Bridesmaids Revisited-Truth Revealed
Contributor
Written by
Rhonda Talbot
May 2011
Contributor
Written by
Rhonda Talbot
May 2011

 

Mirror-mirror on the wall, who is the phoniest of them all.

 

I never dreamed of being a bride, never gave it any thought at all frankly. Maybe because my mother told me when I was seven that marriage sucks and so do men.

After seeing the movie Bridesmaids, I was inspired to share my own experience.

                                                                         ****

I had my fair share of affairs and then the one court-house wedding because I had gotten pregnant at a very young age. I wanted the baby but to raise on my own, not with the dunderhead I had copulated with.

 The marriage lasted a couple years and I couldn’t wait for him to leave. He was hoarder, and I have cleanliness O.C.D, he was also an actor, and at that time I had no respect for them, let alone slip into pregnancy with one. I was focusing on my business career, and developing a life post college graduation. 

 

 He was also a “seeker” from the Maharishi, to orange robes to UFO’s and back again. I took a theology course in college and was complete regarding the spiritual world. Finally he was a cheater, a liar and a “gas lighter,” not that I cared because I just wanted this union to end before any further embarrassment.

 

“Rhonda, I saw your husband grinding some girl in the Pavilions parking lot. Does he always wear a bathrobe at night? Or Rhonda, I saw your husband getting a hand job with some chick in the co-ed gym sauna” and finally “Rhonda, did you know our husband was waving crystals and sage over some girl who has HIV?" I threw him out, along with his stacks of L.A. Weekly’s dating back 20 years and his hordes of journals.

 

Many years and affairs later, I met a guy in a coffee line in Utah, well dressed, witty, I knew he was a good person,  possibly a Mormon, so my first reaction was to run like hell. But my girlfriends told me I needed to switch it up, stop with the artists, infants, and scummy wallet diggers. 

 

 As it turned out, the witty guy, M, lived 6 blocks from me in Los Angeles, so I “dated” him, something I had ever done before. He took me to dinner, opened my car door, brought me roses, goofy greeting cards and chocolates (I really had him pegged as some kind of boy-scout nerd who forgot he actually grew up.) He called me EVERY DAY just to say hello and to also comment on what fine weather we were having.

 

“Hi there beautiful!  Have you been outside!  Another gorgeous day…  must be in the 80’s…. not a cloud in the sky!” He sounded like Rick Dees and edging into the stalker territory, nonetheless, I kept going, mostly because my girlfriends wouldn’t let up and also I was starting to enjoy his company. So what if he was corny, old fashioned, said things like neat and might fine sweater you are wearing. He was also handsome, quite smart, heard every word I said (new for me) and he loved my son, (by then, seven) who he met after four months of this dating. And my son liked him. He took him roller-blading, biking, fishing, camping, ball-games, swimming, we went on vacations all over the country. 

 

“Mom, this is how it should be!  It’s no longer quiet and boring.”   He loved having M around. Who can blame him?  And honestly I was tired of putting together 12,000 piece Legos.

 

My son’s excitement pretty much clinched the deal, so after a few years of exclusive dating, M proposed, a very well thought out proposal, not over the top, but somehow perfect for me. 

 

I love the rain, it happened to be raining the last day of the millennium and he filled my house with my favorite flowers and luscious smelling candles. I knew he was going to propose at some point but thought most likely Valentine’s Day, not New Years Eve. So I was in fact surprised.

 

Once that giant, shiny diamond was on my finger, I changed into some kind of crazed girl I didn’t recognize, a personality I had never met before.  I rushed out and bought stacks of wedding magazines, poured over dress designs, investigated wedding coordinators and scouted for the perfect destination wedding spot.  Did I suddenly have split personalities? I was too busy to be bothered trying to answer this complex question.

 

There were menus to be designed, invitations to be crafted, ceremony programs, a blues band, an original song list, the first dance song (Fever!) funny but endearing vows, an officiator, a one-of-a-kind cake, a theme to tie it all together, then the guest list, seating charts. My to-do list was, ten pages long, color-coded and dated, a countdown.  I fired the wedding coordinator; she simply couldn’t keep up with me. 

 

After sampling 5 beachfront hotels, I chose the perfect one, complete with a spiraling staircase, then I hand-picked every single room for the guests that would be staying the weekend because I knew their taste.  I put together gift baskets, arranged massages, weekend activities, (okay I did not get wife and groom T-shirts.) No detail was overlooked. Being in the film business, or perhaps any business that requires precision and focus was an added bonus; truthfully this is exactly how movies are prepared; down to the onset photographer and videographer.

Which brings me to the BRIDESMAIDS.  I recently saw this film. I know it’s played for laughs, and I did laugh in some parts, often I would also cringe, who didn’t, mostly because it was not just raunchy but much of it didn’t ring true. 

 

I want to draw some comparisons to prove my own personal point.

 

I asked MY childhood friend to be my Maid of Honor, we were both a little wild back in those post Woodstock days, but Carol was slightly more. By that I mean she was a bit whorish, the groupie type slutty kind. We went to tons of rock concerts; saw everyone from Mick Jagger to Led Zeppelin to T-Rex. I’m certain we missed no one except, well the greats, Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison because they were already dead.  But I digress. Carol had the big, floppy  boobs and slippery hips, wore tube tops and belts posing as shorts, a very flirty girl and was often called a prick tease, because really, at 14, all she wanted was male attention. Not actual sex.

 

 I was the terrified one, no boobs, and fully clothed, not to mention I had no interest in boys/men, just liked music but wanted to be cool like her, so night after night as she flung herself around various rock deities, I sat in the car and waited.  Sometimes she would emerge with a broken drum stick or a promotional T-shirt.

 

Then when she turned 25, she met her current husband. I by now had graduated film school , top of my class with honors, sold my first screenplay at 18, knew almost everyone in Hollywood, had already done my share of running around with Jack Nicholson and Warren Beauty, and was done with all of that at 22. I worked at a film company and traveled the world. 

 

She worked as a receptionist at some lame company, was dating a married grandfather, but one day was set up on a blind date by the mother of the man she would marry, a very sweet guy that never said more than, “Oh hello.” I never got this guy. His speech was very limited.

 

Over the years, she proceeded to criticize my friends, lifestyle, and when I had a child with the actor, then divorced, she pulled out the big guns.

 

We were having lunch at an upscale restaurant, our kids all under 4. And me, “husbandless.” I let my boy get up from the table and wander around because he loved talking to people. Carol was outraged.

“What are you doing? You are a horrible parent and setting a very bad example for my own children.”

Her children: “Mom, can we get up… we are sooooo bored.”

 

“You stay in that chair or there will be severe consequences! Rhonda doesn’t know how to raise children… I mean how could she?  Right?  Given her background.”  Her husband, as usual, said nothing.

“Rhonda, start disciplining him now or you will really regret it!”

 

I ignored her and took great pleasure in watching my boy talking to people, their smiles and laughter made my heart swell.

 

Carol leaned over toward me, “You are insane. You always have been. We are not in Detroit anymore for god sakes. I love you but you better get your shit together and fast!”

 

“Hey Carol, I’m not the one that asked you to follow me out here. My son is just fine. Handle your own shitty kids.”

 

We got past this fight as friends do and our best friend status took a step down to attending romantic comedies, shopping for cosmetics and the occasional excursion to Sea World with the kids. I no longer trusted her.

 

So years later, as I maniacally planned for my wedding I asked her to be my Maid of Honor, because frankly, she had the most money and was always blowing her own horn about how organized she was, a perfectionist, incredible hostess and so on, as compared to me or my friends, the losers.

 

June was low on funds, and we agreed to let Carol run with it and that she did, even got a book on how to be the world’s best Maid of Honor.  She was going to show us how it’s done right, thus have the opportunity to boss everyone around. She could now extend her criticism to not just me, but to all my bridesmaids.

 

They were: June, my confidante, kindest person one would ever meet and would take a bullet for me unless she had an audition, but we have an understanding. 

 

Dina: My 2nd best friend whom I also adore and was my first friend upon arrival in Los Angeles.  She has always been there for me despite whatever is going on in my life and a heart so big you just want to crawl into it.

 

Patty: my younger sister, who had little to do with anything as she isolates and basically hates everyone.  But she was the only family I had in L.A. Bitter, mean and suicidal. But family is family.

 

Camille: another very close friend, also an actress, however her mission in life was to find a husband before she ran out of eggs.

 

Anastasia: a work- friend, incredibly lovely, brilliant and the one most responsible for my “dating” M as she kept pushing me to go out with him. She was there when we met.  She and I have a very deep connection and like most of the others, she brings joy wherever she goes.

 

So there you have it; all wonderful women in their own right (except my sister.)  Though these brides maid situations often seem forced, they all got on very well.  

 

**As a side note, I let them pick whatever dress they wanted to wear. I will never understand why brides insist on having their bridesmaids wear the same typically ugly dress they end up throwing away.  I wanted my wedding to sparkle and all of these women have great taste.  Except my sister, I bought her dress.

 

I took great pleasure in designing my wedding. But Carol, the Maid of Honor, was teetering on a nervous breakdown and had a Spanish Steps list of chores for my wedding shower that she delegated: 

 

“Now June, you are in charge of the fresh bagels, Patty, sparkling water and champagne, Anastasia, come early and cut the finger sandwiches, Dina, you are in charge of setting up the table. I'm using my silk table clothes and I expect them to be neat and kept clean. Also be sure to scatter rose petals as a centerpiece.  But I think my bridesmaids grew weary of her pretty quick.

 

Carol ended up doing everything herself, but the shower in all fairness was lovely. She does have a beautiful home and she would be damned if it didn’t look perfect.

 

 There were loads of gifts, mostly lingerie, which to this day, still carry the price tags. Carol gave me a small photo album of the two of us, mostly her, through the years. I loved looking at the pictures, but then she wouldn’t give it to me!  However she did give me or I should say re-gifted this crazy pair of lacy underwear with a tail! It reminded me of Madonna in the 80’s but even she wouldn’t wear this.

 

There were no giant cookies to punch, or lavish bowls of chocolate to dive into; no trip to Paris, in fact it was quite sedate.  But she did take the opportunity to further play “miss know it all.”

 

“Well finally Rhonda is getting married, an actual legitimate marriage. And it’s about time!  Right, ladies?”

The all kind of stared at her. “Our loony, crazy friend might now find some peace.” HUH?

 

“Tom and I have been married for 15 years and we are still so very much in love.” Lots of aaaawws.  “I just got lucky and let’s all toast that Rhonda gets lucky too!”  

 

 “Hear, hear,” my friends cheered.  But honestly, Tom is a wax figure. I would never want her marriage, life, children, contrived house, any of this phony crap.

 

 June found this all incredibly amusing. We just couldn’t get over the lace tail panties. I eventually gave the tail to my daughter for one of her preschool plays.

 

Carol did come with me for my dress fitting, and after bashing 4 or 5 dresses I tried on, with the sales women complimenting me on my svelte frame, Carol: “Oh, yeah, it’s just genetic, plus she has some kind of eating disorder.”  What?

 

The saleswomen also complimented me on my diamond, Carol interrupts.  “Look at mine! It’s small, but no indication of the love we have and still have all these years later, 2 kids, 2 homes, and yet we remain madly in love with each other and (clearing her throat) have sex…. constantly.

“Good for you,” the women replied. One of them rolled her eyes.

 I finally settled on a gorgeous beaded gown; and that is the last I saw of Carol until the big day.

 

WEDDING DAY

 

We all arrive, everyone is happy in their room. For each bridesmaid I left a giant basket of girly items, bath salts, candles, flowers, cookies and so on. But for Carol, her basket was the size of a small dining table. It set me back four hundred dollars.   M gave his Groomsmen manly knives with gift cards, money clips and cock rings.  Carol’s husband had no idea it was a cock ring, we later learned, and he gave it to his 12 year old daughter, Candy. 

 

Months later at a dinner at their house, she was wearing it in her hair like a rubber band.  M and I simply could not stop laughing. After she was out of earshot, we told Tom it was a cock ring.

“Oh! I wondered why you gave us hair ties.” He said this without a hint of humor.

 

                                                                                 *****

The Friday night rehearsal was a bit odd since Carol held court and blabbed about her incredible life, how gorgeous her daughter was, her intercontinental travels and their impeccable eye for real estate. My hotel wedding coordinator put her arm around me. “Pray for her.”

 

Saturday was the big day.  I had decided to have my own hair stylist/make-up person come up, for a hefty fee, and he was to arrive at noon, wedding was at 4 p.m. So we all went to the spa for massages and manicures. I come back to my room (I should mention this hotel, due to the circumstances, upgraded me to their Presidential suite)  very kind of them, and I gave Carol my two bedroom suite as she had her kids and I also paid for it.

 

I never saw much of her, as she spent most of the time with her family in the room, their own little vacation. I later learned she complained to the front desk that the Presidential Suite should have gone to her! “Don’t you know who I am?” Forget she wasn’t paying for the room.

 

My wedding truly was of no interest to her, despite all the phony congratulations and toasts, just another way to call me a loser.

 

Meanwhile, my stylist somehow got lost on the ONE freeway it takes to arrive and by 3 p.m. I am getting panicky.  June is calming me down. She is an actress, an expert in hair and make-up. I wander over to Carol’s room and there he is!  Doing Carol’s hair and her daughters!  

 

“Oh, we’ll be done in just a few. After he does our make-up then he’s all yours. He’s amazing by the way!”

I am standing there in my bathrobe, wet hair, incredulous. She was drinking wine and eating all the goodies from the basket. My stylist was stoned, which explains why he got lost and why he thought Carol was me. But there is no explanation regarding Candy!

 

I ran back to my room in tears.  June, Camille, and Dina put me together, down to the sparkles on my arms.  I was not going to be late to my own damn wedding. The stylist arrived at my room at 3:50.

 

 “You look ravishing!”

“Fuck off.”

 I shoved him away.

 

The wedding was magazine perfect, the cocktails, pictures and reception all went off without a hitch. The band was fantastic, sort of a Four Tops thing though I had requested a female singer, and our first dance was a disaster, but you can’t have everything.

 

The next morning we were now all seated outside for an early brunch. It was so bright outside I may as well have entered the sun. Sweating like a beast, I went inside the hotel bathroom to cool down. My eyes hadn’t adjusted, so pretty much everything was pitch black, and the high heels certainly didn’t help, thus I walked smack into a marble hall,, fell to the ground and from my head sprouted a cartoon bump.

 

The hotel was all over this, paramedics were there in less than 2 minutes. I insisted I was fine, but they wanted to take to me the hospital in case of a concussion, or lawsuit. Rice was thrown at the ambulance.

 

Then it was the keystone cop adventure, my husband, mother and sister chasing the ambulance down the freeway. Patty: “What a bummer to die on your wedding day.” 

 

My husband later told me Dina and my mother were drunk, but the bigger surprise was the $1600.00 mini bar bill from the room they shared. We were there for two days, what the hell did they drink?

 

 Meanwhile I felt fine as the flirting paramedics really knew how to do their job.

“What a way to finish a wedding, right?” They laughed and picked rice off my slinky brunch dress.

 

After a thorough examination, they finally they let my husband into my room, as I sat there laughing with a very kind doctor.

 

“Is she okay? Can she walk? Is she blind? Do we need life support?  Can we still engage in rough sex? Will she be able to play golf on our honeymoon?”

 

The doctor explained I was fine, golf was okay (btw, I am a horrible player) but tennis and rough sex were out.

 

When we got back to the hotel, everyone was gone. Apparently, my best friend Maid of Honor was the first to leave; my ambulance ride was her quick ticket back home. June, Camille, Dina and other dear friends all stayed, and waited the 5 hours. Again, Carol did her duty, so be damned If I had died. In fact, she never even followed up with a phone call.

 

We finally arrive home and start packing for the honeymoon, all set to go, when M says,

“Where are the envelopes, babe?  The ones I handed to you that had the money in them.”

“What envelopes?”

“Rhonda. I handed you a stack of cards and money for our honeymoon, gifts. Right after we got back from the hospital.”

“Why would you do that? I had a concussion!”

“Think Rhonda. Please, oh god, think!”

 

I had no memory.

 

We were leaving at 6 a.m. M drove back to hotel at 2 a.m., after calling the hotel to no avail. He searched our room; then dove into all the five dumpsters.  He returned empty handed expect for a very expensive speeding ticket.

 

After a series of full body deflation's I said, “You know what? So what? We will be fine. It’s just money. We have each other, this was a great wedding. This is our new life.”

 

And off we went. In the airplane, where we sat on the tarmac for 4 hours, I was reading “Dali Llama’s Art of Happiness and out fluttered all the envelopes and cash. 

 

“Look at this! I must have thought, despite not remembering at all, that this would be a safe place.”

M was giddy. It all worked out, the honeymoon was postcard perfect too, despite my playing tennis ; engaging in rough sex and constantly banging my head on the golf cart.

 

POST-WEDDING BREAK-UP

 

 You would think after this "Honor Bride" fiasco would have been enough for me. But no. I cared a lot for this person, despite all written here.  Then, a year later, Carol was bragging on the phone again how she never needed a honeymoon, much like the ring; then went on with further bragging about her kids. How Candy, despite all of her friends being on My Space knew better because she had raised her with such strong morals, something I might want to try.

As she was boasting, I was online. (My son, then 13 had a page on My Space as did I.)

 

But as I cruised around, there it was… her daughter, and a full page of journal entries, “He was going to stick the gun up my ass!  I smoked pot and can’t wait for Friday!!!! I am so in love with this guy. Yeah, he’s 31. But so hot! My parents think he is 15 and from a good family, ha-ha-ha-ha. My parents are such idiots.”

 

 Then under her picture section there were a dozen photographs of her, mostly semi-nude but in a stylish, arty way, some with skimpy undergarments. Forget she was 13 and showing her body to any stranger in the world to download and masturbate at his whim.

 

I hung up. What a dilemma. I spoke to some friends, and certainly if I had a daughter, I would want to be told.

 

So I called Carol and told her. “That is ridiculous! How can you make that shit up?  I know you are jealous of me but this has gone too far! You’re crazy!”  Then, “How do you know it was her?”

“Carol I have known her since birth.”

 

I sent her the page and photo screenshot. Of course she was mortified and I figured she would talk to her daughter and have her take it down. But no, she called me.

 

“I hate to ask this, but she never listens to what I say, but if you explain to her how dangerous this is… blah blah blah.”

 

Some mother. So that is what I did. I sat this girl down and told her old men take these pictures, store them on their hard drive for eternity and masturbate.  Candy never spoke to me again. I used to think Candy was shy, like her dad, but then I realized she was just another young girl in desperate need of attention she clearly wasn’t getting at home.

 

Not only did this end my relationship with her, but also with the mother. The embarrassment perhaps proved to be too much. And all the bragging about how great her kids were. Candy went on to pursue a modeling career, their older son, well who knows? My own son was a great student, stayed away from drugs and attends one of the countries most prestigious colleges. I guess my leniency  and bad parenting paid off.

 

Carol had one last thing to say to me a few years later after I gave birth to twin girls:  “God, you are certifiable to have more kids. What were you thinking! Don’t come crying to me! Good luck!”

 

Thus, unlike the movie where the childhood friends remain friends despite all the whacky things that occur, I did love the sentiment.  Sometimes friends do grow apart, and there is no happy ending to that friendship.  In my situation, we most likely will never repair what we had. And do I really want to?

 

Carol refuses to be less than “perfect” and I simply know too much about her.  She is shackled by fear while trying to project this image. Seriously looks exhausting. I’d rather just be a little fucked up. She cannot have me around, the ultimate mirror.

 

Quick epilogue:

 

After my wedding, my spacey sister moved away to beach, we rarely speak because she truthfully despises kids, even her own nieces, and she is an elementary teacher. Camille finally got married, and had a beautiful daughter, then disappeared off to Santa Barbara somewhere. June, found her soul mate a month later, got married, moved to the beach, but we still adore each other and now bitch about our husbands and Dina met the love of her life, whom I also adore, and we remain eternal friends.

 

 

Let's be friends

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Comments
  • Rhonda Talbot

    @Courtney, it's so wild how so much can go wrong! But in the end it all works out... I also enjoyed the movie, but it really made me reflect on what I wrote... the actual history of our relationship... and the truth that sometimes women or people in fact do grow apart. All the women in the movie were funny, but at same time, except the one who had an actual job and overcame such difficulties, etc, they all seemed lost to me, including main character, though I love the actress... just my 25 cents. I do applaud Hwood for making female movies, at all! We need them. Honestly ask my 8 year old, lol, there is not a Sandra Bullock movie I ever miss... I think we are starved for female characters and humor...thank goodness for TV, because there are many there (though I have little time to watch....) I CAN'T believe re your PEARLS!!!

  • Rhonda Talbot

    Remember folks, this is called writing......lol