Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

I'd heard stories. I'd read the other blogs. But I was hoping it wouldn't start for a few more weeks.

The Nightmares.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in about three nights now. Every night starts the same: I toss and turn a bit until finally I nod off. And then I sleep for a couple hours until I wake up, cranky and out of breath, realizing I've been dreaming of the wedding. I try to return to my slumber-y cocoon only to realize that I can't sleep for more than an hour at a time because like the White Rabbit, the narrative of my dream is on a strict timeline and I'm Late, I'm Late, I'm Late. And dammit, waking up is apparently the surest way to get where I need to go.

Last night it was the DJ. In my dream I was at my wedding dressed in an 80's era prom dress (interestingly, this was not a fact I was upset about). Despite the crinoline and poofy hot pink skirt, it was most definitely my wedding. All of a sudden my heart started to thump (and by thump, I mean I thought that an alien might burst through my sternum at any moment, it was beating so hard); I realized I never had my "final" meeting with my DJ.

And no sooner than this realization came to pass, I heard it - the sounds of "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. And that's when I ran up to the DJ to tell him he had to stop - he had to play all the carefully-selected songs that I had been collecting for months. But he looked at me as if he had never met me and instead said that he didn't have any of my songs. I felt so betrayed. I thought we had an understanding about my musical tastes. How had I misunderstood?

The Gang wailed on assuring me that indeed a party was going on right here, while I hightailed it to the ladies room and cried my eyes out. In my head (in the dream), I tried to calm myself down telling myself that this was exactly the type of thing that people said would happen - "unexpected problems" that you "just can't plan for" and that you should just "go with the flow" on the day of the wedding and that this would make a GREAT wedding story one day. But my dream self told me dream self's inner voice to shut up and continued to sob in the bathroom stall.

And then I woke up.

It was 3:42 a.m.

The night before the DJ snuck into my bedtime thoughts, the photographer made a cameo appearance. I showed up at the wedding and the photographer didn't pay any attention to me. She didn't seem to know who I even was (admittedly, this is not much of a leap since in fact, she doesn't know who I am - since she's in North Carolina and we've never met).

To make matters worse, it seemed she never got a list of the "must take" pictures, so she just took whatever pictures she wanted. No family portraits. No shots of me and Mr F.

Half way through the wedding I summoned up the courage to go up to her and politely asked her to take some pictures of me and Mr F. Perhaps we might go outside and take a few shots? She declined to do so.

And then the dream somehow magically put the developed photos in my hand (yes, even though the wedding was somehow still going on. (Hey, it's a dream - my subconscious apparently lacks a time/space continuum.)) The pictures were awful - each was blurry and the guests were red-eyed. And as I'd feared, not a single one was of me and Mr F.

I woke up. It was a little after one in the morning.

So today, I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically. I would like to have a sit-down talk with my subconscious and let it know that everything will be alright. No need to worry. Just let the fears settle deep within, sitting numbly next to thoughts about terrorism, the economy, and whether "Heroes" will be renewed for a third season. I wish I could assure my subconscious that I will talk to the DJ and the photographer. And the dress will fit fine. The guests will show up. The officiant will remember our names. There will be no nuts in the food and Mr F will not be rushed to the hospital. There won't be a snow storm. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on and somehow I suspect there's enough fodder here for a nightmare for each of the 47 nights remaining until the wedding.

So if you will excuse me, I think I need to call my primary care physician for a prescription for Ambien. 25 pills. 2 refills.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Say A Little Prayer For You

Every day I wish it was already the next day. Because that day would be one day closer to my wedding and the planning would stop. I would have already done what I needed to do or I wouldn't have done what I needed to do, but it would be too late to do it.

Instead, I am just slogging through Operation T-H (Tortoise-Hare, in case you couldn't be bothered to read the post just a mere 5 inches below) in the freezing cold of Baltimore. The wind is so bitter that it cuts through my sneakers and my feet get numb just walking over to the gym. That's just ridiculous. It's no way to live. I am thinking seriously about dumping Mr F and starting Operation C-A, which involves me getting my ass on the first plane back to California and finding some hot surfer who has a lovely beach shack I can live in and eat fish tacos all day with. (Admittedly, I totally should not have watched "Flirting with Forty" during this time off work. Twice. But if you haven't seen it yet - pure Lifetime gold. Heather Locklear gets dumped by husband and meets surfer in Hawaii. Think "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" but with less groove and more white people. And no Taye Diggs. *sigh*)

What I mean to say is, "I love you Mr F." Can't wait to see you at the altar.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time, Time, Time, See What's Become of Me

Like a Wedding Superhero, I have been proceeding with OWO at a rapid-fire pace. Wrapped in a DIY Gocco'd cape and armed with a fondant frosting pastry gun, I have been checking tasks off my interminably long "To Do" list more quickly than the dissolution of Kate Walsh's marriage. I selected readings, chose vows, and ordered yarmulkes at lightning speed.

Pleased and proud of my newfound abilities, I christened myself Blasphemous Fiancee, Superhero Extraordinaire.

Until I learned an interesting lesson.

Not only is no man is an island but apparently, no bride can be a solo caped crusader. And when you think about it, even the DC Comics superheroes had to form a Justice League. Because sometimes even Wonder Woman needs to ask the Invisible Man to borrow a stick of butter.

So in hindsight, I wish I had my own League of Women Doters. Because if I did, maybe I wouldn't have sent out Rehearsal Dinner invitations without a date or time.

Oh I'm sorry, do you think I typed that wrong?

No, I didn't. I sent out Rehearsal Dinner invitations without any of the basic information that guests would require, such as a date or a time to attend said event.

How or why did this happen? I don't know. All I know is that superheroes don't have to avenge their evil at midnight or one o' clock in the morning after a full day's work, going to the gym (because you gotta fit into that white superhero satin gown) and making dinner because superheroes do not have to hold down full time jobs. Instead, they're gallivanting around town doing their life-saving between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and getting a nice good night's sleep at the end of it all. (And Bruce Wayne does not count because he has a trust fund and Superman does not count because his job barely had him sitting in the office like EVER.) Therefore, our crusaders do not make large mistakes because they are getting the required 8 hours of sleep. Not four.

So who's to blame? I could definitely blame my Mom since she was the person who insisted that we must send out invitations for the Rehearsal Dinner instead of emails because "not everyone uses email, just because you do." Or I could blame Mr F, for his lack of interest in the entire wedding generally or more specifically because when I asked him how the invite looked, he glanced at the computer screen for 3 seconds before turning back to the Steelers game on TV and muttering "fine."

But instead, I'll just blame myself. Because it's easier and it dovetails nicely with my new and improved superhero persona: Exhaustia, Tired Bride-To-Be.

Exhaustia sits on the couch downloading into her keen mind the subject of infinite sub-par Lifetime movies and dressed head to toe in her superhero armor of fleece. She captures her enemies in a carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, where she demolishes them with a golden spoon.

To celebrate the valor and bravery of Exhaustia, we hereby abort Operation Wedding Overdrive and commence Operation Tortoise-Hare, a mission focused on both quickly and steadily finishing nuptial details but not at the mercy of large and messy jackrabbit mistakes which may or may not leave guests unsure as to what date and time one's rehearsal dinner is to be held. However, for Exhaustia's dedication to OWO, we pin to her the purple heart, a concoction of one part Chambord and three parts champagne. I'm all for tying that on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Raining (Wo)Men, Hallelujah!

I bet you are expecting me to tell you that the heinous red rash making its domino effect-like march across my face cleared up in time for my Bridal Shower and that I looked gorgeous and smooth-skinned for my day of raining presents. I'm sorry to inform you (and more sorry to actually be me) that this was not the case. Instead, I pretended I was starring on an eighties nighttime soap and slapped enough beige mortar-like liquid makeup on my face to resurrect the Berlin Wall. (And I finally got to the dermatologist this morning who was oh-so-helpful in her analysis: "It looks like you had an allergic reaction. I'm prescribing you some creme. It should go away in two weeks." Thanks, Doc.)

But back to The Shower.

I have attended many a wedding shower as a guest, but I have to tell you I had no idea what to expect as the guest of honor. And to tell you the truth, I would love to be snarky and tell you it was terrible, but it wasn't. It was lovely (now that I'm a bride I use words like lovely. And darling. My vocabulary is becoming more genteel by the moment. Hold on, I have to go get my crumpets. Whoopsie daisy, I just tripped over the Victorian Era.)

Really though - I was so touched by all of the people who traveled so far to come to my shower. And my bridesmaids really put a lot of thought into details of the shower, making sure that everything matched my wedding colors and picking things that I loved. (Black & white cookies - check! One special salad made just for E&E without strange smelly cheeses (I hate the trifecta of crumbly cheeses, i.e., feta, blue, and goat) - check! Bellinis - check (and praise Jesus!)).

It was a really nice time.

And I think I've adequately conveyed that I'm appreciative and it was a good day, yes? So I'm moving on here.

Because despite the loveliness of the Shower, I have to confess that I still find the tradition of the bridal shower really wacky. I understand that the idea is the bride is "showered" with gifts. But why must she open all of them? As a guest, I always found this weird. Aren't there other nuptial things the group could be doing with the time? Or other non-nuptial things? Or anything? If the whole point of the event is to give gifts and therefore we must acknowledge the presents, er presence, then couldn't we do something more fun with them? Like play gift Jenga and see how tall we can stack them? Or build a present fort covered with 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets?

And now that I have been the Gift Opener, I stand by my feelings. Dude, it's weird. My hands were literally shaking as thirty-five women watched me open the presents they brought. And read cards. No one gave me a primer on the appropriate card-reading-time to gift-opening ratio and within minutes, I felt 70 eyeballs focusing on me and my inability to quickly and masterfully open gifts. (You have to remember that as a Jew, I don't have years of practice ripping open gifts under a Christmas tree. Chanukah was an orderly Type A affair in my house. One night of Chanukah equals one carefully-selected and slowly-opened gift. I've never opened up more than four or five gifts in a row in my life.)

Gauging the crowd's increasing restlessness and my own rapidly overheating forehead (which I hypothetically attributed to the rash, but without a mirror handy, could only assume had taken on scarlet letter-type proportions and had formed a sprawling "B" on my forehead.) Given the heat and the itchiness, I made the executive decision to skip all of the cards (although I did look at the pictures - because in my book, if someone spent $5.95 on an applique card with satin ribbons stuck on the front in the shape of a wedding dress, I assume it's pretty much considered part of the gift).

And so instead of promoting literacy, I just unwrapped the gift and held up the coffee maker / steamer / juicer like it was the Lion King / Holy Grail / a fully formed T-Rex skeleton and announced for each gift that it was "perfect" because "I love coffee" / "Wrinkle-free clothes make me happier than a junkie on a 2-week bender" / "Juice rocks."

Now don't get me wrong. I actually love coffee makers, steamers, and juicers. That's why I registered for these exact items. Myself. Months ago.

Therefore, I found it hard to muster up unique and authentic sounding exclamations for a series of gifts that likely meant I will be doing more cooking and/or cleaning than I ever hoped for and were less of a surprise than the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline divorce news.

Indeed, as a general matter, while I am pleased with the convenience that today's modern day appliances provide a family of two, they don't exactly inspire...well, teary-eyed enthusiasm and jumping up and down along the lines of an episode of Oprah's Big Give. Thus it should be no surprise that two months ago, Mr F and I walked down the aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond, and our conversation sounded like this:

"Look. It's a clothing steamer."

"Yeah. That's cool."

"I think we should get it."



Sorry, that's all I've got for you. If you're looking for a longer trip down memory lane, I'm pretty sure "It's A Wonderful Life" is playing on a loop for the next 5 days on TCM.

Does it matter who said what in this little snippet? No. Because it's a steamer. Will it make my life easier? Absolutely. Does it make me writhe in ecstasy? No.

To summarize: I like gifts. I like getting gifts I have picked out. I do not like pretending to be surprised about said gifts. I also do not like opening said gifts in front of scores of onlookers who expect me to make comments about said unsurprising gifts.

Isn't there a better way? Maybe people should just forgo the paper wrapping. Hasn't anyone noticed that it's crap for the environment? Just bring an unwrapped gift to the party and place it around the perimeter of the room. Then everyone can see all the fabulous gifts and instead of watching someone open presents for an hour, you can put on some Gwen Stefani, break out the lemon drop shots, and dance around the room. Or, if it was like my party and 75% of your guests are post-menopausal, then throw on some Carole King, open up the family photo albums and throw eclairs in your mouth two at a time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

SOS, Please, Someone Help Me, It's Not Healthy

I know, I know. I've been MIA. Although it's not because I'm sitting at home, twiddling my thumbs (though does anyone actually "twiddle" their thumbs? Don't people just sit on the couch and watch bad reality TV or maybe consume too many hot buttered rums while lazily paging through year-old wedding magazines?). Anyway, I have been doing no such things. In fact, it has been quite the opposite.

I have been so busy, I haven't had a moment to complain. Well, on my blog, anyway. I had my first dress fitting (and yes, got a proper bra, complete with groping - but that's another story for another day), created my wedding program, sent out my invites, worked on the out-of-town bags, designed and purchased my rehearsal dinner invites, and no joke, that's not the half of it (and no the other half doesn't include holding down a full time job, because really, my office serves solely as a vestibule to hold all of my wedding projects at this point).

Anyway, this all began because I woke up one morning and I decided that I am done with planning this wedding and that all must be finished so I can go about living my life like a layperson (i.e., one who is not shrouded in alleged pre-nuptial bliss). Thus, I have now commenced Operation Wedding Overdrive (OWO - not to be confused with EVOO, as touted by her perkiness herself, Ms. Rachel Ray, a.k.a. my nemesis (and no, she doesn't technically know she's my arch enemy, but that's because she is so busy being so...smiley. I think my perfect day might start with a Bloody Mary and end with watching Rachel Ray cry hot sad tears because her magazine has folded.).)

But what finally drew me back to the blogosphere amidst the madness of OWO, you might ask?

Well, my wedding shower is in two days.

And of course, there's more.

I have a massive flesh-eating rash pioneering across my forehead.

I kid you not. Ok, it's not flesh-eating (thankfully), but it is a contact dermatitis. If that sounds medical-ish and scary, I assure you it is. My forehead is a DANGER zone. Give me some Cortisone or lose me forever.

Like the first snow of winter, the rash arrived out of nowhere last night. I spent a typical evening on the couch doing wedding-y things with my computer on my lap, Grey's Anatomy on the TV, and a glass of wine balanced precariously on the couch (a bad idea I know, but the couch is brown leather and wipes off easily). After I stayed up far too late I went to wash my face. Before leaning over the sink I glanced at my reflection and EEEGADS!, there was a giant array of red bumps across my forehead.

I immediately run over to Mr F, who is already lying in bed, and show him the rash. He is staring straight at the TV when he goes "don't worry, it's nothing." I turn off the TV and make him stare at my forehead. This time he says "Oh" and raises an eyebrow. And then he's silent. Well, that's not good.

"Can I do anything about it?"

"I think you should just sleep on it and we'll see what it looks like tomorrow."

So I woke up this morning and bounded over the mirror, hoping that like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, that seven moderately restful hours would provide me with a creamy clear complexion (and perhaps even a line-free face and a coach made out of a pumpkin, or better yet, a Coach bag in a deep pumpkin color).

DOUBLE egads! Someone must have made the rash ANGRY because it had become enlarged and redder and well, bumpier. And it was picking up real estate on my forehead quicker than Donald Trump was buying up the Upper West Side. So I slathered my forehead in Cortisone cream and dammed myself for growing out my bangs for the stupid wedding.

And I closed my office door the whole day so I didn't have to expose my forehead to my co-workers' prying eyes. Which worked very successfully.

Except now I have my shower in two days. In the scheme of things, sure, I understand that a prickly red rash that's slowly making its way around my face isn't the end of the world. People will still be happy to see me (if not eager to hug me). And sure, it would be way worse if I got it for the wedding (assuming it will be gone by then, which at this point, sure as heck ain't a given), but you know, wouldn't it be nice if something were just easy? You know, if Cinderella didn't have to have the coach disappear and the glass slipper fall off and Sleeping Beauty declined luscious fruit offerings from strange elderly women?

But I suppose it's all part of the story that is supposed to lead to Happily Ever After.

Except that I think my Happily Ever After is about to come in ten minutes since I've just taken a Benadryl to stop the itching on my forehead and I already feel some major drowsy kicking in.

The End.

Of This Post.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

And You May Ask Yourself, Well How Did I Get Here? (Probably By Using GPS)

Apologies for my lack of posting. However. I am now less than 4 days away from my first dress fitting. I have eaten barely anything that qualifies as healthy in the last 7 days (unless perhaps pureed carrots with a stick of butter might be healthy? No? Stuffing? No? Pumpkin cheesecake? *sigh*) and I am sipping a glass of two-day old Zinfandel that Mr F actually stuck in the fridge last night and which now tastes like well, refrigerated red wine (which is crap). But that's not even the tip of the iceberg. That would be because I'm sitting at the kitchen table with four boxes of invitations which I am numbering, stuffing and stamping. Alone. (Not to mention that my wine glass isn't even within reach because I'm too nervous that I'll tip it over on the stupid invites, so I've placed it on on the counter - which is a good four feet from the kitchen table - and thus requires that I get up each time I want to take a sip).

Why so surly about sitting home stuffing envelopes (for the third night in a row) and drinking cold red wine? Well, besides the obvious, if you recall (which you probably don't, because this isn't the saga of your life, it's the saga of mine), I was not supposed to be the one to deal with the invites. That was supposed to be My Mother.

And so how did I end up with these little paper cut-inducing bastards sitting on my kitchen table and keeping me apart from my dear (cold) red wine?

Well, it all started with the hotel direction card inserts that I needed to put into the invitations (according to Mom obviously). I couldn't care less about direction card inserts. Honestly, everyone Google Maps everything or more likely, has GPS. So who cares? Well, apparently my Mom does. So I called the venue where I'm having the reception and they told me that they have direction cards already made up that I can use. So before heading on the road to go home for Thanksgiving (chock full of traffic), we swing by the venue and pick up the cards.

Once I get home to my parents' place in NJ, I take a peek at the invitations (which I love by the way) and my Dad turns to me and says: "Mom says you want to make sure that you number the back of the response cards."

Uhm, what?

"Dad, I think you must have heard wrong. Mom said that you guys will actually be taking care of the invitations. Which is why YOUR address is on the back of the cards. Right?"

My Dad looks confused (and scared - possibly because he could see the Devil in my eyes - which must be scary for a parent). "I don't know. You should talk to your Mother about this."

When my Mom came home later, I pounced. "I thought YOU GUYS were doing the invitations! Dad said I'm doing them! And that you said that I need to put numbers on the back. I can't! I have too much to do!"

Mom looked at me like I was someone she did not recognize (though more likely she was thinking about whether she could trade me in for a better, nicer version of a daughter), before responding: "What I meant was that we would do them together this weekend. And that 'we' needed to put numbers on the back."

Hmmm. I didn't know if I could trust this strained explanation. But like a hostage who can only get by on the hope that they will someday be free, I believed her.

The weekend passed. We ate turkey. Drank tequila. (No really - it was quite a Thanksgiving.)And I ate everything put in front of me and well as the contents of the fridge, the pantry, and the local pizza parlor.

Well times flies when you're sleeping in a twin bed and chugging the contents of your parents' liquor stash (it's not really a cabinet, more a grouping of bottles on the floor of the coat closet), and next thing we know, it's time for Mr F and I to go home. In an hour. Of course, the invitations never got done.

So I go downstairs to mention this to my Mom and we pull out the box with the invites. (Which look AWESOME by the way. Did I mention that? Yes, I did. But I love them! Sorry, but I need to dwell on the positive instead of what's coming next, which is....)

I pull out the direction cards that I picked up before we came home and look at them for the first time. Hmmm. Well this is....interesting. Apparently the "direction cards" don't. Actually. Provide. Directions. They just have a little map of the building with the name of the two streets adjacent to it. Perhaps helpful for someone intimately familiar with Baltimore, but not so much for pretty much anyone else. And since 90% of our guests are coming from places that are not Baltimore, this is not helpful. How can anyone in good conscience call this a "direction card?"

I turn to my Mom and show it to her, suggesting that we just forgo the direction card since everyone will figure it out by Googling the address (or they could call me, or my Mom, or Mr F, or they could call the hotel, which is where they are likely staying; or they could look at the Save the Date, which also had the info; or our website, which guessed it...has the information!). So I feel good about skipping the directions.

Apparently, my Mom does not. She is aghast. "You must include directions."

Well, ok then. It's apparently been decided.

"Sooooo....." I began, "how do you want to deal with this? Do you want to just add on the website with a label to the bottom of this card? Or I guess we could just make an all-new card?"

My Mom is silent. (For once.)

More silence.


"Honey, I'm not good with labels and stuff like that."

This is the point where I realized we could back and forth. I could ask her why she can't just do this herself and go to Kinko's to get printed directions on a new card; I could make the astute observation that it's ridiculous that her name is on the back as the "return address" (i.e., the address it originally came from) if she's not the one sending it out. I could snarkily comment that I secretly suspected she would never take care of this herself no matter what the direction cards looked like. I could remind her how I don't care about the direction cards, but she does, so really it's silly that I'm going to lug them across four states to do them myself when I'm also taking care of every other single thing to do with this wedding. I could say all of these things and indeed, I could say many more. But I can't fight anymore. Perhaps it was the post-Thanksgiving tryptophan kicking in, but I'm just tired. And I know that in the end I'm going to end up stuffing the damn invitations on my own anyway.

So instead I just sighed. And said, "Fine. I'll just do it."

She handed me over the giant cardboard box. I pretended my Mom was handing me a box full of chocolate cake, a bottle of 20-year tawny port, and the first three seasons of "Sex & The City" on DVD. I skip to the car. Until I remember my cardboard box is not filled with these gluttonous goodies. It's filled with heavy, expensive paper. That is not edible. I shove the box in the backseat.

And now I'm sitting at my kitchen table. On phase three of a multi-phase stuffing system. And very far away from finishing. And sadder yet, even further away from my very cold, very sub-par wine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To The Beanpole Dames In The Magazines, You Ain't It, Miss Thang.

I got a surprising call while I was at work the other day. Although, as a general matter, I try to avoid answering my cell during work hours since odds are great that it's my Mother or Future-Mother-in-Law and thus, sure only to upset me, I had a moment of temporary insanity and just picked up the phone without thinking.

Much to my delight it was neither of My Two Moms, but my bridal shop, calling to inform me that my Dress (yes, with a Capital "D," entitled thereto for the extra Dollars it costs) had arrived. This was indeed a surprise because they had previously informed me not to expect the Dress until January because I ordered it so late. (Don't judge - some people just don't get "The Feeling That It's The Dress" and instead these people just try on dress after dress (after dress) because everyone keeps telling them they'll "just know" when it's the "right one" (until finally said people realize that they're going to be 32 by the time they get married and perhaps they just aren't the kind of people who ever "just know" when anything is just the "right" one).


I definitely suspected part of that timeline was faux in an effort (that I respect and applaud) to avoid brides calling up every day to ask if their Dress has arrived. However, despite these suspicions, I was pleasantly surprised to get the call. I quickly selected dates for the first two dress fittings and duly jotted down the instructions: each fitting would be about an hour and I needed to bring my shoes and the undergarments I would be wearing the day of the wedding.

One hour time allotted on my calendar = check!

Shoes = check!

Proper undergarments = ch...not so much.

I took a quick look at the calendar and realized I had about two weekends to find the proper "foundations" for my gown. I don't want to reveal too much about the gown's design itself (because Mr F tends to read this Blog), but I can safely say that I felt smug that this would be sufficient time to find some sort of bustier with sufficient underwire to keep the ladies up and adequately unsmooshed (to avoid my tectonic plates creating cleavage longer (and more treacherous) than the San Adreas fault line).

And while there was a small part of me that was starting to stress about whether the Dress would actually fit me, I pushed those nagging feelings deep down to my inner psyche, much like the disaster preparedness kit hidden in the depths of my broom closet.

Instead, I set off on my maiden voyage to the Mall to find a low-backed strapless bra that would hold my mountains in their individual geographic territories and separate time zones.

Unfortunately, after wading through the lingerie departments of three separate stores, I determined that I must be the only large-chested bride in the world, because every strapless bra I tried on seemed to have the sole goal of pushing my lovely lady lumps first together and then up, so as to give them a lovely "orbs floating on water" effect (and a shimmy measure of 9.2 on the Richter Scale). Nice for a Naughty Nurse Halloween costume. Less nice if I want my groom to look at my er, eyes.

So I continued to search for a bra, which somehow seemed to also involve a barrage of insulting insinuations by sales clerks regarding the size of my love handles. Last I checked, if someone asks for a bra, that doesn't directly translate to a request for body armor and unsolicited commentary about the ability of a garment to get rid of my back fat. I understand the holiday bonuses will be slim this year, but is it really necessary to tell me that I'm not...all in the name of a little extra commission cash in the pocket?

The closest I ultimately got to an appropriate undergarment is a $90 sausage casing with underwire. Now I know I should be happy about the full body armor that will "smooth" me (as every single sales clerk touted), but honestly, I think it's going to be difficult enough to go to the bathroom in the wedding dress, I really don't want the extra complication of having to pee through the hole in the bottom of my bodysuit. (Yes, really - Spanx has a goddamn HOLE in the bottom. It doesn't even snap. It's just material you are supposed to move to the side, like the cheap fabric curtain in the hospital, separating the beds.)

So at the end of the day, I drove home armed only with a second spandex skin and a negative body image.

What's funny is that thus far I have been somewhat successful at not being diet-obsessed. For the past ten months, I just focused on being consistent about going to the gym and eating healthy most of the time (dinners of Triscuits and brie aside, and with the caveat that wine is obviously a health food - I swear I read it in Shape Magazine - look it up!). But the point is, I've been mostly healthy and definitely not focused and/or stressed about my waistline.

Until now.

All of a sudden, the message that my dress had arrived seemed to be a wake up call of another kind. It was as if I had received a telegraph that said: YOU CANNOT GAIN ANY WEIGHT. (A cruel telegram indeed.)

Full translation: you are about to be measured for a dress that must fit you the most perfect of any garment you have ever owned because this is the high point of your attractiveness in every one's mind and it's really all downhill from here. If you can't manage to look good on This One Day, then gosh, you're a mess.

Well of course from the moment I realized that I need to actually fit into a garment that now exists in this world (rather than being a hypothetical garment that could be changed in size should need be), I cannot stop thinking about the fact that I should not be EATING EXTRA FOOD. And since I know I should NOT eat extra food, my stomach has grumbled incessantly for the past ninety-six hours. (So yes, perhaps I was an eensy bit sensitive to the sales ladies bringing me in boatloads of completely unsolicited Spanx).

And in fact, after four days of deep thought, I have now come to firmly believe that this is in fact some sort of conspiracy by the dress shop. Full well knowing that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, they are performing some sort of social experiment on me and my stomach (yes, we are two separate entities) to see just how much weight a bride can gain in the weeks between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (because let's not forget that the joyous holiday trifecta of Egg Nog, Hot Buttered Rum, and Champagne all have calories too).

Sweet Plymouth Rock, people. I'm in for some serious trouble. Maybe I should buy a back-up wedding dress. I've seen Project Runway. They can do amazing things with potato sacks these days.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Talk To Me, Like (Mothers) Do

Conversation With My Mom. A Play in One Act.

*Ring* *Ring* (Ok, that's not necessarily accurate, since I actually have a ringtone on my cellphone, but I'm not going to write down the lyrics to "Sunshine of My Love" (which makes a GREAT ringtone by the way), so let's all just agree to suspend disbelief and agree to this: someone is calling me. And if you read the sentence above, I have a sneaking suspicion you might know who it is.).

Looking down at the phone, I see it's my Mom (yup, you guessed it). I'm on Amtrak, taking the train home to Baltimore from DC after having a couple of drinks after work. I try to weigh if the combination of two glasses of Chardonnay and being in a public place where screaming hysterically on the phone is woefully inappropriate provide sufficient insulation to deal with whatever my Mom has to say. The loving embrace of the wine makes the scales tipsy, and as I press the green button on my phone, I find myself feeling especially benevolent and patient.

"Hi Mom. How are you? How was France?"

"Hi Honey, I'm good. France was wonderful. [Blah blah blah...France...blah blah]. By the way, I called your Cousin in the Virgin Islands - did you hear they were hit by a hurricane?"

"No, I didn't see it on the news here."

"Yes, they're all right, thankfully. We found out about it the day after we got back from France."

"OK, good - I'm glad they're ok."

"Oh, by the way, I know you don't talk to Cousin that much, but just don't mention that we were in France."

"Uhm, ok, but why??"

"Oh, I don't know. I just don't think they need to know."

"But Mom, that is so random. I don't understand. Why?"

"Not everyone needs to know everything, E&E." I feel like I'm in a science fiction movie and I need to solve the riddle my Mother is saying to exit the rabbit hole. While I'm scratching my head in total bewilderment and wondering if The Matrix might hold a key to this puzzle, she goes on to say, "I got the invitation to your Wedding Shower."

Relieved I can stop thinking about Neo and Alice in Wonderland and how terrible I am at problem solving in general, I responding with an exuberant, "Me too! I think they're really pretty!"

"They're very cute. [She pauses.] By the way you should call Auntie Hostess [i.e., the Aunt hosting my shower. Although upon reflection that makes her sound like an Aunt who has a penchant for Ho-Ho's and Twinkies. Now that would be a Shower I could buy in to.]."

"Uhm...why should I call her?"

"Well, it appears that whichever of your friends sent out the invitation didn't have the right address for her and then didn't ask the right address and didn't send her one. I mean I guess they could have asked for the right address and sent one...but well, they just didn't."

[Incredulous. And back in the rabbit hole.] "Wait, I'm confused - how did that happen? I don't understand."

"Well, I don't know dear. But...[SIGH]...I told her that I would bring along my invitation to the Shower in Long Island and just show it to her so she could take a look at it, but then of course she couldn't keep it since I want to keep my invitation so I would have to bring it back to New Jersey."

[Looking around rabbit hole for mint julep to keep me company while I wander through labyrinth.] "So what are you trying to say?"

"Nothing, dear. You asked me why you should call your Aunt and I was just giving you all of the information."

"So are you trying to say you want her to get an invitation sent? - because you could have just asked me to ask my friends to send her an invitation."

[Mother apparently getting frustrated as well.] "I don't know why everything has to be so difficult. I'm just trying to help: you asked me how things were, so I was just telling you the story of what was going on."

"Yes, except that you really just wanted to tell me that my friends did the wrong thing. You could have just said - 'Auntie didn't get an invite. Send her one.' But instead you had to tell me that everything wasn't perfect. Why do you have to give me all of the unnecessary details which are sure to make me feel guilty? [Pausing] So is her address right or wrong on all of the shower invites?"

"I don't know."

"Well, the address she gave is on the invites to the Shower, the directions to the Shower and her wedding invitation - so if you want her to get a wedding invitation, then maybe you should call her and check all this."

"Well I think you should call her."

"She's your friend." [Auntie Hostess is actually a "fake" Aunt who is Mom's friend from college.]

"Well you need to call her and check that the address is right - it's your Shower."

"I don't understand! How did she tell you that she didn't get an invite because her address is wrong, but then she didn't give you her correct address or confirm that the address on the shower invitation is correct? I don't even know what I'm asking her!"

"I don't know, dear."

"I gotta run Mom. I'll talk to Auntie Hostess and get her an invite. We're coming into my station and I need to grab a cab...I'll be in touch tomorrow."

I shut the phone and stare at it, confused as to what happened and with a hankering for a mint-based cocktail. And then I feel guilty for essentially hanging up on my Mom. This is the essence of every conversation we have had for the last nine months. Is this just generational? To me, the point of the conversation was that Auntie didn't get an invite and I should make sure she gets one. But that was tucked away deep within the enigma that is my Mother's double talk. *Sigh* I'm pretty sure if you print out this conversation and hold it up to a mirror it will show you where the holy grail is buried.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day, Don't Let It Fade Away

You know what I really dislike? I really despise when people refer to my wedding as "Your Special Day." I have been trying to put my finger on what it is about that phrase that irks me so completely and totally and after I great deal of self-reflection...I don't really know.

I think it's somehow related to my distaste for euphemisms, especially for euphemisms that smack of a good case of the know-it-alls, mixed with just a dash of overly inflated importance.

For some reason, every time I hear the phrase "Your Special Day," I'm somewhat reminded of...and I'm really not sure how to put this delicately, so I guess I just won't...I'm reminded of the day we needed signed permission slips to attend 5th Grade Health Class so we could learn about reproductive systems, puberty, and menstruation. Each time one of those words was mentioned, it was flanked with the words "Your" and "Special." Special, indeed.

And "Your Special Day" also conjures up the very first time I went to the bra store with my Mother and the salesclerk who said "awwww, are you here for your first bra!?! That's so sweet! It's a Special Day!"

I guess perhaps, it's the idea that someone who is somehow older and wiser has the right to label your most personal experiences of maturation as "special" or "important" because they have already been there.

Because if you notice, no bride goes around calling it My Special Day. ("Gosh, I can't believe I only have three months until My Special Day!" or "Hi, I'm calling to make a hair appointment for My Special Day!") Only other people deem it "Your Special Day."

I guess I find something sort of condescending about it. Do I think people are intentionally condescending? No. But that's just how I feel. Go ahead. Disagree. I'm sure many of you do. That's fine.

And heck, while I'm at it, I have to confess that I find something silly about it.

I'm actually not anti-wedding, or anti-wedding-industry or any of those things. Sure, I guess I wish for a simpler day where weddings weren't such a commodity and brides didn't feel compelled to put on a show of their everlasting love or make people feel like flying across the country had to be "worth it" ("worth it" can be defined as offering an open bar or a plated meal or at least 3 passed appetizers). But in the olden days, before weddings were circuses even for the most common of folk (I'm pretty sure the Rockefellers have been whooping it up at weddings for quite some time now), they also didn't have iPods or Spin class or DVR (which ok, I don't have either, but one day I hope I will), so I just consider it part of what the world is now, and something I can choose to accept or reject (or resist or be too wimpy too resist), like so many other things that exist today, created by enterprising individuals who when push comes to shove, I actually admire for their ingenuity and fiscal acumen. (OK, perhaps not their acumen, but I love that word - it conjures up some sort of wise superhero for me - AcuMan! - can solve problems in a single bound!)

Ahem. To regroup - while I don't hate the wedding industry - I feel compelled to note that every single vendor that I have dealt with thus far cannot seem to say the words "Your wedding day" or "the 15th of February" or even "the day you're getting married."

Which is why I also hate the phrase "The Big Day."

For some reason, each vendor must substitute those words: "The Big Day" or "Your Special Day" as if to incessantly remind me why I'm spending obscene amounts of money.

"Hmmm...why am I paying craploads of money for flowers which will likely die in a couple of days...? Oh WAIT! It's because it's a SPECIAL DAY...and in fact, not just ANY special day...but THE Big Day." Whew! The cost is definitely justified now! Glad we've got that settled.

I am actually working with one vendor who puts "Your Special Day" as the actual subject heading in every email she sends me. She's a really nice woman, but I'm about 5 minutes from telling her that I hate her just a little more every time she sends me an email.

I don't know. I think I'm just hungry. I shouldn't blog when I'm hungry. I think I just get extra cranky and I don't censor myself as much as I probably should.

Unfortunately, I am simultaneously mentally reviewing what's sitting in my fridge, and I'm now even crankier because I just concluded there's a whole lot of nothing. I am instead reverting to my favorite daydream, where I walk over to my barren fridge and open it up, but much to my surprise, somehow it has magically been replenished, complete with all of my most favorite items (strawberries, ice cream, and guacamole, oh my!...ok, and a nice sparkling wine from California...with a straw). Yum-tastic. Now that would be A Special Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's My Party And I'll Cry (or Hopefully, Decline to Cry) If I Want To

I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be A Positive Post! The kind of post that normal carefree radiant brides post all the time on their normal happy blogs. About their dress! Their shoes! Their venue!

I, purveyor of so much wedding rage, will hereby attempt to be like A Normal Bride. Yes, I've tried this before, but I am feeling particularly confident that this time, I can do this!

Let's begin, shall we?

I got home from work today and checked the mail (secretly wishing that a new "Self" magazine might be inside, in the related hope that if it arrived, it would inspire me to get my (Lazy) Self to the gym). As I pulled the mail out of the box, something in the stack caught my eye. What was peeking out at me? No, not "Self" (damn you, Conde Nast!), but a lovely deep purple-colored envelope, addressed to yours truly.

I LOVE getting mail. I especially love getting mail in colored envelopes. Because bills do not come in colored envelopes. And requests from my alma mater boldly soliciting donations (from someone who simultaneously is continuing to pay for said education each month) do not come in pretty purple envelopes. Only invitations, cards, and thank you notes come in colored envelopes.

I ripped open the poor defenseless little envelope quicker than its whiter, more financially fulfilling sister which contained my stimulus check just days earlier.


It was my Shower Invitation! And honestly, I love it! It's very cute and modern - exactly like something I would have picked out myself. And it even carries through my tree branch theme. (Which, if we get down to it, is not actually a "theme", but more a "symbol" of the fact that I am getting married in the dead of winter and well, nothing is flowering, so all we have left are sad naked branches. But I prefer to think of it more as the simple and organic elegance of the constant change of life and what will soon flourish, rather than...well, a dead tree.)

Anyway, dead tree as a symbol of my impending nuptials aside, I was very excited about the Wedding Shower Invites!

I immediately called my Sister-In-Law (that would be my Brother's Wife), who I knew was responsible for picking out the invites, to thank her profusely for not picking something with wedding bells, wedding dress and/or a house of worship paired with rhyming of any sort. And then I sat down at my computer to type this post. Which is POSITIVE. And NORMAL. And focusing on HOW MUCH I LIKE THE INVITES.

This post is not, I repeat, NOT going to be about the fact that I am a little STRESSED ABOUT MY SHOWER. BECAUSE I AM CLEARLY NOT STRESSED ABOUT MY SHOWER.

This post will NOT quickly degrade into a laundry list of the reasons that I'm extremely apprehensive about the shower and/or why it has been a lightning rod for controversy over the past few months in my household (and by household, I mean two bedroom apartment in Baltimore shared with Mr F).

Indeed looking at my lovely invitation certainly did NOT remind me that the shower itself is likely going to be me, my fabulous matrons of honor, one or two friends who live nearby in New York and its immediately surrounding areas and FIFTEEN of my Mother's friends and TWENTY-FIVE of my future-mother-in-law's friends (not a single one of whom I've met). THIS POST WILL NOT FOCUS ON THAT.

[Awkward silence.]

Or maybe the post won't "focus" on the apprehension "per se," but perhaps it might just dabble in it. Just an itty bitty mention of some less-than-positive feelings, in addition and certainly secondary to, the excitement of the invitation. Just a toe in the shower water, really.

[More silence.]

I think the cat is out of the bag.


There, I said it.

First of all, I feel badly that the burden is on my bridesmaids to plan (and pay for!) this party which is really just an opportunity for my Mom and FMIL to show me off like some sort of show pony and to hang out with their friends.

To be clear, it's not that I don't like show ponies, or non-show ponies for that matter, but the idea of making small talk with hordes (throngs, really) of women who are tennis partners and co-workers of The Moms makes me feel somewhat queasy even in theory (so I have strong concerns about the reality of this event). Three hours of being asked how the wedding planning is going, when are we going to start "trying", and asking me to explain just once more why I'm a lawyer who doesn't practice law, is enough to make me scope out a vineyard, crawl inside a barrel of fermenting Cabernet, and come out, pink and puckered, three months later. (If you think this sounds suspiciously like my hibernation plan, then you would be right.)

Moreover, I'm somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I will have few to no friends at my shower. Although I know in theory I shouldn't be embarassed because my friends live literally across the country (and the shower is a good four hours away from where I even live) and as a result, not everyone can make the trip for both the Shower and then the Bachelorette a month later (and I very clearly conveyed that my preference was attendance at the Bachelorette), none of those very logical reasons comfort me. Instead I am practicing responses to the following questions "are any of your friends coming?" and "Was it just too far for your friends to come to your shower?". As such, I am less-than-giddy about the Shower.

But I suppose that only makes sense, right? This isn't supposed to be fun. Or if it was, why wouldn't they call it the Wedding Shower Party so as to indicate that this is indeed, a party, and thus, by its very definition, intended to be fun? There is the Bachelorette Party (intended to be fun), the Engagement Party (intended to be fun) and hell, even the Wedding Party (damn well better be fun or I'm finding new friends).

Wedding Shower is just so...sterile. Rather than frivolous enjoyment, it seems to be more of a hygiene-focused event. I mean come on, couldn't it least be Wedding Bath? (Conjuring up images of relaxing scented candles, whirlpool jets, soothing music and a good book.)

But no, it's just the Wedding Shower.

Which is why, when asked by my bridesmaids what I "wanted" at my shower, the only thing I requested (and I swear on all that is holy that this is true), was to be "showered" with cocktails. Because I can't deal with fifty menopausal women without a libation.

Umbrella optional.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today Is The Greatest Day That I Have Ever Known...(Or At Least A Nice Day)

What is so fantastical about this day?? Well first...I've been "Tagged" by Kelley at My Island Wedding. And then...I got nominated for an "Uber Amazing Blog Award" by Jenny at And She's Just Rambling Again!!

Well first things first. Being tagged apparently means I need to share 7 random facts about me and explain "the rules" of being tagged (mercifully, not to be confused with other rules requiring that you stay aloof and not kiss on the first date).

The rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blog.

4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog!

5. Eat at least one slice of pizza every day for the next week. (Ok, sorry, that's not in the rules, but shouldn't it be?)

Facts about me (that would be Engaged & Enraged @ I Hate Planning My Wedding):

1. I had to give away my cat because Mr F is allergic and I miss him (the cat, not Mr F) very much.

2. While standing on line at Grand Central Station for the LIRR (that is Long Island Railroad, for those of you not in the know), I once asked Mike Wallace (from "60 Minutes") and his wife to watch my luggage for me so I could go get a coffee and a muffin to nurse my massive hangover. (Hey, they were very nice and standing in front of me - wouldn't you have done the same?)

3. One of my biggest regrets is not studying or living abroad at some point in my life.

4. That being said, I still think on a regular basis about how cool it would have been to have had an EZ Bake Oven as a kid.

5. I secretly think I could compete in a competitive eating contest. Like, really.

6. One day I hope to have a college scholarship named for me.

7. I really like my name. Unfortunately, as this Blog is anonymous, you likely don't know that name. But take it on faith - I like it. First name, nickname derivation, and last name. Good job, Mom and Dad.

Now, I tag (and I apologize in advance if you've already been tagged - I tried to search your blogs to make sure you haven't been yet):

1. Maners, at

2. Sezzy at

3. Monkeygirl at

4. Friday at

5. Bailee at


7. Jessica at

And to make all of your days - I am also nominating all of you for an "Uber Amazing Blog Award" too! Here is the information for that one:

The Uber (AKA Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
  • Inspire you...
  • Make you smile and laugh...
  • Or maybe gives amazing information...
  • A great read...
  • Has an amazing design...
And any other reason you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of the award are:
Put the logo on your blog or post
Nominate a minimum of 5 blogs
Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog

Share the love and link to this post and the person you received your award from.
Not a bad day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

Mr F is not going to like this post. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr F's apology just a couple of hours ago was based on the fact that he knew that I would take this day to the blog. Oh you are a wise one, Mr F. But you're down for the count, baby.

Sunday was to be the day that Mr F and I completed one of the two tasks I asked him to help with for the entirety of our wedding. Those two things are: (1) purchase wedding rings and (2) rent a tux.

There used to be a third thing, i.e., pick out a honeymoon location, but Mr F has fallen woefully short on that task and I don't want to pay hundreds of extra dollars for a last minute decision on that one, so I removed it from the list, leaving just the two teensy tiny microscopically small things I physically need him to be there for. And truth be told, at this point, if it were a viable option, I would be happy to trade him in for a giant inflatable doll with his measurements that I could lug around town to get these tasks done.

However, the giant inflatable doll is not an option, so I have been talking about getting a tuxedo for a month now, mentally and physically preparing Mr F for this event.

Mr F hates going shopping. I think this only makes him like 98% of the rest of the male population. That being said, we are talking about one hour of one day for one time in his life. Thus far, I have never forced him to do any fashion-related outings on my behalf, which quite frankly puts ME ahead of 98% of women who I know for a fact, DRAG their significant others to dress them up in clothes they like. I do not do this. Mr F does not believe that I am a good or special person for this. But he should.

So we go to the most evil place on Earth. The Mall. And immediately, Mr F looks like a kid about to get a haircut. In fact, there was a little boy aged four actually being pulled toward Supercuts with the same look on his face. Pure horror.

As I stride toward Men's Warehouse, Mr F has strayed out of sight somehow. He is nowhere to be found. I peer into the stores nearby and see a flash of his red flannel shirt. Apparently, Mr F has gone into Brookstone. This is also not surprising. Mr F laments that we will spend $150 on a tuxedo for his wedding day, but thinks that it is understandable to spend $200 on an alarm clock that slowly gets louder to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. (It's called turning up the volume dial and drinking a cup of coffee. It costs pennies a day. Look into it.)

So I drag Mr F into Men's Warehouse (I tell him - "You're Gonna Like The Way You Look - I Guarantee It!" - he does not find this compelling). Once we are in the store, I ask the clerk where the tuxedos are that you try on to order for a wedding or special event. The very nice gentleman politely informs me that we can't try anything on because they don't keep these items in stock. We just need to order based on swatches. Hmm. Well that is not what I expected. I want Mr F to look the best he's ever looked and somehow I don't think a frickin swatch is really gonna help at all.

Mr F is ecstatic. Now he doesn't have to try anything on.

He looks at the book, holds a swatch up next to his face and says "I like this one. Let's go home."

Well isn't that just hunky dorey. This is not going according to plan at all.

Swatch next to the face is not giving me the visual image I need. I want to see him in a tux. I have been researching peak lapels versus notch lapels, two button versus three button, and bow-tie versus long tie for months. Am I now supposed to just close my eyes and point to the book without seeing him try anything on?

Mr F says yes, that is what I'm supposed to do.

I think not.

I want to make sure Mr F looks good and I want to make sure he doesn't look...well, gaudy or worse yet, cheesy. I have a secret fear that Mr F will look like A Guy Wearing A Rented Tuxedo for his prom. I want James Bond, not James Spader (a la "Steff" in "Pretty in Pink"). There is a fine line between "good formalwear" and "bad formalwear." And I suspect I cannot make a decision on where that line sits from a swatch.

So we get some brochures which we are supposed to select tuxedos from. I am not comfortable with this. Mr F assures me it is because I am a control freak and I need to see everything and have my hands on every detail before it happens.

He is correct.

He also notes that he is not allowed to see what I am wearing to the wedding, so isn't it only fair that the converse be true? While in fact both a fair and astute point, Mr F is overlooking the important point that unlike him, I do not consider wearing olive green Puma workout pants that snap up the side with a red flannel shirt dating back from college (and probably pilfered from a lumberjack's closet) an outfit appropriate for dinner at a nice restaurant. Or even dinner at home. In the dark. Or for anything else other than kindling for a fireplace.

All that aside, yes I am a control freak, but wouldn't you be if you knew you could find yourself promising to love and cherish a solid gold dancer until you die? (My fear with having him wear a champagne colored tie and vest.)

All of which explains why I would like to see Mr F actually put on a gosh darn tux.

So we exit the store and see that there is another formalwear store around the corner. At which point Mr F pouts. And stamps his feet. And crosses his arms. And lies down on the floor and pounds his fists and legs on the ground while hot tears escape from his eyes. OK, that was the three year old boy who was tired of shopping with mommy, but I swear, they looked just about the same to me.

So I drag Mr F into the second store and he frowns at me. He puts a tux on and looks like a high school senior who was stood up by his prom date (fortunately, this is not because of the champagne vest). He's miserable. And making me miserable. I wonder if the pockets of any of these coats contain a flask like the one that my date brought to our prom. I can hear the AC/DC now.

The sales clerk also looks miserable. She looks sympathetically at me and says, "You know, the guys really hate this. They just don't like trying on clothes."

Oh boo hoo. Must be hard to really really hate doing something and to have to suck it up and do it anyway. Imagine hating it and having enough stupid details that you could fill every weekend for a year completing that crap. Sounds like fodder for a blog.

But I know when I'm defeated. So we leave. Mr F thinks I'm crazy and detail obsessed. I think Mr F is annoying and selfish.

We're both right and we're both wrong (and we know this but both prefer sulking to talking, for now anyway), but the truth of the matter is, I still need to see Mr F try on a tux, so he better start mentally preparing himself to go back to the mall.

Until then, I will spend my days creatively trying to figure out how to make tux shopping FUN! So far my list looks like this:

1 - Get Mr F drunk. Blindfold him and tell him we are going to Las Vegas to elope but he needs proper formalwear. Bring him to store with tuxedo options and put them on. Run very fast before Mr F can realize we are not going to Vegas.

I guess I'll keep thinking.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Say My Name, Say My Name

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. (And no, that is not some sort of pirate greeting. It's the sound of all the energy leaving my's Charlie Brown when he tries to kick the football and Lucy pulls it's Homer Simpson when he thinks he sees a giant donut in the car, but realizes (likely after taking a bite) that it's actually just a spare tire (i.e., D'oh).

I just want to jump into bed, pull my giant down comforter over my head and hibernate for four months, emerging two days before my wedding, refreshed and awake (if slightly plumper and even more sun-deprived than usual). I strongly believe that if I could hook up my coffee maker, have a phone to dial-out for sushi, a small fridge for splits of (twist off cap) wine, and a TV (with DVR), I could truly survive like this. And if truth be told, I think it sounds heavenly.

The cause of this delusional fantasy? Mom.

Two weeks ago, Mom finally offered to assist with something wedding-related. Halellujah. (Angels two-stepping, clouds a-swaying, rays of light fluttering!)

After we ordered the wedding invitations, Mom promised that she would take care of getting the them addressed and sent out.

(Now I don't want to seem jaded and bratty, but there is this little angry green child-bride-monster inside me somewhere that heard this and immediately wondered if this was really a selfless act or was this because my parents really wanted to make sure their name was on the back of the envelope just to make sure to remind everyone that they are paying for the wedding. I am a bad person. This cannot be true. Thus, in an effort not to go to hell, I am hereby choosing to believe Mom made said offer only to help her deranged bride daughter.)

So Mom offered to take care of getting the guests' names and addresses to the printer and to then stuff and send out the invites (we are doing "printed calligraphy" since it's easier and quicker, but it means that we need to get all of the addresses to the company sooner than usual and in a certain type of spreadsheet). My job was to get her the addresses, which I did, with the exception of two (Mr F's friends, of course. Sorry, Mr F, but you suck at this whole wedding thing.).

The addresses needed to be turned in by the time we got the proof for the invite. We were told we would get the proof in a day or at most, two.

Mom and I arranged to speak last night so I could give her the last two addresses and then she could send off the email with the last two addresses prior to getting the proof. Perfecto.
However, as soon as I answer the phone and ask how she's doing, I get the following response:

[LARGE SIGH] "Oh, I'm fine...I guess. It's just craziness here; it's going to be a very late night because I couldn't do any of the spreadsheet since you didn't have the addresses. And you know, we need to pack for France tonight."

Uhm what? Counting to ten. Crap, still pissed off. Counting to twenty. Thirty?

Speaking very slowly so as to avoid raising of voice: "Mom. You know that you could have done everything beforehand and then just put in the two addresses tonight and hit 'send', right? You did not need to leave everything until TONIGHT."

Last I checked, doing someone a favor or giving assistance is sort of undermined by reminding that person that you now have more work because of them or that they should feel especially thankful for said assistance. (Next time I volunteer at a food bank I will remind myself to say to the hungry people "Enjoy your meal. Because my feet hurt really bad standing here and I've got to do like three loads of laundry that are just sitting because I'm here feeding you food." And yes, I realize I am a lucky person who has food and I'm selfish for being pissed at Mom for this when I could be a homeless person, but it's my life and if you're judging me then you should definitely be reading another fucking blog.)

And and yeah, did I mention that they're going to France? So everything has to be done tonight because obviously when the proof comes tomorrow, and we need to hand the names and addresses over to the printer, they will be otherwise occupied munching on baguettes and fromage while sipping a local Bordeux at a street cafe. D'accord.

(OK, I also feel like I need to disclose that they're going to France....on Marriott points. I don't even know how to convey this with a sense of veracity, because I know it sounds like I'm spinning a tall tale. Clearly, I must be lying. But I'm not. My parents are staying in a hotel in Paris for eight nights using Marriott points. Points that they accumulated from having the brunch for my brother's wedding at a Marriott. And countless other events. I'm fairly confident a year from now they'll be preparing to board a plane to Tahiti to stay in a luxury Marriott hut on the water using the points gathered from the brunch and hotel reservations for my wedding.)

So it's close to midnight, Mom is telling me how exhausted she is and said she'll send me a draft of the list in a few hours so I can proofread it for her. I stay up waiting until she sends me it as my eyes are tearing up with exhaustion. I finally get the darned thing and open it up on my computer.

It's a bigger mess than the federal election system.

This document cannot be submitted as-is.

So much for getting "help." I need to re-do the whole thing in the next twenty-four hours. While she jets off to France. And stays at the Marriott. Tres croissant.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing...

The search for our ceremony officiant continued last weekend. After the Cantor Debacle, I immediately scoured the Internet to see if I could find the name of someone who might work for us (i.e., not sing sporadically throughout our conversation and/or take the time to learn how we met, our profession, and other things one might presume the person marrying you would be interested in).

One name popped up a few times, which seemed to me to be a good sign. I mentally filed it away in the cerebral wedding Filofax and began asking around for a couple names at work (the upside to working at a law firm, no shortage of Jews to be found). Lo and behold - the same name comes up again. Well obviously this is a sign from God. Sending me an officiant through the Internet. How tech-savvy of the savior.

So I took the plunge and sent an email out to this stranger requesting that she participate in The Big Show. Which is exactly what it feels like when I take a step back (or 10,000 steps back). I have realized that planning a wedding is a bit like casting a high school production of "A Chorus Line." (Perhaps more like "Fiddler on the Roof" in my case, but you get the gist.)

I audition tons of hopefuls for my ensemble, with of course a few starring roles (The Florist! The DJ! And in the lead...The Catering Hall!!) and then the equally important, supporting actors - Calligrapher, Linen Company, and Many More!

And like a high school theater production, at first you try to make every last detail perfect - from the complexity of a practiced dance routine to the addition of perfect lighting for each scene - until finally it occurs to you that you are a complete and total amateur and that all of the parents sitting and beaming in the audience will give you a standing ovation no matter how the damn production goes off, and you just rush to get the whole thing done (except for the costuming because that is always hands-down the best part and it is always fun to dress up even when the sets are falling down around you). And then presumably, the curtain comes down, you take your final bow, and you're married. And wearing tons of pancake makeup so you look a little like a TV star and/or drag queen.

Gosh I miss high school theater. (And no, I have NOT seen "High School Musical." Though yes, I guess I am morbidly curious.)

Anyway, I dashed off the email to Cantor Version 2.0. Incidentally, I have become increasingly adept at emailing complete strangers over the past eight months. (In fact, I actually have a form letter that I cut and paste at this point.)

She responded to me that she would be happy to meet with us and see if we were a good "fit." But there was a zinger: she wouldn't be able to meet with us for a month, i.e., until the "High Holidays" were over. (For the non-Jews among you, the High Holidays are not multiple days spent under the influence of pot (though I know a few people who go with that interpretation). They are the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement - the latter is actually not an Ian McEwan novel and/or movie starring Kiera Knightly and the former does not involve champagne and all-night partying, but instead a large meal featuring apples and honey. I guess you can see why some people prefer the bongier version (though I suspect the large meal and apples and honey has a place there too).)

Technically, I could wait the month to meet with her, so I agreed to do so.

That being said, I spent the last month mentally fast forwarding to the moment when the holidays would be over. But unfortunately, the more I attempt to not think about something, the more I think about it. So I found myself thinking about it every day (wash hair, think about whether Cantor will be evil, cook dinner, ponder whether officiant will make me cry, pour glass of wine, think about how much I love wine, wonder if Cantor loves wine too).

Finally, the holidays were over, and she agreed to meet with us. As we drove through the suburbs I began to have flashbacks of the previous meeting.

We pulled up in front of a quaint townhouse and I knocked on the door. The door opened and the Cantor ushered us inside, gesturing for us to take a seat on the sofa in the next room. And as I looked around, I knew at least one of us was immediately sold on the Cantor. She had set up an enormous tray of mandelbrot (basically homemade Jewish biscotti) and had set up tea, coffee, and Snapple.

Mr F had eaten three cookies before we even started talking. He was sold.

The Cantor gave us a big smile and began by giving us an overview of what she generally does for couples she marries. And then she said "Now why don't you tell me a little bit about how you two met?"

YES! This is what I was looking for.

And then she asked about our second date, and third date. And about what we thought about children, and finances, our occupations, and about our respective childhoods. She wanted to know us. And I was happy as a clam.

Although I had to interrupt before this got too far to ask one thing.

"Cantor, I think you're just wonderful and this is exactly what Mr F and I want - someone who is getting to know us, but I just have to ask - what do you think we must have in our ceremony to have it be a Jewish ceremony? Do I have to say things that Mr F doesn't and do we have to mention Abraham, Moses, and/or Issac? And do we have to have Hebrew...or, uh, chanting?"

And she smiled, and said, "You can have anything you want in your ceremony."

Sweet. I dug in to the mandelbrot with the relish of a rescued castaway.

With that squared away, I began to relax and as I nibbled on a second piece, she went on to talk about not "judging anyone's path" and believing God is in everyone and isn't necessarily a "he" or "she."

OK, so it's a little hippy dippy, and there's definitely a part of me that believes she may secretly be pulling for our recessional to be to "Uncle John's Band" and I am absolutely placing a $50 bet here and now that she shows up in a tie-dyed tallis (the big shawl that Jews wear to temple), but who frickin cares? She could do a reading by Joan Baez if it means that we don't have Hebrew or chanting. I like classic rock and I'm all for peace, love, and a cute pair of fringed boots, so I'm all for her.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found ourselves an officiant. And she serves cookies.

The role of plucky and open-minded officiant will be played by Cantor Freebird. And thankfully, the only thing singing that day was my heart.

As a postscript, a few days after our meeting Mr F was tasked with calling Family Friend Cantor (Cantor 1.0) to tell him that we would not be having him marry us. I felt terribly for him since this was not an enviable job. Afterwards, Mr F told me that the conversation went very smoothly which I thought was fabulous and unexpected. Then I thought about it for a moment and asked what it was that he said to make the conversation go so well. His response:

"I told him that you were crazy, that you insisted on having a female officiant, and that no one can argue with what a woman wants for her wedding."

Fair point.

Monday, October 20, 2008

At Last...

I finally figured out how to upload a picture of the ring. For those who were asking, I posted it back with the original post about the ring so it makes sense (for future readers? I don't know). And yes, the picture is somewhat blurry; I lost the instruction booklet for my camera and can't for the life of me figure out how to take a close-up picture. But I did figure out how to make a movie of the ring. And how to take a picture of the ring in black and white. And without a flash. And with no red eye. *sigh*

And while we're discussing my issues, I would like to cordially request that you refrain from mocking my giant man hands. Truth be told, although I hate my hands I had learned to live with the injustice of not being born with beautiful long slender fingers by reasoning that my hands were more result-driven (i.e., I am pretty darn strong and I've always been a good that's nice and all). Or I thought I had accepted my chunky hoofs - until I realized I would have to post a picture of my giant lobster claws on the Internet. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie, That's Amore

During the great Parental Migration of 2008, I suddenly realized I had to make what could best be termed A Migration Evaluation: I was face-to-face with a bona fide Dilemma.

To clarify, over the course of the weekend while my Future-in-Laws stayed with us I was actually faced with many dilemmas, including, but not limited to - will they realize the impetus behind my overly- casual suggestion to have Mimosas with breakfast (or Bloody Mary's...or Bellini's...or a giant glass of future-in-law erasing vodka)?, is it rude to tell them to stop using my laptop computer so I can take five minutes to erase the unsavory sites I have bookmarked?, and do I pretend I didn't just see my Future-Father-in-Law in his underwear or instead do I acknowledge I saw him, but act as though it's no big deal since we will soon be family?

However, this Dilemma was by far the most egregious: I had a wedding-related meeting scheduled for Saturday morning; should I invite my Future-Mother-in-Law? In the underbrush of tulle, manzanita branches, and splayed rose petals that is the jungle of wedding planning, involving my FMIL in the process was by far the most treacherous of decisions. Under each Out of Town Welcome Bag lay an undetonated mine. Involve her too much and my Mother was insulted, involve her too little and I was leaving her out. And one more teensy weensy pitfall: her taste in just about everything is vastly different than mine. (And by "vastly different" I mean to say that she has already offered to create for me a wedding cake made of towels ("you can keep it forever!") and a lockbox of Al Gore-like proportions to put on the sweetheart table for presents (cause nothing says "gifts are not necessary" like a giant slotted mailbox with a padlock on the bride and groom's table).)

All these things aside, I knew that FMIL was dying to be involved. And despite my acute awareness that I was six words away from a speedy zipline to a nuptial swamp of toothy alligators, I found myself saying to her on Friday night (moments after chugging a glass of Chardonnay), "Sure, why don't you join me?" (Count em, there's six.)

And so the next day I found myself sitting at an Italian restaurant in Little Italy to hammer out the final details of the contract for our rehearsal dinner. To a layperson (not versed in my wedding ridiculousness) this might seem like an ordinary meeting. However, this meeting was actually the most extraordinary of meetings. This was the Sylvia Weinstock of meetings, the Mindy Weiss of discussions, the Carolina Herrera of sit-downs. Why was this meeting so special? Because I spent the last four months begging restaurants to host my rehearsal dinner. Since my wedding was on Sunday, the rehearsal fell on a Saturday night. A busy night for restaurants indeed. But this was a special Saturday night. A Saturday night more special than a "7th Heaven" episode.

A Saturday night. In February. Called Valentine's Day.

Thus, I was in a precarious place indeed.

Therefore, this meeting was solely intended to get the restaurant to give us a contract to assure that we would finally have a rehearsal dinner venue. In all honesty I was also personally hopeful that an ancillary result might be my return to a two-Tums-a-day habit (down from the current four to five a day habit - providing me with oodles of calcium, but also a pervasive chalky mouth and a striking resemblance to Marcel Marseau). In essence, we just needed to get the frickin contract.

As we're waiting for the Owner to come to our table to figure out the details, Future Mother in Law starts asking questions. "What will everyone eat?"

"That's what we're here to figure out. I'm sure it will be great." (Simultaneously I found myself thinking that it could be ground pony on Wonder Bread and I still would book this place.)

"What's the owner's name?"

"Uhhh...Joey I think. Joey Goldenberg."

"Joey GOLDENBERG? What kind of name is that? He must be Jewish."

"I don't know if he's Jewish. I think he's Italian. He owns an Italian restaurant. Don't ask him."

"Where's he from? Maybe we know him."

"Don't ask him."

"But maybe we...."

I cut her off in my most patient-Mother-Teresa-slash-axe-murderer-voice: "Honestly, as I told you earlier, we are really lucky that they agreed to let us have the dinner here. I don't want to ask him about his name or anything else. I think our best course of action is to just talk about the food and sign the contract and have this done."

"Okay darling, whatever you want." (If you think Future-Mother-in-Law sounds suspiciously like Mom, that would be because they are cut from the same Jewish mother mold (you can get one yourself if you like - they are available on Avenue J in Brooklyn). And yes, if you are a math wizard, you have just discovered that I will now have not one, but two Jewish moms. Double the tsuris, double the fun.)

So we sit in silence and I think that FMIL has understood the mission. Get the contract.

Joey "I own an Italian restaurant but my last name is" Goldenberg comes over finally and we talk about the details. I don't even care. I just want the contract.

Finally, he pulls out an example of a contract. I give it a cursory glance (caring little whether it asks for payment in Faberge Eggs or gold bullion). He tells us he will go and print out one with our names on it when we're done chatting. Future Mother in Law is trying to peer across the table at it. "Can I see it?"

"NO, NO, NO, NOOOO!" Unfortunately, saying NO in my head did not have the intended effect of stopping her. I slid the paper across the table, giving it good bye kisses with my eyes.

I continued the conversation in my head. "Please do not say anything about the contract. Please." I was sure she could see the words kicking their way through my temples.

The air was heavy with overpriced cappuccino. It was silent. I took deep potentially-caffeinating breaths. Perhaps we would be ok after all. As I opened my mouth to tell Joey that he should go print out our version of the contract, FMIL opened hers first:

"Do we have some wiggle room here? Can you work with us on the price?"

Oy vey. I look wistfully at the bottle of Grappa sitting on the bar.

Joey looked at FMIL like she was crazy. "Nah, we can't do that. You know, it's Valentine's Day. In fact, we really weren't sure we could host this at all cause we're gonna lose so much money..."

As I listened to our rehearsal plans fall apart more quickly than a beginner's hand-rolled tortellini, I jumped in: "Joey, don't worry, about it. We're fine as is. Can we get that contract?"

He looked at me for a second. "How about I send it to you next week, ok? I gotta run now - we have a private event tonight I need to set up for. I'll email it to you - I have your address."

We walked out of the restaurant into the Indian summer sunlight which felt wonderful. Except that we were empty-handed. Which felt less-than-wonderful. Apparently FMIL did not understand the mission after all. I should have explained that when you're in the wedding foxhole, one should not stand up, shout and wave their hands vigorously or one is likely to lose their rehearsal dinner restaurant. Or get shot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

He Just Smiled And Gave Me A Vegemite Sandwich

By way of review, my parents and Mr F's parents were both, together, simultaneously (meaning, at the Same Time) in town this weekend. It was Parent-Palooza. Parent-Gate. Moms-and-Dads-a-Ding-Dong. The Parent Trap. Parents Galore. Dueling Parents. You couldn't walk across my apartment without tripping over a parent. I actually opened up my wallet to pay for a bottle of water and pulled out a parent.

The reason for the great New Jersey to Baltimore pilgrimage: the wedding tasting, the Mecca of wedding planning. It only takes the promise of a bite per person of six types of hors d'oeuvres, three salads, eight entrees and a plentitude of crispy crunchy sweet and munchy desserts to drive four Jews from central NJ to the greatness of B'more.

I would love to say I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting. Mr F did. But he can relax and enjoy life. I cannot. All I can say is that this experience certainly reinforced the notion that I am simultaneously exactly like, and also thoroughly appalled by, my parents. Le sigh. How can one escape such a chicken-egg conundrum? (Not to mention avoid the ancillary craving for a chicken salad or cheese omlette?)

We arrived at the venue with Mr F's Parents (who were staying with us) and met Big Hugs the wedding coordinator (who hugged each of us by way of hello) and sat waiting for my parents. Tick tick tick tick. It's funny how even though I know we're slapping down more than twenty grand on just catering alone, I still feel beholden to the chef, the coordinator and every one else who is there. Tick tick tick.

Finally, my Parents show and we proceed to the tasting room, which was really lovely. I had no expectations as to what the "tasting" would be like, since I've never thrown a party for 150 people before. Actually, I take that back. I've never thrown a party for 150 people before that did not involve kegstands. In the private room, they had set a single table just for the seven of us. I was feeling very fabulous.

We discuss napkin choices (who knew I had a choice?) and then the first course comes out. We taste lots of little bite size yum yums. I look over at my father who looks unhappy. This isn't unusual, but I was hoping for best behavior.

His brow wrinkles and he looks around the room, apparently perplexed.

After a few more moments (during which I don't taste anything but instead focus my laser-sharp peripheral vision on my father's knit brow), he turns to Big Hugs, who is sitting to his right.

He asks her, "Aren't we going to taste the wines?"

I'm mortified.

And yet, happy to have wine.

But also so nervous about getting drunk and looking like a lush in front of Big Hugs and the Chef that I barely drink. (Why do I care about this? I don't know.)

This is not so for Mr F. He drinks all 6 glasses of wine that were poured as "tasting" glasses. Mr F is three sheets to the wind.

Similarly, Future-Mother-in-Law is giggling across the table. She too, does not appear to be concerned that her pallet remain sober and cleansed to try and select the right foods. She is drunk.

Future Father-in-Law has turned the wine glass on its side like a rolling pin and is pushing it back and forth on the table. Although silent (as always), he too is pretty certainly drunk (or possibly baking an imaginary cake).

Me, my Mom and my Dad each have almost our entire glasses of wine full in front of us. For we only "tasted." (My Parents have done so because they are wine connoisseurs and don't drink the whole glass of wine; me, because I have a tendency to think all food tastes equally yummy after two glasses of wine, hence the ability to clean out my fridge in a single bound after a happy hour.)

Each progressive course comes and we taste, discuss and select. And then the desserts arrive and a discussion of wedding cake ensues (to have or not to have is apparently the question).

And then finally, we're done. And I pick up the buttery Chardonnay (which apparently we will be serving at the wedding) and chug the whole thing like Gatorade. Touchdown.

Yes, there is more (come on, a weekend with both my Parents and Mr F's Parents? - of course there's more) but no, I will not write about it now. I'm spent and dwelling on the fact that I left 5 perfectly good glasses of Merlot, Cabernet, and Pinot Grigio to be poured down the drain. Or more likely, consumed by the kitchen staff. Good for them.