Wedding Nightmares...

Headed to Harrahs 2nite after the hornets game. Going with Tex, who surprisingly given his name, is rooting for the Texas team. I'm hoping Chris Paul has a repeat performance of game 1 and if the MVP votes haven't been cast yet steals some more from Kobe. The feeling I'm getting is the MVP is already Kobe's.

Not much poker to discuss. Almost hit Harrahs on sunday night with Big Smooth but we were worried the crowds were going to be too thin. I'm definitely being a little conservative and nursing my bankroll for the Circuit Event in May. Keep having life expenses show up and eat into it. I finally got grass, so I had to buy a lawnmower. Next thing I know, the lawnmower purchase turned into flowers, mulch, potting soil, hand tools, and two car trip to Lowes. I'm learning not to do any shopping with the fiance because I always come back with more than I intended.

This weekend I endure a hellish experience. I was one of 200 people at a wedding expo. Talk about a rip off. I had to pay for a ticket, unless I was wearing a Kentucky Derby style hat, which I obviously wasn't, nor was Jess or her sister, so that's three tickets... so I can get pandered to. It's at a plantation on the North Shore. Everybody is basically in their sunday best, and I was one of probably three straight guys there, out of the five grooms that were roped into coming--you do the math. Also, I was in what could be called my just got out of bed best.

I hurried to the bar, to numb the multiple withering assaults I was getting from glares at my flip-flops, shorts and IP poker room hat, and from sales pitches done in shrill voices. You ever scan through the channels on TV and a hot model catches your attention for a second on one of those Home Shopping Networks or something, but as soon as the audio kicks in you have to turn it, well there was nowhere to hide on sunday, it was nonstop obnoxious women touting their spas, vacations, horse-drawn carriages, dresses, and womenly wares. I can now legitimately sympathize with migraine sufferers. Intense acute pain, dizziness, and a desire just to lie down and turn the volume of the world off.

I expected a free drink as I was basically paying to listen to people hock their wares, but no, try $6.00 a bloody mary. $18 later I catch up to Jess for the 20th time being told "Your wedding's when? You don't have this yet? Are you kidding? You better book it right now," and her dutifully taking the brochure. At one point, I was entertained by having a girl hit on me and trying to imagine what she could possible be thinking. She was working for one of the vendors and perhaps saw in my please-kill-me-demeanor a kindred spirit, she was also throwing vodka back while on duty and maybe saw my Bloody Mary glass as a jumping off point and foundation for another failed relationship. She quickly instigated repeated physical contact, asked me how much this sucked and did nothing to pitch her product. I felt like I was at Hooters and not obligated to tip for the teasing. She giggled and played with her hair and made funny looks with her eyes.

I think my entire interaction consisted of me tilting my head sideways like a confused dog, looking over at Jess and her sister like are you kidding me and back to this girls hopeless attempt to woo me. I felt like I was on a hidden camera TV show. Of course because I enjoy incredibly awkward situations I politely talked with girl trying to suss her out. I never figured out quite what she thought was going to transpire. 1. I'm there with my fiance. 2. I'm there with my fiance 3. I'm there with my fiance. Did I mention she was my fiance. Oh, and we were there planning our wedding which would appear to definitely be happening. How much more unavailable can you be?

Now factor in, the only guys who were there were those unfortunate enough to be roped in for moral support for their wives, or were closeted homosexuals who enjoyed that type of thing more than their wives to be, or were dumb like me and stumbled and dropped the ball when faced with the question what did I have to do on Sunday. Which of those guys did she had a shot with? Okay, maybe the stupid one but I'm not that dumb.

Now, this girl, aware of all this and not quite drunk from her Vodka drinking, pretty clearly was flirting if not outright making a play at me. She also pretty clearly saw my future wife three steps away. Not quite sure of her gambit. What exactly was she after by asking me where I like to go out. Huh? After humoring her for a little bit, and though still lacking the answers to several questions about her judgment I walked away. I mean I didn't want to give her the wrong idea.

This plantation was a grown man's haunted house. You had to avoid zombies--or dead women waling, carrying Champagne flutes wearing wedding gowns. Over the top hats and affected accents barraged me with every step. How many times can you take a feather to the eye, or a female fedora to the throat. At any and every moment, a fierce photographer would jump out of an alcove holding a picture book and a Hershey Kiss flower and talk about lighting.

Ah, but there was food. Unfortunately, the one thing we've booked is a venue and a caterer, so any time I stole a meatpie or sampled a piece of wedding cake on my empty stomach I had to listen to the vitures of their catering house. It was worse than the temptations for the kids at the Chocolate Factory walking around with Charlie. You want a meatpie, prepare to listen to an insipid lecture on presentation. How about you present it, and I eat it. I don't care how you prepare the salmon, just give me some of it and some of the dill sauce. Oops, just took a bingo wing to the chopper as I went in for a cookie near an a slowly exploding future mother in law from hell.

After, an apology from said mother in law, I get the spanish inquisition. No, not getting married on the north shore (immediate glare from caterer listening in). I'm getting married in New Orleans. Why am I here on the North Shore? Why am I at your booth? I'm here because I answered a trick question by dumbly saying, "I got nothing going on Sunday" and I'm at your booth because I'm f'ing hungry. Now give me some of those crab panees.

Meanwhile the fellow cattle that was being herded through this house of horrors attacked the appetizers like feral dogs, and I got nothing. Anytime a guy in a white jacket would walk out he'd be surrounded by the coven of future brides and all that would be left of him would be the empty serving tray clanking to the floor. The visuals were making my eyes bleed. I saw brides wearing necklaces saying future brides, I saw mothers of brides wearing mother of the bride shashes, and saw prices that were dubbed reasonable like 4k for a videographer. I could rent a televison crew for that much. Hell, I could buy time on a local channel like an infomercial at 3am for less than that. Oh, but look at your pretty fades on your iMac monitor. Wow, that's so 1989. Any other special effects, oh, it zeros in on the brides head like a star. There's the groom getting the same treatment, except for him it looks like a rifle scope. I prayed I'd find the free champagne.

Everything came with a pitch. In a former life, I worked a tradeshow booth or two so I sympathized, and tried to feign interest no matter how banal the item or the forced conversation, but invariably I'd be corraled by the most intractable of smoozers. I simply started to make up things, "Well, it's our third wedding... to each other, so we feel this time we should be over the top. I'm thinking a skydiving priest and we'd like to release flamingos--they don't fly? Well, we'll just let them run, I'm sure the noise of the interstate will force them toward the mall parking lot. They should be okay." Then deadpan when they'd laugh thinking I was joking. "What's so funny?"

Then I'd say, "You know what it'd be one thing if I loved her, but I can't see myself shelling out this kind of money for an arranged marriage--lost a bet with a nigerian prince I met on the internet." The next unlucky vendor would get, "Don't tell anybody this but I have no plans on actually being there, so I'm looking for her to spend as much money as possible and then on the wedding day having a plane flyover dragging a sky message saying she slept with my sister." And I think the best story that will be retold at a the next wedding planners networking convention,"It's the story as old as time itself, boy meets stripper, boy pays for abortion, boy marries strippers mother, you know how that goes."

To end the day, I had a photographer try and take a picture of me in a carriage with my fiance. Why in the world would I want to buy a picture of me at a wedding show on a carriage? That's like taking a snapshot by the Mazda being sold in the mall.

Oh well, enough whining. Go hornets. More poker to come.

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