Thursday, September 23, 2010


It's a subject that makes for a teary eyed mess for both a mother and a father - most often for different reasons.  Her's being the event, his being the cost.  Weddings.  My good friend Vic is the Mother of the Bride (MOB) and while the brides father (FOB) is no longer her spouse, they have, over the years, figured out how to parent and co-exist in our small town.  Vic's husband, The Iron Man, has even been seen sharing a beer from time to time with the FOB and, no doubt, sharing a male generated joke about "their" wife.

The other night. The Iron Man was lamenting the loss of his masculinity in the fray of all the wedding talk - he couldn't even say the word "wedding" without rolling his eyes and swigging a beer.  November can't get here fast enough.  Well, it got me to thinking about weddings and the like and since my own wedding is the only one of 3 for which I have been a participant, I can only draw upon that momentous occasion for my commentary.  And when I compare that to the upcoming nuptials of Vic's daughter, it is apparent that some very clear wedding rules are no longer standing.  It kinda breaks my heart.

I won't deny that I had the wedding of the decade back in the 80's (with a bow to Karen, whose wedding was also a "todoo") and I still hold it up to most of the extravaganza's I have attended since.  I had an ivory satin couture dress, a cathedral length veil, a cadre of bridesmaids, a flower girl and ring bearer, a gourmet reception at Addison Oaks, a live band and fireworks and by rights, I was the focus of every single person ALL DAY LONG AND WELL INTO THE LATE NIGHT.  It was, I am told, the best wedding that most people ever attended.  While I did not even spend one minute at the open and flowing bar, opting for Tab on ice. . .I don't remember what isn't in a photo.  It was well before the video era so there is no footage I can cue up for recall.  I have nothing.  But a dress.  In a box.  In the basement.  That, and an album and my sister's Maid of Honor (MOH) dress - which is the crux of wedding rules being broken today.  Forget that my beautiful dress was a size 3 and that I couldn't fit my thigh through the waist anymore.  Forget that it has been hermetically sealed in a box with a window that shows a glimpse of the applique.  And forget what it cost.  If I were to do it all over again, I would still wear THAT dress.  A bride has that luxury.

What is so confounding these days is the plethora of acceptable pretty bridesmaids dresses.  In my day, the bridesmaid dress of choice was slinky, sexy without offending the churchy folk and usually made of quiana.  My color of choice was lavender.  The whole purpose of the bridesmaid dress back in my day was to include your friends in the big day without the added of worry of any of them looking prettier than the bride.  Oh, yeah, we all said these words: "You can wear it again.  You can cut it off.  It'll be great."

Do you really think that I didn't know there was no way on earth that any of them would be caught dead in the lavender quiana dress with the "Me Tarzan, You Jane" shoulder on one side and Grecian spaghetti straps on the other.  Did they really think I thought it would be easy to cut off and hem quiana with accordion pleats?  Puhleeze.  My MOH caught on to that in a big way and, in a fashion that only sisters can share pitched a fit - but that's another story ending with, 'it's in my basement along side the wedding dress box."

Vic will be a stunning MOB, her daughter will be the most beautiful bride ever (until the next), but after seeing her Bride's Maids and what they are wearing, all I gotta say is, "Honey, watch out!"  Huh, we knew what we were doing back in the day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where's My Hairbrush When I Need It?

Like every other kid who sang into a hairbrush, when I was still young, I wanted to be an entertainer.  A singer, actress, talk show host who could also do gymnastics like Olga Korbut (yes, I am THAT old) and ride horses whenever I felt like it.  The singing part wasn’t ever gonna happen and if you know me, I don’t even have to explain.  The acting part meant I would have to audition - in front of people - uh, no.  Gymnastics and horses required natural ability and well, a horse (which my father always nixed in the end after spending an entire summer visiting and considering the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club - huff and pouty face) and really that didn’t leave much else.  Sometime in that era, I started writing and announced that I wanted to be a writer.  
My writing portfolio has multiple layers containing the remnants of youthful, lovestruck and full -on gag worthy poetry,  heavy handed short stories and sketches that are so image and metaphor rich that the reader was often left with a certain level of dissatisfaction and a big ol’ question mark in the thought bubble above their collective head, the driest of marketing and sales materials, dullest of nuclear power articles and an occasional letter to the editor meant to point out some inequity in our local world.  I wrote a series of Beginning Guided Reading books for an educational program, a quarterly children’s newsletter, a collection of recipes and stories based on a region in the east and a youth fiction novel that my kids loved.  In short, I have written a lot and so always got a great laugh from the throng of people who read my (admittedly funny) Christmas newsletter and responded with, “You should write!”
So, my book has been out for a little over a month and I am sick of myself.  I have had to self promote on facebook (an action which asks me to post about ME) and every other social networking venue, I have had to announce and update my website and do interviews with local news outlets.  I’m not complaining, mind you, just a little sick of talking about myself  and I’m thinking that if I am that sick of myself, you guys must be really tired of me!  And to make matters worse, there is a certain man in town who I used to lust after that, every time he runs into me in public, points, squeals and runs toward me shouting, “Oh My God!!!!!!!  It’s Judi Coltman!” just because he KNOWS I will scowled (and blush a little). The last time that happened he was with someone who I have never met.  This virtual stranger innocently inquired what had I done to elicit such a reaction (albeit a facetious one) and when former lustee said, “She just wrote a book and now she is famous!” the stranger stepped back, took a long look at me and replied, “Oh, sort of like Susan Boyle!”  Hmmmm.  Susan Boyle.  That pretty much ended the conversation.
I hope to see many of you at the book signing at Hailey’s Winery on Friday, September 10, from 6-8 p.m.  I promise I won’t sing.
Do you think he meant Susan Boyle BEFORE the makeover, or after?  
Whatever, I’ll take it!