Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Best of First Class to Hell: "Wedding "Whoas"

When I got married at the ripe old age of 24, I invited Parker to be one of my bridesmaids. We had been friends since High School, but over the last several years had lost touch. She was living in Texas and I in Arizona. I hadn't seen in her in 4 years, and her last visit had ended with her vomiting approximately 6 gallons of chunky rigatoni into my bathtub, which my dad had discovered the next morning. When confronted with the rigatoni barf, a hungover Parker tried to blame it on my dog.

A few days before my wedding, my mom picked up Parker at the airport. On the way home, they stopped at a Cantina for a few drinks. Four margaritas (each) later, Parker ended up confessing to losing her virginity her senior year in High School on our living room floor (amongst the dog hair and dander) right outside my parents' bedroom while they slept. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to see my drunk mother and even drunker friend arrive home and equally as ecstatic to hear that Parker had discussed all of our High School indiscretions with my mom over margaritas and a cheese crisp. Parker however had changed. Gone were the long thick caramel brown wavy locks. Her hair was now a deep chestnut brown, straightened with bangs. I couldn't pin it down, but with her new hairstyle she resembled someone famous and it was driving me crazy.

The next day was the rehearsal dinner. For most brides this is an exciting and carefree time. My situation was slightly different. Months before (on the day Tom and I got engaged to be exact) my parents decided that they would divorce after 30 years of marriage. This was not one of those Bruce and Demi "let's-still-be-friends" divorces either. It was bitter and ugly. Accusations of murder plots, hiding money and who would get the house were being thrown back and forth. Obviously the thought of having both my parents in the same room was uncomfortable to put it mildly. I went to great pains to make sure that they would be seated at tables across the ballroom and facing in opposite directions during the wedding reception. The photographer was specifically told ahead of time NOT to request a group picture from my side of the family. The genius-photographer forgot, resulting in a family photo that looks like we are all getting ready to head to the gas chamber.

The Rehearsal Dinner was "tense" (a fucking nightmare) to say the least. There were no assigned seats and my mom proclaimed (loudly) that she would not be treated like a "Second Class Citizen" after I sat at an open table next to the buffet with my dad. Not wanting to cause a scene, Dad stormed out while I sat there, silent tears rolling down my face. Meanwhile, Tom's 400 relatives made their way through the buffet line looking at me with pitying glances as they loaded their plates with chicken and mango chutney. 

The night of the wedding was even more action packed with family drama. My dad removed his mirrored ray bans only long enough to walk me down the aisle, where (in order to avoid sitting next to mom) he then made a military-style right hand turn, marched to the back of the church and watched the ceremony, standing with his arms crossed. 

The reception was going swimmingly until Dad was served with a subpoena during dinner. Nothing says "classy wedding" like having the father of the bride served with papers during a country club reception in front of 175 guests. Not to mention, it doesn't exactly instill confidence in the institution of marriage when your dad gets an ugly divorce subpoena during the salad course at your reception. Dad also later pulled Tom aside and told him that he'd kill him if he ever hurt me. Thanks dad.

Despite the drama, I was determined to have a good time. I ordered a stiff Tanqueray and tonic and tried to be positive. The subpoena disaster was finally behind us, when Parker abruptly took it upon herself to grab the D.J.'s microphone and make a "Toast to the Bride." I don't remember much of the toast, but it involved her saying a high-pitched "Whoa" approximately 23 times. No, this wasn't the stoner "whoa" like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Parker was doing her best rendition of the "Whoa" that had been made famous by Joey Lawrence's annoying character on the 90"s sitcom "Blossom." This reference basically made sense to only about 4 people in the audience considering about half the guests were over 50 and the other half were clearly much too cool to have ever seen an episode of "Blossom".

Parker's attempt to ease the tension by saying "Whoa" 400 times wasn't exactly successful. No worries, she would throw out some more of that crazy dry humor but fondling the videographer's boom microphone and proclaim (loudly and on camera), "Is this a microphone or my Dildo?" I know this only because I watched the "uncut version" of my wedding video a few days later along with my in-laws and new husband. Oh the horror! 

The wedding night eventually ended. All in all I'd say it was memorable for all. The next day Parker hitched a ride to the airport as Tom and I eagerly opened our wedding loot. A few weeks later we got our wedding pictures. As I perused through the photos it finally clicked whom Parker and her new glorious hairstyle resembled. Although much more attractive, younger and without the facial hair, Parker was a dead ringer for Derek Smalls, guitarist for Spinal Tap. After the Joey Lawrence "Whoa" speech and on-camera "Dildo" comment, I felt no guilt when I called her to tell her the good news about her celebrity twin.

Note: Parker later told me that she had taken a picture of model Helena Christensen to  her hairdresser Rene and the above  cut was the result. Parker went back several days later to tell Rene that her hair was, "Really fu*ked up" only to discover that Rene wasn't there -but had actually killed herself by leaving her  car running in the garage. A horrible story and desperately sad, but one can't help  but wonder if before she met her maker, Rene didn't take out one last act of aggression...on Parker's hair. 

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