June 19

Saturday, I had a bridal shower. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

I mean, c’mon. I’m 3,000 years old. Never been married, I’ve sat through more bridal showers than I care to count and I know what kind of torturous Hades they can be for guests, especially those who are single.

See, I was one of them for more than four long decades, three years, six months, 17 days and 12 hours. And I often found them to be about as pleasant as a four-hour pap smear. That’s because I could never relate to the bride-to-be, or even the ritual. In some ways, the whole experience just felt rude. But then again, that’s its design.

Think about it: The bridal shower is all about asking people to buy you a gift, sacrifice a Saturday (when they surely have to buy groceries, pick up shirts from the cleaners, or watch Lifetime Television) and endure two hours of opening presents–none of which are for them.

My guests had the added bonus of enjoying it all from the comfort of my best friend’s lavish backyard–heated to a humid 95 degrees.

So, with all this in mind, I tried to make my bridal shower as painless as possible for all who came. If I could have air-conditioned nature, I would have. I tried to throw in a few jokes and engage the audience while I fumbled with too much crumpled tissue paper, tape, and ribbon. I even toyed with the idea of picking a public fight with my mother just to keep things interesting.

But then I looked at my best friend, Lorrie, and my other two friends, Paula and Mindy, who worked so hard to make such a lovely day, and couldn’t do it. They had done too much to create a bridal shower that would have sent any Knot-loving 22-year-old to Clouds 9, 10 and 11.

So I’m just an ingrate.

Or maybe it’s that I can’t suspend decades of conditioning as a single woman. If I lost 30 pounds, I might be thin on the outside, but I’d still be a chubby woman on the inside. And just because I’m finally getting married, doesn’t mean I’m suddenly and naturally a “Mrs.” I suspect it’s going to take a while for me to let go of that single girl–the one sitting to the side at a bridal shower, faking a smile, and wondering why she was never lucky enough (or maybe deserving enough) to find love.

Until now, that is.

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I’m on Weight Watchers doing fairly well. I lost four pounds in 100 weeks. Not bad. Even though it’s like watching paint chip, but at least it’s chipping. Because I go for my first fitting in a few weeks and if Helga, the edgy seamstress at the bridal shop who I’m sure doesn’t like me, is not pleased with my progress, I’m afraid she’ll give me a round of amateur acupuncture I’ll never forget.

Getting married sure is something.

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