Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tales from the First Table Beside the Dance Floor

We haven't had the opportunity to go to a lot of weddings lately - mostly because we are in that dry spell between all of our friends finishing getting hitched, and none of our kids old enough to say "I do".

So when the invite to K's wedding came mid summer, The Big Guy and I were thrilled. K & J were married last weekend - and it was a beautiful ceremony, followed by a fun reception. But as I took in the festivities, it occurred to me that there needs to be a handbook on how to be a Wedding Guest.

1. Thou Shall be in the Church well before the Bride.
While it's easy to lose track of time, the day of a wedding is not the day to do it. At my wedding, guests tried to wave at me in the car waiting outside the church - only to receive a snarky response from the bride. I mean, after all, I waited years to get to this moment, and NOW you want to have a chat?? Get you ass in a seat people - we have the whole night to catch up!!!

2. Thou Shalt Not give service Play by Play.
It doesn't matter what's going on, a pew is no place to give play by play of the service. "What is he wearing??" "They aren't bad singers." or commentary on the drama involving the groom's aunt the week before the wedding are not suitable topics. The respect the rest of the guests are offering by staying silent makes your commentary about as subtle as mortar fire. Save it for the car ride to the reception.

3. Speak No Evil.
If you are honored enough to be asked to participate in the wedding party, you have to obey the rules of the Wedding Party. The first rule is NEVER EMBARASS THE BRIDE. Awkward stories of the the bride's first intoxicated encounter with the groom aren't likely the best option - considering her beloved grandfather is sitting at the front table and having a difficult time chewing on the notion that his little "Kitten" sucks down beer bongs like nobody's business.

4. Know Your Limit, Drink Within It.
The point of a wedding is to celebrate the joining of two lives. This includes good food, good drink and good company. When Good Drink comes before the rest, you get a couple of interesting side shows. The newlyweds should be the talk of the night, not the drunk co-worker who blacked out on the way to the washroom.

5. Dance like Everyone is Watching.
Let's face it, we all like to cut a rug at a wedding. Even fun ditties like The Chicken Dance have a certain charm that get guests on the floor. While it's great fun to get lost in Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, one shouldn't forget that your are basically on a stage. This is not the time to bump and grind with your date. It is, however, a good time to spot check your ensemble. Slipping pants, creeping skirts and glimpses of Spanx have no place on a dance floor.

Just doin' my bit to ensure the Bride and Groom are the centre of attention!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miss Manners

There are few times when I am caught with my mouth agape.

This was one of those times.

Not only was she being rude and disrespectful, she was doing so in public.

I was raised that if you needed to have a moment with someone that was less than civil, you removed yourself from the public forum and relocated to a more private locale. This worked particularly well for me, because I don't like witnesses when I'm verbally murdering someone. Ask either of my sons, the cornerstone of my parenting has been, "If you embarrass me, I'll embarrass you!" Incredibly effective.

So here I was faced with a woman who had gone from pleasant and civil to hostile and abrasive, and not only did it happen in less than two minutes, but I had no idea what had transpired between us to ignite such a response. We were talking about (ironically enough) how to communicate with each other. I'm the manager of Second Born Son's hockey team. In this position I'm responsible for ensuring the parents are in the know about developments such as tournaments, game schedules, practices and changes to that schedule.

Out of 16 kids, this woman is the mother of the only child who lives in a household without internet. I agreed to do this job, provided I wouldn't have to be on the phone all night, every night, so my preferred method of communication is email. After a week of failing to locate this mother, (she's a door dropper - leave the kid and come back when he's done....or 20 minutes after that....whatever) I finally ran into her at the first exhibition game of the season. She was annoyed that other parents were "in the loop" and she wasn't. I pointed out that I have tried to reach her at practises, but not seen here. Then she drops the bomb that she actually does have email, but only checks it once a week (what the hell....?) I suggest that I give the child the printed off copies of emails (so she knows EXACTLY what everyone else does)if she would check his bag for them. Keep in mind, these are young children. If she's incapable of stopping in at the area, what makes me think her child will feel onus enough to give his mother the emails?

She snapped the information out of my hands (strike one) spun on her heel (strike two) and walked away while I was in mid convo (strike THREE).

The incident was obvious enough to the people around us that it was commented on. Fortunately, this woman has made enough of a reputation for herself with this type of behavior in the past, that I shouldn't have to worry about what others saw. This is de rigour for this Hockey Mom.

Since last week I've heard a number of anecdotes regarding her antics. I've also experienced a bizarre logic coming from another Hockey Mom who wears the badge of "Single Mom" like a crown. In every conversation had, her situation is the worst, as a Single Mom. I have to bite my tongue from pointing out that she has had the fortunate option of being able to live with her parents in relative security. While her day to day finances are none of my business, she made it my concern when we were discussing hotel accommodations for an upcoming tournament.

"I can't afford $120 a night," she said. "I'm on the internet now and I see rooms for $85 a night."

I try to point out in a delicate way that NO ONE will want to stay in the hotel she has selected with $85 rooms and that all hotels have upped the room rates due to the tournament.

"Well I just can't afford to spend $120. I'm a single mom you know."


I don't have the energy in me at this point to suggest that $89 with taxes and fees comes bloody close to $120. As I hang up the phone with her, I do chuckle with the memory of her trucking around the arena with her brand new Blackberry and sharing how she's in touch ALL THE TIME and can get my emails about hockey ALL THE TIME. And let's not start the discussion about the funding needed to finance a Blackberry plan.

Great, can you stand near Rude Momma, because apparently she doesn't have the energy to wander across her living room more than once a week to flip on her computer.

Lookin' forward to the season ahead, I must say!