Monday, December 27, 2004

Cover me! I'm going in!

On Sunday January 2, my bride will be taking me to a Wedding Expo.

Men, have you been to one? What can I expect?

She'll get a bride sticker and I'll get a groom sticker. We're thinking of trading stickers and seeing how people react.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Dealing out the tables...

Was, again, fun. Most of what we're doing with wedding planning as fun, which is, to be honest, a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to feel more like a chore, but we're cutting up through the whole thing, and I'm enjoying it.

The toughest part was not letting any people from the same aspect of life wind up at the same table. For instance: I have at least a couple dozen co-workers who are invited to the wedding. It would be easy...very, very simply put them all at a few tables together and call it good. But crap, this isn't the faculty lounge. This is our wedding. You will meet people, and if you don't like them, you can stand up and move around as soon as you get the cake.

As is, we managed to only break that rule once or twice. You will meet cool people who we believe you have at least one thing in common with, and there'll be people you've never met before.

My favorite table: Table 21. The commonality everyone shares: TOP SECRET.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Table 21

Based on positive experiences Sweetie and I have had with assigned seating at weddings (meaning we got to meet really cool people we never would have met otherwise), Sweetie and I have decided to have assigned seating at our wedding.

A lot of the wedding books say you start this task when replies start coming back, but based on the advice of a friend who got married (and who did an AWESOME job of assigning seats), we've begun now that we have a complete guest list. If everyone were to attend the wedding not only would we go HORRIBLY over budget (there are enough people we are 99.9% certain won't show that we can comfortably budget for a smaller number), but they would all have an appropriate table to sit at. They would be with people that will hopefully share something in common with to have a nice conversation over dinner. There are certain people who MUST meet, and they are most definitely seated at the same table. And there are also friends of the parents we know little about, so get randomly assigned to a table because hey, who will that hurt.

The process was a lot less painful than expected, and we shouldn't have to remove the cutlery from any of the tables. The only pairing I feel even a tiny little bit bad about is that I put my brother at my best friend's table. The reasoning being is that best friend is the one person of a younger age that brother knows AT ALL, and given that he has difficulties with large groups of people sometimes, I put him at a table where he has a slight chance of feeling comfortable. And best friend is cool enough that she'll understand. Plus, there are some other really cool people that she's going to enjoy meeting at the table.

The plan is as guests decline, we will mush tables together into new iterations. That's the beauty of planning the seating now. If we had planned the seating once invitations coming in I would feel a LOT more pressure to get it right. As it stands now I recognize that there is no chance that the final seating arrangement will look this way. Therefore, it's a pretty low-risk proposition, knowing that everything will look completely different on the day of the event.

The table assignments are now hidden under lock and key and only available to top security clearance personnel. We don't want it to get out who got seated at the "dark" table. (I'd tell you some of the nicknames for the other tables, but it might give away secrets we don 't wish to divulge).

So start practicing those conversational skills, people. We'll reward you with cake at the end of it all.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pre-marital counseling

I didn't expect it to be exhilarating. I love talking about myself, and love listening to my usually shy and quiet baby talk about herself. Good counselor too. So cool to be there.

I asked my dad what he remembered of his pre-marital counseling, at a Detroit Catholic church in 1963. He said he remembered one thing: the guy saying, using proper Latin terms, that he and my mom could do whatever they wanted during foreplay provided that all was where God intended it to be at the moment of truth.

I'm glad I'm not in that session.


If you haven't read the disclaimer yet, you may want to.

Sweetie and I are now officially living in sin for the next nearly 8 months before the wedding. The dining room is literally buried in boxes, but I'm making slow progress to get that taken care of.

I've never been a believer of living together before you're married (and this is where I don't want people getting all pissy at me). I suppose it may work for some people, but after what I've gone through the last two days I wonder how it can happen without deteriorating the relationship to some point.

I must admit that I come at this with a severe bias. When I was about 14 (?) my half-brother got married to a gal he'd been living with for at least 3 years. They were divorced within the year. My brother got married when I was 18 to a chick he'd been living with for at least a year (she was also evil incarnate, but that's not germane to this discussion) and they were divorced within 6 months if memory serves. The statistics just show it's not a good idea.

It also may come from a number of difficult roommate situations I've had. They eat your Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream you were saving for a rainy day. They let their boyfriends practically move in to a place that's not big enough for three people. The insist on cleaning the top of the door jambs, but leave piles of clutter everywhere. The only way I've found to make roommate situations work is to negotiate a strict set of rules before you begin the adventure. (Really, ask Kaphine and I about the rules we had in place at the original House of Swank, they were insane). Doesn't lend itself well to mutual love and respect.

And it also comes from an upbringing in which I wasn't even supposed to THINK about sex until I was married.

There's an inherent lack of stability in the roommate relationship, where someone can leave at a moments notice and that's the end of it. Turf becomes a big issue. If there's a breakup, who gets the house?

I've not yet really been able to get to the job of unloading boxes, as I've been spending my time up until now preparing the condo for my move in. Assembling IKEA shelves, cleaning the kitchen, reorganizing the laundry room etc. I've always known Sweetie wasn't the most organized of people when it came to home storage, but I had no idea what a pack rat the boy was. Among the things I disposed of/recycled over the weekend were:

  • About 15 old phone books, either out of date or duplicates of books on hand.
  • 3 large armfuls worth of "rags" (aka old clothes), after holding back a box of rags for if/when we do need them.
  • Several sets of sheets which don't fit our queen size bed, some of which may have been twin size (and Sweetie hasn't had a twin bed since I met him in 1997, so who knows how long he's been carting those around).

Because we are setting up OUR home TOGETHER, I felt it appropriate to cull down (after asking Sweetie's permission, of course) so free up a LOT of space for my stuff to go. Perhaps it's some psychological wall that I need to discuss with the marriage counselor, but if we were going to be living together and NOT getting married at some point it would have been a lot harder to do that, and would have been much more 'this is your space and this is my space.' The ring on the finger really does make a difference.

So far I'm really digging the cohabitation thing, and it's totally bringing out the Martha Stewart in me. When I live alone I am likely to eat cheese and crackers for dinner and leave the empty box on the floor until I have to pick it up. Now that my Sweetie is around I'm much more likely to want to cook a nice dinner, then clean up afterwards so we have a pleasant little place to call home.

However, for this week the pleasant little dinner is in front of the TV rather than at the table, as it is literally impossible to make it to the dining room table right now due to the fact that it is surrounded by boxes. And if you could make it to the table, you couldn't do anything there because it's buried in CD's, but give me time.