off the grid

You know that ridiculously starry-eyed, all-consuming, fleet-footed, fiery-passioned storybook romance into which people in movies and on TV are always falling? The internet and I have long had that kind of relationship. Which is why being on honeymoon for the past nine days has felt so very much like a cruel estrangement. You know what the saddest thing is? I barely even missed it. The internet, that is. I KNOW. I’m not sure what this spells for our future together, but I’m willing to try to make it work between us again. Honest.

Meanwhile, as I’ve turned my attention to my new husband* and our concentrated efforts to consume all of the food and booze in the entire province of British Columbia, new blog posts have flooded my Google Reader and countless emails and messages have stacked up in my email inbox. Apparently life — and the internet — staggered on without me.** I’m truly humbled by and grateful for the kind words many of you wrote to me before and after my wedding. I promise to catch up on responding to you guys in the coming days. Cross my heart and hope to die.

So. Here I am on the last day of our honeymoon. I am typing this from the very large deck of a very large suite, to which the hotel staff upgraded us for free due to construction noise near our old room. There is a Canadian flag flapping from a pole behind me. I am wearing a bikini. We are drinking Alberta Springs rye whisky and ginger ale. Being on honeymoon is clearly horrible, right?And yet I can still feel my stomach clench at the prospect of leaving on a jet plane tomorrow. For tomorrow I will officially resurface back in the Real World, and I am not talking that old MTV reality show. I am talking my old life, which is all kinds of blah and work and housecleaning and meh. But at least I still have you guys, right? And the internet. Oh, I love you internet. How I’ve missed you so.

Be back later with more. I’m not done talking about the wedding yet, folks. Much to your chagrin, I know.***

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* Gah. Part of me still wants to throw up a little in my mouth when I say or write that. Sorry, getting married hasn’t changed me. I am still an unsentimental jerk.

** And yet MY HEART WILL SOMEHOW GO ON, and now I TOTALLY HATE MYSELF FOR PUTTING THAT SONG IN MY HEAD. And now you do, too.

*** Why do even you keep reading? Do you LIKE torturing yourself?

things

Since the list format was working so well for me during the last few posts, let’s just continue that trend, shall we?

Things I forgot to do:

  • Take off a few pounds. Yes, I know I’m not supposed to care about that, but I secretly did, at least at first. Then I pretty much forgot about trying to trim down until it was go time, and at that point there was just nothing else to do but cross my fingers and hope everything fit okay.
  • Brighten my smile. Months ago, I bought a pack of teeth-whitening strips in a righteous fit of let’s do this thang. Guess what? I didn’t even open the box until the week of the wedding, and even then I only made a few lousy, halfhearted attempts at using the strips. Oh well! Let’s down another cup of coffee and get right back not caring!
  • Even out my skin color. A couple of weeks before the wedding, I went running and ended up with a strange strappy sports shirt tan. Not quite the desired effect for the wedding dress, but that’s what I get for being careless.
  • Write a speech welcoming everyone and thanking my family, which I’d been so excited about. Over the past year I’d already halfway composed the damn thing in my head during various brainstorming sessions in the shower, but I never actually sat down and made a concentrated effort to finish it. I’m a little sad about that one.
  • Get a facial. Or any kind of spa treatment, actually. I’d always had this impression that brides were supposed to pamper themselves for their wedding, but apparently I was DOIN IT RONG because I just didn’t have the time. NO TIME! Which leads us nicely into…

Things I didn’t have time for:

  • A delicious, well-deserved massage.
  • Sleeping. THE STORIES WERE TRUE.
  • Practicing reading my vows. Thinking about my vows. Reflecting on my vows. Vows. What was I talking about again? I don’t even know. I ended up gripping a dog-eared, rolled-up printout of my vows during the entire ceremony, unfurling it, and reading from it when the time came. Not the prettiest, most special way to recite them, but… I made it work, you know?
  • Making myself pretty. No special exfoliators, masks, or moisturizers. I already had some old ones on hand, too – but the sad thing was that I didn’t have 20 extra minutes each morning in the week before my wedding to actually put them on my face. Beauty fail.
  • Practicing my makeup. I was supposed to do trials and test things and try out my false eyelashes. I never ended up wearing them. I just slapped my makeup on that morning before the wedding and hoped for the best.

Things I would change:

  • Hosting a welcome picnic instead of a regular rehearsal dinner on Friday night. We had no idea that 75 people would be able to show up at the damn thing. Holy shit, man. We had people chip in where they could, but the reality of the situation was that most of our guests were staying in motels and had no way of helping us make food. It ended up being a major stressor, not to mention a major time and money suck.
  • I’d totally hire a makeup artist to do my makeup instead of trying to do it myself. Not because I did a shitty job, but because I didn’t realize it would cost so much freaking money. I am not shitting you when I say that all told, I probably ended up spending over $350 during various trips to Sephora. And I could have hired someone to do my makeup for much less than half of that. My problem was that I had to purchase a bunch of essentials all at once, because apparently until the wedding came I’d never taken the time in my adult life to acquire foundation, bronzer, blush, a brow pencil, an eyelash curler, and so on. Seriously. If you don’t already have the basics, just hire someone to do it for you. Now I’ve got a serious credit card bill and a bunch of makeup that I’ll very rarely use. Sweet! Just what I needed!
  • I wouldn’t bother getting a manicure and pedicure. The last time I’d gotten one was probably sometime in the early 2000s, and I was quickly reminded that people who have manicured hands and feet are not supposed to do anything with them, or touch anything, or move around, or even think, really. I believe that the only thing you are allowed to do when you have a manicure and a pedicure is to lie helplessly on a sunchair all day and moan for the hired help to fetch you another mint julep, which you will delicately sip from a straw. Seriously. My nail polish was scuffed within hours, and by the time I was done washing the dishes after the welcome picnic, it was ruined. Total waste of money.

What were your things?

so that’s done then

It was terrible and beautiful and stressful and fun.

Our Facebook pages have already been flooded with pictures from our pals, including this one which was taken by a dear friend during our grand entrance to the Beastie Boys classic “Sabotage” (hence the aviator sunglasses).*

I’m writing from the airport in LAX as we await our flight to Vancouver. It’s strange seeing the beau wearing jewelry, but otherwise it’s been like regular life again. Except that neither of us is has to work on a Monday and I’m about to go get a cocktail in the middle of the lunch hour. But yeah. Regular life and stuff.

I’ll be back later. I understand they have the internet in Vancouver, so perhaps I’ll post once or twice during the honeymoon. Or perhaps not. We’ll see how it goes.

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* We wanted a cop car so that we could roll over the hood in slow motion, but the cost and hassle of setting that up in the courtyard of the museum was prohibitive, to say the least.

shock and awe

These final weeks of planning a wedding are like being on drugs. The euphoric, blissful highs are always bound to be followed by crushing, empty comedowns. For every item you cross off the list, for every minor victory, something else goes wrong. Found your wedding shoes? Hooray! Oops, your hair fascinator broke.* These things do not happen in one successive, unbroken line of isolated incidents, of course. No. While this and this are happening, that and that are also happening, in addition to those and those. And so it goes, a thousand little triumphs and defeats in one day, like cake batter being perpetually folded in on itself. And gradually these disparate instances rise, gather energy, and fuse into a singular force; a rushing wave that crests but doesn’t break. You’re just swept along with it until it suddenly dawns on you that, like… everything influences everything else. All the objects and all the people and like everything … it’s all one big thing. Working together! We have the same hopes and dreams and experiences, man. We’re all riding on this wave. One love. One fabric woven together. You know? Like one big blanket draped over the universe. It’s like … all connected, man.

Drugs? What drugs? We are talking about weddings, here. Jeez, guys.

To further illustrate my point, I turn to: bullet points. WHAT’S UP NOW, UNORDERED LIST? Here, I present to you a personal, non-comprehensive list of recent cringe- and yay-inducing moments.

  • Earlier this week, at the final meeting with our caterer/day-of coordinator, I experienced a giant and all-encompassing meltdown. Why? I am still not clear on this. To the best of my recollection, we had to change some minor things on our setup schedule, which meant that I had to change some of our wedding documents, and for some reason I interpreted this new information as the most horrifically impossible set of tasks I’d ever faced. I cried for days, guys.Our poor caterer, having apparently been through this kind of thing before, responded to my festival of sobbing by presenting me with two cupcakes and the largest glass of red wine ever poured. When I mumbled repeatedly that I was sorry, he waved it off. “Oh, honey,” he said. “I have seen things.”
  • My undergarments! I finally got them in the mail!!!!!
  • My undergarments! I haven’t had time to try them on. No, really. I am just going to go for it and hope it works out for the best. This has the potential to turn ugly.
  • We wrote our vows!
  • Oh, wait… nevermind. These vows aren’t going to work.
  • We have halfway rewritten our vows!
  • Oh, shit. What day is this wedding again?
  • At last, after agonizing over the various options, we have finalized the guest seating chart!
  • Huh? You mean those people aren’t coming to the wedding anymore?
  • Yesssss! We made a detailed schedule for our wedding party, families, and photographers! We’re so organized.
  • ALL THE FUCKING SCHEDULE DETAILS CHANGED. AGAIN.
  • We finalized the rentals!
  • What? The DJ is now demanding that we rent a large umbrella to shade him? Buh?

On so on. Something serendipitously solved, only to have it snatched from our grasp. You get the picture.

In other news, the first wave of our family arrived today. I am… stunned. I cannot believe this is happening. It just dawned on my yesterday that all these people were coming into town, and that this was actually happening. Unaware much? I don’t know. Sometimes I can burrow down so far inside of myself that I’m not remotely aware that the world continues to turn outside of my skin. Right now, today, I feel like I’m emerging from a darkened movie theatre into blinding afternoon light. I’m not sure where I am, or how I got here. All I know is that there’s a plotline about planning a wedding still echoing inside my skull. The me of tomorrow feels like a film character instead of my actual life. I’m excited to see how this story pans out.

And nervous. Nervous as all damn hell.

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* Not that anything like this, um, happened to me, or anything.

roshamBEAU: gender roles, wedding expectations, and my blissful ignorance

A couple of weeks ago, when I got home from work one day, the beau looked straight in the eye and said, “I wrote a blog post.” My response was to gaze back at him slack-jawed, for he might as well have said he was moving to Manitoba to become a pig farmer. Blogs? Beau? Huh?

Well, you guys, he wasn’t kidding. He actually wrote a post about, like, stuff. From his own point of view. And then we got super extra incredibly busy, and two weeks later, here I am finally posting it. At 1:30 in the morning. Because: OH MY GOD, WEDDING.

So, here he is. Live and in person! For a one-night-only appearance! It’s… the beau.

*******************

Beau here, taking over the airwaves. This is my first and only wedding blog post. Why one and only? A few reasons… I’ve never been a good writer or speller (I love you spellcheck!), nor am I grammatically savvy. I also have a weird relationship with technology. I often get volunteered for tech projects at my work* and I was building computers at a young age, yet I irrationally fought getting a cell phone, and fought creating a Myspace (now deleted) and Facebook account. I still refuse to IM, and I’ve never gotten into reading blogs (except for Lyn’s, of course). Not really sure where the reluctance comes from.

Sorry for the sidetrack, back to how wedding planning has changed my perceptions of the average person. A little personal background: I’m a white male who grew up in the suburbs just outside of Portland, OR, in a middle class family. My parents were two aging hippies who joined corporate America but were still able to hold on to some of their ideals. A little boring but I was lucky to have been raised by open-minded parents. This started the foundation for my happy bubble.

I’m also a “glass is half full” type of person and generally give people the benefit of doubt. I’ve come to realize that I often don’t believe that things are as bad as they really are. I assume and argue that people can’t be that racist, sexist, ignorant, etc.**

I feel good in my ignorance. I like people! Most of them are interesting and nice. Something bad happens? Cross paths with an asshole? Just an anomaly! That asshole is definitely in the minority. I chalk up a lot of things to media’s over-dramatization or our human nature to focus more on the bad things and ignore the good things. If I don’t know someone, I only assume that they are as tolerant to humankind’s differences as I am.*** I’ve come to realize that my ignorance of society’s expectations of what is “normal” has affected me in a number of ways: 1) I can be naïve and overly trusting, 2) I’m not very good at discussing society’s unfavorable expectations and pressure, and 3) I can’t come up with a good comeback when my jaw is on the floor due to shock.

Getting engaged and planning for a wedding has changed my opinion of the average person. I was surprised at how dumbfounded people get when they hear I’m straying away from the cookie cutter box of wedding rules. It amazes me how many people are set in their ways and how judgmental they can be when you don’t meet their expectations and the old norms they cling to. It’s weird that people feel compelled to convince me otherwise when they wouldn’t dare to discuss many other topics.

Wait…did that person I barely even know, who I’m not even inviting to our wedding, get legitimately upset that we are not walking down an aisle? This lady is looking at me like I stole from an orphanage.

It is depressing how influential society’s expectations and idea of normal can completely throw a blinder over people’s ability to be rational and open to others’ desires. Why has the wedding industry been so successful in convincing everyone that they have to spend and spend and get so little? More importantly, why do so many people back traditional ideals when I want to do my own thing? If you ever suspect someone is crazy, start talking to them about weddings and the answer will usually surface. That and politics.

I was also surprised at how many of my groom friends seem to meet the expectation of doing close to nothing. Seems like way too much work for one person to take on and too big of a party to just sit in the background. Did they not have a choice or did they not care? After putting in so much work, I get annoyed when people assume I have been lounging on the sidelines, watching Lyn slave away. This whole wedding is a lot of work and I’m busting ass too! Yet I have to admit there have been times when I took advantage of the stereotype. If it is something I am unsure of or apathetic to, I can easily defer to Lyn. Vendors don’t expect me to make a decision anyway. Hell, they barely even talk to me.****

So did wedding planning push me into becoming a cynical old bastard who hates the average man? Luckily, no. Still, my perception of the average person and how much society’s norms/stereotypes affect them has changed for the worse. But wait! There is some good news! I have been happily surprised, amazed actually, at the size and quality of this wedding subculture. I am astounded of the friendships that Lyn has found since she started blogging. The kindness that some people have and the amount they want to share, unprovoked, is heart warming. You rock!

Wow, this post ended up being way more serious than I intended. But after all of the disappointments, stress, expenses and failed to-do-lists, I am still glad to have gone through the wedding experience. All this thought and effort we went through will show up at the wedding. I think it is going to be a great party and I am ecstatic and lucky to be marrying such a great girl.

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* And enjoy them.

** Glenn Beck rallies aside.

*** I’m no saint … far from it.

**** We did find some pretty awesome vendors who started looking in my direction after getting to know us, but with a lot of the other vendors it was like I wasn’t even there.

***** Yeah this doesn’t relate to anything in the body of the text. I just like Lyn’s free use of asterisks so I thought I would give it a shot.

postcards from the front lines

Cannot navigate rooms. House has become Boxtown, USA.

And Bagtown, too. Can’t forget about your bags. Or they may riot due to underrepresentation.

Speaking of underrepresentation, I’ll bet my local perennial woody plants wished they had a political voice, because yesterday I came home to this:

Note: there used to be a whole tree here on the side of our house, right in the middle of that sawdust.

Thanks for your “landscaping,” rental manager! How did you know I hated trees?!

As with anything else in life, I can break this new development down into a pro/con list.

PRO:

  1. Wow, we have an expanded view of the mountains!

CONS:

  1. No shade on house = hot house. Here in California, they apparently don’t believe in pesky things like insulation. Our poor casa needs all the help it can get.
  2. I actually had this thought: OMG, the wedding is next week! And now when people come to our house, this is the first impression they’ll get!

For the sake of comparison, here is a visual approximation of how the front of my house used to look:

Except… you know. With actual leaves and stuff.

MOVING ON.

Yesterday, in addition to picking up my dress from the alterations place, I received the last bit of my wedding accoutrements in the mail. They are strange. And by “strange” I mean “not bridal.” And by “not bridal” I mean, here’s a picture:

Shoes, shrug, button necklace and peacock feather hair fascinator.

I must admit I was a little unnerved by this unbridalness. So unnerved that I have been very reluctant to share my accoutrements with anyone. I mean, okay, brightly colored shoes have arguably become an acceptable thing in the wedding world, lately. But hello, buttons instead of pearls or diamonds? In my head, I can already hear the naysayers gasping. But then I realized something: I have different tastes, and that’s okay. Everyone has different tastes. I need to own that instead of being embarrassed that my appearance doesn’t conform to some standard I have in my head.* What it all basically boiled down to is that I bought what I liked. That has been the driving force behind the entire wedding, actually — the beau and I simply bought or chose what we liked, even if it didn’t match anything else — so it’s fitting that I rolled with that same philosophy here.

Bonus: the button necklace was only $30. Custom-made.

In other news, my mother called me today. A snippet of our conversation follows:

Me (with just a touch of “poor me” whine): “Maaaa,** I got the stomach flu!”
Mom: “Aww shoot, sweetie.”
Me: “No, Mom. Not shoot. Shit is more appropriate here. This kind of occasion calls for cussing.”
Mom (indulgently): “Aww shit, mofo.”

At least she has a sense of humor.

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* Like nearly everyone else on planet earth, I have problems being myself sometimes.

** I call my mom “Ma” sometimes, like my dad called his mother. I think of it fondly as a midwestern thing, even if it isn’t.

getting married

Nina got married on July 3rd. Nina, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the comments section, is an awesome lady who somehow found my blog one day and started commenting. One thing led to another — you wouldn’t believe how I get after a glass or five of booze — and pretty soon, we were emailing each other. Before Nina trotted off to get hitched, I pleaded that she tell me about how it all went down when she got back from her honeymoon.

And she did. Spectacularly, I might add.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m kind of obsessed with reading about other people’s wedding experiences. Not so much the play-by-play nitty-gritty, but their perspectives. And Nina has perspective in spades, especially when it comes to dissecting wedding-day expectations — a particularly fitting topic after I posted about my current lack of wedding zen on Tuesday. After a few days spent digesting her words, I asked her if it would be okay if I shared them on my blog. Happily, she agreed, and now you get to read them as well.

So without further ado, I present to you: Nina.

(applause)

**********

Here are some words that describe the wedding week: ‘joyful’, ‘significant’, ‘beautiful’, ‘lucky’. They made up roughly 20% of the experience. Now words that apply to the rest: ‘stress’, ‘panic’, ‘why-the-hell-are-we-doing-this-again?’, ‘if-you-ask-me-one-more-stupid-question-I-might-have-to-punch-you’, and ‘where-the-hell-is-the-wine?’ Needless to say, I did not attain wedding Zen, but I’m also just not a Zen-type of person. I’m more the kind of person who worries when there is stuff to worry about and worries some more when there isn’t, because well, that just seems suspicious. So take everything I say with that in mind. Here is my story of busted wedding expectations.

I loved planning our wedding. I ventured into wedding-land fairly blindly, but luckily before Knot induced panic could set in I discovered A Practical Wedding and through it, this community of amazing women with blogs full of wisdom and thoughtfulness. Women who are just like me, trying to create honest, ethical, and reasonable weddings — women who just totally GET IT. There aren’t enough words for me to describe how incredibly grateful I am to all of you for carrying me through the wedding planning adventure with confidence and humor. Thank you.

So powerful was my confidence that I also started to believe that wedding-day stress was just another creation of the WIC, heaped upon women who insist the napkins match the invitations and the bridesmaids’ shoes. I wasn’t one of those women. I wasn’t looking for perfection, I simply wanted a wedding to bring everyone together, to build our community. THIS is the stuff that wedding joy is made out of. Unfortunately I may have misunderstood “wedding day joy” to mean I will morph into a different person that day, purely due to other people’s presence and love. Surprisingly, I did not. I was myself — a ball of anxiety who can’t handle endless attention and expectations.

The pure knot of anxiety started to build up in my stomach about two or three weeks before the wedding. Adrenaline coursed through me non-stop and caused all food to taste like stale cardboard. It was like some kind of potent diet drug (let’s call it Adrelin™), but one that would’ve been pulled off the shelves in a matter of days for causing insanity and a number of other frightening side effects. I was starving but couldn’t eat. I was snappy and grumpy as all hell. I was more demanding than I had ever been in my life (lest you think I’m a total monster bride, this just means me actually asking for what I need and was probably an improvement). I managed to keep this under wraps with most people but regrettably, I completely regressed to a petulant teenager with my parents. Not my proudest moments. I was failing my calm bride finals.

The morning of the wedding I woke up hoping wedding Zen had descended upon me. No dice. Ok, so Adrelin™ was in for the ride, and we had to make this work together. The day started with me, my mom, and the girls hanging out, snacking and getting beautified at my house. I got to stay in pajamas and their happy chatter kept me relatively sane. Then it was off to the beach for champagne and photos with John and the groomsmen. It was gorgeous and our photographer was incredibly upbeat and lovely. Unfortunately stress still clouded my brain and I had not managed to shed my insecurities. I didn’t feel beautiful but I faked it, hoping the camera would capture a hidden glow and happiness that my stress over the last few weeks had taken from me (and it did).

Our champagne picnic came to a quick end when we realized it was time for the ceremony and suddenly I found myself walking down the aisle feeling completely unprepared. Somehow, unbeknownst to me the world had continued on while we were getting ready and taking photos and my family and friends had all gathered here and sat down and everything. Seeing this shocked me (perhaps another side effect of Adrelin™ is a return to a 2-year olds mentality where only the things you can see exist). They were all watching me and I was terrified to look their way. I was supposed to be calm and centered and bursting with love. The only emotion I felt was bewilderment. But (and this is the good news) you can block this out. I just focused on John and the wide expanse of sky behind him (and the tiny bit of silvery thread stuck to his black jacket). I could hear words coming out of the officiant’s mouth but they didn’t form into sentences in my head. I do vividly recall everything John and I said though. I remember putting the ring on his finger. I choked up a tiny bit at the end of my vows but I never cried. And I remember realizing that I was still wearing my engagement ring on my ring finger — oops — John just had to add the wedding ring to it. When I went to sign the marriage license, my maid of honor came up and asked if I want my veil back on. I wondered when the hell it had fallen — just how transfixed at staring at John had I been? (I later learned it had fallen just when I walked over to sign the marriage license). Then we walked back and I finally actually looked at everyone and saw their smiling faces. I waved and the first wave of relief washed over me. Finally it was time for the party.

One of my biggest wedding wishes was a packed dance floor and I’m very happy to say this wish came true. I had had this image of the end of the evening where little by little people would have been trickling out, it would just be a small group of drunk friends left, the DJ would play ‘Book of Love’ and John and I would sweetly and quietly dance together, with the lights of the city twinkling behind us, finally being able to let our happiness pour out.

This is what it actually looked like: practically everyone was still on the dance floor dancing their asses off, several bottles of champagne were making the rounds with people chugging straight out of them, the sweet words of ‘Book of Love’ were mostly lost amongst the laughing and the raucous talking around us, and our dance was mostly us looking at each other laughing. It was a different kind of sweet. So after our misguided attempt at romance, which clearly didn’t leave the evening on the right note, I asked for one more song — which was a more appropriate last song anyway seeing as I consider it my song — ‘Dancing Queen.’ And we rocked it. Somehow the two introverts threw a f*cking awesome party.

Happily another wedding day belief proved to be false: the day was not a blur. I swear. Of course the party does get away from you a bit because you’re being pulled in so many directions but I have relatively vivid memories of most of the day. Shockingly (in between seemingly endless hugs), I even had moments to myself. At one point later in the evening John and I both found ourselves hiding in the downstairs kitchen area at the same time. We took 5 minutes to chat with one of the servers (a family friend) and I even lay down on a bench very un-bride like for a moment and it felt like heaven.

But although the day went flawlessly, although nearly everyone was amazing and supportive, although people kept telling me I looked beautiful, I did not overflow with calm bliss and love like all the ads said I would. Maybe I didn’t drink enough. But likely it’s just me. My emotions have never been all that obedient — they never happen at the appropriate, prescribed moments — but I wanted to believe this narrative so badly for my wedding day. Instead, I was myself with my unruly emotions, anxiety and stress partying it up with love and joy and awe. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fantastic party and I am bursting with pride that we did it. I had an amazing time and everyone tells me they did too. But there was also a vague sense of disappointment in myself for letting the anxiety and stress take part. Perhaps I came to expect too much because others’ wedding stories are told through the softening lens of time that highlights joy and fades away the unsightly stress. Or perhaps I heaped the expectations on myself to justify the endless hours and money that went into planning the wedding. I’m sure there are many women out there for whom every high expectation is met and I don’t want to imply that I believe pure happiness on your wedding day is a myth. But expectations about how you will feel are a dangerous thing, because they can cause disappointment even in the face of a wonderful wedding.

So give yourself permission to feel what you feel and to acknowledge that joy might not take the form you’re used to in your less adrenaline-clouded days. I’ve since realized it’s all right that my wedding joy was not experienced through one day of pure bliss, because I’ve collected way more than that throughout the journey as a whole and continue to collect today (the relief and happiness when it was all over was a major payout — sweet, sweet post-wedding Zen!). The wedding really is just one day, and try as we might, one day simply can’t contain all the hope and love we have for our marriage and our community. So go in with an open mind, smile, and soak it in. And grab moments of happiness wherever you can along the way.

worry

New developments! I have them. Witness what’s transpired in the last few days:

  1. My face has bloomed an awesome new connect-the-dots pattern.*
  2. I have valiantly battled Getting Sick. I pulled out all my best moves, like sleeping and vitamins. And yet, even after a long holiday weekend, Getting Sick is finally winning. Bah!
  3. My pharmacy failed to inform me — even though I asked how many refills I had left the last time I went in — that a key prescription was expiring. Thanks, pharmacy! I love you, too. I especially appreciate that afternoon spent feeling like I was going to chuck my lunch from the stress of OH MY GOD I NEED MY PRESCRIPTION IT IS RIGHT THERE BEHIND THE COUNTER BUT YOU WON’T GIVE IT TO ME I HATE EVERYTHING.
  4. Forget Santa Cruz; I’m the new Mystery Spot!** The cornea of my right eye developed localized redness. It doesn’t hurt, but Visine didn’t clear it up. I switched from contacts to wearing glasses, which is not easy on the ol’ self esteem — despite the hip frames I still associate glasses with being called a nerd in 5th grade, SORRY — and I’m dousing my eye with saline solution a few times a day. And keeping my fingers crossed. So far it hasn’t gone away. Hooray!
  5. I am bloated. ‘Nuff said.
  6. The weather. It sucks. The fog burns off late, and rolls back in early. This is so not September weather here.

I don’t know, man. I am reluctant to admit that this stuff is bothering me, but… it is. The acne, bloating, and red-eye is a blow to my vanity. The other stuff — well, all of it, really — is a blow to my emotional system, which is not really holding up very nicely of late. No, I’m not freaking out. This isn’t a panic-panic-run-around-screaming post. I am just weary. I am trying. Trying to take care of myself; trying to stay on top of this neverending wedding to-do list. I have to rest, but I can’t rest. In this game of inches, I am walking a thin line between a rock and a hard place while trying to keep all my balls*** in the air. Yes! I am a mixed metaphor lover’s wet dream.

I know there should be a moral to this story, and I know it should go like this: “What does it matter if I have red-eye on my wedding day? I will still be married.” This is an astute observation. I will indeed be married on my wedding day, regardless of whether my face resembles a road atlas, or whether I’m retaining water, or whether the sun is obliterated by low-lying clouds. But I don’t particularly want any of those things to happen. In fact, I am beginning to get the impression that if any of these things do happen — if, for example, my right eye still looks like I spent the afternoon hotboxing a ’71 Chevelle — I am going to feel dangerously close to throwing a fit due to the unfairness of it all. I tried to take care of myself, you guys! I tried! So hard! Shouldn’t I get an A for effort? Shouldn’t I get a one-day pass for all health-, beauty-, and weather-related items? SHOULDN’T I????

Ahem. Wow. Bridal stereotype much?

All is not lost. There are still 11 days until the wedding. It’s entirely feasible that my ailments, real or imagined, will be cleared up by then. Then again, maybe not. I have to be prepared for that possibility. I thought I was prepared, but I guess I wasn’t.

The point of all of this, friends, is that the wedding zen. It eludes me. I’m sorry. I don’t have it. I can’t find it. I am not freaking out, but I am not zen-tastic. I am just here. A little worse for wear, but still breathing. And maybe that’s good enough?

It better be.

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* I see a pony! Or maybe a deformed marshmallow!

** For those of you who do not live in this strange bubble called California, I present to you, The Mystery Spot.

*** YOU GUYS I SAID BALLS!!!!!!11!

errands

This morning the beau and I ducked out of our respective jobs to go to the Friday farmer’s market and scope out their flower selection. Verily, it is from this market that we will pick flowers up before the wedding, so we thought we should make ourselves acquainted with its bounty.

Then we picked up our order of three cases of champagne.*

Then we got this:

Tiny steps closer.

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* Holler.