Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Darn It All

I guess it really *was* wishful thinking. Maybe he was giving away some of this stuff or something. He's just as loud as ever. Maybe we should just call the landlord to complain.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Too Good to be True?

The noisy guy upstairs (not-so-affectionately known as "Dorm Room Guy" in our house because the constant noise from his apartment makes it feel like we're living in a college dorm again) has been noisily carrying things downstairs and loading them into a moving truck. He didn't start until about 7 p.m., and he only moved in a month after we did, so we are trying not to get our hopes up, but the pile of things on the sidewalk and in the truck is steadily growing. Are we really so lucky? Is Dorm Room Guy taking his loud music and midnight hammering and loud alarm clock that goes off every 10 minutes for at least an hour each and every morning with him?


You know what's hard? Typing with freshly painted fingernails.

But they look good. That's the important thing.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Get Me to the Church on Time

Here's a helpful hint to all you brides-to-be who might one day stumble upon this entry:

It is not a good idea to get locked out of your apartment the day before your wedding while 12 small wedding cakes are sitting in the back of your car and it's 85­­° outside.

And because I am a generous soul, here's another great tip:

Don't wait until two days before your wedding to try and wax your legs at home, because even if you get out of bed extra early to give yourself time to take care of an extensive grooming routine, you will not have time. This will be directly due to the fact that your phone will ring approximately every 10 minutes, beginning at 8:20 a.m. You will spend 1 1/2 hours warming the wax in the microwave, getting two strips done, then the phone will ring and by the time you handle whatever issue sparked the call, the wax will be hardened and you will have to start the whole process over again, until you finally lose patience and plan to shave the morning of the wedding, razor burn be damned, because after 90 minutes of this cycle, you will have one shin done.

The last part of last week was simultaneously the fastest and slowest three days of my life. In the week leading up to Wednesday, I kept saying to Hulio that I felt pretty good about the status of everything and was pretty sure that I'd be able to get it all done with no real problem in the two days I'd arranged to take off work prior to the actual day of the wedding.

Tip #3: If you think you'll need two days to do the last minute stuff with the help of two friends, your fiance and his friend, and 4 family members, assume you'll need 4 days with the help of two friends because your fiance and his friend will have their own not-very-clearly-defined agenda and your family members will need so much attention that they are not so much a help as you'd have thought they might be. This is not because they don't care, but rather because they care so much and want to make sure that your day is perfect, when you yourself would settle for happening. It is also because it is possible that your moms are more emotionally overwrought at this point than you are.

So Wednesday, I got up even earlier than I do when I go to work. I made breakfast and ate, then I gathered my grooming materials to do the various little things I'd been intending to get done for the past week, mostly involving hair removal, but after 90 minutes of the wax-phone-microwave shuffle, I was too frustrated to keep it up. Time to move on to my next task: wrapping gifts. First, the groomsmen's gifts, then Ash's little sister's birthday gifts and his cousin's birthday gift, and also the little wedding gift we'd gotten for his little sister. My plan was to throw a little paper over them, slap a ribbon on it and call it a day so that I could run out to the mall and buy a gift for Ash's stepsister on my way to pick up Luneray from the airport, and maybe if I really kept to the schedule, I'd have time to stop at Michael's and Joann's for the last minute supplies before I went to the airport.

And you'd think I would remember how EVERY CHRISTMAS I think, "Oh, I've only got ten gifts to wrap, I can do that in an hour or so", and then I find myself sitting at the table four hours later with two more gifts to go and I am so sick of cellophane tape and wrapping paper that I never want to give anyone another gift ever again unless they promised to wrap it themselves. But no. Nooooooooo. Instead, I kept wrapping gifts and wrapping gifts and answering the phone and all of a sudden, I realized that Luneray's flight would be arriving in half an hour and I needed to go.

So it was off to the airport where I encountered a poorly signed and very confusing detour to the short term parking garage that nearly unhinged me-- if you're going to make a detour go through the exit gates and then into the parking lot via a secret back exit, you should probably put up a sign explaining that at some point. I bet the parking lot guys are incredibly sick of people pulling up to their lanes in various stages of confusion and annoyance because they've been following the detour signs carefully and all of a sudden they have no choice but to keep going toward the sign that says "Airport Exit". I recognized Luneray standing at the baggage claim from at least 100 yards away, even though her back was to me, and even though it's been nearly two years since I last saw her, and seeing her standing there made me wish we didn't live so damned far apart.

I am going to fast forward this story past the trips to the post office, to Joann's, and whatever else we did-- partially because it's not interesting and partially because I don't really remember any of the detail already.This is about the point where things just started blurring together for me. I'll also skip over most of the story of how my sister called me from my mom's car to tell me that they were on Random Street, just passing the intersection of Unknown Avenue, and could I give them directions on how to get back to the highway? Quick! What lane should they be in? Should they turn onto Unheard-of Street? What? I don't have all of the streets of Our Fair City memorized, including lane changes and hopefully also potential closures due to construction? GOD! In fact, I'll also skip over the group dinner at the Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood, all the way up to the point where I took my apartment ring off of my key ring and gave it to Hulio so that she and Luneray could go back to our apartment and let themselves in to start working on favors while Ash and I led my parents back to the highway so that they could get back to their hotel.

Having seen the parents safely off to their hotel, we hurried back to work on the little last minute stuff: favors, placecards, assembling cake stands, cutting out the liners, and getting all of the decoration stuff packed up to be taken to the hall the next day. Hulio and Luneray were already busily twisting small handfuls of mints and chocolates into tiny squares of tulle. Placecards were produced-- or to be more accurace, placecandles, since we put everyone's name on a small white candle to be placed at their seat. And this is where things start truly blurring together for me.

I know that we ran into a couple of snags that couldn't be remedied until Michael's opened the next day. I think it had something to do with running out of ribbon or tulle or something, but... honestly, from this point until the start of the ceremony, most things are a big blur with isolated moments that are super clear.

Thursday, I know we went to Michaels, and I remember Luneray trying to find out if they carried earthquake gel for putting the cake stands together. I also know we picked up the cakes and loaded all 12 in the back of the Matrix. But the next really clear thing in my memory is the moment when I realized we were locked out of the apartment.

Remember that bit a couple paragraphs back when I mentioned that I'd given my key to Hulio and Luneray to let themselves into the apartment? By the time I made it back to the apartment, this little fact had slipped my mind. And as it turned out, they'd thoughtfully decided to leave the key on our entertainment center, right next to the front door, so that they'd remember to give it back to me.


We tried to pick our lock with a credit card-- a tactic successfully employed by me and Hulio after I got locked out of a college apartment (we never left the deadbolt off after discovering that unsettling little fact)-- but the door is built to thwart such efforts. Stupid security. An emergency call was placed to Ash, who was at that very moment, pulling up to the airport to pick up his sister and his cousin. Promises were secured to come straight back as quickly as possible. Another call was made to my mother, who was waiting for us to pick her up at her hotel and take her to the reception hall to decorate, and additional promises were secured to call the reception hall and let them know we'd be later than expected.

By the time everything was back on track and we'd arrived at the reception hall, I had only enough time to help carry stuff in and give some vague instruction as to what to do with all of the things I'd collected for decoration, because I'd made an appointment to have a manicure and pedicure with my mom before the rehersal. When I made the appointment, it seemed that I'd have plenty of time to do it all, but let me tell you, getting locked out of the apartment really put a crimp in the schedule.

I'd never had a pedicure before, and I didn't have very high expectations, since I've had manicures and never really felt that they were all that. The idea of having this appointment was really more about doing something nice for my mom and getting to spend a little time with just the two of us. I honestly can't remember the last time that we got to spend any really time alone together, without my sister or my father.

People! Why didn't anyone ever tell me how fantastic a pedicure feels?? It was so relaxing and soothing. And almost three weeks later, my toenails look great, much better results than when I do it all myself.

And then things are kind of blurred again. We went to the church, there was some instruction as to where to go, when to walk, what music would be played when, and it was all kind of fun, but low key. I was in the vestibule of the church with my girls and my dad and the music was playing and one by one the girls had gone down the aisle and then I stepped into the doorway to wait for my cue... and I saw Ash standing at the altar, waiting for me, watching the doorway, and my heart skipped a beat and HOLY COW. I will never forget that moment. That thrill of excitement that this amazing man is going to marry me.

The rehersal dinner was held at an Italian restaurant. Our little party took up the entire back corner, and it was a companionable night. The groomsmen and ushers seemed to like the monogrammed cufflinks that we chose for them after much solemn deliberation, and the girls liked the white sapphire earrings we had made for them. And suddenly, the night was over-- for me, anyway. Luneray and I headed back to go to bed while Ash and his boys went out for the bachelor party, promising to be back not-too-late, on pain of being woken by an angry bride at the crack of dawn the next morning.