Saturday evening around 7 o'clock we got in the car, dressed as if we were going to a wedding to which we were actually invited. by the bride and groom. but we were not. en route, Michael told me that the manager and lead keyboardist of the Bad Hair band had told him—after encouraging him to swing by the wedding of Rich and Fabulous on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at Fancy Pants Country Club in Southeastern PA, because it was going to be a big crowd and we'd blend in—"if anyone asks why you're there, just tell them you're checking out the venue."
i thought that was a little shady. why would we be checking out a venue at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night? (that's what time we got there because we got lost—but in our defense, the cocktail hour started at 9 and the band wasn't even going to start until 10.) anyway, i found that unappealing in a band leader—inviting strangers to a client's wedding, and then not being willing to cop to it—but that was beside the point at the time. we really just needed to hear this band live, once and for all. Ms. Slim Shady Band Leader had been calling Michael daily and i was beginning to suspect a little obsession on her part. we needed to make a decision soon, before she started boiling bunnies.
so we get to the Fancy Pants Country Club and are relieved that valet service was no longer available. we intended to stay for as brief a time as possible and having a valet fetch the car 10 minutes after he parked it would surely arouse suspicions.
i strode across the parking lot, feeling un-worried about who might stop me or ask me questions—mostly because i had to pee and nothing was getting in the way of me going to the bathroom. i pushed through the front door of the club and thankfully the loo was right there by the entrance.
there were a few ladies in there and i suddenly felt conspicuous with my heavy winter coat, while they were simply in their fancy wedding attire. but, my bladder took precedence over elderly wedding guests. and when i came out, they were gone anyway. awkward moment averted.
we'd arrived at the worst time—the toasts and speeches were being given. cocktail hour was very much over, but dancing had not yet begun. we obviously did not have seats at a table waiting for us, so we were forced to mill around in the lobby, trying to look casual, like we meant to be there, like we abhor the whole idea of excessive toasts and speeches at a wedding reception and were thusly boycotting.
i tried to find a place to stash my coat, but the coat check attendant was MIA, and Michael told me if i hung it up myself (which i started to do) someone would catch me and accuse me of stealing. he was probably right, but i was left holding my coat in a ball, which definitely added to the awkwardness. he offered to take it back to the car and i said, "thanks! i'll be hiding in the bathroom!"
while the toasts and speeches lagged on, i poked through the courtesy basket in the ladies room (nothing good—mostly mint Lifesavers), fluffed up my hair in the mirror and ventured back out to the lobby. right on cue, Michael came back in through the door and we inched our way into the ballroom. there was a bar area set up in the back of the room and naturally people were hovering there, so we took a spot by a tall cocktail table and tried to look normal. i was so ready for a glass of wine at that point and seriously contemplated getting in line for the bar, but my wariness of bad karma helped me overcome the urge. who knows, i might not give a frig on my wedding day if strangers are trying to get a free drink at my reception, but better to err on the side of caution...
anyway, the band had finally started playing and they were good—the music sounded the way i'm sure the bride and groom wanted it to sound. it just wasn't our sound. it was clear the entire wedding we were crashing wasn't the kind of wedding we're envisioning. we stayed for the first few songs, meandered around the ballroom (i pretended to want to see the cake so we could get a better look at Bad Hair as a whole, especially the band leader, who was seated behind her keyboard, her red hair reminiscent of that of the little Lego people who come with the Lego sets) and it became clear with each song that they were not the band for us.
what solidified it for me, though, was the band leader's banter. she had a nasally, slightly irritating voice, and felt compelled to give commentary on everything. after each song they played she'd go, "wooooh! that was one of my favorites!" and when it was time for the first course she launched into a several-minute soliloquy on the food at the Fancy Pants Country Club, and how it was truly amazing and everyone should find their seats and enjoy it. "i'm going to play a little soft music for you now, while you eat," she told the crowd. "a little nice, soft music."
"no, no, no, no, no," i muttered to Michael, shaking my head violently. she reminded me of a character Kristen Wiig might play on SNL. funny, until it's your wedding.
"guess we're going with Fake Tans then," Michael said to me as we hightailed it out of there before someone offered to show us to our seats for dinner.
"yup, we are," i said, knowing it was absolutely the right decision.
we ambled across the parking lot, fake-fighting for the benefit of people who actually were not wondering where we were going ("you said you were going to bring the card!" "no, honey, i asked you to take it from the glove compartment!") and happily got back in the car.
the next day i e-mailed the manager of Fake Tans and told him the gig was theirs. mission accomplished, thank god.
and i have to say, i cannot wait to dance at our wedding. rock on.