September 03, 2004

Thursday, August 26th

I lied. Today's first post will be about the events that happend on Thursday, our first full day at camp and the first day of real set-up work before our guests arrived. My goal for the day was to get everything done that we needed to do so that we could just enjoy ourselves and relax at dinner that night and come back to camp with little left to do other than relaxing and welcoming guests as we arrived. Did we succeed? Read on.

For almost a year and up until Thursday I had had opinions. Now, wary of stepping on toes and not wanting to elevate anyone's stress levels, I only had jobs. Getting worked up over any decisions at this point was simply not going to help. So I approached Thursday with a "Let's just get stuff done" sort of attitude. I'm happy to say that there were no major meltdowns, no fights, no crying and barely any arguing. Sure, we all had our moments, but when you consider the personalities involved (a rabbi, a camp director, a school nurse, a preschool director, a self-employed businessman, and me) it's amazing that so many people used to having a lot of responsibility were able to share it all so well.

The first item on our agenda that morning was perhaps the most important: our marriage license. After getting directions over the phone from a woman whose accent wouldn't have been out of place in Fargo, we headed to the Jefferson County Clerk's office in Johnson Creek. ("Johnson Crick" as the woman on the phone told L.)

At the clean, new, and organized office - a far cry from the marriage license office in New York City, I imagined - we went through the standard questions and answers with the clerk, such as our mothers' maiden names and our place of birth. We filled out a few forms and then reviewed a copy of our license. After telling the clerk that everything is spelled correctly, one final form was handed to me. I had to verify that all the information is correct and sign my approval. Not L. Me. Because on wedding forms that probably haven't been updated in a number of years, the man is still in charge. While sitting there, I wondered how hard it would have been for the office to have added one extra line for the bride to sign as well so the whole thing wouldn't seem as patriarchal. But there is much to do at camp, so I didn't think about it for long. (Later in the car, however, L and I did wonder how many forms Massachusetts has had to change over the last few months.)

$70 later we had our license. We also had a pink pamplet titled "For a Strong & Healthy Baby: Understand the Risks and Take Steps to Avoid Cigarettes, Alcohol and Other Drugs," which might just have the longest title of anything I've seen since Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It tells us that "becoming parents is one of the most important decisions you and your spouse may consider in your marriage." That's all fine and good, but at that point the most important decision we had to make was about who was going to drive the gift boxes over to our guests' hotel.

My parents arrived on Thursday, along L's aunt and uncle. Even with a growing number of people, there was still a lot of work to do. One of our big tasks on Thursday was figuring out where the tables would go in the dining hall and who would sit where. The camp dining hall was more or less a blank canvas:


I started to voice my preferences on a few seating arrangements. Of course there were a lot of factors to consider. Do young people go closer to the dance floor because they will be more likely to dance and thus less annoyed if loud speakers drown out their table conversations? But if we do that will older people feel like they have been pushed to the outer edges of the room away from the action. A couple of people, including L's aunt and I think even the caterer, convince us that in such a big space, there isn't a bad table in the room. Agreeing, I decide to back off and the bulk of the task is left to L and her mom. I hang back with my dad and joke around.

At about 6 PM we are all very hungry so we head into downtown Oconomowoc (the only town in America with five o's in its name, by the way) for dinner at an Irish Pub. I share some spinach artichoke dip and have a burger and fries. We also head to the Kiltie, a local drive-in frozen custard place, for dessert. I figure that there's little sense in watching what I eat now. Either the tux will fit in two days or it won't.

My goal of being done by dinner was, of course, naive. There are still table cards to do, a few more gift boxes to seal up and deliver, signs to put on the rooms for people staying at camp, lights to put up in the room where we're having the rehearsal dinner, an A/V system to set up for our rehearsal dinner movie presentations, and about a million other details.

I fall asleep late, knowing I'll be up in a matter of hours ready to get to work.

Posted by The Groom at September 3, 2004 10:05 AM

We locals sometimes call it "The 5 O's"

And excellent choice in picking The Kiltie over Culvers, support local businesses...

Posted by: Pete Prodoehl at September 3, 2004 11:17 AM

Not every wisconsinite will call it Johnson's "crick". I call it creek. The only time I use the word crick is when I am talking about an actual crick. Like the crick running through the farm.

Sounds uneventful so far....can't wait to read the rest!

Posted by: Jrae at September 3, 2004 11:32 AM

We love you.

That just about sums up our emotions from the weekend. We were so happy to be there, to be a part of the weekend in whatever way we could (obviously R played a somewhat greater role than I). Seeing the two of you together reminds me so much of when R and I got married. You two are so dynamic, smart and funny, just a pleasure to be around, all of the time. It really makes me miss living near the two of you.

We both are looking forward to spending many, many more years being your friends.


J and R (and T!)

Posted by: J and R at September 3, 2004 11:37 AM

instead of buying you guys a wedding present i bought a taken t-shirt!

Posted by: Steve at September 3, 2004 11:45 AM

My favorite new phrase from the weekend was overhearing someone at the gas station giving directions: and then you make a left at the "stop and go light." Liked that one.

Posted by: Laren at September 3, 2004 02:12 PM