Friday, February 13, 2009

But It Ain't No Lie, Baby Bye Bye Bye

It's 8:30 in the morning on Friday and I have been up an hour already. Luckily, this dovetails nicely with my inability to fall asleep before 2 a.m. last night.

Thoughout this past week everyone asked me: "Are you nervous?" And well, no, I wasn't.

But now I am.

I can't pinpoint what it is. I'm not nervous about marrying Mr F (thank God, one less thing to worry about). And I'm really pretty much done with most (though definitely not all) of the planning required. So I'm not nervous about getting things done. And thankfully, Big Hugs has been in line this week and seemed to be mostly on the ball at our final meeting. So I'm (shockingly) not nervous about her toppling my wedding plans like dominos.

So what is it?

I don't know.

Maybe it's because I haven't had a drink in about two weeks. (No, I don't have "other" news to announce, I just decided that mixing antibiotics, bronchitis, and Chardonnay was likely not doing anyone any favors).

Could the butterflies in my stomach be the flapping of withdrawal?


No matter the reason, I can't sleep and I just feel nervous and apprehensive.

Maybe it's the general symptom of a Type A personality's awareness that she is placing massive amounts of small tasks in the hands of other people for a very important day and will likely have little to no control over how the events of that day run?

Whatever the cause, I will take slight comfort in the fact that I think Mr F might feel the same way (though he would never admit it) even though he's not the one single-handedly planning a large scale event for 130 people (make that four events, if you count the rehearsal dinner, the gathering after the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself and the brunch).

My evidence? The other night I got into bed at about midnight and I heard him mumble to me from his slumber, "We gotta practice our dance. We gotta dance."

Nice. I wish I taped that.

But apparently the wedding has invaded his subconsciousness as well.

Anyway, all this leads to the fact that the wedding is on Sunday and it's Friday, so I'm self-suspending myself from blogging until post-wedding. (Holy crap - that means that the wedding is close enough that I can talk about LAW - Life After Wedding). I think I want to focus on my friends, family, and monitoring my tan, instead of blogging.

That being said, I have complete and total faith that I will have a plethora, indeed a boatload, of stories that will spin off from the next 72 hours.

But worry not, I will try my very best to heed all of the advice I have gotten thus far, which for the most part really just echoes good common sense: I plan to simply enjoy everything - come what may - because hell, after the year of craziness that I have experienced, I sure deserve to actually have fun over the next two days.

See you on the other side, kids.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oompa Loompa Doopity Doo, I've Got Another Puzzle For You

This may be an anonymous blog (well, anonymous from my family at least), but I will disclose one identifying detail so you can understand my latest plight.

I am pale.

Not pale like the olive-skinned girls who look in the mirror during the winter months and lament in a high pitched voice, "I'm soooo pale!" because their skin has not retained the same bronzy sheen as during the summer. No, I am pale like the gauzy hue of a piece of thin wax paper. Or the almost glowing iridescence of a full moon.

In fact, during the winter, much like a piece of wax paper, I am practically translucent.

I am a natural redhead (or at least, I once was, now it's more auburn) - but my skin has retained its natural paleness. I make Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore look like the Coppertone Girls.

So when I tried on my wedding dress (in ivory) and stood in the dressing room against the white walls, my parents, the seamstress, and I all simultaneously realized that my skin was lighter than both the dress and the walls. I was like a floating head of hair. I was the gecko bride.

Which resulted in a conundrum that I have faced before. But never on such an important day.

How do I get a tan without subjecting myself to cancerous rays of light and/or potentially orange, hand-staining artificial methods?

Now normally, I would just pop on a little Clarins self-tanning lotion (the stuff is the BEST) and end up a nice hue of bronze and accept the corresponding streaks on my hands and deliciously orange color deposits on my knees and elbows. (I chose this path last year for my brother's wedding.)

But on this day, I don't really want to risk orange streaks (or even brown ones, for that matter). I want to avoid the telltale sign of fake tanner which is pools of brown tanner next to pearly white skin. Not to mention, I'm acutely aware that there will be a ton of "hand photos" (that whole wedding ring thing and all) and I don't want to focus on my striped hands when perusing through my wedding album over the next 50 years.

So what to do?

Operation Anti-Loompa. A quest to seek color, but without streaks or orangeness.

Sort of like the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" of the tanning world. All of the taste, but none of the bad side effects. And no Fabio.

I have been in a spray tan booth before, so I knew that while the color could be good, the streaks could be bad. This is why I thought that having someone hand spray me with the stuff (using a machine that is frighteningly like a spray paint gun) would be my best bet.

However, after standing stark naked in front of a bored spa employee who, after spraying my body with a misty substance, left me to stand in all my glory in front of three giant industrial-strength fans (in a room that was about 50 degrees to begin with), I began to doubt my decision. (Or perhaps hypothermia was setting in and my faculties were not functioning properly.)

And right I was. Though the color wasn't bad, my feet looked like I had stepped in cheez whiz and my hands looked like I had dipped them half in orange paint.

It was back to the drawing board.

So I continued to look on the Internet for alternate tan options and found a spa which did a "body bronze." In essence, a woman will actually put the tanning lotion on you (and by having someone else out it on you, it hopefully avoids those pesky spots and stripes).

If nothing else, the application process certainly beats the ice-cold-spray-and-stand I was forced to endure last time. This time I got to lie on a heated spa bed and have some chick rub the lotion onto me. It was basically like a poor man's massage (if a poor man was forced to pay a ridiculous amount of money to turn himself brown). Not bad.

And the results?

Also not bad. I got home and looked at my hands. Nary a stripe. And the color? A nice light brown. Hopefully not overwhelming (since the goal was not so much to have people say "When did you get back Jamaica?" as to comment "Oh, you don't look as sickly as you did last week.").

So I was ready to call this a success.


I undressed for bed. And I looked down at my stomach, my legs, my arms and my back.

And they were covered with spots. Hundreds, thousands, of SPOTS. Red spots.

I ran into Mr F. "Look at me!! Look at me!!"

"What? I see. You're brown. It's nice."

"No! I'm allergic to the dye! I'm not brown, I'm red. And bumpy!"

He motioned me over to his side of the bed and turned on the light. "Hmmm. Yeah, you're definitely having an allergic reaction."

(OK, I'm not going to say it yet again, but I think I definitely have an Edding-Way Llergy-A.)

I stared at myself in the mirror and counted the days until my wedding. On one hand. Because that's all there was.

Then I popped three Benadryls and slept like a baby.

The next day the red dots had mostly cleared up.

Now I just have to figure out how to avoid turning my ivory wedding dress orange via contact with my artificially-colored skin. But that's another conundrum for another day.

Too bad there are only two more days to figure it out.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right, Here I Am, Stuck in the Middle with You

Table assignments. Saving the best for last, I suppose? Just when you think you've got this whole "wedding thing" all wrapped up, you're left with this doozy.

I led myself to believe I was going to get a free pass on this one. After all the responses were in, I did some quick math, took out a piece of paper and jotted some names down, and WHALA! (Wala?), I was done! I decided tables of twelve were the way to go (why have two extra tables, when that means spending extra cash on two extra centerpieces and table cloths and everything else?). And besides, I like the idea of people sitting at large tables and getting to mingle with more people.

So the math led me to the conclusion that each branch of the wedding pyramid would get 4 tables to seat (that would be me and Mr F together, my parents and Mr F's parents) with likely a little bit of sharing between the three to fill in tables.

As I said, I jotted our tables down in about 15 minutes. I then dashed off an email to the Mothers asking that they pass along their seating arrangements in tables of 12.

Two days later I got my Mom's list.

5 tables. 8 people at a table.

Needless to say, Mom does not follow directions well.

When I casually mentioned to Mom (ok, so maybe it wasn't so casually) that she exceeded her table allotment, she pulled the Ace card.

She cried.

Time out here. Not to be melodramatic, but shouldn't I be the one crying big elephant tears? Shouldn't the bride be having meltdowns and temper tantrums to get my way? Is this like that book "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks (don't judge me for having read it, that's neither here nor there right now) where the Mother is actually the one getting married and not the daughter and it's a giant surprise to the reader and when you finally realize it you're like "Oh my God! It's the MOM!"?

"It's the MOM!"

I'm taking a moment. Hold on.




OK. So anyway, Mom is crying and telling me that she can't combine her tables with other random people because she doesn't want her guests to feel like she doesn't care about them. I'm trying to figure out how seating someone with another person translates into anything other than the statement "Math dictates that only 12 people fit at a table so I am seating you with eleven other people to add up to 12."

More importantly, I'm trying to figure out if the antibiotics I'm on will be rendered impotent if I drink a giant goblet of white wine while on this phone call. The orange bottle doesn't have a little sticker that says "don't drink while on this medicine" but I remember hearing that you should never mix antibiotics with alcohol because they won't work (not the alcohol, the antibiotics...I'm pretty sure the alcohol will work even better).

Oh, did I not mention that I have bronchitis and the wedding is a week away? Yeah, well if you didn't think I was allergic to my wedding before, I think we have indisputable proof now.

Since I can't keep my mouth shut, I ask Mom to explain why I should spend hundreds of extra dollars so that her friends and family don't have to break bread with others' friends and family (mind you, the "other" people we are talking about are Mr F's family and my friends - not exactly strangers off the street. Funny how Mom was all "into" the engagement and melding of families, until of course, her niece has to sit with Future Mother in Law's great aunt.)

At which point, Mom changes tactics and goes back to what a Jewish Mom knows best.

She sighs. And pauses. And then says "You do what you want, E&E." Her barely dried tears are still glimmering on her cheeks (and she declines to wipe them away). I recognize this ploy I know so well and greet it accordingly. Hello, Jewish Guilt! How are you today? I, for one, am doing shitty.

So what do I do? I choose the path of least resistance. Which is, believe it or not, just giving in to Mom. I tell FMIL that she must seat all of her guests at three tables and Mr F and I squeeze all of our guests (and some of FMIL's) at ours.


Or so I thought.

Until Mom gives me a diagram of where she wants her tables to be placed in the reception room.

All by her. At the front of the room. So that all of my friends will be wayyyyy across the room from me.

Keep following the path of least resistance and apparently you end up at the bottom of a lake of quicksand.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Fire Away

No more Mr. Nice Bride.

I'm too tired and we're getting too close to this silly wedding for me to beg the people I'm paying to...well, to do the frickin jobs that I paid them for.

And that's why Big Hugs, bane of my existence, free wedding coordinator extraordinaire, and likely she who will cause more stress than assistance, received the Wrath of Bride.

I placed calls. I emailed. I simultaneously emailed and placed calls.

And I got no response.

My wedding is just around the corner and the woman who is allegedly supposed to coordinate said event will not give me answers about my menu, the room set up, the number of bars available, what time I will have access to the bridal suite, and other annoying details that I would like to ignore, but unfortunately not only have to deal with but now have to persistently stalk the woman I am paying, to disclose.

Oodles of fun for the whole family.

So finally, I got sick of this shit.

And I called Big Hugs' boss.

And left a message like this:

"Hi, this is E&E - my wedding is on February 15th at your venue. I am working with Big Hugs, the wedding coordinator. I emailed her a few times over the past month and never got a response to my questions. I also called her about 3 times during this period and haven't heard back. This has been going on for about a month now and I haven't been able to get in touch with her. I'm just wondering if this is typical and what I should expect on the wedding day?"

OK, it wasn't the harshest call I've ever made, but I acutely aware that no matter what happens, given the late date, this woman still does hold the timeline of my wedding in the palm of her (very inefficient) hand.

My phone rang back five minutes later.

It was Big Hugs.

Her voice was sweet as pie, telling me she has been "sooo" busy lately and it's been "just so hard!" to return all her emails. And she went on to ask me how she could help me.

I have some ideas.

She could best help me by returning my calls the same day.

It would be helpful if she could remember what food we are planning to have at the wedding instead of asking me "are your guests having the chicken?". (That would be NO.)

And it would be great if she could send me paperwork that was supposed to get to me a month before the wedding, without requiring that I ask two weeks before: "Shouldn't there be some paperwork I should get explaining all this?"

And hells, while we're at it, it would be nice it she took her hug and shove it up her kisser.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

(S)he drinks a Whiskey drink, (s)he drinks a Vodka drink

My bachelorette party was the weekend before last (before last...which is three weeks...crap, time flies. I have like ten posts that I've started and none are finished because I've been so busy *doing* the wedding that I haven't had time for *writing* about said doing).

Anyway, I had a blast. I have ridiculously creative friends. They gave me clues which led to different bars in the city and each bartender had the next clue. Too cute, right?

You know what's not cute?


I'm never drinking again. OK, that has a slightly false ring to it.

Thus, I must clarify: I am never having another shot again.

Who thought of this thing - shots? And shouldn't an intelligent person be wary of a drink consumed in a form bearing the same name as the artillery fired from a weapon of death?

Needless to say, I haven't had a hangover of this proportion since college. Actually, I take that back. I didn't get hangovers like this when I was in college.

This is actually a new phenomenon and clearly a predominant reason for a severely decreased consumption of multiple glasses of alcohol in one sitting.

Even of my faithful companion, White Wine. Even White Wine has become the friendly neighbor who makes you temporarily happy by plying you with food, until you realize that you are gnawing on a poisonous apple.

OK, that's a stretch and I think mixing some fairy tales with apartment dwelling, but right now my neighbors are having a massive argument and it's giving me a headache so I'm having a hard time separating fact from fiction.

But alcohol now affects me in a way it never did before. It hurts.

A Haiku On Hangovers
O, my dear White Wine,
why do you betray?
Were you not my friend?

Getting old sucks.

Hangovers suck.

Eggs benedict with a side of homefries when you think you're gonna boot in a Murray Hill restaurant with 10 of your closest friends looking at you with concern tinged with pity while in NYC sucks.

But friends who travel from around the country just to go to your bachelorette and watch you make a fool of yourself until you can't remember anything (and then watch you try not to toss your cookies the next morning) are the best.

That sounds an awful lot like a Mastercard commercial, doesn't it? I didn't mean for it to.