Monthly Archives: August 2010

Staying Practical

Two fridays ago, as you have already heard at this point, I got in a crappy car accident and some other crappy things happened. In a fit of “I need to tell someone about this who will GET it, I blurted out an email to A Practical Wedding, and then honestly didn’t think much about it again. And then Meg wrote back and said, “Can I use this?”

Sooo… Yes. Go read: apracticalwedding.com.

Note: a lot of the stuff that was going on then has since been resolved, and this was an emotional blurting of what was going on at the time. Just some context for you.

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On clothing and not standing around in one sock

We are having a thrilling evening this evening.

First, I could not find the keys anywhere for a petsitting job, so 2 hours went to searching for them. Yup, two hours, just searching for keys.  Did I mention that this is not my week? Also, my check engine light came on.  See, again: not my week.

But right now – right now, folks, I am sitting on the couch while my lovely fiancee flits around setting things up for the big event: trying on wedding dresses.

What? you say. Didn’t you already do this? you wonder. Oh, silly you, just because we already bought one dress (each) doesn’t exclude the option of buying another. Or four others, if you are Turtle.

We got our dresses all altered up and Turtle does not like her dress. If she can’t find something else then she’s stuck with it, and that’s the deal we’ve worked out.  In the meantime, some giant J Crew boxes showed up at our house today, and Turtle washed her hands and feet so that she didn’t dirty the dresses.  Once her appendages had been thoroughly cleaned, we began the process: she with the opening and on-trying, and I with the bemused watching and faithful documenting.

open the box! out will pour hope and glory!

um, maybe instead of hope and glory there's just tissue paper?

box inside a box!

hope and glory? is that you?

Dress #1 - not so much with the glory. interesting back, but it didn't fit quite right.

pretty fiancee! All mine!

dress #2 - so pretty, but way too big, and a little stiff. I got tired of taking pictures, if you couldn't tell.

Neither of these dresses was *the dress* – whatever that means.  So we dug around in the boxes to find dresses #3 and #4, and lo and behold – they were not there.  Turns out they shipped separately.  So with under three weeks to go, the additional dresses will be arriving soon.

In the meantime, something else arrived in the mail!

package for me?

a vest you say? why, this is the wrong color...

Okay, readers, maybe some of you are thinking that you already saw me in my muslin fitting.  So the truth is that I was so excited about my *actual* suit’s arrival that I did not document the thrilling unwrapping process. Sorry to disappoint, but moving on:

I got an email last week that this was done:

photo by MacheteNSons, click image for source

I got it in the mail a day or two ago, and this morning we had a little photo shoot in the sun:

glorious!

beautiful lining! is that mild satisfaction on my face?

There are a few things that need to change, so I’ll be parting with my new-found suit to send it back for alterations.  Guys, I cannot say enough good things about A.J. and Lianna at MacheteNSons – this whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have been really impressed by the customer services. That, coming from someone who works in customer service, is saying a lot. THANK YOU, A.J. & Lianna.

So the struggle to dress the future Bird-McTurtlesons continues, but we are making progress! Yes, my friends, I truly believe that progress is being made! And I am thoroughly impressed by the ability of some tailors to fit you over the internet. Amazing.

Have you/are you in the process of the/did you struggle with clothing yourself and/or your future spouse?  Did you consider driving all the way to NY in one day just so your beloved could try on a dress she found on the internet? Did you consider scrapping the whole thing and showing up in jeans?  And is there anyone who reads this who is looking for a tailor? Cause, seriously, I love the ones I found.  Lastly: how hot do I look? And how pretty is my future wife? Discuss.

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Woo hoo, I’m a Guest!

Dude! I totally forgot to tell you that I was guest blogging over at One Cat Per Person, aka the coolest blog ever. No but seriously, Angie’s blog is way at the top of my list for Sane, Interesting Wedding Planning Blog, only now she went and got all married and will soon become a derby girl and write about that instead. Hear me, Angie? Derby. Girl.

Anyway, go check it out, it’ll be fun.

we also have one cat per person! plus a dog. this photo is evidence that they tolerate each other occasionally.

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Managing the Muck

Tonight we were driving and all I could talk about was stupid stuff we have to do.  We have to call the car insurance guy, we have to find songs for the wedding, we have to pay bills, we have to figure out how the hell we’re going to actually combine all our money, we have to practice signing our new last name… so many things! None of which can be accomplished in the car.  And Turtle was like, “Why are we talking about this now instead of when we can do something about it?!”

And here’s the answer: because all these ideas are like funny little creatures just pinging around in my brain, leaping and flying and somersaulting around in my head, and I can never wrangle them still enough to deal with them when there’s actual time to do it.  Stupid little Animal-thoughts. Calm the f down!

So the pinging Animal-thoughts are the reason I haven’t been here; somehow it seems luxurious to write about whatever I feel like writing about when I have ten million A-ts to deal with, not to mention the actual animals in my life who are always desperately needing something like a lap or someone with whom to run in circles.  The beasts, they ask a lot of me.

clearly high-maintenance

In the meantime, here is what I have been thinking about: how marriage changes things.

Marriage, I think, throws you into the muck of things, when the muck is the other person’s family.  When you’re dating someone, their family is on the other side of them – you are connected to them on one side, there they are in the middle, and their family is on the other side.  You know their family; maybe you are even close to their family.  But you are not a part of their family.

silly family

And obviously marriage changes that.  I mean, duh, of course marriage changes that.  But suddenly you are spending time with their family on your own.  Suddenly when there’s a family fight, you are allowed to be there, and maybe it’s awkward and it’s probably uncomfortable, but you are a part of it.

Both of our families have family muck, muck that I won’t write about here; but what I’ve realized in the past few months is how in it we are, that the muck is a big part of what we’re signing up for.  Hello, Muck, I’m Bird, and I am here for the long haul.

All kinds of wedding things have been happening recently: we are getting RSVPs, we have both of our wedding rings all shiny and engraved and in our possession, I have my suit (though I have yet to try it on) and just today bought a shirt to wear with it. Turtle is still dress-less, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Funny story, though: I just don’t care enough to write about it. I’m sorry? Maybe “I don’t care enough” is the wrong way to say it; maybe I’m just trying to survive these last three weeks of planning and the writing needs to be about something I can really invest in? I’m not sure.  But this is what I am holding onto:

Three weeks from today, we will stand in front of our family and friends and declare ourselves family.  In the meantime, we will wade through the muck, we will hold each other up, we will get each other to work and help each other fill out applications and take turns cleaning up Beast poop.  And in three weeks and a day, well, we will be married, and we will be doing similar things, and hopefully we will still be riding the high that being surrounded by people who love you brings.

For now, I try to remind Turtle that I am grateful for all the muck-wading she is doing and that I am prepared for any muck-wading she needs from me; for now, I try to remember that the hair flower doesn’t matter, while balancing the idea that I really, really want a hair flower; for now, I am trying to be grateful for where I am, while I’m here.

I have no intriguing questions for the end of this post, but I do want to say that I’ve missed writing, and I miss all your responses to what I write.  So say hello, if you have a minute, and tell me the things that you’re trying to hold onto, trying to savor, or can’t wait to be done with. Or both.

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Oh so wrong but oh so right

Oh, hi there!

You might have noticed I disappeared for a few days.  This can be chalked up to the facts that 1. we went away for the weekend (and had a wonderful, wonderful time, thanks to my amazing extended family) and 2. things kind of suck, and rather than writing, I am trying not to lose my sh*t.

Sad, but notable, note: I’m sure this is not the first time I’ve written that.

So, my friends, do not expect a wedding update right now, but rather some classy complaining. Maybe just plain old normal complaining. Here’s what’s been happening:

  • Plans we had made around our wedding are, for various reasons we are still trying to parse out, not working out. These are conversations we’re trying to have right now, so I’m not going to say much about them here. Let it suffice to say that last week’s guest post skims the surface.

    me: tell me what to do about everything that's happening! turtle: *this picture*

  • I posted that post on Friday, got ready for work, ran out the door, and drove about 75 feet down the road when my car smashed into another car.  We live on a nice, quiet street that is intersected by two other nice, quiet streets, and – funny story! – there are no stop signs on any of the corners.  Yes, my friends, that is 8 separate corners that do not have stop signs. Woo hoo.  As soon as I finish writing this, I’m off to get my car looked at by the fancy insurance people.  Let’s just say this was inconvenient.  My awesome dad lent us his car for the weekend so we could go to New York and visit my family…

    pieces of my car, police car looking on

  • … where my awesome dog bit someone. I’ve written a bit before about Daphne, and how she has some behavior issues that we’ve been working on with her, and how she was never socialized quite right.  Yes, once she bit another dog, and yes, it broke the skin, but it really was provoked. I would have bitten the other dog, too, if I could have gotten away with it.  But this time… well, this time the kid deigned to walk by my dog.  I’m sure it’s all more complicated than that – in fact, I know it is – but that’s what it looked like.  Luckily, she only tore his clothes, did not break the skin, and I apparently handled it well.  So, here’s what you do if your dog bites a kid: yank the dog off the kid, hand her off to someone who can handle her, make sure the kid is ok, go talk to the kid’s mother, and then burst into tears because you thought you were fixing your dog and then she went and f*cked it all up.  Everyone was very forgiving. I might start slipping St. John’s Wort into Daph’s treats… just take the edge off, you know?

    this face would never bite anyone! um... right? right!? wrong.

  • I went to breakfast with some of the Bees on Monday morning, and talked about all the stupid stuff that’s going on, and they all told me they hoped my week would get better, and I said, “Thanks, but it really can only get better from here!” And then I went out to my car, where I had just gotten a parking ticket. Big sigh. Got in the car, made a U-turn to go back home, and promptly got pulled over.

    well, fancy seeing you again!

I am, surprisingly enough, doing pretty well dealing with all this, if I may say so myself.  I haven’t fallen apart into a teary mess more than twice, and that’s pretty good for me.  Our wedding planning is still going on, and I am only more excited to marry the wonderful woman who has been by my side through all this other crap.  A surprising number of people have appeared in my life to tell me how wonderful I am and how well I’m handling things.  So, thanks, World, for reminding me that things are going right, too.

What good things are happening soon for you?  Anyone else with a craptastic series of events?  In the grand scheme of things, these aren’t the worst… and, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, happy updates coming soon to a Roughit blog near you.

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On not scrapping this whole thing and running away: a guest post

Well, folks, the past few days have been full of utter wedding crap. No way to say it better, excepting to maybe call it stupid f*cking bridal b*llshit. Because that’s how awesome it’s been.  These few days have made me consider scrapping the whole dress-big pretty place- good food-band thing and heading to town hall in comfortable clothes.  The thing is, though, we sent out invitations, and people want to come.  And they even drew the prettiest little pictures on the backs of their RSVP cards. So at this point, scrapping the whole thing is sort of out.


But really, hasn’t it been sort of out this whole time? I mean, the whole point is that we want our people there, that the making of our family is the coming together of two families, of two communities of friends, and – as it says on our invitation – because specific people’s love, guidance, and friendship have been important to us in our individual lives, we would like for them to join us in celebrating and affirming our life as a couple.  That’s the whole point of our wedding – not our marriage, but yes, it really is why we’re having this wedding.

All of that said, we are asking a lot from our guests, as I mentioned here.  And that brings me to the guest post of today, from Turtle best friend, who did, in fact, make me cry last night. Take it away.

When the Chips were Down, I Failed. We all did.

Hello, devoted blog readers. First off, this is not Bird. If this blog actually posts, however, it will be because Bird was kind enough to post it for me even though I made her cry last night. Yes, I made my best friend’s fiancee cry, and before you chastise, rest assured I feel awful enough all on my own. When Turtle told me she was getting married all those months ago, it was just shy of two years since my own marriage had ended—and not by my choice. I was, and still am, heartbroken. So even though I tried to put my big girl pants on and be supportive, it seems I have failed miserably.

Still, something came of all this yuckiness tonight. I realized something that I hadn’t until now, and that maybe I never would have if Bird’s tears hadn’t broken through my hard shell of cynicism and resentment. And what I realized is this: This wedding is unlike any other wedding you will ever be invited to, and that, all you fellow attendees-to-be, is not just a good thing, it’s a wonderful thing.

Yes, perhaps Bird and my BFF seem to be asking a lot, but take a step back and ask yourself when was the last time another friend or family member ever wanted you to be so involved in planning one of the most important days of their lives? For most of us, weddings are just an invitation in the mail, maybe a nice dress or a tie, an impersonal gift left on a table, and, if we’re lucky, an open bar. Heck, the last wedding I went to I didn’t even get a chance to say two words to the bride. So here are these two amazing people, loving all of us so much and so uniquely that they want to involve us in every beautiful step of the planning and celebration (not to mention the actual ceremony) and what do we do? We gripe that they’re asking too much.

Okay sure, it may seem like a few too many parties, but so what? Where’s the rule that says you can only have one? Or two? And who says it was all their idea? I’m guessing if someone had said to me, “I want to throw you a bridal shower” I would have been totally thrilled! And if my best friend wanted to throw me a bachelorette party too, well hey, bring it on! My point is, fellow gripers, that these are not two selfish people making selfish decisions. These are two of the most selfless people I have ever known doing the best they can to make all of us feel loved and appreciated in honor of their special day. Um, I don’t know about you, but I think that’s kind of awesome, and I feel like a total ass for not realizing this sooner. But hey, I’m bitter and heartbroken—what’s your excuse?

So here’s my advice, for what it’s worth: Make a damn quilt square. Bake a friggin’ pie. Color a picture or take two extra seconds to write a note on the back of your response card. And however and whenever you can, be there. That’s all they’re asking, and to me it seems like a really small price to pay for two of the most loving, give-with-all-their-hearts people I have ever met. And whom I will be proud to stand next to on that Saturday morning in September and be a part of the beginning of their future.

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Bridal bulge

Last night we went back to David’s Bridal. Oh, David’s Bridal, why do you and I never quite get along? Is it the airbrushed matching families in your giant window ads, your oh-so-hetero marketing, despite the legalization of same-sex marriage in both MA and NH, or the fact that every time we show up your employees seemed 1. perplexed by us (two dresses? both for the bride? confusion), and 2. annoyed that we don’t know where to go, despite the fact that they never told us?  Perhaps a combination of all of the above.

We were told to go back for our dress pickup at 8pm last night, so we did.  We thought ahead enough to bring our shoes – maybe they would want us to try them on?  It was called a pickup, and while last time they mentioned specifically that we should bring our shoes and our undergarments for the fitting, this time they told us to bring the pink slip with our info on it, and that was it.

So we arrive, and, as usual, the staff are annoyed at us for looking around and not knowing where to go.  Thanks DB’s staff, you’re so sweet!  We make our way through throngs of wedding parties – apparently Wednesday night is a big night to find your wedding dress – back to the alterations area, where someone comes to help us pretty quickly.  She’s blond, cute, upbeat, and cannot for the life of her figure out which one of us is Bird and which one of us in Turtle, nor how to pronounce our names.  This is sort of a theme for the rest of the evening.  I spend a good period of time worrying that they will actually alter my dress to fit Turtle, and then we’re really in a bind.

So they give us our dresses, we put them on (should have brought that bra, oops.)…and I bulge.  That is to say, my eyes bulge, because I can’t breathe.  Really, my dress is so tight around my ribs/waist that I am physically in pain.  I have Turtle unzip it until it absolutely must be zipped again.  And then – and then! – the alterations woman seems offended.  “We just took it in an inch and now you want us to take it out! Did you have dinner before you came here?!”

To which I, of course, respond, “Yes, I did have dinner, and I do plan to eat on my wedding day!” One meal should not make my dress asphyxiate me.

So then our alterations expert has to go get her manager, because apparently there might be more charges, and it’s all probably because I didn’t wear my bra, and they keep implying that I’ve gained weight.  A little part of my is afraid that I have, but before that I lost 8 pounds, and really a pound or two would not make my ribs fat. Ugh.  So I’m feeling guilty about being the “wrong size”, my dress is ridiculously uncomfortable, and they’re talking about charging us more money.  Where’s that nice woman who was so happy for us last time we were there? Can we have her back?

And in the meantime… Turtle hates her dress.  Not really my story to tell, but we are now on a 4-week countdown to “Woo hoo let’s get married” and “Quick let’s find a dress you like!”  If we don’t find one, she’ll wear the one she has…

At one point last night, the alterations manager said, “It’s a wedding dress.  It’s not supposed to be comfortable.”  And I thought to myself, “If someone had told me that six months ago, I’m not sure I would have bought one.”  My suit is going to be comfortable.  If we hadn’t already paid for all this stupid dress stuff, I would just scrap the whole thing.

I think maybe I’m approaching wedding zen? As more things are getting not-done or going not-quite-right, I can let go a little… yes?

What would you do with four weeks down and dress dissatisfaction on the rise?  If you did this all before, did you have the most wonderful dress-fitting experience ever?  If you work at David’s Bridal, how are you going to make us uncomfortable little lesbians happy again?

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