Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hey, Mr. DJ!

God help us, we've hired a DJ.

It wasn't originally the plan. There was supposed to be a band, but the band fell through, and we found ourselves faced with trying to find a new band. And they were all either too annoying or too expensive or both, so when a Groupon came along offering a DJ at a discount we just said screw it, let's hire him.

And now I'm having nightmares about Love Actually. You know the scene, where Laura Linney and the dude from The Walking Dead are all sad at a wedding, and they're making fun of the DJ for playing Bay City Rollers and then—the horror!—he busts out "Puppy Love," and as a single tear rolls down his cheek he is declared, officially, the worst DJ in the world? That. That is what scares me. That I'll forget to put something on our "do not play" list that could ruin not just the moment, but the whole evening. I have seen it happen. I do not want it to happen to me.

And more than the dress not fitting or me forgetting my vows or the invitations getting my name wrong, it is the idea of a party-killing moment that terrifies me about this process.

So far.

Image: Astro-now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Playboy Prologue


Jill's previous post suggests that discovering a guy's Playboy subscription might, for certain people, be an engagement-breaker. Obviously, Jill is not one of those people. Friends—and, if I'm not mistaken, family—have used the powder room in our house, where we keep the current issue of Playboy, and they've stayed in the guest room, where old issues are kept. They always comment on our "periodicals."

And they are ours. The subscription is in my name, but Jill does pay half of the bill.

When Jill and I started dating, I had the Playboy subscription, and at the time it was my subscription. I don't recall taking any steps to hide the magazines from Jill when she first started hanging out at my apartment. I doubt I would have been able to; it was a small place. And besides, if she had an issue with them, she likely wasn't the type of person who would put up with me for more than a couple weeks, let alone end up with a ring on her finger from me.

Which brings us to a defining moment in Jill's and my relationship. Not the moment when I knew I was in love with her, or when I knew that I would propose to her. Funnily enough, I can't really pinpoint when those moments were. But it was probably the moment that I knew we had a real relationship. Jill remembers this happening at night, with me for some reason going on a cookies-and-milkshake run. I remember it with Jill asking me to go to Wawa for her, because my 2% milk was simply unacceptable for her breakfast,and she needed that cloudy off-flavored water generally labeled as "skim milk." But however it happened, she didn't feel like going. So, chivalrous (read: newly smitten) gentleman that I am, I went on my own.

Upon my return, maybe 15 minutes later, Jill had apparently decided to make herself comfortable. I walked into the apartment to find Jill lounging on the couch, wearing one of my t-shirts, watching SportsCenter, reading the latest issue of Playboy. To this day, Jill relishes telling people about my widemouthed astonishment, and the only words I could think to say: "You're not like other girls."

No, no she's not.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to Potentially Ruin a Marriage Before It Starts (Just Not Mine)

Ring, ring.

Jill: Hello?

Caller: Yes, may I speak with Ross?

Jill: He's at work. It's 2 p.m. On a workday.

Caller: Oh, I see. Is this Mrs. Ross*?

Jill: (Trying not to sound annoyed even though she has every right to be) Um, yeah. Sure.

Caller: Oh great. I'm calling about his Playboy subscription!

Now, from here, the call could go one of two ways. The way it did go, which involved me telling the caller that in fact Mr. Ross had already renewed his subscription but thanks for calling; or the way it might have gone, were I less cool and/or understanding:

Jill: His what?!

Caller: Oh ... his, um, his Playboy subscription.

Jill: Are you telling me ... that the man I'm about to marry ... subscribes to pornography?!

Caller: (Increasingly flustered) Oh no, ma'am. It's not porn. It's—

Jill: I'll tell you what. I'll pay for his renewal if you change the address on the subscription. It should go to his mother's house—that's where he'll be living now.

The moral of the story, folks? Don't keep secrets from your intended (or your intention-followed-through), even about something as possibly innocuous as softcore nudie mags with legitimate journalistic reporting for those who'd care to watch. Because it might not be pretty when s/he finds out. Not pretty at all.

*It should go without saying that the woman on the phone did not call me Mrs. Ross but actually used Ross's last name. That said, I'm not using it here, so just go with me.

Image: Andy Wilson on Flickr

Saturday, February 11, 2012

On The Dress

While watching a recent episode of My Fair Wedding (yes, okay, I watch a few bridal TV shows), at the moment when star David Tutera gasped at the notion that a bride world ever even think of buying a wedding dress online, Ross (yes, he watches, too) looked at me and said: "Well, I guess you screwed up."

Okay, so I'll admit it. I did buy my gown online. Only, it came with a return policy that the bride in question was apparently without. And also, my gown isn't a gown.

I never saw myself as the pouffy white dress type. Pure white only makes my pale Irish/Eastern European complexion paler, and at 5'2" with curves, a ballgown would make me look like a Barbie cake and a mermaid or trumpet dress would probably make me look, well, something like this. So I wanted something a few shades off of white, and I wanted it short. Not Mary Quant short, but something that wouldn't make me look shorter than I already am. And something that, as a bonus, would allow for fabulous shoes. I'll still look like a bride, but I'll look like me as a bride, rather than me as the kind of bride TV and bridal magazines tell me I should be.

Here's the best thing about my dress, though. Other than the fact that it will be far more comfortable than a traditional gown. Other than the fact that I'll feel like me. Other than the fact that it flies against all of the wedding-industrial complex ideas of what a wedding dress should look like: my dress cost me under one hundred dollars.

I originally purchased my dress on ModCloth, a really wonderful site from which I buy a lot of my clothes. But I wasn't sure about the size, and when I saw the dress also posted on the Nordstrom Wedding page, I decided to buy the back-up size there and just return whichever one fit me less. (A process which I undertook with the help of a seamstress.) Nordstrom won, and a day or two after the original dress was bound for ModCloth's HQ, I saw an ad on one of those wedding blogs you see here on the right, telling me that Nordstrom's bridal sale was on. I clicked through out of curiosity and saw my dress, the dress I'd purchased from Nordstrom less than three weeks before, on sale for 50% off. And when I called Nordstrom, they happily refunded me the difference. (Nordstrom is world-renown for their customer service, so I wasn't surprised by this ... but I was really, really happy.)

Bottom line: I was able to save a ton of money (a thousand dollars or more!) and get a wedding dress that felt like the dress I should be wearing, because my general distaste for the way we, as a culture, feel about how the bride should look and how much money she should spend to look that way. And I bought it online, David Tutera.

[Photo via]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shit Brides Say

But not my bride. No, seriously. Notwithstanding Jill's addiction to Pinterest, which she's passed along to me, Wayne Brady is gonna have to choke a bitch if it goes too far.

Hat tip to our friend Mighty Mo for passing along the video.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Code Orange

The whole thing almost came undone today. We had a legitimate Code Orange on the "Fuck It, Let's Just Elope" meter. Truth be told, we're not ready to downgrade to Yellow quite yet, but at least we're not teetering on the border of the Red Zone.

When we got engaged, one of our first thoughts was to just abscond to Vegas with our parents and one or two closest friends each, and come back a married couple. Maybe, or maybe not, have a party sometime afterwards. And we came pretty close to just getting married in a doughnut shop in Portland, just the two of us. But those impulses passed without our acting on them. And then we saw the Chelsea, and said, "WANT!" So here we are, planning a wedding.

At least for the time being. But when we threw down our deposit on the venue—almost, but not quite, as impulsively as those urges to elope that we'd let pass before—we didn't know that, 10 months out, the photographers we wanted to use would all be booked. We didn't know the band we wanted to use would be on vacation. And we didn't—and still don't—know what other unpleasant surprises might creep up. So while we're off the elopement ledge for the time being, I wouldn't recommend booking any non-refundable travel or lodging arrangements quite yet.

Image Credit: AJC1

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Pinterest Will Make Wedding Planning Better/Worse

While the engagement is something I welcomed, and perhaps even lobbied for, I failed to recognize one thing: an engagement inevitably leads to a wedding. A wedding whose planning, for budget reasons if nothing else, I'd have to take part in. And wedding planning? Not something that I was especially interested in doing.

I approached the whole process like a chore: something I needed to do or else it wouldn't get done, but not something that I could imagine enjoying.

Until I discovered Pinterest. And now suddenly, all I want to do is pin all the things. Bridesmaid dresses? Check. Hairstyle ideas? Yup. Centerpieces, bouquets, invitations, favors? Oh my yes. I, the girl who vowed never to make one of those obnoxious wedding binders, am basically doing exactly that, but virtually, and I can't for the life of me figure out if that makes it better or worse.

But hey. At least things are getting done. Kind of.