Sunday, May 27, 2007
Kristin: Wait! I want to see how much I cost!
She puts her arm under the scanner and nothing happens.
Me: Looks like you're free. Imagine that.
I turn to get a gallon of milk.
Some random stranger: Actually, I think it means you're priceless...
Kristin didn't stop smiling the rest of the trip.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
So a couple of days ago I was particularly worried about something. I had been telling my sister, Robyn, about it, and she said “think of lazy sheep.”
“Lazy sheep,” she said, “slow, fat, lazy sheep.”
“Oh, you mean the slow, fat, lazy one calmly grazing on a serene mountainside?”
“The slow, fat, lazy one calmly grazing on a serene mountainside unaware there’s a wolf right behind the tree about to jump out and devour it?”
Monday, May 21, 2007
We spend our childhoods looking forward to our teenage years and beyond. We wonder what it would be like to date, to drive, to go to work every day. Mom and dad do it, so it must be really, really great! We set our aspirations high – we want to be firefighters, princesses, doctors, and lawyers. We’re going to do it all, be it all…we’re going to save the world.
We spend our teenage years wishing we could be out on our own, going to college, having our independence, and, once again, working at a “real” job.
We go to college and start counting down the days until graduation, start looking for that special someone, think about how fun it would be to have kids, and continue dreaming of that all-important job.
Then it all starts happening. The job, the special someone, the kids. And all of a sudden we start wishing we could be back in college again – less responsibility, back in high school – more fun, back in childhood – bills? What bills? We realize we most likely won’t be a princess and that we probably won’t save the world (at least not on the global level we once thought we might). And then, it all seems like so much. This is what we looked forward to for all of those years?
I suppose it is all part of the human condition. We yearn for what we don’t/can’t have and reminisce about the times when all we wanted was what we have now.
Happiness has to be found in every day life. It just has to. No looking to tomorrow for it. Every day wasted waiting for that great job, that raise, that ‘perfect’ age of us or our children, that new house, new car, etc. is a day spent wishing for a happiness that can only be found today.
This is not to say that I’m miserable. I have a good life. I have a spectacular partner whom I love very much. I have great friends whom I know I can turn to for anything. I have a loving family, and a good job working with really terrific people. I have a roof over my head and a car in the drive. I just don’t think I appreciate it as much as I should.
I did used to think that adulthood would be fun…and the more I think about it, I realize it is fun! It’s just a different kind of fun than what I pictured when I was 8 or 18.
So – I’m not going to make some big resolution like “today I will start being happy every day and loving my life for what it is right now,” but I will say “today I will try to start being happier every day and trying to love my life for what it is right now.”
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
So the wedding is quickly approaching. There are many things to be said about the preparations and planning that goes into a wedding. I read an article once that talked about weddings and funerals and how if you give yourself less than 18 months to plan for a wedding people gasp in horror. How could anyone possibly plan a wedding in less than 18 months? Try telling them you’re planning it in 3 months or less and they recoil in fear.
The article also observed that most funerals are planned and carried out in less than a week. It pointed out the various similarities between the two events – both have a meal, both have a ceremony, both have flowers, both have family members coming from all over, etc. The basic premise was that you don’t have to spend a ton of money and a ton of time on a wedding.
In many ways I completely agreed with the article. Why would anyone want to spend 18 months planning for something that would be over in a day anyway?
That, of course, was before I started planning for my own wedding. I didn’t realize the “other” things that weddings entail…the things that take up all the time and force you into the 18-month wedding planning hell.
One example: gift registries.
Let me share an experience Kristin and I had a little over a week ago.
We had started our Target registry by surfing their website and adding things that looked like something we might need some day. We knew we should register somewhere else and we had talked about a variety of stores to consider: Macy’s; Pier One; Crate and Barrel; Bed, Bath, and Beyond (B3); etc.
So one day I’m surfing around and find myself on the B3 site and notice that when you go to do a registry you have several options of what kind of registry you’re doing: housewarming, wedding, COMMITMENT CEREMONY, etc.
One thing I have learned during this whole wedding planning process is that while many places are tolerant of the gay population (money is money, right?), most do not openly acknowledge us. So, needless to say, I was thrilled to discover that B3 actually had the gay option on their list. Awesome. I called Kristin and told her flat out we had to go with B3. We had to support the one store that is willing to acknowledge the fact that gay people are out there getting married.
She agreed and I signed us up online. We decided that we should probably actually go into the store to register for the majority of our items at B3, so we jumped in the car and headed on over. It was probably around 7 when we arrived – the store closed at 9 – so we figured we would have just enough time to peruse the store and get registered for everything we needed.
Of course, that was before we met Ed. Ed was a tall, lanky man with large glasses that surrounded his bright and somewhat shiny cheeks. He greeted us as soon as we walked in the door and asked how we were and what we were looking for. I told him we had started a registry online and were there to finish it up. I should have known right away that we were in trouble. He got this strange little gleam in his eye…somewhat akin to a wolf before he pounces on his prey.
Ed was so excited he practically skipped over to the patio furniture section and sat us down. He apologized that someone else was in the “bridal” room but assured us this was the most comfortable spot to chat in the whole store.
Ed told us he used to be a baker and that his real passion was everything kitchen. Gadgets, dishes, fine china, goblets, cookware…you name it, he loved it.
Ed eagerly showed us the two page list (size 8 font) of things we couldn’t possibly live without and therefore should register for. He said they just wanted to make sure we didn’t forget anything…like the egg dish. Did we know just how many people came in the day before Easter searching for egg dishes only to find they were sold out? Well, we wouldn’t be one of those couples. No siree. We would already have an egg dish because it was one of the hundreds of “must have” items on the B3 list.
My thought? I don’t even know what an egg dish is, so I highly doubt I would be there the day before Easter franticly looking for one. But I digress…
He continued. Did we need something to drink? To eat? Were we comfortable? Just for our information, if they announced the store was closing – that announcement would not apply to us. We were welcome to stay as long as we wanted. All night, really.
Ah, the bridal room was ready. We wandered over to it so he could show us all of the fabulous china they carried.
“What did you eat on for dinner tonight?” Ed asked.
I opened my mouth to say “paper”…because we really had eaten off of paper plates that evening, but I thought better of myself and said “just regular dishes.”
Huh? Stoneware? I had no idea. They were just plates. Regular, run of the mill plates. “Um, yeah, something like that.”
Ed proceeded to show us all kinds of dishes. He explained all of the differences and talked about what we would need in the years to come out of our place settings. He dropped plates on the floor and stepped on tea cups to demonstrate the durability, and he showed us the everyday china and compared it with the fine china. My head was spinning by the time he took his first breath. Just as it was beginning to clear, he started in on stemware and flatware.
After an hour of talking nothing but place settings we had everything picked out (basically our picking process went like this: what do you want? I don’t know, what do you want? I don’t know…just pick something…we can change it later when Ed isn’t around – which is exactly what we did).
Ed handed us the all-powerful scanner, showed Kristin how to use it, and sent us over to cookware for our lesson in all things pots. A woman was there eagerly waiting to introduce us to the world of fine cookware. She explained the difference between the nonstick (shouldn’t go in the dishwasher…the lime eats away at the pot…oops. Note to self: don’t put the nonstick pans in the dishwasher anymore), the stainless steel (you have to use some kind of oil. Stay away from sprays like Pam…oops. Note to self: throw away the Pam spray when you get home), and the “in between” whatever that was (you can’t put it in the dishwasher AND you have to use oils – how utterly annoying).
She strongly urged us to register for a set as well as for individual pieces…since “sometimes people don’t want to spend $600 on a set of cookware for you but they are willing to spend $150 on a frying pan.” WHAT? I’m sorry, but if I’m spending $150 on someone for a wedding I refuse waste it on something that’s only going to see the light of day when an omelet needs to be made. And $600 for a set of pots? I can understand someone spending that or more for a cookware set if they actually cook…Kristin and I…we aren’t cooks. We aren’t huge on making nice dinners. We aren’t going to register for a set of cookware that costs $600. Period.
After the woman left we looked at each other and immediately decided to skip the kitchen stuff for then. We had just talked about nothing but kitchen for 1 ½ hours. Obviously we weren’t as passionate about everything kitchen like Ed was. We were ready for the fun stuff – bedroom and bathroom items…so we headed for the bedding.
Then, out of nowhere pops Ed. It was a little freaky since we didn’t know he was watching us, and he kind of jumped around a corner.
“Wow, you guys sure made it through the kitchen stuff fast.”
For some reason I felt like a little kid getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar. “Yeah, we decided we’re going to skip it for tonight and come back another day.”
A look of horror crossed Ed’s face. “Why would you ever do you that?”
“It’s all just a little overwhelming.”
“I was supposed to be out of here 2 hours ago, otherwise I would stay and help you, but I understand that it can be overwhelming. Remember, we just want you to have the best of everything.”
We wished him a good night and practically ran for the bedding section.
About every 3 minutes someone would come up and ask how we were doing, if we needed anything, had we looked at the sheets?, did we need help reaching anything?, did we have any questions?, oh, and which one of us was the one getting married?
Tired, stressed, and needing some DQ comfort (which was conveniently located across the street), we bolted out of the store shortly before 9 p.m. with very few items on the registry list.
We returned for another short trip a week later, but as we stepped through the doors we both commented about how anxious we were to be back. As we found ourselves in the kitchen section my heart started pounding as my eyes darted back and forth looking for Ed (who was nowhere to be seen on this trip, thank goodness).
So, the gift registry is definitely taking more time than I thought it would…while it probably won’t take 18 months to finish, it most certainly will take longer than a week.
Thank God this isn’t a funeral.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Over the years I have relaxed my expectations and definitions of blogs and have finally given in to the masses (yeah, right!) who have demanded I write.
I never realized how many decisions had to be made before I could even sit down to write this, my first entry. There was a host site to pick, colors to choose, and designing to do. The hardest part was coming up with a title. Thanks to Nancy for her unwitting suggestion and to Robyn for her vote on the final name choice! Decisions made, I was finally set. Now I just have to write…right?
I can’t promise anything great. I am going to try to make this a little more than just another journal site about my life. In fact, to give me inspiration, I have started carrying around a notebook where I write things down that strike me as funny, strange, insightful, or quirky – we’ll see what comes of that.
Already I have a link to my book list on the site. Feel free to peruse that – I’m always looking for book suggestions, so pass any along that you have. I’m currently working on trying to get my Google Calendar posted on here as well. I figure if you’re interested enough to stop here to browse you might also be interested in my boring life and what it consists of.
Anyway, welcome to my blog. Come on in, sit down, and relax. I hope you enjoy your stay here.