A dear friend of mine got married the weekend before last. He and his fiancée decided to keep the ceremony family-only and have an "Affirmation of Vows" ceremony with friends the following week. When my friend told me about this, I was kind of pissed. I mean, I like a good wedding. Well fine, I don't give a shit about the actual wedding, but I like open bars and you know what usually has open bars? WEDDINGS. I also like putting on fancy dresses and heels while rapidly consuming the drinks provided at aforementioned open bars because there is nothing quite as stunning as a girl wobbling around in a cocktail dress and four inch heels with a vodka soda in one hand while trying to pull you onto the dance floor for the Conga line with the other. Also, for the record, I tend to give pretty good gifts in order to reward happy couples for making amazing life choices: like having a wedding with an open bar.
But anyway, this particular couple wanted their wedding "to create a lot of surface area" between their families (I'm not actually sure what that means, so I just pulled the quote directly from their website), so they decided to keep it small and instead celebrate with their friends the following Saturday via a "wedding parade" that would travel from their house, through Golden Gate park, to the beach and back. Yes, it is times like this when it is very, very, VERY clear that I live in San Francisco. But in case that's not SF enough for you... the parade also required/suggested/whatever... that's right, you guessed it: wearing a costume. AND SENSIBLE SHOES.
After I let this information sink in for three minutes, I had the following conversation with my friend.
Me: I'm not getting you a wedding present.
Groom: Why not?
Me: Because I'm not invited to your wedding.
Groom: But you're invited to the party...
Me: It's not a party. It's a PARADE. A parade that requires sensible shoes. And a costume.
Groom: Well... what are you going to dress up as for the parade?
Me: A divorce lawyer.
I don't actually own anything a divorce lawyer would wear (and also, I do like the woman he's marrying and I'm not just saying that in case she ever reads this), so instead of dressing up, I just skipped the parade altogether and showed up for the potluck; the parade was a "participatory ritual" according the website and, goddammit, I was going to wear four inch heels if it was the last thing I did on Saturday night and my heels were not feeling very participatory. I've learned the hard way never to argue with Jimmy or Manolo. They will always, always win.
Of course, I didn't just forego the parade... I also ignored the whole "potluck" part of the invite and, instead, just showed up with a bottle of wine that I hid in a corner so no one else would find it. I rationalized both of these moves by 1. Not touching a single bite of food and 2. Being an alcoholic.
After standing in the backyard awkwardly for a while - alone - gulping down my wine and trying to make forced conversation with people who seemingly had zero desire to talk to me, I grew desperate and tried to engage some people who were watching, what I can only assume was a child, run around the backyard throwing clods of dirt at guests.
"How old is he?" I asked.
"Sixteen months," the father replied.
"Oh. Wow. Yeah. I can never really figure out age when it comes to kids."
"That's almost a year and half," he said.
"Um. Yeah. I can DO MATH; I just can't tell how old kids are."
It's hard to make a speedy getaway in four inch heels, but I still managed to be home, on my couch, remote control in hand, wearing my favorite costume (see: pajamas), shoving egg rolls in my face and watching "Valentine's Day" on pay-per-view before the sun even set. After all, if someone insists on having a parade, it's best if you aren't the one who rains on it.
Also, to the happy couple: there's a half a bottle of decent wine hidden in your kitchen. Cheers!