Your bad (wedding, job interview, term paper, etc.) stories

I’m a big fan of www.etiquettehell.com. For some reason, stories about disasterous events make for good reading. Maybe I just like to hear people complain. Does anyone have a story (about themselves or others) they don’t mind sharing?

I can start with a small scale one. I wrote a paper on copyright law, citing Lawrence Lessig heavily. Except, for some reason, I kept calling him “Larry Lessig”. My paper came back with “Don’t use nicknames in cites” in the comments section. I can’t help but wonder what my teacher must have thought I was thinking!

And then there was the time I showed up for the job interview. I was dressed well, on time, and ready. But I showed up a day early! To make things worse, I was mixed up about what day it was and actually had to ask what day of the week it was! I didn’t get that job…

Ok then, here’s my brother’s wedding story.

Backstory: Several months before his wedding my brother came down with debilitating mononeucleosis (0r however you spell it) and missed a month of work. He went back to work before he was completely recovered because, like most of us, he couldn’t afford to miss a month of work, much less more.

In the week leading up to his wedding he began to come down with a cold. In his weakened health, a cold was very serious. The cold, coupled with a 5 hour drive to the city where we was getting married had him completely ill by Thursday night before the Saturday wedding.

“Don’t worry, honey, I just need a day to rest” he told his bride to be, so the usual day-before-the-wedding stuff, such as greeting relatives, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner took place without him. Friday night, after all that, he was still really really sick. “Just need a whole night’s sleep! I’ll be OK!” Saturday morning, he’s vomiting every time he tries to move. “I’m gonna be OK! Everybody start getting dressed!”

So the bride is in her wedding finery, veil and all when it finally becomes blindingly obvious that there is no way he is going to be able to get out of bed, much less stand up at the end of an aisle.
By now it is way too late to keep people from arriving at the church.

The priest is consulted. Here is his plan. Everybody’s already at the church, so let’s leave somebody with the groom in case an ambulance has to be called and the rest of us (bride, parents, etc) go to the church, explain what’s happened and celebrate daily mass together and pray for the groom. When that’s over the guests can proceed to the wedding dinner (heck it’s already paid for) and the bride and wedding party will go to the hotel and he will marry them in the hotel room.

And that’s what they did. You know how folks are always joking that a groom is practically superfluous to a wedding? Well, he really was in this one. The reception was very like any other reception (After they were married and spent a little time together, the groom went back to sleep and the bride went to the reception). People ate, visited with people they hadn’t seen in years, music played, the Macarena took place. They even did a “ceremonial” cake cutting at the Mother of the Bride’s prompting for the photo opportunity. Only after she cut the piece of cake the bride realized she didn’t have anyone to feed it to, so I ran up and fed it to her.

It wasn’t really a disaster I suppose. They did get married and remain happily so to this day. And that’s what really counts right?

(Ok so what if I made a wedding cake in an unfamiliar kitchen 300 miles from home while caring for an 18 month old and being a bridesmaid and then, instead of serving it, the catering staff just cut it up and put it in little bags to take home, providing crappy tasting profiteroles for dessert instead? I could hardly complain could I?)

Mine is awfully close to this one. I was supposed to fly to Texas for an interview with a company in the drilling industry. I had just finished college, and was staying with a friend for a while. About 11:00 the morning before I was supposed to leave, I got a phone call.

Incredibly, they decided to reschedule the interview and I made the flight the second time. I ended up getting a job offer, but turned it down for one in the environmental field (being an environmental engineer and all). It’s just as well - I don’t think I could have looked anyone in the eye if I had taken it.