Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Update by Jane-You-Ignorant-… (If you know the last word, you used to watch Jane Curtin on SNL and you are old enough to read today’s blog.)

Well, the weekend was a resounding success and a great time was had by all at both the wedding in Cleveland on Saturday and the 80th birthday/Father’s Day cookout in Newark on Sunday.

Vince and I managed to get everything done prior to our departure on Saturday. At least I think we did. If we missed something, well, we really didn’t notice – so it probably wasn’t critical. And nobody ended up going “commando” – so I was happy that my list-making worked. For the most part.

Well, okay, so I did forget to pack my super-duper hair smoothing serum that should last me at least a year and cost more than the gross national product of a small, underdeveloped nation and, thus, not something I was interested in replacing for an overnight visit. I figured my hair was just going to have to frizz out if that’s what it wanted to do.

And while I packed both my deodorant and Vince’s, I didn’t check to see if there were sufficient quantities in each to get us through two day’s worth of application. If I had, I would’ve noticed I was on the very last dregs of my Fresh Scent Secret (“Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman”). Thus, I had to use Vince’s Right Guard on Sunday and probably smelled studly all day, but at least it was better than being, um, “aromatic.” Fortunately, I didn’t notice anyone giving me a wide berth at the cookout on Sunday. And it was a hot and sweaty day so, believe me, that Right Guard was certainly put to the test.

When we got to the hotel on Saturday, I checked in and was told that, as a Rewards Club member I was entitled to a free breakfast in the morning. The thing is I have absolutely no recollection of signing up as a Rewards Club member. But who am I to question a free breakfast? So I took the card and beat a hasty retreat toward the elevators lest the girl at the reservation desk realize that I wasn’t really entitled to a free breakfast (with an overpriced retail value of $11.99) and had the chance to snatch it back out of my hands.

For a woman, getting ready for a wedding is a lengthier process than, say, getting ready to go to dinner at Applebee’s. It takes me a minimum of an hour. We won’t even discuss how long it takes an actual bride to get ready for her wedding, but the process begins right around the same time the engagement ring is placed on her finger.

Nevertheless, I was merely a guest at this wedding, so an hour was all I needed. Only I didn’t get an hour. I had about 40 minutes. For you uninitiated to the world of women’s “special event” preparation, those 20 critical minutes are the difference between showing up fully coiffed, dressed with all zippers zipped, buttons buttoned and hooks hooked and ready to party – and arriving with nervous perspiration on the upper lip and forehead, lipstick applied crookedly, hair only half curled and smeared eyeliner on at least one eye.

And this was an outdoor wedding under the hot, relentless sun. I was doomed from the beginning!

Fortunately, I managed to get over my snotty When-I-Say-I-Need-An-Hour-To-Get-Ready-I-Don’t-Mean-40-Minutes attitude, and was able to enjoy the wedding. I enjoyed it even more that we had an hour and a half gap between the wedding and the reception.

We spent a few of those precious moments chatting with good friends I’ve known since college along with their “80-And-Change” mother, Mrs. B. Once upon a time this group would have used that hour and a half to head to a bar somewhere to indulge in a little before-dinner libation, but our friends had their kids with them and needed to bring them to the babysitter’s before the reception. Well, the kids, plus the baby deer they had in the back of their SUV. Yes, I’m serious. A baby deer. I’m still shaking my head. Only these friends… (Bambi had apparently been abandoned and wasn’t old enough to fend for itself, so our animal-loving friends were taking care of it until they could find an alternate care solution.)

So Vince and I went off on our own in a quest to find a place where I could indulge in a soothing glass of red wine. And while it wasn’t a fine dining experience complete with white linen tablecloths and a full wine list (or any wine list, for that matter!), at least the one type of red wine they served had an alcohol content higher than, say, Diet Coke. So I was happy. Plus, I was able to remedy the crooked lipstick and smeared eyeliner situations. Really couldn’t do much with the frizzy, half-curled hair thing, but then that was my own fault since I forgot my semi-precious hair smoothing serum.

Nevertheless, by the time we showed up at the reception I was back in a good mood and ready to party. And party we did! We were seated with my old college buddies and we all had a wonderful time. The photos may show a group of middle-aged people laughing and dancing like, well, middle-aged people, but we didn’t really care. We figured as long as none of us fell down and broke a hip, it was all good. Plus, the mother-of-the-bride was dancing right along with us, so we had no worries.

We discussed the possibility of heading out to a local bar after the reception to keep the good times going, but none of us managed to work up enough energy. Thus, like a bunch of Cinderellas (or middle-aged weenies), our evening ended before midnight.

This was probably a good thing because Vince and I had to be up-and-at-‘em bright and early the next morning. For one thing, we wanted to get our free buffet breakfast before they found out we weren’t really entitled to it. So at the crack of dawn (or 9AM – same thing), we made our way to the dining room in the hotel and enjoyed our overpriced lukewarm sausage and eggs and relatively fresh fruit and blueberry muffins. No, I kid. For the price we paid, it was some good eatin’!

We met up with our friends to say good-bye (which, with this group, requires a minimum of one hour), and then we headed for points north and our Sunday event.

I have one word for Sunday: HOT. I spent the first 45 minutes in the kitchen arranging food in serving bowls and making sure plates, napkins and utensils were at the ready for the hungry hordes once the steak and ribs were ready. Most of the time, however, I was digging through boxes and bags looking for a particular item the Grill Masters needed only to discover (a) they’d already found said item out by the grill and had neglected to inform me, or (b) they’d changed their minds and didn’t need whatever it was I was searching for anymore. Grrr.

By the time I came outside to the patio where everyone was gathered, I was hot, sweaty and completely wilted. And hot, sweaty and completely wilted I remained for the duration of the day (thank heavens for Right Guard, even if it did make me smell studly!). But we had a festive afternoon with helium-filled balloons, gaily wrapped packages and a memory book that we’d prepared for the birthday boy. So we enjoyed watching him look through it. And we enjoyed the food, the company and the conversation.

We ended the day full, happy, and sweaty – but we couldn’t have asked for a better day. Well, perhaps if I’d been able to use Fresh Scent Secret instead of Vince’s Right Guard, I wouldn’t have sweated like a man all day. But really, otherwise, it was great. And I didn’t have smeary eyeliner or crooked lipstick. Life is good. And, as Vince says, “It’s the little things…”

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