LAURIE: I decided a long time ago, well before I even met Josh, that I would not be drafting anyone into service as a bridesmaid. I do not care to inflict the following unto my friends, as they have (thus far) spared it unto me:
The matchy-matchy dress thing. Although I have, in life, enjoyed good Scout uniforms, dance recital costumes, and chef coats, I don’t want my outfit dictated to me for an event at which the big activities are drinking, socializing, and dancing. Keep the weird hemlines, matronly busts and infantilizing details. And if it’s something that I’ll actually want to wear again, I probably can’t afford it in the first place.
The shower. A necessity back in the days when girls would move from their childhood homes to the new, unfurnished places they’d share with their husbands. As I’ve been on my own since college graduation and lived with Josh for three years, I think it’s in bad taste for me to have a party for my presents. I think it’s in even worse taste to make my friends plan and pay for this party. Now, don’t get me wrong: people want to buy gifts for a newlywed couple, and that’s lovely and generous. I will set up a registry online for that purpose. I don’t need to sit within a circle in my parents’ living room, wearing a paper plate on my head and sipping punch while I open gifts. I’ve done it before, only it was called “my birthday, 1975 – 1992.” It’s not cute anymore.
The arbitrary group that’s supposed to all get along. I find myself drawn to female friends with outsized personalities and oft-expressed opinions. I love each one of them dearly, but the idea of getting even two or three of them together for lunch gives me a rashy feeling. Throw in some group decision-making, various long-held prejudices from the undergrad days, interstate travel and the subject of money. Shake with booze and an assortment of competitive streaks. Watch as my head explodes.
The bachelorette party. Again, a good idea in a time when brides-to-be were ignorant virgins on the cusp on finally getting some. I’m not going to learn anything onstage at Lucky Cheng’s, except how obscenely much money a scary drag queen with a toxic attitude can extort from a group of hyperventilating ninnies who have just eaten the world’s worst food, washed down with watery cocktails.