April 29, 2010

Dinner with 48 of Your Closest Friends

Rehearsal Dinners have a Jan Brady complex. They're the neglected, younger (uglier) sibling to The Wedding. Growing up in its shadow. Continually being compared to its older (infinitely more attractive) sibling.

"Wedding! Wedding! Wedding! The Wedding is SOOOO pretty. Everyone's looking forward to the Wedding. The Wedding costs four times as much as the Rehearsal Dinner.

Well, the Wedding can EAT ME!"

2E's and I have a very specific list of demands when it comes to our rehearsal dinner venue. Ideally, we'd like the restaurant to be walking distance from our Brooklyn-based hotel -- especially since we'll be busing our guests to the ceremony the following day. Full meal and open bar. Nothing too exotic (preferably "mainstream" dining), so we're looking primarily at American-French-Italian bistros that can accommodate 50 in an intimate setting. We'd prefer to close-out the restaurant so we can have the place to ourselves, but we realize that we may have to settle for a private room or patio. Most restaurants that we originally approached were unwilling to shut-down on a Friday night, claiming that they make a great deal more money between food and drinks than we could ever imagine.

"Well, goooooooood for you, pigheaded Brooklyn restaurants! I don't want your pecan-crusted halibut and mash anyway. How 'bout you EAT ME!"

But 2E's and I were blessed this last week, and it came in the form of a very generous Aunt, one who could sense our very palpable struggle all the way from her home in Boston and offered to donate her very precious time to our cause. 2E's Aunt Robin has taken up the task of hunting down any and all available restaurants within our price range and within a safe and fair walking distance from the Nu Hotel. She scoured Yelp. She made calls. Sent emails. Sent inquiries. Followed up. Made spreadsheets. Pie charts.

(OK. No pie charts. But who wants pie charts? Pie charts are so 90s.)

And yes, she admits proudly, it took her FOR-E-VER. She was absolutely astounded at the amount of time and work and effort and patience it required.

But this is inherent in the Jan Brady syndrome, isn't it? The Rehearsal Dinner feels unappreciated. Unaccomplished. Unloved. And so, not only does it bitch and moan ... it also makes it impossible to deal with it.

Lucky for us, Aunt Robin's got lots of love to give. And she's gonna love that Rehearsal Dinner to death. She's gonna love and coddle and manipulate that whiny little Rehearsal Dinner 'til it breaks down, cries a little and is so goddamn appreciative that it gives us a deal (open bar included) that we couldn't possibly resist.

HA. Take that, Rehearsal Dinner.

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