Archive for December, 2007

Ho, Ho, Holy Crap What a Couple of Weeks

December 28, 2007

Despite the best of intentions, when the holidays include hosting one’s future in-laws for 10 days while juggling my own family and the regular holiday insanity, the blogging goes out the window. I’m going to assume everyone found a way to soldier on, mainly by shedding crocodile tears into their nog.

Some wedding-related developments:

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My future in-laws selected The Tabard Inn for the rehearsal dinner. This is very cool because we both dig the place .

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I realized that my decision a while back to use vintage D.C. postcards for the save-the-date cards, and to handwrite them for a nice authentic touch, meant that at some point I was going to have to sit down and actually handwrite them for a nice authentic touch. Poor planning on my part.

3. I realized the other night that once the calendar flips on Tuesday, I’m going to be able to say I’m getting married “this” year, rather than “next” year. For some reason that struck me as significant. Then I went and had some nog.

Just When I Think a Wedding Couldn’t Get Any Classier

December 20, 2007

I consider myself a fairly low-maintenance bride and I would certainly say the same about my groom. Perhaps though, in the 10 months between now and the wedding, we will gradually have portions of our brains replaced by Twinkie cream, which can be the only possible explanation for that which you are about to view.

This serves as a fitting kickoff to a new Bridal Bird feature: I’m Not Sh***ing You I Actually Saw This At a Wedding (working title: INSYIASTAaW). No longer must the tales of your most ridiculous wedding experiences be confined to your own noggin or your therapist’s couch. Feel free to unburden yourself of them here. I’ve already gotten a nice batch—ranging from the simple anecdote to the full-scale epic with photos. If you want to be a part of the magic, keep them coming to brunchbird (at) yahoo (dot) com. First installment comes Monday. Consider it an early Christmas present.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go start choreographing my wedding party’s dance to the Leon Haywood’s 1975 masterwork “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You.”

Tales From Pre-Cana

December 19, 2007

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Earlier this week, I had dinner with two dear friends in Georgetown. And as the cold winds howled outside, we huddled in front of the fireplace munching on crab cakes and cheeseburgers and friend M told terrifying ghost stories. And by that I mean she told me about the first two weeks of her pre-Cana experience.

You see M and I got engaged within a month of each other. She too was raised a good Catholic girl and wants a full mass for the wedding ceremony. And she too has a fiancé who each time he starts talking in front of the priest runs the risk of having their wedding abruptly relocated to the Lil’ Chapel o’ Dashed Expectations. In her case, her non-Catholic fiancé is well within his rights to be expressing mystification with the tenets of the Catholic faith, because it’s the first time he’s hearing them. Mine has no such defense. He’s just being ornery. But the end result is the same: at some point in the last two months both M and I have hissed, at least once, with the urgency of the ringleader of an imminent bank heist: “Just keep your yap shut and we won’t have any problems.”

We start pre-Cana in two weeks. As dinner was winding down, M warned me with the solemnity of a senior camp counselor cautioning a junior camp counselor about the risk of lockjaw during a blowjob that we might get a copy of a book called Marriage is for Keeps plunked in our hands. The best part of this tome? Not the admonition that looking at Playboy or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition mean the relationship is seriously flawed. (Yes, that’s really in there.) Rather, the highlight appears to be the section on natural family planning.

For those of you going to hell because you’re actually trying to prevent blessed miracles from entering your life, this approach relies on monitoring one’s various bodily fluctuations to determine the pitch-perfect time to make a baby. It requires the woman take her temperature every morning, on the theory that elevated body temperature means it’s go-time for Jesus lovers. And, in a present to cynical bridal bloggers everywhere, it advises the husband-to-be that while his wife-to-be is taking her temperature, he would be well advised to…wait for it…spend the time praying.

Across the table, friend A thanked her lucky stars that her parents had the good sense to be Methodist.

Weekend Update: Starry-Eyed Christmas Contentment Turns to Murderous Rage

December 17, 2007

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Merely glanced at the Times yesterday so the pompous and insufferable are safe for another day. Instead, you’re getting a weekend report. Consider this a Choose Your Own Adventure post:
* Roll eyes and yawn before puttering off to inhale crueller in breakroom — Turn to Page 3
* Read post, roll eyes and yawn before puttering off to inhale crueller in breakroom — Turn to Page 10

Friday night
Attended Christmas party at the incredible three-level Logan Circle home of A Serious Job is No Excuse regular Hot Readheaded Lawyer. At the Bird cage, I eschew modern in favor of an aesthetic that could best be described as urban 1920s chic. I left thinking “How long would it take to undo three years’ worth of that design work and start over with Eames and pale blonde wood?” It was that incredible. As was her decision to hire the almost-old-enough-to-buy-alcohol lads of the GW a capella group to sing Christmas carols. Every now and then you feel like you’ve stepped up your game by landing an invite to a certain event. That’s what I kept thinking while standing around in her soaring home snickering with ASJiNE’s J about inappropriate relationships and meat guns. (Of course I’m not kidding, and no, that last one isn’t even a euphemism. Actual Taco Bell meat guns.)

Saturday night
Learned that while I was catching a cab home from the party on Friday night, feeling generally content and sparkly with holiday cheer, someone very close to me was being attacked two states away by a feckless thug. In an instant, I understood why retaliation assaults occur.

Sunday
Held the 4th Annual Birthday Brunch for my dear SnacksPlease. Babies seem to be multiplying exponentially at this event, but we did manage to talk about intellectual fare while swilling champagne, so that’s a success. The company was a lovely distraction from the fact that I really did want to be two states away unleashing murderous rage.

Instead of afternoon mass, I headed over to Haines Point to whack balls at the Potomac while listening to Nina Simone’s Finest Hour. There are times when I know that in order for God and I to stay on good terms with one another, it would be better if we didn’t hang out for a while. And besides, my backup plan is no less spiritual than church. While not as satisfying as unleashing the aforementioned murderous rage on the individual responsible, taking it out on a Titleist at least kept me out of jail. For the time being.

I’m not going to go into any details on what happened. My only request is that you undo a degree of the damage this asshat did to my faith in humanity by being kind to someone today in whatever way you can. Thanks.

I May Live to Regret This

December 14, 2007

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But as you all were such Johnny on the Spots with wedding song recommendations, I’ve got another request. Please send me your wedding tales of the worst reception experiences, tackiest events witnessed, bitchiest brides and so forth. My email is brunchbird (at) yahoo (dot) com. You will be rewarded with the untold fame that comes with getting your name dropped on Bridal Bird. Trust me, that’s huge. Your name will be known by nearly a few low hundreds of people. (Provided it’s a day when I’ve run a photo slugged “GiantKnockers” thus increasing my hits from the DC Blogs live feed. Any other day and there will be nearly 83 people impressed with your story.)

Let’s Dance, For Fear Your Grace Should Fall

December 11, 2007

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One of the blamillion questions that needs answering when a couple is planning a wedding is what song they will use for their first dance. Luckily, our tastes are simpatico and there are a lot of songs that have meaning for us. Some contenders I’d mulled, prior to even getting into the joint discussion on the matter:

lylepic.jpg“If I Needed You” by Lyle Lovett
Cons: While decidedly romantic, the lyrics are somewhat open ended. I want one thing most of all on the big day (besides the 5-quart Le Crueset roaster): resolution.

neilyoung.jpg“Razor Love” by Neil Young
Cons: In typical Young fashion, a proper version clocks in at over 10 minutes. Also the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who will be in attendance will be peeved. Those dudes really hold a grudge. [Update: Sadly, any humor in this observation is nullified by its complete lack of accuracy. Turns out, Van Zandt and Young were actually chummy. Thanks to Rock Creek Rambler who shall henceforth be referred to as Facty Magoo. Mainly by me. And mainly while drunk.]

benfolds.jpg “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds
Cons: I get Ben Folds’ point, but on second thought, I don’t want any references to old people kicking the bucket on my wedding.

steveearle.jpg “Sparkle and Shine” by Steve Earle
Cons: There are no cons with the song itself. And my fiancé sings it to me. You can’t beat that. Bonus points because Earle is married to hot redhead Allison Moorer. However, I believe the playing of the bearded, anti-war rabblerouser within 100 yards of the White House is strictly prohibited.

Once we convened on this issue the matter was quickly and easily settled though. It’ll be Willie Nelson’s “I’ve Loved You All Over the World.” Lots of reasons, no real question about it.
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Now, we’ll likely opt for the romantic lean-and-sway approach to actually executing the first dance. But this couple (called to my attention by alert tipster Dena, who is getting so good at this that she might soon win a set of steak knives) provides a compelling argument for checking dignity at the door.

To clear your brain of the image of the newlyweds turning one of the most important days of their lives into a floor show worthy of Rumors, how about M. Ward doing a cover of the song that lends its lyric to this post’s title? It was another possibility. Enjoy the mellow.

Doubt.

December 9, 2007

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(Photo by Kim Long.)

I was asked two totally innocuous questions this weekend and my response to both ended up rattling around in my head for a while, even after a shiny ball rolled in front of me and a butterfly flew by my nose. The first was on Saturday night, when someone asked how the wedding plans were going. I responded, “OK, I guess. It’s tough because it’s not really my thing.” Then I realized how that sounded and I quickly stammered, “I mean, getting married is my thing, because I am. I just mean all the planning stuff is overwhelming.” To his credit, the always-unflappable questioner didn’t respond (out loud at least), “Easy, jackass,” before backing away slowly. The second question was what my wedding theme is. The person asking was joking and it was totally in context. But my truthful response was that thus far I’d kind of just assumed our wedding theme will be “We’re getting married at the Hay-Adams so enjoy the view and the Cristofle serving pieces.” Coming on the heels of the previous night’s question, it made me think: Am I a crappy bride?

[Full disclosure: Any anxiety I’ve been dealing with is no doubt being exacerbated by the “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” marathon that’s been on all afternoon. There is a bride on screen right now pulling out boxes of doodads she’s been saving for years in advance of her wedding reception. Seriously.]

What’s got me a little looped out is that I love to throw parties. I love to decorate. So this case of writer’s block, as it were, in which the details that need to be decided on are eluding me, is unsettling. Does my inability to visualize what my table centerpieces should look like carry larger portent? If I can’t settle on ecru or eggshell for my wedding invitations am I going to be a bad wife?

I think the solution is clear. I need to figure out where I can add “Valium” to a wedding registry.

If Bloggers Picked My Wedding Dress

December 5, 2007

I’m heading to the land of pine trees, NASCAR, and salty ocean breezes. To tide you ruffians over until I return next week, I’ve assembled a collection of bridal dresses that I think some of our area bloggers would most appreciate seeing me walk down the aisle in. OK, maybe not me specifically, but the bride of their dreams.

A Serious Job is No Excuse
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(Hey, it’s a shot in the dark. Although I suspect she’d rather it be entirely short. You try figuring out what will make her happy, sartorially speaking.)

Roissy and VK
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The Playaz
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Throwing Hammers
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(One for me. Another one for Anxiety Closet Blog Me.)

Conservative Futurist
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and of course,
I-66
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Surprisingly, I Did Say Yes to the Dress

December 3, 2007

There are things one wouldn’t mind seeing when rounding a corner, lost in her thoughts, bound for (she thinks) the wedding dress of her dreams. This is not one of them:

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Ah, the beloved anti-labor rat, inflatable cudgel of downtrodden carpenters and janitors everywhere. Don’t get me wrong. I love the rat. But when it and the surly proleteriat are in between me and said dress of my dreams, I tend to view it as an inauspicious start to a wedding gown shopping weekend in New York. So as I twirled and preened in front of the mirror in the Birnbaum & Bullock loft under the approving gaze of mother, sister, and one confirmed bachelor wedding dress designer, it was slightly disconcerting to hear, “Hey hey, ho ho, unfair labor practices got to go!” It was an otherwise picture-perfect moment. Dusk was falling outside the wide expanse of glass that separated my cozily lighted studio perch from a wind-whipped West 25th Street below. I concentrated on listening to my inner voice to mull the dress, rather than the gravely voices of Local 419.

But it was not to be. The dress that Messrs. Birnbaum and Bullock offered me was beautiful, but it was ridiculously expensive. And this is in a kookoo bananas world where a $4,000 price tag makes me say, “Well, that’s not too bad.” We’re talking two more dollar signs on top of “not too bad.” I bid adieu to their studio and headed home to bed, more than a little dejected.

The next morning it was off to Kleinfeld, the bridal mecca featured in TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” show, which chronicles all the wacky results when you cater to women who are full throttle into an inexplicably societally blessed period of insanity.

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I didn’t plan to buy a dress at Kleinfeld. I just wanted to compare the three finalists I’d tried on here in D.C. at separate boutiques. (Designers have the equivalent of non-compete clauses, prohibiting nearby boutiques from selling their line once they form a relationship with one. So it’s almost impossible to try on your faves at the same place. But Kleinfeld carries a bazillion designers, I’m guessing because they’re the grand dame of the business and wield a fair amount of power in the industry.) Anyhoo, when I got there I was bummed to learn that they had only one of my three finalist dresses. There went that plan.

And the saleswoman followed that news up by bringing in a few dresses that were just so-so. But then, she brought in another one. The One. [Editor’s note: As God is my witness, this is the first and only time I will talk about a wedding gown in such breathless terms. Seriously, I’d like to keep my non-gay male readership for at least a few more weeks before they realize that there are other internet sites out there that have boobies and such on them where they could be making much better use of their time.] When I stepped out of my little dressing room into the main area to examine it in the three-side mirror, it was as if, to quote a dear friend, “a unicorn had pissed a rainbow into my ear.”

I was in the highly unusual position of having just put on a dress that nobody had ever tried on before. (Most bridal gown samples look like they’ve seen more action than Elizabeth Taylor’s ring finger. Zing!) The buyer for the store, a lovely woman named Dorothy, came over and said she had just found the dress on a trip to Paris. It’s the creation of four young designers from Hong Kong who are designing as “Annasul Y.” As I stood in front of the mirror, salespeople kept coming by to ask whose dress it was because they’d never seen it before. One even asked if it was Badgley Mischka, who were having their trunk show at Kleinfeld that same weekend. While it’s quite similar to their style, it most certainly did not carry the boys’ signature $15,000 price tag. At one point two little girls trailing another client walked up, planted themselves in front of me and scrutinized me for a few seconds before one declared, “You look pretty.” Sold. Ring that puppy up. I expected a cartoon bluebird to land on my shoulder.

Unfortunately, I cannot describe the dress here, nor can I post a picture of it, because my fiancé is one of my male readers who hasn’t yet realized that thing about the boobies to be found elsewhere.