What am I thankful for? ‘Murrica.

Hey hey, ya’ll.

Me, my husband, and my fake husband will be tromping on up the East Coast for some pilgrim-inspired feasting this week.

You know what Thanksgiving reminds me of? Elementary school.

It reminds me of all those times they dressed us up in three-cornered hats and we did stilted versions of “stone soup”.

Image

This is exactly what happened, right? (Sidenote: why the hell did no one offer the Native Americans a chair? And that woman in the back corner looks like she’s lecturing the Native American woman, whose all like “Bitch, please.” …. In other words, I <3 this painting.

Do schools still do that?

Its the strangest holiday, as most Americans have only vague notions that it traces to starving English settlers being saved by the generous bounty of Native Americans, yet in reality no one can agree on the historical precedent.

But its cool, because we don’t really need to.

Because pie.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, as it is with most people, because the sole purpose is to celebrate the autumn harvest, hang out with family, and be grateful for it all.

Its a rare homage to old America’s agricultural roots parlayed into a display of modern Amurrica’s overabundance of everything.

I am often embarrassed by my country’s excesses, given that I and most other citizens ended up in this affluent country solely by winning the birth lottery, so its hard not to feel guilty that we are fat and cozy while so many people are poor and suffering.

However, ceremonial feasts are as old as time and are routinely celebrated throughout the world to varying degrees.

And here, our annual feast is about giving thanks, not feeling ashamed.

So with that in mind, this Thanksgiving I will be grateful for my luck and hope that someday we’ll live in a world where everyone can have so much.

I will also be grateful for pie.

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My Imaginary Husband

Today, I’d like to tell you all about my imaginary husband.

He looks like this:

He’s simple-minded, annoying, controlling, emotionally distant, and only vaguely lovable.

Wait, wait, wait… didn’t you ACTUALLY get married? Was that whole post bullshit?

Why yes, astute reader. I DID get married. To a lovely man, who is none of the above things. He is, in fact: charming, loving, easy going, open-minded, and endlessly supportive.

But I’m not talking about him.

Actual husband

Actual husband

I’m talking about the person that comes to mind whenever I say “Oh, I’ll have to talk to my husband” when I’m trying to shrug off a sales pitch, or “My husband drives me crazy!” when making small talk during a haircut.

And that is NOT The Mister.

Why would I make up an imaginary husband? There are several things to blame.

First, the media: What comes to mind when you think of a married couple? If you’re a well-adjusted person, you probably think of your family members.

But if, like me, you were raised in the 20th Century onslaught of TV/movies/news, you might think of a family sitcom, movie romance, or Dear Abby sob story. When I think of a husband, I imagine Archie Bunker, Ted Kennedy, and the male counterparts in The First Wives Club.

An entire film devoted to how much husbands suck.

Many women my age are stoked by the idea of getting married. And yes, marriage is awesome and not like the media portrays it.

But to be completely honest, real world marriage is exactly like living together; only now you share a bank account and hold slightly higher esteem in your relatives’ eyes.

Second, its just so easy. Everyone has the same fictional married characters running around in their heads.

So to say “Ugh, my husband… I tell ya!” universally gets a nod and sympathetic sigh.

What else is there to talk about during brunch?

What else is there to talk about during brunch?

And I should say: The Mister does this, too.

Its an automatic cop-out to say “Well, my wife takes care of that, so I don’t know.”

It just doesn’t have the same salience if he says “Well, my girlfriend takes care of that” (everyone thinks “WHIPPED!”) And if I say “Well, my boyfriend takes care of that”, it implies some weirdly controlling relationship. But a married couple, well… obviously they need to consult with each other.

Pre-marriage days, we actually had to think of excuses and relatable small talk on our own.

…awkward…

Okay, okay… the truth is: we’ve been doing this for years. We’re each others best scapegoats.

Scene 1: Out to lunch with a friend, and The Mister’s phone buzzes.

The Mister, rolling his eyes and texting: “Ugh, sorry… I have to respond or she’ll get annoyed.”

Scene 2: Hanging out on the couch, a friend is complaining about her boyfriend.

Me, nodding vehemently: “Oh my god, I know! You wouldn’t believe The Mister the other day…”

Scene 3: At home

The Mister: “Your text was the greatest thing I read all day.”

Me: “I told my friend that you cried watching The Hunger Games.”

The Mister: “I’ve never even seen that movie.”

Me: “I know.”

 

It’s not lying, readers. It’s… embellishing.

If we actually admitted how much we trust each other, how little we question each others’ decisions, and how we never get on each others nerves, nobody would want to talk to us.

It’s the same reason everyone liked The Honeymooners better than Father Knows Best.

And finally, Husband is an ugly word. There, I said it! And after a year of using it, I still don’t think it applies to The Mister… which is why I have an imaginary husband in my head to take the label instead.

Hus•band. It sounds like an entrapment: “I couldn’t get away! They tied me down with a husband!”

Wife is alright. It sounds whimsical, like a fairy name. The Mister likes it because it sounds like “Life.” In fact, he sometimes prefers to call me his “Life” rather than his “Wife”. I’m okay with that, too.

It’s better than saying it sounds like “Knife”.

“Hello! My name is Wifey.”

“Husband” doesn’t have the same whimsy or easy rhyming correlate.

“Hubby” makes me shudder. It rhymes with “chubby”. And then I think of Chubby Hubby ice cream.

Which is delicious, but could eventually kill you.

“Hubby” also sounds like “hubba hubba”, and suddenly you’re transported to a 1943 dive bar with middle aged dudes in zoot suits eyeing up a co-ed.

three pachucos from yaqui

“Hey there, Little Lady.”

For a brief period of about two years (brief in our playbook), I referred to him as my partner.

“Partner” is such a lovely word; it sounds active, intentional, ongoing. It’s like waking up every day and thinking “Who would I like to partner up with today?” then saying  to yourself, “Yup, still that guy.”

Like its use in business, it evokes deal-making, compromise, trust.

“Husband” feels more static.

It’s something you can wake up after a bad night in Vegas and suddenly have forever.

Why don’t I just call The Mister my partner?

Laziness.

I tell someone I have a partner, they assume either (a) it’s a woman, or (b) we’re not married. Or both.

Which is fine, but then they’ll be confused when they find out it’s a man/we are married, then they wonder which one of us is transgendered, but they’re too polite to ask.

When they find out we’re just a heterosexual cisgender married couple, then I’m the type of person whose just being difficult on purpose for the sake of semantics.

I think other people fall into the media-generated “husband and wife” trap, too.

As the pioneers in our age group, we are now our cohort’s resident “married” friends. This comes loaded with assumptions on diminished autonomy and a stereotypical homelife.

Spoiler alert! Marriage is not this.

I think people assume we spend every night kissing over the stovetop and playing parcheesi.

Which we only do on Tuesdays.

So now you know. Friends, family, acquaintances: when I’m spinning a yarn about “my husband”, take it with a grain of salt. Because I’m probably not talking about this guy:

My marriage partner. And occasionally still my boyfriend (old habits die hard).

My marriage partner. And occasionally still my boyfriend (old habits die hard).

 

Nope. There’s a 75% chance I’m talking about this guy:

My Imaginary Husband

(Edit: The Mister is dismayed that I’ve given away our secret. Also, he’d like me to explain what’s going on in the last picture of him, because there is a perfectly logical explanation. But I’d rather not.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Halloween

Remember that time I said I’d start blogging again?

Yeah… So much for that.

Instead, here’s a photo of Robin Hood trying to pierce the armor of the impenetrable Clark Kent.

20131105-220215.jpg

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The one where I return.

Hello.

I’d like to clear the air.

Foggy Bridge Strings Inside

This may take a while.

I never intended my most recent post to signal an impending year-long blogging sabbatical.

At the time, it read like a simple ‘Ms. CQC is having an off day’.

But as time wore on and the page never updated, the sinister title “Nothing to Say” read like a cryptic sign-off. A blogging suicide note.

But it wasn’t.

Despite my best efforts, I don’t have that much forethought. In reality, I got busy.

Super busy.

Like… forgoing basic hygiene and eating nothing but granola bars for days because I’m JUST TOO BUSY, kind of busy.

Hi.

But now it’s done. I’m no longer in the crazy place. The crazy place has recently been usurped by the lonely place.

I’m still busy, just in a different way… Because now, I’m busy applying for jobs.

Now, I’m unemployed.

HEY, YA’LL! Is there room in there for me?!

This is no surprise, and if you remember the post where I first announced I’d gotten a fancy Ivy League job, I knew that thing was a one year gig.

At the time, I thought it was peeeerrrfect, as I could spend my time exploring ideas, networking, figuring out what to do with my life, and have a new venture ready to go by the time I left the absurdly overgrown ivy walls of academia.

Yet, with all the busy happening, I was unable to get all my ducks in a row.

Fuck you, ducks.

Despite starting the job applications five months before my termination date, I have yet to get a single phone call, let alone an interview.

I thought with a master’s degree, international experience, and the #1 school in America (or not) as an employer, human resources would be tripping over themselves to get me in.

Sadly, it’s no longer 1998, and I’m just like every other out-of-work schmuck.

Woe is me.

The upshot is that I’m back to blogging!

I have much to catch you up on, my darlings: married life! work life! egomaniacs! cats! gypsies! fake vegetarianism! Learning how to stop worrying and love the bomb!

Stay tuned.

Apropos of nothing.

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Nothing to say.

No really, I’ve got nothing. All day I plodded along in my daily routine thinking “I should really update my blog. My adoring fans must be missing me.”

Then I checked the daily stats. Total clicks today?

Zero

Funny Courtesy Hello Ecard: That awkward moment when you realize they weren't waving at you.

Its okay, friends. This shall not deter me. I still spent several moments throughout my day pondering… “Hmm… what shall I write about? What sparkling prose will flow forth from my keyboard to enlighten the world with my wit?”

And still… nothing.

-

The only thing I could come up with was an Ode to The Mister, which would involve gushing over my wonderful husband and how I’d fall to pieces without him.

But that’s pretty much every post.

In searching for a topic, I perused last years’ blog posts and found that the past year has been really rather wonderful for me.

I submit for the approval of the jury, the following four pieces of evidence:

  1. Almost exactly one year ago, I submitted my thesis and finished my master’s degree.
  2. Since then, I lived in Colombia for five months (and left a piece of my heart there in the process).
  3. Soon after that, I got married to the love of my life.
  4. And somewhere in between, I started a one-year (read: just enough time to muddle through my quarter life crisis and figure out the next steps) research position at a fancy schmancy Ivy League university.

-

It seems, in fact… that I’ve entered Grown-Up Land.

My work here is done.

…but lets not get carried away.

Every one of the above items has had its challenges and frustrations. I don’t regret a single one, but it’d just be foolish to think I’m the kind of person who would just give up on being in a constant state of crisis.

Oh, no. Crisis Mode and I are well-acquainted, and I think we’re going to have a long and frustrated life together.

In the end, this post is about how its not the end.

Anyways, here’s a puppy.

Posted in Daily life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Autumn, champagne, and hurricanes

I write this in the midst of chaos.

In case you haven’t heard, the entire East Coast is panicking over the presence of “Frankenstorm”, a hybrid hurricane + nor’easter that’s wreaking havoc all over the place.

If you recall, The Mister and I do not tend to hyperventilate over such events.

And such is the case this time. Even though this one is a touch bigger than last year’s, we’ve spent yesterday and today quietly puttering around the apartment and going about our routine.

…with the exception that we have to work at home, we can’t go outside for the fear of neighborly judgement, and we keep waiting for the power to go out.

 So there’s no time like the present to update you all on the happenings of Mr. & Ms. CQC.

Since the honeymoon ended (hah), we’ve largely returned to our routine.

I’ve gotten used to the killer 1.5 hr (one way) commute to work for my new job on a fancy ivy league campus.

Despite bingeing on podcasts and NPR, the drive is not terribly pleasant.

But at least there are pretty things to look at once I get there, especially amidst the autumn leaves.

Including stately grounds

Ornate entrances

Brownstone passageways

Castle-like edifices

And gratuitous archways with no logical function

And, of course… it’s namesake:

Ivy

Meticulously manicured ivy.

No, seriously… this ivy is out of control.

I know its a badge of honor to be “Ivy League”, but the above photo is of a parking garage, for Christ’s sake. Get your act together.

This beautiful locale has also afforded me an escape from city drudge to enjoy the yearly splendor offered up by deciduous leaves:

The colors.

The glory.

AND the crunchy fun they offer.

One weekend we both escaped the city and frolicked out to the countryside in order to see pumpkins and gourds in their natural habitat.

Their natural habitat being “rustic” displays at a garden center.

-

Whatever… it was $15 a pop for entrance to the pumpkin patch.

-

So we decided this would do.

Not bad.

Overall we’ve been enjoying autumn as newlyweds in our usual ways:

“Our usual ways” meaning we gorge ourselves on weather-appropriate foods.

Like making pumpkin raviolis, natch.

Well, that is… we were enjoying our autumn fun.

Until SOMEONE had to bail for a work-related trip to Belgium.

You’d better be ashamed.

So while The Mister tromped off to hang out in 12th century castles and eat chocolate, I dissolved into the sad state of affairs that is Single Living.

-

Perhaps some individuals thrive off of being alone.

But after several years of living solo “just to prove I can”, I found that I am instead prone to depression and lonesomeness when left by myself.

Yes, I am also ashamed of myself.

Ever the independent woman, I know that this is not the right state of things. I may feel lonely, but I refuse to act like I’m lonely in an effort to defy my inherent vulnerability.

Thus I spent last week plodding around in a stoic state of denial of my own loneliness.

-

In doing so, I attempted to regain my confidence and grandeur in the kitchen when the Mister is by my side, only to result in failure.

Another crack at pumpkin raviolis somehow ended up a mushy mess resembling sad scrambled eggs.

And then more failure…

My first-ever attempt at a layer-cake… this was before I tried cutting it.

I don’t even know what happened there.

-

On top of it all, these sad things occurred while living in squalor:

It was only like this for a few days… (or six or seven…)

And under the harsh glare of the only other living specimens who could testify to my deplorable state.

Don’t judge me, cat.

So about halfway through The Mister’s business trip, I finally tried to get my act together and act like a Certified Independent Woman.

Which involves putting Destiny’s Child on repeat, obv.

Which didn’t really work…

But the triad of harmonies Bey & Co. offered made me realize that I didn’t have to go through this misery alone.

So I invited over the inspired mind behind this fabulous blog to whip me into shape.

First order of business: get outside.

If only on your rooftop.

Step two:

Serve mimosas even after the sun sets.

Step three:

Keep going until your supplies are depleted.

Turns out after three bottle of champagne, you won’t feel so lonely anymore.

Luckily, The Mister came back from Europe a few days ago and is ready to resume his duties as my right hand man.

-

Just in time for this:

Good timing.

If you need us, we’ll be huddled under blankets with our cats and flashlights.

And maybe some more champagne.

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My Maine Man

After the wedding blitz in the last post, there was obviously one thing left to do:

Road Trip!

The Mister and I retreated to Maine. Excited that Wedding Mania was over, we were looking forward to a Northeast adventure of bike riding, kayaking, and hiking.

Unfortunately, a little mishap had occurred during the wedding…

OMG What?!
Photo credit (if she wants it): Brae Howard Photography

Somewhere between Twist ‘n’ Shout and the Cha Cha Slide, I started feeling a little stiff in the knee.

By the end of the night, my left knee was the size of a basketball.

Turns out my rockin’ dance moves are a little too much, even for me.

Meet my new friend, Meniscal Tear.

The Mister drove the entire way from Philly to Maine, while I kept my leg propped up on the dashboard with a never-ending stream of ice packs at my side.

And I got to rock this super sexy knee brace the whole time.

No really, I was thrilled.

And it made for awesome tan lines.

So while our plans for biking and hiking were thrown out the window along with my melted ice packs (Not really. Don’t litter kids), we still managed to have a good time.

In reality, there was only one thing we went to Maine for:

Steamy goodness.

So we made sure to tackle that priority ASAP.

Ready….

…Set…

FEAST!

Glad we got that out of the way.

Unceremoniously cleaning up among the spoils of our kill.

There were a few other highlights to our trip.

Rocky shoreline walks

Misty beaches

Spectacular sunsets

In addition to enjoying the scenery, we also spent a lot of time in our lovely room at a boutique bed & breakfast.

It wasn’t cold, but we used the fireplace on principle.

And we opened a very special bottle of wine.

The above bottle of 2004 Syrah was purchased at a vineyard in Mendoza when the Mister and I visited Argentina a few years ago.

FLASHBACK!

The Argentina/Uruguay trip was our first backpacking experience together, born out of a desire to be adventurous and enjoy our last few weeks together before I moved 1000 miles, away from the love of my life, to Missouri.

The byproduct of this adventure solidified two things: The Mister and I never get sick of each other, and we can totally tackle anything together. It made the move for grad school both easier and more painful in one fell swoop.

To be honest, we’ve held on to that bottle for too long, waiting for an appropriate special occasion. We had no idea what it’d taste like if we continued to keep it in the cellar. (Our cellar being a cardboard box in our hall closet).

We finally found the right occasion. And luckily, it was still tasty.

So despite the injury and the post-wedding exhaustion, we had a lovely week away.

As husband and wife.

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Welcome to Wedding Wonderland

Guess what?

I’m a married lady!

In the grand tradition of passing off women like a property transfer from a landowning man to his adopted heir (okay, maybe I’ve been spending too much time on Jezebel), I was officially united in marriage to the Mister on September 2, 2012 at approximately 4:38pm.

So I can check that off my life’s to-do list.

It was perhaps slightly more emotional than described.

By “officially”, I mean in the eyes of our most beloved family and friends, many of whom traveled great lengths to be with us.

Hey, guys. 

It was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony, but the remnants of Hurricane Isaac forced us inside. Too bad Plan B was such an architectural eyesore (see above).

In any case, The Mister and I couldn’t have cared less. We were getting married, and we were surrounded by love and happiness.

Despite a few snafus, it was perfect in every way.

But first, in the strange tradition of professional photography, we got to act like we were supermodels for a few hours.

I’m not even going to pretend this stream of photos has anything to do with the wedding other than to show off how awesome we looked.

Feast your eyes on our self-indulgent beauty:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, we had a costume change for the reception. Don’t judge.

 

Sorry about that… its just… we looked so damn good.

Now that I’m back to jeans and confused hairdos, I wanted to relive that sexy-and-I-know-it moment.

Ahem… now that my egomania is satisfied, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

As for the wedding itself, after the many months of watercoloring, hot gluing, and music-selecting, we finally got to see it all put together:

 

We painted some old boards and made all the signage.

Our predecessors in marriage on all sides of our family.                                                                                          

The Mister hand-stamped our booze menu.                  

The Mister also made the table numbers…

And picked up bouquets from Trader Joes…                                      

Jam favors made by Mama CQC.                                                                

So basically The Mister made everything cool at the wedding, with the help of our parents. But I was in charge of invitations, harassing people, and making timelines and to-do lists.

We’d crafted every piece of our wedding by hand, and were so excited to get to the good part – actually getting married and smooching all our friends and relatives.

 

Never in our lives have we received so many compliments.

People fawned over how good we looked, how beautiful the ceremony was, how heartfelt our vows were… the decorations, the food, the drinks, the dancing…

It was a night filled with nothing but positive words and loving embraces.

 

 

 

And according to the catering staff, they had never seen so many people stay on the dance floor for so long.

Yep, we know how to party.

Despite all the planning, all the stress (I accidentally dropped 10 lbs in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and we spent our honeymoon sleeping 12 hours each night to recover), and all the build-up; it was totally awesome.

We’ve never felt so popular in all our lives, nor so grateful for every single person with us.

Our wedding party were champs at letting us boss them around, and we miraculously didn’t hear a single negative comment or complaint the entire night.

We had this wedding only partially for us; the bigger reason was because we wanted to bring all our loved ones together and show them a great time.

And luckily, it worked.

Thank you to those who were with us, and thank you to those who sent good vibes from afar. We love each and every one of you dearly, and are so glad we got to share our wedding day with you, either in person or through this recap.

(All photos in this post credited to Brae Howard Photography)

Stay tuned for future posts detailing the marriage saga of Mr. & Ms. CQC.

The drama! The pitfalls! The glory!

(the laundry, the board games, the snugglefests).

Posted in Big news | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh, by the way…

I got married.

And it was perfect.

…and we’re so happy.

 

(Right now I’m busy with marital bliss. Full updates eventually.)

Posted in Big news | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Down to the (wedding) wire…

Greetings, friends, from the Most Stressed Out Place on Earth.

Disneyland, this is not.

Before I dive into my current inhabitance in Stressyland™ , a recap of my activities as of late:

Despite my last post’s focus on the crisis of having accomplished nothing by age 25, I’ve actually been accomplishing quite a bit the past few weeks. 25 may be a good year after all.

Much of it has revolved around my impending wedding.

This glorious occasion brings not just love and overloads of white fabric, but a multitude of other events that lead up to it.

So a few weeks ago, I was thrown a wedding shower by my sister and mother. It was at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and included free-flowing margaritas and plenty of hearty chuckles.

…such as with the Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest…

…and for that horrible moment when I realized my mother’s old college roommate bought me lingerie as a gift…

But lucky me, I also had three of my best friends haul themselves beyond the Hudson River to support me in this trying time.

Yay friends!

Then, last weekend, my bridesmaid and matron of honor threw me a ca-razay Bachelorette party.

Not pictured: belly-dancing, Indian food, and copious amounts of alcohol.

Despite my better judgement, I even donned the fake veil and glittery sash as we tromped through downtown Philadelphia and I tried to pretend that I didn’t care if strangers noticed I was carrying a penis-shaped water bottle.

It was a riot, but the next day was not so much fun.

Which, according to reliable sources, means it was a success.

But now on to the big things in my life:

#1) I’m getting married in ONE WEEK.

#2) I started a new job! It involves 2-3 hours of commuting a day, but its at a very reputable university.

Its been total crazytown trying to learn a new job while finishing up some freelance work, guest blogging, and planning a wedding, so I will certainly detail this job thing more in a future post, after the insanity of #1 is over.

But oh, baby… is this a dilemma.

Work. Wedding. Work. Wedding. Working at home. Working on wedding at home. Wedding is work. Work is work. Driving.

Oh god, I need a Xanax.

Just kidding, I don’t condone prescription drug abuse.

But fo’ reals. This shit is stressful.

The Mister has been a dream in dealing with my meltdowns, high-pitched rants, and sudden whims of insistence that we need MORE DECORATIONS, DAMMIT.

But truth be told, he’s just as stressed out over this as I am. Almost daily we trade off on whose going to be the emotional maniac, and whose going to be the therapist.

Everyone knows that wedding planning is stressful, but I don’t think anybody really knows unless they’ve done it.

True story: I never wanted to plan a wedding.

When I was a kid; sure, I dreamed about my future wedding. But I never wanted to plan it. Part of that dream was that my mom would just plan everything for me, and I wouldn’t have to do anything but show up.

Unfortunately, my mom apparently has better things to do with her time… like work… and weed the garden.

Also, it turns out that there’s this awful phenomenon called one-lowmanship, where each person thinks they’re better than the next guy for having a “simpler” and cheaper wedding.

People love to air their opinions on how ridiculous the wedding industry is, and how it shouldn’t be that difficult, or how easy their wedding was.

This big-ass pile of boxes have been inhabiting our hallway for weeks. And its all is solely for the wedding.

Well, fine. If your wedding planning was stress-free, I’ve determined you had at least one of these things working in your favor:

  1. You had less than 120 people on the guest list/ in attendance, or you outright eloped.
  2. The stars aligned and not a single family member gave you their opinion during the entire planning process.
  3. You don’t live in the Northeast, or one of the top five most expensive places to have a wedding (double whammy).
  4. You’re a psycho.

We have 90 people with just family. And its the type of family we see at LEAST once a year. No second-cousins or randomly assigned plus one’s here.

 We’ve done our best to keep the guest count low, but even just adding in a minor handful of friends and our parents’ friends, and suddenly it feels like we’re feeding and entertaining an entire football stadium.

The Mister and I started this whole thing knowing we’d have to do the whole wedding thing rather than eloping. We’re both so close to our extended families, it was just unthinkable to do it without them.

No big, we went into it thinking “Okay… we’re just going to throw a low-key party in the backyard. Its not a wedding. Its a party.”

So naive.

After reading through some wedding blogs, I’ve found that we’re not the only people who think this way. Few people actually want the $20,000 wedding. But that’s what everyone ends up with, despite their best efforts.

This article is particularly accurate. An excerpt:

“There are no ‘good deals’ in wedding planning. There are only ways of spending less obscene amounts of money. …I had this strange, naive notion that wedding planning only makes you want to yell and scream at people if you take it too seriously. HAHAHAHa. I also thought that I could ‘save money’ by not ‘caring so much’ about having a ‘big deal wedding.’ HAhahaha. Silly me.”

“…the more I’ve interacted with the wedding industrial complex, the more I’m realizing that the strange things that weddings do to females are often rational reactions to the irrational choices they’re presented with.”

Being a bridezilla is an affliction, not a choice. Expect protests outside the WE channel to start any day now.

And as a no-nonsense über-feminist, I now am seriously offended by the whole Bridezilla franchise.

Demonizing women for being stressed out? Not fair.

But what the above quote said regarding “irrational choices” is true: I would never give a shit about ordering 100 mini candles off Amazon, or making escort cards and place cards, or the exact timeline of songs being played…

…but I’m forced to. 

The venue charges $1 per votive candle (oh hell no; that’s just stupid). I’m required to provide the caterer with both escort cards and place cards for each guest, along with a list of table numbers and their entrees a week ahead of time. And the DJ is contacting us months in advance for us to provide him with timelines and song titles.

And then there are the guests… a carefully crafted list of only a very select bunch of people we love dearly…

…who apparently can’t send back an RSVP card.

Seriously – even some of my closest friends never responded. One member of the wedding party even said they’d bring a date, and then re-decided only when pressed for their date’s name.

Any logical person would think: “Well, if I decide not to come at the last minute, they don’t have to pay for me.”

Not true.

We have to give the caterer a list of people four weeks in advance, after which point we cannot subtract any guests without still having to pay for them.

Then we send a final list two weeks before the wedding – again, no subtractions, but this time any additions may garner us an extra 10% penalty charge.

This shit is ABSURD.

But after a recent trip to City Hall, we are now equipped with a “self-uniting” marriage license. So any day now we can just sign this paper and be done with it.

In summary, wedding planning is awful.

But here’s the truth:

It’s not so awful, because I’m doing it with The Mister. He’s a dreamboat, and even being stressed to the point of tears is more fun when its with him.

In an effort to maintain some semblance of a normal life amid the chaos, we recently went to (what we think may be) the greatest exhibit of all time.

It was by the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who called it “The Happy Show”.

It was a study on what makes people happy, presented in graphical form, followed by an exploration of his own quest for happiness.

And despite all our stress, and all the disclaimers to the contrary, we both left happy.

I’m inherently a negative person.

(Expected audience reaction: “Whaaaat?! Not yooouuuu!!!”).

But to put aside my front of whininess, I should make it known that this upcoming wedding keeps me excited for two main things:

#1) Marrying The Mister, obv.

After over 8 years, it only makes sense to make it legal and make the switch from calling him my “partner” to my “husband”. I’d spend my life with him either way, but now we can enjoy the legal and social perks of marriage (wait, are there any?).

#2) Seeing all my closest friends and family.

People are coming in from all over, and I am PSYCHED. I’ve never felt so popular in my life, and I can’t wait to just want to squeeze everybody SO TIGHT. I don’t care that the venue coordinator says receiving lines take too long; I want to make sure not a single guest gets away without a jumbo hug and smooch from me. So we’re doing it, dammit.

This is probably my last post before the wedding.

In a week, I will marry my best friend, my life partner, and the father of my future children. I will be surrounded by the people who mean most to me in the world.

I will be bursting with love and happiness.

Then I’ll ride off into the sunset with my husband in our beat-up Dodge, heading up the coast to Maine to stuff our faces with lobster for a week.

And I can’t wait.

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