Last week I went to the wedding of a friend of mine. He's a dentist. He married a dentist. So a prerequisite to going to this wedding was having good teeth. The wedding was black tie and, rather than throw away money on a rental tuxedo, I finally resigned myself to purchasing one and having it for any future formal occassions I may have. And I must say, it's a damn nice tux.
My invitation also included my name "and Guest." so rather find someone in whom I had romantic interest who would actually be willing to be seen in public with me, I called my friend, A____, who indicated that she was not invited, but who was friends with everyone there. So, I invited her as my date, she accepted and we were ready for a fabulous formal evening on the town.
Because the wedding was on the other side of the state, I was staying at my parents house. A____ showed up at around 5:15 or so, and we spent time talking to my parents. In case you're wondering, my parents are totally friend-compatible, so that presented no issues. However, the wedding, which was scheduled at 6:45, was quickly approaching. Nevertheless, A___ and I did not want to be the first people at the wedding, so we decided to burn some time by watching our alma mater kick the crap out of whoever they were playing that week.
When we got to the hotel, we couldn't find anyone we knew. We approached the room we were supposed to enter and the doors were closed. A___ and I looked to the right, and there was the bride, getting ready to walk down the aisle. Apparently, A____ and I misjudged the time it would take for us to get there. And our fashionably late, became a horribly unfashionably tacky interruption.
Nevertheless, we persisted to open the door, and everyone in the audience looked at us as we realized that the door was not oriented so we could enter the back of the room, but rather at the side of the room. I looked at A___ and A___ looked at me and the only thing I could think to say was, "Go ahead."
So A____ walked in (looking fabulous in her fire engine red dress), and made a b-line for the back; I followed immediately behind her (Who would blame me for following a hot blonde in a red dress?). We looked around for a few seconds and realized something. Something petrifying. Sometime that you never want to realize when you are late to a wedding. No seats.
Yes, apparently there were only the exact number of seats that there were guests and, because A____ and I showed up late, the two seats that we were supposed to sit in were now hidden amongst the morass of people watching the front of the room (with the exception of those who were looking at us in the back of the room). As the panic of standing uncomfortably in the back of the room set in, I looked for someone, anyone, to help us. I turned my head to the left and saw two familiar faces. My friend, M____, and her husband, S_____, were gesturing to A____ and I and wording quietly, "Stay there! Don't move!"
Taking M____ and S___'s suggestion, A___ and I froze like deer in headlights, doing our best to blend into the drapes. Although A____'s red dress looked fabulous on her, it made our efforts to make ourselves inconspicuous a bit of a challenge. Basically, it was like trying to hide Shaquille O'Neal at a dwarf convention, or trying to hide Courtney Love....well....anywhere.
Then everyone stood. The bride came out and walked down the aisle, I was thanking all that was holy that when everyone looked at the back, it wasn't just us standing. After the bride made her way to the chupa, everyone sat down and A___ and I reengaged in the drape-hiding activity that was previously so unsuccessful.
After the bride walked down the aisle, the wedding planner/hotel manager/quasi-authority figure approached A____ and I and whispered, "If you walk to the front there are seats up there." Okay, let me get this straight. You just saw us make the embarassing walk-of-shame in to the ceremony within thirty seconds of the bride walking down the aisle. We're standing in the back pretending we are badly designed window dressings and you want us to walk to the front of the wedding, looking for seats? Hmm, let me think about that...yeah, no fucking way.
"Can you get us something back here?," I whispered hoping this woman would take pity on us and retrieve us chairs, but it didn't matter. Wedding planner/hotel manager/quasi-authority figure had walked away. Apparently she was more interested in telling us what to do than actually helping us avoid the obviously embarassing situation. I turned to A___ and said, "I don't know about you, but I'm thinking we stay back here and call as little attention to ourselves as possible. I'm not walking to the front." A____ seemed to be working out of the same playbook: "Damn right."
So A___ and I stood in the back, with unobstructed views of the lovely ceremony, watching two of our friends tie the knot under a chupah brought together by teeth. We saw our friend looking quite dapper and his new bride looking as lovely as could be. We listened intently to their two rabbis as they spoke throughout the ceremony. And when it was done, we blended in with the crowd as they left.
All in all, it wasn't too bad. But I couldn't help but feel bad for A___. After all, I wasn't wearing heels.
Of course, if I was I'm sure we would have attracted a lot more attention.
*As an inside joke for A___, the alternative title to this story was, Hangin' with the Shiksa in the Red Dress. However, in the interest of keeping the appeal of the post broader (i.e. for the two other people that read what I write), the more universal title appears above.