after the wedding. As I peel off my jeans that I fear may have to be cut to release my knee, I ask Duane to get me some ice. He goes to the ice machine on our floor and it is broken. He goes to the one on the lower level and it too is broken. He inquires at the front desk and is told that they have been broken for quite some time, but he can check the convenience store right across the street. He goes to the convenience store and they are out! They state that with the motel’s ice machine down, they cannot keep it in stock. He brings me a cold soda so that I can lay the bottle on my leg. I am too tired and in too much pain to even complain or have more than one glass of wine. I go to sleep to the sounds of the room next door, a fairly constant cycle of crying, shrieking and laughing…
Mine Mine Mine
According to our “Ternary” for the wedding day, we are to be at the sanctuary at 7:30 so we have plenty of time to get ready. Mind you, the wedding is at 1:00. I stop for a BIG bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit at the risk of the bride’s wrath of my lateness.
Additionally, I make the best decision I have made in weeks! Due to the knee pain, and the pain I knew was coming, I took two vicodin pills. They not only took the edge off the pain, but took the edge off of me.
When I walk into the sanctuary the bride is jumping up and down, shrieking at the top of her lungs that this is HER day and EVERYONE is going to do EVERYTHING SHE WANTS. Believe me, none of us have any doubts about that.
Mama Gopher
The bride selects three minions to be her “Gophers.” She selected a little gopher, a big gopher, and I had the “privilege” of being the MAMA Gopher. As a gopher, you have to get the bride everything she needs. This includes but is not limited to: ice, drinks, make-up, moving her luggage around from car to car as they decide what vehicle to take from the ceremony, putting her in her wedding dress, helping her pee in her wedding dress, and all other duties as assigned.      
As the Mama Gopher, I have the added bonus of babysitting the men who are getting ready on the other side of the sanctuary. My first duty is to block ALL of their doors with chairs and tables – the hell with fire codes – so that they can not see Jenny in her wedding gown. (Heaven knows she is not fearful of them HEARING her!) She also wants every window to the classrooms covered and some of the exterior windows covered. I cannot find any tape anywhere, so I enlist the help of her father-in-law to be.
In All Her Glory
The unfortunate father of the groom is sent on a tape hunt, while I coral the men to keep them on schedule. I hear a scream that does not belong to the bride and a red-faced father-in-law returns with tape in hand. Apparently he had opened a classroom where he knew there was tape, walked in on a bridesmaid getting dressed, and saw her “in all her glory.” As the Mama Gopher, it is now my immediate job to ensure that the men no longer leave a certain two room area.
Penis Envy
Another of my duties is to check on the men every 15 minutes to make sure that they are getting ready. We had to arrive at the church at 7:30 and pictures are at 11:00, so you can understand her concern that the men cannot put on their tuxes in 3½ hours. As I make my way to the blissful peace of the men’s side, I have my first true experience of penis envy: the men are playing ping pong and poker, having fun and laughing. Damn them! As I report back to the bridezilla, ping pong became “prayer” and poker became “spiritual discussions.”
Can’t Stand The Heat
The anointed hour FINALLY arrives. No, not the wedding hour, but the hour that the bride has to be locked up so no one would see her. I head over to the church across the parking lot for the wedding. I am immediately corralled by the pastor’s wife and locked in the kitchen. Apparently, there is some Southern Baptist law that the mothers cannot be seen by the wedding guests until they are walked down the aisle... lest they catch on fire? A few moments later, the other mothers and grandmothers are put on lockdown with me. Duane comes to check on us, but Jenny’s shrieks and screams from another room cause him to run back to keep her quiet.
Nothing better than sitting with the mother-in-law, the future mother-in-law, and the ex-wife in a kitchen that is about 150 degrees! The hour of stifling heat and even more heated conversation (you can only IMAGINE how disenchanted my mother-in-law was) gave me a glimpse into what hell would be like. Just as I questioned that phrase, MY mother came in to join us. Yep, hell…
Hot Stuff
Surprisingly, the actual ceremony goes off without a hitch. The best man ALMOST catches his jacket on fire with the unity candles that were “wisely” placed at a three foot height. (I swear the jacket was singed when we returned it!) And of course, there is a classy deep throat make out session when the couple is told that they can kiss.
After a million and half pictures, we venture to the reception hall. It is my job to give each guest a small bag of blue rose petals to shower the bride and groom. I open my bag and hold the petals for a few moments, and notice my fingers are turning blue like a Smurf’s. I look around and notice EVERYONE’S fingers are blue, as well as a few kids’ mouths. I lean into the bride’s sister and inquire where they got blue petals. I am told they had to make them. The bride purchased white petals and colored them with bingo dobbers. As my jaw drops, the bride and groom walk in.
The petals are thrown and I can FINALLY eat! I get into line and fill up my plate. I put my plate at the parent table and the Church Lady – the church was “kind” enough to leave someone from their congregation to babysit help us with any questions or issues – comes over and tells me that the petals are staining the floor. I grab a broom and some kids, and clean up the blue petals, their puddles, and the stains.
I return to the parent table to find a drink dumped over in my plate and Duane is nowhere to be found.
To Dance or Not to Dance
Just as I am dealing with the blue petals, Duane is pulled into the church office by the same Church Lady and told under NO circumstances will there be ANY dancing in HER church. Duane explains that the pastor authorized it and even suggested where to put the dance floor. The Church Lady will NOT be deterred. Duane suggests that the Church Lady contact the pastor and speak with him. The Church Lady states if there is dancing, the pastor WILL be fired and she will make sure of it. I think Jenny might have met her match here!
The pastor cannot be reached, so they go to a higher authority: his wife. It is agreed that they can do the bride and groom dance and the daddy/daughter dance. Duane breaks the news to Jenny while dancing with her. I wonder if anyone got a picture of that face...
After trying three times to eat SOMETHING, I finally give up. Every plate I make is spilled, taken away, or set down as I go put out another fire. I never once sit at the parent’s table that caused such a ruckus. I am shocked when it was time to cut the cake. The bride and groom have decided to be mean and rub the cake in each other’s faces. “Unfortunately,” Justin misjudges his wife’s weight or lack thereof, and while smearing her face with cake, ends up slamming her head into the wall with a resounding THUD. Once it is confirmed that she is ok (I swear, I think she has a concussion), a deafening cheer goes up in the room.
As if the day has not been stressful or tiring enough, we have to add awkward. Before all of the guests leave, but as the party was winding down, Duane’s ex-wife, Arleen, grabs my arm and drags me into a closet. Now, Arleen is a close talker – I have made out with people before and not been as close as she is when she talks. Here I am locked in closet with the ex, scared to death that she is going to make a move. Surely you go to hell for making out with another girl in the Nazarene Sanctuary hall...

While she is speaking to me, her lips are LITERALLY brushing my face. It turns out that she wants my opinion on tipping the girls who worked in the kitchen. I mumble a “sure” and run out of the closet, feeling the stares of the guests and the Church Lady. I smile at her and wipe my lips off! She left shortly thereafter. I can only imagine that her prayer list is longer than a floor-dragging skirt.
Silkwood Shower
The party has ended, the guests are gone, and more importantly, the bride is gone and it's time to clean up. Duane is dragged to the church by the in-laws to clean up their sanctuary, and I am left to clean up the reception hall. With help from many of the kids, I clean 158 chairs (only 60 guests showed) and 27 tables. I put everything back just like I found it.
I head to the ladies room to make sure it is clean. I am displeased with the condition and I work to leave it cleaner than I found it. I move on to the men's room and someone has taken a poop in the urinal! I am beyond appalled. I go into the supply room and don a garbage bag over my clothing and gloves. With the urinal clean, I go into the stall and finally understand why someone pooped in the urinal. Apparently, after a child pooped in the stall, he must have “wiped” with his hands because I could see EVERYTHING he touched: the toilet handle, the stall, the entrance door handle. Notably, he did NOT touch the sink or soap, and now I am glad that I missed out on the buffet. I finish cleaning the bathroom, praying for a silkwood shower.
At this point, Duane returns from the church with our vehicle that has two glasses of wine left in a bottle. I pour it into a coffee cup with a lid and go back into the church kitchen to finish my cleaning. One of the family sees me and states that “God will smite you!” She stops and laughs and says, “Oh wait, he already did!” I take my communion into the closet where I don’t have to share it.
Hallelujah, Praise God, it is DONE. Everything is cleaned up, closed up and we are going home! It is 6:00 and we are only an hour away. The caravan starts, and we end up in the back since we are hauling a trailer with all of this wedding crap. The rest of the crew gets about two miles ahead of us and then there is a nasty accident. The rest of the caravan made it safely past, but Duane and I sit in park for a full hour and 20 minutes while the accident is cleaned up. As I sit there dying for a shower, a meal, and a bottle of wine, I threaten Duane’s manhood if he has any more girls.


  1. Dear god. I am SO glad we decided to just go to City Hall for ours. My first wedding was involved, but nothing like this. I think I'd have snapped and mown down guests with a mini-gun.

  2. HAHAH I lol'd SO HARD at "ternary" and the flower petals colored with bingo dobbers.