the water got high and she never got dry

Thursday, April 26, 2007

time, time, time, see what's become of me

Not dead, just monumentally busy. We went out of town for the weekend and had a fun couple of days of shopping, relaxing, and watching Mamma Mia, courtesy of Husband to Be’s awesome parents. We hit the same big mall I was at the weekend before for a fun day of much needed girliness with a road trip and tons of shopping, book-ended by meals at the Cheesecake Factory.

I showed HtB this awesome dress I was coveting at White House Black Market and later, in front of his parents, he was all “Why don’t you show my mom that dress you liked?” I showed her the dress, she insisted I try it on and then bought it for me. His parents spoil me like nobody’s business. I think it’ll be the dress I wear for our civil ceremony/local reception.

Mamma Mia was a fun show although as feared, it’s caused a regular rotation of Abba songs to get stuck in my head.

It was nice to get away for the weekend but as soon as we got back, our unrelenting schedule resumed. It’s just been crazy. Between school/work, appointments, errands, ballroom lessons, going to the gym, and going out with friends, there just isn’t time to think, much less write, work on wedding stuff, send out my resume, or just be. In theory I should have all this spare time because I’m no longer working on a dissertation but that’s not the case. I think if I were still working on school stuff, I would have totally snapped by now.

I've been a slave to my schedule, knowing exactly what is going to occupy each time slot, and the whole time wondering when the hell I'll have time to clean the litter box and do laundry and oh yeah, time for naked activities would be great too. We're too young and unmarried to need to schedule sex, dammit! And as I was slogging my way through the rain and to the apartment building today, weighed down with groceries and exhausted from running errands and already thinking ahead to having to go to the gym, come home, eat dinner, and then go right back out for dance lessons, like a broken record, all I could think was "This is madness. We don't even have kids yet!"

We tell ourselves that things will just have to be less crazy when we're not trying to find jobs and plan a move and a wedding on top of all the responsibilities of everyday life. I can't remember the last time I had no deeds to do, no promises to keep. Sometimes it's a privilege to be idle.


Monday, April 16, 2007

you could say i do at least

It’s been exactly one year since Husband to Be proposed in Maui. I still remember how cold it was on top of Haleakala, the amazing colors of the sunrise, and the sweet surprise of HtB on one knee as the blanket we had wrapped around us flapped madly in the breeze and he put his grandmother’s ring on my finger. We had talked about the future and always spoke in terms of “when we do this” and “when we have kids” but the actual M word had never once come up (by design on HtB’s part, because he wanted to surprise me) and I am eternally grateful to have had a romantic proposal with absolutely no nagging or cajoling on my part and minimal time spent wondering when/if he would propose. It unfolded as smoothly and naturally as every other stage of our courtship.

I remember sitting on a beach that afternoon, our last day there, watching kite surfers and not wanting to leave our little paradise and go back to the real world. And I remember staring at my ring late into the night on the plane and looking at the man sleeping next to me and being unable to stop smiling.

It’s been a tough year in many ways, after the glow of being engaged wore off and the stresses and heartaches of wedding planning have come barreling at us non-stop. But all the bumps in the road have only made us stronger and more secure as a unit and for that I am so grateful.

I was reading the wedding vow repository on Indie Bride the other night looking for ideas and got all teary-eyed thinking about the vows we'll exchange and it reminded me that the stresses of planning the wedding, the disappointment in people not coming, none of those things matter. I won't be thinking of any of those things when I'm walking down that aisle, walking towards the future and walking towards home.

Even more intensely than a year ago, I cannot wait to marry this man.

(Photo taken by our good friend and very talented photographer. He's not a big shot yet, but it's only a matter of time. )

Thursday, April 12, 2007

shiny is good

In wedding news, after a lot of work, invitations are out. We got our first wedding gift, a stock pot. It was especially exciting for me because I'd gotten envious of the numerous Crate & Barrel and Bed Bath & Beyond packages for another woman in the building that are periodically stacked up by the mailboxes, taunting me. She’s still winning, but at least we're in the game now.

I have a shower coming up so last night I added some things to our BBB registry and had to chuckle at the insane array of silly gadgets. However did we eat fruits and veggies before we had plantain presses, cherry pitters, apple corers, mango splitters, avocado slicers, strawberry hullers, bean peelers, pickle pickers, and chile twisters?

After a rather obsessive search, I finally found a pair of earrings for the big day. I knew that I was unhealthily preoccupied with finding the perfect pair, but what can you do? I even started working on designing a custom pair with someone on Etsy, after falling in love with some earrings in a Chanel ad, but it was just too complicated and expensive. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a touch of green in my earrings or not and I didn’t want anything too cheap and disposable or something I’d never wear again. Ideally, I wanted earrings nice enough to pass down as an heirloom, but real gems, they cost the big bucks.

“Bridal jewelry”, like anything else wedding related, is quite the racket. In my exhaustive search, I frequently saw the exact same pair of earrings on multiple sites at widely varying prices. But finally I found a very pretty pair that have the right amount of sparkle and a vintage look. Yay!

And on a final note, I thank my lucky stars that Husband to Be is fully involved in wedding planning, as apparently this is a rather rare occurrence. Many women online talk about how little their fiancés care or do to help out and how they either just sign the checks, or even worse, how the women try to downplay or hide just how much money is being spent. It just boggles my mind that this is still considered solely the woman’s domain and how some men just want to show up and not have any input in what kind of food they’re having or music that’s playing or anything else.

HtB doesn’t have any opinion on what kind of flowers we have but just about everything else is a joint decision. How can it not be? This celebration is supposed to be a reflection of who we both are, not just whatever princess fantasies I may have been harboring since a tender age. I resent the larger implications that getting married and throwing this one big party is a woman’s peak experience in life, the ultimate validation of our existence, whereas for men, meh. They could take it or leave it.

Off of soapbox now. I think all the estrogen of online bridal communities can make me a little tetchy sometimes.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

just the smell on the summer

Last Easter was celebrated with a volcano top sunrise and a proposal. I don’t think there’s any way to top that. But we did have a very yummy brunch at one of our favorite restaurants and a nice quiet day.

I’ve been busy and sometimes sad and the leitmotif of people in my life letting me down continues unabated. But the resume is getting closer to being sent out and we think we’ve found a way to stick around town for another month instead of moving across the country two days after our honeymoon. In what can only been seen as yet more serendipity, someone we know is subletting their place and we can have it for just the month of July, plus move some stuff over in June before we leave for St. Thomas.

We’ll have to move across town but this way we get to be here for birthdays and parties and hanging out in the park and all the pleasures of summer and a little more time with friends. We get to have a more relaxed first month of marriage and we won’t have to fly back for a good friend’s wedding, which will be the final hurrah of our merry little band of friends. I can't think of a nicer way to wrap up my time here than to watch one of the very first friends I made here get married.

Plus I just can't wait to see what their first dance will be, when his tastes run to Tom Waits and Mars Volta and her song suggestions draw from the oeuvres of Lionel Richie and Celine Dion. Hilarity is bound to ensue.

And best of all, after we get back from the honeymoon, we’re going to have a local reception where we invite everyone we know to watch us have our actual legal wedding ceremony and then party like nobody’s business. The prospect of this makes me very, very happy, especially because I’ve been feeling pretty crappy about how low the attendance for the wedding has dropped, including some important people.

On top of that, Husband to Be’s parents want to throw us an informal reception in HtB’s hometown. There’s been much more heartache in wedding planning than I could ever have imagined, so it only seems right and inclusive and not at all excessive to celebrate the occasion three times over.