Imagine every superlative you can to convey “awesome.” Pour them into a bowl and top it with whipped cream and sprinkles. Set it under a rainbow and feed it to a puppy. That’s how the day was. More to come, I promise. It’s just a little nuts right now with the election. Honeymoon to Ireland is next Wednesday.
Archive for October, 2008
A year ago, I said “I will.”
Today, I’ll say, “I do.”
After the rehearsal and the dinner, after the toasts and the stories, the laughing and the crying, when it was just us back at our house before he headed off to his hotel, we exchanged gifts. He gave me a first edition of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. I swooned and then we chuckled that it was probably best that he hadn’t gone with The End of the Affair. I gave him a late-1800s lithograph depicting small clocks with the times of the world’s major cities. The clocks are arranged in concentric circles around one clock set to the time in D.C. It’s our city. It’s where we came together both as a little family of two and a banana republic of a family that stretches from Texas to Maryland. It’s where one year and seven weeks ago I stood on a corner as he knelt in front of me and asked me if I would.
No time to blog today, I’m afraid. As proof, I even have a note from my wedding planner (me):
(Admittedly, some of the things on that list are “spa appointment,” and “manicure/pedicure.” Not exactly brain surgery, but still, gotta get done.)
These things aren’t going to ribbon themselves. (Luckily, thanks to wonderful little elves named L and K these puppies are in fact delivering themselves as far as I’m concerned.):
And these things aren’t going to thaw and stuff themselves into tasty little packages:
48 hours left. Unbelievable.
When we first selected our wedding date, people would jokingly ask us if we were doing a Halloween theme. No, of course we were not. However, I’ve recently obtained information that may change all that: the hotel site where we’ll have our reception is haunted.
Let’s step back a bit.
A couple weeks ago I took my fiancé on a mystery date. Told him to meet me at McCormick & Schmick’s on K and to wear casual clothes. After some oysters and beer, we headed outside to Farragut Square where we gathered with a handful of other curiosity seekers as darkness fell for the Most Haunted Houses D.C. Walking Tour. Surprise! My fiancé loves Washington history so I figured this was right up his alley. I knew it included such historic downtown locations as the White House and the Stephen Decatur House. What I did not know was that it included the hotel where we will celebrate our first day of wedded bliss. Nor did I know that pretty much every stop on the tour would include a tale of marital tragedy or brutal crime. Some highlights:
* The Tailor’s House on Farragut Square
Long story short: Tailor murders bride and seals her up into the wall.
* The Decatur House
Long story short: Decatur goes out and gets himself shot in a duel, leaving lovely wife without a husband.
* The Octagon
Yes, there’s a home in D.C. called “The Octagon.” It’s over by GW and is regarded as the most haunted site in D.C. And yes, of course we giggled like girls about the Anchorman connection.
Long story short, Part I: Young woman about to be proposed to by lover in the garden runs down the spiral staircase and takes a header over the low railing.
Long story short, Part II: Her sister disagrees with her father about the man she wants to marry. She takes a header over the low railing. (My advice to this family: those little sticky flowers old people put on the bottom of bathtubs. They’re inexpensive and go a long way toward preventing death and hauntings and such.)
* And finally, the Hay-Adams!
No, I didn’t know it was on the tour when I booked it. But by the time we started to walk toward it I had already had my delicate noodle so pumped full of stories of men murdering their brides, couples parted by death and what have you that I was cringing. (Oh and a Post photographer was along on our tour covering it for this Friday’s Weekend section and he found our anxiety just hi-larious.)
Long story long: it’s not actually the hotel that’s haunted, it was one of the two houses located on the site (The Adams House. Things were ducky at the Hay House apparently). Clover Hooper Adams, a Washington society figure in the late 1800s and devoted wife of Henry Adams, was known as a talented writer and photographer until she was found expired on her bedroom floor, having imbibed a potassium cyanide cocktail normally reserved for developing her photographs. But according to our tour guide, (I specifically attribute this theory to the guide in the event that there are still any litigious Adams descendants in town) there was a bit of suspicion cast Henry’s way when he acted oddly afterward. Like, say, when he published his autobiographical The Education of Henry Adams after Clover’s death and omitted his entire marriage to her. Really, can you blame her for haunting the manse? I would have haunted his publisher’s and agent’s houses, too. (Let that be a warning to you, fiancé.) Although Henry did do Clover a solid by commissioning the creepiest statue ever and erecting it in Rock Creek Cemetery in her honor. It stands as an eternal testament to the fact that their relationship was clearly fubar’ed.
Oh and as I watched the tour guide talk about the Hay-Adams location from behind splayed fingers, someone in the group asked what I was thinking. “So is the hotel haunted?” The best the tour guide could come up with was that occasionally lights on the fourth floor flicker on and off. And that a bellman once told her that he opened a wardrobe in one of the rooms one time and a flock of white doves flew out. But I’m going to chalk that up not to a haunting, but rather to a bellman at the hotel once being on acid.
Anyhoodles, we found the tour suitably creepy and enjoyable. (Although fiancé contended that the Jack the Ripper tour in London was better. “Yes,” I said. “I would imagine that a tour focusing on a madman hacking up hookers in London produced decidedly creepier results than once focusing on chicks who trip and fall over stair railings.”) They run the next two Wednesday nights at 7. It takes about two hours and costs $10. Can’t beat that. Just don’t go if you’re getting married soon.
1. That my hair stylist is throwing off vibe that I’ve got a 60% chance of seeing him arrive at my house the morning of my wedding.
2. That when I last checked a few days ago, there were four tropical storms/hurricane-y things swirling off the Atlantic. I stopped checking.
3. That my shoes, which were supposed to be ready last Wednesday are now going to be ready, “Friday, misses. Definitely. Definitely Friday.” As I told my shoe guy, “Well, that would be perfect because the wedding is Saturday.”
4. That my fiancé’s tux will be ready at the tailor Friday. Definitely. Which would be perfect because the wedding is Saturday.
5. That the peonies that were supposed to comprise my bouquet can no longer be ordered for some reason. I’m putting my faith in the florist who assures me she’ll do “something very nice instead.” ‘mkay.
The real irony is that I genuinely am calm about all this. I mean, whaddyagonnado, you know?
I was going to get you a puppy:
But then this one kept saying, “Unhand me, damnable woman! I already have an owner and her views are much more politically compatible with my own than your hippie dippie sensibilities.” Also, current dog seemed a little pissy about the whole idea.
Then I was going to get you Amy Adams:
But current redhead seemed a little pissy about the whole idea.
Then I was going to get you this (a few weeks late)
But I remembered this was supposed to be about you, not me. Oopsie daisy.
So I settled on an iPod Chromatic:
In seven days you get me, in a $*,*** bow. On second thought, happy birthday to me!
Yes, of course this is going to be our cake topper:
Were it not already a given, it certainly was when I hit the portion of the ad copy describing it as “funny but still elegant.” Apt description, as “elegant” is just what comes to mind when I see this. I believe Grace Kelly had the same one when she married Prince Rainier, but it featured a piece of Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club gear on it.
A few more sneak peeks.
Our new bedroom set:
Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that the lampshade is unadorned with the glorious A&M logo.
We’ll be wanting a brand new set of course. This pic was pulled from a craigslist sale posting by one firstname.lastname@example.org. The guy really had it priced to move. Zing!
“I know it seems like your wedding is right around the corner, but really I don’t start worrying about them until three days out.”
With that line, my cake vendor found herself out of a client. That shoulder-shrugging admonishment to a bride whose wedding is in fact just around the corner was the last straw. (Backstory: I thought I had to use this baker because of some sort of exclusivity contract with the hotel. Mother Bridal Bird—a far more careful reader of the catering contract than I—discovered that we do not in fact have to use her.) Anyway, the previous straws:
1. I’d been trying to contact her since August and until yesterday at 11 a.m. was never able to get her on the phone.
2. She left me a message a couple weeks ago saying that, based on the messages I’d been forced to leave for her, we were “totally on the same page” about what cake I wanted. That was right up until I was forced to leave a message yesterday morning saying that I wanted to be sure she understood I wanted buttercream icing, not nasty rolled fondant icing. That was the magic bullet because she instantly returned my phone call.
Cake baker: “Can I ask why you don’t want fondant?”
Me: “Because it doesn’t taste good. Also, I indicated on the order two months ago that I didn’t want it. I’m a little concerned that you left me a message saying we were “on the same page” about what I wanted and you were about to bring me a cake covered in a frosting that I find inedible.”
Cake baker: “I know everyone thinks that but mine is realllllly good. It’s like a thinly rolled vanilla Tootsie Roll.”
Me: “That doesn’t sound good.”
At this point cake baker offers to bring a slice for me to taste, but then adds the following in an “whatever, it’s your funeral” tone.
Cake baker: “I will tell you though, at this time of year you can still have buttercream frosting melt. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to have any comfortable weather snap in the next two weeks. I wouldn’t want your cake to look bad.”
Me (after holding phone away from face and staring at it in disbelief): “The wedding is indoors. It’s projected to be in the low 70s/high 60s for the next two weeks.”
Cake baker: “So what is your priority with your cake: taste or it looking good?”
Me: “As it goes in my mouth, my priority is taste.”
Cake baker: “Alright. What kind of cake did you want again?”
Me (bordering on hissy): “Key. Lime. Mousse. This order was sent over to you more than two months ago by the hotel.”
We basically sign off with the equivalent of mean girls’ hair flings and “whatevs.” I immediately call Sugarbakers, the Baltimore cake vendor I used for my fiancé’s 40th birthday party, and beg them to do my wedding cake in two weeks. They oblige and schedule me for an emergency cake tasting. Mmmm…emergency cake tasting-y. Later that day, I settled on a scrumdiddlyumcious lemon mousse wedding cake as well as a chocolate-with-chocolate-mousse groom’s cake. Nobody puts Baby in a fondant-covered corner.
Let’s get this out of the way: I’m sure they’re all really nice girls.
Let’s also get this out of the way: If you tell me that I need to lighten up and they just wanted to have a little fun and let down their hair and Crystal is a really nice girl and I’m such a bitch, I cannot guarantee your safety in the comments section.
Tonight, J, K, and L and I (I require all my friends to be consecutively alphabetized) are mustering at a U Street wine bar for a few drinks that happen to coincide with my imminent stroll down the aisle. This is not, I repeat not, a bachelorette party. It is, to quote the invitation designed by the lovely K, an “un-bachelorette party.” I’ll save you the screed about why I hate the traditional bachelorette party because this guy succinctly nailed it back when I was still in blogger preschool. No point reinventing the “whore party” wheel. Look, I’ve got no problem with people going out and getting shifahssed. What I do have a problem with is them doing it in a cheap white tank top laden with LifeSavers and the magic-markered introductory offer to “Suck 4 A Buck!” Also, if you’re going to throw up in a bar, it better be beer or bourbon, not something that looks like it would secrete from Strawberry Shortcake’s pores.
“The extended pinky’s because I’m completely classy. But I’m totally funloving though. I have a really important job on the Hill. I mean, I went to Amherst. Wait, you’re not going to put this on Facebook are you?”
“Um yeah, the Hawaiian thing is totally creative, ladies, thanks. Even though my parents were Thai. Also, I was born in Lansing, but no, this is super sweet of you.”
“OMG, MY FAVORITE COLOR IS PINK THAT’S WHY THIS IS ALL SO PERFECT!”
“My older sister did a Paint Your Own Pottery bachelorette party. She is such a prude.”
Actually on this one, I have nothing but congrats for these two BFF brides who, despite being plastered with condoms, plastic penis paraphernalia, and the dreaded S4AB T-shirts, managed not to be the most mockable ones in the photo.
And yes, there were at least a half-dozen pictures of bachelorette party honorees posing suggestively with cakes shaped like portions of the male anatomy at my disposal for this post. They’re not getting posted though. Because I’m completely classy.
There is a certain euphoric and/or contented look on the face of a man about to be handed a marriage license that will send him on his way to a lifetime of wedded bliss. And there is a certain look on the face of a man who has been forced to get that marriage license from the District of Columbia in a three-month-and-counting, at-times-extralegal process:
Yep, we took lunch hour Number Three today in the hopes that we would actually get our marriage license. (For the time being, I’ve shelved my quest for my $10. Temporarily, I assure you. But my main goal until the wedding is getting the document itself into my tiny clenched fist.) Long story short: we got the license. At least twice during today’s field trip to the Marriage Bureau, our kindly (and genuinely trying to be helpful) helper said, “I couldn’t believe it; it was right after y’all left the other day that we found out the law had changed!” And my fiancé and I just kept exchanging glances that loosely translated to: “Yes, it was right after we left because a city reporter called to find out why you were demanding documentation for a test no longer required by law.” But we stayed silent. The Future Mr. and Mrs. Bridal Bird, smiling politely.
Whilst we were in hellthe Marriage Bureau, they played four songs:
1. “Fire and Rain,” James Taylor – Maudlin tune about Taylor’s own substance abuse and the suicide of a former acquaintance. (Not a girlfriend’s plane crash as folklore would have us believe.)
Suitability for a marriage license office: -1
2. “If I Can’t Have You,” Yvonne Elliman – Eh, not a bad choice. Obsessive maybe. But could work.
Suitability for a marriage license office: +1
3. “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay – Are they using this to ascertain if couples are secretly gay, thus preventing them from marrying?
Suitability for a marriage license office: 0
4. “You’re In My Heart,” Rod Stewart – Yes, the song from So I Married an Axe Murderer. Awesome. Someone at the D.C. Marriage Bureau has a sense of humor.
Suitability for a marriage license office: +15
I’ll let Rod sing us out, because seriously, the lyrics to this song are pretty cool when you’re about to get married in 17 days.