Who Am I, And Why Am I Here?

When the band announced the most embarrassing story contest the other night, my friends had some doozies but would not get up and tell them.  Two stories are so good and completely humiliating, they simply must be told.

My friend and her family went to the Naval Academy to attend the wedding of a former neighbor.  My friend’s mom was looking around the crowd anxiously for long lost neighbors.  “Where are the Johnsons?” she whispered.  “Don’t you think the Millers will be here?” and “Where on earth are Bill and Susan Thomas?”  The woman sitting in front of them had enough; she turned around and shushed them.  Just then the processional started, and a lovely stranger made her way down the aisle.  My friend’s family wondered aloud who that was, and the woman in front of them turned around and hissed “the mother of the bride!” to which my friend’s mother said “no it’s not!”

With the odd guest list and the even odder mother of the bride, something didn’t seem right.  Finally, my friend’s mom pulled the invitation out of her purse and took a peek.  Oh.  Did that say 3:00?  Because she could have sworn it said 2:00, which is why they were in the chapel a full hour before the wedding they actually intended to attend started.  It’s just that the Naval Academy has back-to-back weddings on a tight schedule.  Relieved, at least she now knew why the Millers weren’t there.  Yet.

So the 2:00 wedding family has an album full of pictures with people no one can identify, but it’s all good.  Ultimately both weddings were lovely, Bill and Susan Thomas did make it to the wedding, and all’s well that ends well.

Is there anything more embarrassing than going to the wrong wedding?  You be the judge.  My friend had been working at her new firm for just a short time when a secretary who had worked there for 30 years passed away.  Naturally, my friend hadn’t seen her much because the woman had been out sick most of the time (she was dying after all).  But the two colleagues that came to the funeral with her knew the woman well.  It was an open casket, and her colleagues kept saying “she looks so different; not anything like the Susan we knew.”  Well, yes, death will do that kind of thing to a person.  But they never noted that the poor deceased in the casket bore no resemblance whatsoever to their former secretary.

In the meanwhile, there were only a handful of people at the funeral, so my friend and her colleagues were very obvious.  My friend went to pay her respects to the family, explaining who she was and noting what a wonderful employee Susan had been.  The family seemed confused and didn’t respond, so my friend slipped back to her seat.  She noted that the family was in a daze and hadn’t registered who she was.  But another odd thing-they kept calling her Kathy, not Susan.  Perplexing.  I mean she looked so different, and her family was even calling her by a different name, and…wait a minute…could it be that they were at the wrong funeral?

Oh well, these things happen.  The important thing is that everyone meant well.

I think these mishaps could be avoided in the future if everyone made better use of name tags.  At the wedding a “Hello, My Name Is MOTHER OF THE BRIDE” tag would have cleared up the confusion right away.  At the funeral, if the person in the casket had been wearing a “Hello, My Name Is DECEASED CAFETERIA WORKER” tag, my friend would have moved on until she found someone in a casket wearing a “Hello, My Name Is DECEASED LEGAL SECRETARY” tag.  Nice and easy.

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