Archive for February, 2008

We Traced the Calls. They’re Coming From INSIDE the Bridal Expo.

February 28, 2008


It was the fifth such phone call in 48 hours to my office phone.

Me: [Publication name], Bridal Bird speaking.
Saleschick: Hiiiii. I’m calling from Amalgamated Wedding Services and just wanted to talk with you about your wedding entertaaaaaainment. Doyouhaveaminute?
Me: Can I ask you something? I’ve gotten five wedding solicitation calls in the last two days. This is my office. What godforsaken list did I land on?
Saleschick (immediately dropping the faux-perky and adopting a “sucks to be you” tone): You went to the Washington Bridal Expo right?
Me: Yes. (shuddering at the memory)
Saleschick: There’s your problem. They give your number to everybody. I mean eve.ry.bod.y.
Me: I cannot believe I actually filled in my work number on that form and that they make that the primary contact number for vendor solicitations.
Saleschick: Oh yeah. I can remove you from our list, definitely. But you’re still gonna get a ton of calls.
Me: And there’s no way to get off the list?
Saleschick (laughing): Oh God, no. You’re in there. Like, for good. And any time you fill out something online that makes it worse. So, I’m taking you off our list now. But you could fill something out online and end up back on our list.
Me: Fantastic.

Hanging up I realized there was only one solution. Intern. The wedding vendors of the greater metro area weren’t going to tell themselves to go f**k themselves. Plus, it will better prepare her for an actual job in journalism. For my fellow brides, just save yourself time down the line and write that phrase directly on the form when anyone asks for your contact phone number.


UPDATE: Wedding Decision Changed

February 28, 2008

When I reread yesterday’s post I really couldn’t figure out why I have a color scheme. I don’t need color anywhere because of the white orchids and the black and cream accents (in keeping with the newspaper/writing/typewriter touches.) I am officially abandoning the pale orange, green, and pale pink thing. Updates as events warrant.

More Wedding Decisions Made, I-66 Boredom Imminent

February 27, 2008

For no other reason than I’m relieved to be finally making some wedding decisions, I’m posting them here. Because I’m an instant gratification girl. I don’t like waiting 10 months. Feel free to practice your oohs, ahs, and ewws, now.

The Color Scheme
Every bridal magazine will implore its readers, breathlessly, that they simply must pick a color scheme tuit suite. There is no explicit reason given as to why, but the implication is clear: failure to do so will result in the early demise of one’s marriage, global warming, and someone, somewhere, will punch a tubercular orphan and kick a puppy. While I’m generally anti-all that stuff, I’ve not exactly felt a sense of urgency on picking a $@*% color scheme. Slowly and lazily, I’ve settled on one. Pale orange, green, and a few pale pink accents. Sounds heinous, right? I think it will actually work. I can’t believe I’m about to use this as a reference point, but you’ll see the shades of orange, green, and pink that I’m talking about on this cover:


However, as soon as I picked my color scheme I realized I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m supposed to use it for. My reception flowers are going to be white. My invitations will probably be cream and black. I don’t have any bridesmaids. Maybe my own boquet?  

The Flowers
Despite the fact that I don’t eat teh meat, I am not a complete hippie. However, I am trying in whatever way possible to not be a complete environmental Cruella de Ville with this wedding. It’s not “green” by any stretch, because an event dedicated to excess is by its very nature unnatural, but where I can…yadda yadda. Most notably, that’s with the flowers. Personally, I can’t support ordering a mess of cut flowers to be jetted in from South America then thrown away a couple days later. For starters, the labor abuses on flower farms are notorious and then there’s the wallop to the environment from having the flowers (typically pesticide drenched, as a double bonus!) shipped. So I’m going with locally grown, ceramic potted, white phalaenopsis orchids for each table.


Said ceramic pots: orchidpots.jpg

The “Theme”
Now, I would sooner get married at a chapel in Vegas than have a wedding “theme” like “Paris in Puce.” (Snaps if you can beat Johanna to identifying what 1980s television movie featured this as a theme.) However, there’s something to be said for some sort of aesthetic that binds the whole shebang together. Since both my fiance and I are reporters/writers–and since that’s what brought us together because we met when I started reporting for his paper–I’ve decided a few bits of homage to that could be just the thing. So I’ll have an antique typewriter and a stack of paper out for guests to peck out a hello, in lieu of a traditional guest book. We’ll use vintage typewriter keys to mark the table cards. And if I can pull it off, I’m designing invites and favor tags that use typewriter font. We’ll see how it goes. I’m going for “quirky and personal,” not “too cute by half.”


OK, I’m done now. Someone wake up I-66.

What the Oscars Have to Do With My Wedding

February 25, 2008

By revealing that George Clooney is the type to date cocktail waitresses*, the Oscars freed up the only impediment to me entering marriage pure of heart and mind. That was helpful. In that they played host to actresses with scant few hairstyles that I could rip out of next month’s InStyle then march into my salon and say “Here, do this on my wedding day” (as countless bridal magazines encourage brides to do), they were not helpful. Let’s look at the ‘do’s through the bride-to-be lens.

Even the promise of being able to stash my compact and Kleenex in the hive, freeing myself from having to carry a clutch, fails to save this look.

On the plus side, this one wouldn’t even require a stylist. Because it’s the exact same way I wear my hair to go to the gym every day.

OK, this is one of those in theory hairstyles. In theory it is great and would look lovely. But in practice, within about five minutes, our glorious swampland’s humidity would have this hairstyle in its kung fu death grip. It would be hanging in my face all day, giving me the air of a disaffected teen.

Speaking of disaffected teens, I’m fairly certain that this is how I and every other young girl wore her hair from 1990 to 1993.

No. No. No.

So where does that leave me? In all likelihood I’ll be showing my stylist this picture, asking for him to give me a modified Penelope. The main modification being that I’d like a bit more of my natural curl to come through. Oh, and the other modification being that I’d like him to give me her bone structure, eye diameter, kisser, and upper torso. He’s really good. I’m confident.

* If you’re going to pen a screed in the comment section about cocktail waitresses being people, too, please be sure to include details about the last time you had a lengthy conversation with one about the arts, world politics, current events, what have you. Bonus points if she looked like his girlfriend.

Namast–hey what class am I in?

February 22, 2008


I’ve got this weird little quirk. When I get anxious, I start vomiting. Uncontrollably if not medicated. It’s called Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. Now, I’m not saying that I start tossing my cookies if like, the Red Line’s running a 10-minute delay or they’re out of cherry Jell-O in the cafeteria. No, I get leveled when planning for big events and big visits. Example: seeing friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Hey, I said it was a weird quirk. Take Thanksgiving 2005. I had my family and some of my fiancé’s family coming. About 14 people in all and to boot (er, pun unintended), I was on the hook for brining and roasting a turkey. I spent Thanksgiving Eve 2005 curled up on the bathroom floor making sweet, sweet love to an American Standard.

Considering that the wedding merges both of my yak factors—big event, big visit—I’ve decided to be proactive. As such, I’m cutting down on things that could get me riled up and incorporating things that reduce my urge to throw up. To that end, I began taking yoga last night. Signed up for a beginner class at a studio right down the street. A few years ago, I took a short course down in West Palm Beach, but don’t remember much about it except that I found it very relaxing and I got nicely toned arms. (Double wedding bonus!)

So it was slightly disconcerting when I overheard other students walking into the studio saying “This is Fire Lotus level, right?” to which other students responded, “Yeah, I think so.” Um, squeeze me? Fire Lotus? I’m quite certain that doesn’t sound like a beginner level class. In fact I’m fairly sure I’m supposed to be in a class called Not-Yet-Smoldering Cuddle Blossom or Slight-Smell-of-Smoke Poofy Pansy or something like that. Once everyone settled onto their mats and the scheduling confusion was publicly aired, it turned out that the roughly 19 other folks were all advanced yogis. And then there was me. (Hey, they may be able to levitate on their pinkie toes, but clearly only one of us can read an updated course schedule. Zing! Am I right? Eh? Eh?)

After I offered to come back some other time so they could all do whatever it is you do when your bones can rubberize on cue, they were terribly nice and agreed to turn the class into a workshop so they could help each other improve on their flower-igniting yoga ability while the instructor dummed everything down for my level. The class turned out to be great. Everyone was very kind and several classmates were extremely generous in offering to help me with the poses. And when the instructor asked us to close our eyes and imagine one thing we hoped to achieve through our yoga practice, I’d have bet money I was the only one thinking, “a vomit-free wedding.”


Above illustration from Phrizbie Design.

You’re Dang Right I’m Going to Be After Their Lucky Charms

February 21, 2008


Dulles to Dublin, Redeye Direct

Dublin, 4 Days
Lodging: Westin Dublin

Pick up car and head up to County Monaghan in Northern Ireland, 2 Days
Lodging: B&B TBD

Mayo/Galway, 3 Days
Lodging: Ashford Castle

Ennis/Cliffs of Moher, 3 Days
Lodging: Old Ground Hotel


My question to you: ever been to Ireland? Any thoughts for us as we meander from Dublin to Monaghan, then down to Galway and Connemara? I know Dublin will include skulking around in James Joyce’s footsteps in some fashion. (I didn’t take an entire semester studying Ulysses, and Ulysses only, for nothing.) And in Ennis, I’ve been advised by SnacksPlease* that I’d be remiss in not heading to tiny, neighboring Doolin each night to take in the live music that fills the three pubs that comprise the village. Oh, and in addition to clay shooting, golf and equestrian pursuits, Ashford Castle has falconry. Of course i’m going to try it.

 *The honeymoon MVP, because she steered us to Sceptre Tours, who pulled off a package at least twice as nice in upgrades as the one we were putting together ourselves, and for about $1,000 less.

Who’s Got Two Felt Thumbs and is Keeping Score? This Guy.

February 20, 2008


Ten! Ah-count them. Ten consecutive-ah primary wins!

That is all.

From Castro to My Wedding in 16 Minutes Flat: A Morning in Text Messages and Self-Absorption

February 19, 2008


CNN Text Alert 2:38 a.m. Fidel Castro has resigned as president of Cuba, according to a statement in state-run newspaper.
Me 7:25 a.m. Holy shit! Castro resigned!
Hotshot Major Newspaper Reporter and Cuban Friend Alan 7:29 a.m. You are clearly no longer a newspaper woman. I’m at the freaking airport already!
Me 7:34 a.m. dammit. I figured your editors would at least give u til 8 to sleep.
Me 7:41 a.m. btw, please examine feasibility of infrastructure being rebuilt in time for me to take faboo honeymoon there. Kthanx.
Hotshot Major Newspaper Reporter and Cuban Friend Alan 7:43 a.m. Given the historical magnitude of this glorious day, I will obviously focus on your honeymoon plans.
Me 7:47 a.m. Fall of an #@%$ dictator of not, my wedding plans should *always* be the focus of the day.

Why Valentine’s Day Matters

February 14, 2008


A sizeable contingent of folks feel that Valentine’s Day is a pointless and bloated holiday created for the sole purpose of funding Hallmark executives’ annual ivory backscratcher purchases. They have ample support in every panting engagement ring commercial, pajama-gram and tub of chocolate body paint. What they do not have however, is my acquiescence on this point. Here’s why.

When I was growing up, my parents were (and still are) extremely private people. Although they certainly did believe it, they did not ever say “I love you” to each other in front of me or my siblings. They would rarely show physical affection for each other. Again, this is not to say they were cold. They were just reserved. But every year on Valentine’s Day my father would always buy my mother a beautiful boquet of flowers and a card. Some years he would make a big, goofy gesture, like hanging an oversized “I love you” sign in the dining room. The point was, on this one day of the year, he felt comfortable being a little silly about love. And my mother would blush and smile and accept it accordingly. To say that watching this expression on this one day registered in my subconscious and informed my attitude about the holiday is a vast understatement.


When I got to high school—the point at which I believe Valentine’s Day concretely shifts from being about your love of your friends or your parents’ love for you, to how someone loves you romantically—I was always vaguely detached from the day. I’ll let you in on a little secret: in the American high school, the curly red-haired girl with the above-average vocabulary and the uncompromising inability to tolerate doofuses does not exactly have a lot of guys banging down her door. I had plenty of guy friends, but they were of the “like me” variety, never the “like me like me” variety. Let me repeat that: never. My dates for all homecoming dances and the prom and such were dudes who enjoyed debating the relative merits of Cracker versus Catherine Wheel in the back of AP British Lit. Or who appreciated that I’d play a pickup game of lacrosse with them without whining if they head checked me.

So Valentine’s Days came and went without the oversized heart balloons affixed to my locker handle or roses delivered to the front office. Now, thanks must be paid at this point to my 10-years-older, curly red-haired sister-in-law who would assure me in those days that this was a temporary affliction. That even though my appeal at the time was limited to creepy old men, I would enter college and find it to be a whole new world. As such, this lack of Valentine’s Day swag did not have the effect of turning me into a Bitter Betty who sat in the back of the library mulling the best proportion of Drano to Diet Coke for my chums with the straight blond or brunette hair lugging around top hat-wearing teddy bears. I still liked the holiday, but just felt that it wasn’t a day that registered for me in my own romantic life. Namely, because I did not have my own romantic life.

Then I got to college and learned within about 45 minutes on Day 1 that, true to my sister-in-law’s word, it would indeed be a whole new world. On the morning of Valentine’s Day 1996, my first love gave me a diamond necklace—my first romantic gift on the holiday, which registered not because of its cost, but because of its meaning. It was the start of a remarkable day that I will always recall vividly.

Jump forward to Valentine’s Day 2006. My not-yet-fiancé handed me a letter that remains the only inanimate object that I would enter a burning building to retrieve.


Which brings us to this Valentine’s Day. On this particular morning, I slept an extra 15 minutes because he let the dog out. I walked into the dining room and found the perfect card and a gift bag from Aprés Peau, bearing the perfect gifts. And now I’m killing a bit of time before we’ll grab a nice, casual dinner. Card, gifts, dinner. All because of a specific day, arbitrarily selected by the commercial industry. All the trappings of a day that earns so much consternation from so many people. I understand them, but blissfully, I’ll never agree with them.

If You Give Me an Inch, I’ll Take Ohio

February 13, 2008


Dear D.C., Maryland, Virginia,


Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania? Have I ever told you how great you look in that shirt? Because it really brings out the color of your eyes. Oh my God have you states been working out? (giggle, hair twirl, hip jut.)

Bridal Bird