Thursday, January 5, 2012

Till Death Do Us Barf

Weddings are wonderful, festive, life-changing, and occasionally disastrous events. I suppose Forrest Gump's famous line could apply to them, in that you never know what you're gonna get.

I was absolutely thrilled when my best friend asked me to be Matron of Honor in her New Year's Eve wedding, but if I had known what was in store, perhaps I would have asked for some extra-strength Valium to prepare me for the insanity and disaster that was to ensue.

Before I continue I should mention that I use the term "best friend" loosely; I actually have several best friends—each just as dear to me as the others.  In this case the best friend getting married was my pal Jen—we'll call her Chiquita (because that's what I call her, due to a high-school incident involving a banana. Just go ahead and let your imaginations run wild here, people).

Chiquita's ceremony promised to be a glittery affair, and I came into the holidays woefully unprepared. If you're a follower of my blog, you're familiar with my typical everyday "mom look," which goes something like this:

It was clear to me (and everyone else) that I was in need of a massive overhaul to properly prepare for Chiquita's wedding.  Thus, operation "Pretty-Up the Dumpy Housewife" began.

The first snafu happened when I got my eyebrows done.  A previous waxing incident had damaged my skin and caused a cyst, so this time I tried a technique called "threading," which is basically like high-speed plucking.  The "threader" uses strings to grab a whole bunch of hairs at once and rip them out in quick succession.  

I look quite peaceful, don't I?  Actually, I was pretty much gripping the chair with white knuckles, imagining myself on a sandy beach with crashing waves to distract myself from the sensation of having my forehead attacked by a nest of angry hornets.  After the procedure, I was left with what looked like an acid burn on my brow and nose.  Unfortunately my sister and I still had a bit of shopping to do, so I had to walk around the mall looking like Ty Pennington had enthusiastically attacked my face with a belt sander.

Fortunately the redness was gone by the next morning, and my brows did look pretty awesome.  At least I was no longer sporting what my sister refers to as the "Angry Birds" look.  According to her, my normal brows resemble the yellow bird.  Having never played the game, I have no real idea what that means, but according to her.....

I couldn't let that shit continue for the wedding.

With eyebrows properly attended to, it was time to address my hair. It was dreadful. A stylist had once described my natural hair color as "dishwater blonde," and it's a term I've never been quite able to forget.  I didn't want my hair to be the color of a spaghetti pot soaking in Palmolive for the wedding, so I foolishly decided it would be a good idea to color my hair myself, as I didn't have time to get an appointment at a salon.

I popped over to Target and bought a color called "dark blonde" to enhance my natural color a bit and make my tresses a bit shinier.  Unfortunately, after waiting the required 25 minutes, I looked in the mirror and was horrified to see this: 

It had processed into a dull black.  I frantically (and rather violently) washed my hair multiple times but was still left with a deep reddish-brown, which might have been fun under ordinary circumstances, but which was highly undesirable right before the big event!

The previously mentioned extra-strength Valium would have come in particularly handy at this point, as I was just about hyperventilating.  I raced out and purchased a lighter blonde color, which I then stayed up until three in the morning carefully interspersing with the darker color to make the whole effect less severe.

The result came out surprisingly good, and when I met the girls at the salon on the morning of the wedding, the overwhelming verdict on my hair was that I should screw it up much more often, because the end result was fantastic. I breathed a welcome sigh of relief, accepted an extremely comforting cup of coffee from my stylist, and settled in.

I chose an updo out of one of those odd books they have lying about in salons, and the stylist went to work.  When she was finished, she sprayed the whole thing with "shimmer spray," which caused my hair to twinkle in the light as I moved about.  It was freaking fantastic, and I felt like a princess!  I dare say I hadn't even felt that glamorous at my own wedding!  I was psyched and ready to enjoy the day, and I was sure that all the stress was finally behind me.

I couldn't have been more wrong. 

The rest of the morning was all girly-girl fun at the bride's hotel.  We primped and preened, carefully applied our formal makeup and admired our gifts from the bride: beautiful satin clutches and bracelets that were so sparkly they were practically seizure-inducing.

Before we knew it we were being taken to the church and the ceremony was underway.  It was beautiful and touching, and I proudly stood by my best friend's side, fighting back tears as she exchanged vows with her love.

And then, in the blink of an eye it was done—they were husband and wife, and everyone was smiling and kissing and hugging and congratulating.  We were ushered back inside for pictures, and I relaxed in a pew while the bride and groom posed for their first formal photos as a married couple.

I was reflecting upon it all and enjoying the brief down-time when I suddenly started to feel a bit odd.  My stomach was a tad queasy and I felt sort of fuzzy in the head.  I was also rapidly becoming very hot and uncomfortable.  

My husband must have noticed that I looked droopy, because he swooped to my side and began rapid-firing questions at me: "You look like you're about to pass out. When was the last time you ate anything?" 

"Um, I had coffee at the salon..." I replied. 

"It's three o'clock!" he shouted, horrified. "No wonder you're woozy!  You're starving!  I knew this was going to happen," he said, shaking his head at me like I was a naughty puppy who had piddled in the corner.  He produced two energy bars from his pocket and asked me which one I wanted.  I was about to choose one when he shoved both of them at me and said, "Never mind. You need to eat both.  And when was the last time you had anything to drink?" 

"Um, I had coffee at the salon...." I repeated. 

"Oh my God, you're dehydrated. You've been running around nonstop all day!  No wonder you're about to pass out!  There's a water fountain in the hall.  Go out there and drink all the water you can.  Eat the bars, get some fresh air.  It will do you a world of good."  He looked terribly concerned, and I was overwhelmed with love for this wonderfully thoughtful man I'd married—this man who had packed energy bars for me without me even mentioning it, who was certainly ravenous himself but chose to give me the small amount of food he had brought.

I drank some water, ate the bars, and felt a bit better.  The bridal party was called in for pictures, and we posed for the usual formals, and also a few cheesy shots where a couple of us kissed the groom (to the apparent horror of the bride), before hustling ourselves out to the limo bus.

Here I am enjoying one of my last moments with the bride before the horror began.  As you can see, operation "Pretty-up the Dumpy Housewife" had been quite a success.  No "Angry Bird" brows here!  Too bad I didn't get to enjoy it for long.

Once on the bus I was struck with the dizziness and nausea again.  I thought perhaps it was motion sickness—after all, it was a big bus, and the driver was taking the turns a bit roughly.  As soon as the bus stopped in front of the hotel I bolted out the doors and ran for the lobby, where I seated myself in a chair and tried to catch my breath. 

A groomsman saw me and looked alarmed.  "You look terrible!" he said.  "Do you feel all right?  You're all sweaty and your color is awful."  

I said that no, actually, I felt sort of like I was going to pass out or puke.  A glass of ice water was quickly placed in my hands, and the mother of the bride came rushing over to tend to me.  All manner of suggestions were made as to why I was suddenly ill.

One person said that I should probably go for a walk outside in the fresh air; it had been so hot on the bus after all.  Another said that a walk was not what I needed... what I needed was to sit for a while and just rest, as all the activity had clearly been too much.  A third party brought me a sandwich and some chips and said the salt in the tortilla chips would help replenish my electrolytes, which were clearly all out of whack from not eating.

When I balked at the sandwich, the mother of the bride brought me up to her personal room at the hotel, ordered me to take off my tight dress and lie down in her bed in my bra and underwear to cool off and rest.  I was given a can of Coke to drink and some pretzels and a bit of hoagie to nibble, and I sorrily picked at them, painfully forcing down each sip of soda and each bite of bread while my hubby stood over me and fussed.

A decision had to be made.  We had planned on taking the two cars we had come in separately back to the house in the down-time before the reception, returning with just one car so that at least one of us could drink at the reception and not have to worry about driving home.  We were running out of time, so I put on the jeans and tee shirt I had worn that morning and took the dress with me, intending to change into it back at the house after dropping off my van.

It was freezing outside, but nonetheless I blasted the van's air conditioning in my sweaty face as I drove.  I tried to take deep breaths to keep the nausea at bay, but about five miles from my house I was suddenly aware that I was going to throw up, and soon.  I looked for a place to pull over but got stopped at a red light.  I looked frantically around in my car—there was a CVS bag on the floor of the passenger side that I could use if I couldn't pull over in time.

Just as I reached for the bag, the light turned green. I floored the accelerator, pulled off the road, jumped out of the van and violently vomited everywhere as I ran for the grass.  My husband, who was following me, pulled over in front of me and jumped out of his SUV.  He went to approach me, but then decided to keep his distance when he saw what was happening. 

I fell to my knees, choking and coughing and continuing to hurl as he asked me if I was all right.  (I always wonder what the correct answer is to that question—when you are projectile vomiting so violently that you are barely able to catch your breath, what are you supposed to say when asked if you're all right?)  I guess I can take comfort from the fact that my gorgeous hair was certainly shimmering dazzlingly in the headlights of my van, so at least part of me still looked pretty while I puked.

When there was a brief lull my hubby asked me a much more appropriate question: "Do you think you're done?"  I wiped the rancid liquid that was dripping out of my nose on my sleeve and nodded uncertainly.  "Can you drive?"  I nodded again and wobbled back to the van. 

I sat down and realized that my bum was soaked.  Here's the best part, folks: I had peed my pants.  See, birthing my son pretty much destroyed all the muscles down there in charge of holding things together, despite the thousands upon thousands of Kegel exercises I had done before and after his birth.  Right after my son was born, I peed when I coughed, sneezed, laughed, tripped over something, or even took the steps too quickly.  I've since been able to tighten things up enough so that it's hardly ever a problem any more.  But when I vomit, well, let's just say that the dam just breaks and there's not one darn thing I can do about it.   

I arrived home and raced upstairs so my hubby didn't see my soaked pants.  I did a lightning-fast change into pajamas, brushed my teeth and collapsed in bed.  I almost immediately started shivering violently with a fever.  Of course, I was still planning on attending the reception—after all, I had a speech to give—so I was lying in bed shivering very carefully so as not to mess up my beautiful hairdo. 

My husband sat down on the bed in his suit and tie and asked me how long I thought I'd need to pull myself together before I could put my dress back on.  I told him to give me twenty minutes. Then I carefully got out of bed and took an experimental wobble down the hall.  I made it back to the bed just in time to avoid puking.  Every time I tried to stand up I was overcome with dizziness and nausea.  

I started to cry. 

My husband, ever supportive, said, "Well, maybe you could put the dress on, and we could just plop you at a table in the corner and you could just sit there all night?  At least then you'd be making an appearance." 

A vision of myself projectile-vomiting on the guests while peeing all over my beautiful dress flashed through my mind, and I was aware that there was a distinct possibility I could turn into the gal from Bridesmaids who publicly pooped herself. 

That definitely did not seem like a viable option for the evening. 

I started to sob. I had to face the fact that I just couldn't do it.  After all, I feared I had already infected some unwitting attendees—I had kissed the groom on the cheek during pictures, and during the passing of the peace I had kissed everyone in the surrounding pews too!   

I called the bride on her cell and sobbed as I told her I was sick and couldn't make it.  She was unbelievably understanding—she told me to go to bed and promised that she'd send me pictures from her phone of the reception throughout the evening.   She assured me that all that mattered was that I got better, and that she was just thankful that I made it through the ceremony and the formal pictures. 

This, dear folks, is why Chiquita has—and will forever hold—the title of Best Friend in my book of life.  I missed half her wedding day, and all she cared about was that I felt better.  

And after three days of this... (look, my brows still look cute even when I'm at death's door!)...

...I am finally done puking, done feeling sorry for myself, and ready to laugh about the whole thing.  

You know, Chiquita and I used to go on many excursions together, and something would inevitably go wrong every time. Our motto has always been  "Always an Adventure!" And although her wedding is technically filed in my "misadventures" category, we will definitely have some great stories to tell for years to come.

So congratulations to Jen and Ed! I didn't get to give my speech at the reception, but I can certainly tell her now how much she means to me.  I love you, Chiquita, and I'm so happy that I could be by your side on your big day.  I wish you and Ed all the blessings and happiness in the world.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to make a brief appeal to our Heavenly Father.  AHEM... (clearing throat and assuming formal voice....) 

Dear God, can we please forget that I kissed the groom on the cheek and let their post-wedding days be blissfully puke-free?  I'd really appreciate it.  Oh, and thank You for blessing me with such wonderful friends. You officially rock. 


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  1. Oh my goodness. As bad as that was, I think you dodges a bullet there. What if you had started projectile vomiting during the I dos? I'm glad you and your cute brows are feeling better.

  2. Yowsers! Let me just say, you peed yourself???? Don't tell anyone, but I pooped my pants a little when I had the stomach flu. You definitely have a rockin' best friend, and I am so sorry this happened to you. But, damn gurl, your brows do look nice, even after a 48 hour fight with the toilet!

  3. The first wedding I was in was one of my best friend's. I did my reading at the church, had my glass of champagne in the limo (which was filled with groomsmen I didn't know) and proceeded to puke in the ice bucket the entire 40 minute ride. I was held up and green in pictures and my poor usher did NOT want to dance with me! To this day I still don't know what happened! Good call staying home - I was THAT girl propoed up in the corner and it was way worse!!!! Poor thing!! Sounds like you have a great friend AND hubby! You looked great!!!

  4. Jenn, you had me with the title. All sorts of images flashed through my mind...your story wasn't one of them. What a nightmare! Glad you made it out in tact.

  5. I'm glad you are feeling better.... and for the record, you looked GORGEOUS!

  6. I'm glad you're feeling better. Though it's rather amusing I'm glad you didn't vomit during the ceremony. That could have been bad. You do have an amazing friend. Keep her close. Those don't come to often in this life. Take care and thanks for posting.

  7. Holy shit honey! Holy shit, in between laughing so hard I almost puked, I wanted to pat your hand and say there...there.

    What a trooper, going thru all that primping and then blowing chunks.

    I sure hope you're better...

  8. WOW. Do you have any idea what could have caused it? Just a random stomach flu, maybe? How are you doing now?

  9. So glad you are feeling better, and the other comments were correct that you looked gorgeous! And for the record to everyone who reads the comments, I think it should be noted that I loved Jenn's eyebrows BOTH ways and told her so, and only referred to them as 'angry birds' eyebrows in a purely loving way lol.

  10. OH MY GOSH!!! What a day you had! I'm sorry you got so sick, but it made for a really delightful read! I'm glad Chaquita took it so well. She is a great friend to you.
    Thanks for the laughs,

  11. Thanks everyone for your supportive comments! I'm much better now! And you know, after thinking about it, I certainly did dodge a bullet by not puking during the ceremony. If I had done that, I surely would have also peed all over the floor, and I'm pretty sure that peeing on the altar is sacrilege in the Catholic church. I probably would have burst into flames right on the spot, and, while it would make for a good story, spontaneously combusting in the middle of a wedding is bound to ruin the day. LOL And thanks, sis, for clarifying about the brows. It was great material for the blog... I just had to use it!!
    Smiles, Jenn

  12. Jenn, I'm so sorry you got sick. Your husband and your friend totally ROCK. They are keepers for sure. Glad you are back to your healthy happy self. God was definitely looking out for everyone by pushing your illness off until after the wedding ceremony. Seriously though, you've gotta throw your hilarious life into a book, girl. It would be a best seller for sure! :)


  13. hi! I'm not following you via the weekend warrior blog hop. I am so sorry that you got sick at your friend's wedding but thank goodness you are finally feeling better and that you have an amazing friend

  14. Holy pee in the pants, lady, that was one amazing story. At your expense of course. Come on, we all know that this was planned from the very start. You'll do anything for a great post! Seriously, I hope you're feeling better and I cannot even believe that you entertained returning to the party! If my boyfriend asked me how long it would take me to pull it together after upchucking AND soiling my pants, well, let's just say I wouldn't be calling him my boyfriend anymore! FUNNY FUNNY!

  15. What a story! And what a nightmare. Seriously, I would have been sobbing too. I'm glad you are feeling better and yes, your hubby and your best friend are awesome. But really--what are they going to do, get mad at you? BTW, that is the most PERFECT title!!!

  16. Wow that's really are a good friend....I missed my best friends wedding because I had a was devestating

  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am now following back. Looking forward to reading your hilarious posts. I had my eyebrows threaded once with a friend and haven't bothered since. Never had them waxed, but didn't mind the threading.


  18. Glad you made it through the wedding barf-free. I actually missed a close friend's wedding once because of an eye injury. To this day I'm still pretty upset about it. Stupid eye.

  19. Oh girl! You poor, poor thing! I'm with the others - it was very lucky that the puking didn't start during the ceremony. I'm not sure if you would burst into flames on the spot for peeing on the altar, but I'd hate to take the chance on not being able to read more stories like this lol!

    You looked beautiful!

  20. Okay, that was super funny. I don't know you from Adam's housecat but I could totally hear you telling me that story as I read it. Glad I stumbled on your blog and read this. Great story. I like funny.

  21. wow glad you made it through and can laugh about it now.. I am following you through the Blog hop and grabbed your button. Hope you'll come check out my blog too.

  22. I'm so glad you found my blog - yours is awesomely hilarious! Seriously, I feel like stuff like this only happens to me so I'm glad to know that it's not just me... at least not all the time! And you do look gorgeous and again, at least you didn't puke at the altar... I can't even imagine what would have happened then! And glad you're feeling better and up to writing more funny blog entries! I'm about to be your newest follower! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

  23. good golly girl... that is definitely a story for the books! hahahaha!

    you totally rock & your blog is the balls!


  24. That was the funniest story! I mean, I'm sorry that you had to go through it...but after 3 kids, I'm lucky my bladder holds at all! That has happened to me for sure, don't think you're the only one suffering from that problem!! Btw, I'm following you through the Blog Hop. :-)

  25. Never a dull moment, huh? Glad you are feeling better and able to share this with a chuckle! Your brows really do look fabulous!

  26. Ugh, so funny and gross. :) The whole post was a riot!

  27. Ah you poor thing that is awful, I hope you are feeling fine. Your brows do look great but I fail to see the angry bird.:)

  28. Hello, just stopping by to show some love...Have a bless day

  29. What a day!!!
    As I started reading my first thought went right to Bridesmaids LOL that is quite a day and your brows are HOT!!!! Your braver then I -I see the threading ladies all the time but I'm tooo much of a chicken to try it =}
    Poping in with vB Have a great week---its got to be better than the first weekend of the year =)

  30. Seriously you may have the makings of Bridesmaids 2 here. I thought of that middle of the street moment too when you pulled over to puke. Bless your heart. You did look gorgeous. I have watched in awe at the string and eyebrows thing while getting a pedicure and thought it looked painful. I'm too chicken to you are brave in my book. That so stinks had to happen on your "princess" day.

  31. I so feel your pain. I push myself beyond what normal people should do.

    So nice of your friend to be so understanding on her big day You did try, you really did!

    I'm following you on the Networked blog.


  32. Bridesmaids made me laugh out loud on the plane with a huge snort, and everyone turned and looked at me. This was so entertaining...thank you! Your husband is just way to nice too!;)

  33. OMG you poor, poor thing! At lest you made it for the most important part - the ceremony! My heart goes out to you, though, I know how not going must have felt. Thankfully you have an awesome best friend! Congrats to her on her new marriage! Glad to hear you're feeling better!

  34. Found you via the blog hop. I'm glad you're feeling better.

  35. I am a new follower from the Welcome Wednesday and I look forward to reading your posts. You definitely have a gift for writing and I am glad you made it through everything all right ;)

    Erika - My Road to Savings

  36. Excellent blog post! I cannot believe you told the whole world about peeing! I actually have one of those incidents and other than mentioning it here, I think I will take it to my grave!

    Found you through the Wednesday Blog Hop, btw.

  37. OMG! I read parts of this to my husband because I was laughing so hard he wanted to know what I was laughing about, which were the parts when your husband asked if you were done puking. That is something my husband would do and when I was pregnant and had those pukey moments, one time in the shower my husband came running in the bathroom to ask if I was ok. I could hardly breathe to answer him back. Really what do you say in that situation? As long as my brain doesn't come out my mouth I'm fine? LOL Anyway great post, and you do have great friends. What a day for you. But at least your eye brows don't look like angry birds anymore! :)

  38. I might be able to make you feel better. On my wedding day, I woke up at about 5:00 a.m. with a nervous stomach. I should have known it was a sign of what was to come. Off we went to the salon at about 8:00 a.m., where a friend showed up with coffee, bagels, and a fruit tray. We had a blast, and nibbled our way through our appointment. That was the last thing I ate -- big mistake. The wedding was gorgeous, the pictures were great, but then I started to fade. What I hadn't realized was that with all the excitement, I hadn't taken my anti-anxiety meds in two days. As we waited to go into the hall, I started to feel really nauseous. I figured it would pass. I was wrong. I picked at my plate for a few minutes, then asked my sister and matron of honour to come to the bathroom with me. I was never sick, but at one point my new husband had to strip down to this tuxedo shirt and plunge the toilet. I was so miserable, and so sure I was going to be sick, that I left the reception in the middle of dinner to go nap at my sister's place, 10 minutes away. Three hours, a nap, and some crackers and juice later, I put back on my dress and returned to the reception, but it was about 10:00 p.m. by that point and most of our guests had already left. Two hours later, everything was over. I had missed my own wedding reception. Funny, it didn't bother me then, but it does now, ten years later.

  39. SO Funny! Oh man I'm laughing but I feel bad for you at the same time! :) Cath from Home is Where my Heart is @

  40. Haha! I tried threading once...I'm much more of a "waxing" girl, though.

  41. Ah, the pains of threading. I'm Greek/Armenian, so I have a pretty hairy face. Luckily the hair on my face is blonde and fine, but it just glistens ever so wonderfully in the sun, and I wanted it GONE. I'd contemplated waxing my entire face for quite a while, but waxing always makes me break out (eyebrows and upper lip) and I'd been reading that threading doesn't cause breakouts in lots of people because there is no heat to irritate the skin. I decided to get my whole face threaded and OH MY GOD I WILL NEVER, EVER do that again. The pain was SO bad I was literally DRIPPING sweat. My bra was soaked, the back of my shirt was soaked, and the woman constantly asked me if I was ok, and handed me a huge block of ice. I made myself get through it because I wanted gloriously smooth skin...and what did I end up with? A face that was entirely red, bumpy, and COMPLETELY broken out with little white heads EVERYWHERE. Super cute. Never again.

  42. I love your red dresses!!! And you must have had the best hair for puking since it was held back so tightly!! There is nothing worse than having to give in to the puke and then go to bed. And at a wedding. So very sad. But you looked great pre puke!! Found you at finding the funny!


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