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Oh sure, they’re plum adorable until they’re infusing
your delicates and investment pieces with their postmortem funk.
Before I get to cooing over the wedding pictures,
Before I get to waxing poetic about the honeymoon sights,
Before I get to the story about how I got our $10 back from the D.C. government yesterday (oh yes, that happened),
I must get to the moment that I realized that the honeymoon was over.
It came Monday morning, just a few hours after we returned from said honeymoon in Ireland. When, after opening my bedroom closet door, I was hit with a powerful stench. The source of that stench? After much hanger flipping, clothes flinging, and sniffing like a pig on the hunt for truffles, I located it. Nestled in the bottom of one of my handbags that hang on hooks on the inside of the closet door: a dead mouse.
Yes, apparently Fievel decided that the best place to shuffle off his tiny mortal coil was at the bottom of the most expensive accessory I own. Passing over the less-pricey offerings hanging immediately north, south, and west, he perched for a moment at the edge of the limited-edition, structured wool Kate Spade bag, squeaked out a “Goodbye cruel world,” and then swandived into the Great Beyond. My husband, observing all of this with amusement from the bed on Monday morning, helpfully offered that “At least he had good taste.” In the mouse’s defense, the bag is lined with a deep purple floral fabric and in his final seconds it likely appeared to be an appropriately funereal resting place.
This was no doubt the same rodent who skulked around uninvited in my kitchen in the run-up to the wedding, yet refused to help with the last-minute details. But with the traditions of the motherland still fresh in our minds, we generously sent him on his way with a proper wake, placing coins over his eyes, tucking a rosary into his paws clasped on his chest, and talking about what a wee, right jolly bugger he was. And by that I mean we flung him unceremoniously into the Dumpster. Godspeed, you stinky little stowaway. Godspeed.
Someone once sniped at me in the comments section after I’d done a political post, telling me I should stick with writing about my wedding. It’s a fair point. The world should not know the cold terror of a day in which I do not opine about Bridal Betty tinker dye. But it’s advice that I have been unable to heed at times throughout the primary and general election.
* I’ve flirted shamelessly with Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
* I’ve pointed my Strawberry Shortcake bike with the rad pink streamers hanging off the handles northward and hoped for the best. Then several months later, pedaled it south for two months with similar hopes.
* I’ve looked out as 75,000 people stood hushed so they wouldn’t miss anything when a man offered them not fear or prejudice or failed plans or folly, but instead, hope and change in their most figurative and concrete forms.
It comes down to this then. The last day of this protracted campaign season is upon us and here I am blogging not about cake fillings or first dance selections, but politics. With respect to my disgruntled commenter, tomorrow is very much about my marriage. It’s about the world that my husband and I stare out at with a week under our belts and a lifetime ahead. It’s about the world we would bring children into.
It’s about finally knowing that there need not be audacity in hope.
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.
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.
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!