Saturday, January 31, 2009

105 days

We're almost at the 100 day mark. That's frightening. I mean, it shouldn't be, because we've been engaged now for over two years. But it is anyway.

So about the Great Family Musician Debacle: my cousin emailed me back with a very sweet, very long email explaining that he would not be able to play at my wedding because he will not be able to come to my wedding. Apparently he and his wife scheduled a family vacation for that week and it's nonrefundable and whatever. I'm obviously bummed about it, but you know, that's how it goes. Plus that puts us two people closer to hitting the "under 100 guests" mark! Bright side, I shall find you!

The Mister and I are planning to go home over the first weekend of my spring break, so we should have plenty of wedding-planning frenzy to report on then. (As an aside, my "spring" break is in February. It's nonsense. In fact, the university doesn't even believe it themselves, and it's technically termed "Winter Break." Lame. Regardless, I'm going to San Fransciso for a few days--my first trip to the west coast!--so if you have a list of must-see attractions, or don't-bother tourist traps, leave them in the comments. Pretty please.) However, until then, I'm in sort of a lull: I've got the big pieces in place, but the little stuff is still too far out to deal with.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

epic fail: mission ask for help

So, my cousin will not be playing at my wedding. Deets to follow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

help, I need somebody

I have trouble asking for favors, generally. Unless it's someone I'm really close to and who I do favors for pretty regularly, I just try to avoid it. This is a big part of why I'm doing so much of the wedding stuff either on my own or through the help of paid vendors.

That being said, my uncle and cousin are both musicians. They both play guitar, my uncle plays the mandolin, and they both sing. They play in bands, but mostly I know them for playing Christmas carols at our family Christmas or sing-alongs at the summer family reunion. Oh, and they're good. So I really would like for them to play at the wedding rather than some random musician I find through The Knot or something. But that means I have to ask them to play at the wedding, and that is hard.

I was going to ask at Thanksgiving. But then I got sick and lost my voice completely.

I was going to ask at Christmas. But then I got sick and slept through 90% of Christmas day. (Are we seeing a theme? Maybe I need more Vitamin C.)

But more than being sick, I also was just a big ol' chicken shit. So today, finally, I emailed them. I'll let you know what they say.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

invitation madness

My invitations lady is having trouble finding the right shade of green for my invitations. Siiiigh. Apparently neither of her regular paper suppliers have anything that's right and so now she has to order online and blah blah blah. Seriously, I didn't think emerald green was that hard. However, apparently what I think is "emerald" is actually lighter/brigher than true emerald, which the paper industry seems to think is something like "shiny hunter green." Here's the bridesmaids' dress:

Am I wrong? Isn't that "emerald"? Have I been misnaming my oh-so-vital "wedding colors" all this time?

Also, she just sent me a mock-up of what it might look like. I was so excited about them when we designed them, which has been nearly a month ago now, and now I'm feeling...ambivalent. The Mister says they're "fine" but doesn't like that the response card has M______________ where the recipient writes in his/her name. I told him that was standard and I'm still not sure he believed me. I have been trying to figure out how to edit the invitation (it's in PDF) form so as not to have my last name plastered all over the interwebs to no avail.

Edited: WAIT, success??!

So, what do you think? I promise it looks better with our names and the address written in there, and if you ask real nice and I don't think you're a crazy person, I might just email it to you unedited.

Also, yes, I know the wording is wonky. I will not be inviting people to attend my marriage--I will be inviting them to my wedding. Hopefully our marriage will be long, and have at least a few private moments.


I really apologize for my lack of posting. I hate it when my blogs I read do that, and here I've gone and done it to you. This is for a number of reasons:

1. Classes started. The beginning of any new semester is sort of insane, and this one in particular because I'm taking a condensed class that meets for 3 hours every evening for the next week and a half. Once it's over, I expect to have a lot more time on my hands.

2. I was out of town this weekend for my brother's bar mitzvah. When I tell this to people who know me and not my crazy family situation, the immediate reaction is always "wait...are you Jewish?" This reaction is not surprising, given that I look pretty Irish and have a sort of generically British sounding last name. The answer is that no, I am not Jewish. To be fully accurate, he's my half-brother, and his mother is Jewish. It was my first bar mitzvah, and I got to stand up on the bima? Bimah? Beemah? Someone help a goy out. Anyway, it was a good time and made me very, very glad to no longer be 13. I'm awkward enough over 10 years later.

On a quasi-related wedding-related note, is it weird to have a chuppah if you're not Jewish? Because I think they're lovely. And the symbolism (your new home/life together) is not too shabby either.

Also, I sort of love Ketubahs. Maybe I should just convert (Side note: serious debate between The Mister and myself this weekend--can you convert from no religion to a religion? Or is "convert" not the right word there?). But seriously--look at a few of these. So lovely, and I like the idea of the marriage being a contract.

3. I've been swept up in Obama fever. Did you watch? Were you riveted? If you haven't already, you must watch Beyonce singing "At Last" for the Obamas' first dance. I am not always a huge Beyonce fan ("Single Ladies" and some of the early Destiny's Child like "Jumpin', Jumpin'" or "Bills, Bills, Bills" notwithstanding) but this was some of her best work. And the Obamas are, of course, fantastic. Mister, if you're out there: this is what a slow dance should look like. I'm having trouble finding the video right now (it was just on about an hour or two ago) but it should be widely available soon.

I promise a new post about wedding stuff. And soon!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bride Wars

So, by now, if you're on the internet (and you are) you've probably seen an ad or read a review of Bride Wars, the new film starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Here's a confession: I love Anne Hathaway, and I even like Kate Hudson. And I love stupid comedies. And I am primed to love wedding movies right now, what with wedding planning consuming an embarassingly large portion of my brain right now. And yet, I refuse to see this movie. I flat out refuse.

Most of the reasons for my one-woman boycott are summed up in Jezebel's recent post on the subject. (As is so often the case, Jez says it best.)

I will confess that, at times, wedding planning has made me a little bit of a "crazy bride." What it has not done, could not do, is make me into a totally different person. A bad person. Which is what it seems that Hollywood believes or at least wants us to believe. And I refuse to support another movie which perpetuates the myth.

I've seen a couple interviews with Kate Hudson promoting the movie, and she has mentioned that she was also the producer of the movie, and that it took her five years to get the movie made because "it was hard to make a movie about two women being petty and catty also sentimental." It seems to me that this should have been a red flag. Why, oh why, must movies aimed at women so often also show women as creatures who are (1) catty and petty, (2) obsessed with men/have nothing to say other than about men, or (3) you know, just plain crazy. WE ARE NOT ALL LIKE THAT. Frankly, most of us aren't.

If you're on the fence about seeing the movie, and my mild tirade hasn't dissuaded you, perhaps a compilation of the critical pans will. (Also from Jez, because really, what else do I read?)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What's in a name?

Name changes are like the third rail of feminist brides, like myself. Stating an opinion on the subject opens you up to all sorts of nasty comments from those on both sides, when it seems to me that of all things a name is, well, personal. Thus, I will share my opinion with you in the hopes that you will realize that this is what's right for me and that I'm not preachy (or at least, not intentionally so).

I will be changing my name. Or I guess more accurately, I will be adding the Mister's last name to my own. I am one of those with a short enough name that I often get called by both--you know, like your friend Jenny Liu everyone calls JennyLiu all the time and if you called her "Jenny" she'd barely know who you were talking to? Anyway, so using that example, I'd be becoming Jenny Liu Mister, dropping my middle name (It's Anne. Yes, that's exactly how creative my parents were. Katherine Anne. There were only about 9343284239483944 of us born in the '80s.), and using all 3 names in most cases.

Why am I doing this? In the first place, because it's really important to The Mister that we have "a family name." The Mister is, among other things, a traditionalist in a lot of ways. I know when hearing "traditional," a lot of feminists hear "mysoginist" but I at least choose to hear it differently. It's not about my becoming his property, it's an outward reflection of our reality--that we are a family.

The Mister actually first mentioned his desire for a family name to me when we first started dating, and we were like 18 and 19 and had been dating only a couple months. (As I recall the conversation, it was in no way creepy, it was more hypothetical than anything.) And my response then, and still today, was that if I were established in my career there's no way I would change my name. If I was young, just out of school, it was important to my future husband, and his last name didn't suck (it doesn't), then I would consider it.

So I guess what we have here is a perfect storm of name changing factors.

We didn't discuss the possibility of The Mister's taking my last name. I don't exactly know why we didn't--maybe this makes me a bad feminist--but we just didn't. Neither one of us is keen on hyphenation either, so that wasn't a real option, but the Mister did suggest that he take my last name as his middle. So we'll have two matching names. I don't know why that made me feel so warm and fuzzy, but it did.

Anyway, for those of you who know me in real life (or at least on facebook, which passes for real enough these days), don't be shocked when you see my name get one name longer in May.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

it's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

So, here it is: 2009. This will be a big year for me, what with becoming a married lady in May, graduating law school in that same month, moving to Chicago later in the summer to start a real lawyer-job, and hopefully buying a house (please financing, loosen up!) and turning 25 so's I can rent cars willy-nilly. Okay the last one's not so big. But I mean, I'm going to go from a student, living like a student, to a married lawyer (hopefully) homeowner. That's a big year.

Anyway, now a story about the end of 2008. My grandmother was reviewing our registry (our registry which I have slaved over and over and over) to decide what she would get for us, and she noticed we had registered for Calphalon knives (made in Japan). She seemed concerned, because she knew that German knives are the sort of industry standard, and she said she wanted to talk to my uncle who cooks a lot about it. She spoke to him and called me later to confirm that he said that German knives are really the way to go but then cautioned "I mean, I don't know. The Japanese really are always cutting things." (Her logic is unassailable.)

Anyway, after much research and stress, I have decided to change the registry and go with the German knives, in large part because the Japanese knives, while sharper and maintaining sharpness longer (good!) tend to rust if not washed and dried immediately after use. Several of the reviews I read mentioned that they had cut something, put the knife in the sink, and when they came back at the end of the meal to find their expensive Japanese knife rusted. Not cool. I mean, I can take care of nice things, but seriously, that's just too much.

So as I'm doing this research I ask the Mister to help me look at knife reviews and he responds "I'm not sure I have any special insight here." Which I of course interpret as "I don't have access to special information, it's the same interwebs I would use. You should do all the research and plan the entire wedding all by yourself with no help from me or anyone even when it's something stupid and gender-neutral and I might actually care about, like knives." This led to a minor wedding-related breakdown where I admitted I'm just stressed out about this whole wedding. The Mister helpfully asked what I was stressed out about and I was able to make this list: (1) we have no officiant and no idea on how to find an officiant to do a civil ceremony other than the web, and some of their websites are ATROCIOUS. The Mister agreed this is a valid concern and offered to help me do some research and to make time to go back to Wedding City for us to meet with candidates some time soon. (2) I have no vision for how to decorate the area where we're having both the ceremony and reception. It's a brick patio with a white tent to one side, and it's lovely on its own and we'll have floral centerpieces on the tables, so that's the most of it. Still I feel like I should figure out how to arrange the cake table and where to put the guestbook and whether we should do some kind of pretty lighting (I love those globe paper lanterns) and if we should do an "heirloom table" with pictures of our grandparents on their wedding days and if we need a big floral arrangement with the place cards and if we should do placecards at all our a big seating chart and.... The Mister's response to this concern was basically "wait, didn't we pick this location because it's pretty?" "Yes." "So...isn't it just going to be pretty?" (3) Have we made a huge mistake with the registry? I never would have second guessed our knife choice if my grandmother hadn't mentioned it to us, and then we would have ended up with a bunch of rust balls with very expensive and aesthetically pleasing hilts because that's all I looked at. What if the same thing is true of our plates? Or our food processor? OR ALL OF IT WHAT IF WE DID IT WRONG, ALL WRONG?! The mister's response to this concern was basically "well yeah, but at least we'll be married people with rust balls." Damn him and his level head.

So, now, in the spirit of this day, a few resolutions...

Wedding related resolutions:
1. I will remember the purpose of the day--to have a sweet fucking party for all our friends and family--and not inflate its importance. We're practically married already and we'll be actually married afterward regardless. The rest is gravy.
2. I will ask for help when I need it, specifically from the Mister.
3. I will not let the other pretty blogs and other crazy brides on the Knot freak me out. It is my wedding, it is not a competition.

Non-wedding related resolutions:
1. I will value my health, meaning I will eat mindfully and exercise. I will consider this an investment in my health rather than a means to weight-loss.
2. I will appreciate being a student while it lasts, even if I do hate law school. I will enjoy having so much free time and flexibility in my schedule because it will soon be over.
3. I will do a better job of showing the people in my life how much I love them and how important they are to me.
4. I will not bring "throwaway" items into my house. I will stop buying cheap crap which I will just have to replace soon anyway and instead save up to buy something more worthwhile, substantial, and lasting.