Monday, September 22, 2008

I Write The Songs That Make the Whole World Sing...or Part I of The Weekend

Mr F and I spent the weekend in New Jersey. Yes, again.

The reason for our trip was two-fold. However, I will discuss only one of those folds here. The other fold turned out to be of origami-like proportions and was so truly disastrous and so nuanced in said disaster, that I need to - in the words of Mr F - "take some time before blogging about it, both so I calm down, and second, to make sure I don't post it so rashly that I forget to write about the full extent of the craziness." Amen.

The first reason we went home was because my Mom specifically asked me if she could help me pick out my invitations. Now here's the thing: I've actually been looking at invites online for months now and had found a bunch of great options and thought I would order them that way.

But, clearly this was something my Mom wanted to do together and so I agreed to take a 200 mile trip home to satisfy my mom's desire to, well, "play mom."

This part of the weekend (Saturday) was not crazy. Not a disaster. Just a par for the course New Jersey visit.

We woke up early that morning and drove to a wedding store to go look at some books of invitations.

Our drive to the store was typical for our relationship.

"Have you figured out what type of cards you are going to place on the tables with the numbers? My friend Jen said you could buy individual picture frames to hold the table numbers."

"No, Mom. I'm too busy trying to plan a rehearsal dinner, a honeymoon and meet with our musicians, florist and other vendors to take care of the big picture items. I can't do that other stuff yet since this part is so time consuming for just one person."

"Have you figured out what you're going to put in the out-of-towners' wedding welcome bags yet?"

"No, Mom. You might recall, as I mentioned about ten seconds ago, I have all these big picture things to take care of. [Pause.] Would you like to help me plan the rehearsal dinner? That would actually be really helpful to me."

"Oh honey, you know that I don't know Baltimore! I wouldn't even know where to begin!"

"Actually Mom, I've only lived here like 5 months and I don't really know it well either. But you can do some research on the Internet for me - that would be helpful."

"Sweetie, you know that I don't know how to do research on the Internet. I just wouldn't know what to do!!"

"Well, you could call places I've found and get information for me. That would be great."

"Well, I'm just so busy these days with school and all! The school year just started and I'm working till 4:00 every day! It's just so busy."

"Uhm, ok."

"So honey, have you thought about how where you will put the place cards out for everyone?"

"No, Mom."

I have to say, once we arrived at the shop, it was pretty easy. Given all my previous research, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted. Unlike a dress, where you do tons of research and get there only to realize that everything you like looks terrible on you and you have nothing to tell the saleswoman that can possibly be helpful, with invitations, the Internet research really helped me out since I could give a brief description of what I was looking for and quickly browse through to see if I liked or didn't like something.

It also helped (I guess) that I was exhausted by obsessing over every decision and had mentally decided to just pick something and go with it. So I picked out three invitations that seemed do-able, called Mr F, had him come meet me (and Mom) at the store and asked for his ok on one of the three.

With the swiftness that only a disinterested and apathetic groom can muster up, he immediately picked the horizontal rectangular style invitation and gave a succinct and compelling reason for his decision: "I like this one, it's horizontal which is different from all the other ones. Just like us - we're different." And bam, we were done. I just had to pick out the fonts and and come back the next day with the wording.

And so we went home, I had a glass of wine with my parents (the cork doesn't fall far from the tree), and sat down at the kitchen table looking at the book of invites I brought home with me so I could choose the lettering before I went back tomorrow. And suddenly, I HATED the horizontal style. It didn't look right. And I felt like it looked like a ticket. An entrance ticket to the wedding. People might start handing the valet their wedding ticket. Or tearing off the end to keep the stub. And it was also very formal. Which I liked that morning. But now I HATED. I'm not formal! Mr F isn't formal! We're not stuffy people! This invitation would be a mockery of our personalities. That was when my mom called down to me to say it was time for us to leave for our dinner reservation.

I returned 2 hours later, still thinking continuously about horizontal invites, but filled with more red wine and a double-sized portion of zuppa de pesce. I sat back in front of the invites. Like the clams and scallops I had just consumed, they were swimming in front of my eyes. And all I could think was that Mr F hasn't made one decision about the whole wedding and now that he finally has, I wanted to undermine his invitation selection.

The next morning I resumed my post at the table watching the invites (as if they might suddenly jump off the page and scream "pick me! I am the Right Invitation For You!") five minutes before I needed to leave the house. I still had not committed to which invite I was going to order because I couldn't decide if Mr F would be annoyed if I switched to the one he didn't pick.

But (being the overwhelmingly obsessive person that I am) I decided that I couldn't let sleeping invitations lie, and I approached him in our computer room.


"Hmm?" [Mr F doesn't even look away from the computer. He's helping my Dad set up the new iPod we got him for his birthday.]

"I know that you picked out the rectangular invitation as the one you want to use, but do you like the others? I mean, would it bother you if we used the others?? Because if it bothers you, then that's ok and I won't do anything. But if you don't really care one way or the other, I think I like the other one better. But if you really like the one you picked and don't like the other one, then that's fine and we can stick with that."

Mr F glances up at me and looks at me with a face that simultaneously recognizes that he always knew I was crazy but also seems confused at the new level of obsession and lunacy that I might have reached. "Honestly, they're all fine. I really don't care. You just made me pick one. So I did."

Well that's that, I suppose.

I went and ordered the one I wanted. Order was restored in my wacked-up mind. For now.

And no I did not forget that there's a second half to this story. The second reason for going to NJ over the weekend was to meet with Mr F's childhood cantor (and my in-laws close family friend). All I can say is that I should have seen this one coming, but I didn't. Unlucky for me, but likely funny for you, the experience brought us to new depths of wedding planning hideousness. And so, it shall be a post all unto itself. L'Chaim!


Guilty Secret said...

Ha ha, yes indeed "the cork doesn't fall far from the tree" - you do crack me up!

tallulahbloom said...

You are so keeping me sane! I too decided I hated the invitations when I got them but as I had ordered them from Australia, live in Netherlands and am getting married in the UK I just shut my eyes and mailed them.

Engaged & Enraged said...

tallulahbloom - if it makes you feel better, i hated my "save the dates", but did the same - just shut my eyes and mailed them. the harder part was NOT telling everyone that i hated them every time someone called to tell me that they got theirs. ;)

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Aren't boys wonderful? There's a great tv program here called Don't Tell the Bride where the groom is given £12,000 , the bride is told to bugger off for a month and the groom plans the whole wedding by himself. Dress and everything. How they fill an hour's worth of tv with a groom and his best man saying

'which one do you like'

'dunno, they all look the same don't they?'


'let's have that one'

'good. Done. Next?'

Meanwhile the bride's at a wedding fair crying over chair covers she probably won't have on her Dream Day.

It's genius tv.

Kristy said...

E&E -

First off, I have to say I love your blog. It's fantastic. You crack me up, and I can completely understand your frustrations. I'm not (yet) in the throes of planning, but I know it's probably going to get ugly. Your conversations with your mother look like conversations I know I'll have with mine (only half in Portuguese, half in English). And I'm anticipating a ton of extra guests from the FMIL. Yeesh.

Figuring Out The Details said...

Aww. Mr. F made a decision when you asked him to, and then was okay with you changing it. Perfection!