I’ve been holding off on this blog series (I’m assuming it’ll wind up being a mini series) because I’m still in the middle of the whole getting divorced thing.
Officially I’ll be able to submit the next wave of paperwork as of November 1st, and then, assuming my ex gets his in quickly, too, we then have to wait for the courts to get back to us with approval on that, and then send us the final piece of paperwork.
I started dealing with the Ontario Court of Justice back in like June of this year about this paperwork, which is literally only 3 pieces of paper and it’s largely all the exact same information throughout, and you wouldn’t believe what a goddamn nightmare it is just to get a judge to say, “Okay, you’re clear!”
Which is amazing because you only need to sign one piece of paper to actually get married, so I’m not sure why they have to complicate the hell out of it on the other end, but I digress. I could write a whole blog on what’s wrong with the process, starting with the fact that I’ve had something like 30 e-mails back and fourth between myself and the curt, multiple phone calls, many times over an hour long, and we’re still just at THIS stage, stage 2, of 3.
To be perfectly honest I’m not sure where to start this blog because of the whole, still getting divorced thing, so I just want to hone in on a couple of the smaller events, and the reason I have this on my mind right now isn’t because of the divorce but because of something I overheard just the other day.
Because I don’t just sit around thinking about this stuff… like, this is particularly, I really, really push to the back of my mind these days.
I told you guys in some other random blog post about how my brother and his girlfriend are now engaged (as of last Christmas) and so every once in a while now I hear some mutterings about how that’s progressing.
I truly don’t know much about it although they are considering having not 1 but 2 weddings, but in fairness my brothers fiance is from Bangladesh so there is a cultural thing at play here. I otherwise don’t think my brother would be considering two, in fact I always assumed they’d do a destination wedding if anything.
And now there’s nothing wrong with having two weddings except that it has the potential to put a massive financial strain on those closely tied to the wedding parties, in this case, if the rumours are true, my sister and I may be asked to be part of the bridal parties.
But that’s really neither here nor there for the purpose of this post, except that in overhearing about this against my will I learned an interesting piece of information about my own bachelorette party.
Here’s one thing to note about my own bachelorette party: I didn’t want one.
And I’m going to pause for a quick second here to say, I appreciate the hell out of my friends and family for helping put it together because that’s a very kind thing to do for anyone, but there is something to be said about knowing the person you’re throwing a party for, if you’re going to take the task on by your own volition.
When my ex and I decided to get married I was immediately nervous about the whole thing. I’m the youngest in my family and I’d be the first to walk down the aisle. I was also the one forever least likely to get married, and the most outspoken about not wanting to ever get married at all.
And when it came time for me to sit down and consider who should be in my own bridal party, I did so knowing that there were costs associated with that. They’d have to buy their own dresses, pay for their own hair styling and make-up, and that all adds up.
I initially really wanted to at bare minimum pay for my bridesmaids hair and makeup, but given how completely crippling planning the rest of the wedding became, I legitimately couldn’t afford to give them a dime. I still feel bad about this frankly, and badder still when I remember how short lived the whole thing was.
And I assumed of course, given my sister who I’d chosen to be my maid of honour (because, sisters), there’d be a bachelorette party. She’s far more traditional than me and simply put, loves planning shit.
Another thing to note about my wedding is: almost every step of the way while planning it there were warning signs that we should quit while we were ahead and at least reconsider the way we were doing it, but we pressed on. Which is to say I spent most of 2018 leading up to it frazzled and worried.
As we approached the date I started to get a sense that my sister was going to try to surprise me with the bachelorette party.
Here’s another thing about me: I’m pretty good at planning surprises for others, but rarely has anybody been particularly good at doing it for me, so at this point, I’d pretty adverse to surprises of any kind. I’d rather just know so I can prepare adequately for whatever it is.
My sister was really irritated one afternoon when it was found out that I knew about one of the surprises she had planned for this party. My good friend Jess had let it slip one day in our group chat: we would all be wearing wigs.
I was unfazed when she let it slip and honestly didn’t think anything of it until my sister in a tizzy came to me annoyed about it and made it into a bigger deal than it was.
And low key, I wasn’t keen on the idea anyways, and had hoped this meant we’d kibosh the whole idea (she pressed on with it, of course, after complaining about my friend for this at length).
My sister was never great at hiding things from me, especially if the thing she was trying to hide from me was for some reason something she had to ask me about.
Like how in the weeks leading up to my bachelorette she asked me what limo company I chose for my wedding since she knew I had gotten such a great deal (I am a bargain hunter through and through).
So I knew there would be a limo.
And while, yeah, I went ahead and got the limo for my friends, parents and I, for my wedding day (which by the way was only $150), I’m definitely not a “limo person”. Before this I’d been in a limo 1 other time, which my dad splurged on when we took a family vacation to the Dominican Republic, which was like, the first full-family vacation we had taken since I was around 4 years old (and the first one that we were headed to an airport for).
So before even knowing what we were doing or where we were going, I had already dealt with a couple minor spats about my own bachelorette.
And I otherwise wasn’t sure who’d be in attendance other than my sister and bridesmaids (2), because I just have never had many close girl friends, and the ones I did had become more and more distant as the years progressed.
So who you see pictured above from left to right are:
My sisters best friend Kerri (I’ve known her as long as she has), Kristy (my ex’s groomsman’s wife), my good friend Jess (bridesmaid), Lira (my brothers fiance), me, Stephanie (other bridesmaid), Brittany (my friend Mike’s girlfriend; Mike is Jess’s brother who I went to high school with), and my sister, Jodie.
And to be perfectly honest I’m not used to spending a whole night with just girls so this entire thing made me uncomfortable from the jump, because Jess and Steph are otherwise the only girls I ever spend any one-on-one time with, it just felt like an odd group to me.
Plus there was the whole, we were taking a limo somewhere.
A week or two before the bachelorette I went to the mall to try and find something nice to wear to this secret sororiety girls meeting.
I’d never attended a bachelorette either, and not knowing where we were even going meant I had no idea what I should have on for it.
But, knowing my sister, I assumed I should go ahead and wear a dress. And knowing wedding customs, I assumed it was a safe bet to run with white, plus, it was summer.
I distinctly remember being at the mall and finally finding two white dresses that I was comfortable in. In fact, I was surprised, at the time, because I felt good wearing both of them. I had been taking good care of myself and had shed some unnecessary tummy poundage, and these were tighter fits than I was used to.
And again, just not knowing what exactly we were doing, I sent a photo of myself in each of them to my sister and mom for some feedback.
They weren’t sure either dress was a good call for me.
I went with this one anyways because I felt pretty good in it and thought it’d look nice with a pair of heels:
My mom and sister have a way of constantly putting me down even if that’s not what they intend to do. I think a lot of women don’t realize how their comments come across, especially when they think it’s “acceptable” to be “honest” because you’re “family”.
When I came over they put the sash on me.
And I felt really good about my hair on this day. I used to have a lot of trouble (lack of confidence) getting it to sit right, but on this day I thought I did well and was excited for the first time in a long time to get some pictures of myself looking this way.
This is the only picture of the entire day where I like the way I look.
Immediately after this shot, and after I was told that I arrived too early and this was problematic because my sister wanted to surprise me with everyone already in the wigs and many hadn’t arrived yet, they showed me the wig they chose for me.
“You love blue!”
I also hate short hair.
I went over to the bathroom after they put it on me where Lira helped me fix my shitty makeup, and just hated the way this particular wig framed my face.
Everyone else got to choose their own wig with the only rule being they couldn’t choose blue because that’d ruin the “theme”.
As I waited around I tried to get a response on what we’d be doing, and even said out loud, “it’d be cool just to stay here and hang out by the pool and put on a fire.”
That’s generally how I like to spend time with people, hanging out by a fire, taking it easy. Way easier to talk to people that way.
The response I got back was, “it’s a surprise!”
I’ve never been someone into a lot of what’s considered the normal “bachelor/bachelorette” party fare. I’m not into strip clubs or ridiculous displays of dicks everywhere. But that was part of the surprise on this night: cookies with little panties decorate on them, penis-shaped lolli’s.
All in good fun, I take this stuff in stride, but it’s again just one of those things that makes you wonder if the people planning this type of even “for you” even know you at all.
The next surprise of course was the limo and it wouldn’t be until we got downtown til I’d learn what venue they chose.
It ended up being The Drake Hotel.
“You love this place right?”
I’d been to The Drake two, maybe three times by then. What I liked about it, and which is what I told people after the second time I attended, is that for a while their rooftop patio was outfit exactly the way I like and had described to you: wood logs, lots of little fires, lanterns, so you could stay out there all night without getting cold. It was cool, cozy, and not too big so it never felt too crowded.
Of course, on this night the Drake’s rooftop patio looked nothing like this anymore. They had rebranded and now it was “Chic” and hipster-like.
But I’m a good sport.
“Oh yeah, it’s a great place.”
We got ourselves a table and I took down a couple shots.
Much of the night is lost to me after that. The picture’s aren’t very helpful either; most of them are my friends taking pictures with each other, or them taking pictures with strangers.
And I don’t remember this part but I’m told at some point someone in my party said something to me that pissed me off well enough that I stormed out of the venue entirely.
Then we went home.
Brittany threw up in her wig.
I, like an adult, waited until I got home and made my way into the upstairs bathroom to throw up there instead.
I slept through the limo ride.
They took photo’s of me in an unconscious state.
You know, #bachelorettethings.
Suffice to say, as I thought back on this the next day I really wished they’d just put a fire on in the backyard instead, but it was nice that they tried.
And now back to the comment that reminded me about all of this all over again, as I worked away in my bedroom as I do and the conversations from the kitchen floated up the staircase to my ears.
“Two weddings is a lot. It’s so expensive for the bridal party. For Jaimee’s bachelorette alone I spent at least $1000”.
Nobody asked you to.
I don’t think it’s fair of people to complain about something like this in any circumstance.
If you’re asked to join a bridal party, you’re free to decline.
If you want to throw a bachelorette, and especially if you’re throwing one for someone like me, this could’ve been a $50 pizza night and we’d all have been better for it.
I don’t know yet still if my brother’s fiance will ask me to be part of their party, and I don’t wholly know what I’d say in this moment if they did, but I sure as hell know I wouldn’t be bitching about it 3 years later.
Stay tuned for the next instalment sometime after my divorce is finalized when I explain what this photo is all about.