Tag Archives: done

so long and thanks for all the shoes

Well, that’s it.

I started this blog on July 11, 2009, and I’m ending it today, January 11, 2011. One and a half years. 213 posts. That’s a long time to spend talking about my wedding, and I think I’ve finally said all I need to say.

I kept blogging here even after our wedding back in September, because I didn’t want to just disappear. After all that planning and effort, I wanted to share with you what I felt went wrong and what went right about that day. It hasn’t been that easy — I had to sort through some challenging emotions and negative thoughts in the weeks after we got hitched. But then a remarkable thing happened, somewhere around two months into marriage: I stopped caring about the wedding anymore.

Can I tell you how liberating this is? The beau and I spent well over a year of our lives in the wedding trenches. Even longer for me, if you count those months before we got engaged when I secretly began trolling wedding blogs. Point is, for a long time the wedding was perpetually on our minds and constantly filling our to-do lists. It was a force. An entity. It was like an annoying roommate who kept odd hours and made unreasonable demands and never washed the dishes or chipped in for the cable bill. This stultifying living situation was normal, somehow, until one day the roommate finally moved out and you slowly came to realize that you could turn up the T.V. and stomp all over the floors and invite your friends over for a party again. All the stuff you were missing is back!

What I’m saying to all of you who are still in the planning stages is that it gets better. One day, you will not have to think about weddings anymore. You will not care about weddings anymore. You won’t even really care about yours! You’ll be like, “Whatever, that happened forever ago. These days I’m just preoccupied with what’s for lunch.” Which is kind of a lie because you’ve always been preoccupied with what’s for lunch, but that’s okay because your nearest and dearest are already familiar with your tendency to stretch the truth and they’ve already forgiven you for it. And then you’ll hold down the (+) volume button on your television remote until that sucker goes up to 48, and you’ll put on your heaviest boots and clomp around the wooden floors for a while just because you can. Freedom, baby!

My freedom has come. In fact, it’s long overdue. It’s been increasingly painful for me to write about my wedding for the past several weeks — assembling yesterday’s post about our clothes made me want to stab my eyes out with a barbecue fork — because I just don’t want to dwell on it anymore, and I cannot fathom that anyone else could be remotely interested at this point. So it’s done. My plan for a post-wedding review has been fully executed. The plug is now being pulled.

I’m keeping this blog up, but I won’t be posting new entries here anymore. Any interested parties can continue to follow me over at Another Damn Life, where I’m writing about… life. And doughnuts, sometimes. If you can imagine.

This is kind of pathetic for me to admit, but as I compose this I’m actually getting a little teary. I’ve watched this blog go from getting 0 comments on each post to sometimes getting upwards of 30. I’ve gotten to know you through your comments and then through your own blogs. I’ve already met some of you in person, and I know I’ll continue to meet more of you in the future. I never realized just how much I could connect with others over the struggles of planning a wedding. I never realized how much that connection would come to mean to me.

So from me, to you:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.



Photos by Christina Richards.

our ceremony

One of the hardest things we did for the wedding was write our own ceremony. It seemed like such a monumental task — even bigger than choosing the venue, or the ordeal of making the invitations — because it was solely about the relationship between us. What did we want to say? What kind of meaning did we want to inject?

Thankfully, we had resources. I started by turning to wedding bloggers who’d gone before — The Thirty-Something Bride, A Cupcake Wedding, 2000 Dollar Wedding, Weddingbee’s Kat & Justin, Peonies and Polaroids, Ariel and Andreas of Offbeat Bride, and IndieBride’s massive vows thread. I copied and pasted anything that resonated with me into a Word document, and then I began to work through it with the beau. We identified what was important to us, then edited, revised, rewrote, and wrote anew.

Partial plagiarism? Sure. Our final script borrowed liberally from the folks above. But when you’re writing your own ceremony, you need parameters. You need raw source material. I couldn’t have done it without other bloggers, and I’m forever indebted to them. So I thought I’d pay some of that debt back by posting our entire ceremony here.

The words below are the result of a collaboration between me and the beau; our officiant, Randall; and the wedding community at large. Some of the passages — such as the first few paragraphs under Marriage Address — are my own words. Others — such as the Ring Intro — are definitely not. Still, if this proves helpful to even just one person, the sharing was more than worth it.

Oh, and I sprinkled the post liberally with photographs by Christina Richards, too — they’re so pretty, I couldn’t resist.

Historic site sign outside the museum.
The sleepy son of one of our groomsmen.
Guests mingling before the ceremony.

Yeah, we broke out the champs!
The groomsmen.



Randall [shaking fist]: The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh — oh, that was last weekend.

Randall breaks the ice and calms our nerves with humor.

Randall: Welcome, friends and family! Today we celebrate the best of what it means to be human. Today we celebrate love.

You were invited here to share this moment with Beau and Lyn because you are the people who mean the most to them. The understanding and mutual respect that they bring to their lives together had its roots in the love, friendship, and guidance you have given them. You are their community. They are honored to have you here.


Randall: During this ceremony Lyn and Beau will exchange rings. These rings are visible signs of their commitment to one another.

As this ceremony proceeds we ask that you, Beau and Lyn’s community, take part in the warming of the rings. As each of you receives the rings, we ask that you take a moment to wish them health, happiness, and a meaningful life together before passing them on to the next person. When these rings come back to them, they will contain that which is priceless: your love, hope, and spirit.


Passing the rings.



Randall: Lyn and Beau would like to thank each of you for being with them today. They know that making the journey took considerable effort for a good many of you and for this they are deeply grateful. Although many of you don’t live right around the corner, you are never far from their hearts. You’ve shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. A marriage needs the help of a community, of friends and family who will be there to stand by the couple during hard times and during happy times. Each and every person here today will witness the words that they will speak to one another and the vows that they will make. May we always do all within our power to support the union that will be made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom we love.



Passing out the champagne to the wedding party.

Randall: If you’re willing to support the marriage between Lyn and Beau, I’d like to ask you to take your glass, if you have one, and raise it in honor of your pledge. To Beau and Lyn!


[wedding party leads crowd in claps and cheers]

Randall: On this happy and joyous day, Beau and Lyn would also like to remember those who are not here with us, particularly Anna, Lyn’s grandmother; and Hi and Lois and Irene and Albert, Beau’s grandparents. Their losses are deeply felt and their spirits are missed. Lyn and Beau would have been proud to have shared this day with them.

[pause briefly]


Randall: As we celebrate marriage today, we’d also like to recognize those of us who cannot, by law, take this step. Beau and Lyn believe that everyone deserves the right to marry, and the emotional benefits and legal protections that come from it. In a just world, we will all be free to make lawful, lifetime commitments. Hopefully, that day will come soon.


At this time, Beau and Lyn would like to invite Zack and Fabio to come up and give two readings they have selected. Please continue passing the rings.


An excerpt from the 1965 novel “Stoner” by John Williams

Zack: In his extreme youth, William Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.



The lyrics to the song “Love is Like a Bottle of Gin” by the Magnetic Fields

Fabio: It makes you blind, it does you in
It makes you think you’re pretty tough
It makes you prone to crime and sin
It makes you say things off the cuff
It’s very small and made of glass
and grossly over-advertised
It turns a genius to an ass
and makes a fool think he is wise
It could make you regret your birth
or turn cartwheels in your best suit
It costs a lot more than it’s worth
and yet there is no substitute
They keep it on a higher shelf
the older and more pure it grows
It has no color in itself
but it can make you see rainbows
You can find it on the Bowery
or you can find it at Elaine’s
It makes your words more flowery
It makes the sun shine, makes it rain
You just get out what they put in
and they never put in enough
Love is like a bottle of gin
but a bottle of gin is not like love


Randall: Thank you for your readings.

Ahhhh, mawwage!

What is marriage? Why do we get married?

We hear a lot of things about marriage in our everyday lives. The average television sitcom would have you believe that marriage, to paraphrase the band R.E.M., is the end of the world as you know it. That marriage is effectively the end of your life.

Today Beau and Lyn respectfully submit that marriage is not an end but a beginning.

It’s not a perfect beginning. It’s not a clean slate. Marriage is a process. Marriage is growth. Marriage is a bold step into an unknown future. It is risking who we are for the sake of who we can be.

Beau and Lyn are coming into their marriage with individual personalities and individual histories. They’ve already chosen each other for their family, and today they are choosing to celebrate what has already begun and will continue to grow for years to come.

As Madeleine L’Engle wrote in The Irrational Season, “To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation.”

Lyn and Beau have asked Kim to read the following quote by Robert Senghas that speaks to both the weaknesses and strengths of ourselves as individual participants, and to the challenges and deep fulfillments of marriage.


Kim: “Each of us was brought into the world without any decision of his own; each of us was stamped with the condition of mortality from the moment of conception. And so, of the three most significant events in our lives, birth, marriage and death, it is only in marriage that we have the full power of personal decision.

“In marriage the greatest courage will be required. We shall be put to the test of continuing to accept our partner with all defects revealed; but beyond this we shall be faced with the anguish of having to accept our own weaknesses. And this is the most difficult of all that is required of us: to accept that we are not as we should like to think we are, and that we are not as we should like the world to think we are.”

“But marriage also offers us the condition for the supreme fulfillment of human life:  for our acceptance of our spouse with all of his or her strengths and weaknesses, our love for our companion in marriage, and above all our acceptance of ourselves as we are.”


Randall: Thank you.


Randall: Before we move into the vows, I’d like to remind us all that this is a rare opportunity, perhaps the only opportunity in our lives, that each of us – family and friends – will be here together as one. Take a minute and look around. Savor this time. Like all of life’s important moments, this one will soon be a memory. At this time, Lyn would like to briefly pause and commemorate our time in this place with some photographs.


[Lyn snaps photos of guests]

The guests got a kick out of it, at least.

Randall: I hope those turn out! [Ed. note: they did!]


Randall: Beau and Lyn, the symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed?  Well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you’ll say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you’ll say to the world: this is my husband, this is my wife.

My ladies.

And now just before you say these vows to each other, I remind us all of what a vow is. A vow is a solemn promise, a pledge that binds. A commitment of heart, mind, soul and body.  A commitment that recognizes this as the most important of human relationships, above all others. To give and to receive such a commitment is one of life’s greatest gifts.

Lyn and Beau, please join hands as you prepare to make these vows of love to one another.


[Beau reads vows]

[Lyn reads vows]



Randall: Please bring the rings forward.




Randall: Wedding bands are visible, tangible symbols of a couple’s commitment and of their emotional and spiritual connection. Many people talk about rings as being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and polished. Something beautiful is made from raw elements.

Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.

Lyn and Beau, let these rings serve as a reminder of the feelings you have in your hearts at this very moment. There are times in life that we tend to focus on the things we have not yet accomplished, there will also be times of great loss. Yet as you look at your wedding band, remember the great gift that you have been given and all that you have in one another. Remember that you have someone to share this life with. Never again will you walk alone.

Randall: Please present the rings to one another.

That’s my mom in pink, next to my dad.
The beau’s parents and brother.


Beau: Lyn, will you love, support and challenge me, and be my closest friend, confidante and companion?

Lyn: I will.

Beau: I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you to be my partner and my best friend, until the end of my days. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.

[places ring on finger]

Lyn: Beau, will you love, support and challenge me, and be my closest friend, confidante and companion?

Beau: I will.

Lyn: I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you to be my partner and my best friend, until the end of my days. Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.

[places ring on finger]


Randall: Lyn and Beau, having witnessed your vows to each other with all who are assembled here, and by the authority vested in me, I announce with great joy that you are married.


[wedding party leads crowd in claps and cheers]

Randall: Friends, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, for the first time as husband and wife, Beau and Lyn.


so that’s done then

It was terrible and beautiful and stressful and fun.

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

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

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


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


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

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

Then we got this:

Tiny steps closer.


* Holler.


Because I did that thing with the invitations recently? And they have finally arrived at the homes of the approximately four people I know who read this blog? Of course I am going to have to show them to you now. As a refresher, this is the part where I go LOOK AT THESE and some of you kind of nod sympathetically and pretend to like them. Then you turn to your friend and go, “I don’t know WHAT she was thinking.”*

Because my computer is powered by magical unicorns, I was able to change our names and other pertinent info in the source file before making it into a picture. Which is disappointing, because I so wish my fiancé’s name was Beau Beason. Oh well, now I can pretend!


I decided on a typography-based design pretty early on in the process, namely because I had all these FONTS and I LURVED THEM and I WANTED TO USE ALL OF THEM OMG. What? I think that’s a legitimate artistic motive.

I made it so that the big blue word “wedding” is jutting out and attacking the column of information on the right. This is probably some kind of subliminal message about how the wedding is like a dagger stabbing into the heart of my life. Or something.

We saved a bit of money by printing out fewer RSVP cards than invitations and sending them only to the older people on our guest list who aren’t as computer-savvy. We made them postcard-sized, slapped a stamp on the back, and sent them on their way. Here’s the front:

And the back:

I kind of went back and forth about including more information, like the addresses of the venues and a map and directions and a list of hotels with room blocks, but you know what? 90% of our guests are traveling from out of town, and from all different directions. We can’t possibly cover each of their bases. So we just made sure that everything is clearly spelled out on the website, and we let the rest go. No hand-holding. Most guests can fend for themselves from here on out. This is the digital age, after all. All they have to do is click on our Google wedding map and they can build their own directions in a snap. The rest can be helped out by family members.

I got a lot of pushback about this from various people — one told me that assuming her guests would actually bother to visit the website was her biggest mistake. She said she spent the last few weeks before her wedding fielding phone calls from guests who needed basic information. Me? I’m just hoping that our experience is different.

So there it is, folks. Thank you once again for playing along as I show you things you can’t possibly be remotely interested in.

Did you or do you plan to do your own invitations?


* After I mailed out the save-the-dates, I asked my mom what she thought of them, and she said, “Well… they are… interesting.” Yes, mom. They are incredibly interesting. Thank you for noticing.**

** ALSO: OMG, the invitations look nothing like the save-the-dates! I am surely going to wedding aesthetic hell for this.

in which the details escape me

I tried, you guys. I tried to be normal. I walked to the post office, waited patiently in line, and when I got up to the counter I expressly asked for the “King and Queen of Hearts” stamps. The USPS employee looked me dead in the eyes. “Oh, we don’t have any of those,” he said. “We haven’t had them for months.”

Okay then.

He pulled some samples out of a drawer and pushed them in front of me. “Is this for a special occasion?” he asked. Yes, a wedding. He showed me a stamp with two gold bands on them. Eh. He showed me a stamp with some purple flowers and the word “love” on them. Eh. Then I spotted the ones. “This,” I said, plucking a sheet from the pile. “This will do nicely.”

I purchased four sets of “Cowboys of the Silver Screen.”

Do Hollywood cowboys of yore have anything to do with our wedding theme or location? No. Do they have anything to do with our wedding invitation design?* No. Do the beau and I share an interest in old western films? Not in the least. But you know what? They make me happy.

And at the very least, my grandparents will get a little thrill out of seeing Tom Mix on their envelope.


* To make matters worse, the only stamps they had for postcards had polar bears on them. So yeah. Polar bears and cowboys will be adorning my invitations and RSVP cards. When will the horrors ever cease?

so that’s done, then

I did it. Just today, just now, I ordered that dress. That infernal dress that’s haunted my mind.

You can all laugh now, because I’m pretty sure you guys knew that my endless debate was just noise. Just a large diversionary loop that would bring me right back around to the starting point, which all along was: I like this dress. No other dress will do. I am now admitting publicly that indeed, no other dress will do.

I am settling down. I’ve made a commitment. And boy, does it feel good. It feels like accomplishment. It feels… like I’ve written the plot of my very own romcom. Bear witness:

Girl goes out looking for Dress. Girl flirts with many dresses before she meets this one Dress. One passionate afternoon, she tries Dress on (cover the children’s eyes!). And she likes it. But Dress is out of her league. And Girl worries if Dress is too bohemian for her. Honestly, Girl and Dress run in different circles. Never the twain shall meet, and that should be that, right? Things look grim. Subsequent dresses fail to measure up, though admittedly Girl is not trying very hard anymore. Girl seeks counsel from her oldest friends and strangers in the grocery store checkout line alike. All earnestly inform her that Girl and Dress are Meant To Be. After much hemming and hawing, Girl experiences an epiphany and rushes to Dress. Er, well, or orders Dress on the phone, as it were. Dress and Girl are reunited within 4-6 weeks, depending on availability. A guaranteed lifetime of blissful happiness ensues, for the Universe and the satisfaction of the story-readers deem it so.


So. Now that the logical conclusion has been reached, I once again leave you with this:


They said it was fate all along.

practice run

I just saw the last family member off this afternoon. The bridal shower weekend is officially over. So that’s, like, done. And stuff.

You know, it occurred to me way back during the initial planning process that putting on a bridal shower was like a staging a wedding in miniature. Now that I’ve come through the other side, I understand just how right I was. To wit:

The last-minute crunch. The week before the shower was particularly crazed. I rushed around like a madwoman running errands, getting supplies, making favors, checking with vendors, communicating with traveling family, and just generally coordinating shit. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so too.

Things went uncontrollably awry. The dessert stand broke in the car on the way to the shower. Oh, and the place the shower was being hosted? The place I had visited in person two days earlier to confirm that they were still opening early for us? Yeah. We arrived to find the doors were locked and the lights were dark. No one was there. The place wasn’t clean, nothing was set up and guests were beginning to arrive. I had to make some frantic phone calls to get the owner down there. I nearly had a heart attack.

The urge to play hostess was overwhelming. I know it isn’t possible to ensure all of the people are happy all of the time, but that didn’t stop me trying. I spent the entire shower, nay, the entire weekend, attempting to make sure everyone had something to eat, something to drink, and someone to talk to. Talk about effort.

The unpredictable actions of others. My mother, I don’t know. She has a special way of driving me up a wall sometimes. Enough said.

Happy surprises abounded. Because of the snafu with the bar/café forgetting about our party, we got a few free bottles of wine, as well as a tray of shots. My friends? Adopted each other. My family? Adopted my friends. My aunts are still talking about how cool my friends are. Everyone was BFFs by the end of the day, which: AWESOME.* Best unplanned moment of the party was the spontaneous karaoke on the cafe’s patio. The song list included “Like a Prayer, “Thing Called Love,” even “Gin and Juice.” We ended up having so much fun at the shower that we all decided to go to dinner together. It was truly amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

My emotions were out of control. I grinned like a fool. I cried — both happy and sad. I laughed my head off. I got mad and unfairly took it out on the beau. But my lowest of lows came at dinner the night of the shower. After we arrived, someone insisted that I move seats away from my friends. I sat there watching my friends have fun at the other end of the table, and something snapped. I started sobbing. I tried to step away and calm down, but the thought of returning to the table with a red face and glassy eyes just made me cry harder. Gah. I missed ordering any food and I spent most of dinner M.I.A. Not my shiningest moment, no.

My wing(wo)men came through. Hard. When that dessert stand broke, one quick-thinking brigadier made a last-second detour to pick up a substitute. When I broke down at dinner, another brigadier spent a substantial portion of her evening trying to talk me down from the edge. Both of them packed up the bridal shower gear after the party was over so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I can’t thank them enough for sticking up for me.

Total overload. On the whole, the experience was totally draining, both physically and mentally. I haven’t been so thoroughly exhausted in a very long time. I wasn’t planning on taking Monday off, but when my very kind boss offered to let me, I agreed. And boy, was I glad I did. I slept 10 hours and spent the afternoon reading a book. A book!** I don’t think I’ve read a book since Christmas. It was my own personal post-shower honeymoon, and I was ever so glad for it.

And I am ever so glad it’s all over. But I’m also sad it’s all over, and I miss all my people who came out for it, terribly.

In summary, the bridal shower weekend totally felt like a test run for the wedding. The good news is that now I have about four months to figure out how to avoid the bad parts – or at least minimize them.

Yeah, good luck with that, right?


* UPDATE: I remembered after publishing this that one of my friends and my cousin became SUCH BFFs that they went out drinking and karaoke-ing until 1 in the morning after the shower. Uh, yeah.

** It was Don Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff, but still. It was still a book! With words! Printed on a page!

our sexually transmitted diseases are in the mail!

NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION. We just took our save-the-dates to the post office today and as a result, I feel like I’ve accomplished, like, everything on the face of the planet. I intend to ride this high for at least the next ten minutes or so, or until whenever I realize that the wedding itself isn’t actually over yet and I can’t just go back to lying on the couch with my laptop clicking random YouTube links.

So… I realize this is a little self-aggrandizing of me, but. I HAVE TO SHOW THEM TO YOU.* The STDs, I mean. Like, right this second. OMG! Squeeeeeeee.**

Okay okay okay. Okay! Here’s the first one. This is the magnet we had printed. We basically took a bottle of wine up to an overlook on the campus of Santa Barbara City College, and took a picture of it.*** Then, I photoshopped a new label on the bottle. Original? No. But that’s a good thing.

Now, as you are already well aware, the beau’s real name is not actually “Beau.” But in order to avoid making us more Googleable than we already are, I’ve decided to never use nor allude to his real name in this space. Hence, because I am batshit insane enormously dedicated, I have changed all the pertinent information in the images I’m showing you.

And with that out of the way, here’s the second one. We actually ended up with two save-the-dates due to a conflict between wholly separate design approaches. We’d fully intended to pick one design approach over the other, but we just couldn’t, because we are spineless, indecisive bastards. So we compromised by using one idea as the magnet, and the other as a paper insert to be tucked inside the envelope with the magnet. Bonus points: We avoided spending any additional money on the insert by utilizing our resources.****

Yes. We made some tator tots and a corn dog, put them on a plate, and then wrote our names and wedding date in ketchup. Vigilant citizens may recognize this as the tribute to Napoleon Dynamite that it is. Others may recognize it as just plain crazy. We recognized it as delicious, because, hello. TATOR TOTS.

Anyway. That’s it. There they are. Thank you for patiently suffering through my “LOOK WHAT WE DID” post. I promise to return to writing intelligent, analytical essays on cultural norms and social issues in the very near future.*****


* YES, there are more than one, stop looking at me like that.

** Shut up, I am HIGH. Quit HARSHING.

*** Aside: The day we went up to SBCC to take this picture, there was a gaggle of bums hanging around the overlook who proceeded to make fun of our decidedly middle-class problem of how to appropriately photograph a bottle of wine outdoors. I think they just wanted us to hand over the booze.

**** Also known as the laser printer at work. Shhh.

***** I promise no such thing.

meanwhile, back at the ranch

So I’m on the phone with United. Actually, no. I am not so much on the phone with United — as in “an actual representative of United Airlines” — so much as I am engaged in a vicious verbal war with the automated bouncer at the virtual customer service door. Trust me: He does not want to let you in.

Automated Customer Service Guy: “Thanks for calling the United Mileage Plus customer service line. Would you like: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: “Um, customer service?”
ACSG: “Sorry, please say: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: (silence)
ACSG: “Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Please say: reservations, upgrades, enroll in Mileage Plus, or for everything else say manage my account.”
Me: (muttering) “I don’t need those.”
ACSG: “Sorry, did you say, ‘goodbye?'”
Me: “No!”
ACSG: “Let’s get your Mileage Plus number. Say or enter your 11-digit Mileage Plus number.”
Me: (tries frantically to locate the number on my desk, manages to key in four digits before allotted time expires)
ACSG: “Sorry, that was in invalid number. Please say your Mileage Plus number one digit at a time, or say: I don’t know it. Or, say: Help.”
Me: “Help?”
ACSG: “Let’s get your Mileage Plus number. Say or enter your 11-digit Mileage Plus number.”


I related all this to the beau later, using sweeping arm gestures and perhaps a higher pitch of voice than necessary. He looked at me coolly. “You know, you could have just hit “0” to bypass all those menus,” he said.

Really? REALLY? Was I the last person on earth to know this? Did all of you just read through that now, wincing and ducking like you were watching a bad horror flick; shouting at your computer screen, “Press zero! No! Press zero NOW! Don’t go in the basement! PRESS ZEROOOOO!”

If not, THERE YOU HAVE IT. Now you know the secret trick. No, seriously, you can thank me later.

Let me just say right now: I am not a phone person. Talking on the phone with strangers is my own special flavor of personal hell. But I was having issues with my online account and the error page was telling me I needed to call someone in order to fix it.

So, I sucked it up and made the call. I sacrificed myself for the sake of our post-wedding sanity. See, the beau was a mere 1,500 miles short of the 50,000 needed to get two round-trip tickets for free, and I had to transfer some miles from my account to his so that we could book our flights. That’s right. Flights. To Vancouver. For the honeymoon. We’re leaving the Monday morning after the wedding and coming back the following Wednesday. One glorious full week of non-travel vacation days in between.

So, we’ll be in Vancouver as newlyweds. VANCOUVER. I haven’t been to Vancouver since the summer of ’89, when my parents and I road-tripped from the San Francisco bay area to British Columbia in our 1984 Ford Tempo.* Thank god my parents only had one child, because most of the backseat was taken up by our humongous cooler. I couldn’t stretch out or lie down; the best option I had was to fold my arms over the top of the plastic lid and rest my head on them. I collected blue, green, and brown sea glass on the beaches across from run-down NorCal motels. We stopped and gazed at the inverted beauty of Crater Lake. I saw blue-haired punks for the first time in my life in Seattle. We drove our car onto a ferry (OMG the car went RIGHT ON THE BOAT) and it deposited us in Vancouver, where I saw a clock that spurted forth steam and a park with a horse-drawn carriage and there was a GOLDEN RETRIEVER in that park and the owners let me pet it, and we ate at a place called The Old Spaghetti Factory and that was super exciting because HELLO, spaghetti, plus they served me an Italian soda in a tall skinny glass, and we got to take that glass home with us.**

Yeah. This time around it’s going to be really, really, really different.

Where you goin’ on honeymoon, yo? Or: Where did you go, and what were your best memories from that trip?


* I am not sure how that car made it all the way to Canada; it frequently couldn’t make it 10 miles from our house.

** This is amazing when you’re eight. Seriously.