04 January 2011

The Oriental Trading Company Will Lie To You And Make You Sad


"The Oriental Trading Wedding Catalog" Will Lie To You And Make You Sad.

 I recently discovered that, when one gets engaged,one mysteriously starts receiving bushels of wedding-related catalogs. They're really kind of amazing, in their fervent belief that NO object is too trivial to be turned into a fetishistic wedding decoration/ornament/rather doubtful gift. I spent the hours in which I should have been cleaning, today, mesmerized like a cobra by a mongoose,  by the wares featured in the mysterious and possibly-not-really-Asian, bridal  catalog, "Oriental Trading Wedding!Everything from "Will You" to "I do"!""  - Yikes. No, really. Yikes.

 Apparently, there is an insatiable demand for items such as: custom flip flops for one's wedding guests, something I thought was pretty amazingly tacky,until I learned that Ivanka Trump had those at her recent wedding to Jared Kushner. (Wait...which is the Trump daughter? Ivanka? What's the mom's name? Why do I care? Did Heidi and Spencer really break up? Is Heidi now going to pursue a career as an inflatable pool toy? But we digress. -And how.) But I still think flip flops are tacky.

There are also slightly distressing items. Somehow, the photo of wooden chairs set up outside with customized paper fans on them, is not reassuring. 
Why not  go all out, and have huge monogrammed blocks of ice for the VIP guests to sit on?Or  why not skip the fans altogether and have the damn thing INside? I hate outdoor weddings. My stiletto  heels always sink into the grass/sand/Jello/best man, and I wobble in an unflattering manner.  Not good. Also, there are always gnats in the crab dip. Between wobbling, spitting out gnat-filled crab bits unobtrusively into the shrubbery, and wrasslin' the mother in law for a seat on the monogrammed ice block, it all goes to hell in a handbasket quickly. -A tasteful, monogrammed, white satin handbasket. See catalog. Page 5.

We will quickly pass over the "Personalized Wedding Knife", on page 9. It doesn't bear thinking about. Although it will come in handy at about three AM when the bride accuses her new hubby of staring at the bridesmaids' cleavage, and he responds that she shouldn't have dressed her closest female friends like "Little Bo Peep Becomes A Prostitute: The Movie", and pretty soon the Personalized Wedding Knife's TRUE purpose becomes all  too apparent.

Some of these catalog items have the reek of desperation about them, an air of "methinks the couple doth protest too much."  One catalog is very big on having you, the Gentle Reader, engrave the phrase "Bruce and Carleen: Two Hearts, One Love." on everything-  Well yes. Two hearts, one love: One would hope so: these people are getting married, after all. "Two Hearts, One Mutually Unspoken But Relieved Agreement To Settle" is accurate but depressing, and "Three Hearts,One Love" while amusing, would be complicated. And probably French. And  finally, "Two Hearts, Four Kidneys, One Appendix, and Two Silicone Implants: One Love", while interesting and informative, would be prohibitively costly to engrave.  And who, exactly,are Bruce and Carleen? Unless you are a 1950's country singer and/or own a small hair salon in Atkins, Georgia, you should not be spelling your name with two successive "ee"s. 
-Bruce, you're fine. Though probably gay.

Oooh, look, we're at the "Excessive Crosses" section already! Reaffirm your faith AND make your Jewish guests uncomfortable! Talk about win-win! -And here! Page 18! There are WASPy butter mints tastefully wrapped in Episcopal Cross wrappers, which say to me: 1) The food at this wedding is NOT going to be tasty,  but WILL have all the crusts cut off; and 2) After this evening? This couple will never have sex again.

(I grew up Episcopal. I'm allowed to say this. Besides, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that the WASPier the wedding, the crappier the food.) 

I could go on and on. The "Save the Date" wedding magnet, which OSTENSIBLY shows a cartoon couple "taking the plunge" in snorkels   (?), but ACTUALLY looks like they are hanging themselves simultaneously. (Image to come...it's awesome.)  There are other "Save The Date" magnets, that seem to read "Eric and David Are Getting Married!", which I LOVED, but which seemed a little unexpected. I also read one as "Dawn and Marie:Gettin Hitched!" but it turned out to be "Dawn and Marc", much to my disappointment.-On page 23, there is a white, wedding themed birdcage, to symbolize your coming entrapment, despair, and your ultimate fate of,metaphorically, winding up ,feet in the air, on a seed strewn page of last week's newspaper. Fun! -The "cartoon bride and groom" themed toilet paper, page 29, makes the "Personalized Knife" seem both optimistic AND tasteful.  The "Round Silver Cardboard Dinner Plates" (page 32) look -by accident or design- EXACTLY like the tinware found in prison mess halls; page 46 features, grimly, THREE MORE personalized Wedding Knives; and this Trilogy Of Resignation And Doom is rounded off, on page 72, with the suggestion that you gift your bridesmaids with--wait for it--engraved flasks. Because they will crave the sweet embrace of that one special man on this romantic day: yes,  we mean Johnny Walker Black. 

{An upbeat note here: the Jordan Almonds in your wedding colors are cool. I love Jordan Almonds. You can never go wrong with Jordan Almonds. And the personalized candy corn is cool too, although it might confuse your guests into thinking it's actually Halloween, and your "bride and groom" outfits are costumes. But only if you've already given them their flasks.}

To sum up: In the words of one satisfied  customer, under "Advice From The Bride", are these golden gems of helpful wisdom:

1) Put a SPECIAL centerpiece on the table of the bride and groom! [Um, yes. DUH. The "Dixie Cup with a daisy in it",while sweet, won't really do it.]

2) Have plenty of champagne and wine glasses on hand for the adult guests! {Because everyone lying under the wine box spigot and gulping, just TAKES too damn long.}

3) Polyester flowers make EVERYTHING more elegant!  [Well, no. No,they don't. Truly not. Please,God.No.}

and, this final, enigmatic gem:

4) When it comes to your Wedding Day, skimping on the special details shouldn't be optional.   {Well, of course not! Or, of course! Or...wait, what does this MEAN?" Not not skimping on the details should not be not optional?" Or, "Skimp away?" What???]

So pull up a block of monogrammed ice, sharpen your Wedding Knife, and call yourself Bruce And Carleen. Remind guests that you are getting married because you are in LOVE, with two hearts and one love and a vestigial appendix, and not because you're almost thirty and let's face it,  the dating pool is dwindling. Put on your flip flops, fill up your flask and relax! , secure in the knowledge that: The divorce rate is 53 %, your BRIDESmaids, at the end of the day, will -unlike YOU- still be single; and really: Jordan Almonds are SO TASTY!! Especially in Your Colors.

And polyester flowers go with everything.

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Peri Lyons c 6/1/2010 all rights reserved


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