the best gift

The presents are arriving. I cannot tell from their exteriors if they are for the wedding or Christmas, so I’m just assuming everything is a wedding gift and we’re putting them aside to open after the wedding.

It’s been eighty degrees around here lately, and the weather combined with all the upcoming festivities, it sort of feels like Christmas has been cancelled this year. I’m okay with that; I couldn’t possibly afford both events in one week. Continue reading

i hurt my feet for him

This is the cell phone conversation I overheard this afternoon:

“Yes, well, if you want four bridesmaids and then yourself, it’s one-fifty for each bridesmaid, and then for you it’ll be about four hundred, unless you want an up-do, and then it’ll be closer to five or five-fifty, depending on what you want. Now because you’re thinking about adding your mother — another one-fifty — that might mean we should add another person, so we can get them done all at the same time. That would be another four hundred. And if you want makeup, that’s one hundred per, so add another five hundred — six, with your mother. Now your wedding is at eleven, and you have to get there early, which means you’ll have to come over at 7:30 in the morning. They’d open early for you, which would add another four hundred. So are you all set to book?”

And THIS is why I’m doing my own hair and makeup.

I did my own hair and makeup tonight. Right now, in fact, I’m sitting over here, looking super hot. This past week stee said to a friend of mine that he has a thing for girls in boots and skirts. Now, I’ve never been able to fit in a pair of boots and have missed this boot craze. But the boy is marrying me, and I’ve never been this size before, so I figured I’d suck it up and risk the potential humiliation again. Last time only Evany had to witness the embarrassment. When I finally found a pair that would go over my calves, a complete stranger walked by and said to me, “Those look cheap.”

Anyway, this time I had my pick of the boots, and I found a pair that I like. Hair, makeup, skirt and boots — I walked out into the living room with did a pose I picked up from some jeans commercial from the eighties.

stee gave a quick sideglance from his Grand Theft Auto game. “You’re sexy,” he said.

“The magic is over.”

“What? Don’t say that. I said you looked good.”

“You barely looked.”

“I don’t need to look.”

Yes, you do.”

And now I’m updating my website about it, because we’re late, because stee is still playing his game even though we were supposed to already leave.

Twenty-two days until we’re married! And then these are the only boots he can look at forever.

…Maybe he didn’t see the boots. I bet that’s it. He never got past the hot rack. The boots will be a pleasant surprise later.

From One Bride to Another

[readermail]
Subject: Warning to My Bitch (At)!
To: pamie@pamie.com

Dear “Pamela”,

“Please” accept this “warning” from New York: Wear my wedding “guests” out at your New Year’s “nuptials” and “I” will have you “kilt”.

This is “not” a “joke”.

“Love”,
Faye
[/readermail]

Share Your Wedding Nightmare Tuesday

[readermail]
Hi Pam!

At the risk of sound like a Jane “It Happened to Me” column, I would like to present you with my very own wedding story. Not the stuff that makes it onto TLC, that’s for sure.

In 1999, I was living in Indianapolis with my boyfriend. He proposed to me at the Indianapolis Art Museum on a snowy day in March. Whee! We called all the parents and other interested parties later that evening and decided to decide on a date sometime in 2000, since we were in the middle of preparing to move to New Jersey.

My soon to be mother-in-law approached me early on about wedding plans. I was marrying the youngest of her three boys, and while she had thrown some really expensive bar mitzvahs, she’d never had the opportunity to throw a wedding so would we allow her to help with the planning?

Sure, I said. Like a big dummy. Okay, not that big a dummy. Knowing that she is a freaky controlling type, I made her promise that no matter what MY word would be final, although her input would be considered. Since she was paying for this shindig that I didn’t really even want all that much, I figured I could get my way on the stuff that was important to me (music, cake) and she could go nuts with the rest.

So far, so good. Things were progressing. I drove from New Jersey to Ohio (where I’m from) to pick up my bridesmaids and my mom so we could go dress shopping. I picked out stuff and the bridesmaids picked out stuff (oddly, all three of them picked the same dress even though I told them they could get whatever they wanted). I got it all home and showed Ma-in-law. Didn’t like my dress. WHAT.EVER. I loved it.

That was the first tiny wave in what was otherwise smooth sailing.

Then we found a reception site. Excellent old mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains blah dee blah. They only had two dates open in August: the 20th and the 27th. Ma-in-law was pulling for the 27th, but that’s my parents’ wedding anniversary and ewwww – how tacky would THAT be? So, the 20th it was.

Wave #2.

We went in to discuss the menu and all hell broke loose. I didn’t really care what the actual food was going to be, since I was going to be in a floofy white dress with champagne in one hand and cake in the other. See, the WHOLE POINT of having a wedding, for me, is CAKE. My fondest memories of being a kid was going to the weddings of aunts and uncles and cousins and chowing down on cake (and later, getting drunk because the open bar didn’t card, like EVER. I miss the 80’s). So, yeah. Cake is important to me.

Ma-in-law was insisting on a cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream icing. I apologize if that’s your absolute favorite, but… barf. Cake and fruit don’t mix, in my book. I wanted four tiers: marble, chocolate, white, and carrot for the very top. With heart-stopping, fat-laden buttercream icing, with big honkin’ flowers and swirlly loops of frosting and if I could get it, a fountain and lights and even a cake Ferris Wheel.

Nothing doing, apparently. So we agreed to disagree and come back to the cake issue at a later time.

Wave #3 started over the freaking chair covers. I didn’t want them, since the chairs the hall was providing were neato: all spray-painted gold with sparkly disco cushions. Seriously, they were like, the Elvis of chairs. So ugly they rocked.

But, since I was still planning to fight for my Cake Vision, I decided to give in on the chair covers. I found out later that my impression of “graceful backing down” was not taken that way. She said she found me “disrespectful.” Whatever.

Guess that proves her point, eh?

SO we left the place with a HUGE deposit paid and the menu worked out and the cake in limbo. Things seemed to be going well.

Two weeks later, or thereabouts, I called to organize the cake. We’d eventually decided to have TWO cakes. One her way and one mine. ROCK ON. Two cakes are always better than one, even if one is all nasty. However, the nice lady on the phone politely informed me that “oh, that event has been cancelled. Mrs. Ma-in-law informed us that the wedding was off so we returned her deposit.” Me, barely keeping it in check: “Oh, thanks so much. I must not have gotten her message. Can you tell me when this was done?” Nice lady on phone: “um, about a week and a half ago.” This is extra-funny when you realize that invitations had gone out by this time.

And… RAGE! Searing, burning, blue-hot rage. I hung up, called my beloved at work and told him he needed to get home ASAP. He thought something was very wrong (he was correct) so he made it home in record time. I told him about the cancellation and he got on the phone with his mother. Lots of things were said. The gist of the conversation was that she couldn’t believe a son of hers would end up with “someone like” me, etc etc etc.

My beloved and I spent the next 9 hours talking about all of this, trying to decide if it was worth it to proceed when his mother (and by extension, his entire family) hated me. Didn’t bother me, since I had no particular love for most of them, but what did bother me was the fact that they deliberately put him in the middle. He had to choose, and he chose me. WOO! Er, I mean, yay!

He then spoke to his mother and told her that, basically, we were getting married by hook or by crook and she was welcome to join in our joy or stay away. At this point, we figured we had the synagogue and rabbi booked, so we might as well have a wedding. We started calling everyone we had ever talked to or worked with in New Jersey and people came through like champs. A restaurant that we really liked agreed to close for the afternoon so we could bring 50 of our closest friends and relatives to lunch. The liquor store gave us such a huge discount on all the booze we decided we needed that I almost married THAT guy instead.

A nearby hotel put us up for the weekend in a room that was bigger than our apartment and gave all our out-of-town relatives huge discounts. ROCK!

Looking back, it wasn’t that bad. I looked excellent, my now-husband was super-cute, we got the giggles during the ceremony, and my mother-in-law wore black to the wedding even after we’d specifically requested that people wear the brightest colors they could bear. We had our luncheon, I had the cake I wanted (with Homer and Marge Simpson Pez Dispensers on top), we got joyfully drunk with our best friends and MY family (his family had their own “after party” to which I was not invited), ordered pizza at 4 AM, and barely made it through brunch the next morning.

Six days later, we trekked out to Ohio for a scary huge reception bash for 350 people (200 of whom are related to me. I have a big family). We ended that party at 11 so we could go to the bars we went to in college. If you get the chance to go to the bar in your dress, do it. I still have free drink tokens, and I never got hit on as much in my whole entire life. I mean, I’m there in a giant white dress with a freaky-long veil and frat boys are coming on to me like I’m naked and wearing a sign that says Open House.

If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t. I’d either not get married at all, or I’d go to Vegas and get hitched there. No fuss, no muss. I’d still get a wedding dress and go to the bar, though. That was awesome.

However, it sounds like the way you’re doing it will be awesome, as well. Karaoke Singers Anonymous will be pleased to have you as their spokeswoman, especially if you end up all Madonna on the floor.

And that’s my story. Four years later, we’re still happily married and his mother is learning to accept the fact that I am part of his life, despite her best efforts. Weddings never go exactly as planned. In fact, I don’t think any wedding I’ve ever been involved in has gone even remotely close to plan. It’s more fun that way. Just remember to breathe and smile, drink clear drinks (vodka & tonic – doesn’t stain!) to avoid the Courtney Love look, and have a great time.

Wishing you and stee much love and happiness always,
Rachel
[/readermail]

so early, so late

You don’t have to check the time of this post. I’ll tell you. It’s four in the morning.

I’ve learned an important lesson. When you decide to drink more Diet Coke than you have in about a year, it’s best not to do it at eleven at night. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for over four hours. Continue reading

obligatory wedding stories (random)

The cost of alterations (a simple hem) is almost half the cost of the dress itself. I went in a few weeks ago and put on the dress, standing in front of their large mirrors.

I had put the dress on twice since I’d gotten it home over the summer. No. Wait. Three times.

The first time I was drunk, it was midnight, and I knew stee would be home in an hour, but I had to know if the dress was still something I liked, as I hadn’t seen it in almost three months. Here’s a little tip from me to you: never try to do this by yourself. Continue reading

sing out loud

Overheard this weekend as I walked back to my table after finishing a heartfelt rendition of “A Natural Woman”:

[scripty]
Guy #1
That’s hot.

Guy #2
That’s Hot?

Guy#3
Well…
[/scripty]

I was talking about this with Dan last night, how I always enter the Karaoke joint thinking, “Tonight I’ll just play it cool. Sit back. Enjoy the show. There’s no need to act like a moron in front of all these people.” And then half an hour later I’m rolling on the floor, possibly touching my crotch.

“Oh, I know,” Dan said. “It’s how we met.”

This weekend I was going to “play it cool” and ended up onstage no less than six times. I touched strangers. A group of hipsters in 80’s gear danced in front of us so we couldn’t see the stage. I stole their hats and gave them to other people. And they let me. The last time I was at this particular establishment, the girl who couldn’t stop dancing like she was both Romy and Michele became the centerpiece of my rendition of Pearl Jam’s “Black.” I crawled between her legs and we got to at least first base.

A) Why do I do this?
B) Why do people continue to let me? Continue reading

W is for Waiting and Writing… and Wedding… and Work… and Wow.

So here’s what it’s like, these days, to be me. It’s what it’s like to live this life, this place where each day is as unpredictable as the next.

This morning we planned our honeymoon around Sundance, because stee and Frank are finalists for the filmmaker’s lab. They won’t know until December 17th if they got in, but we knew if we scheduled the honeymoon at the same time as the lab, they’d be sure to get in. Also we couldn’t make it any later, because we’re waiting to hear what’s going to happen with the Oxygen show, as well as Stee’s own show he’s developing with the WB.

But we are GOING on our HONEYMOON. We’ve been looking forward to it since we got engaged — the possibility of several days of nothing to do, nowhere to go, no phone calls or deadlines. We’ve found a place that’s supposed to be incredibly isolated and quiet and beachy and I’m looking forward to living in my bikini for a few days.

Phone is ringing. Stee’s agent. Continue reading