Monday, September 23, 2013

Get. Ready.

In the past few weeks, ALL OF THIS HAS HAPPENED:


This is what we call "a teaser" in "the biz."
THE SHOW (performing 6 times weekly, on top of regular day-jobby-stuff... hence, not a lot of posting here)!




I promise a post on each event, that will be either hilarious or heartfelt (or, if nothing else, have some fun photos). As soon as I catch up with the other things I've been letting slide due to The Show, such as





... Yeah, catching up on writing here sounds like a better option than most of those other ones...

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm Not Ready

I'm not ready.

I've felt that way about everything lately. The production I'm in opened Tuesday night, and as I drove to the theater I thought, I'm not ready.

But the show opened anyway.

Tonight begins the holiday of Yom Kippur, a twenty-four hour of fasting and atonement, which usually I prepare for with some reflection and apologies and exercise, but I haven't been able to do so, and thus I feel like I'm not ready.

But the holiday will come at sunset anyway.

I'm not wearing my ring for this two-week stretch of the show, since it felt more secure to put it in a safe for two weeks than risk losing it backstage, and my bare finger seems strange and already feels like an expired version of me... but a version I know, and understand. It makes me wonder, suddenly and more intensely than I did a month or two ago, am I ready to get married? Even as a firmly-established adult woman in her 30s, even as a partner of already-a-half-dozen-years, even so, I have this feeling that I'm not ready...

...but I'll probably get married anyway.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

10 Of The WORST Brides The World Has Ever Seen

Let’s be honest: the only thing people love more than a bride… is hating on brides. “Bridezilla” is a term coined relatively recently (and universally loathed by everyone except truly, truly crazy people whose primary goal in life is to be featured in a TLC show), but there is a long, not-proud history of the terrible bride. I couldn't find any neatly compiled list of them, though. But I knew there were enough out there for a good round-up: From Biblical Bridezillas to Current Event Crazies, the tradition of some individuals losing their proverbial poo as they head toward marriage is pretty startling.

And so, I decided to compile this list. May it serve as a reminder to us all that it’s just not ever okay for anyone to become a meanie or a maniac over this milestone. Also, that if you're starting to feel stressed... don't worry. You'll be okay. AS LONG AS YOU DON'T TAKE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE AS YOUR ROLE MODELS.

Now! Presenting ten of the worst brides that the world has ever seen:

10. Batsheva (or Bathsheba, or Bathing Baiting Bride), The Biblical Bridezilla.

"Is he looking? Hand me the loofah, let's make it interesting!"
Even in the Bible, we see stories of meanie brides, like Batsheva. She was married to Uriah, but he went off to serve in the king's army, and bored Batsheva decided to put on a naked show for the king, bathing on her rooftop in plain view of the castle. King David was all, "I must have her!" So she was brought to him, and he got her pregnant. Oopsie-baby! 

The king pulled some strings and had Uriah sent to the front line, where he was killed. So then Batsheva was a bride again, this time to the king himself, who probably laid down some strict rules about where she was allowed to take all future baths. 

9. Cleopatra: Pain-in-the-Asp Bride.
Let's not talk about Liz's husbands, either.
This power-hungry Egyptian married one of her younger brothers to keep it in the family ("it" being the power, of course). This little brother's name was Ptolemy XIII. He died, so she married another one of her little brothers, conveniently named Ptolemy XIV. (They really, really liked keeping things in the family.)

That little brother/husband died, too, so she broke the "different kind of sister-wife" mold and married Mark Anthony of Rome, while also having a thing with Caesar. You kind of have to give her props for wielding so much power in that era. But as a bride, given her short temper and demanding demeanor, my guess is she was a tad bit high-maintenance.

Also, totally a Black Widow Bride. Husband #3 Mark Anthony died, too, at which point Cleopatra said "eff this," and let an asp bite her to death.

8. Elizabeth Bathory, A FREAKING VAMPIRE.
As bad brides go, Elizabeth Bathory, a famous vampire later known as the Blood Countess, is pretty hard to beat. Despite being highly educated for her time and of royal birth, no one really wanted to marry her because she was prone to seizures that were accompanied by fits of rage and total loss of control, possibly caused by inbreeding-related epilepsy. Hot!

The stress of a wedding probably didn't help with the fits of crazy. She was betrothed by age 11 to a Duke, but then got knocked up by a peasant while awaiting her wedding day. She gave up the baby, married the Duke, and by all accounts settled down some, post-wedding, for awhile. She was an "excellent mother" and good wife to her husband, though she cheated on him when he wasn't around.

And then after he died she started hiring and killing servant girls and bathing in their blood, hence "Blood Countess." So, yeah - technically makes her an even more terrible widow than she was a terrible bride, but I was willing to make the stretch because including a vampire in this list makes it sexier, right?

7. The Stinky Brides of the 1500s.
Originally called a "B.O.-quet"
Okay, so this isn't a singular "bad bride." But in attempting to research bad brides in history, I came across this fun fact: Traditionally, people married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and thus brides believed they still smelled pretty good come June. Just in case, they carried flowers to mask any ripe odor. Because ya gotta keep it classy, see?

Ah, the glorious origin of wedding bouquets! Stinky brides of the 16th century, florists everywhere thank you for your contribution to the modern wedding! 

6. Also, While We're On Groups Instead of Individuals: Renaissance Brides.
Mostly because they still inspire elaborate Renaissance Festival Weddings today. May not be their fault. But let's blame them. Oh, and no offense to folks who want to have an elaborate Renaissance Festival Wedding, and I hope it goes well. But we're emphasizing more egalitarianism today, right? Right?

(P.S. My prejudice against Renaissance Festival Weddings may well stem from the fact that I spent a summer working in a petting zoo at a Renaissance Festival, and it was one of the worst gigs ever. If I heard "Huzzah! There's a wench in the petting zoo, let's pet HER!" one more time...)

Ahem. I digress. Back to cataloging terrible brides throughout history.

5. Marie Antoinette: All Cake & No Consummation.
"Let them eat wedding cake."
You kinda have to feel bad for Marie Antoinette: Bad rap post-wedding, and hefty family crap leading up to her wedding. (I.e. Siblings dying of smallpox, leaving her next in line to be married at age 12; bad teeth requiring 3 months of excruciating 18th century dental torture before she was deemed to have a straight enough smile to rule, and then at her wedding, her brother stood in as the groom since the cousin she was actually marrying couldn't be there - for real, y'all). But she was also famously shallow, high-maintenance and dismissive of the lower classes, and she didn't consummate on her wedding night, which led her and her cousin-husband to be a source of ridicule for years, because reality TV didn't exist yet. 

Actually, come to think of it, did historians maybe mix up Marie Antoinette's story with a more recent story of some backwoods meth cooking girl who may have appeared as an extra in Winter's Bone? Either way: not a nice bride.

4. One More Creepy Macabre Bride: Serial Killer Belle Gunness.
"So tired of posing for wedding pictures.
Can't I kill the groom already?" - Belle G.
Why does this serial killer make the Bad Bride list? Because in addition to being generally bad (um, Belle Gunness was a horrific serial killer, folks), she mostly selected her victims through dating and marriage. The six-foot-tall Norwegian immigrant was thought to be responsible for more than 40 murders, primarily of her husbands, boyfriends, and suitors. And also her own children. Making her a bad bride, bad girlfriend, bad wife, bad mother, and worst blind date ever. She cashed in on tons of insurance policies and was never apprehended.

Belle G. was born in 1859, so she's probably dead now, but if you get set up on a blind date with a towering, filthy-rich old Norwegian lady, RUN.

Moving into the Modern Era for the Final Three...
(Which can also focus more on wedding/bridal behavior, since we live in an overly-documented era now)

3. Anyone Who Has Ever Appeared On The Show Bridezillas.
Enough said.

(Note to anyone who appeared on the show: you signed away your right to be offended by a remark like this when you signed the dotted line agreeing to star in the show whose very title indicates they're not hiding their intended portrayal of you, like, at all.)

(At. All.)

2. Laura, The Gift-Basket Get-A-GRIP-Bride.
I believe that marriage should not be reserved for straight people alone. We also all know that tacky is not reserved for straight people alone, as this next Terrible Bride will illustrate. This story went viral last year: two brides tied the knot, and one guest and his girlfriend strayed from the registry list/just-give-cash option, and sent a large gift basket… which kicked off a large and ultimately public fight. This is because one of the brides, a lass called Laura, LOST HER DAMN MIND about it (and her new wife seemed to agree with her - or at least, didn't say "Hey, babe? You've crossed into crazy town, DO NOT SEND THAT EMAIL!").
In this case, twice the bride =
twice the tacky. C'mon, ladies!

Here’s one excerpt from the long exchange, wherein Laura chastises the guest for giving her and her wife a gift basket and schools him on why it was so, so wrong [all sic follows]:

“Weddings are to make money for your future.. Not to pay for peoples meals. Do more research. People haven't gave gifts since like 50 years ago! You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue. To be exact the plates were $97 a person... But thanks again for the $30 gift basket my wife can't even eat. If anything you should be embarrassed for being so cheap and embarrassing yourself walking in with a gift basket probably re gifted cheap ass. Again.. Out of 210 people, you were the talk and laugh of the whole wedding!!!!”

Um, girl. Maybe if the other 209 of your friends are as nuts as you, the gift basket guest was “the talk and laugh of the whole wedding”… but probably, you were. (Also, ‘weddings are to make money for your future’? Really? And to me, the most bizarre thing here is the fact that this guest ATE A BEAUTIFUL VENUE – did no one else notice that?!)

1. “Mike’s Wife,” AKA The Bride Who Makes Laura Look Less Terrible
This story broke shortly after the one above, and in my personal opinion, it’s even worse: the anonymous bride who wrote Tanya regarding the insufficiency of Tanya’s gift. Here’s Tanya’s note, along with the charming message she received from this terrible bride (she reveals the groom’s name to be Mike, hence, calling her “Mike’s Wife” – YOU SIGNED ON FOR THIS, MIKEY):
(Text/image as shared in articles on Huffington Post - and, like, lots of others)

I was just speechless when I saw this story. I was appalled at the assumptions, the attitude, the flat-out-condescending crassness of it all. I was forced to wonder if shockingly poor grammar and shockingly-rude-bridal-syndrome must always go hand in hand. But mostly? I just feel really, really bad for Mike. Unless he’s a Terrible Groom, of course, and both of these charmers got what they deserve in one another. Seriously: ugh.

So there you have it. Ten terrible brides who serve as an example for any of us planning a wedding: if you're anything like any of them, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. And, if rather than going off the deep end and being mean to guests or your future husband/wife/partner, you're focusing on the joy and commitment and community of this whole fiasco, you're probably doing it right, so cut yourself some slack.

In closing, I suggest we all follow these three simple rules: Be reasonable, be kind, and don’t kill anyone.

(Side note - I think I need to write a monologue show about these ladies... yay, random self-assigned research ultimately double-counting for this post and then maybe an after-the-wedding recovery project!)