Of High Heels and Mudslides (and no, I’m not talking about the drink)

There’s been a lot of concern over my well being during the wedding—not from my own date, mind you (he is, after all, the one who served me hot pockets and left me to carry my own suitcase when I went to visit him in Pittsburgh this past summer) but from his mother and his youngest brother.

His brother was the one who first warned me that the ceremony would be outside and advised me to wear a wrap.  Now, both he and his mother are concerned about me wearing heels.

“It’s muddy,” his mother informs me.

“There’s a hill,” his brother echoes.

Being the wedding junkie that I am, I’ve already examined the entire Tyler Arboretum website (just as I’ve already examined the entire website of the estate where I’ll be attending a wedding in Ireland this summer) and nowhere did it say anything about a hill.  Or mud.

I thank Date #7’s mother and brother for their concern but assure them I’ll be fine.  After all, Date #7 has told them very little about me so they have no idea that I’ve backpacked through Europe or that I’ve been dancing in heels since I was nine years old.  They have no idea that I’m an advanced serial dater, and that high heels are basically like a second skin to me.

I’m pretty sure I can handle whatever Tyler Arboretum has to offer—very sure, actually— and seeing as I’ve already been deprived of the opportunity to wear one of my Jomar’s bargain basement gowns, there’s no way I’m downgrading my footwear as well.

I mean it’s not as though I’m doing this:

High heels in mud

I assumed that I would be able to relax until 4:00 or so, at which point I’d slip into my cocktail dress (having already done my hair and makeup) and drive myself over to the arboretum in time for the ceremony at 5:00.  Date #7, on the other hand, assumed that I’d be accompanying him and the other groomsmen at 3:00 to pose for pictures.

“But I’m not one of the groomsmen!” I protested.

“But you’re my date.” he insisted.

“But I’m not going to be in any of the pictures!”

“But you should be.  And I’d like you to come.”

I consult the agenda, which had been distributed by the bride the night before.  The agenda says nothing about the groomsmen’s dates.  So I send Date #7 to consult his mother and before I know it, I’m being marched down to the lobby to depart with the groomsmen, the minister and my wedding BFF at 3:00.

Well then.

The wedding planner is—well, let’s just say she won’t be getting her own show on the Style Network any time soon, and seeing as I’m with the groomsmen, no one is taking charge.  They’re mainly concerned with getting the alcohol down the to bar for the cocktail hour and the minister is mainly interested in get the alcohol from the bar into his glass so no one takes the initiative to find the photographer to let them know that the groomsmen have arrived.

I am, for all intents and purposes, freezing.  I’ve brought my raincoat, which is my most stylish lightweight jacket, and I’ve brought a wrap, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the end of October and my date is completely oblivious to my plight.

Fortunately, the minister is a proper southern gentleman, and, coincidently, a southern gentleman who likes his bourbon.  When the groomsmen are dithering over how to pin their boutonnieres, he sneaks off to the bar and comes back with a drink.

“Where did you get that?” I hiss.  We’d bonded at the rehearsal dinner once I realized that he wasn’t your typical redneck, tee-totaling, Bible thumper.

“At the bar,” he replies, “you want one?”

“The bar’s not ever open yet!”

He shrugs.  “They’ve got bourbon… whiskey… gin…  What do you want?”

Five minutes later I have a glass of red one in one hand and half a dozen pins in the other.  I start with the Best Man and work my way down the pecking order, shaking my head and trying not to sound too condescending as I lecture, “The boutonniere goes on your lapel.  No.  Not on that side.  Give it to me!”

Now I know why Date #7’s mother has seemed so distraught all afternoon.  She’s been dealing with her husband and three grown sons all weekend!  First there was the Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants incident (in which Date #7 somehow ended up in his dad’s trousers), then the handkerchief-folding fiasco (in which all three of the groomsmen got fed up trying to follow the directions, only to shove a bunch of wadded up balls into their pockets) and finally, last but not least, the suspenders boycott, which resulted in a minor striptease in the parking lot when Date #7 realized that he was the only one actually wearing his suspenders.

And all this before the ceremony had even started.

Of course, to reach the ceremony site, one had to first descend the “hill.”

I was still feeling rather confident about my hiking-in-high-heels abilities, especially as I was quite certain that a wedding venue must make some sort of provisions for elderly grandmothers and infirm guests.

Well, I was wrong.

And I didn’t realize I was wrong until I’d said goodbye to Date #7 and gone to take my seat.  As I began my descent, Date #7’s brother called out, “Kat, go the other way!  There are stairs on the other side!”

Of course I was too far down to see the stairs, and I was pissed at Date #7 for not taking it upon himself warn me about the stairs, and pissed at stupid Tyler Arboretum for not posting some sort of signage to deter guests from plunging to their deaths, so I did the only logical I could: I pulled off my heels, plotted a switchback course down the hill and soldiered on, teetering barefoot through the mud.

(Which Date #7’s mother was right about.  It was cold and wet and plentiful and oozing between my toes for the remainder of the evening.)

11 Responses to “Of High Heels and Mudslides (and no, I’m not talking about the drink)”

  1. Lost in France

    This story just gets better and better.
    Can not imagine how it must have been to go through the whole wedding with muddy feet. Bet you had not planned for that when selecting the outfit and shoes.
    ‘will these look good with mud?’

  2. lifeandothermisadventures

    Oh no! This man really isn’t winning any points, is he?

  3. Mistaken Identity at the Cocktail Hour | After I Quit My Day Job

    […] Of High Heels and Mudslides (and no, I’m not talking about the drink) (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com) Spread the love!FacebookFacebookTwitterStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Philadelphia and tagged dating, faux pas, humor, postaday2011, Relationships, Wedding. Bookmark the permalink. ← The (art of avoiding the) Heart of the Matter […]

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    Its such as you read my thoughts! You seem to understand a lot about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you could do with some percent to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, that is magnificent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  5. TheSleeper

    Kat, sometimes it’s fun to peek in on a pretty girl and find she has good and bad days like the rest of us. You have a way of telling-it-like-it-is. Also fun to be along for the ride, kinda like sitting on your shoulder. You have seen other parts of the world that a lot of people don’t get to see. I think they call those (you) kind of people “Worldly”. Oh not in a mystical way but in a wise, I been to the mountain kinda way. The ability to see people and events from different sides is satisfying to the beholder and to Heck with the one way POV. Anyway, thanks and Ta Ta.


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