Friday, October 28, 2011

Last Day of Work

In a matter of days, my friend/bridesmaid Lyn from California will be here in Toronto, in Canada for the first time, and man will it be chilly times. I'm looking forward to showing her around the city: Roncesvalles, the Annex, Queen West, maybe the Distillery District or Little Italy. There's something awesome about introducing someone to the city you love. I haven't seen her since May of last year, so this is going to be great.

I'm also looking forward to having her meeting my other friends in my party. My maid of honour has met McPal, but my cousin from Vancouver and Lyn have met nobody. I foresee a good group. It's hard not to imagine harmony and fun times when all people concerned are so great.

I've just finished my last day of work for 10 days. I don't totally need the time for wedding planning. Everything is actually done now. But I had the time, and Lyn's in town, so why the hell not? I never take as much vacay as I really should. It tends to pile up while I get frazzled about life and still not take time off.

Things I have left to do:

1. Change my life insurance over to the Dude instead of my brother.
2. Make a final payment to the florist.
3. Make a final payment to DJ.
4. Pick up my dress.
5. Go to the bank and withdraw all the monies I'll need to pay certain people in cash day-of.
6. Get final cost from the venue and write them a cheque.
7. Spend some more time breaking in my shoes.
8. Go to my colonic and spa appointments.

And then it's just the day before, where I'll have my colonic early in the day, check into my hotel with my dress and Lyn, go to the rehearsal, set up some centrepieces, and then go out for dinner back at the hotel. Easy peasy. I'm so glad I got a planner for the nitty gritty vendor stuff for the last week. Otherwise, I'd probably be more stressed out.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone, and I'm highly anticipating a time after the wedding where I can channel my emotional investment into other things in my life.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Maid Service

Two posts in two days! The madness!

I'm hunkering down in my bedroom. The Dude and I decided to get maid service today. There's going to be some filming in our home and we don't keep this place that up to snuff. It's "lived in" around these parts.

Truth be told, it's messier, generally, than I would like. The Dude is a sloppy guy. He leaves too many spills, his dirty laundry coats the bedroom and he doesn't rinse his hairs down the sink after he shaves. So I have a few options: 1. Clean after him myself, 2. Nag him until he does it, 3. Learn to live with it, or 4. Hire a maid.

My method is a selection of all of the above, mostly 3, a touch of 2 when I think a dirty habit is worth forcing some change upon him, occasionally 1 when he's not around and I need things cleaner, and infrequently 4 if the situation justifies it. Today would be such a situation.

I feel odd having someone clean while I goof around, but I was a chamber maid in a hotel once. There were two things I hated while I was working: people hanging around in front of me while I was trying to clean, and worse, people trying to help me, which was no help at all because they slowed me down and messed with my mojo.

So I'm downstairs, away from the maid's efforts, and leaving her well enough alone to go about her business without intruding. It feels off for me, but based on experience, I'm pretty sure that's what she'd prefer. I can hear her bustling away up there, things sound like they're happening quickly. It's the pleasant hum of someone who knows what they're doing.

The Dude is with his brother this afternoon. He's working on a wedding project that had been his idea. No doubt he regrets it now. It's a display for the seating cards.

I bought these wooden tags, pink twine, some blackboard paint and rollers, and a chalkboard marker. I got the idea when I was trying to figure out a way to do a seating chart that, while being nice to look at, allowed me to make last-minute changes and yet work on it in advance, without having to print or frame anything, without selecting everyone's specific seat for them.

This was my answer to those concerns. It was alterable, something I could start any time, and I would not need to frame a thing or involve a calligrapher (Blackboards lend themselves aesthetically well to personal penmanship).

I would paint two tags per person, one rectangle, the other a circle, write their name on one and the table on the other, and then string the tags together with the twine. The Dude suggested we make a valet-key/hotel key-like display to hang them on, and I'm not one to turn down creative ideas I don't have to execute, myself. So that's where he is, getting wood and framing cut to size.

We stained the wood last night and it looks like a kitchen cupboard from 1987. So we'll be doing a white wash on it to keep the pronounced grain but lose the yellowing in the wood, making it more contemporary. Just one more step the Dude hadn't counted on. Such is wedding planning in general.

I really should post photos of this project, but the wood is gone right now, and even if it wasn't, I wouldn't feel natural disturbing the maid so that I could take photos of some apparently random planks of oak strewn about the apartment.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Time

Two weeks. Yeah, I'm doing countdowns now. But seriously, how many times will I ever count down to my wedding again? Right? Right.

I had a meeting with the planner and we sorted out the logistics of the day. And it's shaping up to be really low key. And that pleases me. The less you have going on, the less likely things will screw up. The KISS method is my favourite way to get through life: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Things I'm nixing:

Being Walked Down the Aisle
Why: I'm nearly 29 and I feel totally weirded out being given away by a man to another man, one whom I've been living with for years. What's the symbolism there? My box renders me incapable of giving myself? Plus, my father and I don't have much of a relationship. I find the tradition archaic.

Grand Entrance
Seriously, I hate them. I find them tacky. I think they're unnecessary and foolish. Applauding the wedding party as they prance to music? Really? As if they were performers in a show? I think I'll have more than enough attention that day without milking and squeezing it out of my guests.

Parent Dances
I think dancing with parents is charming... so long as everyone ele is allowed to dance as well. Hogging the floor and insisting upon an audience for the first dance, then the father-daughter dance, and then the mother-son dance is narcissistic. 15 minutes of not letting your guests enjoy themselves while you do? People by now are used to egomania at weddings so they don't think about it too much. They just get bored and converse with their table mates until it's over. So we'll not be doing that. We'll also invite people to join our first dance.

A slideshow can be done well, if it's short, if it's funny, perhaps has various family and friends in it so everyone can enjoy. Better still if it's out of the way and ongoing so people can watch or not at their leisure. But we're not bothering. Anyone interested in our childhood can come over and view our family photo albums in our home. I'll brew some tea.

Garter Toss/Bouquet Throw
When you're nearly 30, gathering all your single friends on the floor to make them catch something that'll predict which one will get married can be a gong show. If they're into it, cool. But generally, I've seen only a couple instances where it's been enjoyed. As for the garter, I'm not having the Dude reef up my dress in front of everyone I know and love.

30 minutes for a ceremony, 1.5 hours for photos/cocktail hour, 2 hours for dinner, the rest of the evening is dancing. Ah, easy peasy. Too bad I had a nightmare last night where the entire timeline fell apart. Ha!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soul Mates

I'm getting married in 19 days. What the hell.

So I had my bachelorette party the other night, and the Dude had his bachelor party the same evening. My maid of honour set it up, which considering she lives out of town, was a feat. Most of my friends came and we had a really nice meal and drinks.

My MOH also set up a psychic reading for me at the restaurant. I love that shit. I've only been to a psychic once before, coincidentally a few months ago, and both psychics said the same thing. Either I'm super easy to read/gauge for these type of entertainers, or perhaps both are the real deal in some way. I'm open to the concept of mediums, the second sight and other spiritual matters. I'm also cognizant of not taking a reading at literal value.

Both ladies have told me the following:

1. I'm having a baby next year.
2. I'll have three babies total.
3. I'm going on a big trip and that it's going to be lucky/important.

So who knows.

The psychic at my party drew cards from her deck that said "Reflection", "Abundance" and "Love." So that was nice.

She also said the Dude and I were soul mates. Now, I don't believe in soul mates. I think two souls made for each other out in the universe and then finding each other and completing a perfect union is rubbish. Anyone who is holding out for such a magical love is kidding themselves and probably throwing away perfectly good relationships.

But I think two people can become soul mates in a way. Not that it becomes magic and cosmic, but that your love is mature and your communication works, respect goes both ways, your attraction sustains and your compatibility becomes an organic part of who you are as a person.

I feel like I know the Dude better than I know anybody, better than I've ever known anyone in my life. Are we soul mates? I don't worry about that question. I'm too certain of my choice to really consider it. But that doesn't mean it's not sweet to hear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When I was growing up, I went to my dad's most weekends. He wasn't a stable home sort of guy. He moved around a lot. I never really thought it was weird, though it was occasionally inconvenient. He lived with friends, with his sister, his parents, sometimes on his own, and with my godfather, who was also separated from his wife.

My godfather had two kids, the same ages roughly as my brother and I. The weekends we spent with them was the best. If we weren't with them, we'd usually be on the couch watching TV shows my dad wanted to watch, sometimes playing Monopoly, we went to the beach a few times, or over to my aunt's in the summer for a swim. But mostly it was with my godfather's family and I loved it.

The four of us had sleepovers, we went bike riding, we swam and tried our hand at skateboarding. We went to each other's birthdays and listened to music. It was wonderfully normal, actually, because so few times did I get to spent weekends with friends from school because my dad had dibs. He'd pick me up early from birthday parties because it was his Saturday. He actually took me to his friends' kids' parties without providing me with a present to bring, and I wouldn't know anybody.

Hanging out with this family was wonderful. They were my friends, and they felt like family. I saw my cousins all the time with my mom and with my dad, I had my godfather's kids.

When I was about 18, my brother, father and I were living together in a duplex around my old neighbourhood. Before I moved away to college, my dad and my godfather had a massive falling out. I never learned about the details. I was inclined to think my dad was blowing things out of proportion, as that is what he often does, but the whys of the matter didn't make a difference. The result was the same. My godfather was excommunicated, as it were, from our lives.

Crossing my father in this matter was a highly charged and volatile situation. There was no changing his mind and I couldn't broach the subject with him without regretting it. So I learned to live without this man in my life. And that had always struck me as unfair, but I hadn't known at the time how to stand up to my father.

Over the years I moved on, sometimes remembering the good times, but didn't know what to do about getting back in touch. Some time ago I found his daughter on Facebook and contacted her. It was nice, though the old intimacy was gone. But that's to be expected. I looked through her wedding photos and was pleased to see her so happy, but sad that I'd missed so much of her life when we had been good friends as kids. Always opposites, but we had called each other "godsisters".

So when I was writing out invitations (an incredibly large and complicated undertaking, even for a small wedding) I decided I was going to mail my godfather an invite and let him know I was getting married and would like him to be there. I found his address and number, the same lovely rural place it was back when I was a teenager, and mailed his invite.

I haven't heard from him. I haven't heard from a handful of people, actually. Some are taking their time, or figure I should just know the answer psychically, or were working out the logistics of travel, and one I let slip through the cracks and didn't even send (I am SO sorry!), and I've begun getting a hold of these people personally.

I called the number associated with the address and in that moment realized why I just mailed the invitation without calling first to reconnect. I wasn't sure if they still cared about me and I was nervous about it. So when I called today I left the most rambling insane voicemail message of my life. I asked if they were who I thought they were, was this the right number? Hi, I'm Jendra, your god daughter and I'm getting married, did you get my invitation? Was wondering if you could come. I hope this is the right number. Here's my number. So, anyway... And it went on like that for much longer than it should have.

Maybe I got the wrong address. Maybe they want to avoid my father. Maybe they don't care about me anymore. Maybe it's too far to travel. I don't know. But if they don't get back to me, I'll have to try again and stumble through another nonsensical round of my foolishness.

Another reason I'm looking forward to the wedding is everything will be done and I can put some of this social awkwardness behind me.

I really hope my godfather and his wife can come. I regret not calling first. I think I was just feeling a little insecure. Sometimes I worry the people I care about don't feel the same way about me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Sometimes I get the amusing sensation that The Sims is a little truer to life than one might think.

I have a lovely bouquet of anniversary flowers sitting on my kitchen table and the room is lovely and clean and newly organized. My mood rises briefly and noticeably as I pass through it en route to the bathroom, just like a Sim character's Environment meter soars when it walks through a room that has some nice art in it. My mood then drops back to normal as I walk through the Dude's makeshift studio.

Flowers are charming and pleasant, aren't they? Some people hate them "because they'll just die anyway," but getting flowers is one of my favourite things. They make the apartment smell and look wonderful and they make me smile for days.

We decided that other than spending our non-family-filled Thanksgiving weekend being useful, we would also spend it eating good food, as life intended. For our five-year-anniversary, we went to the Keg Mansion and gorged on steak. We dressed up (though we were seemingly surrounded by yahoos who looked like they should have gone to Pizza Hut instead, in their ball caps, jerseys, hoodies, ripped jeans and bar tops that split open in the back to reveal a turquoise bra) and had a cozy and romantic evening.

The next night, on actual Thanksgiving, the Dude made a delicious beef stew and I made my first ever pumpkin pie. Both turned out quite nicely and we had McPal and his fiance over to join us. Sharing home-cooked meals with friends has become one of our favourite ways to spend an evening.

It wasn't the first time we've spent a family holiday in an less conventional way, that is away from family. We miss them, but it really brings home the fact that he's my family now. I'm home where the Dude is.

There is a point in a relationship where being together is the priority, and that's a beautiful place to be. It's a feeling of being on a team, of being connected, of being a unit. It's the understanding that on important days we're not going our separate ways to do our own thing. It's the sort of unity I've always wanted. In three and a half weeks, it'll be permanent unity.

Wow. That kind of blows my mind a little.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Bummer

The Dude and I are missing Thanksgiving this year. Cue the stereotypical bride who was too busy with planning to sort out the rest of her life. Bah. That sort of is what happened.

And before my American readers get upset for me, understand Thanksgiving is not as big of a deal here (and it's also obviously in October). Christmas is the big ticket holiday. Our Boxing Day is your Black Friday.

Anyhoo, it's not so much that I've been up to my eyeballs in shit to do, but I've been mentally preoccupied and so when it came time to get our tickets to go to our hometown to visit our families, we realized we had missed the boat. No turkey for us. No cozy familial warmth. No harassing my extended family to send in their RSVPs.

This Sunday does happen to be our five-year anniversary, and the last one we'll have before we have a new one on a new date. So we'll go out somewhere fancy, be merry, eat steak and otherwise get things done around the house. How adult. We started by finally hanging some art in the living room.

In a way, I suppose this is good. A quiet anniversary, a weekend to ourselves to get caught up around here, general R&R time. But still. What a bummer.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Decor/The Shot

My arm hurts. Tetanus effing shots are not for me. Unless I'm in danger of contracting something, forget it. I'm not doing this again.

I went to the doctors last week for my yearly physical. I mostly complained about my IBS and got a note for my work about it. And then they talked to me about my shots. Was I current? When was my last booster? Well, I don't recall getting one as a teen. My mom was sick around that time, and when she died my father hadn't kept up with my doctors appointments.

So they said I needed my tetanus booster shot. So I had it. I regret everything.

The first couple days were not a big deal. I went out, I had a little to drink, I lived my life. Then yesterday the pain really started to sort of kick in. While at the decorators (I'll get to that), I noticed my arm was a little wonky. I couldn't really raise it up. This was five days after the shot. I hadn't attributed the pain to the shot because it'd been almost a week, but the Dude made the connection for me.

And well, yeah, the exact area of the injection is what hurts. And it's radiating out and causing muscle aches through my shoulder blade. Bloody hell. I mean, seriously, you think you're in the clear and then suddenly you're not. Massage helps. I have drugs for my strain injury that seem to work. I can only take them once a day and they exacerbate my IBS, so I quit taking them. But I've taken one tonight and gotten some peace.

I feel riddled by bullshit health issues. I want to be dismantled and reassembled properly.

So, back to this decorator. I have been vigilant about the wedding budget. I have been squirrelling away more money than I thought we'd need. The end result is something of a surplus, which I have decided to channel into something I thought was out of our reach: professional decor rentals.

Now, if this was the on season for weddings-- well, scratch that, we could never afford a nice wedding during the on season. But if we were to try, we'd be spending around $5,000 more than what we are for the same or similar stuff.

I was able to bypass packages that started at $1,750 for reception decor and $1,500 for ceremonies and get a la carte for the whole thing to the tune of $1,000 total, after tax and set -up fees. They book usually four weddings a Saturday and with five weeks to go, had only booked one. Therefore I could negotiate.

It didn't start off too well. I mean, I'm not good on the phone. I'm really not. I left an email for a well-reviewed decorator and she called me in the morning and woke me. I was getting up any minute, but I was still disoriented. I talked in circles around this poor woman until I finally figured the moment had come to tell her I wasn't a loon, I was just sleepy.

I made an appointment and the Dude rented a Zipcar. Our Zipcar was missing when we got to the parking lot and so we had to trek to another location after calling the company, leaving over 20 minutes later than planned. I called the decorator and left quite possibly the most ridiculous message known to human kind. I rambled about Zipcar, the traffic, apologized and then realized my phone was beeping. So then I started talking about the beeping. Then I hit some buttons and tried to hang up. Then I realized she was only on hold and I kept putting her voicemail on and off hold while I tried to understand what I was doing, frantically asking the Dude for advice about the technology.

I managed to hang up and then realized that not only did I sound completely out of my mind this morning, I was also late and had just left a message that confirmed I was in fact a ridiculous person.

*Sigh* And I kind of am. Part of me, to be honest, sort of embraces it. I come by it honestly. When I was a kid, my mom pulled into a Tim Horton's drive through and realized at the window that she had no money. So we dug through the cushions and mats in the car until we actually managed to find enough change to pay for our doughnuts. You know, rather than driving away without the doughnuts. That didn't even come up.

So yeah, it was a foolish day for me. But! We got some lovely sandblasted trees with high stands that'll have crystals hanging from them for the ceremony. We'll also be getting these lovely blue textured tablecloths that'll be pinned up all pretty-like. These things will really punch up the day. I was willing to do without, but happily I can afford more of the sort of wedding I want. Actually, now I kind have the wedding I was looking for. I want for nothing.

Except for my arm to stop hurting. I still want that.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Le tired

I have only a brief spurt of energy to write about anything.

The wedding is a month away and things are speeding up. My makeup trial went well today, my last dress fitting is tomorrow and soon I'll have to talk to the DJ and planner and do a detail walkthrough with the venue.

The only thing not going as fast is the RSVPs. Ah, replies. Now, about half of the people we invited have responded. The other half... *sigh* I'm quite literally missing 50 people.

Miss Manners, who is my guru to life, says that guests are responsible for providing their own paper, envelopes and stamps to reply with. These days, if you don't send all those things for people, with the response card giving instructions, then you can almost forget hearing from anyone. Well, no. I'm sure some would make sure to get back, but most wouldn't.

We're going to make a display for the escort cards, and until we know what kind of numbers we're dealing with, we're stuck. Blargh.

After this wedding is done, I'm going to need a new project, something to really sink my teeth into. I'll have all kinds of emotional energy for something else once this is over.

I'm so tired. Insomnia shall not claim me this evening. This entry was of no use to anyone. I'll do better next time.