You can go ahead and just call me Miss Manners ‘cause the number of tips I gave out this holiday weekend rivaled that of Martha Stuart on a Very Special Oprah. Chances are, if you are any part of the customer service industry of the greater Chicagoland area - if you are the manicurist, the shampoo girl, the hairstylist, the make-up artist, the doorman, the baggage guy, the bartender, the flower lady, coat check, parking attendant – you got a piece of my wallet this weekend.
And now … now I am totally dehydrated, my feet are still swollen from wearing horrific high heels, my liver has shrunk three sizes smaller, I am worn down, weary, my body aches in unimaginable places, and I am flat broke.
But I couldn’t be happier.
That is to say my big sister’s wedding was a success. She was beautiful and lovely and all things she wanted to be.
Me? I was lovely and just fine until the weeping like a book club gathering to watch Beaches for the 20th time.
I know. I know. I was just as surprised as everyone else. I never cry. Never. My sister’s the crier in the family. It was a total sneak attack on my tear ducts and I am not happy about it.
There I was, totally happy my body didn’t melt like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark the moment I stepped into that church – I was waiting for my turn to walk down that big ass aisle then I looked back and I saw my big sister all peeking and smiling at me through those big ass church doors - the most fucking beautiful and happy smile I’d ever seen and she looked so damn happy… well, I lost it. I cried.
Ok, not only did I cry, but I was like, weeping.
She was totally calm and I was blubbering. It was like, a first time ever.
But that was my job as the maid of honor, now wasn’t it? Suck the anxiety out of my big sister, take it on myself and hope the $50 make-up job held up for the post event pictures.
I do not even want to see the video.
‘Cause there will be video. Lots of it. There were three - count ‘em, three cameras there to capture all the running mascara and snotty-hanky mess.
And that was just the church.
The speech I prepared for the reception? Well, let’s just say I made an effort to consume only a wee bit of alcohol before I had to give my speech, and I did well. Just a sip of champagne.
But I may as well have done a few keg stands in front of my Aunt Margie and the rest of the family for all the difference it made, because once it was time to speak, I got a bit weepy and by the time I got control of my tear ducts again – everything I had planned was lost.
I swear, my head is like and Etch-A-Sketch … you shake it and it’s all gone.
But never the less, afterwards, when mingling, everyone one was polite enough.
“ann-frank! What a wonderful speech dear! It was really… it was really from the heart.”
Which was the phrase I heard over and over that night – it was really from the heart.
Translation: At least your top didn’t fall down or anything.
But the reception was more fun than anything. My sister was wonderful, my new brother in law was great. They were nice enough to invite a handful of my best friends and they fed, boozed and put up with our asses the entire night.
So it was fun, having them there.
My only regret? My best friend’s birthday was the next day so after the reception my friends and I – about 8 of us headed up to my room to celebrate her birthday.
It was great, all of my best pals crowded into one tiny space laughing and screaching and sharing.
I was fabulous, I was fun I was so exhausted I fell asleep at 2am while everyone else was still up. I couldn't help it, I was really, really tired chasing that big ass wedding dresses train around all day and fluffing that veil.
But it was doubly uncool because snoozing early meant I didn’t even get to watch all the porn that was ordered up – as seen on my bill the next day.
That’s right, the name of the movies weren’t on the bill, but trust me - Dr. Dollittle 2 ain’t gonna cost you no $22.89.
Hey, considering I was too busy to even remember to get her a card for her birthday, the least I could do was get our pal Geoff on the remote and order up a little Hotel smut per my best friend’s birthday request.
I mean, considering I wasn’t prepared to let them raid the mini-bar and pay $5.25 for a bottle of Coors once the rest of the booze was all gone, it’s the least I could do, really.