Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Running of the Brides

So I've mentioned The Running of the Brides here a couple of times here. Or at least once. It feels like more, but I can't find the others to link to them. Whatevs. Anyway, I feel I owe it to you, my loyal band of two readers who weren't there with me, to describe the experience. And, dear readers, it was an experience.

So once a year, Filene's pushes all their regular merchandise to the side and brings in racks and racks full of wedding gowns which were discontinued or otherwise cast off by the bridal salons of the world. The doors open at 8, I think, but brides camp out the night before, waiting in line to get first crack. When the doors open, the women (in "teams," normally designated by hats or t-shirts or some such) run in a frenzy to grab as many dresses as possible. The dresses are not sorted by size or style, so this means they have a ton of dresses, most of which won't work. They then trade their cast-off dresses for other teams cast-offs, trying to get things which fit their needs. Some carry signs like "I NEED A WHITE, STRAPLESS SIZE 2." There are no fitting rooms to be had, so the brides are wearing bike shorts and sports bras, and changing in the aisles, with bridesmaids holding up full length mirrors and saying things like "I don't know, it's a little frumpy."

If you hadn't guessed by now, this is not exactly my style.

So, my bridesmaids and I roll in at about 10. 10 seemed right--the real crazies have either found their dresses and left or given up and left. Either way, they're gone. It also means that the dresses aren't so picked over that there's nothing left. Don't get me wrong though--there are a lot of FUGLY dresses. (The Mullet Dress comes to mind.) There were also a lot of brown dresses. I mean, there's ivory, but these dresses were past tan into straight up brown. And, of course, there were the '80s poufy dresses. But in the midst of all of that were some really gorgeous dresses. Including mine.

I think most brides second guess their dress choices at some point, particularly if they (like me) look at all these websites with other brides wearing such breathtaking dresses. I have had this problem exacerbated by the fact that my dress has been stored at my mom's place and I haven't seen it or tried it on in six months. Though maybe that's better? Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I missed out by skipping the bridal boutique experience, but I'm sure I would have fallen in love with an $8,000 gown. Ah, well. That's the way it goes I guess.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

dell customer support online chat ftw

So, again, this is totally un-wedding-related, but I am just so pleased I needed to share.

Background: my computer's charger has been crazy moody lately. Like, I will have it plugged in, it will charge for a minute, but if you jostle it at all, it will stop charging. Even if it's firmly plugged in the wall, firmly in the computer, it's not going. I think some kind of wire inside it is shorting out, but regardless, it's incredibly annoying. I called Dell customer support about it about 3 weeks ago, and was told that because it works sometimes, they think it's not the charger, they think it's the hard drive and I would have to send my computer in for about 3 weeks for them to check it out. I tried to explain that, no, the computer otherwise works fine, and it's just that the charger sometimes doesn't work, but "Jeffrey" would have none of it. I realized only afterward that if I just told him it didn't work at all (despite the fact that it sort of works if you hold it just right and don't move at all) he would be much more receptive. This after I held for 15 minutes. He said he would send me an email showing a reciept of our conversation, but I never got it. I think something about the spelling of my email address got lost in translation.

(Aside: "Jeffrey" told me he was in India, and then proceeded to try to sell me a premium Dell service where you can speak to a real person in North America, instead of some lousy old Indian dude!)

Anyway, I finally got fed up enough with the precarious charging system today to try to call Dell again. As I was looking around their website for the phone number, I found that I could chat online with an agent instead. The following transpired:

Session Started with Agent (Madhusudhan_187930)
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Hello Kate. How are you doing today?"
Kate : "I'm okay"
Kate : "how are you?"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Good and thank you for asking."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "How may I assist you today Kate?"
Kate : "my power cord is not working properly"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "I understand that your power cord is not working properly, am I right?"
Kate : "yes"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Okay."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "May I please know as what exactly is the problem causing the power cord not working properly?"
Kate : "I don't know why it's not working"
Kate : "but if I plug it in and put it in the computer, the computer doesn't charge"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Okay."
Kate : "I'm using a friend's power cord now"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Could you please tell me Kate does your friends's power cord working fine with the computer?"
Kate : "yes"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Okay."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "So you mean to say that the battery is getting charged if you are using your friends power cord but not the one you have, am I right?"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Kate are you still connected to me?"
Kate : "yes, sorry"
Kate : "that is correct"
Kate : "it charges with my friend's power cord, but not mine"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Okay."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Any other issues apart from this you are facing with your computer Amy?"
Kate : "no"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Not a problem Kate, I am going to send you a replacement Power cord for your computer."
Kate : "great, thanks"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "You are welcome."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "May I please have your contact number and full mailing address to send the AC adapter?"
Kate : "sure"
Kate : "phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx"
Kate : "mailing address is xxxxx"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Kate I see a different address in your records, do you want me to change the address with the current address which you have given me right now?"
Kate : "yes, please"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Sure, give me couple of minutes while I log the case and give you the case number."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Thank you so much for waiting Kate I appreciate your patience."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Please pen down the Case# xxxxxxxx ."
Kate : "no problem"
Kate : "okay"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "You will be recieving the Ac adapter withing 2-3 business days."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Anything else apart from this you want me to help you with?"
Kate : "no, thank you"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "You are welcome."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "So have I answered all your queries and questions today?"
Kate : "yes"
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Thank you so much for your time and patience, thank you for your help today."
Agent (Madhusudhan_187930): "Thank you for choosing Dell technical support."
Kate Dennis: "thank you, Madhusudhan"

Pretty soon, I will be able to charge AND blog or shop for overpriced wedding goods at the same time! It's a revelation!

Friday, November 21, 2008

so much hungry

So throughout the bridal blogging world (and it is a CRAZY world, for those of you uninitiated), there's a lot of self-hate and body-bashing. I will attempt to not do that now. It's understandable--there's a lot of pressure to look great on your big day, coupled with the camera adding ten pounds...it's a recipe for disordered eating/body image. It's actually very much like putting every woman into a TV show for a year or so. It's not healthy. Anyway, I read these blogs of seriously size 4 women bashing how chubby they are, and hating on themselves for having that burger last night, and lamenting that they're not a size 0. It makes me sad.

All of that being said, I've been battling my weight off and on (that is, I've always been heavier than I might have liked, but often have said fuck it and eaten whatever and however much I want anyway) for as long as I can remember. And I'm susceptible to the same pressures. So I'm trying to eat healthier, and less in preparation for the wedding. And you know what? It sucks. I like fatty, greasy, sugary foods. And LOTS OF THEM. I hate being hungry. But I try to rationalize that this is a long-term thing to make myself healthier, and not a quick fix to look hot in my dress. Looking hot is just a side benefit. A very large side benefit.

So, I basically just said I hate this kind of post and then went on to make it. Being a bride makes me awful, and I apologize.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

when you call my name, it's like a little prayer

Last night, a friend invited me to come see Madonna with him. Let me say this: if you like Madonna at all and you get a chance to see her live, do it. Do not think about how expensive it is. JUST GO. As for me, I consider myself a casual Madonna fan. I don't know any of her new stuff except the singles, and even those I'm a little sketchy on. However, The Immaculate Collection is, of course, one of the greatest albums of all time, and so I know all of those songs. But this friend of mine had an extra ticket he needed to unload, so though I had previously balked at the price, I now could go for free! (Yes, of course he's a gay man. What straight man buys two absurdly expensive tickets to see Madonna? Though hilariously, his friends thought I might think that this was a date. Can you imagine? "Dear Diary, I met the nicest boy--he took me to Madonna!" This aside has become too long, and yet I refuse to stop it. Sorry.)

So the Sticky/Sweet Tour has been particularly well-recieved because Madonna has been doing a bunch of her old stuff, which she often refuses to do. But let me tell you this: when she went straight from 4 Minutes to Save the World into Like a Prayer, I nearly lost my shit. The fourty-something ladies in front of me and the super-gays behind me pretty much did lose their shit. I have never, ever seen any song bring down a house like that did. And this was an ENORMOUS house.

I am building a must-play list for the wedding DJ and so far, Like a Prayer is the only thing on it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

party in the front, business in the back

So my two bridesmaids and I bought my wedding dress at The Running of the Brides. One of these days I should do a whole post about that, because it was a sight to behold. One of the best/worst things about the experience is that there are a lot of really fugly dresses out there, and The Running is where they go to die. Or, more accurately, where they go to get bought by totally desparate bargain hunters. One such dress we affectionately named The Mullet. It was a sparkly, ridiculous confection in and of itself, but then--never wanting to leave too much without more--the front was short and the back was long. My bridesmaids insisted I try this travesty on. The front was seriously indecently short. Well above mid-thigh. The back was so long it had to have been a chapel-length train. WHY?! WHY?! I am not judgy about bridal fashion, for the most part. I mean, do what you want, whatever makes you feel pretty. But really? What you want to be wearing on the most-photographed day of your life is a mullet dress? Interesting choice. I figured the inherent ridiculousness of this garment was why it had landed at The Running. I figured no self-respecting woman would actually wear such a thing. (I should have been disabused of this notion when, as I was trying it on, several people told me how great it looked.)

I shall now post a photo of a totally different mullet gown. And a real person wearing it. I feel a little bad about doing this, but come on. You need to see this. This person is an acquiantance of my sister's, who sent it on to me. For which I can only say: THANK YOU FOR KNOWING ME SO WELL.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shoe Update

They are here, and they are even more lovely in person. They are slightly too small, however, and Bluefly does not have them a half size up. They're so completely perfect in every other way, however, that I've decided to keep them. I'm working on stretching them out/breaking them in starting...yesterday.

Also, they SO need some kind of "shoe bling" so if you've got suggestions, leave 'em in the comments. Please. And thank you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FINALLY, it's happened to me...

I finally found shoes. Only other brides could recognize how monumentally AWESOME this is. I have been looking for appropriate wedding shoes literally since I bought my dress. In February. Yes, 9 months ago. And not just, like, oh, I'm at a shoe store looking for sneakers, I should see if they have wedding shoes too. (Though, I admit, there was some of that too.) Like, actively looking. Scanning Zappos for any new postings. Constantly. Driving my bridesmaids crazy asking questions like "Is this too skanky?" "Would I wish I were dead if I were wearing these?" "I can't spend more on my shoes than I did on my dress, right?" and "I've lost all perspective: these are really ugly, aren't they?"

Why was finding a pair of shoes so hard? Well, for one thing, the Mister is an entire foot taller than me. I'd prefer not to look like a munchin at the altar, so high, high heels are a must. On the other hand, I'd also prefer not to wish I had cut my feet off at the ankles rather than subject myself to the torture of those high, high heels, so I was thinking a platform would be nice. Extra height, less heel. Win-win. Except that classy platforms are so much harder to find than I thought. So, so, so much harder.

On top of that, I haven't actually seen my dress since February, and I keep forgetting things about it. Like what exact color it is. (I bought it at the Running of the Brides, so there wasn't exactly a tag or an order or something.) Which makes buying white/off white shoes hard. The beading on the dress is a pewtery silver, which means gold is out as is super-bright shiny silver. My bridesmaids are wearing emerald green, so that was an option. I also thought blue might be nice (for my something blue), but I didn't want a navy or baby blue; if I was going to go blue, I wanted a sapphire to look nice with the emerald. Maybe that's crazy, but you know what? Fuck it, it's my wedding.

Anyway, after nine months of searching, I think I've found them. Of course, I need to see them in person to be sure, but I think this is it.

Now I can move on to obsessing about whether they need some sort of brooch or shoe clip on the toe! Excellent!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Four Thanksgivings

So since I'm planning my wedding from approximately 250 miles away, it can be tricky to schedule meetings that I actually care about. A few vendors I've paid sight unseen, so to speak, but there are some you just kind of have to meet. For example, cakes. I want to taste some damn cakes. Unfortunately, the only time I'm going to be in town the next couple of months is Thanksgiving. Oh, and Christmas. So convenient.

In addition, since the Mister's parents and mine live about an hour apart, we feel obligated to see both sets any time we're back. Oh, and my parents are divorced, so we have to see both halves of my family.

All this to say, our Thanksgiving weekend schedule looks like this:

Wednesday: work for the Mister and class for me, then to my mom's place

Thursday: get up in the morning and drive to my dad's parent's house (about an hour and a half away) for the turkey and fixin's

Friday: get up in the morning and drive back to my mom's place. Repeat turkey. Drive to the Mister's aunt and uncle's house. Eat something other than turkey, please Jesus. Party with his cousins.

Saturday: get up in the morning, try to make myself presentable, drive to cake tasting number one. Eat cake. Drive to cake tasting number two, try to eat more cake and not vomit. Feel guilty about number of calories consumed this weekend. Eat more cake. Drive back to the Mister's aunt and uncle's. More partying with cousins.

Sunday: get up in the morning, try to shake off caloric coma. Drive the four hours back to our humble abode. Prep for my last week of classes of the semester. Try not to think about how exhausting this whole "vacation" was.