L and I went to a special screening of Spider-Man 2 the other night and not long after watching the webslinging superhero save the day, L asked me what kind of super power I'd want if I could only have one.
Without a question, I responded, I'd want to be able to fly like Superman. How convenient it would be never to have to wait for the subway or worry about building up frequent flyer miles. Our many trips to Chicago and Milwaukee for weddings and planning sessions would be a snap to coordinate. I could meet L's mom at the caterer's for lunch. No more traffic jams, as getting anywhere would be as simple as jumping up into the sky. (Not blessed with great height, I'd also never lack for a good view at a concert or baseball game again.)
L then thought about what she'd want and, influenced by the movie, decided she want Spider-Man's ability to shoot webs from her wrists. She reasoned that she'd get the benefits of flying, in a way, by being able to swing through the city. When I pointed out that she was only allowed one super power and that lacking the ability to stick to walls might make the swinging through the city a tad tricky, L mentioned that an added benefit would be that she'd never have to reach for anything ever again while sitting on the couch. Need some food from the fridge? ZAP! She could get it from down the hall. Notice the remote on the other side of the living room? THWAP! She could fling a web the length of the room and pull the remote into her hands with lightning-quick speed.
Yep, that's my L, who would use her superpowers to spend more time watching The O.C. To paraphrase Peter Parker's wise old Uncle Ben, with great power comes incredible convenience.
We're beginning to knock off a lot of the smaller details now that we're inching closer to the big day. L and I finalized the text of our ketubah on Monday and yesterday L found a scribe to write it. We looked at wedding bands at two stores in the diamond district yesterday and also went to Tiffany to see their selection. I learned three things: white gold is a hell of a lot cheaper than platinum, wears a lot better as it is shows fewer scratches, and is not carried by Tiffany. I had never spent a lot of time in the famed 5th Avenue store, but I didn't leave with a great impression. In fact, why anyone would buy anything at Tiffany is beyond me. It didn't help that we met with a very rude saleswoman and were treated much better by the independent jewelers 47th Street. Human beings are funny creatures, what with our incredible concern for status, but why pay a premium just for a blue box?
We're headed to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and while in that part of the country, we're swinging by the bakery in Milwaukee to finalize our cake. Nothing like an hour drive capped off with three big slices of buttercream-iced cake.
All these little details, coupled with the fact that we're hearing from friends who have received their invitations, makes everything feel less abstract. The weekend is shaping up and we're begining to have a more complete picture of what it will look like.
June 29th to August 29th. The clock is ticking.
On the workout front, I've been pretty good. A bum knee has limited what I can do, at least until I figure out what's going on with my doctor and adapt my workout with Patrick, but I was still able to hit the gym a lot over the last few days. And it's a good thing, too, since L and I spent Saturday night at Coney Island where we took in a Brooklyn Cyclones game, strolled the boardwalk, went in the haunted house and rode the swinging pirate ship. Many calories were consumed in the form of hot dogs, curly fries, cracker jack and one giant funnel cake topped with powdered sugar. I'll need the next two months just to work that off.
Great article in yesterday's New York Times on people who change traditional wedding vows to reflect the reality that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Instead of saying "Till death do us part," many couples are opting for alternatives like "As long as our love shall last" and other ambiguous vows. Not surprisingly, a lot of clergy are not pleased with the changes.
One person in the article, who chose to exclude references to eternity, death and other permanent-sounding delcarations during his wedding, said "You can't promise at 25 that you're never going to change." There is some truth to his statement, but the point of marriage is that whatever change you go through is supposed to happen with the partnership of another person. Anyone who thinks marriage is the end of change ought to change his thoughts on marriage.
It seems to me that it takes the romance out of the ceremony if you look into your bride's eyes and essentially say "I vow to honor, cherish and love you as long as our love shall last, recognizing that there is a 50% chance this union will end in a lengthy court battle."
The question of who hasn't been invited to your wedding is always a sensitive one. Now that the invitations have gone out - and especially with the public announcement on this site - I'm sure we'll get a little grief through the grapevine from one or two people who expected to be invited but weren't. (Others, who see weddings as a terrible obligation are probably letting out a big sigh of relief.)
That we're having a big wedding might make this situation a little more awkward should anyone be upset that they weren't invited. "Oh, I see, you're having 783 people at your wedding but you couldn't find the space for 784?" The fact is that no matter how big your wedding is, it isn't always possible to invite everyone you want. With weddings costing what they cost these days, there has to be a cut off point somewhere.
As a compromise, it is not uncommon for couples to invite people from a B-list, a group of people who only make the invite list after other more important people drop off. L and I know couples who kept updating their lists as close as one week before the wedding. Others pick two dates for mailing the invitations, one at the traditional 6 - 8 weeks before the wedding and another only two weeks before, after the first round's responses have come back.
When it comes down to it, no one wants to be on a B-list. It just has perjorative connotations. Does any actor strive to be a B-list celebrity? Who would you rather be? Carmen Electra or Julia Roberts? Would you rather be the starting short-stop for the Boston Red Sox or on the B-squad? And no one wants to get waitlisted at their number one choice for college or grad school.
L and I are not doing a B-list. One reason is that with everything else we have to do, adding one more task - sorting response cards, going down the list and seeing who makes the cut, having L's mom wait in line at the post office again, getting last minute responses, etc. - we don't want to add any more.
More importantly than the logistical considerations, I think having a B-list can be dangerous. For one thing, someone who gets an invitation two weeks before a wedding will have concrete proof that he's on your B-list and might now find himself feeling more obligated - and more inconvenienced - to attend your wedding. We don't want anyone to come to our wedding out of a sense of obligation. We want them there to have fun at camp, see old friends, meet new family members and celebrate.
But the biggest problem a B-list creates is the fact that its very existence means the existence of another, unwritten group of people: those on the C-list.
With only 66 days to go until the wedding, it's a good thing that I actually have someone to marry. It's just one of those little details I wanted to take care of before I set a date.
For your viewing pleasure: MarryBlaire.com. It's the website of Blaire Allison who as of today has only 190 days until her target engagement date in December. There's only one catch: she doesn't have a boyfriend.
Depending on your point of view, the site is either hysterically funny or pathetically sad. Either way, my bet is that she'll have sold the movie rights to her story before she gets engaged.
Since I spent most of my day at the Rockefeller Center Barnes & Noble yesterday to meet President Clinton and get an autographed book, I did not make it to the gym. I'm not sure how many calories one burns standing up for six hours straight, but I do know that lifting the 957-page memoir is as good as reps with a set of barbells.
While I stood in line I had plenty of time to think about the wedding and laughed to myself as I thought of the ways in which a booksigning and a wedding are similar. President Clinton was making his debut as an author just as L and I will be making our debut as husband and wife. Many people there to wish him success. Essentially, I was standing in a receiving line, albeit one with over 2,000 people that wrapped around the block.
At about 12:45 PM when Clinton's motocade went by and I looked around at the level of security for the event, I realized that our wedding will take place only one day before the Republican National Convention officially begins in New York City. That means that the city will be a zoo as delegates, protesters and the media descend upon Manhattan at once.
It also means that many of our guests who have to fly back in to New York on Sunday night or Monday morning following our wedding will most likely be greeted with huge crowds at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK. My advice to all of them: book your tickets NOW.
In a Jewish wedding, the bride and groom sign a ketubah, or marriage contract, before the ceremony. While today's ketubot are an egalitarian promise of love, support, and affection - sort of written transcript of wedding vows - the document's roots are more financial than emotional. Traditionally, the contract became the bride's property after the wedding and listed the husband's responsibilities and obligations during marriage as well as how a woman would be compensated in the event of divorce or her husband's death. In a way, it was a precursor to the modern prenuptual agreement and I've been told that this was a "revolutionary document" since, 2500 years ago, women did not own property.
L and I have been looking at various texts for our ketubah, trying to find one that recognizes the tradition behind the document and reflects our current and future relationship while simultaneously representing our different comfort levels with religion and god.
We agreed that half of the ketubah, written in English, would reflect the modern idea of equality between a husband and wife. The other half, written in the ancient Aramaic, would reflect the history of the marriage contract. Here's a sampling of the traditional text, translated into English, which follows some simple legalities such as listing the date of the ceremony and names of those involved:
"I will work on your behalf and will honor, sustain, and support you according to the custom of Jewish husbands who faithfully cherish, honor, support, and maintain their wives. And I obligate myself to give you the marriage gift of virgins, two hundred silver zuzim, which belongs to you, and I will also provide your food, clothing, and necessities and will live with you in marital relations according to universal custom. All my property, real and personal, even the shirt from my back, shall be mortgaged to secure the payment of this marriage contract, of the dowry, and of the addition made to it, during my lifetime and after my death, from the present day and forever."
Where the hell am I gonna get two hundred silver zuzim?
The invitations went out one week ago today and as of yesterday L's mom had received 14 response cards with 13 of them containing affirmative responses. That makes our current guest count 25, I believe. The mail being what it is, all the responses were from people in the Chicago area. East Coast responses - including mine - should start reaching L's parents' by tomorrow.
Despite what the salesperson at Syms said to me I'm not really that obsessed with losing weight. So what if I'm 10 pounds heavier than I was college? I'm also ten years older, right?
I do, however, want to get in better shape this summer and I tend to get myself to the gym more often when I see a big event looming on the horizon. I've done bike rides from New York to Boston, mini triathlons in Central Park, and road races in downtown Manhattan, but this summer the big event is the wedding and that's motivation enough.
For the past few months I've been seeing Patrick Panico, a personal trainer and former strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks. We've been meeting once a week at Lift Gym, conveniently located only two blocks from Bloomingdale's. (I can lift and sweat a bit at the gym and then go add things to our registry.)
The thing about Patrick is that he gets it. He's a great guy with a broad knowledge of how the body works and a realistic sense of what works for different people. He understands that I'm not looking to become an Ironman; I only want to stand up straight, suck in my gut and look presentable at the wedding. To that end, Patrick designed a simple work-out plan that only takes about 30 - 40 minutes a day and keeps me motivated enough to come back for more.
So, in the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, I plan to post some information about my workout and my progress as the wedding approaches.
Wt: 161 lbs.
Workout: 45 minutes with Patrick. (Followed by Italian sausage with the works at a local street fair.)
Feeling today: stiff.
With a little more than two months, one way to tell that we have a lot left to do is to listen to the way L's now refers to the event happening on August 29th. It's no longer "the wedding" or "our wedding." It's "this wedding." As in, "We have a lot to do for this wedding" or, "This wedding is really stressing me out."
Isn't it romantic?
Earlier tonight I bumped into our next door neighbor, M. He and N are getting married this summer, coincidentally at a summer camp. (In an even stranger coincidence, he was featured in a documentary L had worked on years before we even moved in to this building.)
M, like myself, is what is commonly called an involved groom. When I saw him at the end of another hot day here in New York, he was in the midst of assembling invitations. He invited me in to his apartment to show me his operation, a folding table set up in the middle of the living room. The table was neatly organized with various types of papers, a glue stick, scissors, envelopes and the actual invitation itself. He seemed to be making progress: cutting stands of paper to wrap around each invitation and then affixing each piece with a small square of paper which he swabbed with a glue stick. It was no easy task and certainly not fun in a hot, New York apartment. When I mentioned that our invitations had been shipped from the printers directly to L's parents' house, M mentioned that not doing that had been his and N's biggest mistake.
So, although it might seem like I'm (yet again) kissing some major in-law tushie, let me thank L's mom for assembling and mailing our invites. As much as I would have been happy to put them together, I'll be much happier with the next job I have to do: installing our air conditioner.
Now that Memorial Day has passed and July 4th is quickly approaching, it is safe to say that we are out of what is considered by most to be prime wedding season. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of us who are having weddings during what is likely to be a hot summer (Or will it be cold? After seeing The Day After Tomorrow I'm all confused about what global warming is doing to the planet.)
Inspired by my recent post about buying a tuxedo, here's a tip from a friend who was nervous about how hot he'd be and how much he'd sweat on his wedding day:
Buy two shirts.
That might be the easiest, most practical advice ever given on this site. Buy two shirts, wear one during the ceremony and then, before you head over to the reception, change into the fresh one. This is especially helpful if you are a big guy or have a tendency to perspire when nervous. It will undoubtedly get sweaty as you dance away the hours with your new bride, but it will buy you some time for the first part of the reception.
This just in: invitations have been mailed. Repeat: invitations have been mailed.
They would have gone out over the weekend, but L's mom went to the Post Office on Friday only to find it closed
due to the politics surrounding out of respect for Ronald Reagan's funeral. Many thanks to L's mom for taking care of this and for hand-stamping each of the envelopes.
After discussing which stamps we wanted and with a limited selection at the post office, the stamp you see pictured to the right was chosen to adorn the invites. At the end of it all, it really doesn't matter. Have you ever gone to a wedding and left saying, "It was a lovely ceremony and the reception was a lot of fun, but can you believe the stamps they put on their invitations?"
Here's something you don't want to hear from a salesman when you're trying on a tuxedo jacket, as I did on Friday with my mother and sister looking on:
"Are you going to lose any weight before the wedding?"
Now, I am planning to get in better shape before the wedding, but not because I need to lose a lot of weight. In fact, if I lost enough to go down an entire jacket size, L would probably set up an intervention to talk to me about my eating disorder.
We were back at Syms, this time in Peabody, Massachusetts as I was home for the weekend. It's sort of a depressing place - Syms, not Peabody - with an all-black interior and racks and racks of discount clothes stretching for hundreds of feet, aisle after aisle. One thing it's good for, though, is tuxedos.
My sister overheard another young man trying on a tux asking if pants with or without cuffs were the current style. This struck my sister as an odd concern coming from someone who was wearing a flowered polo shirt and a hat that said "Yabba Dabba Do!"
We found a nice tux - black, of course - for less than it would cost to rent one for a long weekend. My next adventure, now that I'm back in Brooklyn, is finding a good tailor to have it taken in. I guess I should wait until the end of the summer when I've lost all this extra weight.
My post about the Taylor-Lopez Concidence? was featured in an article in the Ottawa Daily Citizen over the weekend. (Subscription required.) Their fact checkers missed the correct spelling of Richard Burton's character's name in Cleopatra but the article is still a humourous take on the J. Lo's nuptuals. (Also, I'm pretty sure I said "institution" and not "institute" when referring to marriage.)
I guess I'm a pundit now, at least for Canadians, which is why I filtered this post through a special spellcheck for my readers from north of the border.
Taylor-Lopez Coincidence Sparks Web Conspiracies
The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Byline: Misty Harris
In the tradition of the Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidence, the conspiracy theory linking the assassinations of two U.S. presidents, purveyors of popular culture now bring us the Taylor-Lopez Coincidence. Although its observations are more obvious than eerie, the theory linking eternal newlyweds Jennifer Lopez and Elizabeth Taylor is already getting international attention.
Within 24 hours of being posted at PlanetGordon.com this week, the Taylor-Lopez Coincidence had been seen by nearly 8,000 sets of eyes around the world. Traffic on the site, which is run by New York writer Doug Gordon, has more than doubled and continues to increase daily.
"We're so concerned with gay people threatening the institute of marriage, but we really should start with celebrities," says Gordon, who gained notoriety earlier this year for his online diary of his adventures as a metrosexual groom.
"When you're just a commoner like me, you take marriage a little more seriously."
Lopez, 33, has already been through two marriages that had the approximate shelf life of milk. Six months prior to her nuptials last weekend with Marc Anthony, she broke off her much-publicized engagement to actor Ben Affleck.
"She's got a lot of time to catch up to Liz," Gordon says, laughing.
The Taylor-Lopez Coincidence include nuggets such as the fact Taylor married Richard Burton, who played Marc Anthony in the movie Cleopatra, while Lopez married a man named Marc Anthony. Taylor married Republican senator John Warner, while Lopez falls in love with a man running for senate in the film Maid in Manhattan. Both actresses launched their own line of perfumes.
"I don't know if Elizabeth Taylor had a personal assistant named Lopez or if Jennifer Lopez had a personal assistant named Taylor," Gordon muses, alluding to the Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidence.
Lopez is hardly the first celebrity to be compared to the iconic serial bride. Just three years ago, Julia Roberts was baptized the Liz Taylor of her time after a decade-long epidemic of failed relationships.
Peter Shankman, chief executive officer of the publicity firm The Geek Factory, calls it being "Taylor-ified."
"It gives people something to bond over at the water cooler," he says. "Even though (having multiple weddings) isn't as scandalous as it was in the '50s and '60s, it's still a helluva lot more interesting than what's going on in our pitiful lives."
Bookmaker Ladbrokes is already offering 10-to-1 odds that Lopez will "marry more than eight times in her life, beating Taylor." But Shankman asserts that no celebrity will ever replace the legendary actress, whom he calls the Edmund Hillary of marriage.
"J.Lo is trying to do what Elizabeth Taylor knew how to do," he says. "Of course, Liz Taylor didn't make Gigli."
L is out of town on a solo vacation this week, and while some people might think it's odd that an engaged woman would go away for fun by herself, I happen to think it's pretty cool. She's an adventurous lady, that L.
I was on the Upper East Side yesterday and remembered that L and I still hadn't registered for pillows and a few bed linens. Right now we share an old full-sized bed that dates back to my first apartment in New York almost eight years ago. We plan to trade up after the wedding and will therefore need some new threads for the new bed.
I popped in to Bloomingdale's, figuring I could round out what L and I had started together months ago.
L and I have been to the department store's "Bridal Registry" office enough times that I can practically find it blindfolded. (Time to update that sign, Bloomie's.) I went to the 6th floor office and when made my presence known to a receptionist, she stared through me, wondering if I was hiding some beanpole-skinny woman behind me.
"Are you here alone?" she asked.
"Yes," I said, "Just need to add a few things to our registry."
"Oh," she said and took my name to look me up in the computer. As if to confirm what I thought she was thinking, she looked at me and said, "We don't usually get a lot of men in here by themselves."
I held back a laugh as I said, "You know, you'd be surprised how often I hear that."
On a high school trip to Washington, D.C., my class visited the infamous Ford's Theatre and I remember picking up one of those Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidence? parchments for a few bucks in the gift shop. Since that trip to our nation's capital, I hadn't given the parchment much thought. Until now.
In an earlier post on this site a reader commented that Jennifer Lopez is well on her way to overtaking Elizabeth Taylor's record as the most-married celebrity in pop culture history. Ladbrokes, a British bookmaking firm, is even offering 10-1 odds that J. Lo will marry more than 8 times during her life.
I don't know if Elizabeth Taylor had a personal assistant named Lopez or if Jennifer Lopez had a personal assistant named Taylor, but I present, for your approval, the "Taylor-Lopez Coincidence?"
- Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton, who played a man named Marc Antony in Cleopatra. Jennifer Lopez married a man named Marc Anthony.
- Cleopatra, which sparked a media sensation when its costars began dating, later earned back only a fraction of its budget when it was released in 1963. Gigli, which sparked a media sensation when its costars began dating, later earned back only a fraction of its budget when it was released in 2003.
- Elizabeth Taylor launched a successful perfume line bearing her name. Jennifer Lopez launched a successful perfume line bearing her name.
- Elizabeth Taylor married globetrotting hotelier Nicky Hilton. Jennifer Lopez was nominated for a Golden Globe and attended the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.
- Elizabeth Taylor married Larry Fortensky, a construction worker whom many thought was beneath her social class. Jennifer Lopez married Ojani Noa, a waiter whom many thought was beneath her social class.
- Elizabeth Taylor married John Warner, a Republican Senator from Virginia. In Maid in Manhattan, Jennifer Lopez's character falls in love with a man running for the Senate.
- Their nicknames, Liz and J. Lo, each contain three letters.
I have a book of American flag stamps which I bought after running out of Purple Heart flags I had used for a stack of bills and other mail. I'd like to tell you that I bought those patriotic stamps out of a sense of great pride in my country, but, alas, my purchase was made for a far less nobler reason. With an hour-plus wait to get to the counter at the tiny post office in my neighborhood, those are the only stamps available in the self-service machine.
In the normal world, L and I wouldn't give much thought to what kind of stamps we purchase, but, as with most things wedding, no decision is too small to warrant some amount of discussion and consideration.
L's mom called the other night and wanted to know what stamps we wanted for the invitations which are scheduled to go out soon. So we had to decide. After obsessing about the color, paper quality and font of the invitation, you can't just stick any old stamp on there, right?
Naturally, the first question was whether or not we wanted any of the post office's stamps that celebrate love. Too cheesy, L and I agreed. Yeah, we love each other and that love will be recognized by two officiating rabbis, and the states of Wisconsin and New York. Does the United States Postal Service also have to endorse our nuptuals?
We thought about something that reflected one of our interests and considered the American Filmmaking stamps, but then I realized that one out of every 10 invitations would be affixed with either a Frankenstein or E.T. stamp. That just seems kind of weird.
What about Hannukah stamps? Too Jewish and it's the wrong season anyway. Kwanzaa? Not appropriate. Lewis & Clark? Wisconsin wasn't a part of the Lousiana Purchase. Dr. Seuss? Maybe for a kid's birthday party, but not for a wedding.
Eventually, we decided on stamps with no special meaning that look cool but realize that these might not be available at every post office. We'll simply have to trust L's mom to make the decision. After all, she's the one who'll have to wait in line to buy them.
Vegas oddsmakers are already taking the over/under on J. Lo's weekend marriage to Marc Anthony. I give it until April of 2005 or until her next movie is released, whichever comes first.
Hello, wedding industry? Yeah, um, you know how you like to prey on the insecurities and fears of women? Right. Yeah. Okay. Well, I'd like you to meet the weight loss industry. You two should get along fabulously.
Moving from the Post to public radio, tune in to your local NPR station tomorrow for a special program from Public Radio Weekend. Since it's a Saturday in the spring, they are devoting some time to discussing weddings. L and I were interviewed and I even got to read one of my posts for the broadcast. This is perhaps the closest I'll ever come to my dream of being on Car Talk.
I'm checking on times in New York and elsewhere, so check the comments later for more information.
There's a common saying about publicity that the press can say whatever they want about you so long as they spell your name right. Well, I can't say I'm too excited about being called a "girly groom" in today's New York Post but my name and the web address for this site are spelled correctly.
Actually, the article is funny, although I think I was misquoted. Seeing as how I'm getting married in a Jewish ceremony to a rabbi by rabbis, I doubt I said that L "doesn't want to stare at my blackheads at the altar." Chuppah, maybe. But altar? Definitely not.
I should mention that I was photographed getting the full service treatment at John Allan's, although none of the pictures showed up in the article. The salon is mentioned in the story and was very accommodating, hooking me up because of the good PR. Thanks to the staff there for treating me so well. I can't recommend John Allan's enough.
If you can find the June 2004 issue of GQ (they may have already put out the July issue by now so check your dentist's office) look for an article titled "82 Ways To...Take Back the Wedding." I've just started reading it, and I'm sure I'll find something to complain about shortly.
If it's too late for you to dig up a copy, look for their online piece featuring a list of suggested songs that GQ calls "The Ultimate Wedding iPod." It's a good idea, in theory. Some DJs who pop CDs into a tray are little more than human jukeboxes anyway, and a cute little iPod might have more personality than someone who just did a bar mitzvah that afternoon.
This list of songs is generally good, although I question some of their choices (you can't really dance to David Bowie's "Heroes" or Paul Simon's "Graceland") and some of the songs (by The Shins, The Darkness and The Strokes) seem selected merely for the editors to prove their own hipness. Nevertheless, the idea of loading up an MP3 player could work for people looking to save a few bucks. So instead of hiring an expensive DJ for a few hours only to have him go home with a drunk bridesmaid, it might be a better idea to spend a fraction of the money on a 40 Gig iPod that you can take home, bring on your honeymoon and have for a long time.
Remember that part where I said that L and I had been lucky that no one so far has had a breakdown? You do? Well, scratch that. Just strike it from the record and pretend you never heard me say it.
That's because at what was probably our penultimate "production meeting" at L's family's house in Chicago over the weekend things got a bit tense. We hadn't had a meeting like this since, oh, Thanksgiving and a lot of things that we went over then had been forgotten over the ensuing six months. The problem was that each person forgot a different detail, making the person who remembered the other person's forgotten detail annoyed that the other person had forgotten the detail. You follow?
Our biggest challenge in planning is the location. At a hotel or country club an events manager would handle all the details down to who will turn on the lights in the ballroom. But at camp we are in charge of everything. If food is made in the camp's kitchen for a party in other camp building, it doesn't just magically get there. That's a detail we - and by "we" I really mean L's parents - have to figure out. No party planner will come to camp to help us decorate for the rehearsal dinner or set up a microphone. So when one item on our list includes "projection screen for rehearsal dinner," it's not just something that can be checked off so easily. Behind each item is responsibility: someone to take charge of getting the screen, setting it up, testing everything before our guests come in, and then breaking it down after it's all over.
"But we went over this last time," was a frequent refrain of our meeting. As were "You didn't hear what I said," and "We just went over that." "Why are you being so hostile?" may have made an appearance although I admit to blocking some of the conversation out of my mind. Smartly, as I am not yet legally bound to L's family, I chose not to express my opinions too forcefully, instead playing the role of mediator, reinterpreting questions and hopefully preventing the meeting from descending into total chaos.
To be fair, things ended smoothly, no one's feathers were left ruffled for too long and a few heated moments doesn't change L's parents's generosity. A lot of the stress might have had to do with the condenesed nature of our meeting, crammed in as it was among a number of other events L had to attend for a good friend's wedding this weekend. Between a dinner on Friday night and L being nervous about getting to the church on time for the Saturday evening ceremony, a limited window of opportunity to discuss everything made conditions ripe for conflict.
Only three months to go...