Tag Archives: dear god why

in which planning does not occur in a vacuum

Hey. Hey there. Long time, uh, long time no write.

So I was digging around in the admin area of this blog recently (don’t ask) and came across this draft post from May of 2010. That… was a long time ago! But… it was practically a finished post! That I never got around to publishing! So that’s fun.

You know what’s even more fun than an unpublished post? A published post.

So here it is. Taking you back to the pre-bridal-shower days in three, two, one


My mom called me up the other day. She had some urgent bridal shower business to talk about. I put on my frowny face and readied myself for a serious discussion.1

Wanna know what we talked about? Are you sure? Get ready….

Plates.

“Maria,2” she said. “What about the dishes and utensils for the picnic lunch?”

“What about them?” I asked, dumbly.

“I am worried the plates you get won’t be heavy duty enough for the food,” she said.

“Uh…” I had no idea what to say to this.

“Because you don’t want the plates to start bending or folding from the weight of the food,” she explained.

“I can… I mean, I can make sure to get some heavy-duty ones,” I mumbled lamely, grasping at straws.

“But you don’t know what kind of food you’re having yet,” she reminded me, stridently. We had already established that she is Worried That I Haven’t Thought About The Food. And now the Plates. My God, will someone please think of the Plates?

Can I take a moment to point out that he bridal shower is over two months away.

plates
Okay, well maybe I would pay extra if the plates looked like THIS. // Image credit paperchase.co.uk via Pinterest

“Have you thought about the color of the napkins?”

Yes, mom. The color of the napkins will be black, in honor of my cynical shower-planning heart.

No, I have to confess, I haven’t thought about any of these bridal shower details. None of them. Not a whit. Because for some crazy reason I was convinced it was as simple as going down to the local Whole Foods, looking in the glass case, pointing out some nice-looking edibles, and paying for them. Then, I’d go and pick out some sturdy-looking plates, utensils, and napkins with an eye toward price, not color.  Then I’d take all my stuff home and put it out on tables at the bridal shower and everyone would dutifully chow down on the grub and proceed to throw away the hand-selected plastic kitchenware and then we’d all, somehow, some way, move on with our lives.

But not my mom. My mom has Thoughts. She has Worries. She has Issues. She has Plans.

Plans about Plates. Plate plans.

And you know what? Sometimes, you just have to play along. Because even though you and your partner are the only ones getting married, you’re not the only ones involved. And the people involved frequently have different priorities than you do.

Sometimes you have to let things go.

Sometimes, you just have to think of the plates.


1 My mother can detect mockery long-distance.

2 She calls me Maria sometimes. No, Maria is not my given name. I’ve learned in these situations that it’s best not to ask.

wait for it

We’d gone to bed the night before the wedding feeling broken and demoralized, and when I woke up around seven on the day of our wedding I felt… pretty much the same. The morning was wrapped in a thick layer of dismal grey clouds, and so was my mind. The incessant whine of the distant foghorn wasn’t helping my mood any. I got up, showered, and commenced packing all my necessary items in preparation for moving over to the beau’s parents’ rental house, where I’d be getting ready.

There had been no magical overnight transformation into a serene, blissed-out bride, as I’d halfheartedly hoped for. But you know what? Something happened that morning anyway, something I can’t put my finger on. No, that much-sought-after wave of joy never did pass over me, but at a certain point I just gave in to the flow of the day. There was no use worrying or trying to figure anything out anymore. I’d have time to sort out my emotions later. Right now, I was just going to focus on what was in front of me.

I’d set aside the chunk of time between 8:30 and noon to get myself ready, and I am happy to report that for the most part the morning meandered in a leisurely manner. There were doughnuts, bagels, fruit, and yogurt. There were mimosas. Our photographer came over for an hour, during which I quickly changed out of my street clothes for a brief photo session with my dress. My hair was done, but my face was bare and I didn’t bother with the undergarments — still, my aunt cried when she saw me with that dress on. I presented my brigadiers, mom, and (almost) mother-in-law with necklaces, and then it was my mom’s turn to cry. Overall, being forced to sit still and make conversation with my closest people helped distract my brain, which was otherwise singularly focused on reminding me that OMG I AM GETTING MARRIED TODAY AND PEOPLE WILL BE LOOKING AT ME.

It was a pleasant time while it lasted, but noon came around with a vengeance. I had to cut my makeup time short and rush to get dressed so I could make it in time to have lunch at home, where the beau had been getting ready with some of his groomsmen. It was a little surreal walking into a house full of guys with my wedding dress on, flopping down on the couch, and proceeding to check my email. The guys, however, were on their way out, leaving the beau and I alone for the first time with our full wedding regalia on. “Hello,” I said. “Hello,” he replied. We quickly arrived at the conclusion that each of us looked very nice, then stared at each other for a beat. “Here’s your sandwich,” he said, handing me a paper bag with my favorite combo: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and basil. I ate greedily, standing over the table so nothing landed on my dress, unceremoniously licking honey mustard off my fingers. In between bites we caught each other up on how our mornings had gone.

It was just like normal, but it wasn’t. We were us, but we were different.

You know, so much emphasis is typically placed on moments such as these. Standing as we were inside a life moment that arrives preprogrammed with heavily scripted meaning, it was refreshing to experience it on our own terms. There were no dramatic embraces, no tears, no special sense of this is it, we’ve finally arrived. For some, that won’t feel right. But for us, it was comforting. The beau and I are not especially romantic or sentimental people, so to spend those special few moments together on our wedding day inside our hideously cluttered home, casually stuffing our faces with sandwiches — that was the ultimate unplanned tribute to ourselves.

We couldn’t linger, though, because we had to meet one of our photographers at the courthouse at 1:00 p.m. for some pictures alone. At 2:00 we headed down to the Historical Museum to take the shots with our families. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much in my life, and I don’t mean that in a good way. By the time we finished the posed photos, guests were beginning to arrive. I flitted back and forth between the courtyard and our staging area — a room inside a historic building from which my brigadiers and I would make our entrances — greeting guests and touching up my makeup. Being able to say hello to folks as they came in and invite them to help themselves to a glass of champagne helped take my mind off the fact that the ceremony was quickly approaching — but not nearly for long enough.

At some point my anxiety finally crested so high that I sequestered myself in the staging room to calm down and go over my vows. I leaned against the wall and read them over and over again, trying to burn the words into my brain. I glanced up and locked eyes with my best lady. “Oh my god,” I said. “I’m going to die.”

And I almost hoped I would.

 

taken by my best lady

 

Soon enough, the coordinator poked his head in and said it was almost time to start. And just like that the tremors in my stomach became quakes. My mother tentatively approached the room and stood just outside the door. “It’s okay, you can come in, mom,” I called. “I didn’t want to bother you,” she said, “but I wanted to wish you luck and say I love you.” Her mouth worked as she came in for a hug and I had to blink fast to fight back the tears. I already felt like throwing up — the last thing I wanted to do was start bawling.

Much later, on the phone, my mom told me how scared I had seemed in those final moments before the wedding. “You looked just like a little girl,” she recalled, her voice tender.

The music started. The groomsmen had already filed out, and my brigadiers were now walking out one at a time; tethers slowly being released into the sky.

Now I was alone, and now it was my turn.

I took a deep breath, exhaled, and stepped outside.

*****

I imagine you can fill in the details from here. There was a ceremony, there were cocktails, there was dinner and dancing, and then later, an afterparty at a bar. A wedding script not unlike so many thousands of weddings that have come before.

And just like all the weddings that have come before, there were plenty of things that went wrong that day, of course, and plenty of disappointments. But this being my 200th post on this blog, it seems fitting that right now I should only focus on what went right. And so I present to you, in no particular order, a list of some of my favorite memories — with photo accompaniment! — from the wedding day and beyond.

  • Standing around in a circle with the wedding party right after the ceremony, slugging cherry bourbon from a flask.
  • Reading the Facebook comments and updates from our friends the day after, in which they talked about what an amazing wedding weekend they’d had.
  • Our dear friend Fabio’s über-dramatic reading of the Magnetic Fields’ “Love is Like a Bottle of Gin” during the ceremony.

  • Hearing my great aunt and uncle, whom I barely know, tell me during the reception that hey, times have changed and it’s okay if I don’t take my new husband’s last name.
  • All the times one of our friends said: “That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to.”
  • The groomsmen admitting that they almost lost it and started crying during the ceremony.
  • Spotting our caterer standing in his yard drinking wine straight from the bottle at 1:30 a.m. during our walk back home from the bar.
  • Hugging and talking to friends and family during the cocktail hour — and asking the coordinator to extend it because we were just having too good of a time for it to end.

  • Running up a row of tables high-fiving our guests during our grand entrance to Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.”
  • Coming up to the champagne table before the ceremony and having one of the catering staff ask me: “So, which one is the bride?”
  • Fabio getting temporarily left behind by his ride the morning after the wedding, because he was too distracted by talking to my parents.
  • How the fog rolled in during our first dance, then proceeded to roll right back out again for the rest of the night.

  • Looking down during the ceremony and noticing for the first time that our officiant wasn’t wearing any shoes.
  • The absolutely amazing butternut squash ravioli we had at dinner — and the raving compliments we received about it afterwards.
  • Sitting at the head table during dinner and looking around at our guests chatting and laughing, our wedding party next to us, the color of the flowers in the sun — just taking pictures and soaking it all in.

  • The beau’s brother pulling me aside during the cocktail hour and telling me how amazingly personal and meaningful our ceremony had been.
  • Ugly-dancing like a spastic fool during “The Humpty Dance.”
  • All the toasts and cheers. Of course.

  • The praise we got for our signature drink — the Ginger Rogers — for which the beau had infused the liquor himself.
  • Hearing from all the people who were touched by the ring-warming during the ceremony.
  • Seeing how many people enthusiastically donned the props we put out for our guestbook photos.

  • Watching two families come together on Thursday afternoon before the wedding when my parents, the beau’s parents and brother, and the beau and I hung out for the first time on our front porch, having drinks and gluing dessert plates.
  • Getting out of the shower the morning after the wedding to find the living room crammed with dozens of pals who’d dropped in on their way out of town to give us hugs and wish us well.
  • Inadvertently making the guests crack up during the ceremony.

  • Catching my uncle stuffing his suit pockets with cookies from our dessert buffet.
  • Packing for the honeymoon on Sunday afternoon.
  • How our DJ actually played all 18 minutes of the epic punk NOFX song “The Decline” towards the end of the night — and how our friends stood in a circle in the dance floor for those entire 18 minutes, shouting every word of the lyrics in unison.

And that? That, my friends, is good enough.

________________________________________________________

All photos in this post, except for the first one, taken by Aaron Rosenblatt.

 

Aaron and my one of my best ladies.

 

good bad ugly

The last few months before the wedding were about treading water. What needs to be done right now? Okay, we’ll focus on that.

The week before the wedding took this approach and amplified it to 150 decibels. The beau and I were runaway trains hurtling off the trestle, hanging suspended inside the deep blue sky for one long moment before plummeting down to the rock. You know, if you’re into using divergent metaphors at will like that. But that’s kind of what it felt like for me: free fall. A very loud, disconcerting free fall.

I’m going to tell you all about my free fall. And, you know, I’m not particularly well-known for my brevity, but this is a long one even by my standards. Which is to say: you may not be ready for an essay of this proportion.

Or? Maybe you are.

*****

The real descent into insanity began when our parents and one of my brigadiers arrived on Thursday before the wedding. At the time I likened it to the sensation of walking out of a darkened movie theater into the blinding light of day. I mean, I’d known all along our family and friends were coming, but I thought that was all happening at some later, unspecified date. Why were they here now? Huh? Did wedding planning really destroy so many of my IQ points that I was suddenly unable to grasp the basic concept of cause and effect?

I’d just begun coming to terms with the fact that our guests were actually on their way when the real world kicked in the door on Friday morning. Whether I was ready or not, the wedding was practically here, and I couldn’t just stand around sorting out my emotions. It was go time.

We kicked off our last day of singlehood with an early-morning trip to the farmer’s market to pick up the flowers, and then we headed to a park. The beau had packed a battery-powered MP3 player, and the plan was to finally practice our first dance — we hadn’t yet, because there was no room in the house. We found an empty tennis court in one corner of the park and commenced stumbling around awkwardly. It wasn’t as peaceful as it sounds — we often found ourselves fighting off the urge to throttle each other — but in retrospect I’m glad we had that time. Outside of the occasional intrusion by gawking blue-haired old ladies walking their poodles, that was the only quiet time we had to ourselves that day. Then, my dad interrupted our reverie with a phone call and oh shit, it was already 9:45? Holy crap, we had to move.

By the time I got out of the shower, some of our friends had shown up at our house. Then more, and then more. There were people in the kitchen making guacamole. There were people on our porch arranging flowers in vases. Don’t get me wrong: I loved that our friends came over, largely unasked, to hang out and pitch in. But I also felt torn between all my different impulses to be a hostess, a friend, and a bride. I wanted to get people drinks and food, I wanted to sit down and catch up, I wanted to take care of all the looming tasks we still had yet to do. Moreover, I was starting to feel a low-grade anxiety about my appearance, which I hadn’t yet had an opportunity to care for. After some hemming and hawing, I decided to tag along with one of my brigadiers to an appointment she had at a nail salon so that I could get a manicure and a pedicure.

This is when I fell into a wormhole. That’s the only plausible theory that can account for the fact that somewhere around here time went missing. All I remember is sitting in a vibrating chair, gazing up at a closed-captioned show on Animal Planet while some dude wearing a mask rubbed my feet, and all of a sudden it was two hours later and I was rushing back home with my brand-new manicure already scuffed. There was only half an hour left until the rehearsal and the house was absolute chaos. Some friends had left, and new ones had shown up. We’d run out of flowers and one of the groomsmen had run to Trader Joe’s and pick up some more. Other pals were in the living room folding dessert label cards and putting signs into frames. Holy crap. Holy crap.

In the midst of my breathless dash, I spotted my paycheck from work lying on the table and immediately shrieked, snatched it up, and held it over my head as I made a spontaneous celebratory parade around the living room. Finally! This was the check I’d been waiting for all week! This was the check that was going to help pay off our vendors, and pay for our honeymoon! I ripped it open (as gingerly as possible, given the state of my fingernails) and the grin on my face immediately disappeared. This check was for $320. I’d been expecting $2,000.

I burst into tears.

I double-checked the invoice I’d submitted and, yeah. It was totally my fault. In my wedding-induced brain haze I’d accidentally submitted an invoice for a freelancing gig to my full-time gig. Of course they only cut me a check for $320. I only billed them $320. Of course.

So then I had to explain why I was crying to a houseful of people. This included a groomsman’s new girlfriend, whom I’d never before met, and who was probably thinking I was absolutely batshit insane, just like all the wedding advertisements had warned. A friend handed me a vodka drink, which I downed quickly. It was now five minutes until the rehearsal. Everyone was leaving. I didn’t know what to do. There was nothing to do. My company couldn’t cut me a check on a Friday afternoon and deliver it to me by Sunday. We’d have to figure something out later. For now, I just had to move on.

The rehearsal whipped by like a fevered dream. All I remember was one of the groomsmen semi-arguing with our coordinator about how the entrance should go, and the coordinator and DJ ever-so-subtly sniping at each other during the practice — they had recently broken up with each other and it clearly hadn’t been amiable. I silently cringed upon hearing our entrance songs — songs the beau and I had previously chosen and listened to in private — played aloud in front of a small crowd of people. We stayed afterwards to go through a ceremony reading with our officiant, then rushed back home to pick up the rest of the items for the welcome BBQ. The house was empty save for the aforementioned groomsman’s new girlfriend, who was sitting on our couch reading a book. We’d had no idea she’d even been stuck there alone, and I was appropriately mortified. But she’d finished up the rest of the flowers and packed them in boxes while we were gone. By herself. Just hanging out. She’d known us for all of an afternoon, and had happily finished off our flower arrangements for us.

And this is how it came to be that I didn’t arrange one single vase of flowers. Not one. The kindness of our friends (and one then-stranger) had made it happen. Now that, folks, is wedding magic. I was grateful, but I barely had time to marvel at the beauty of this gesture. We were already late for the goddamned BBQ. Just before we got into the car, I caught sight of the beau’s shellshocked face. I put my hands on his shoulders. “We’re almost there,” I said. “Everything is mostly done. We can finally just chill and hang out with everybody.”

Um. No.

There was already a crowd of people standing around when we arrived at our picnic site beside the ocean. The beau and I rushed around unloading items and setting up, but we could only do so much without the charcoal and alcohol, which some friends had promised to bring with them. Food and drink are the great people uniters, and their absence was keenly felt. I kept getting pulled aside and introduced to new folks from the beau’s side of family, or reunited with people I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I tried to smile as big as I possibly could, and make the least awkward conversation possible, but the whole time my eyes were darting around the picnic area. The booze still wasn’t there? Nobody was mingling? My grandpa was off by himself? Oh, god. Oh, god. Where were the guys? We needed to start the grill. We needed to put out the appetizers. Oh, shit.

Finally, our friends arrived with the goods. The party slowly started to creak to life, just as the fog abruptly rolled in and settled its damp chill over us. Okay, I can deal with this, I thought. It would have been nice for our out-of-town guests to have a classic sunset view of the mountains and the ocean, but the weather cannot be controlled. But then the sangria ran out within the first half hour. And our two backup bottles of wine were drunk in an instant. And the keg was already running low, and we hadn’t even eaten yet. Did I need to send someone out to for more? Who was even sober enough? Hey, the guacamole was already gone, too! Was I unintentionally ignoring anyone? Oh god, my great aunt and uncle had come all the way from Michigan and I’d barely spoken to them yet. And, wait — was it already getting dark? Shit. We didn’t have any candles or lanterns. How was anyone going to see to eat? People were standing with their arms clamped to their sides, freezing. And where were the desserts? How was anybody going to know there were desserts? Oh god. Oh, god. The BBQ was turning into an utter disaster.

And then, for the second time that day, I burst into tears. Only this time I couldn’t stop. I stumbled over to the fence at the top of the bluff and laced my fingers through the chain link mesh. I stared out into the oppressive wall of fog and then down at the black sea crashing over the rocks, and I sobbed. I just fucking sobbed. There was no helping it. The beau soon wandered over from his station at the grill to see about me, and I told him to go away. I didn’t want any of this. Everything was wrong and I was helpless to fix it, but more than that, I was angry at myself for not just enjoying it. This wasn’t supposed to be happening like this. I wasn’t supposed to be feeling like this, but I couldn’t stop.

Later, two of my brigadiers sat next to me on a picnic bench, silently comforting me. My mom brushed my hair back from my face and deflected her sisters away from me — “She needs a moment right now.” At some point, my dad asked me to go on a little walk with him. “Look at that,” he said, gesturing back to the party. “Everyone is having a really great time. You wouldn’t believe what people were saying to me all night — you two are really well-loved. You are just surrounded by love.” There was a note of wonder and pride in his voice, but when I looked out at the shapes of my family and friends moving around in the darkness, all I could see were my own failures. I stood there snuffling for a few moments, worrying tiny holes in the damp, crumpled paper towel I’d been using as a tissue. “Okay,” I said.

Okay.

Somehow, while I was floundering inside the dismal recesses of my mind, the picnic site got cleaned up. Two lanterns magically appeared — I learned much, much later that a friend had run back to her house to get them — and everyone lent a hand. Our families headed to their hotels, our friends headed to the bar, and the beau and I headed home. It was already 8:30, and now, we could finally rest.

Well… yeah, not so much. We had to unload the car with the BBQ stuff so that we could load our wedding supplies inside of it to take to the venue the next morning. All of the platters, bowls, and serving utensils from the BBQ had to be washed, which really did my manicure in. We had to organize and label all of our boxes of stuff so that the coordinator knew what was what. There was also the matter of cleaning up the front porch, which was absolutely littered with flower stems, clippings, and tools. Oh, and I still had to box and wrap the gifts for my brigadiers, my mom, and the beau’s mom.

We didn’t go to bed until 1:00am.

And that was how our wedding day began: the beau passed out on the couch, and me bent over some wrapping paper on the floor, cursing my aching back. We were stressed, confused, and absolutely spent.

*****

I said it before, up there somewhere: I hadn’t wanted it to happen like that. I’d wanted it to be more meaningful and significant. Somehow there was this idea in my mind that in those final days, I’d have a specific feeling. A special feeling. Not zen, of course, and not perfection — I’d already come to grips that those two things were well beyond reach. I’d imagined, though, that I’d feel some sense of closure. Something that said to me — aha! — so this is what it feels like to be getting married.

That feeling wasn’t in my cards. The most disconcerting thing about that last day was the sense that I was trying to grasp at sand even as it slipped through my fingers. Despite being emotionally ready for months, and despite all the reflection I had done prior to the wedding, when time began counting right down to zero hour I wasn’t prepared for anything. I wanted it all to stop; I needed to regroup. I just wanted to sit down and think.

Of course, that didn’t happen.

And I won’t lie: I felt like I kinda got robbed on that.

For a long time, I believed it was totally unfair. But I’d planned! I’d thought all the right thoughts! I’d focused on the upcoming marriage, and not the pretty frippery of the event! I knew things would go sideways, and I knew I would feel stressed. But maybe deep down, I’d still hoped for better. Maybe I thought that if I recited over and over that my wedding would be messy, imperfect, and zenless, I’d somehow be granted immunity to the badness and ugliness. I’d rise completely above them, so to speak.

So yeah: the badness and ugliness completely knocked me on my ass.

But. Five weeks later, I’ve finally given myself permission to have had this experience. You know what? That day sucked, but it is mine to own. And besides. If you look hard enough at the cracks, you can see the beauty that had sprouted in there.

And I promise: by the time the wedding was over, that beauty had grown sky-high.

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.

_____________________________________________

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

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!

it’s too late to change your mind

The searching, I think, is the single worst part of wedding planning.

Searching for wedding stuff seems like — from the outset, at least — tangible progress. It’s a necessary means to a specific end. But, ah, searching is not the same as finding. For I can spend the better part of a day looking for something, and not actually have it by the end of that day. And I won’t necessarily have it by the end of the following day, either.

Look, I like to try to be funny, and 96.793% of humor is exaggeration. Maybe I am lying to you when I say that I arrived at that number via extensive scientific research. But I am not lying, for once, when I say that the vast majority of items left on our wedding task list involve searching. I need to find gifts for my wedding party, for example. I need to acquire undergarments, lest I inadvertently shock our unsuspecting wedding guests. I need to find shoes, lest my poor bare feet be trampled by someone’s stilettos on the dance floor. I need about 30 more vases. I need to procure candles. Wedding jewelry. Cheap frames in which to display the table assignments. Cake plates for dessert display. Serving utensils for the welcome picnic. Miniature clothespins. The infernal hairpiece. That’s not even the whole list, but you get the picture.

Each time I come back to it, this all seems entirely manageable. I look over my list and I genuinely believe, somehow, that I can get all of this done within an hour, maybe an hour and a half, tops. I mean, all I have to do is find things I like on the internet, and then buy them, right? So I set to work. I click, and click, and click. I press CMD+T to open new tabs like a pro. I conduct new searches while simultaneously managing old searches. I do side-by-side-by-side-by-side comparisons. I search the shit out of the internet. If there was an award for internet prowess, I would nominate myself. And win. And yet? By the end of the day, I have maybe narrowed down my search for one of the aforementioned items to about a half-dozen options, and I haven’t even started on any of the other items. Haven’t. Even. Started on them.

Okay, crazy lady, you are saying. You’re taking this way too seriously. Just find something and buy it, for chrissake. Anything! Whatever! As long as it works, just get it and move on, woman. DAMN. You are freaking me out with your overly dramatic take on internet shopping. Wait… or maybe this is me saying this to myself. Because trust me, I am completely over the search for wedding supplies. I want to just have it all already, jammed inside my tiny house in haphazard piles that I continually trip over (future blog post spoiler alert!). But it’s simply not that easy. Take, for example, my search for a ceremony processional song. Which is not an actual object I can trip over inside of my house, but STAY WITH ME HERE. There are so many aspects to consider when choosing a song. Tempo, for one: is the song set at an improper pace? Too fast, and the beau and I will end up sprinting towards the officiant. Mood: is the song too somber or too peppy for its context? Lyrics: does the song in question contain lines about raiding a friend’s parents’ liquor cabinet while they were away on vacation? Because my original processional song choice did, and despite my liberal attitude regarding song meanings at weddings, I struggled to see how that would set the right tone for the ceremony.* No wonder this particular search effort dragged on for several days.

If we take that search process and apply it to any other actual item on my list, similar attention to details must follow. Is the object appropriate for its ultimate use? Does it need to “match” any other wedding stuff, and if so, in what way? Is it the cheapest option out there? Is size an issue, and if so, what are the required dimensions? And so on. It’s enough to make your head spin. Trust me, I am all for making snap decisions and moving on. I just don’t want them to be the wrong decisions, because that would just generate even more work on my part. So every point requires careful contemplation.

AND YET.

I must remain vigilant. I must police my mind regularly for any sign of weakness because, as with every aspect of wedding planning, the search lies malevolently in wait for just the right moment to leap out and sucker-punch me in the gut. A moment, for instance, such as this: I was on Etsy, searching for some metal marquee letters. DON’T ASK ME WHY.** I actually found some that would work within the price I wanted to pay, and purchased them. All within span of a lunch break. I know, right? I felt powerful. For once, the search was working with me, and not against me! And then. Not 43 seconds after I paid for the damn things, the smugness abruptly faded and was replaced by panic. OH MY GOD, some insufferable part of my brain shrieked at me in horror. Those letters are midcentury modern, and the venue is Spanish-Moorish! None of it works together! I made a horrible mistake!

This is the dirty side of searching. The side that’s full of doubt and second-guessing. This is the part you must fight tooth and nail, because really. Who the eff is going to notice any of the things you have so painstakingly collected over the past several months? And of those people who do notice, who is going to care? Here we’re erecting all these tiny monuments to our unique snowflake personalities at our weddings, and they will matter to no one but ourselves. That’s a hard fact that’s even harder to let go, because all these choices we make feel so intensely personal. It boggles my mind that there was once a time, for example, when there weren’t 2,498 ring options to scroll through online. There was pretty much, you know. Just one. You got a plain band, a goat if you were lucky, and then you got to go have seventeen children. Not anymore.*** But that’s the plight of consumerism, right? Navigating the minefield of options to choose one that reflects you as an individual. But I think the real lesson we can all take away here is that — ooh, look! These candles come in mulberry! Oh, but I can also get them in cottonwood. That might look better. Wait, what’s the actual color difference between cottonwood and linen? Should we mix and match different colors? Do I need tealights or votives? The short votive or the tall votive? And the reception is outside, what if it’s windy that day? Maybe I should get really tall glass votives to protect the candles at the bottom from blowing out? Hold up, these tall ones cost how much?

Oh, shit.

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* Tangential detail you are entirely uninterested in: we ended up solving this matter by cutting these lyrics out and just looping the instrumental part of the song, but then the DJ informed us we needed to pick a song for just me and the beau to walk in to. So, the goddamn search began anew. HOORAY.

** The wedding made me do it.

*** Praise be.

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!

in which homey don’t play that

I don’t know what it is about a wedding day that makes the simplest of tasks suddenly seem like landing the space shuttle on a skyscraper in a hailstorm while eating two jelly rolls. And smoking a cigarette.*

Take personal grooming, for instance. On a typical morning I shower, dress, apply some deodorant, brush my hair, put on some makeup, and cry into my coffee** before heading off to work. But on my wedding day these small, manageable habits inexplicably require mountains of effort and planning which must be agonized over for months in advance. It’s not just the same daily routine anymore, no. When you get married it’s SHOWER. DRESS. DEODORANT. HAIR. MAKEUP. CRY. WORK. Yeah, I trotted out the boldface and italics. I am already fatigued just typing about it.

Hair and makeup, in particular, have eaten up an ever-increasing amount of my brainspace since the day the beau and I got engaged. Part of the problem is that they need to stand up to any number of situations and occurrences that might not normally occur on the other, more pedestrian days of the year. Will my photographer be making me leap up off the ground repeatedly in an attempt to capture that classic, vaunted “wedding party suspended in the air” shot?*** Well, my hair and makeup must be prepared for that. My hair and makeup must be ready for shoulder-heaving ugly cries, freak gusts of wind, wayward streams of champagne, and sweaty moves on the dancefloor. They must defy gravity and outlast the cruel hand of time. They must be able to withstand the most righteous of stares from the most judgmental of people. In short, the wedding day is like my hair and makeup’s version of the bar exam, with significantly fewer discussions regarding tort reform.

Then there’s the part where you have to smell good during the entire wedding day. This became a substantial source of anxiety for me recently when my underarms suddenly broke out in an itchy rash. For a few terrifying days, I thought I might have to cease spritzing lemon furniture polish all over my body for that classic post-shower sheen. How relieved I was to finally discover that my deodorant was actually the culprit. That day the beau was going grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, so I had him pick up some new deodorant for me there. What he came back with was Tom’s of Maine Unscented Original Natural Care. “Here,” he said, nonchalantly tossing the stick at me on the couch. “Here’s your hippie deodorant.”

Hippie deodorant, psssht. I was delighted to learn that Tom’s active anti-odor ingredient is hops extract, and as a consequence I fondly began to think of it as my “beer deodorant.” Unfortunately, its efficacy level is equivalent to actually rubbing my armpits with beer every morning, minus the added benefit of smelling like a brewery.**** Activities that I never thought it possible to sweat from, such as clicking hyperlinks in my browser window, are now making me want to stuff toilet paper in my armpits just to absorb the excess moisture. I’ve taken to holding my arms away from my body as much as possible, in hopes that an errant breeze will sweep through my clothing and maybe dry things off up in there. Lately, my body language constantly screams HELLO! I am casually hanging around with my elbows thrust out jauntily because HAVEN’T YOU HEARD the akimbo look is all the rage?*****

At any other time of my life, this would be just another mildly embarrassing anecdote posted on the internet in a halfhearted attempt to amuse strangers. But the other day I suddenly realized that oh yeah, I have this wedding thing that is fast approaching, and JESUS MARY I need to sort this deodorant issue out right now. Because I can see it all now: Instead of being remembered as the “I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY DIDN’T SERVE US CAKE” wedding, our guests will gleefully recount stories of the “B.O. BRIDE.” Friends, I am not having that.

So. With six weeks left until the big day, it’s desperation time for all the little details. How do I find a deodorant that works really, really well, without causing my armpits to raise up in giant, red welts? Where do I get makeup that doesn’t slide off of my face the minute I step outside to greet my guests, and how exactly do I apply it? What’s going on with my hair? Where do I find shoes to wear that aren’t ugly or uncomfortable? What about crying? Is there a way I can inhibit my tear ducts for that day and that day only? What about all the damned work it takes to put on a wedding? Whose responsibility is that? Surely not mine, right? Can I get a nap? Can I get a witness?

This stuff is as incomprehensible as rocket science. How did you guys figure it all out? Holler?

_______________________________________________________

* I’m sorry, but I think I’m legally obligated to cite Kids in the Hall’s Mississippi Gary: “Smokin’ on a night train, chewin’ on a jelly roll.”

** What? Maybe I like my coffee salty.

*** No.

**** I knew there was a damn good reason I was offered that promotion.

***** IT TOTALLY IS:

regrets, i’ve had a few

I’m a lazy bride. And I’m not just talking about the fact that I’d rather rent burlap table runners than make my own.

I don’t so much actively seek out our vendors as I trip and fall into them. Our photographer? Was the first person I emailed after seeing her work on a website. Our caterer? Was recommended by my hair lady and was on the list of venue-approved vendors. Our DJ? Was within our budget and is dating our caterer. We didn’t bother doing interview after interview or obtaining quote after quote. Things just sort of haphazardly fell into place.

I’m not saying we went around signing contracts blindly, of course. We met with each of our vendors first, got a feel for who they are and what they do, and made our decisions based on our gut feelings. And so far, the serendipitous approach has worked out fairly well for us. We’ve allowed ourselves to be one with the universe and let the karma flow freely and the chakras do… things. Or whatever. My point is that our relationships with our vendors have by and large been pure rainbow-studded, greased-lens, sunshine-meadowed bliss.

But.

We met briefly with the DJ today, and the resulting conversation was fascinating. He made a scrunched-nose face when I mentioned walking in to the same song our wedding party walks in to, because OK, that’s weird, right?* He made a joke about how I put everything that everybody likes to listen to on the do-not-play list. When I lamely protested that all I remembered banning was John Mayer and Jack Johnson,** he was like, yeah, exactly. And specific preferences aside, I had intended to hire a vendor who could at least semi-appreciate our musical tastes. Someone who could see through to our souls. Does that kind of vendor even exist, or is that just the wedding industry warping my expectations again?

Friends, I am scared. I am scared that I effed this one up big time. The music was one of the wedding things that was important to me, because music is important to me. And now I’m like oh holy shit, our wedding music is going to suck and it’s all my fault because I didn’t try to find the right vendor hard enough and now I can’t take it back because I already paid the deposit and he’s dating my caterer and that would be entirely awkward and I’m not good at breaking up with people in the first place and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

[sharp sucking in of breath]

I don’t know why I’m unloading this here. I feel like it’s, regrettably, a bit too late to go scrambling around trying to find a new DJ – not to mention that I’d worry our caterer would maybe spit in our food out of spite. My only hope right now is to schedule a meeting with him again and attempt to establish a common ground and a nice friendly rapport. Maybe get him to see where we’re coming from; get him on our side. Maybe that will help assuage my troubled mind? Then I can go back to all meadows and chakras and rainbows, all the time.

Have any of you experienced vendor remorse? Did you act on it?

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* Apparently the bride walks in to a special, different song? This is the way it’s done, I hear.

** I also banned “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, because I clearly have no taste.

fun with printers, or how to lose and regain your mind in just a few short days

We have a friend.* I’ll call him Dewey.** Dewey is a visual artist. Dewey owns a fancy printer. “You should come over and print photos on my printer!” he used to tell us enthusiastically, and repeatedly. Then after we got engaged, it turned into: “You should come over and print your wedding stuff on my printer!”

Fine, Dewey. You convinced us. Saves us from having to pay to print our invitations and RSVP cards, right? And so recently we commenced Project Printington: The Printness. What follows is the project’s trip report.

ROUND ONE

We pack up our preordered paper supplies and booze and head to Dewey’s house. Look out kids, WE ARE ABOUT TO PRINT SOME SHIT.

6:30 pm: We’ve arrived. This is going to be fun!
6:51 pm: Install printer driver.
7:05 pm: Test print!
7:06 pm: No? No test print? You want me to download a driver update first? Eyeroll.
7:29 pm: WOOOO! Finally! Test print!!!!
7:32 pm: Hmmm, the color is off.
7:37 pm: Adjust color.
7:44 pm: Adjust color again.
7:49 pm: Wait, why are there lines running through the text?
7:52 pm: Clean print heads.
7:54 pm: Um, it came out sideways. And there are STILL lines.
7:56 pm: Adjust color.
8:02 pm: THIS IS SIDEWAYS.
8:06 pm: THIS IS SIDEWAYS, TOO.
8:07 pm: How the #@*% does this thing work?
8:13 pm: Fine. There’s nothing we can do about the lines. Yeah, okay, you can only see them if you look really close. I know nobody is going to look that close. Let’s just do this thing already.
8:14 pm: Send batch of ten to print!
8:28 pm: BURRITO. MORE BOOZE. It’s a celebration, bitches.
8:35 pm: Another batch of ten! We’re rolling!
8:54 pm: Okay, next batch of ten. Printing slowly. Ever. So. Slowly.
9:12 pm: Wait, these ones are coming out super streaky.
9:17 pm: Clean print heads.
9:24 pm: Ooh! Better! Let’s do another ten!
9:41 pm: #$@&*$ LINES.
9:49 pm: Clean print heads.
10:07 pm: MORE. #$@&*$. LINES.
10:28 pm: Admit defeat. 24 more invitations need to be printed, not to mention all of the RSVP cards. Plan to regroup tomorrow. Maybe the ink just needs to be replaced?
10:36 pm: Home. Feel dejected. Eat ice cream bar in hopes that it will solve all of my problems.
11:11 pm: Problems apparently still exist. Screw you, ice cream bar.

ROUND TWO

Hey! Maybe I can print the rest of the invitations at work! And the RSVP cards too! In the middle of the day, without anyone finding out!

12:23 pm: Printer error.
12:37 pm: Printer error.
12:50 pm: Printer error.
12:51 pm: $%@* !&#$%!@*&#@!$*#@!&*%$@*&#@!$
12:58 pm: Printer error.
12:59 pm: [redacted]

ROUND THREE

Back to Dewey’s house, sans beau. He has rugby practice. Printer, I shall battle you alone. And boozeless.

5:57 pm: Printer has brand new ink. Print heads have been cleaned. Prepare to submit to my will.
6:02 pm: Test print. Okay. Not perfect, but not bad. Let’s roll.
6:20 pm: First round of ten done!
6:44 pm: Second round of ten done!
7:03 pm: Third rou… wait, there are more lines than EVER. On ALL of these.
7:06 pm: Clean print heads.
7:12 pm: Now the lines are multicolored! It’s like they are all having sex and giving birth to little baby rainbow lines!
7:16 pm:  Okay. Maybe it’s just tired. Maybe the printer is revolting against its suffocating lot in life. Let’s change it up by test-printing an RSVP card.
7:25 pm: Sob.
7:31 pm: Wail.
7:35 pm: Give up. Pack up. You win, printer. So long, you miserable bastard.

ROUND FOUR

Duck out of work and go to the local copy shop.

2:34 pm: Check out available paper. Choose one.
2:42 pm: Hand over PDF files.

*** next day ***

12:10 pm: Check proof at shop.
12:12 pm: Hmm. Color is way off. Can it be adjusted?
12:13 pm: Do I wanna come back and look at a new proof? No. You know what? Just do what you can. At this point you could change it from teal and yellow to red and purple and I would probably just shrug.

*** next day ***

11:20 am: Fork over $79.
11:22 am: Leave with invitations and RSVP cards.
6:47 pm: Assemble invitations, RSVP cards, stamps.

*** next day ***

7:59 am: Deliver finished envelopes to post office.

SO. After being a week late getting out the invitations, we managed not only to extend the lateness several more days with our printer woes, but to also pay more for our troubles. What a privileged bunch of jerks we are.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  1. Start earlier.***
  2. Don’t trust a fancy printer.
  3. Be suspicious of people named Dewey.
  4. The color on the screen will never look remotely like the color on the paper.
  5. Ice cream doesn’t solve anything, but I will continue to eat it anyway.

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* Shocking, I know.

** I’ve begun watching syndicated episodes of Malcom in the Middle at the gym every morning. Sue me.

*** Story. Of. My. Effing. Life.