Cattiness: A Case Study

showers bring out the worst in all of us
showers bring out the worst in all of us

Back when I was spending most of my weekends – and my paychecks – on events related to the majority of my peer group getting married within a three to four year time period, I developed a discernible hatred for all things bridal shower. One clever couple decided to have a Jack & Jill shower (sarcastic yay!) so the guys could suffer along with all the unfortunate females in attendance. I think my husband thought I was exaggerating when I repeatedly warned him that it was going to be “such a bad time.” While I appreciated the idea of having him there to commiserate, I actually felt bad for him. One of the major advantages of being male is that, besides the wedding itself, their obligation typically ends with the bachelor party. Why torment them? It’s like dosing them with ipecac so they can experience a stomach bug along with you.

The weekend of the shower some of our out-of-state friends stay with us and, not surprisingly, we imbibed a bit too much the night before the wedding shower. In the morning, we dragged our sorry, hungover asses out of bed, attempted to re-hydrate, and got ready to make small talk with distant relatives of the happy couple. (another sarcastic yay!) One of our friends was lucky enough to be so sick she couldn’t get out of bed, so we headed out without her. (I was so jealous. Had I had the foresight, I would have started chasing tequila shots with white Russians at 2 a.m.)

We get to the godforsaken shower and I’m wondering if anyone would notice if I curled up in the fetal position in a corner of the function hall to sleep. But I stick it out and am seated between my husband and our friend – the one whose lucky wife is back at the apartment probably retching in agony. The soon-to-be bride and groom are sitting at the front of the room while we watch them open presents, feigning enthusiasm. (“Ooooohhhhh, what lovely silver bud vases!”)

It starts on my right, with my friend quietly commenting in my ear about the woman at the table next to us. “Oh my God, look at that bird’s nest of a hairdo! What a mess! Who let her leave the house like that? Doesn’t she have a mirror?” I had been too busy concentrating on not throwing up all over the centerpiece to notice. Meanwhile, my husband chimes in on my left. “What the hell is that? Look at the size of her bag! That’s luggage. How could she possibly need all that stuff with her all the time? I pack less when I’m traveling for a week…” These two are talking to me simultaneously because they can’t hear each other criticizing everyone like two stodgy old women at a strip club. After a few minutes of this, I break down. I start laughing so uncontrollably that my face is contorted and tears are streaming out of my eyes. After gaining enough composure to wipe the streams of mascara off my face, I tell them they’re the cattiest bitches I’ve ever known. And I can’t even blame them because being corralled into a room surrounded by judgmental women while watching someone open boring presents brings out the worst in a person — the nasty, catty, criticizing worst.

Should the opportunity ever present itself again, my husband has a free pass to NOT attend another such function. If it results in him acting like a mean girl with PMS, he can stay home.