Long-distance phone conversations with my mother always include three elements:
1. Comparative weather reports
2. Subtle zingers aimed at the city of Los Angeles
3. Hometown gossip
Recently she remarked, “Holly-Jeanne Hanson* just got engaged to a lawyer from Charleston.”
(Loosely translated, this means, “Lord, child. What on earth have you been doing with your time? And how, pray tell, are you going to meet a lawyer from Charleston out there?”)
“I hear the wedding is going to be a little much. Horse-drawn carriages and what have you….”
While she prattled on, I typed the words “WeddingChannel.com” into my browser and did a spontaneous search for HJH, who was a year behind me in high school.
Talk about a font of information!
The future Mr. Holly-Jeanne Hanson beamed back at me, squirrelly and earnest. Apparently he proposed on a golf course (yawn). There will be nine bridesmaids and eight groomsmen, which sounds like an awful lot of people to cram into a carriage. Especially in June, when it’s unbearably hot and muggy.
Just to be clear, I am not invited to this wedding. As far as I know, neither is my mother.
But once I started snooping, I couldn’t stop. I had no choice but to click on each of their four (!) scrolling gift registries.
(I’m sorry, but Vera Wang “Love Knots” dinnerware? Really Holly-Jeanne? That’ll be gooey and cute for about five weeks, after which you will hate the entire set. Trust me.)
It dawned on me that just about anybody who’d gotten hitched in the last three years (or planned to in the year ahead) might very well have one of these pages.
Grade school crushes. Episcopal Youth Fellowship flings. Untouchably gorgeous girls from rival sororities. I probed like a wild woman! You’ve never seen so many wedding websites, all full of telling photos and dishy details never intended for me.
“Are you even listening?” Mama Manners demanded, rattling the ice cubes in her afternoon glass of sweet tea.
“Oh yes, I was just online gaping at Holly-Jeanne’s over-the-top silver pattern.”
“No! Really?” Her excitement was wickedly contagious. “How over-the-top?”
“Hang on, let me send you a link…”
(*Names have been changed to protect insufferably sentimental brides.)