Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Not Fair

Two posts in one day about weddings? I'm going off the deep end. Feel free to ignore the selfish ranting that follows. Seriously. It's pretty long and self-indulgent. But I needed to vent somewhere.

While I'm not the girl who has been planning her wedding since she was a small child, I did have a vision in mind once I met Mr and realized that I really did want to spend my life with him. I started thinking about where and when and how we'd get married. The little details didn't interest me much, but I figured we'd get married in Chicago, since we're here now and most of my relatives and all of his live nearby. I wanted to get married in the fall, because the weather is usually nice and fairly predictable, plus it is highly unlikely that it will be so hot that the groom or any other guy in a suit or tux would be near passing out. September, I thought would be perfect.

Then Mr's best friend proposed to his girlfriend last summer and she picked an early September wedding date.

That upset me a little. I had committed, in my head to getting married in September. I didn't want to wait a year, and I felt like she had stolen my date. I got over it. There are other dates and hey, we weren't even engaged yet.

Then we got engaged. We talked about it and decided on October - far enough away from the first wedding and still lovely fall. I was a little miffed when my family informed me that Notre Dame's football schedule needed to be taken into account but... what are you going to do?

Then I started looking at possible places and was quickly completely overwhelmed by the amount of money this little party was going to cost us. Then I found the place mentioned in the last post - two people I know were married there and, hey, half the cost! I called today and it turns out they're booked for all of October, unless I do a Friday and then I'd get 10% off. I said I can't do that, because 3 out of 4 of my bridesmaids are from out of town and then people have to take extra days off work. The closest available date is November 10. And, if we take that, she'll give me the 10% off. Ok. Sweet. We'll come check it out.

So, we're going to check that place out later this week or next week.

I emailed another friend - a friend of Mr's who is not yet engaged, but was asking about dates because he's planning on proposing - and told him that it might be in November. He just wrote me back and said that's no good. It looks like November 10 is when they're getting married. She's already talked to a reception place. We share a lot of friends - he and Mr share a best friend, a guy who would very likely be a groomsman in each wedding. So, he's like "gee, I hope you guys can find another day."

What the Fuck.

Seriously. This is supposed to be fun for me. It is supposed to be exciting. It is supposed to be ABOUT ME. I am not Bridezilla, I swear. But, shouldn't I be able to plan my wedding without catering to every other damn person on the planet? Why am I the one who has to compromise? THEY AREN'T EVEN ENGAGED YET! AND (I wish I could get bigger caps) they've been dating for less than a year.

That's unfair of me. I know it is unfair. How long they've been together shouldn't matter. They're in love, blah blah blah. It isn't their fault that Mr and I were together three years before he proposed. And I wouldn't have wanted to get engaged sooner. This is the right time for us. But. Can't it be about us? Shouldn't they, as the not-yet-engaged couple, have to plan their date after we've planned ours?

I like this guy. I've met his girlfriend once and she seemed ok. I'd like for him to be at our wedding. If he were more isolated, I wouldn't worry about it though, I would be ok with him not coming. But nearly all of our (really Mr's, but many of them are mine too) friends would overlap and I don't want people to have to choose.

I feel like such a brat. But, honestly, I took our first-engaged friends' plans into consideration when I started planning this thing. I supposed I could have moved faster, but sheesh, we've only been engaged for like five minutes and four of those minutes included Thanksgiving, closing on a house and getting ready for Christmas.

I suppose I have to do what is right for us and just let what happens happen. But. My family dwarfs his as it is. I don't want everyone at the wedding to be my friends and family and his, like, seven relatives. I mean, most of the overlapping friends live here, so maybe they'd pick us. I'd hate for the one guy to have to choose which wedding to be in though. Besides, if Mr loses a groomsman I'll have to cut a bridesmaid, which I could have done earlier, but now I've already asked everyone and I can't un-ask them. Maybe Mr would take one of my brothers...

There is a small small chance that October 27th could open up. Someone has a hold on that date until 12/23. But 10/27 is awfully close to 10/31 and do I really want to be celebrating my anniversary and Halloween every year? And, again, since it's my blog and if there's anywhere that I can act like selfish two-year-old, it is here where people can ignore me... Why do I have to switch? Fuck him, fuck his pushy girlfriend. They need to find a new date. Gah! Why is she planning their wedding when they aren't engaged!?!?

I hate myself for reacting this way, and yet I can't seem to help it.

This sucks, and it isn't fair.

Reception Hall Nightmares

I am doing my best to keep this blog relatively normal. That is to say, I don't want this to become a wedding blog. However, I am getting married and the planning is slowly ruining my life so, sometimes, I'm going to have to talk about it.

Today, I finally got some good news on the wedding front. I found a place in Schaumburg - I've been to two weddings there but the last one was in, like, 2000 and the one before that was 1998, so I don't remember it super-well - in any case, the price per person is roughly half of what I've seen elsewhere.

Seriously. Almost HALF.

That means that, if the place is nice - obviously if it looks and tastes like it was half-off, we won't have it there - we can now afford a band and flowers and the fancy-schmancy photographer that I've fallen in love with. Goodness. I would love to be able to have a band instead of a DJ.

The whole goal of my wedding is for people to have a good time. So, the food just has to be good - it doesn't have to knock your socks off, just be tasty and not remarkably bad. The really important things are as follows:
  1. The music needs to rock. Good mix of genres and time periods, keep up the pace, but play enough slow tunes too.
  2. The dance floor has to be big enough. My family likes to dance and I plan on shakin' my groove 'thang, if you know what I mean. Nothing worse than a too-small dance floor.
  3. The booze needs to flow freely. Few things can damper the night like the bar running out, closing too soon, or lines being too long. With the cheaper site, I might even spring for two bars.

Ultimately, I want people to remember my wedding as a really good party.

One of the venues that we were considering called me this morning because I e-mailed an attempt to negotiate the price. She informed me that their minimum for an October wedding is $17,000. Seriously. Seventeen Grand. That's a lot of money. When I told her that that was too much, she said she'd work on it. I was like "we might have to just rule you out" and she says she wants until the end of the day to see what she can do. She suggested moving the wedding to November. But I want a fall wedding, not a winter one, and I don't want to worry about flights getting in, people being cold etc etc. "Usually" the weather is nice early in November. Sometimes it isn't. I don't want to risk it. So, this lady is going to see what she can do. I seriously doubt she's going to be able to cut that minimum in half, but we'll see.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Random Tidbits

I don't have much to say but I want to get better at blogging regularly, so here are some random tidbits to entertain you...

  • As I was getting off the train today, I overheard a woman mentioning Reaganomics. Is that really still a topic of conversation? I'm well past the legal voting age and I don't really remember/understand what Reaganomics was all about.
  • The Victoria's Secret fashion show is tonight. I hadn't planned on watching, but I left the TV on after work today and, since my DVR (I'm sadly without Tivo - temporarily) taped Gilmore Girls, it came on. I think Heidi Klum might be one of the most adorable people on the planet but... I hate that show. I don't get it. I mean, the camera cuts to so many angles and shots so quickly, they aren't even pretending it's a fashion show. And I hate the backstage stuff. They're supposed to be the Angels, and it ruins the facade when a girl trips and nearly falls once off stage because the silly wings are too heavy. And the interviews with the models? I'm sorry but there is a reason some of those women chose careers that don't involve speaking. Yeah, I'm going there. I don't care what they have to say.
  • Victoria's biggest secret? Her underwear sucks. It's hardly cute, never fits right and falls apart.
  • I think I found a photographer for my wedding. It will be expensive, but I think good photography is worth spending money on. It will basically be the only thing that lasts after that day is over (besides the marriage itself, of course).
  • Mr bought me tickets to see the Nutcracker this Saturday. I love the Nutcracker. Last year we went on Christmas Eve and then to Morton's for dinner. Yummers. There are few things I enjoy more than great mashed potatoes and awesome steak.
  • Interestingly enough, Blogger's spell check does not recognize "blog" or "blogger" as words.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How 'bout "Frosty the Snowman"

When I was little, "Frosty the Snowman" was my favorite song to sing. I used to sit on my dad's lap, put my hands on his face and say: "What should we sing? How 'bout 'Frosty the Snowman?'" All year 'round. I didn't care whether or not it was Christmas. That's a good song. Annie Lenox's version of it? Sucks! Our satellite TV has Sirius radio and about three or four stations are Christmas music. It also has an all Elvis channel which is obviously my favorite, though I hate his "Blue Christmas" because of those high-pitch "ooo-oo-oooos" in the background. But I digress.

I was going to post yesterday, I had a great idea even, but I was at work and as I started to write it people kept coming to my desk, expecting me to do my job. It was really annoying. And now I've forgotten what I was going to say. Instead, I'll talk about Christmas some more.

Our stockings have gone missing. I ordered stockings from Pottery Barn - red velvet with a green velvet cuff - and had them embroidered: Rita, Mr, and a lil' booty for Hank. They are awesome. I've always wanted nice matching stockings and now I have a mantel to hang them from. Only. The stockings are gone.

At some point in the packing process, Mr opened the box they were in and I know I said to leave them in the box, but they have not been found in the unpacking process or in the searching-the-house-seven-times process. I think maybe someone - and I'm really not blaming anyone - accidentally threw the box out. It was small and would have felt empty as stockings are not very heavy. So, I went to CVS and got cheap-o stockings that were $2 a piece. Not what I had originally hoped for, but they do all match and now there are stockings on my mantle. I hope the old ones can be found someday. With the embroidering and everything, it was close to $60. It's not going to make or break me, but I don't think I can justify spending that much on stockings again.

I'm going Christmas shopping after work today. I have to get gifts for two co-workers, Mr's mom and dad, one of my aunts, and my cousin. I know what to get for everyone except my aunt and one co-worker. I'm hoping to miraculously get everything done in time to catch the 5:47 train home. I don't think it will happen, but it is Friday, so it isn't like I can't get home a little late. Mr can walk Hank. In the meme yesterday, I talked about how much I like giving presents (I mean, I love getting stuff, but I really enjoy finding something I know someone will like). It just makes me happy and makes me feel like it is really Christmas. I'm worried though, for when I have kids.

I can't even explain how much I love buying stuff for my dog. When I buy a new rawhide bone or special treat and give it to him... Man. His eyes light up. He opens his eyes really wide like he can't even believe what he's getting and then he gingerly takes it out of my hand - like he doesn't want to grab it too fast because he's afraid it might go away. And then he trots off, tail wagging. It makes me so happy. If the treat is really good, he kind can't even chew on it, he just runs laps around the house with it in his mouth, whining and barking. It's awesome. If I like giving stuff to my dog, imagine how hard it will be to resist getting stuff for the kids. My kid will be so spoiled.

I also said hot chocolate over egg nog and I have to say, I'm one of the few people I know who actually like egg nog. Being lactose intolerant, I can't have much of it, but I love egg nog. It's Christmas to me. However, if you throw some peppermint schnapps into some really cheap hot chocolate... man, oh, man is that good. My favorite is to bring a little airplane sized bottle into a Notre Dame football game and pour it into a hot chocolate. Now that makes football fun.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Meme!

  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. With marshmallows, preferably while sitting near a fire after having a snow ball fight or making snow angels or some other such wintery fun.
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa always left one present unwrapped on the fireplace with the stocking for each kid. Then, when Santa was very busy, he started delivering presents early, wrapped but unmarked. Each kid had a sticker and the presents were labeled with stickers. We didn’t find out until Christmas morning who had what sticker. Then, Santa would leave a small present by our stocking, but wrapped so that we’d know what other presents were ours.
  3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We switched off growing up. I like white lights, though. I got a prelit tree last year with white lights and I love it.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
  5. When do you put your decorations up? I’d like to do it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get around to it until last weekend (12/9). I like to get them up in the beginning of December so that it feels like Christmas.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? How can you exclude dessert? Dessert is my favorite. Um… without dessert, maybe… Mashed potatoes? I love me some good mashers.
  7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Ring Mr Ching! We used to get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and one year we ordered from a place called Ring Mr. Ching. My brothers ran around the house yelling “ring mr. ching! Ring mr. ching!” over and over again. It drove my mom nuts. Many years before that, my younger brother got a Teddy Ruxpin for Christmas. My older brother put in a Metallica tape. That was the height of comedy for us at the time.
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have no idea. I remember being suspicious and asking my mom. When she told me that, if you don’t believe you don’t get anything, that pretty much cemented it for me.
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We used to open a present every night the week before Christmas. Now, I don’t have so many presents.
  10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? This is my second Christmas in my own house, but I’ve never set out cookies for him. Maybe I’ll make some this year. Probably chocolate chip.
  11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love it pretty much all the time unless it is a big storm and I have to drive (or am already driving when it starts).
  12. Can you ice skate? I used to ice skate all the time. I haven’t done it in a while though. I’m sure I suck now.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not really. Mr got me a digital camera last year that I use constantly. But I know there were some pretty happy Christmases along the way.
  14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Time with family and friends. Eating. Christmas music.
  15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I make a really awesome chocolate pudding pie.
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I don’t know… I love watching people open stuff I got them.
  17. What tops your tree? A lovely sparkly star from Pottery Barn. It was an awesome present from a coworker.
  18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? I love getting presents, but I really love buying stuff for people. Only when I have thought of something cool that they’d like to have though. I hate buying presents for people just because I’m expected to give them a gift.
  19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Frosty the Snowman!
  20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum! But really only the classic tasting ones.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Back!

Miss me?

Ok, so once NaBloPoMo was blown, I pretty much gave up. Sorry about that.

Things are coming along in our house (I know you were concerned). Mr has sanded, washed (twice) and re-plastered the walls in our bedroom and the blood red the previous owners used will soon be nothing but a horrific memory. I'll post pictures before we prime and paint so that you, my vast Internets public, can see how truly terrible it was and how awesome it will be. I feel a little guilty as he did all the work. Literally all of it. Because it took me nearly a week to get our kitchen together. But I felt I had to concentrate on that so that we could stop eating out all the time. It was getting bad. If course, we'll still eat out tomorrow night because we have bowling on Mondays, but you know. Soon, I'll cook.

The rest of the house is extremely overwhelming to me and I feel like our bedroom is holding me hostage. I can't really put everything away because nothing can go in the bedroom, so our clothes are split between the two tiny guest-room closets and the room we aren't sleeping in is sort of a mess, as we have more clothes than space at the moment. Since my office is where we're currently sleeping, I can't put my desk stuff away... it's just a long domino effect of me wanting to put stuff away but not wanting to move it twice. and now it is dark on Sunday which means I won't see daylight in my house again until Saturday.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mr is staying home this coming Friday so that the fence guy can come and put a new gate on our fence. The current one is set up super-goofy and we can barely get our cars in and out of the driveway - there is literally an inch of clearance for my car and even less for Mr's. So, that will be fixed Friday. Also coming Friday is Empire Today (You know: 800 588-2300 empiiiiiire) to install our bedroom carpet and then on Saturday, Wickes is supposed to deliver our bedroom furniture. So, that's nice. We also have a surprise party for one of my uncles on Friday and my company Christmas party on Saturday. So next weekend is a big weekend. I don't know when I'll have time to put up the Christmas tree, but I REALLY want to, as we'll be here for Christmas and it will be our first Christmas in the new house.

I love Christmas. It might be my favorite time of year. I love the lights and the music and the presents - mostly giving them, but also getting them. It's all going to fast this year, I just hope that I get to enjoy it.