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BTdingbat3.gifIncoming! February 14, 2005
by your humble coëditor, Geoff Wolinetz, over at The Black Table.

Music for the Masses

500 Best Songs!

Hey, kids! Do you like the rock 'n' roll? If so, head on over to
Matthew Tobey's City of Floating Blogs
to check out the O.C.D.-enabled megalist of 500 bestest songs ever, compiled from suggestions by the Internet's finest music dweebs, among them your humble Y.P.R. coëditors.

& Recently . . .

Sasha Frere-Jones, music critic

Brushes with Llamas by J. Sallini-Genovese

The Tragedy of Two Bills by Calvin Liu

Disquieting Modern Trends Return: Hollywood Edition by Will Layman & Chris Osmond

What It's Like to Have Sex with Me by Chris Granger

David Foster Wallace, TV Guide Synopsist by Teddy Wayne

The Y.P.R. Book Club Returns!
Y.P.R. solicits your spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff, split-second, ad-lib snap judgements regarding Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking.

Send us your reviews, parodies, deleted chapters, etc. by February 28th, 2005. Blink!

Polish Fact

Land Area
304,465 sq. km
(slightly smaller than New Mexico)

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Shock and awe! Mission accomplished! What war?

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003    |    Column

K.B.N. on Bridesmaids

by Karen Newman

As a young girl growing up, a wedding was the stuff of which dreams were made. Starting from the Once Upon a Time straight through to the Happily Ever After, it was near impossible to separate yourself from Cinderella, Snow White, Julia Roberts à la Pretty Woman, or any other fictitious love-conquers-all fairy tale. There was a white horse carrying a handsome prince, a princess to be rescued, and the dress, oh G-d, the dress, that transformed the aforementioned princess into the most stunning beauty that ever was. The entire town would turn out for the event, and everyone would weep as the happy couple sailed off into the sunset.

Somehow though, in all of the movies, and stories, and glossy magazine spreads, one little topic went unmentioned. Pictures of bridesmaids, frolicking in the ugliest colors and shapes, showed them loving every waking second of their being part of the event of the century. So naturally, when one of my closest friends asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, I was moved to tears. Me? In your bridal party? Oh my G-d! This was OUR television moment. Tears welled up in our eyes, as we rose to the occasion, doing everything we’ve been planning for the better part of our lives.

Swept up in the moment, I mistakenly focused on the BRIDE’S part of the equation, never really giving the word MAID any thought. Dresses, flowers, hairdos -- this was going to be Fabulous with a capital F. Well I got a capital F all right... right up the ass, to be exact.

Here’s what men have to do as a groom’s man: Get shitfaced with strippers in Vegas, and show up for the wedding in a tux. Bonus points: Get even more shitfaced at the wedding, and fuck a bridesmaid in the bathroom (that is. if you can tear her away from the bride for five seconds).

Here’s what women have to do as a bride’s maids: Plan the bridal shower, including (but not limited to) the writing of cute little poems to put on the cute little invitations (which the bridesmaids will pick out) that will come complete with cute little instructions on what the guests need to do in order to attend the shower. Things like “bring cleaning supplies”, “write out your favorite recipe”, “make a page for a scrapbook on things you love about Bride X”, “bring a card with marital advice”, and on, and on, and on. Then you need to plan all sorts of bridal-shower activities for the guests because, as anyone knows, being left to their own devices, people might actually enjoy themselves, and we wouldn’t want that! SO, there will be games: BINGO, PRE-NEWLYWED GAME TRIVIA, PIN THE TAIL ON THE GROOM, (and, no, I’m not making this shit up). If only we could also play “Jeopardy!” instead… “Um, I’ll take ‘Tacky’ for 200, Alex. WAIT, did you say ‘DAILY DOUBLE’? Then make that, ‘HOW THE FUCK DID I GET INTO THIS MESS’ FOR EVERYTHING I’VE GOT, ALEX!” To add insult to injury, Mrs. Mom has to be CC’ed on everything, and did you ever spend time with SEVERAL girls when a decision had to be made? Ya! That generally works out well.

Should you survive the planning phase, you are thrown in knee-deep upon arrival at the shower, where you instantly become the emcee, making sure everyone is sufficiently miserable, except for the bride, of course. Presents must be opened at the event and as a bridesmaid you get the fun task of opening everything and passing it to the bride. So, by the end of the event, you’re tired, frazzled, and on the verge of bleeding to death from all of the paper cuts you got from opening 300 packages in the allotted 15 minutes of time.

At this point, you can only focus on the MAID part of the equation. You curse the bride, you curse weddings, and you vow that you will begin to distance yourself from all of your friends once they appear to be getting close to walking down that aisle. You fantasize about rekindling friendships once everyone is a Mrs. and baby showers are behind you as well. It’ll be nice to have friends again around age 40.

But before we terminate all friendships, there is still a wedding to get through. Remember how awesome the male bachelor party sounded? Ever see a guy in a thong covered in baby oil? No one wants to see ugly male junk, especially, in your face, as they sweat all over you, writhing in the middle of a pseudo-wrestling ring. I’ve been to female strip clubs and I feel safe to say, when it comes to class, they are the Plaza compared to the male revue’s rent-’em-by-the-hour motels. There are limits at female strip clubs, and G-d knows if you don’t show ’em the money, you ain’t gettin’ no honey. NOT SO at the male strip clubs. I was pretty sure the look of horror on my face would be enough to keep them at bay, but, lo and behold, one minute you’re sitting in a bleacher, the next your legs are around some greased up Chippendale as he completely disregards pleas to “BOTHER THE DAMN BRIDE!” Oh, and lest I forget, you have to drink out of a penis-shaped straw, as shady men try to eat candy off every crevice of your body. (O.K., this part rocks, but still...)

Oh, and did I mention this all comes out of your pocket? AND you are also expected to give gifts at each round? We’re talking dropping well over a grand long before the bitch (I mean YOUR BEST FRIEND) walks down the aisle.

So, where does this leave us? Option One: Drop all friends that aren’t already married but soon will be, immediately. Option Two: Somehow bring into vogue, through letter writing campaigns, strikes, or whatever other means necessary, what I deem to be the perfect solution: COMPOSE THE BRIDAL PARTIES OF THE B-LISTERS. You know, those who otherwise wouldn’t be invited. It’s kind of like, “Well you can come, but you’re gonna work for it.” It’s a win-win situation. You can keep your friends, your friend gets her indentured ‘maids,’ the B-listers make the cut, and everyone finally lives happily ever after.

Karen Newman is a freelance writer living in New York City. She has dedicated her life to predicting which name P. Diddy will use for his various projects. She correctly predicted 'Sean Combs' for A Raisin in the Sun, but missed the boat on the Sean Jean clothing line. If she can correctly identify two more matches, she will change her name to K. Diddy.

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