Monday, July 1, 2013

Perfect?

Perfection.

This idea has been following me around in the later-stages of wedding planning.

Perfection.  Perfect.  "I want it to be perfect for you."  "What would be your perfect (x)?"

The answer?  I don't strive for perfect.  Perfect is unattainable.  I want an awesome wedding.  I want a fun wedding. I want a love-filled wedding.  I don't want a perfect wedding.  I've never wanted a perfect wedding.

Perfect, generally speaking, is a term people use to think too much and do too little.  You spend all this time just rolling ideas through your head and comparing it to the Disney Princess mega mix of weddings.  Will it just add that extra edge?  Will it just make everything hang together?  Will it make everything just look like this effortless, but also dripping-in-effort, affair where it's all this gorgeous, looks like we're a Vanderbilt opulence of absurdity?

Is that even what I want?  Well, no, it isn't.

I want people to come together and celebrate.  I want dancing and sing-a-longs to great songs.  I want old friends to meet new.  I want friends who've only heard of each other to have some fun.  I want our families to have a great time.  I want to get a ring on it.

Things will go wrong.  Not everything will go as planned.  People will not change their nature simply because I'm getting married.

And that's ok.  Because perfect?  Perfect's not worth it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Heat Is On

Here we are, three months to go.  Almost to the day, I might add.  By this point in September, we'll be strolling through the Magic Kingdom with rings on our fingers and, probably, super exhausted and happy smiles on our faces.

I have to say, at this point, I'm feeling very stressed.  It all really just fell on me at once, and that has me concerned.

I'm coming into the position where I'm hoping the decisions we made are the "right" ones.  Did we hire the right DJ?  Is my vision for the decorations going to look ok?  Did the people I invite all the right people?  Did I leave anyone off I should have asked to come?  Will anyone actually show up?

I'm also stressed because now, at the time when it's lots of swirling minutia, all sorts of people are starting to care about what's going on.  What we're doing for decor.  What we're doing for tuxes.  What we're doing for food.  The Whos.  The Whats.  The Wheres.  The Whens.  And, in my darker moments, I start to wonder why anyone suddenly cares now?

We've been engaged for over a year, at this point.  Nearly two, actually, by the time the "I dos" are said.  It's even more stressful because it feels like the caring about it is coming out of the woodwork like termites in an infested house.

We have had some really great friends who've shown a continued interest in what is going on.  I have no problem with that because, well, they've always cared.  They've always asked.  They've always wanted to know.  It's the people who're suddenly all over it like they've always wanted to know that I really can't understand.  You said nothing to us about this for a year and a half and now, suddenly, since it's Wedding Season or other things aren't distracting you or whatever is going on is cleared enough to see the two of us, you're suddenly intensely interested in everything going on.  All I can ask is why?

I think some of my annoyance is really fear.  Fear of judgment because everyone has an opinion when it comes to weddings.  Everyone has a two pence they want to interject in.  With so much decided, though, all we can really expect to get is other people judging the decisions we've made.  The decisions which had been made months ago.

The invitations went out into the mail yesterday.  Our only female member of our party has her dress picked out.  The next round of payments are coming due.

I'm overwhelmed because it's all becoming very real.  I'm overwhelmed because I'm already becoming a center of attention I didn't particularly want to be.

Can I go back to being the wallflower now?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Level Up in Planning

Quick update!

Honeymoon is reserved.  We're going to Disney World!

I'm over the moon excited because we've both never been and I've always wanted to go.  The booking process was super easy and I couldn't be more delighted with the level of customer service we got.

I had a ton of questions that were all over the map and it was a seamless process to get everything answered.

The Mouse, you have done us well!

Now it's on to everything else we need to do!  I'm looking at decor next, I think, and getting those ideas settled.  We've got some stuff together, but it's a teensy bit incoherent.

But, I wanted to give a quick planning update!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Personal Is Political

I've been quite petulant as of late.  That's a bit of an understatement, let me rephrase.  I've been really fucking angry lately.

And, honestly, I'm really angry about politics.  I'm beginning to grow resentful of the way in which gay people are being spoken about this election cycle.  I'm not an "issue"; I'm a person.

In this election, a very big issue to me in my current position in life is on the line: gay marriage.  Quite frankly, it's so very on the line, there have been pledges signed about it.  Because, really, it's not two people entering into a legally-binding contract which comes all sorts of rights and responsibilities.  No, it's all about "sodomy" and "the children".

Let me unpack this a little bit to really see where I'm getting really, really angry.

My life is not a political football and I refuse to let anyone diminish the human face of LGBT rights.  When you talk about "gay rights", you are inherently talking about me and my baby family.

We have heard nothing about it in a long time, by electoral standards, but it still is bitterly ingrained in me.

Here's the one-sentence: Mitt Romney, if elected, has pledged that I would not only never be able to be married but also if, by the grace of timing, I had gotten married, he would automatically divorce me through Constitutional Amendment.

And I'm pissed about that.  I'm so angry, it's taken me weeks to figure out how to put it into words. I'm angry and, truthfully, I'm terrified.

What if this goes through?  What happens to us then?  What will our lives look like?  How much harder will it be for us to adopt?  What will we do?  Do we move?  Do we sue the government?  Do we do something else?  What happens?  What should we do?

As it stands, already, over 30 states would deny that we're even married in the first place.  Even if I got a really great opportunity, or if he did, we wouldn't be moving to Atlanta anytime soon. or Austin. or Miami.  You see, the moment we cross state lines, our marriage is nullified.  Does not exist.  Cannot exist.  Is, in fact, illegal.

That's not even talking about the 1138 rights and responsibilities the Federal government denies married same-sex couples thanks to the "Defense" of Marriage Act.

So, yes, this is personal.  This is also political.  And, because it is both, you're not going to stop me from talking about it.  It is, at the very core, about me and my life and my ability to live my life the way I feel it best.

And, frankly, I want to put a motherfucking ring on it.  I have found that person and no platitude about how much it's "just a piece of paper" or "just a party" or "just a formality" changes the huge cultural significance has on a relationship.  The formality of the commitment.  The publicity of the commitment.

It all revolves around that.  To deny that to anyone is, quite frankly, disgusting.

And there's someone out there who's trying to take the little I can do away from me.  And not a soul is talking about it.

Not. A. Soul.

That is so distasteful it sickens me.

So, yes, the personal is political and you best believe I take it to heart.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Run by Fruiting

I spend a lot of time on this blog being pretty serious and I'm doing the process, as of right now, some fairly large injustice.

Yes, there have been some stressful moments and times, but on the whole, I'm actually somewhat enjoying the process.  That's right, I'm liking the process.

I'm a planner and having a big project to sink my teeth into really keeps me focused on moving forward.  The price tags involved are a little intimidating, even with our doing a "budget" wedding, but the process itself works well into my step A to step B thinking process.

At this point, we're ahead of the game in terms of being organized.  We've got all our major vendors pinned down.  Even our minor vendors are sorted and contracted.  It's a very large weight off of our shoulders.

We've got a Save the Date design finalized, which I will not be sharing because I don't know who reads this and I wish to offend no one if they do not receive one.

We've been working on the wedding website, which is not yet ready to go live, and making sure our quirky, fun sense of humor is incorporated into it.  That does mean a healthy level of snark which goes into accepting that weddings, on the whole, are pretty ridiculous.

I don't mean ridiculous in the sense of "why would you ever do that to yourselves?", but ridiculous in the sense that all the pageantry and pomp of it is a bit crazy when you think about it.  There's so much cultural baggage involved in the process that it's very easy to lose focus on what is actually going on.

I've seen so many professional blogs contradict themselves.  They talk doom and gloom about how "inevitably things will go wrong" and how "it will be so stressful from beginning to end" and how "at the end of the day, what matters is the two of you are getting married", but then twist themselves up in knots to sell vendors and shoes and dresses and clothes and accessories and other accouterments.  Is it that, at the end of the day you're marrying the person you've chosen to spend the rest of your days with?  Or is it all about the stuff and the accumulation and the $5000 dress you're going to wear once?  Is it about how all of these people love you for who you are?  Or is it about losing those 10 pounds to fit in a dress that is hand-beaded and to be tanned like Snooki after a week-long bender in the bed?

You see, no matter where you look in terms of weddings, your dream is being sold back to you.  If you're Offbeat, there's a niche dream being sold to you.  If you're traditional, there's a dream being sold to you.  If you're into simplicity, there's a dream being sold to you.  If you abhor white, there's a dream being sold to you.

As a full disclosure to my view on this, I don't much care about "stuff".  I have spent the better part of 15 years questioning the need for "stuff" and evaluating what "stuff" actually is versus what is really needed.

Friends and family?  Needed.  $500 flowers?  Not so much.  Food?  Definitely needed.  Photos?  Needed, if only to recall the memories and to show the day in the future.  Music?  Needed because a dance party with no music is pantomime.

Everything else?  Sliding scale.  Decorations are great to add atmosphere, but they're not really needed beyond setting a mood.  No one talks 4 years later about the awesomeness of a centerpiece and, quite frankly, who actually takes them home?

Formal wear?  Quite frankly, the only reason we're wearing it is because without it, there would be disappointment and grumbling.  He wanted it and I was more against it (dressing up into a tux carries some deep issues for me which are related, but not for the internet to know). Since I really, deeply, didn't mind that much, we went for it.  Just don't expect me to wear it any longer than I have to.

Once I'd gotten to the point where the crap was filtered out, the experience of planning has been really nice.  It's the ultimate in team building.  It's all about compromise, setting priorities, responsibilities and deadlines, but also being malleable.

I've, dare I say it, had a bit of fun.  Trying out different design ideas and elements.  Trying my hand in DIY.  Improving skill sets.  It's been really nice.

I'm such a nerd.  I'm a sarcastic, snarky, deeply skeptical nerd.  But, that comes with the whole thing.

If life isn't fun, what's the point?  It's not like you're going to get anywhere that is different than anyone else, right?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zygotic Relationship

I realized last weekend, while I was angrily fighting with my bank, that most of what makes the typical marriage is the slower process of two lives intertwining like DNA. It's the working to solutions as a team; it's the being completely honest; it's the working through disagreements; it's the really taking the time to communication; it's the support that comes with all of that. The merging of lives is hard work. It's even harder work than I had really been prepared for. In the bringing of two lives together, there is some autonomy that is lost in the process. You're no longer working for the "you"; you're not working for the "us". What's best for the "us" and having to negotiate the new merged places. For the DNA metaphor, it's making sure that all the genes match. Are you building up to the 10 fingers and the 10 toes? Are you making sure that the heart doesn't have a hole in it? Are you making sure the spinal cavity is fully closed? Giving up some of the "you" things has, honestly, been difficult for me at times. I'm a fiercely independent person. I make my own decisions on my own time and in my own way. I can be very difficult to work with sometimes because of it. Being a true team player isn't something that really comes to me. That isn't to say that I'm a complete asshole, though I do have my moments. I love to help people for the shear reason of having them find a new sense of independence. I love the people I've made my village in my life because I know, for the most part, they have my back. (that for the most part is a long and complicated story I really do not wish to get into at the moment) I was fighting with my bank last weekend because I needed to cancel an automatic debit for my car payment. I had first contacted the loan-issuing bank and they said I needed to call my usual bank. This institution I've been with for my entire life. I've been a customer for nearly 30 years, to put a somewhat vague number on it. As the bank has grown, it got bought out by another bank. The policies started to change, but it was still a locally owned and operated company. I stuck with it to avoid the larger, less friendly banks. However, they've been throwing in more and higher fees over time. Mr Man and I decided that we were going to start to merge our finances together to better be able to afford our "us" life. Bills, the house, general expenditures. We spend the vast majority of our money on all those things and we had been struggling because we'd been operating as financial islands instead of a cohesive unit. So, I was going to keep the main bank account at my bank open until all the auto-debits could be successfully moved over. It also gave time for the direct deposit from my job to adjust in case it took longer. That all changed when a $35 fee would have been assessed for my canceling the auto-payment. Really? For something which wasn't being canceled as a check because it'd not even started to be processed yet. You're going to charge me because someone hits a stupid button *and* you're going to force me to go to a branch to do it? Am I paying $35 for the 2 sheet of paper? Because I work in office supplies and that's a huge rip off. Unless it's made out of recycled bamboo, gilded in gold flecks and leafed in platinum there's no need for it. So, having found all this out on Friday, I go to my (old) bank on Saturday to close out the account. You see, closing the account is free... but changing the transaction and not losing a customer? That, my friends, will cost you $35. So, I closed the account and moved the money to our bank (a Credit Union) where it happily sits and I realized -- I just hit a tipping point. Sure, we've got vendors and preliminary guest lists and engagement photos. But, those are not real things in the real world. It's still all conceptual. The engagement photos were fun to have taken, but there's no way it felt "real" in the sense of "holy fuck we're getting married and spending the rest of our lives together". Moving the money, though, it did. And it hit me like a punch to the gut. The next piece of the two DNA strands clicked into place in the zip-tie zygotic process. It's the part that ensures the relationship can breathe and have a heart beat. Before this point, it was more the sprouting of arm buds. It was a floating mass that looked like it could be a human, but also a fish, shrimp or could become a cat, dog, monkey, ocelot or woolly mammoth. At the moment where the money was moved and my account was closed, I suddenly felt the simultaneous chill and warmth, like a Bayou winter, of coming into real adulthood. No more talking about the what ifs. We are going to give birth to the rest of our lives.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Time for an Update!

HOLY CRAP! It's been like a month since I've posted. I am such a neglectful blogger. Sorry 'bout it. So, the past month has been the slow roll of organizing and planning. We've started to get some articles to use as part of center pieces on the tables. I won't go into too much detail because, well, when I get an arrangement figured out when we have the parts assembled, I'll probably do a picture dump and some excited internet squeeing. I'll tell you that we've got some larger pieces and a bunch of smaller ones. Smaller ones are this awesome green color which, not within the color scheme we have for ourselves, totally will jive awesomely with the venue. Best part? All of it was gotten at a flea market and cost us less than $40 for the tall and shorter pieces. Rock on with our bad selves, no? In addition to that, we now have all our major vendors set. Venue (with catering), Photographer and now... (drum roll or some such nonsense) a DJ! I have to say, we did learn a lot from vetting our other vendors to try to suss out a short list of vendors which didn't make those awkward moments you may remember from our search for a photographer (if not, check the archive). I'm really excited about it because I think we found a DJ which'll keep everyone moving and will NOT have a sparkly vest or make me feel like I'm being announced by someone who is listing the starting line up of the Chicago Bulls. You know what I'm talking about, right? The DJ/Emcee who does the "and now, your newly married couppppllllleeeeeee......... Mister A annnnnnddddddd Mister B!!!1" with some weird song that plays like there should be search lights or something. Being the center of attention is nice, but I always thought that was over kill. I've had the tendency to snark at those types of entrances over the years with the next line from when I was in marching band in high school "...and the rest of the team!" queuing the Notre Dame Victory March or Darude's Sandstorm. I'll admit that a lot of my wedding anxiety comes from being a terribly snarky person at heart and not dealing with cheese well. Camp, I could sop camp up with a biscuit; cheese? Best left with wine and I'm a beer drinker. Anyway, our DJ is a club DJ who also does weddings. He plays top 40, EDM and all sorts of stuff in between. I'm totally down for some hot on-the-spot mixes and mash ups. I think it'll be sexy. But, where are we now in planning? Figuring out the design we want for Save the Dates (I refuse to call them STDs) and figuring out our guest lists to send said Save the Dates to. Hopefully it'll be less than 5 weeks before I post again!