Category Archives: everyday life

the old college try

The other night we arrived home from honeymoon to a refrigerator that contained approximately 17 semi-used containers of condiments, half of a bag of dried-up baby carrots, and four* bottles of champagne. It’s clear what our priorities were before the wedding.

Here’s another thing we arrived home to:

It was apparently so hot in our house while we were gone that this candle melted. Or at least, slumped over in a permanently drunken stupor. I heard it was 113°F here on Monday, which means it was very likely — in my best estimate — 147°F inside of our closed-up home. This prompts me to wonder: why was the weather this year so consistently cool and foggy all the way up through our wedding, and then it suddenly decided to explode violently into summer while we were off battling rain and clouds in Vancouver? Which in turn prompts me to reflect on the fact that I will clearly never be satisfied with the outcome of anything, because if I’d actually been here during the heatwave I would have spent the entire time sprawled in a damp heap on the couch, moaning woefully about my impending sweaty death. HA HA. Karmic payback, to be sure. I knew I shouldn’t have taken that last maple bar from the kitchen at work.

In other news, our mail pile contains several envelopes addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hislastname. The ones that kill me the most are the ones that are addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. Because it’s not enough that I should take his last name, right? His first name must also be conferred on me, as if upon marriage my individual self deflated like a party balloon; collapsing and synthesizing with my husband’s. I’ve now become an extension of him — a new appendage, perhaps? Which is obviously not me overreacting for the sake of humor, or anything. Far be it from me to throw a sanctimonious fit about taking the road less traveled and expecting everyone else to already know exactly where I went on the journey.

The most frustrating thing is that not taking his last name feels like a statement, when really it is just another decision in a long string of decisions I’ll make in life. I chose the chunky peanut butter; I kept my last name. Hell, the next time I go to the grocery store, I may choose creamy peanut butter — and one day I may decide to adopt the beau’s last name after all. My current decision is not a caterwauling cry against The Patriarchy, and yet it is, because you can’t talk about family names without invoking history, feminism, social expectations, and gender norms. But at the root of all this it’s still just me, here. I made this decision because it was right for me, like how many of my friends took their husband’s last names because it felt right for them. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about being a woman is that you can’t make a life decision and have it just be about you. It’s about everyone else — how does your husband feel about you keeping your last name? What about the children? You are having children, right? Tomorrow, right? What about his parents? What about your career? But here I go, lapsing back into resentment about others’ reactions and assumptions. Just like I did during the wedding planning, when I bristled over what people thought of our budget, our dessert choices, my dress. I see now that I’m part of the problem, too. I bought into placing value on these perceived barbs, which were really just words. How easily we get trapped in this virtual hall of mirrors. Right now I’m just concentrating on finding the most accurate reflection.

So. There’s that.

And there’s also the matter of the wedding photographs. Can I tell you a secret? We’ve actually had the link to an album one of our photographers made from pictures of our wedding for one whole week, and I have not been able to bring myself to click on it. I KNOW, RIGHT?? I am not sure what’s wrong with me. It’s not that I’m afraid that looking at these photos will, to wield what I believe is a phrase coined by Meg, shake off the glitter. It’s just… I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that whenever I think of clicking that damn link — which is often — my heart starts racing and I get into that old itchy, squirmy, incredibly tense mode that immediately descends upon me whenever I watch earnest and unsuspecting people get interviewed by comedians for satire. MUST FLEE ROOM NOW.

While I work up the nerve to actually look at my wedding photos, I’ve been working on figuring out where to draw the privacy line. I haven’t remained totally anonymous — a few photos of my face have crept onto this site, and I use my real first name, but still. None of my family and only a few of my friends know I have a blog, and I’d like to keep it that way. On the other hand, this blog has been blessed to remain a congenial gathering place with a small number of kind and intelligent readers, so posting photos here will feel like sharing with old friends. Yet on the other other hand, once I post my wedding photos they are out on the internet for anyone to look at. So like I said, I’m just trying to sort this all out.

You know what might help provide some clarity? A poll:

Tell me what you want, guys! Tell me what you want*** and I’ll make it happen. Because it’s not just about me here. It’s about you. All three of you.****

And with that, I’m off to corral my thoughts. I have already begun about a half-dozen jumbled stream-of-consciousness essays on various wedding-day topics, and now I actually have to, like, whip them into nice, decent, respectable posts. You know, the kind of posts you’d take home to mother.

Yeah, wish me luck with that endeavor.

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* I originally tweeted that there were merely three bottles of champagne in our fridge. I stand corrected.

** FINE! HERE! JESUS. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!

*** What you really really want!

**** I’m just sayin’ though, I was talking to these readers, you know, and, and I don’t put enough emphasis on the readers sometimes. I was talking to a reader she was talkin’ ‘bout how there was so many posts in her RSS feed, she gotta drink coffee to stay awake, she gotta read like 9200 blogs back to back and ain’t nobody really try to find out, you know, what she feel and how she feel. You know what she told me? Check it out. She said OHHH, OH OH OH OH, she said she wants some Jezebel, some Huffington Post, a little LOLcats, we’ll definitely set this party off right.

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?

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.

them ol’ weddin’ plannin’, apostrophe slangin’ blues

Guys, it’s been a hard go of it here in Lyn+Beau Land™ recently. The beau spent the past week working his butt off at a taco booth to raise money for his rugby team,* only to turn around and take off on a work trip for another week. Basically, the beau has become very scarce around these parts — an elusive animal who sometimes skitters in from the dark of night to shower and sleep in my bed. He’s being pulled in so many different directions right now, which means that I’ve stepped in and taken over all of the household chores we normally split plus the bulk of the wedding tasks. While part of me wants to write a moving, meaningful perspective on how these cycles of give and take are the essence of a true partnership, the other part of me wants to stomp around a bit and maybe slam some doors.

Because I am stressed out, too, over meeting the responsibilities of my own day job(s) and the unyielding wedding planning and the relentless stream of chores, dear God, the chores. I had just finished up all the cleaning this past weekend when someone** walked in the house wearing dirty shoes and dripping ice cream all over the floor,*** and I could quite literally see the filth forming before my very eyes. On the floor! The floor I’d just mopped, that had just dried! For the first time in my life, I understood that perpetually unhinged look in my mother’s eyes. Why isn’t there a grace period for this stuff? Can’t we enact a universal law that decrees nothing is allowed to get dirty for at least one week after it’s been cleaned?

And cue the feelings of futility. Why do I bother cleaning in the first place? Why do I bother doing anything? Take blogging, for instance. I don’t need to blog, but I like it. It’s become my hobby, like how some people assemble model airplanes, or how others simply huff model airplane glue. Which is all well and good except for the fact that it takes me approximately 239 hours to write a single post. For instance, I started writing this post last week. How on earth can composing a series of useless paragraphs about how challenging life can sometimes be take me so long to finish? Why can’t I just knock out some sentences and be done with it? I must be doing something wrong. Seriously. If they made a Lolcats meme based on me, it would depict me staring quizzically into the air above my laptop and the caption would read, “BLOGGING: UR DOIN’ IT RONG.”

It’s not just blogging, either. On an average day, I feel like I look up at the clock and realize it’s 11:45 pm, and somehow all I’ve accomplished since getting home from work is some chores, dinner, dishes, 2/16ths of a blog post, and roughly 80 minutes’ worth of clicking around the internet in search of something to wear in my hair for the wedding. And the next day after that and the next day after that are all variations on this same theme. How on earth is anything ever going to actually get finished?

Don’t mind me. I’m at one of those unavoidable wedding lows. It’s like a black cloud raining anxiety on my brain, and the harder I try to knuckle down and get stuff done, the harder it storms. You know it’s bad when you see a couple walking down the street laughing, and you are instantly resentful. They don’t look like they’re planning a wedding, the bastards! And you know it’s gotten really bad when you and your own partner seem to have forgotten how to talk about anything besides the list of stuff that needs to be done. I met the beau for a drink while he was on a 45-minute break on Saturday — the only time together we had that day, mind you — and I spent that time talking about cleaning the bathroom and what we should serve as our wedding dessert. Trust me, I eventually tried to change the subject to something pleasant, but I could not think of anything else to say. Where did my personality go? When did my brain stop functioning? Who are we anymore?

Here is where I used to wistfully say something about how we should have just eloped, but you know, it’s gotten way too late in the game to entertain fantasies of running away in earnest. And besides, we had damn good reasons for choosing to build this type of wedding in the first place. Even if I seem to have completely forgotten what those reasons are.

Now, lest you start to think I’ve gone and permanently changed my name to Debbie Downer — I’m assuming here that “you” are still reading this — let me assure you that I realize this is all just temporary. We will persevere. The beau and I are going to kick this wedding’s ass. We’re going to beat it senseless, and when it’s all over we’ll stand on top of it and shout, “We win, ha ha!” And then we will go to Vancouver, where I will sleep for seven days. And when I wake up, I’ll wonder where my honeymoon went. But I’ll nevertheless feel rejuvenated and happy, because hey! I don’t have to have a wedding anymore, ever! What do you know about that!

Here’s to the future, man. In the meantime, I’ll close this post on a positive note with this brief list of happy, gorgeous, and wonderful things that are also happening in my life right now:

  1. My friend’s mom has just informed us that she wants to bake homemade pies for our wedding dessert! For free!
  2. I am really enjoying Spoon’s latest album, Transference!
  3. I love avocados!
  4. The internet continues to be neat!
  5. My future mother-in-law sent me an email in which she said she was looking forward to having me as a daughter-in-law! In the beau’s family, this is akin to enthusiastically jumping up and down before enveloping someone in a big old bear hug!
  6. My cars starts every single time I turn the key in the ignition!
  7. I am still alive, so I must be doing something right!

Whew. Looks like things are shaping up to be pretty swell.

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* It was the annual Old Spanish Days Festival here in Santa Barbara, which coincides with the Annual Festival of Feral Douchebags in Sombreros and Shrieking Girls Unsuitably Dressed for the Weather Who Drink Watery Margaritas from Novelty Glasses and Throw Confetti-Filled Eggs at Each Other. This is immediately followed by the Annual Festival of Finding Stray Confetti in the Most Unexpected Places For A Minimum of Three Consecutive Months.

** The beau, of course. During the few hours we had between him packing up the taco booth and leaving town on business, of course.

*** He brought ice cream to me! While wearing his filthy taco booth shoes! Never have I been so “OMG I LOVE YOU” and “OMG GO AWAY” at the same time!

hurdles

Tell me something. Have you ever looked at foundation undergarments online? Perhaps you have. And if so, have you ever noticed that there is a dearth of regular-looking women on these websites? Really. Most of the product models are, well, model-sized. Which is to say: Hey, lady, you don’t really need to firm and shape, do you?

However. If you look hard enough, you can find so-called “normal” women sporting these undergarments. Do you know where they are? In the before and after section. Sometimes they are tucked away under a button, like so:

And sometimes they are right out in the open, like so:

You know, there is something pretty fucking twisted about companies using models who don’t even need their products to sell their products. This is not a surprise, really — rare is the product marketed to women that isn’t based on an unattainable ideal. I get that the premise of these garments is to help a person look better in certain clothes, but I disagree, vehemently, with the fact that these models are held aloft as the ultimate end goal. Is that even a woman in the last picture, anyway? What is happening there? How is this remotely desirable? Her entire body appears to be the size of my thigh. Provided that is the actual model and not the wonders of Photochopping, I’m assuming she was rushed to the emergency room immediately after this shoot wrapped.

The very fact that these companies aren’t willing to show normal-sized women wearing the product — except in the context of “look how awful before, and look how much improved after!” — insinuates that to be the size you are is to be bad. Shame on you for looking how you do! This is how you can hide it. Now, no woman actually believes that purchasing a shaping product will magically turn her into a size zero. So why the ludicrous double standard? What is the unholy point of hiring two completely different sets of women to model the same undergarments? How are any of us taking this message seriously anymore?

And for some reason this all feels very much like yesterday’s news. I have an acute sense of deja vu. Didn’t we already do accceptance this and love your body that and the celebration of beautiful women of all sizes? I thought we had, but apparently the message hasn’t really reached everyone yet. Not the undergarment companies, that’s for sure. Not even me. Why is it that I can say all these things, rationally, about how the widespread cultural adulation of unnatural body sizes is unhealthy, yet in nearly the same breath moan about how unsatisfied I am with my own body? Why do these images of bone-thin women — while visually unappealing — still manage to incite a rainstorm of negativity about myself?

Body image is a messy, messy thing. Many of us are just starting out on the road to self-acceptance. Maybe we’ll never quite fully arrive.

But here is a good place to start.

here, have some words

You guys. Can I tell you something?

(I guess I can. This is my blog, after all. I could tell you anything. For example, I could tell you that you have a squirrel on your head, and that wouldn’t even be true, unless I am grossly underestimating the kind of lifestyle you lead. But I could still tell you that. Because I am entirely in control of what goes on this blog. I could publish a post that simply contained the letter “r” repeated over and over and over again, like “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” — much like the sound, now that I think of it, that a rabid squirrel atop your head might make — and nobody could stop me. )

Ahem.

This is a really crazy week. I took on some side work, because I guess the full-time job and the wedding planning just wasn’t filling all of the hours in my day. For example, I was still finding time to sleep. I know! What a lazy jerk.

But yeah. Since I don’t have time to write a “real” post right now, I thought I’d just pop in and say hi really quick. Hi! Hello to those of you who are still around, anyway. Seeing as how it’s a big holiday weekend in the U.S. and Canada, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you were totally ignoring the internet right now in favor of sitting outside on a lawn chair drinking a chilled beverage. Or getting married.

Oh yes, that’s right. I am thinking of two people in particular right now: Nina, who comments here regularly and who doesn’t have her own blog, but I sure wish she did; and kc, of Shiny Pretty Bits. Guys, Nina is getting married this Saturday. This! Saturday! And kc is getting married on Monday. MONDAY! I have never met either of these ladies, yet I am on pins and needles for them. That is the power of the internet, folks. Say what you will about the ills of the digital age. Say what you will about the erosion of interpersonal contact. I say this here community is a total win. You guys are all a win.

I started this blog almost a year ago. I started it because I thought it would be a great way to document this process and to connect with others.* Actually, Angie put it best recently when she said that so many of us blog about our weddings “to share, to be heard, to support and to be supported.” I don’t think I quite understood the support thing until just a few short months ago. The word blessing sounds kinda smarmy, but really, I can’t think of a better word than that to describe how much of a blessing it’s been to find all of you. You’ve talked me down from the crazy ledge, and you’ve offered your opinions when I’ve had too many options on the table. I love posting just to see what you’ll write back. I love feeling that, for better or for worse, we’re all in this together. And I love reading your own blogs — those of you who have them — because it’s such a thrill to see where you’re all at in this process.

So, before you crack open that beverage and kick off your weekend, I just want to say: Thanks. And Nina, kc: Good luck. Please let us know what it’s like on the other side.

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* And I can’t lie: I also started it because, deep down, I was secretly hoping someone would email me one day and say, “Hey! We like your bizarre, erratic writing SO MUCH, that we’d like to offer you an annual six-figure salary to write a new blog post every single day! Actually, scratch that! Every other day would be just fine! And you can still take all the major holidays off!” I’m still holding onto my dream, and yet that inbox remains empty.

social networking has ruined my communication skills

At the caterer’s place, working on the timeline

Caterer: “OK, so are you guys going to want to do the grand entrance?”
Me [exchanging confused glances with Beau]: “… Grand?”
Caterer: “You know, when everyone goes to sit down after the cocktail hour, and you kind of hold back for a minute, and then when everyone’s finally seated you walk in as the DJ announces, ‘Please welcome for the first time as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. [Lastname]!’”
Me: “Oh. No. I guess not. I mean, I’m not taking his last name, so that wouldn’t work.”
Caterer [eyebrows shooting up]: “Ah ha ha! You guys are too funny.”
Me: “I mean, I guess we could say ‘Please welcome Lyn [Lastname] and Beau [Lastname]!’ But that’s kind of weird, because everyone already knows our names.”
Caterer: “OK!” [writing notes to self] “No… grand… entrance.”

Much later, at home

Beau: “So, you finally figured out that last name thing, eh?”
Me: “Yep.”
Beau: “When were you planning on filling me in?”
Me: “Whaaaat? I already told you. I’m sure I did.”
Beau: “Nope. News to me.”
Me: “I swear I told you. How did you not know? I mean, I tweeted about it.”
Beau: [gives me a look before dissolving into laughter]
Me: “Oh, shit.”

in which everything is JUST FINE, thank you

As we creep ever closer to the hallowed 100-day mark* I’ve been a tad, how shall I say, down in the mouth about all those things on that wedding to-do list I’ve been ignoring. A week ago I actually had to lie down in the grass during a wine-tasting trek** because I was having stress-induced stomach cramps over this list. See? This is why I tend to ignore it in the first place. I’ve found that ignorance truly is bliss – at least until someone asks about the infernal wedding again.

Lately it seems like everything is a reason for people to furrow their brows at us in disbelief. You don’t have your website done? Brow furrow. You don’t have the invitations done? Brow furrow. You haven’t made a playlist? You haven’t made a map of your table layout? You don’t have a registry? A dessert order? Your honeymoon planned? Epic brow furrow supreme.

Meanwhile, there are other things going on. We are both trying to figure out what we’re wearing on the big day. We’re trying to figure out what we want in a ceremony. I am writing my bridal shower thank-you cards. We’re finalizing hotel blocks. Finalizing where the rehearsal picnic will be held. Finalizing the dinner menu. We have jobs to tend, oh yeah that’s right, WE ARE EMPLOYED FULL-TIME AT ORGANIZATIONS THAT MAKE US DO THINGS ENTIRELY UNRELATED TO WEDDINGS FOR SUBSTANTIAL PORTIONS OF THE DAY.*** I also have a blog to write. And some semblance of a social life to maintain. And I have to get my cousin a card for his high school graduation, and I have to send my friend a birthday gift EVEN THOUGH HER BIRTHDAY WAS LAST WEEK,**** and I have to change the oil in my car, and, and, and AND.

I didn’t mean to turn this post into a whinefest. It’s just that we’re finally in the thick of it. We’re past the point of what ifs and should wes and well maybes and into rolling up those sleeves and grinding it out. I am suddenly hyperaware that this is a very strange and unique phase in our lives that we’ll never, if we’re lucky, ever repeat: The all-wedding-all-the-time crunch.

Tonight we had a meeting with the caterer and he drew out a map of the venue along with where everything would go: Bar, dancefloor, gift table, buffet, dessert table, everything. And as we were walking through the timeline of the day I finally saw in my mind, for the first time, all of those things in their respective places, and our friends milling around with drinks, and our families giving tearful toasts near the dancefloor, and it was REAL. This thing is real and it’s happening. And we’re rolling.

Maybe we’re not rolling particularly fast, but damn if we’re not doing the best we can.

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* Which BY THE WAY is happening next week.

** And I know what you’re thinking, but no, I actually hadn’t even had any of the damn wine yet.

*** I’m sorry, but the capslock key just flowed forth mercilessly in this post.

**** Sorry, man. I’m lame.

probably the cutest thing that’s happened all year*

I got something from my grandmother in the mail today. Upon tearing open the envelope I pulled out: A thank-you card. What? I hadn’t gotten her anything lately. Her birthday isn’t even until July.

Then I read, in her slanted, cursive handwriting:

“Thank you so much for the magnet, how cute, we have it here on the fridge.”

She sent me a thank-you card. For our save-the-date.
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* Except for when the beau said, “I’d better go to the Tuesday market and get flowers.” And I asked why? And he said, “Because your family is coming, and it would be nice to have flowers out for them.”**

** OH MY GOD, he is going to kill me for posting that. I am as good as dead. Sorry. It was nice knowing you guys.

all i really need to know i learned from the hair lady

Ever since I met him, the beau didn’t like the way his hair was cut. They always hacked it too short, forcing his flowing curls into an unnatural box shape. For nearly five years, it went on like this. Finally I told him, look. Maybe you should try somewhere other than Supercuts. Maybe you should try my lady.

My lady. If there’s one lady we all need, it’s a hair lady. Preferably one who can do spot-on impersonations and dishes dirt like a champion. So I took the plunge and called to make appointments for each of us, the beau and I, back to back.

If there’s one thing I may never get used to in my upcoming marriage, it’s booking appointments for another person. The fact that here I was a woman scheduling a grooming appointment for a man added a whole new dimension of insecurity, for in such instances I tend to assume the person on the other end of the line assumes that I am a shrewish busybody who has taken full control of maintaining my partner’s appearance. Thank heavens for gender stereotypes, or else I might be naturally confident and balanced!

I didn’t have a plan when I dialed the phone number for the salon, which is never a good sign.

“HELLO!” I began briskly when the receptionist picked up. So far, so good. “I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A HAIRCUT FOR ME…” — at this point I suddenly realized I didn’t know what to call us, so I made a serious attempt to cover my tracks with aimless mumbling — “…and uh, me and my, uhhh, fiance.”

“What?” the receptionist asked.

Whywhywhy did you call him that? my brain shrieked silently.

“My fiance?” I inquired, timidly, like I wasn’t really sure and looking for some positive reinforcement.

“OK?” she ventured.

“For haircuts?” I volleyed back.

“Let me look at the schedule,” she said.

Yes. Please do that. Before I make this conversation even more awkward than it already is.

SUDDEN SHAMELESS WEDDING SIDEBAR: One of the very first wedding decisions I ever made, in fact the first wedding decision I made, was to hire my hair lady to fix my wedding hair, and to also fix the hair of my mother, the beau’s mother, and the brigadiers. This was way back in the wedding planning dark ages when we thought we were getting married in Monterey, even. After we settled on Santa Barbara, the fabled hair lady was the one who suggested we check out her caterer friend, who coincidentally lives a block down the street from us — and who also ended up actually being on our venue’s approved vendor list. Our caterer then, in turn, suggested we use his boyfriend as our DJ. So basically, hair lady is the genesis of our entire fucking wedding.

Anyway! For the record, the beau liked his new cut, and has accepted hair lady as his own. Since then, I have devised a plan. Now, when I call up the salon, I will ask to make hair appointments for “two people.” Because that’s who we are, right? Just two people. Plain folks, hangin’ out. No one person in control of the other. Except for, you know. The fact that I forced him to start coming to my hair lady.*

So I will keep on braving awkward phone conversations to schedule our haircuts together, especially because of our new routine. Now, after our appointments are done, we walk down the street to that one bar where the bartender has missing teeth and the back patio always smells like french fry grease and regret. We get a couple of drinks and toast our new looks. Because nothing says awesome like a fresh new ‘do.

I know this because the hair lady told me so.

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* Most likely by withholding sex.