July 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
Bridal resources tip-toe around these issues because planning your wedding “should” be a “joy” but most of it is rather unpleasant. Even if you swear up and down you’re not going to be that bride that experiences drama, or cares about the color of napkins. If you have a wedding, you’re going to have to deal with the horse shit that goes with it.
1. There will be things you just don’t give a fuck about, and they will haunt you.
You will have a list of things you could care less about. And it might be long. What color your bridesmaids shoes are, who gets a boutonnière, the angle in which the cake is displayed, what activities are available for children, what the DJ eats, etc, etc, on and on. It might not matter to you if they are roses or carnations on the tables as long as they are pink, and you only want to say it once. Unfortunately for you, you have to repeat every decision you make to everyone, like it was the mantra of a 4 week chanting water yoga retreat.
At one point you might lose your cool, only to be reminded by every single vendor you’ve hired that they do “A LOT of weddings.” No shit, Sherlock. I get it. It’s an industry. People be running a business. They might have more business if they could remember the menial details of their events so the client’s eyeballs don’t explode.
EX: I had stated from the first meeting with my venue, ivory table cloths/ivory napkins. Do I give a shit about the color of the linens? Not particularly, but none-the-less the choice was made. A choice which spawned a million other choices based on this choice. 6 months later, I’m still calling about an error, “Hi, yes, sorry, my contract STILL says we ordered white napkins, but they should be ivory.” Like I’m the dick that just HAS to have my linens be a slightly different color of a non-color.
2. This process will amplify your personality in ways never before imagined.
Are you a people pleaser? A sap? A Perfectionist? A Steamroller? Competitive? Shy? Spoiled? Anxious? Strong-willed? A push over? When the dress comes on, it all comes out.
Big or small, first or second, skeletons come out of the closet. Planning a high stakes, once-in-a-lifetime event really brings it out in people. Even if you try to be chill, at some point you are going to think to yourself “who the heck do I think I am?” You’re going to get mad, you’re going to yell, you’re going to cry over something. You’re going to go down certain rabbit holes.
EX: I didn’t dream about my wedding day all my life. Newsflash, not all girls do. I didn’t know the etiquette, I didn’t know the rules, I didn’t know there was so much to choose from. I had nothing planned out. However, I became fixated on the guest experience. And then, there I was, one week before editing the language of the ceremony to include more jokes. So many wedding jokes. There were jokes on the table numbers, the programs, the craft cocktails, we gave out whoopie cushions as favors, we had a Star Wars cake. AND THEN I got paranoid that everyone would think we weren’t taking our marriage seriously. Rabbit hole.
3. The only thing people will remember to ask you about is wedding planning.
“How’s wedding planning going?” As if you don’t eat food anymore or have a real job. It’s true that on the wedding timeline planning gets really intense, but then it’s the LAST thing you want to discuss with anyone.
EX: I was working on a TV show concept while planning my wedding. It was the best thing, and I was really excited about it. I don’t think anyone even knew I had a project. I would have blushed like a 5th grader crushing hard if someone actually asked me about it.
Additionally, for MONTHS after your wedding those same people who were asking about wedding planning will ask you “how’s married life” and you won’t know what to say to that either.
4. Your soon-to-be-husband will have little understanding of how much this sucks for you.
He’ll probably be all for helping with whatever needs to be done. Hell, he might actually have opinions about certain details. You might even give him key vendors to follow through with. He might take care of all of this with a wink and a smile, but down the line he’s going to wonder why you aren’t having the time of your life. After all, you’re the one who wanted this.
EX: Mister Red and I shared a lot of the load, and he’s amazing for getting the DJ, the officiant, and dealing with our cake vendor. But on our last visit to the venue, while wandering the desert looking for rocks for our guest book display, we had it out. Turns out we were mad at the same thing, neither one of us wanted to be dealing with any of it. And that was the most productive argument we’d had. Then we decided to treat ourselves to a dry run of the resort, you know for the guest experience.
5. You cannot wait for it to be over.
At first it’s a little bit exciting. That’s because it’s far away, you got time, spirits are high, and everything seems manageable.
There will be a moment between your bridal shower and your last dress fitting when you will want to snap someone’s pinky finger right off in the name of wedding planning. And you would probably be justified in doing so.
Details, details, details, and then you’ll want to shove some details up an ass or two. It’s a lot of work to put on an event for 60-200 people. It’s a lot of work to put on an event for 12.
EX: 3 days before my wedding and my venue refuses to change the rehearsal by a half hour. All I wanted was a half hour to accommodate my brother who was flying into town. This was not the first time I wanted to snap someones pinky right off that month, but it was the first time I admitted out loud to Mister Red how I really felt. “This has to work out between us because I am NEVER doing this again,” I said.
All of these issues are, of course, essential to your transformation into wifedom. At least that’s what I’m telling myself as I’m still emerging from my bridal cocoon with a new last name. I have a couple more important documents to update and my dress is still at the cleaners (apparently, they get A LOT of wedding gowns this time of year, shocker).
After the wedding on our drive home I admitted another truth, “I’m so happy that it happened, but I’m so glad it’s over.” I maintain that feeling about it even now.
*Disclaimer: For those who elope, they must be smarter, wiser, and have better familial relations skills than me. This was probably not their experience.
July 14, 2015 § Leave a comment
Rerun from 11/14. Mister Red and I have recently been dabbling with switching our sides. I admit, I sleep better on my side. None-the-less, mattress to relationships, a great metaphor.
I used to not have a side of the bed. For a good portion of my life I just slept like an X in the middle, arms and legs akimbo, like I the finalist for a contest of how much space I could take up per body dimensions. I would have won, btw. When Mister Red and I began having adult sleepovers on a regular rotation neither of us stated claim to pillow top surface area. There were no real estate negotiations, we eased in to our respective sides naturally. Occasionally, we switch. Mostly to correct shoulder issues from poor sleeping patterns, but we always go back. It never feels right on the other side, and all my stuff lives on the nightstand to the right anyway. It’s too much work to commit to a change.
Growing up mostly an only child, not really touchy feely, or having sorority sisters, I hated sleeping next to people. Frankly, I needed my space. I remember my first visit to a college party. My dear friend let me pass out on the bed, while he slept on the floor. Sure he probably wanted to get in my pants that night, but took into account that I’d possibly punch him in my sleep. That and he knew how to play his gentleman card.
The only time I felt the sting of the cold side of the bed was when I parted ways with a long time boyfriend who wasn’t great at sharing anything. For the first week or so I couldn’t even sleep in the bed. I favored the couch and slept at a friend’s house. Eventually I went back to sleeping in the middle and loving it. Until, of course, Red came along.
We’ve been spooning for four years now, sometimes on the couch. It always seems like we’ve been together longer compared to my other relationships. It actually feels like forever. He knows too much about me and has become very adept at outsmarting me for my own good. The last four years have been so long. Father time must be slacking.
You know why it feels like we’ve been sharing a bed for forever? I actually like him. Those other fools I had slept next to with for two or three years at a time, I’ve blocked out whole months with them. Those relationships seem short because I don’t care to remember a lot about those relationships. Essentially, I’m burning those beds. If I can’t get anyone to buy the mattress on craigslist, I’m still moving on.
There is only so much room in my head. It’s like when your bedmate hogs the covers. My memory is like the covers, I’m choosing to cover only what is important, there isn’t enough blanket for the rest. I used to think it was a bad thing that my relationship with Red seemed unusually longer than it was. Now I realize it’s because I want a future with him. I’m snuggling up every detail of our time together in my blanket because it’s paramount in holding stock in our relationship. Not to mention, heat.
I’m not worried about our nuptials sentencing us as bedfellows for life. Of course he snores on his back, who doesn’t? Sure, he elbows me sometimes in his sleep but it’s never left a mark. I think we’ve been sharing a queen (a bed, not a dude from West Hollywood in stilettos), side by side for so long that the shock of marriage might be lost on me. I’ve already bought the mattress. I know I’m probably going to have to flip it every now and again, but it has a pretty solid warrantee.
I see a lot of women holding their wedding day up like it’s their last day to experience joy. Sure there is the whole child baring thing that factors into it, but if you play your cards right the wedding won’t be the last of your shenanigans before you’re preggo. There is no impending doom that comes after ‘I Do’ unless you haven’t been brutally honest with each other.
Whatever side you sleep on, know who you’re sleeping next too and love them even if they snore. Use your blanket to hold in the heat of your passion. Don’t try to cover lovers of the past, they can’t possibly fit in the blanket burrito of love.
Furthermore, relationships are full of cooperation, and yes even compromise. Do your share of bed making, and talk openly about bedtime habits. Apparently, 1 in 10 couples argue about about what side of the bed they sleep on. Really? This would be the worst excuse for a break up ever. Adapt.
June 16, 2015 § 3 Comments
Now that I am of the age where my peers are pairing up with life buddies, I’ve gotten really adept at planning the Bachelorette Party. This isn’t one of those cookie cutter sash/mini veil/bar hopping situations. Please, I’m over 30. There are no rules like “wear black so she stands out in white.” She isn’t doing a scavenger hunt or making T-shirts. There aren’t any penis cakes. No one wants a penis cake. I can’t say it loud enough: NO ONE WANTS A PENIS CAKE. Sure depending on the chick, some of the other activities and props may be relevant, but a penis cake–that’s never a good idea. What happens when the MoH gets the hairy balls piece? No one wants the hairy balls piece.
I spared you. If you google image search “penis cake” you will gag.
I like to be original. Create an itinerary with everything the bride loves, find her feminine essence, embarrass her in good fun, and load up on the booze. You can’t go wrong with a crafty poster and a bottle of Kirkland Vodka. Before I give you the exact recipe for planning the perfect bachelorette party, let’s have a history lesson. Shall we?
To find the origin of the last single hurrah, we have to cross genders. The Bachelor Party dates back to the ancient Spartans. Leave it to those rowdy warriors to make a thing out of a dude’s last solo night. Soldiers would hold a dinner in their friend’s honor toasting and telling tales in merriment. These parties preceded the name, as bachelor is a term from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which you should have read in 10th grade world literature class. The first recorded use of bachelor party was in 1922, and it said nothing about a stripper.
It wasn’t until recent history in which the party became a night of parading vixens, debauchery, and hazing. And in the 1960s the sexual revolution allowed females to participate in their own taboo pre-wedding celebrations (cheers).
Today, most modern couples copulate before the big day and often live together long before tying the knot. Riddle me this: Hasn’t all the sexual teasing lost it’s luster? I mean, she knows what it looks like, and she understands it’s one willy ’til death. Let’s not rub salt in the wound buy buying her a lap dance at Chippendales.
When it boils down, the bach party is about celebrating the girl before the guy, as an individual. It’s better than any birthday party she could ever have, this only happens once (or twice in some cases). Shouldn’t it ease the pre-wedding jitters instead of waiving penises in her face?
If you agree, here’s my recipe for a Non-Traditional Out-of-The-Box Bachelorette Party (AKA Her Last Smash).
1. Do what she wants to do. Go on, ask her. Maybe it’s a weekend some where. Maybe it’s the Tuesday before the wedding. Maybe it IS a lap dance at Chippendales. Whatever it is, ask and then make it happen.
2. Create a #hashtag. These are the times we live in. This serves as way to collect the memories from everyone in one place as well as a theme. And it’s just fun.
3. Logistics: take care of the food, activities, lodging, etc. so expenses don’t get out of hand for the group. Paypal, Venmo, cold hard cash helps everyone pitch in.
4. Booze Plan. Know what you are going to drink and where. Sure you can go off script, but this is the most expensive item. Figure out what everyone will drink and overestimate.
5. Props. Posters, hats, mustaches, silly things. This is also where you can get a little embarrassing. Incriminating photos, fake tattoos, headbands with cat ears, feather, banners, balloons. Whatever space your in, decorate it. No– transform it. Doesn’t take much to take a rental house from Ikea to Eureka.
6. Interactive Drinking Games. This might be the most challenging, but if you really love the bride, it’s worth it. Create a game that’s so big it’s ongoing for the party’s entirety. One time we did toasts or memories and wrote them down on guns, and everyone had to take a shot (jail bird theme). Another, more elaborate game was creating trivia questions based on the bride’s freelance work. If you got it wrong you took a drink. There are many ways to go, and people fall in love with it really quickly.
7. Delegate. Everyone wants to pitch in, and everyone is probably going through a lot of these. Even if the group doesn’t know each other, they will all want to keep costs low and do what it takes to pull off the best party the bride has ever had. Make sure it’s a weekend to remember, and let people do what they can to help.
For my bachelorette what-have-you, five of my most hilarious friends met up in Sonoma, CA for a weekend of wine tasting. The hashtag was #KTsLastSmash and celebratory Irish things (I’m Irish, Mister Red is Irish, you get it). My friend made a clover patch with over 50 Irish blessings and we toasted to every last one throughout the weekend. They printed incriminating photos of me, one was poster sized, and put them up all over the house. They gave me a tiny leprechaun hat, but didn’t demand I wear it the whole time. We drank a truck load of the finest wine and met a group of ladies dubbed as our future selves in one tasting room. It was the perfect weekend. Every bride deserves the most perfect weekend with her friends.
No bachelorette ever said, “You know what this party is really missing? A penis cake that reads: The Best Is Yet To Cum.”
Poster Sized Mantle Piece in Power Stance. Best Friends Ever.
March 4, 2015 § 1 Comment
I’ve had two bridal showers thrown for me. Rest assured, I’m practically an expert. Showers are often non-negotiable extracurricular wedding events. It’s expected to have one. Sometimes one for each side of the family. Sometimes your co-workers will throw you a third one depending how boring the office gossip is that particular month. Of course you don’t need to have a shower, but you will disappoint a lot of people. Kind of like eloping, or promising cake and bringing a watermelon disguised as a cake and saying smugly “it’s paleo.” So suck it up and have twelve showers. At least you are going to get the presents you picked out for yourself.
So a bunch of women gather to honor a bride to be by drinking enough to play silly games, eat finger sandwiches, and gift her household items or the occasional piece of lingerie. “Thaaaaank you, I picked this out for me.” It sounds absurd, right? So I did a bit of digging.
Let’s start at the beginning. In 16 Century Holland showers were an alternative to the dowery system. If the parents of the bride were too poor to provide a dowery the MOB will hold a party where her lady friends would pass down small kitchen items and advice on how to keep a man happy. You know the type of advice, plus whatever you had laying around the kitchen that was a duplicate.
There is even a Dutch legend to go with this common sense inception of bridal showers. It is said a young uptown girl, living in her high class world fell in love with a downtown guy. Boy, was her dad pissed. He withheld her dowery as she crossed the tracks to marry her heart’s desire, but not without a little help from her friends. Pretty soon the whole town was contributing small gifts for the start of their married life. Fortune smiled again on our young heroine and her father changed his tune. They and their dowery lived happily ever after, like all good fairy tales.
In the late Victorian era, bridal showers became events of the elite. Only ladies of high social standing would organize pre-wedding celebrations for would-be brides. Although, it was more because it was a place to get drunk and hear the latest gossip, rather than giving gifts to compile a dowery. Make no mistake, gifts were given, but not enough to fill a Uhaul. The presents would be inside a parasol, which when opened would “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts. Or knock her out cold so they could freeze her bra and draw on her face.
The next evolution came in the 1930s. Although, at this point showers in the United States were a big to-do and anyone could have one. The fad hadn’t spread to England though, probably because they were still considering noble families and inbreeding. First or second generation Americans were just starting to really simmer together in the country’s melting pot. No dowries or elite social standings needed for a little party, party.
The earliest use of this sense of the word, “shower” in print may be in the Grand Rapids Michigan Evening Press 22 June 4, 1904: “The ‘shower parties’ that through mistaken hospitality the wedded couple are forced to attend…” (WHICH IS HILARIOUS… mistaken hospitality).
When I first started working as a videographer in LA, I was hired to shoot weddings and bridal showers. Sometimes the shower would outshine the wedding. There was one at The Beverly Hills Hotel that had a dance floor, three course luncheon, and about 75 Persian women. I imagined that I was that bride and wanted to hide in a hole.
I’m not a fan of being the center of attention unless I’m giving instruction or opinion. I have present opening anxiety even if I know what’s inside. Because my birthday is so close to Christmas I have a lack of practice at these types of person honoring soirées. I’m a terrible bride to plan a shower for.
For a while, I just thought the bridal shower was just another party to have for all the women who it was inappropriate to extend a bachelorette party invite, like if they were too old or pregnant. Come to find out, etiquette says you shouldn’t invite people who aren’t invited to the wedding. Well, what if I couldn’t invite all the people I wanted to celebrate with?
I want to rewrite this invite rule. It seems stupid to invite someone to your shower and expect a gift and then invite them to your wedding expecting another gift. Just give the gifts if you want to give the gifts. Wouldn’t it be better to invite all the people who couldn’t make it or that you wish you could invite but you have 200 family members and your best good work-wife just didn’t squeeze onto the A list?
Etiquette says the maid of honor has to foot the bill, but what if that chick is broke? It seems like it should be a pot luck. Let’s not be fancy. And again with the gift giving only if you want to, I rather be showered in laughs.
It’s pretty much a roast anyway. You play games about the bride and groom’s intimate life details and sit her in a special seat like a contestant on a daytime TV show. Parade around her choices for home decor and kitchenware while we quietly place bets on how long the marriage will last. Mostly it’s just good backstabbing female fun.
Fortunately for me, both my showers were equally entertaining, mostly because of the wonderful hosts who planned around my awkward shyness with their grand mastery. Showered with laughs, a flash mob, and cards with little pictures inside them of the gifts I already knew I was getting. I even spit my water across the room in a fit of laughter. And I wore black, like a boss.
In truth modern bridal showers are a complete charade. An absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance. Except for mine, because every time my appearance is respectable I spill food down the front of me.
February 16, 2015 § 3 Comments
I’m stuck somewhere between being a conventional bride and being a way out-of-left-field, Dr. Seuss-style bride. Sure, I’ve thought about my wedding since I was a wee little gal, but not at great length. I never had wild dreams about it where I planned it all out. I’m also not very good at being an adult, so a lot of etiquette is lost on me because while it’s rooted in tradition, it negates common sense.
Take the wedding registry, a tradition that began in common sense. It’s sentiment is that of the father giving away the bride. He’s giving her away because he doesn’t want her anymore. So he’s going to throw in a bunch of household appliances and kitchenwear purchased as gifts by his friends and family to sweeten the deal. A starter kit for a good wife. See now, it’s all set up and the groom has little to no room for argument. Next stop: Buy a house, followed by have a baby. So simple.
It’s not so simple anymore. When I moved into my first big girl apartment all by myself, I didn’t have a dish to eat off. Over time, salary promotions, and a household merger with my future husband, I’ve acquired many fine dishes to hold food. When we need something, we buy it. My pops doesn’t need to give my fiancé a spoonful of sugar with his medicine. We bought the bag of sugar ourselves. Classic wedding logic works no longer.
This tradition now puts us in a pickle. They say register as soon as you get engaged. People want to give you gifts. SAY WHAT?! I think this is silly, and a lie. It’s not like these people asked us to get married, and the gift part isn’t the reason why we are getting married either. It’s to shut our parents up once and for all (until they want to have grandchildren). Most people’s subconscious when they are invited to weddings are like, “I’ll bring a gift that relates to my fun-time expectation barometer. Probably cash, but if I’m at the old person table I’m knocking off $50.”
If people are invited to a shower they be like, “Damn, now I got to get her a gift she’s picked out herself, but will probably return.” It’s hard to get jazzed to give a gift that has already been chosen for you. Sure, it makes it easy for someone who doesn’t know you that well, or your uncle who’s constantly getting it wrong, but it doesn’t make it more fun.
How could I make this fun for my guests? It was a mind bender. Which is why I did the total wrong thing and procrastinated registering for gifts until three months before the wedding. What we really need are upgrades of products we already own, replacements for worn hand-me-downs, and cold hard cash. What we really wanted was decor that reflected our style and humor, adventure gear (camping is expensive for a sleeping on the ground activity), and cold hard cash.
Fortunately for us, jazzing up the run-of-the-mill registry was pretty easy. After all, there is a whole industry dedicated to this stuff. We registered on Zola.com because we were too far past the point of department store laser tag. We had to do something quick that didn’t want to make us gouge our eyes out. The best part was being able to write a note on each item, explaining why we wanted it. It’s like lobbing for your list of top gifts. But half way through we started not to take it seriously, so there are a lot of jokes too.
Maybe offensive to die-hard fans of wedding etiquette, but totally entertaining as you scroll through yet another registry of items people in third world countries have never seen. Another note on this off script registry, the giving is done on the digital plane. You buy online and send to my house. Super easy for you, and it cuts down on my present opening anxiety (which is a real big issue for me). Also, eliminates the transportation of goods. I’m really pleased I won’t have to drive a Uhaul to my wedding.
It’s difficult to ask for cash at a shower. I got pots and pans, but I really need a fridge, okay? But we set up the refrigerator fund anyway. So far ZERO contributions. We were able to register for things we actually wanted like a tent and weird movie posters as well as things we actually needed like a new can opener. You don’t know how desperately we need this $9 can opener. Someone please buy it for us (it’s been years).
I hope the guests who know us well understand that we have a Shark Bathroom and we really want to deck it out like a boss. I hope the guests who don’t know us realize that we aren’t kidding about the Star Wars pillow cases. We designed it for people to get creative and celebrate what we all mutually enjoy. Mostly booze, movies, and funny tv shows.
And when should we enjoy these items? Etiquette says we have to wait until after we are married. I did not find this out until I snap chatted a fun thank you with a full glass of wine to a dear friend who bought me the wine glasses. What?! Wait to use my wine glasses? We’ve been together for 5 years, lived together for 4 years, would have eloped 3 years ago, put our money together 2 years ago, saved for the ring for 1 year. It’s not like we aren’t invested. There are things that would be harder to do than send back gently used wine glasses, should this thing not go off with out a hitch.
But you know what might make us call off the wedding? Wading through unopened boxes for the next 6 weeks as they stack up around our house. This isn’t a museum, this is my home. My little tiny, apartment home. Although, I have considered the box fort possibilities, I’ve got an actual life outside of this wedding. I ain’t got time to ponder the epic hide and go seek battle that could go down if I wait to use my wedding gifts.
In the end, I still find it a bit ridiculous to be getting more possessions. When we go to buy something we ask, “Do we need this, or is it just another thing to have?” In the case of the Death Star Cookie Jar, we needed that, and it’s cool. We are just trying to be responsible citizens. It’s nice to have nice things, but it’s nicer to have people you love.
Share your thoughts on wedding registries. Is it a dying wedding tradition in the wake of modern relationships? Should you still have to buy china for people who have been living together for 3 years? Do you frown upon alternative registries? Would you be offended/think its bad juju to open and use a gift before the wedding?
It’s really an anomaly to me, hope you can clear it up.
December 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
Here we are: December. I know. I can hardly believe it either. Tis engagement season. Along with the onslot of ugly sweater pics and #TBTs to xmas morning in the 80s, you will also get lots of couples making it Facebook official in your news feed. For dudes, this is prime proposal time. The ring doubles as the best Christmas present ever, and if she’s been eyeing June nuptials, he’s got at least a year and a half before bye-bye Bachelortown. Plus, there no better time to show off new bling. Get that finger out in front of everyone from great-aunts to forgotten high school queen bees. It really is the loudest symbol we have for coupledom.
I used to think people were crazy to ask if my sterling silver swirl ring was a wedding band on my 24 year old hand. It’s possible I presented myself just bizarre enough. I could have been that strange of a person, a person who would prefer non-traditional hippy jewelry as a symbol of marriage. In truth, I was wearing it on my left hand to remind myself that I was not ready to be married. Not at 24. I kept this ring on my finger particularly around Christmas to also remind my boyfriend at the time that I was not ready for a flashy upgrade. I liked the one I had. It represented my freedom of expression unbound by the gifts of a generous, yet loving gentleman caller.
Months before we broke up, we had an argument about this ring. The argument, although petty and meaningless to a guy who was about to dump me, struck me hard. I took the ring off that day to show that I would be accepting of any jewelry he wanted to give me. Dodging the bullet of a pricey Christmas gift, he let me go before the holidays.
Newly single, I let the feeling sink in. Do I put the silver swirl ring back on? Sure. Just a few times in the name of rebellion and newfound freedom, but I got even more questions about my marital status then ever before. Probably because I was looking super hot after the breakup diet and frequently on the prowl. Dudes be like, “Are you married to someone? You have a ring on an important finger.” I had underestimated the sigma in western culture of bedazzling this specific finger.
Atlas, I didn’t want to blur the line. It was true, I had begun accepting applicants for the position of boyfriend with the opportunity of promotion. I couldn’t be out there advertising that I wouldn’t consider moving the right person up the ladder.
Eventually I bagged myself a good one, Mister Red. Around year three of being together my “important finger” began to stand out again. This time in the opposite way. It’s nakedness was inviting, calling, “come hither.” I fought off the suitors, for I had already found the suitable one. My lack of bling also called out to people in the know. I’d constantly get my hand examined at catch-up brunches. I battled the nay-sayers. We were taking our time. No need to rush. It’s not like my finger was cold.
We went to take some rings for a test drive, but he didn’t make the real commitment until a year later when he could gift the proper wear for the all-occasion-every-day-of-your-life accessory.
When I first debuted my ring, there was more attention on my finger than ever before. Then conversation would stir to different aspects of the proposed nuptials, as they do. Some even reaching beyond the aisle to the cradle. It was all rather overwhelming. Except for one person, who was a simple acquaintance, and she parlayed the most excellent pointer. And this is very good advice I was happy to receive and delighted to pass along.
We were at a shower of some sort. Bridal or baby, I don’t remember, but the punch was flowing so I knew this was an honest moment. She said, “I’m not going to ask when your wedding is because you should enjoy your ring.” She looked at my finger and smiled a knowing smile, “I wish someone had told me to just enjoy my ring. Pretty soon the wedding will come and people will ask when you are having kids. And then you have a kid and people will ask you about your second one. So take some time right now and just enjoy the ring.” Once she said it, it made so much sense. The whole process is rushed.
From that moment on, I took time to admire it. This artifact carefully selected and painstakingly saved for, by hell or high water, the exact ring he wanted me to have as a symbol of his undying love– fuck yeah I was going to take my sweet time enjoying it. Now I only wish he had one too. Just so he knows how special I feel every time I look at my finger. I suppose he will soon.
November 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
There are the occasional moments in my life when I’ve stomped my foot and said, “well, I don’t care what you think, I’m wearing it anyway.” Prom is a good example of this. 2 piece, lime green, white girl with corn rolls. Or that Christmas when I was 10 and HAD to wear a pantsuit. Another being a college freshman purchase of the most outrageous mary jane platforms. They added seven inches of glory underneath my extreme flared jeans and became a go-to until I moved to Boston. Cartoon footwear doesn’t do well on cobble stone. Selecting my wedding dress is proving to be another such occasion.
Sure I took the online test even though I already knew what I liked. I wanted to be certain I wasn’t missing anything wonderful. Of course I get the label of death: non-traditional and unique. Personally, I was hoping to find a dress that I can later wear to the Emmy’s. You never know when an award show can creep up on you. What’s a girl without a gown? Always BTP (black tie prepared).
First Stop, disappointment. My mother and I trudged to a Labor Day sale in an Armenian neighborhood in LA. I didn’t watch enough episodes of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’ to know where I was supposed to start. A nice young girl pulled some drapey dresses. In a room with my mother, I stripped in front of them both. Topless and sporting a thong I stepped into the first number. Good thing I lift weights because this thing was easily 20lbs. Insert new word into description: light-weight. No one tells you how heavy these things are and no one tells you to leave your modesty at the door.
I stood nearly naked avoiding eye contact as the sales woman readied the second dress. I tried not to look at my stomach jiggle in the three way mirror as a climbed into a mermaid cut. My thighs glued themselves together from the knees up with the quick formation of sweat. “This is how it fits. I would order you this size.” My jaw dropped. But I can’t walk! I definitely can’t sit down. Second thing to add: must be able to sit.
As I kept on telling her, light weight, less fabric, the mountain of dress I was stepping into shrunk. The lightest dress in the store was still five layers of fabric with a four foot train. There is never a reason to wear five layers of dress in the summer. The sales woman let us loose in the store to look for ourselves. Ball gowns with vagina shaped bows costing over six grand assaulted my eyes. The picture of my dream dress began to focus up: little to no flowers, little to no lace, pearls are not me, no vagina bows.
With a refined pallet, we headed to Beverly Hills for excursion #2. This time I brought a friend who gets me. We got champagne at this place, it was classy. You don’t go to Beverly Hills for nothing. The salesperson was fun and whimsical, and encouraged me to try on everything to see what I liked. Non-traditional, unique, light weight, not a lot of flower, not a lot of lace danceable, sitable dress. I narrowed it down to 2 and a half. The fabric was still heavy, but I could sit. However, the sample size was too big. Even with the industrial sized construction clips holding my ladies in, I couldn’t get a good read on the fit. Fortunately they had the same dress in red, in my size. Upon zip up and suck in, my thighs were welded together with perspiration. “The mermaid cut isn’t for comfort, it’s for drama,” I was informed. I usually I do not care for drama. I am not a mermaid. I like dancing on land. Lesson for this trip: sheath is my magic cut.
Deciding that my nontraditional ways were leading me away from the traditional bridal shops, our next stop was to the grand department store: Needless Markups. You know the one. Up five levels to the evening wear section, I found her, in navy blue. She was amazing. Everything I wanted. drippy, structured, sweetheart, sheath, no flowers, no lace, and for a cool eight grand I could dis-invite 70% of the guest list and order it in ivory.
Back to the drawing board in yet another bridal shop in Beverly Hills, I got my first feels. My mother and my dear friend had been tearing up every time I had a veil on, but I was too concerned about my ability to sit to be thinking about being a bride and it being an epic life moment. This incredible dress, and with the glitz in all the right places, I started to leak from my eyeballs. I was going to marry him. I was going to get all dressed up like the stuff of cake toppers and become a wife. So. Many. Feels.
As I stood there feeling feelings, one of the salespeople leveled with me. She was a tall horse faced black woman unafraid to tell the truth even if it cost her the sale. “You didn’t come in here ugly. That’s all I’m going to say.”
“What?” I was confused. Was the dress making me ugly?
“You didn’t come in here ugly. A lot of dresses you try on are going to look good on you. I see girls who want something they have no business putting on.” And with that she reclipped the dress tighter and my armpit fat spilled a little over the side. “That’s how this is supposed to fit, girl. You still love it?”
At that moment with my thighs sealed together and the embellishment poking my ribcage from the outside in, I didn’t really like the dress anymore. It’s an important thing to remember that wifey feels do not equal dress dollars. The dress I had on was five grand. As my mother tried to refinance her car in her head, I came to my senses and put the kibosh on that nonsense.
Forward ho to the sample store. Designer dresses 30-70% off, yes please. This place was far less pressure. Me and my crew scoured the racks for try-ons. If it didn’t fit, forget it. That’s the thing with samples, it’s as is, you break it you buy it. Take if off the rack that day. No ordering. No returns. After the first few didn’t work, the southern sales lady pulled out a light silky sheath that fit like a glove and felt like a nightgown. I could actually walk, sit, spin, do the splits. Nontraditional, unique, No flowers, no lace, just right. I had a little bit of feels and pulled the trigger knowing it would need some jazzing up from a good seamstress. No turning back now.
It was anti-climatic saying yes to the dress, but it’s really not about the dress. It’s about matrimony, folks, like love and shit. Why are people so interested in what I’m wearing? Only people stalking you on Facebook care about what your dress looks like. So what if I don’t even look like that bride on top of the cake or in the magazine? I don’t care what any of them think, I’m wearing it anyway… all wife-like in my own way.