August 16, 2001


She showed up midway through the wedding ceremony, unannounced and uninvited.

I didn't even notice her sneaking in: I was too busy standing up there at the altar, promising to love, honor and cherish somebody until I die. I don't think any of the other wedding guests knew she was there: she was that stealthy. She didn't mingle. She didn't sign the guestbook. She didn't even try to catch the bouquet.

She doesn't show up in any of the wedding photos. (Believe me, I've looked.)

In fact, I wasn't even aware that she'd been at the wedding until later that night, in the honeymoon suite, when I discovered the *calling card* she'd left for me.

"Guess who's here?" I glumly announced, as I emerged from the bathroom in my $100 nightgown.

My husband of four hours was unruffled. "It can't be that much of a surprise, can it?" he reminded me gently. "You knew she was planning to show up eventually." And he continued to fill the jacuzzi, unperturbed. We hung the *Do Not Disturb* sign on the doorknob ...  we lit the candles ... and we proceeded with the wedding night festivities as planned.

She was waiting when we woke up the next morning, of course ... looking peeved with us for ignoring her the night before.  As if crashing our wedding hadn't been bad enough, she then proceeded to tag along with us on the honeymoon. Every day we were in Port Townsend, she was right there, forcing us to make plans around her ... forcing us to spend money on her ... forcing us to find the nearest bathroom every twenty minutes ... generally making a nuisance of herself, right and left. David treated her with unfailing tolerance and consideration, as usual, but by the third or fourth day, *I* wanted to kick her right in her inconsiderate party-crashing ass.

Mother Nature: the world's most unwelcome Wedding Guest/Honeymoon Chaperone.

It could have been a lot worse, I suppose. She could have brought the little Meat-Grinder Guys with her, for instance: I could have been reciting my wedding vows while doubled over in agony. Or July could have been an *Oh God I Think I'm Hemorrhaging Month,*  instead of the gentle, sleepy, *Slow-Leak Month* it turned out to be. Or she could have planted my monthly Hormone Zit on the end of my nose, or in the center of my chin, or in the space between my eyebrows, instead of the single discreet jawline pimple I woke up with, the morning of my wedding.

I should probably thank her for small favors. And small pimples.

And as it was, she was only a minor irritant. A fly in the iced tea. A bump in the road. A hiccup in the honeymoon. We wouldn't allow her any more importance than that. The last time I saw her was on our last day in Port Townsend, as I packed for the trip home. She didn't fly back to California with us. As a matter of fact, I haven't even given her a second thought  ...

... until today.

This morning I'm sporting a Hormone Zit on the lower half of my face, right next to my upper lip. It's one of those huge, distended, volcanic pre-eruptions, stubbornly resistant to benzoyl peroxide or Maybelline. In a day or two I'll be able to dab a little black Magic Marker on it and call it a "beauty mark," but today it's screaming Don't touch me! DON'T TOUCH ME!!!!  My breasts feel like sandbags, my back aches, my stomach hurts, I'm craving tomatoes and ice cream, I have to pee every 4.5 seconds, and I'm feeling tense, weepy, wholly unreasonable and utterly singleminded in my self-pity.  

I can already tell that this is going to be one of The Bad Months, and she's not even HERE yet.

But as I said: it could be a lot worse. At least this time around, I know she's coming. I'm paying attention. She's not going to arrive unannounced, or catch me unprepared, or sneak up on me when I'm standing in front of a big group of people, in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime moment ...  

...  while I'm wearing a WHITE DRESS, forcryingoutloud.

one year ago: *totfest 2000*
three years ago: the wahhh factor

throw a rock