Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wedding Dress Frustration

According to my self-imposed deadline, I have should have a dress by November. Since I started looking in August, I figured this would be easy, but it's not.
I'm not terribly picky about the dress. It should look good on me and not cost a fortune. I'm not looking at Vera Wang, Maggie Sortento, or Judd Waddell. I'm cheap, incredibly cheap.
In August I took Mrs W, M and Kitty Lover (my formal wear obsessed friend) to David's Bridal. I figured they've have cheap dresses and I knew they'd have my size (not a 2).
I really liked this dress:
(From David's Bridal) I originally thought I would hate this dress. A girl on the Knot thought it looked like you had a duvet wrapped around your waist. I agreed. Until I tried it on. I felt like a princess. It was a beautiful dress and I really liked it.
This dress also looked good on me:(Also from David's Bridal). It was different that the other dress, but I love halter tops. I felt that I could wear either of these dresses and be very happy.
But I am cheap, so I wasn't about to buy one at David's. I did go to their $99 sale which was bogus because there's a really limited selection of $99 dresses, mostly clearance dresses. So I turned to eBay. I figured I would have no problem finding a dress there. Ha! I've seen both these dresses listed for close to the same price as David's Bridal. Used. I've looked at other dresses but I haven't tried on enough dresses to know what I really want. So I have to head back to the store.
Although I was looking online last night and found this dress: (From FairyGothMother)

I think it's really cool. I love the corset top. That's one thing I love about some of these wedding dresses. Problem is that this isn't a dress. It's a corset, an underskirt, and an overskirt. Three separate pieces so more expensive. Plus the store is in the UK so the prices are a little higher. If I could find this in the States, in ivory, gold, or light pink, I would be very happy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How the Hell Did I Get So Old?

Mrs W is having another baby. M and I decided that we would buy the new baby a gift and something for the W's 3 year old daughter. M was in charge of the baby gift and I was in charge of the 3 year old's gift. Little W just started preschool so we thought she might like a little purse or backpack since she's grown up girl off to school. I figured they'd have a good selection of little girl stuff at Libby Lu.
Libby Lu is the type of store that I would have loved as a little girl. All those glittery lip balms, Hello Kitty, and smelly lotions. Hell, I still like that shit. (Yes, I feel it imperative to swear in a post about children.)
Upon entering Libby Lu I saw a display full of small purses and backpacks. I grabbed one, glad to find something so quickly. But this one had a little blond girl on it. Who the hell is Hanna Montana? Who the hell would name their child Hannah Montana?? I don't know if the little W like this little blond girl or not. Is Hannah Montana an appropriate role model for a 3 year old? Not wanting to risk either of the W women's wrath, I left the Hannah Montana display.
I found more backpacks, adorned with the cast of High School Musical. I think HSM is a little old for the Little W. My friend's 14 year old likes it so I passed on those as well.
Now the entire time I'm in the store, I have 2 salesgirls following me around asking me if I'm finding everything ok. I'm reluctant to ask for help because I chose this store because I kind of wanted to look around but now I feel like I'm coming off as a thief or potential child snatcher. It's the middle of the day and I'm wandering the mall. I'm clearly not a stay at home mom, retired, or out for a leisurely mall trip.
I've settled on a small messenger bag that says Rockstar on it. I passed on Diva and Princess. I don't want to give the kid a complex. As I'm paying for it, the girl asks me if I want a bag. Ok, sure. She pulls out a box with a handle on it, stuff the box with tissue paper and shoves the bag into the box, and tapes the handle together. I'm thinking, I said bag, lady. But I take the box and disassembled the whole deal once I leave the store.
I hope Little W likes it. I hope Mr & Mrs W don't hate it. Trying to pick out a gift for a child when you have no clue what they want sucks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Montley Cast of Characters

When I envisioned my wedding, long before Mr A proposed, I could see my closest girlfriends up there with me. Over the years, the number and the people have changed. Yes, I used to promise people, of course you’ll be in my wedding. Now, I don’t even talk to half of those people! In the past couple of years the friends I thought would be bridesmaids has dwindled. I think at one time I thought I would have 7 or 8 bridesmaids. But now for the real thing, I have 2 bridesmaids. Two of my closest friends: Mrs W and M.

I’ve known Mrs W for the past 7 years. We’ve gone dancing together, gone on trips, seen numerous concerts, gone through her wedding and we’re halfway through baby number 2. Mrs W is like the sister I never had. Like me, she’s an only child. We grew up with similar family styles and have similar issues.

I met M through an old childhood friend. M does not remember our first meeting-something I never let her live down. I think I’ll have to put in my wedding speech, hehehe. But M and I became fast friends. We love to go dancing, bargain shopping, and gossip about celebrities. She’s incredibly sensible something I’m not always. She’s careful and thoughtful. Just such an amazing person with so much style.

I’m so excited that these two girls are going to be my bridesmaids. Actually matron and maid of honor.

Mr A tried to talk me into adding a few girls to even up the sides. Nope, I wouldn’t budge. He’s having 4 groomsmen, the aforementioned J, JT, Mr Kickboxer, and the English Dude. He thinks it will look funny and lopsided. I don’t think so. If it does who cares? You aren’t supposed to be looking at them. You’re supposed to look at me, THE BRIDE!!!!

Anyway, I love Mr A’s groomsmen. These are the true slaves. I won’t be there to set up that day so these guys have to move tables and set up everything the way I want. Mr A has told them that part of their responsibility is to do my bidding while he sleeps off his hangover.

So here’s a little information on these slaves:

J, our professional dance instructor, was Mr A’s roommate when we met. I like J. He’s a good guy, extremely sarcastic, but incredibly generous. He used to cook Mr A dinner every night!

JT is our prankster of the bunch. Halloween, his favorite holiday, is coming up. I cannot wait to see what he’s got in store of us this year. He’s the King of Dress Up. JT is the master of the grill. He loves to cook and I love to eat the food he makes. And until we got our own Wii, I loved to play with JT’s Wii.

Mr Kickboxer is Mr A’s long time friend. I love to imagine Mr A and Kickboxer as little kids, growing up in North Hollywood, being little rebel rousers. I wish Kickboxer lived closer. Actually I don’t. He’s a great guy, but he’s so into kickboxing. He wants Mr A to take it up too. I’m all for Mr A to get more exercise but I’m worried that he could seriously hurt himself. Mr A’s got bad knees.

Mr A met English Dude through his last job. English Dude is from England and races bicycles. He’s extremely opinionated and sometimes we don’t get along. I have to learn that sometimes he says things in jest. I just don’t feel so sophisticated with him and his interior decorating wife. I feel kind of silly competing with them. But they love Mr A so much and he thinks they are great. I must be missing something.

So those are the peeps that are party of our wedding party. Oh, all those boys are married, ladies. Hopefully they’ll be good examples for Mr A.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Helpful Hints

From time to time there are things in this world that annoying the living crap out of me. Most people can be irritating or just annoying. But I'm going to help everyone by explaining how they can adjust their behavior and make the world a better place for me. This post could get a little long so I'll confine it to my 2 favorite pet peeves.
1. Not having a pen and paper handy when I'm going to give you some information. For my job I'm on the phones a lot. I answer the phone and I call people as well. My job has a myriad of annoyances but I'll keep my complaints of it down to a minimum.
Someone will call in and ask for some information and since that's what I do I give it to them. Often this involves giving them the number to another agency that might be better suited to assist them. I try to mail out information but sometimes it's better to give some information the phone. I'll respond by saying "Oh, you should probably call Such and Such agency. They could help you with that question. Their phone number is ...." The caller never has a pen or paper handy. I usually have to wait a few minutes while they get a paper and a pen. The thing is that people usually get huffy that I'm making them find a pen and paper.
Worse are the people who call for a number and don't have a pen and paper handy. And they usually ask for a easy number, one I have right in front of me, and they aren't ready to recieve said information.
People, have a pen and paper ready when you call anyone. It saves time and my sanity.
2. Not having your money ready when getting on and off the bus. I take public transportation. I do like to drive to work or pay for parking everyday. Public transportation is cheaper and I'm a fan of cheap.
In the morning, I usually have to wait for the bus. It's getting colder out so when the bus arrives I want to get on quickly. Quickly, people! There's always one or two people who don't have their bus pass or cash ready when they get on. They fumble for their wallet and ask the bus driver how much? Usually there is a line of people waiting to get on the bus and when people start walking forward, much like cattle, they have a hard time stopping. So there usually some shoving and people getting a little mad. Having your money ready before the bus arrives is a good idea.
In the evening I want to go home. I want to hang out with Mr A and get the past 9 hours behind me. I'm free and you don't have your 2 bucks ready. So you delay me. What were you doing the last thirty minutes that we were on the bus? If you're that one lady, you were sleeping on my shoulder. But come on, you pay when you get off. The driver told you and you had time to get your act together. Do it! Have your money ready when you get off the bus, people! If you aren't going to pay then run off the bus quickly.
Ok, I'll put the soapbox away for now. I might have to drag it out again later.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wedding Stress

With about 10 months to go, I think I'm burning out. I'm so stressed out about the wedding it's not fun anymore.
My main problem is that I compare our wedding to Susie Wibblewobble's wedding. Susie is a fictional person that embodies all the things I feel that I lack. Susie has thousands of dollars to spend on her wedding. Her parents are millionaires, her husband to be makes millions a year, and Susie stays at home and wears Prada shoes. Susie has a caterer, a photographer, a wedding coordinator, and a florist. Susie has her whole wedding planned out. Susie's got her Save the Dates out and her invites on order. Susie sits at home and makes her knottie bio, full of pictures of her *perfect* wedding. I hate Susie.
I have no caterer or photographer at this point. Mr A would like to spend $500 to feed 100 people. Mr A doesn't feel that it should cost $1500 for a photographer. I'm not sure. I want someone to take good quality pictures of the wedding and parts of the reception. There's alot included in some wedding packages that I don't want to pay for. But I've seen some photographers that I wouldn't pay for at all. I begining to think that we'll have no photographer and just rely on pictures from our friends. Bad idea I know. And our friends will have to eat beanie weenie since that's all we can afford.
And honestly if they were our friends, truly our friends, they wouldn't judge us or complain one bit. What matters (and this is becoming my mantra) is that we get married and are happy together. Because after that one day, it's just me and Mr A.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Beginning

I'd done online dating in the past with moderate results. I'd used eHarmony for a year and not met a lot of potential candidates. For me, meeting guys online was the best way. Most of my friends were married and didn't have a lot of single guys hanging around. When one was found, it usually didn't work out (I'm talking about, Mr Text Messager!). Online dating was easier. Lots of guys to choose from, clear pictures, and easy understanding of what I was looking for.
Before I met Mr A, I was hoping to meet the love of my life, but I really want more experiences. I felt that I had come to the dating game kind of late and I needed to makeup for lost time. Meeting guys in the real world was hard for me. If I liked someone they usually didn't like me back. Online, it seemed easier. I'd see a guy, email him, he'd email back. We might exchange a few emails and then meet. If online chemistry didn't translate into real life, then move on.
Right before I met Mr A, I was dating Mr Completely Wrong. He was a lot of fun, but no one I was going to marry. I'd just turned 30 and I was conflicted. Was it time to settle down or time to live life? After a little while, I decided that Mr Completely Wrong was just that. I choose to end that relationship and find someone to spend the rest of my life with.
I signed up for match and took a look at who was around. After a few weeks, I saw Mr A's profile. His picture was so cute. His profile was full of all sorts of things that I was looking forward. I winked at him and waited for a response. For about a week we emailed back and forth. He was so funny. I loved getting his email. He made me laugh. I really wanted to meet him.
Mr A had gotten a lot of emails from women from Russia. They were interested in getting him to get them visas. He wanted to make sure I was legit. We scheduled our first meeting about a week after we started emailing. We met at a Starbucks.
I got to the Starbucks a little early and grabbed a coffee. I was starving but not sure how this was going to go. He seemed so hesitant in his emails so I wasn't sure if he want to have dinner or just hang out. I was sitting there reading my book, waiting for Mr A.
I started to get a little worried. It was about time to meet and he wasn't there so I scanned the Starbucks and looked out the window. I saw a guy learning up against a car outside, smoking a cigarette. He kind of looked like the guy I was supposed to meet. I figured that he was going to finish his smoke and come on in. But he didn't. He stayed there like he was waiting for someone.
I had emailed Mr A earlier that day, saying let's exchange phone numbers in case one of us is late.
So I called him. I thought if this isn't the guy, then I'll hang up. But the guy outside answers his phone.
"Hi" I say
" Hi, how are you?"
" Good...are you going to come inside or do I have come out there and get you?"
Pause. "Are you here already?" As he rushes to the door. He comes in, laughing. He said later that what I said totally hooked him. I wasn't afraid, I was funny, and I knew what I wanted.
I remember that he shined, like the sun. His smile and his laugh hooked me.
"Let's have dinner" he said, hand outstretched.
I reached for it and didn't let go for the next five hours. We ate dinner, we had more coffee, he introduced me to one of his roommates. I didn't want the night to end.
After I finally drove home, he called me and told me that not going home with me that night was very difficult for him. He didn't want me to leave. I never want him to leave now (or then). I couldn't wait to see him again. And I've felt that way since that first night.
Completely sappy I know. But I'm in love with the most wonderful man!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The One Where we get the Reservations

On Tuesday, Mr A made the reservations for the wedding. He reserved the barn shelter and 3 campsites. On Thursday the agreement forms came. At the top of the forms it said reservations for the Artichoke Family. I was tickled. Look, honey, I said, we're going to the be the Artichoke family! Mr A stopped and looked at me. Wow, are you going to take my name?
My last name is nowhere as easy as Mr. A's. His a pretty common, easy to spell last name. My last name is constantly confused, always misspelled. I told my dad a long time ago that I would take my new husband's name in a heartbeat just to get rid of this one. My dad understands. He's not a fan of his last name either.
Mr A and I talked about how we were really going to do this. We're really going to get married. He said it finally hit him. Mr A suggested that we go out for dinner, so I suggested Chinese. As we drove to the Chinese restaurant, Mr A asked if we go could to another restaurant, the one we went on our first date. Mr A was feeling nostalgic, so I indulged him. We haven't been to this restaurant since we first started dating. Wow, the food has improved. I really think we'll be going back again soon.
I do have to share our first date story but that's for another post.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Breaking the Rules

Mr A is my first long term relationship. I've been with him longer than any other guy I've ever dated. This is a huge no no. I've been told that I should have more long term relationships so I can know what to do and know that to expect. I don't feel that way. I feel this is the right relationship for me.
Mr A has been in many long term relationships. He's even been married before. Sometimes he forgets that I don't have as much experience as he does. I don't think of as a disadvantage. No two relationships are the same. Mr A is nothing like any other guy I ever dated. I hope I'm not like his exgirlfriends (they are exs for a reason).
Since I have limited experience we grow together. We try to find out what works for us rather than relying on past experience. We talk over the issues rather than assuming things are crumbling like they crumbled in the past.
Honestly, I would meet a guy, date him for a few months, and then he'd disappear, join the witness protection program. I would never hear from them again. I was not worth a reason or an explanation. One guy text messaged me that he couldn't talk to me anymore since we were no longer dating. News to me! Never found out what happened there.
Perhaps none of them were ready for long term relationships. They weren't right for me. I was pushing text message boy. We weren't right for each other.
I used to be scared that Mr A would run away, but that's not his MO. He mets women and trys to build relationships. When we met, we knew that we were going to have a long term relationship. He's the man I was looking for. The man I want to be with for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Couple of Dancing Fools

One of our favorite activities is searching through youtube for interesting videos. I really like fan videos so we look for ones related to movies and tv shows we like. Mr A found one for Far Away using footage from Lord of the Rings, one of our favorite movies. This video always makes me weepy and I’m not a weepy kind of gal. I kind of think of Far Away as our song. I thought that he might want to use something different so I hadn’t really broached it. On our way home from our friend’s house on Saturday, Mr A decided that he wanted Nickleback’s Far Away for our first dance song. I had actually hoped he’d want to use that song but we hadn’t really talked about it. In all the other things that we had to settle on, our song seemed like something we could wait on.

Sunday, Mr A saw his one of the groomsmen, who is a professional dance instructor (J). Mr A asked J to help us create a dance to go along with the song. J says we picked a good song and it should be easy to come up with something. Mr A really wants use the dance from Final Fantasy 8 which J says is too short and he’ll incorporate it in to the total dance. J says we need to start practicing immediately so we’re ready by July. He wants us to look good. J says couples come in a week or so before their weddings which isn’t enough time to learn anything. He does not want us to be one of those couples. Mr A and I have talked about taking dance lessons but never actually followed through. It will nice to learn how to dance (not just bump and grind). And we are so fortunate to have J able to actually teach us.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

New Venue Found!

Yeah, we have a new venue. We'll be getting married in a old barn at a campground. We'd been there for a party in July and I thought it was a really pretty place. The barn can hold over 100 people and there is a beautiful suspension bridge for pictures. And we'll renting a few campsites so we can stay there for a few days.
Yup, we'll be camping for our wedding. Neither me or Mr A are campers. We don't own a tent and my sleeping bag is from junior high. I think it's kind of funny that two noncampers will be having a camping wedding.
We really liked that campground. It's about 30 minutes from our place, but you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. But there is a Starbucks about a mile away, so it's not totally roughing it. And this place fit our budget. A little over a $100 for 5 hours. There's a lot of grass beside the barn so we can get married outside and have food and dancing inside the barn.
Now there is no way I can get ready for my wedding in a tent. I'm not that kind of girl. So I'll rent a suite at a nearby hotel and get ready there. Mr A thinks it's an unnecessary expense, but I think he'll find it difficult to get ready at the campsite too. I might marry a grungy, unbathed version of Mr A instead of a clean and groomed one. I don't care. I love him and will marry him regardless.
I'm so happy. We've reserved the site and now I have to work on Save the Dates so people can reserve campsites if they are interested.