Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Nanny Mimi's Getting Married!

I had kind of planned on maybe getting married this October. I did. Really.

But then one of the fiance's best friends decided to get married at the end of August. And, then, two other of my friends, who had a baby last year, decided to tie the knot, finally, in September. (Their one year-old will, of course, be in attendance.)

I didn't want to ruin the excitement of the marriage of the fiance's friends, nor did I want to follow my two other friends who had a baby and then got married, because it would look like I was just getting married because they were.

And, trust me, one of my friends got engaged around the same time as another of her friends. And then my friend booked her wedding date a week earlier than her friends and...well, let's just say they are no longer friends.

But, mostly, I can't get married in October because Nanny Mimi is. That's right. Nanny Mimi is getting married on the exact same weekend I was maybe debating planning to get married. Well, I certainly couldn't steal Nanny Mimi's thunder, can I?

A couple months ago, Nanny Mimi and her boyfriend were over one evening to babysit. I was all ready to go out and the fiance was still in the shower.

"Rebecca, we have to ask you two something," Nanny Mimi said. Early that day, she had flashed me her amazing engagement ring and told me all the dets.

"Oh, do ask," I said.

"No, we should wait until he's finished showering," Nanny Mimi said about the fiance. "We want to ask you together."

"Oh, forget about him! Just tell me! Tell me! Tell me!!'

"OK, well, we want you too to be sponsors at our wedding!"

"Ok, great! We would be honoured too!" I answered. Meanwhile, what I was really thinking was, "What the fuck does a sponsor do?"

When the fiance came downstairs to join us, I said, "Mimi has asked us to be sponsors at her wedding!"

"Is that ok with you?" Mimi asked the fiance.

"Sure, we would be delighted too." he answered.

And then the fiance and I got into his car.

"Um, Beck. What the hell does a sponsor do?" he asked.

"I don't know. I think it's a Catholic thing," I said.

"Maybe it's a Muslim thing," the fiance said. (Mimi is catholic and her fiance is Muslim.)

"Do you think we just agreed to pay for her wedding?" the fiance asked.

"I don't know. Maybe. Is that what a sponsor does?"

"I have no idea."

Well, it turns out - thanks to our housekeeper who explained what a sponsor does - we just have to sign some papers and light some candles. There was nothing about paying for the wedding, which was good. You know, one day I might need the money to get married myself.

Now a lot of people have been moaning about being bridesmaids recently on their blogs. I wasn't moaning, because for all I knew, I just had to light some candles, and walk down the aisle with The Dictator (she's going to be a flower girl.)

In fact, I got really caught up in planning Nanny Mimi's wedding, especially since she really doesn't have that many girlfriends to go shopping with or get excited about her wedding. I don't know, but planning her wedding seemed more fun than planning my own.

I bought Nanny Mimi Instyle Weddings and gave her a six pack of bridal colour nailpolishes from Essie. I taught her how to use the internet to find venues and bands and even bought her a tiara and a matching purse that she loved that we saw in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I mean, someone should be excited for you when you're getting married, right?

But then....well, then....

"Rebecca? We were also wondering if you can make a speech at our wedding," Nanny Mimi asked last week.

Argh! For some reason, I'm asked to speak at weddings/anniversary parties/birthday parties a lot in my family. No matter how many times I say, "Just because I'm a writer does not mean I make a good speech."

Well, I say it a lot. But no one in my family ever listens to me. Ever!

Anyway, how could I say 'no' to Nanny Mimi? She's become one of the closest people in my life and takes care of the most precious person in my life.

Still, there's nothing worse than being responsible for making a wedding speech. Nothing. I tell you, I'd rather me a bridesmaid.

It means I can't get drunk before I speak. It means I have to be funny. It means now that not only do I have to worry about not setting the place on fire (because I have to light some candles) it means I have to speak to a room of people I don't know about a person I've only known for three years.

I'm completely stressed out - and it's not even my wedding!

And then there's the fact that I'm not sure how much longer Nanny Mimi will stay with us after she gets married. So I'm kind of sad about that. She says she loves to work, and she really loves The Dictator, but her fiance is a little old-skool and may not want her to work.

(When Nanny Mimi comes to Toronto with us, she used to make lunches and dinners and ironed all his clothes for the two weeks she'd be away from him.)

But, I think Nanny Mimi has learned a lot from the almost three years she's been with us. Like, no, you don't actually have to make dinner for your husband every night. (I sure don't.) And that it's ok to use tears when you really, really want something. (I sure do.)

And, sometimes when Nanny Mimi and her fiance are over at our place and the wedding comes up and he'll moan about something Nanny Mimi wants for the wedding, I always stick up for her and say something like, "It's her wedding day! Don't argue with the bride. Just nod your head and smile and show up on the right day at the right place at the right time."

I think Nanny Mimi appreciates this.

Who knows...maybe I can train The Dictator to speak full sentences by October and she could do it for me. Because, as I've said before, just because I'm a writer does not make me a good speaker.


Blogger Cindy said...

I was totally thinking that a sponsor would have to pay for something. I'm obviously not very religious.

I feel for you having to make a speech. I have to for my sisters wedding, but at least I've known her my whole life. And the people attending won't be strangers to me because they are also my family. So, just don't get drunk beforehand and you should be fine. I plan on getting at least buzzed. I speak better that way. At least I think I do.

3:33 PM

Anonymous Toronto Gal said...

You must must must get her to watch "Bridezillas"- I'm so addicted to it. I make fun of the women but I'm so jealous at the same time. The women on it have lots of great ideas. As for the speech, I'd definitely make sure that I was at least tipsy to take the edge off.

4:31 PM

Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

The trick is to get drunk before you WRITE your speech. Then you'll be funny even if you're not drunk when you DELIVER your speech. Oh, and make sure everybody else has had a glass of champagne before you do the actual speaking.

That's all the advice I can spare tonight. I swear it's straight from Toastmaster's.

4:45 PM

Blogger Ali said...

oh my goodness.
i totally, completely 100% feel you.
my sister forced me to make a speech at her wedding. "you're funny!" she said. "You are such a good writer!" she said.
speeches??? NOT. MY. THING.

i'll warn you. it ended badly. i lost my words. cried a whole lot. and looked pretty stupid. and i couldn't even blame the alcohol since i was giantly pregnant.

Rebecca, you'll totally be fine. at the end of the day, no one will remember what you said, and Nanny Mimi will appreciate it, and that's really all that matters.

(until i hear that my sister is rewinding her wedding video over and over and laughing her ass of at me and my god awful speech...)

5:02 PM

Blogger metro mama said...

I abhor public speaking. At my own wedding I thought I really should say something. It completely stressed me out.

My advice--you might have to suck it up and do it for Mimi but don't feel obligated for your own wedding! Have a cocktail or two instead--you'll need it!

6:07 PM

Blogger Mega Mom said...

My brothers like to chug a beer, don sunglasses, and rap at weddings. Would that work?

Sometimes a poem provides a fun way to put your thoughts together and get a bunch of laughs without having to be overly witty:)

6:35 PM

Blogger Heather said...

I think we are missing some major points here. It doesn't matter whether you want to give a speech or not, it's not about you. It's about Nanny Mimi. She didn't ask you because you are famous or funny, she asked you because as you said, you are one of her only truly good friends here. I'm sure you've shared many special moments together and are truly special to her, speak about that, it should come easy. Trying to funny, is not always important, saying what you feel is.
And secondly, you get married when you both want to. Who gives a shit if Kelly, Vickey or Ruby is getting married the week before or the week after, or the same month for that matter? Does it really matter who goes to your wedding? It's about your fiance and you (and the dictator too). Ask any married woman, if she truly loves her husband (despite all the drinking and good times with friends and family) the best part of the wedding was when they looked into one anothers eyes (spare the cheese) and truly realized the committment and love they have for one another.
Yes good times are to be had, but if you plan your life around everyone else's you will never get anywhere, unless you really don't want to of course.

6:09 AM

Anonymous chelle said...

Wow there are a lot of weddings going on!! That is a lot of dress shopping!! Wee!

As for the speech, you have become close with Nanny, so I think once you sit down you will come up with something wonderful (if not claim you were tipsy or you were so excited you forgot the real speech at home!!)

6:24 AM

Blogger Jozet said...

LOL! I like the idea of getting drunk before you write your speech and then reading it sober, lol!

I have no other sage advice regarding speech making. I've only had to give one once at a Girl Scout meeting, and I wasn't warned about it. My off-the-cuff was all going well until I started drooling.

BTW, I'm digging Nanny Mimi's advice about tears and cooking. In fact, I may write is down and post it around the house as daily affirmations.

And I'm digging your blog!

7:08 AM

Blogger Ashley said...

The best speeches are the ones that are short and sweet. That way people can get back to drinking/dancing/talking/eating. My friend did a speech at her sister's wedding and it was just about how her sister and new husband met, it was kind of funny, and kind of sweet and best of all, short! Are you sure that you don't have to be a bridesmaid and stand up at the front to be a sponsor?

7:12 AM

Blogger Blogette said...

I'm not about to pass judgement on a couple I don't know, but from what I just read here, Fiance of Nanny Mimi sounds creepy.

Nevertheless, I think it's totally cool that you're helping her plan her big day!


7:33 AM

Blogger hautemama said...

Awwww the dictator gets to be a bridesmaid!!! Soooo sweet.

You could take a page from Owen Wilson from the Wedding Crashers, "speak from the heart".

And i think it'd be adorable and take the edge off if the dictator said soemthing cute too!

Hey kinda related, I'm planning a simple shalom bat for Zara, did you have one for Rowan? Any cool party ideas???

9:01 AM


I think if I had to say a speech in October it would ruin my summer. I hate speaking in front of a group. Some people love it, like my brother he actually thinks that's great. If you do decide to make a speech I'm sure it will be fine. Just alot of nail biting going on.

9:01 AM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Can you call yourselves "the official sponsors of Nanny Mimi's wedding"? Can it be listed on the program like that?

9:49 AM

Blogger Kristen said...

Congrats Nanny Mimi!! I wouldn't have had any clue what a sponsor is either, lol. Isn't that the person you call when you're in AA and you need some help? LOL.

11:51 AM

Blogger Karla said...

Oh how exciting!!!! Congratulations to Nanny Mimi!

Good luck on your speech!

Thanks for coming by my blog. I love other mommy's who love Coldplay.

12:50 PM

Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

When the Fiance asked if you'd just agreed to pay for the wedding, I blurted out laughing. I hardly ever do that when I'm reading.

And I had to give a speech last summer (maid of honor). I couldn't write anything in advance and on the big day I kept thinking of so many things to say, but every time I would start composing in my head I would start bawling (and I needed to look good - I was IN the wedding), so it was a nightmare all around.

But it ends and life goes on!

11:43 PM

Anonymous suburban mom said...

hi rebecca,

as someone originally from the Philippines (as Nanny Mimi is), being a sponsor is totally a Filipino Catholic thing. The Tagalog word for sponsor actually translates to "godparent". And no, you don't have to pay for her wedding, but a nice present (a day at Stillwater spa perhaps?) might give her a break from the old-school fiance.

8:38 PM


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