The year I turned five I wanted a My Little Pony birthday party. My mom rented ten ponies, one for each of the girls and then sewed each of the ponies a costume that corresponded to one of the My Little Ponies. It took my mom two months to sew all those costumes and who knows how much money but she didn't stop there. She turned our backyard into My Little Pony land and ordered a cake that looked like a pony. The funny part of the story is the night before the party I told my mom I had changed my mind and wanted to do a Strawberry Shortcake party instead. My dad says my mom almost had apoplexy right there and then. It was up to my dad to talk me back into the My Little Pony theme. Every year my birthday had been a big event until I turned 14 and refused to have any more birthdays. That lasted for two years until I turned 16 and my mother decided to throw me a surprise birthday party. She invited the entire sophomore class and rented out the gym at school. There were 250 people who attended that party, 245 of them could have stayed home and I would have been happy. It was a surprise I didn't want repeated again so I made a bargain with my mom. No more crazy birthday parties or other parties and I would let her be involved in my wedding. Otherwise, I was writing her out of the wedding business. It seemed like a fabulous deal at 16 and my mother has been true to her word. The crazy events haven't stopped, I just haven't had to be the center of them anymore, until now.
Now that I'm getting married and I've been engaged for over a month, I have to tell my mother. I wanted to call her and tell her over the phone but my fiancé Andrew figured we'd better tell them in person. We are going over there tonight to break the news. To be honest, my father already knows but he is a good actor (he really is, it's what he does for a living) so he will be able to pull it off like he didn't know a thing. I just hope I survive this night!
All through dinner Andrew kept giving me the eye, like we should tell them now but I am waiting for dessert. Everyone is happy when they are eating dessert. I don't expect my mother to be upset at all, she loves Andrew and will be thrilled we are finally tying the knot but I may need the dessert to withstand the tidal wave that is my mother and special events.
All too soon dessert was served, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Our cook makes the best chocolate cake ever. In fact, she says Claim Jumper got their recipe for their chocolate cake from her but that's a whole other story.
It's time to dig in but not into the cake.
"Mom, Andrew and I have decided to get married this fall," I announced.
"That's wonderful Kate! I have so many ideas. You could get married in a hot air balloon!"
"That's not going to happen," I said.
"Or you could get married on the beach in Catalina Island and then ride off into the sunset in a hot air balloon," said my mother.
"That's not going to happen either. We were thinking of getting married in a church in Santa Clara."
"Perfect. After the reception you could climb in the hot air balloon and ride off to some cute bed and breakfast with a vineyard for your honeymoon."
Andrew actually perked his eyebrows up at that one until he saw the storm cloud on my face.
"Actually Mom, there's going to be no hot air balloons involved in the wedding. We want something simple with our family and friends. "
"Well, what would you like me to do? I am to be involved in this wedding, aren't I? You are my only daughter and I've kept my word. I've got to do something," said Mom.
"I bought a book Mom that outlines all the things we have to do. The first thing I'd like you to help me with is picking out the wedding dress." I figured this had to be a safe thing to start with since I had to be a part of the purchase for it to work.
"Yes! I'm so excited but I have to insist that we go to New York to go dress shopping. They have the best stores there."
I wasn't about to turn down a free trip to New York to go shopping. What could go wrong?
"That sounds great Mom! I'd love to go. When can we go?"
"Let's go in two weeks. I think I can get everything arranged in that amount of time," said Mom.
"I think I can get the time off from work and that will give you time to get the airline tickets and hotel reservations."
"And don't forget the dress appointments," said Mom.
"What do you mean dress appointments?"
"Well you can't just show up at the stores and try things on without an appointment. Don't worry, I'll take care of all the details," said Mom.
That should have been my first hint that this was going to be an extraordinary trip with my mother!
We arrived in New York a little over two weeks later. We went to a Broadway play the night we got into town since our dress appointments didn't start until the next day. We went and saw "Newsies," a show I loved as a child and my mother knew that. She was starting off this weekend with a bang. I couldn't wait to go dress shopping. In the two weeks since I'd told my mom about the wedding, she hadn't bothered me once about the details, except to put in a good word for the hot air balloons. She'd been busy planning the wedding dress shopping event. I realized I'd just have to keep her busy with details that help the wedding get done rather than the entire wedding.
The next morning we got up, had breakfast and hailed a cab. We arrived at Kleinfeld's Bridal Boutique at exactly 10 am. My mother is always punctual. At the door, we were greeted by movie cameras. My father is not famous enough that we are followed by paparazzi so I didn't know what was going on but it became apparent that my mother knew what was happening. They wanted us to be on a reality TV show called "Say Yes to the Dress." My mother was ecstatic and I knew I couldn't do anything but say yes. We filled out the paperwork where I found out that not only would they be following us buying the dress but they also would need pictures of the actual wedding for the show. They fitted us for mikes and then were introduced to our consultant, Georgia. I know it's hard to believe but she was not from the south and she had a nice Brooklyn accent.