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.