Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More of an Excited Elizabeth than a Nervous Nelly

Heeeeeeeeere's KAT! I have been out of commission for more than a week while I got the newspapers ready for the presses and had a bunch of issues with them (ha! issues! get it?). But now I'm back for a bit until my wedding next week and then I hope you'll forgive me for not posting while I'm on my honeymoon. But I'd like to take this opportunity to remind SJ that when she got married, I wrote the follow-up column for the newspaper for her (SJ was something of a local celebrity when we worked at the paper and had tons of followers for her column about her marriage preparations). So, SJ, if you were to write a follow-up about my wedding for the blog, that'd be a great payback. That's all I'm saying.

When people find out our wedding is a little over a week away, I get a lot of, "Are you nervous?" And no one believes me when I say no. I'm excited, but not nervous. What's there to be nervous about? I got my nails done today complete with a neck massage, I arrive home to find presents on my doorstep, I'm anticipating a week in Aruba and I'm marrying the love of my life. That's nothing but exciting, baby!

OK, I have a "few" tasks to complete but, eh, it'll all get done. And if it doesn't, bowls of M&Ms as centerpieces.

Friday, October 19, 2007

hot in the city

last night, in honor of a good friend and office-mate (although, sadly, no longer a direct office mate, as she now works in our manhattan office), my work-bff jill and i took to the big apple to meet bb.

it's a very rare occasion that i hit new york. in fact, i prefer to do it with KAT, an entire cheesecake and some serious martinis at this place we found on 16th street that has a specialty of "mac and cheese." (which reminds me, KAT, we need to do that again, but this time, hit Crumbs for giant cupcakes with names like "the devil dog", etc.)

however, from time to time, me and a couple of the girls from work (both used to live in the city on the upper east side) like to do it up. last night was one of those nights.

for october 18th, it was surprisingly warm, so my knee high boots and hot pink trench were not the best choice i could have made (but it looked so cool!), particularly when i was sandwiched in the 6th train headed towards 23rd street and park. it was hot, hot, hot, and that's something i just don't feel when i'm all sweaty and stuff.

but it was worth the comedy that my outfit caused - because as i was leaving work yesterday to catch the train in darien, one of the execs told me "wow- pink on black - mee-ow." seriously? who "me-ows?" at all? or in public? in an *office?!* all i can say, is thank GOD we weren't in the city when he said it, else i end up on Overheard in NY.

so i'm in the office exceptionally early this morning, since i stayed with jill in her insanely beautiful colonial on a cul de sac in new canaan (one of the top 10 most wealthy communities in the us, which makes me want to go volunteer in a soup kitchen now, as i feel republican by association).

i'm also starting to rethink that second bottle of white wine.

but - in the end, so, so worth it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Let's see if I can stop laughing and rolling around in all this money long enough to type this...

You're probably aware by now that the Pretend Husband is an attorney. So we hear a lot of attorney jokes (some are even funny). And we get a lot of comments about what a great, big salary the PH is pulling down. Um, no. Not so much. He works in a field with a huge number of attorneys vying for the same business. So guys like him are pretty much a dime a dozen. But it doesn't stop people from assuming we're rolling in it (yeah, I'm driving an 8-year-old Accord because I have to, not because it's fashionable).

Anyway, the subject of the PH came up today at work and one of my coworkers said someone had asked him just last week, "Why does KAT even work here? She's marrying an attorney."

HA HA HA HA HA HA! So I told my coworker that person was right and I only work at the company because I enjoy interacting with the little people and because it's oh-so-boring to spend all day watching soap operas and managing the cabana boys. And now I'm off to do my own laundry because, um, the maid is on vacation and not because if I don't do it, it will never get done or anything.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You know it was a good party when you're still recovering on Tuesday!

I have a feeling SJ and I have each been waiting for the other to post about our one crazy mo-fo weekend, although it was crazy for her in the sense that she had to organize, set up, decorate, run and clean up a Jack & Jill for the Pretend Husband and I, while it was crazy for me because I drank an entire beer* poured down the ice luge into my waiting mouth. Whoo-hoo! (I don't even drink beer, so that was quite the accomplishment for me!)

* By entire beer, I might actually mean "a portion of a can of beer before I tagged the PH in to finish it. But, still, as someone who has never had more than a sip of beer at a time, I was impressed by the effort.

SJ and her hubby and the rest of our wedding party pulled off a very kick-ass Jack & Jill with a hoedown theme, horseshoes, the aforementioned ice luge with yummy vodka and tequila shots, some very cool raffle prizes and delicious desserts that are still tempting me from the fridge. It was a great day and, best of all, it replaced the traditional bridal shower with games, food and, most scary to me, everyone staring at the bride-to-be as she opens gifts and expresses her surprise/gratitude. Uh yeah, I'll take an ice luge over that anyday!

Another reason it was a very cool party was the presence of s (of Two Black Cats fame) and her very cute cowboy son, as well as frequent commenter Anonymous and her husband (whose marriage advice to me was, "May all your ups and downs be between the sheets"... I'm thinking of incorporating that into the marriage ceremony in some way-- do you think the priest would mind?) We also had lots of family and friends who contributed in many different ways. One of my favorite moments was hanging out at the luge and turning around to see three of the PH's aunts in line with dollar bills in their hand, waiting for their turn to suck down a shot. I can't wait to marry into that family!

Of course, having everyone talk about our upcoming wedding made me realize just how many little details I have to get done in the next month. Although, as I said at the Jack & Jill, so a couple of tables at the reception are missing centerpieces! I promised that any tables without them would get a bowl of M&Ms instead... and not only did I not get any complaints, but I had friends volunteering to sit at those tables.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stuffed to the gills and my burps taste like bacon

Having flexible schedules (and in his case, no boss) means my friend BAC and I can meet up for breakfast long after our spouses have trudged off to work. We did that this morning, but unfortunately, I think it might be the last time that happens… not because I don’t enjoy BAC’s company or because it wasn’t fun, but because I’m so stuffed I may never eat again.

My usual breakfast is a cup of coffee and a granola bar. I’m not a breakfast person and have trouble downing large amounts of food shortly after waking up. But I broke all the rules today… and I’m paying for it.

I met BAC at a chain restaurant because he had a buy one-get one free coupon. Little did I know, it was for the biggest breakfast they offer. We each had four eggs, four pieces of toast, home fries, four slices of bacon and coffee. I didn’t finish it, but I gave it my best shot.

And now, six hours later, I can’t even think about eating lunch. I just sent BAC this email: "I AM SO FULL! It's lunchtime and I have a sandwich sitting in the fridge and the thought of eating it makes me gag. I can't believe how much we ate for breakfast! I usually have a granola bar but today I had to try to keep up with you so I ate the spawn of six chickens, a field of potatoes, a loaf of bread and three pigs. Or at least it felt that way. Thanks again for breakfast (which may actually be my lunch and dinner too, if I don't hurry up and digest!)"

But I’ve learned something today. Despite being more full than I thought possible and practically busting out of my jeans, I accepted a piece of chocolate from a co-worker. I think that theory about having a separate “dessert stomach” may just be true after all. Burp!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Do I still count as a shrewd negotiator if I whined, "But we're newlyweds, we have no money!"

I'm going to continue our recent theme of "Oh my God, I'm old!" with a description of the activity the Pretend Husband and I engaged in the other day (no, not that one!... although that was fun too)

We bought a car. All on our own. With no grown-ups helping us. And I think it went OK.

This has been an on-going process for a few weeks now with the PH researching new and used cars and trying to talk me into getting them. He went to a couple of dealers on his own and came back with reports for me. Last week, we spent the evening at a used car super store kind of place, but had no luck. That place was doomed from the start because of the terrible service. It was like the IKEA of car shopping, with a lot of young, uneducated employees who were more interested in flirting with the receptionist than selling us a car.

Seriously, we waited for 20 minutes while four employees stood in the corner telling jokes and the guy who eventually helped us leaned over the front counter and batted his eyelashes at the receptionist. The receptionist who told us we'd have to be put on the "waiting list" when we walked in then pulled out a blank sheet of paper and wrote our name on it. But, despite having helped no one in the time we were waiting and despite the fact that we sat three feet from her while we waited, she looked at me with a blank look when I approached after 20 minutes to ask about the wait and said, "What are you here for?" Then she checked the list, which was still completely blank except for our names. Argh!

Anyway, we spent our day off Monday on the Internet, arguing about makes and models of vehicle and finally test driving a car. We liked it... and that's where the fun began. I've never been involved in a car negotiation, but have watched enough movies that I knew what to expect. They started the negotiation ridiculously high and made us work for it to be lowered. We finally said, "hey, let's split the difference. We'll come up $25 in what we want to pay in monthly payments and you come down $25," which worked out fine until they came back with an offer than had us come up $29 while they came down $21. The salesman actually said to us, "Are you going to pass up this deal for $4 a month? That's a cup of coffee." I was so proud of the PH when he responded, "Are YOU going to pass up this deal for $4 a month?"

With a lot of struggling, we came to a deal three hours after we had first walked into the dealership. What astounded me was how much they tried to get away with. We found more than $500 in charges we didn't need and, after we signed an agreement, the PH mentioned he needed a new license plate. It turns out that cost had already been figured in-- even when they didn't think he would need them!

In any case, we bought a car. It's shiny. And fast. And something we accomplished together. And, despite my complaints about feeling old, we're not so old we couldn't high-five a little after closing the deal.

Monday, October 08, 2007

my weekend fun. and today's my anniversary. and i'm old. and more.

I apologize in advance for being a little random.

A summary of points:
I am too old for my age, apparently.
I’ve been married for three years today.
It’s still a little scary to see my friends pregnant.
Another close encounter of the sephora kind.
Just another weekend four-wheelin’ with my family.

There’s no getting around it. I realize this mostly because it’s not that I feel old, or that I’ve started to identify creeping lines around my eyes. I realize this because everyone else around me is too damned young.

I noticed it a few weeks ago, and now I’ve been noticing it more and more. When I was 27, I was buying a house, getting married, changing jobs, etc. It’s a crazy time. I absolutely realize this and some people handle stress in different ways. But apparently, I was an old 27. because the 27 year olds that I know, are much less like me. the 27 year olds I associate with today giggle too much and at inappropriate times (like when in meetings with the president of our company), are entirely too boy crazy, and their lives revolve around going to the right bars and ordering the right drink (which apparently is no longer the cosmo it was when I was 27, but it does seem to change every week. a month ago, it was oyster shooters.) I *know* this isn’t the case for every 27 year old. But I didn’t know any of these types when I was 27. I’m just saying….

And on the other hand, after the news that a very dear friend is expecting, I thought: good lord. We’re too young.

And once again this weekend I braved the beauty counter at sephora (this time, to pick up concealer, because my 30 year old skin decided this week to act like my 13 year old skin) and was waited on by a woman in her late 40s, I would assume, who had DRAWN IN her eyebrows and then HIGHLIGHTED THEM IN PINK. Which I find bizarre, but whatever – if she wants to have hot pink eyebrows, that’s cool. They matched the hot pink line around her mouth. But what really killed me is when she said to me: “I prefer a natural look…” when trying to push a night-time make up on me. here is where I wished I had botox so that I could have prevented my eyebrows from jumping through my hairline when she said it. because I felt bad for betraying the fact that I found that to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long, long time. I was also a little baffled by why someone would have to put makeup on at night. unless I missed the point of her sales pitch. Maybe she prefers a natural look when she’s sleeping. That would make much more sense.

I also got together with my family on Sunday for a little family ATV riding. Because what says family bonding like a little too much time on the quads. (actually, we were also up there to pick pumpkins, but I think more time was spent free-wheeling on the quads.) it started with my dad mentioning that he was thinking of going. I said I wanted to go with him, because I needed more pumpkins for KAT’s jack and jill (for centerpieces). Then Jason wants to go because dad will take the quads. Then anonymous and family were going, and an hour later, the entire family was convoying up to ashford.

That’s how we roll.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We're gonna party like it's 1999...

We met with our wedding DJ last night to go over the details for that big par-tay we're throwing next month. I got a kick out of how happy she was when we told her she doesn't have to worry about announcing us, a cake cutting song, a garter toss song and some other stuff she normally has to do. We even burned songs onto a couple of CDs for her.

One of the things we had to do was go through a list of all the music she has and choose at least 30 songs for her to play. I guess I never realized that the bride and groom choose the specific songs played at their receptions-- which makes me wonder why I've ever had to dance to "Shout," let alone at every wedding I've ever been to. Actually, that was answered for us too, because, as much as we wanted things to be "different" and "cool," our DJ explained to us that there are old favorites that tend to get people out on the dance floor. I cringed a little as I checked off "1999" and "Love Shack," but I do prefer a wedding reception where everyone is dancing and having a great time to one where everyone stays seated while the DJ plays music that only the PH and I like (or, in the case of country music, only I like).

And my secret dream? A dance off. When my friend, Mrs. Cheech, got married a few years ago, everyone-- including many of the older folks-- ended up in a big circle on the dance floor, taking turns going into the middle of the circle and busting moves like only white, suburban non-dancers can. There were a lot of robots and sprinklers that night. But it was a blast. No one cared what they looked like, everyone was laughing and it's a night I'll always remember.

This is advance warning to the wedding par-tay... if you happen to be sitting down when the old-school 80s rap comes on, I'm going to need to see you on the dance floor. Bring it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

No mention of the "W" word!

I got a call at work around 4 yesterday asking if the Pretend Husband and I wanted to meet some friends for wings and drinks at a local sports bar. I flew into action arranging my end of things (which meant trying to track the PH down and leaving frantic messages like, "Please call me back ASAP! We're going to happy hour. Meet me there!")

Somehow, the plan came together and six of us got together to eat buffalo wings, drink some beer (or actually, soda, cause I'm old like that), laugh at the two gay men flirting and grabbing each other's butts outside the huge window next to our table and guess the age of the woman on the phone outside the window. Sounds boring, but it was a great time.

As I looked across the table at my friends, I felt a little sad. One of the couples is newly pregnant and I feel like our time sitting in a sports bar talking and laughing is limited. I don't think an hour's notice is going to cut it anymore. This time next year, getting together is going to include advance planning, babysitters and more coordination to get everyone in one place.

The couple assures me nothing is going to change, but I don't believe that. It has to change. I look at how much things changed for us when we got a dog to take care of, so I have to imagine a kid is going to be like that and more.

But that's OK. (What's not OK is the new lines on my face and how OLD I look compared to photos from college, but that's another story!) We're growing up... whether we're ready for it or not. And, for now, I'm going to enjoy those last-minute rushes to get everyone to the bar in time to get the happy hour prices.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's my wedding and I'll do what I want to...

I've been a bad, bad blogger. But wait, I've got excuses! I was deep in the pits of work hell last week and then I spent the weekend plotting my escape from work hell and doing wedding stuff (a hell of its own, I might add, and I have the scratches on my hands to prove it!)

But now I'm back. And that's got to count for something. We went to one of the weddings SJ mentioned in her weekend of two weddings and a kids birthday party. We're next to get married in that group of friends and I was asked no less than three times that weekend how many days left until our wedding.

Apparently, it's something brides pay attention to. Well, brides who aren't me.

"Ummm, less than two months, but more than one?" (We've been sort of counting the months if we think of it on the day...) Is this something I'm supposed to know?

I feel like sort of a bridal failure. But then again, we're headed toward the type of wedding the Pretend Husband and I really want and not what others think we "should" have.

For example, I'm not wearing a veil. People have tried to convince me that I should wear one so I look like a bride. But, well, I'm going to be the one at the front of the church exchanging vows with the guy in the tux so I think it's going to be pretty obvious who the bride is.

And I'm not having a shower (despite the PH's best efforts...) We're having a kick-ass Jack and Jill party instead (I know it's going to be kick ass because SJ and my other kick ass wedding partiers are planning it).

Oh, and no wedding cake. No bouquet toss. No garter. Instead, we're going for single roses with a little ceremony to explain their meaning. And great music at the reception. Oh, and an ice cream sundae bar. With nine additional desserts.

Somehow, I don't think anyone is going to miss having cake.