Monday, February 21, 2011


Nowadays when my girlfriend's call to tell me that they recently became happily engaged, I congratulate them and politely inquire about the details of the proposal, ring, man, etc., followed by a somewhat unusual plea.  I do not end the conversation until I make it clear that, although I am happy to lend a hand in any way, please, please, please don't ask me to be a bride's maid.  Having majorly failed at the job four out of the six times I have taken on the challenge, I have finally accepted the fact that I am the worst bride's maid of all time.

The one time I actually kept it together through the preparation and ceremony with grace and confidence, I ended up spiraling midway into Dante's seventh circle of Hell by the reception's end.  Although I initially felt shame and embarrassment over my behavior, twelve years later I find myself laughing with everyone else who witnessed my descent.  Here is the story of one of my most embarrassing moments of all time:

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked by my childhood friend, Doris, if I would travel back home and be one of her five bride's maids at her wedding.  Since the second grade, Doris's "Leave It To Beaver" family was my second home just around the corner where I could retreat to when my own dysfunctional homelife made it too painful to breath without crying.  Doris's mom always had fresh baked cookies baking, calming candles lit, decorative candy dishes overflowing with with REAL candy, and  "Andy Griffith" reruns constantly looping through the television for family entertainment.  It was Pleasantville at its finest.

My first mistake as Doris's bride's maid was forgetting to pack my panties in my "getting ready bag" which I took with me to the church where the bridal party was getting dressed.  I distinctly remember undressing and thinking that I should really change my underwear because my current pair wasn't the right style for the satin dress I would be wearing, and visible pantie lines were not my style.  When I realized I had failed to pack a second pair, I just figured my pantie hose would be sufficient enough even though they were of the "sheer to the waist" variety.

My second, third, fourth, and twenty-fifth mistake that celebratory evening all had to do with wine.  Doris's happy day was something of a high-school/college/family/past-life reunion of sorts for me, so I was bouncing around the ballroom like a social pinball on a wild streak.  Every time I set my glass of wine down to access my camera from my purse, a roving server would hand me a fresh glass and I would start my usual "4 count" all over again (not that I typically stop drinking at 4 - I just stop counting).  With so much social overload, the evening flew by and when I saw the DJ starting to pack up his equipment I started to run across the dance floor on a very energetic mission to resurrect the dance party and make it last all night.

The transition into the next part of the night is still absent from my memory.  Somehow after pleading with the 400 pound, acne scarred, cartoon-characterish DJ to play some more Donna Summer - I found myself midway through a very intense make-out session while locked in his embrace and feeling his extended roving hands all over my body.  I "came to" for a moment, and open my eyes long enough to see Doris's grandmother staring straight at me with a look of pure shock and disgust.  I pushed away from DJ Dork long enough to gain my balance and saw him pointing his two fingers at me saying, "You're coming home with me tonight!  YOU'RE COMING HOME WITH ME TONIGHT!"  He looked like he had just won the lottery.

Through divine intervention, Doris's older brother Frank pulled me away from DJ Dork telling me that it was time to go and that I would be riding in his car with Fred and Mike.  Frank and Fred were like second brothers to me and since Doris and Clark had left the reception for their Jamaican honeymoon, I was now their responsibility.  I piled in the backseat of Frank's Ford Explorer extremely excited about taking the party down to the "Bar District" with my favorite boys from childhood.  Within less than a mile into our departure, I rolled down the window and violently puked the party poison down the side of the SUV.  My memory pretty much blacks out after this, but Frank and Fred just love to fill me in on what happened next every time our paths cross. 

Apparently after my first messy expression out of the moving car, Frank decided to pull over into a McDonald's parking lot in an attempt to avoid bringing the attention of law enforcement to us.  Next, as I was trying to gain my balance getting out of the vehicle - I hurled all down the front of my midnight purple satin bride's maid dress, which had been generously purchased for me by the bride's family.  I guess I didn't find this "puked all over look" very flattering, because I immediately unzipped the dress and wiggled out of it in the middle of the parking lot.  Now, only dressed in my long-line strapless push-up bra and sheer to the waist pantie-hose which exposed EVERYTHING below my waist, I walked straight to the McDonald's dumpster in my dyed-to-match pumps and deposited my dress without hesitation.  Next I told the boys that I was feeling much better and was now ready to hit the bars.

Thank goodness Fred was gentlemanly enough to take a break from his hysterical laughing long off to take off his undershirt and help me to get it over my head.  Mike was too busy grabbing my camera and taking pictures of the fiasco from the passenger seat to lend a helping hand of any kind.  Frank must have been taking diligent notes of my behavior from the driver's seat, because he can recall every detail of that night better than actress Marilu Henner with her "superior autobiographical memory" could have, had she been there.  Somehow Frank drove me back to his parent's house and Fred put me to bed in Doris's bedroom where she and I had spent countless sleepovers playing Barbie dolls and giggling as little girls. 

The next morning I awoke with a tremendous headache and looked around the room for the glass of sand I must have been sipping on all night, as that could be the only explanation for the taste in my mouth.  I came downstairs to find Doris's teetotalling parents, Ward and June Cleaver, standing with open arms to embrace me and offer words of forgiveness and support which included, "It's okay Sweetheart, when one has never really tasted alcohol before it can be a very tricky adversary and a real demon to contend with."  I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was twenty-four years old and had been pulling this kind of shit sporadically for the past ten years.  Doris's entire family spent the day nursing me back to health in the same way that they had been doing for me emotionally over the previous twenty-years. 

Nine years later, my husband Ken and I returned to Harper Valley County to attend Doris and Frank's younger sister's wedding.  As I reverently sat next to my husband at the Catholic Church waiting for the ceremony to begin, the bride's eighty-five year old grandmother tapped me on the shoulder from the pew directly behind to say hello.  This was the same woman who witnessed my initial descent with the DJ from Doris's wedding.  Grandma Cleaver said exactly what would be said to me for the rest of the evening by friends and other family members, "Carrie, remember what happened at Doris's wedding?  How you kissed that really gross guy and how you ran around half naked then threw your dress away!"  Like I could ever forget.  No one said, "So Carrie you have become a wife and mother since I saw you last - is this your husband?"  Now, like many other of my transgressions, Ken had not been told this story before - and he is still probably the only person in the world who has yet to see the humor.

2/22/2011 Update:  Per request from Veronica in the "comments" section, here is a before pic of me and Doris posing with DJ Dork:

Photo of me (courtesy of Mike using my camera) wearing Fred's t-shirt and puking on the curb.  I am SUCH a class act!


  1. OMG, I have tears running down my face. Of course NONE of us have had nights like that. I love the picture though, proof of a wild night. You are so awesome. xxmeg

  2. At my wedding, my parents heard at the bar after the reception, that the brides maid with the big hair (Carrie), was giving a BJ in the middle of my reception outside by the bar. Turns out it was just a rumor, you were just "fluffing" a penis for a dirty picture with one of the throw away cameras. Wow, you ARE a class act! If I got married today I would make you do it all over again! Love you and love this story! Classic Carrie!

  3. Fantastic story. Love the photo documentation, but can you add a "before" photo - dying to see the purple satin dress.

  4. Gorgeous - before, and in the white shirt (check out those gams)

  5. You're such a good writer, "Carrie"! Enjoyed every sentence of this last story. You're hilarious. Although, coming out of first trimester I have to admit that the last photo of you bent over makes me nauseous. :)