I made a terrible, terrible wedding planning mistake this week.
I got involved.
I offer this as a cautionary tale to any FOTBs who may be reading this. The first thing you need to know is that “FOTB” stands for “Father of the Bride.” The second thing you need to know is: don’t get involved.
As I think I’ve made clear in my previous wedding posts, very little about the wedding is for the men. Not us fathers, not even the groom. This is a female-fronted event, guys. We are, at best, betuxed supporting characters, standing around waiting for someone to tell us where to go, what to do, and whom to pay.
I don’t mean to sound bitter about this; I’m not. Many of the components of a wedding are just so silly (see: bathroom baskets), I wouldn’t want to be involved in planning them. For the most part, I’m happy to stand aside and watch my daughter Casey and wife Barbara take care of everything. This is, at times, like being in the audience at Wrestlemania.
I didn’t mean to get involved. I was just trying to be a wee bit useful by organizing everyone’s menu votes on one convenient chart. It wasn’t even the actual menu selection at stake here. We were simply compiling a list of the items we wanted the caterer to prepare for a tasting next month.
Barb and I had gone through the large and varied list of choices and picked our favorite five hot hors d’oeuvres, three cold hors d’oeuvres, one first course, two main courses, and six items for the “dessert parade,” in which miniature confections march across the tables until they are all consumed, tiny trombones and all.
I created a chart that listed our choices. Then Casey emailed us the selections she and her fiancé Alex had chosen and I entered those, leaving room for Alex’s parents’ selections, which we would get that evening. I figured we’d just take the items with the most votes. Simple, right?
Unfortunately, just as there is for every election in America, there were extensive lobbying efforts.
As I was entering Casey and Alex’s choices on my chart, Barbara, who was peering over my shoulder, started making comments like “Curry! Bleh!” and “Asparagus! Everything they picked has asparagus!”
I wasn’t sure why that was a problem for Barb since I’m the one who doesn’t like asparagus, but before I could even make the blunder of calling her attention to that (not to mention the fact that only two of Casey and Alex’s choices actually contained asparagus), she began berating me for doing what I was doing incorrectly, even though I hadn’t yet explained what I was doing.
Meanwhile, as soon as I emailed my chart to Casey, complete with “Xs” to indicate who had selected which dishes, my lovely daughter responded as follows:
“I know 100% we need the key lime tarts—it was one of the few things Alex gave a strong opinion on. We went more for the fruit based desserts since there will also be the cake. Thought the brownies would be redundant.”
Up until this point, I really didn’t know much about Alex’s political leanings, so it was a shock to learn he was so adamantly pro-lime. The only reason Barb and I didn’t vote for the key lime tarts was that we had chosen “assorted fruit tarts,” so we thought the key lime was at least as redundant as the brownies if not more so, and, besides, who knows–maybe key lime was one of the assorted fruits. Also, Barb, while looking over my shoulder, muttered something to the effect of “Too much fruit. Too much fruit.”
Okay, so it was evident that Casey and Alex were mostly interested in the parade participants and couldn’t really care less if we went with our fish choice (the Miso-glazed Nobu-style Cod) over theirs (the Potato and Horseradish-crusted Sea Bass), which was good, because the bass was the one that came with asparagus.
For their parts, Alex’s parents Fred and Laurie added a few hors d’oeuvres to the slate of candidates and wisely chose not to even take part in the dessert parade controversy. As far as they were concerned, anything could march, even if they were glazed (donut holes).
Interestingly, given that we like to think of ourselves as having sophisticated tastes (well, maybe not me), the one thing everyone agreed on was pigs in the blanket.
Plus, I have a confession to make: I added the brownies on my own. What can I say? I like brownies.
See you soon.
P.S. Speaking of hors d’oeuvres, when we took a tour of the aquarium where the wedding will be, we were charmed by the cute otters that would be present during the cocktail hour. However, based on photos published recently in the Huffington Post of an otter attacking and eating an alligator, we may have to tell our guests to be extra careful not to piss them off.