The World As Mare Sees It...
Fifty-One! 2003-02-07

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Diaryland

Operation Mini-Skirt: -51 lbs.
Mental State: Grand. I hit 50 and kept going. How bloody cool is that?

Imagined Conversations That Work For Me Because Fantasies Have Taken The Place Of Big Macs

Random Anyone: Hey! Mare! What's up? What've you been doing lately?
Me, ever so casually: Oh, not much. I lost over fifty pounds. Yourself?

or...

Random BMOC-type Anyone From High School, Preferably in a Nightspot Full of Beautiful People: Hi! Can I buy you a drink? What's your name?
Me: Go screw, asshole.

or...

Well, perhaps not. Any imagined conversations from there on in could get a little... bitter. Violent, even.

* * *

I have very little planned for the weekend aside from a tentative coffee date for Sunday, with Mandy and the Greeks. I know it's only coffee, but I really hope it happens actually. I've not seen nor heard from Mandy, aside from one pithy email, in over a week. We've both been busy, y'see. But I miss my friend. (That's sounds sad and pathetic, doesn't it? Tough. My diary. I can whinge if I want to.)

* * *

I lost fifty-one pow-unds! I lost fifty-one pow-unds!

* * *

I'm in a bit of a quandary.
I've been invited to the wedding of a girl I hardly know.
The bride? She was a receptionist here for a few months... I think six, on the outside. This ended... er... four months ago, maybe? Something like that. Anyway, at the time, Jane - that's her name - a lovely but very shy, very simple girl of Polish origin was engaged to be married into an old-school Sicilian family. Her own cultural ways had long been abandoned and replaced by Canadian habits, so you just knew right away that her future mother-in-law was gonna railroad the poor girl into having whatever wedding she, Mamma Sicilia, wanted.

Let's put it this way. Before she met and eventually became engaged to Frank (whom I've never met, by the way), poor Jane had no idea what a busta was. Busta (BOO-stah) is the Italian word for envelope. In the context of weddings, it refers to the envelope that's given by the guests to the bride and groom. It contains a lovely example of Hallmark wedding wishes and at least a hundred bucks a head. (How else did you think those excessively lavish Italian weddings get paid for?) Bringing a gift is practically unheard of. That's what excessively lavish bridal showers are for. If one shows up at an Italian wedding with a large gift, attractively wrapped in that really heavy, pricey embossed-with-doves-and-angels wrapping paper... regardless of the possibility that it could contain an enormously expensive piece of crystal; or an investment-type purchase in the housewares genre; or an original Picasso and a gold bar!... one would be dismissed as (a)mangia-cake and/or (b)cheap and/or (c)ignorant. For those not in the know, mangia-cake is the Italo-Canadese slang for Canadian/WASP/Anglo/Not Italian/Generally Fair-Skinned And Too Skinny Type Person. It literally translates to 'Eat Cake' and refers to... God... I don't know... something about mangia-cake types never eating anything heartier than cake, I guess. C'mon. Y'all saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding. You know Ian? The hottie groom? There you go. Mangia-cake. And his parents were even cakier.

So, where was I? Yeah, Jane. She told me once that she had to explain to her mother-in-law that some of her guests wouldn't know the busta tradition, and would bring a gift instead. Mamma Sicilia responded in stereotypical 40-years-in-Canada-but-still-speaks-broken-English that people like that - regardless of how closely related they may be - should just NOT BE INVITED. Then she bustled off to do her 32-year-old son's bed. Capisce?

By the looks of this invitation, it's got all the markings of a stupidly old-school, ridiculously Italian wedding. And poor Jane doesn't, I don't think, have that large of a family. Nor does she have a large circle of friends or acquaintances. Consequently, regardless of the fact that I never saw her out of the office and I was only distant colleagues with her for about six months, AND I've not seen hide nor hair of the girl since her last day here... I got invited to her wedding. Not only did I get invited, so did a few others in the office, and they knew her even less than I did. Co-incidentally, they're all Italian. They know the busta thing and they've all said, "No. Nuh-uh. Forget that." And really, who could blame them? It's not just the money, but also the fact that who knows this girl?! I mean, if I go, and bring a date, that's two hundred, two hundred and fifty dollars and I'm probably never gonna see this girl again! So yeah... everyone else has sent they're RSVP already. But... and this is where we go back to my quandary... I feel so BAD! I mean, the girl hardly knows anyone. She doesn't have a lot of friends/family/acquaintances. Her fiancÚ` probably has close to two hundred people coming from his side, and she'll be lucky enough to scare up 40. I'm sure she did it with good intentions, inviting us because she enjoyed our friendship during her tenure here... but hell, let's admit it. In the face of her dragon-lady mother-in-law, she's also trying to bring up the bride-side numbers. So she invites perfectly nice but virtual strangers to her wedding.

I don't want to go. I DON'T want to go. But I just know that I am the only chance of anyone from this company attending, and how horrible is it gonna be for this poor bride when she realises that NOT ONE person from her old place of work is going to come to her wedding? I REALLY don't want to go, but if I mark Regretfully No on that card and mail it back, I just know I'm going to be tortured with guilt and misgivings from now until a week after the date of the wedding. But if I DO give into my soft heart and attend, I'm out not only a couple of hundred dollars, but also an evening that could be better put to use. It will instead be spent with 200 Italians that I don't know, and 50 Miscellaneous that I'll probably end up chatting with, if only because I'll feel moved to explain what the antipasto is, or why, after 14 courses of dinner AND dessert, it is still necessary to lay out at midnight an 18-foot sweet table laden with pastries and other assorted bits of fat and cholesterol.

So that's my coil. Watta my gonna do 'bout it?

Have a darling of a day, my beauties. And remember... I lost 51 pow-unds!

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