Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What's A Best Man To Do?

"Do I have chocolate on my face?"

Jessica scrutinized me quickly.

"No. But what's that gray guck on your forearm?"

"Oh, that." I waved dismissively. "Silicone-based adhesive. Installed window bars yesterday. Doesn't come off except by picking at it." I absently tugged at some of the adhesive where it had bonded to my arm hair.

"And that?" She had an amused edge to her voice as she pointed to the greasy stain on my trousers.

"I got it from my bicycle last week. Not sure. Dust? Grease?" I changed the subject. Surely walking around bedecked in chocolate, adhesive, and week-old greasy dust was perfectly normal.

This conversation came hot on the heels of me having to admit to general cluelessness regarding nylons, pantyhose, and tights. I'm Yancey's Best Man in his wedding next month, and I'd had to email the bride's mother to ask if I was supposed to wear nylons under the fancy silk dress she'd sent.

In many ways, I'm a lousy excuse for a female of the species. "Shopping" is something best done at Home Depot or a camping store. Shoes are things that you put on your feet, purely for protection and comfort. Stores that sell only accessories have no reason to exist. And I am hopelessly unskilled at romance, better suited to enhancing the vanishing abilities of men than to enticing them into… whatever I am supposed to entice them into, something others seem to know by instinct while I admit to being hopelessly baffled.

So it comes as no surprise that I am—once again—selected to be Best Man. I'm stressed about it—last time I did this, I completely chickened out on the speech, and the groom's brother had to step in. I'm every bit as clueless about the business of "Best Man-ing" as I am about translating Hungarian or online dating. Where do I start? I can't even throw a Bachelor Party as the uncooperative bachelor in question has chosen to remain on the west coast until the day of the rehearsal dinner. What do I say in the speech? And even worse, what kind of gift am I supposed to buy? As Best Man, am I obligated to fork over something stupendous, or something in keeping with my (invisible) budget? Do you think Yancey wants a Dik-Dik On A Stik?


Anonymous said...

c'mon Marie, you used to look great in those short dresses you wore years ago.

Marie Javins said...

Maybe I can find some really embarrassing photos to post. Remember the sperm-print dress? Aiieee! That was what I wore to my 30th birthday. It was cool, except that the graphic was... well... a bit odd. Then there was the spray-painted gold cowboy boots... the leather jacket half spray-painted and then I got too lazy to finish... spirals, velvets... I think I had a salary back then.

Don Hudson said...

I think that it's cool that you even wear a dress. You would have every right to wear a tux as "best man" and you could pull it off.

Marie Javins said...

A tux might be too hot for August though. I guess I'm lucky I get to wear a dress, though the heel thing is going to kick my @ss.

Sara Kocher said...

I remember those dresses, too. And your cool tights. You looked a hell of a lot better in those days than I did.

Now my wardrobe splits into 3 main categories, "Ann Taylor," "mom," and "kinda slutty" (for rare dates with J), none of which qualify me to be any help to you at all.

Oh, but I do know you don't have to wear heels, 'cause flats are in again. You should be able to find cute ones without too much trouble. Unless Yancy or his bride have asked you to wear a particular shoe style. Then you're out of luck.

Marie Javins said...

Sadly, my budget limits me to "gold shoes in my closet, worn only once on the QE2."

They have heels. :-(

But the good news is that they are not tiny heels, so I have about a 50/50 shot at not breaking or spraining my ankle.

Anonymous said...

Marie, darling, embrace your inner PR-gal and totter away!

I fledged from my fanatical Doc Marten phase while living in Rome. As grandmothers scaled the seven hills in Manolos, I suffered shame. Deep, abiding shame. Thus I vowed to shave my legs and stride forth in a little black dress.

I would not merely master highheels, but I would wear them in absurd situations, honoring the true Italian opera buffa spirit. I would climb sea cliffs and pilot a moped with a passenger. Nothing by half measures.

Five years later, for my sins, I just received a pair of candy-apple-red stilettos as a belated birthday present. This friend generally sends philosophical tomes, so the Lolita pumps were a surprise. But I suspect a deeper connection lurks, which will come clear. Probably as I'm limping around Norway in a cast... Ax.

Marie Javins said...

Oh, Ax, I can't wear little red stilettos. It's too late for me, dahlin'... I've got a decade on you. Besides, I can barely get interested in showering if I don't have to leave my house.

The bad news is that not only am I useless as a female, apparently I am somewhat inadequate as a tom-boy as well. I am still unable to operate the weed-whacker in my building's backyard.

I really will get those photos of me in all the party dresses up one of these days. You'll be shocked. Such the little indie-rock scenester, I was...

(When did you sneak up all those blog entries? When I was foofing around with the doomed romance thing?)

Anonymous said...

Bring on the party dress photos! And next time I rush through NYC, you're sooooo wearing a disco frock. And heels. Long, spiky ones that could knife through an unsuspecting bloke's heart.

After all, you still got it, babe. And how!

Maybe we should aim for cocktails, not cake, though...

I've been abloggin' since my triumphant return from Alaska last night (1,700+ miles via the Cassiar in three days). Don't even get started on the tomboy thing or I'll humiliate myself in yet another direction by gushing about Baby's First Floatplane, a Cessna 206 Amphib.

We took off from Juneau Airport's tarmac and landed on the bay at Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, where a rangerette almost shot a charging subadult.

Sexier than any stiletto, I'm sure you'll agree. Ax.

PS: Sod the weed-whacker. Winter'll smother the foliage, but candy-apple pumps are FOREVER!