Diaries Of A Groomzilla, Part 4
Previously: Groomzilla's designer friend captured the essence of Vera Wang in lovely wedding invitations and thwarted Fiancé's attempts to send an eVite to the wedding guests.
Every bridezilla has a partner-in-crime. She is that one special friend who amplifies and validates every irrational thought, pushing the cocktail trolley through the dining cart of the crazy train. Normally this is an overzealous maid of honor, a General Sherman to the bride's General Grant, scorching the earth from the engagement party to the wedding chapel to ensure the happiness of her former sorority sister. They have laughed together, cried together, binged and purged together, and now are planning a wedding together. You want white doves at your wedding? Why stop there?, the partner-in-crime suggests, when you can have the special pink Chalcophaps indica doves flown in from Australia?
But for the groomzilla who never rushed Tri Delt or had a pregnancy scare after Cabo Spring Break 1996, who gets to be the enabler? Is it the "fag hag"? The alcoholic buddy who can identify the dance remix in three notes? The aesthetician who has sold you $15,000 worth of "product" and once convinced you that the $45 tube of ground-up "moon rocks" had light-reflective properties that would "create an optical illusion to diminish the appearance of fine lines"?
In my case, it is my West Coast lesbian. More precisely, it is Lesbian Bridezilla.
Depending upon the context required of our various misadventures over the past five years, LB has pretended to be my wife, sister, landlord, former employer, attorney-in-fact, holistic healer, and personal assistant.
Lesbian Bridezilla ("LB") is one of my dearest friends and a former law school classmate. She is half-Jewish and half-Latina, a lipstick lesbian with the volume of an opera singer and the energy of a nuclear reactor. Depending upon the context required of our various misadventures over the past five years, LB has pretended to be my wife, sister, landlord, former employer, attorney-in-fact, holistic healer, and personal assistant. While my Fiancé has forced me to look for coins in the sofa cushions to fund my creative vision, LB is planning a November fete reminiscent of Bilbo Baggins's last birthday party in the Shire. (LB's Fiancée, Doctor Z, is a rising star in the world of industrial biochemistry, empowering LB to focus her time on terrorizing the wedding vendors of Northern California.) Since Fiancé and I are getting married in San Francisco's Mission District, it also made perfect sense that a San Franciscan friend would be my "woman on the ground" in the weeks leading up to the event. Moreover, she is already a seasoned pro at dealing with weddings, having been planning her own since the age of twelve.
LB has the three most important qualities in a Groomzilla enabler: (1) she is used to getting her own way, (2) she has no problem letting you know what "her way" should be, and (3) she is blissfully, charmingly, wonderfully and unapologetically insane. One week LB forced a major commercial airline to adopt a new policy about "comfort bunnies" after a letter-writing campaign that put the authors of the Federalist Papers to shame. Another week, she decided that she wanted to learn to operate a sailboat, and convinced a sailing club at the marina to waive the requirement that one actually own a sailboat to join. A high-end wedding was a logical extension of LB's special gift for bending the world to her will.
I decided that I needed LB's counsel for an important task: selecting flowers. This seemed like the kind of aesthetic touch that needed a second opinion. Fiancé, of course, was horrified that I would involve LB in any wedding planning. He has never quite forgiven us for the day we moved into our condo two years ago. Fiancé and Doctor Z sent us out to the store for wood glue, nails, light bulbs, and an air filter. LB and I returned eight hours later with a Crate and Barrel bowl and some glass marbles, announced that the coffee table in the living room was now "in balance," and then left for a manicure.
I had to be in San Francisco for business one week this Fall, so I met up with LB to pop over to the florist. In the car, LB and I made our list of criteria: "architectural," "nothing that looks dead," and "no tropical sh*t." This, of course, seemed immensely descriptive of our vision, and we assumed that the florist would agree.
Other options were rejected as "too green" (a challenging characteristic to avoid with plants), "too poofy," "too droopy," and—my personal favorite—"too floral."
Unfortunately, the florist neither shared our vision nor our enthusiasm. In fact, I'm fairly certain that he wanted to throw us out in the street. The great downfall to gay men negotiating aesthetics with other gay men is that we have access to an expansive untapped vocabulary of precise-yet-vague adjectives. Only in the gay-on-gay design world can one say, "I want something architectural, in aubergine, that plays with texture without looking too Bindi the Jungle Girl."
Our exchange was greatly enriched by LB's frank and unfiltered critique of various options subsequently presented by the florist. LB was quick to disabuse our florist of perceived aesthetic missteps, at one point describing a photo as "a bit of a mess" but then quickly adding that she was sure "it worked great for someone who wanted that look." Other options were rejected as "too green" (a challenging characteristic to avoid with plants), "too poofy," "too droopy," and—my personal favorite—"too floral." If you want to induce apoplexy in a gay florist, ask him to find things that are neither "too green" nor "too floral."
It took 90 minutes, half a notepad, and an entire subtext of dirty looks from the florist to arrive upon our final order. The end-result? Two tasteful, elegant but modern arrangements keeping with the Autumnal color palette.
"You know," LB mused as she gathered her Blackberry and sunglasses and slid out of her chair, "The world would just be so much better if people were as clear as we are about what we want."
I pretended not to hear the florist's shriek from the back room of the store.
Next Thursday: Groomzilla and Fiancé select a photographer, a musician, and an officiant…without leaving the house!