“Ah…lalalalalalalala. Ah…lalalalalalalala.” I can’t stop pretending to be Margaret Cho. I just can’t. Your nice-girl-goody-two-shoes friend Chiara has a secret, wordless love for this woman..the kind of secret, wordless love that causes you to proclaim in in a wordy, non-secret fashion in your online journal, apparently. Seeing her movie last night was like seeing her show live, because the audience was super rowdy and was getting up and cheering and everything. It was like being at a live show except with a really good seat, which I don’t ever get at the Paramount (where it was filmed) anyway. Really brought out the trash-talker in me. My favorite part, beside the above-referenced lalalalala thing, was when she mentioned the weird link between BDSM, Star Trek, and the Renaissance Fair. Carl and I looked at each other and thought of about eight people we knew who fit that description perfectly. That Margaret Cho, finger on the pulse! Ha!
She told more jokes in this movie than in her last one, where she talked a lot about her weight issues and eating disorders. Is everyone tired of body image issues yet? I’m not, actually. I think about them all the time. I was thinking about going on that Atkins diet thing. My sister sent me the book and I tried to read it but I just couldn’t do it. I’m trying to be more conscious about what I eat and I am trying to exercise more. I resonated quite well when Margaret…I call her “Margaret,” you see, because she is my girlfriend…said, at one of the non-joke parts of the show, “What if this is just what I look like? What if this is just it?” She talked about something I’ve thought about a lot, namely, what would you do with all the time you would save if you didn’t say “Ugh, I’m so fat” every time you look in the mirror, every time you suck your gut in when you pass a plate glass window. I’ve thought about writing a letter to my senators or something (Hi Patty and Maria!) every time I judged my body against another woman’s, or said “Oh, I hate my thighs.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop.
I think, if you’re fat, there’s a fantasy that if you lose weight, everything else in your life will fall into place. It probably doesn’t work like that, although I do think that people in general don’t like fat folks and that there is some discrimination against fat people. I think maybe sometimes skinny folks get to get out of jail free, so to speak. I am not in the category of fat where little kids point and laugh at you in the grocery store (I mean, at least I haven’t heard any, yet), but I am in the category of fat where you hate to shop because the salegirls at the Gap give you snide looks when you ask for a size fourteen…or sometimes, even a (gasp!) sixteen. That’s right! That’s a category of fat that thinks longingly to a Time Before Hips and Breasts and doesn’t wear shorts in public. The kind that asks their sisters, who have lost a lot of weight on Atkins, to send them the book, because maybe it’s time to “take control of your life.” I mean, yes, maybe it is time to take control of my life. I certainly think my eating habits have changed over the years, for the better. Does that count? Does it count that my body is flexible and that I am a stronger hiker than I was a couple of years ago? Maybe. I don’t know. I think that thin people…genetically thin people, who can eat whatever they want, as the saying goes, have a hard time understanding fat people, and vice versa. In this culture, it’s like living in two separate worlds.
So, what am I saying here? Well, I love seeing Margaret Cho, even if only in a movie, because I think she is so beautiful. She’s fat, I guess. She had a little belly roll in the movie. She was in jeans and a shirt for this one, but in her last movie she did that cool skirt over pants thing that I keep meaning to try even though it’s several years out of date. Do you think a short button-up red dress (left over from the late nineties when I was swing dancing a lot) over slight boot-cut jeans with skinny Merrill shoes would look cool, by the way? I think I’ll try wearing it to work and see if people laugh at me. Anyway, there’s something about seeing a woman like her who has been tortured, sort of, because of her weight and her looks, not to mention her ethnicity. Made me feel sort of proud to be big and fat, if you must know the truth. I liked the last part of her show the best, when she said, “…and love each other without restraint…unless you’re into leather, then you’ll probably want to use restraints.” I’d like to see what I could do if I didn’t restrain myself from all sorts of things because of my weight.
[Put a segue here. Pretend I said something witty or pithy or something that ties those paragraphs up there about my girlfriend Margaret, and the paragraph or so I’m going to tell you about the wedding I just got back from. Okay? All segued out, are we? Okay.]
I’ve talked about weddings before…a lot of my friends have got married in the past three or so years, and when I say, “a lot” I mean “almost all.” I’ve been a bridesmaid a total of five times, two of which were MOH, thanks for asking. I have tasted many a cake and tied together many a bundle of Jordan almonds with little circles of tulle. I can sing you Pachelbel’s Canon backwards, forwards, and sideways (DAH! Duh! DAH! Duh! DUH! Duh! DAH! Duh!”). Rice, birdseed, bubbles…all have been dutifully broadcast by me in the appropriate manner in the name of nuptial festivities. When I was unemployed, I thought that maybe I would ditch the whole social worker thing and be a wedding coordinator instead, as I had begun to have strong opinions about things like favors and seating arrangements.
So going to this wedding today, at which I knew absolutely no one except Carl’s family, was a little bit weird. The cool thing about it was that it was a very neighborhoody wedding, and so everyone there had grown up together. The other cool thing was that the groom was really really happy and had just the greatest smile during the whole thing. It was quite touching. The bride, on the other hand. I don’t know. She looked sort of bored, for some reason. She looked like her feet hurt. Later I learned that she’s been up since four this morning (an excellent reason to have an evening wedding, in my opinion) and is going to Honduras tonight at midnight, and apparently very nervous about traveling. So maybe that was it. I sound like a total jerk saying all this. I mean, nice guest who comes and eats the wedding food and then is all, “Yeah, the bride didn’t look like she was having much fun. Plus, I am so over purple bridesmaid dresses.” And I don’t even know her, but you know, she really didn’t look like she was having too much fun. She looked tired and stressed. Maybe she was. The other thing was that there was hardly anyone the couples’ age there, for some reason. A lot of their parents’ friends, I think. I’m used to weddings where there are at least three tables full of high school and college friends whooping and hollering and stealing the flower girl’s wreath to take hilarious pictures with and falling into the cake and dancing like crazy people and generally causing a scene. That’s a fun wedding.
I know I’m spoiled. All the other weddings I’ve been to, even the ones when I didn’t know the bride and groom especially well, have been really fun. Even the more casual ones felt like events. It helps a lot that most of the people I know happen to get married in gorgeous mansions or on the beach or in a botanical garden or have a post-wedding croquet game or something. I haven’t ever resented being a bridesmaid because all the brides I’ve known have been so sweet and funny and fun. So when I go to a wedding where I don’t know anyone and where no one seems to be smiling, it seems completely un-wedding-like. That’s my excuse for being a jerk, okay? I guess I won’t have to worry about being invited to any more weddings ever again now, will I?
I’ve gone through times where I really wanted to be married…or more precisely, have a wedding, because I have all these great ideas. I thought it would be funny to have a prom wedding, where everyone has to come in ruffled tuxedos and fluffy eighties’ prom dresses and get their pictures taken in front of the arch…I didn’t go to my prom (shocker!), and so this would be a way to finally go to one. Then I thought that getting married at Parrot Jungle would be super great…and instead of bouquets, the bridesmaids carry parrots on their arms! Everyone who grows up in Miami, you see, is required by law to go to Parrot Jungle once a year and have Polaroid pictures taken of them, terrified, with huge macaws on their arms. Having the bird poop on you is optional, I’m told, but it happened to me every year.
I think my best idea was the one about getting married at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of my favorite places in (what I have seen of) the entire world. This would require getting scuba certified with your fiance, but I think in the grand scheme of life that wouldn’t be so bad. Certainly come in handy on the honeymoon, right? Okay, so the bride and groom are dressed up in wedding mermaid costumes…stay with me here…and they are postioned on rocks over the big coral reef tank. Let’s say, for the sake of my idea, that this tank has dolphins in it. So, you gather up there at the top and say your vows (maybe the bridesmaids should carry some seaweed? Or an otter?) and then, then, for the ring exchange, they dive down to the bottom, put the rings on each others’ fingers, and then hop on some dolphins who carry them to the top. You have to imagine the hands with the rings surfacing first…and they should have their first kiss still sitting on the dolphins, don’t you think? And then they get to feed the fish in the giant tank. And then everyone has dinner in front of the jellyfish display, and I’m pretty sure (I mean, I haven’t worked out all the details yet) the bride and groom change into more formal attire. Maybe they bring out the octopus for show and tell…I think that the touch tanks should definitely be open so you can pet the bat rays. Now, see? Isn’t that cool? Wouldn’t you love to go to something like that? Especially if the favors were some yummy shell-shaped chocolates or something? I don’t understand why none of my married friends wanted to take my planning advice. No one ever listens to my good ideas.
Yackety yack, schmackety schmack. I know all of my hordes of readers love me when they not only suffer through reading about actual weddings I’ve been to, but also imaginary weddings to which I have yet to go. Y’all are the best. Hey, I just remembered something. Look up a couple paragraphs to where I was being a jerk. Wanna know something cool about this wedding? The bride and groom’s kiss? Was totally, totally passionnate. There was a very big statue of a very stern-looking nun right there in the chapel, but they didn’t care. They kissed like people who really meant it. I have to concentrate more on that sort of thing than on all the stupid details of the weddings I go to. So if you invite me to your wedding, I promise to behave, okay? And when Margaret and I get married we’ll invite you, too. We’ll let you hold the otters.