Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Groom's Side Part II....I Have To Do What?

 Wedding Site....59th St. Pier, Ocean City, NJ
...…And so, my quest to perform the duties as the mother of the groom to perfection continues. Maybe perfection is too strong of a goal. I want to do things right, but in reality, I’ll just be glad not to embarrass myself. My husband has been of no help since he has taken the “just give me the date, the time and what you want me to wear.” position. In short, he has left me flying solo on my mission to navigate through internet wedding etiquette sites. And to be honest, I’ve hit some turbulence.

There are thousands of sites that direct themselves to the parents of the bride and each one of them contains some small script addressed to the parents of the groom saying “the rehearsal dinner is your responsibility”. We get this. The place has already been selected and the menu is being worked on. But after that, there are just vague suggestions of what the groom's parents “could” offer to pay for, like flowers, rings, honeymoons, photographers or the bar bill at the reception (yeah….no, that last one is not going to happen. A lot of our friends are coming).

And to further confuse things, there are several sites that suggest that maybe, just maybe, the groom’s mother could fulfill her duties simply by blending in. (The groom’s father will do this willingly). Take for instance Now, this website is a division of the Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times and is designed to give expert advice on any subject typed into its search engine. So, I’m thinking that this is where I need to be, right? Uh…wrong! When I typed in “responsibilities of the groom’s mother”, I was told to shut up. Literally.

“Your little boy is all grown up and is getting married. Now you're not just Mom, you're the Mother of the Groom. There's a traditional saying about what the mother of the groom is supposed to do – Show Up, Shut Up and Wear Beige.” What? And then it continues, “While mothers of the groom don't really need to wear beige anymore they still need to shut up. I know this may be hard to hear, but it's true. You may have some helpful advice to share, but make sure you stop giving it before it becomes intrusive or nagging.” I have nowhere to go with this, umm….useful (?) information.

 As “show up, shut up and wear beige” is still resonating in my head, I quickly switch websites and find this on; “The groom's mom should only compliment the gowns to be worn by the bride's mom and bridesmaids, not overdo or outdo them.”. Well no problem here. As a non-speaking, non-intrusive mother of the groom dressed in beige and blending in with the sand at a beach wedding, it would be hard to “outdo” anyone. Maybe I should just put on a wet suit and quietly snorkel in the nearby waves. Do they sell beige wet suits?

Most of the websites I visit are all basically telling me the same thing my sister told me when she got her driver’s license a year ahead me, “You’re allowed to go, but get in the back seat”. And I know that the bride and her family don’t really feel this way! They have warmly included us in all of the decisions so far. I just can’t help wanting to stay ahead of the game and provide the services that might be expected of us.

So I decide to get serious and visit where renowned etiquette expert Emily Post states on weddings “traditions adapt to modern times, the bride and groom and their families may split the wedding costs many different ways. However, a set of guidelines still exists for who pays for what in a wedding. The bride's parents foot most of the bill, but the groom's parents also have a number of financial responsibilities….” And then, once again, the vagueness of what those responsibilities are continued.

The one thing we have on our side here is that the bride and groom are both college educated professionals who will be very responsible with a wedding budget; there is no fear that they will waste funds on matching ring tattoos. So, with that in mind, I decided to abandon all wedding websites for further advice, and my husband and I offered a lump sum amount to the couple that they can use where ever needed.

I am comfortable in that decision and can now set my sites on the next item of my personal wedding agenda. In September, I start working with a personal trainer. If I have to “show up, shut up and where beige”, I’m going to look damn good doing it. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summers Swan Song.......

It is the first week of August and here in the Northeast part of the country it means just one thing….summer is over. I know, I know there are still 6 weeks till the calendar declares the first official day of fall, but trust me, it’s over. Sitting in the kitchen, finally browsing through last Sunday’s sale circulars, it became apparent that in spite of the 94 degree weather predicted for the day, we should be shopping for sweaters, sweatshirts and leather shoes. Bathing suits, sandals, garden tools and pool toys have been relegated to the back “clearance” page, if mentioned at all. And even as a professed lover of autumn, I find this a little sad.

And I place all the blame for my internal seasonal clock being out of whack on retailers. Now, I can understand all the “Back to school ads”, but winter coats? Come on! I work in an industry where summer is our busiest time of year, so it is not unusual that calendar pages turn while escaping my attention. But seeing pumpkins, gourds and hay stacks on craft store inserts has snapped me back to reality! So before Labor Day weekend comes and slams the door on summer, I pledge to:

Ignore the heat and sit on my deck with a glass of iced tea and a magazine at least twice a week.

As a twitter friend just reminded me….I will eat more watermelon before its cool, sweet taste is a memory.

I will call my sister and tell her to grab a float and come join me in the pool.
That is not me, I just liked this body better than mine.

I will make Ice Box Cake one more time!

I will eat more Jersey fresh blue claw crabs!
My sons cooked, prepared....and paid for these!!!

I will eat more Jersey fresh….everything!

I will put my lawn chair close to the rear of the yard and watch the neighbor’s kids chase lightening bugs.

I will not complain about the heat (but no such promise on the subject of humidity)!
(While searching for pictures describing "hot" this came's about  as hot as it gets. Especially with 50 shades o f grey on his face")

Okay, I'm back.

 I will….oh, wait, I better get busy on this list. I just saw a Hallmark circular for Christmas ornaments! Yikes!!!

So please, make the pledge to enjoy what is left of summer!!!

Photos supplied by ImageGoggle and J. Phelps