Thursday, July 19, 2007

The First Kiss

I fear that my writing is reaching high proportions of bitterness and bitchiness. Read one entry and you may think ‘hey, this girl is sort of funny’ but if you read them all at once you may think ‘get this girl a cocktail because she needs to shut up’.

Therefore I am writing about something positive, and the sad thing is I can’t think of too many positive things that involve weddings. Sad isn’t it? When technically love is the most wonderful thing that exists in our world (puke). But love really is nice. It means backrubs, cups of tea and oil changes. My own Engineer is sitting in my tub right now with rubber gloves and a wire contraption he designed, pulling hair out of my drain. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

I have to admit that I have a good one. A really really really good one. We started off friends and decided one magical night to be more. And when I say ‘magical’ I actually mean ‘drunken’. For just over a year, the Engineer and I had been pretty much inseparable - we used to joke that we were a mutant couple. In hindsight we were in fact mutant. We would rather hang out as friends than date other people. Our friends waited patiently for us to wake up and that beautiful day happened on Halloween.

I was dressed as a butterfly in an old formal gown that I had from my sorority days (that is an entry for another day) and he was a blow-up bull rider. My grandmother met my grandfather at a Halloween dance. She was dressed as a gypsy reading fortunes for all the kids and my grandfather couldn’t resist her beauty so had his fortune read. And his fortune was to fall in love (or that is how their meeting goes in my imagination – all I know is that she really was dressed as a gypsy). My Halloween story is not like that. At all.

When I say the Engineer and I were inseparable, it means that we basically went to the bar every weekend. Our bonding was over gin & tonics and a shared love of country music in sweaty bars (once again, another entry for another time). For over a year and a half, the Engineer took care of me at bars. He protected me if need be and always carried my lip-gloss. He would pick up my purse when I dropped it and he once gave me his runners when my feet hurt too much in my shoes. But not this fateful night. Oh no. The Engineer decides to hit on this girl dressed as a stupid super hero. Well this butterfly did not like the sudden attention he was spending on a random girl. So I did my darndest to deter her away.

At party number one I asked what she did for a living and found out that she never went to post-secondary school. Judgmental Butterfly told her the Engineer doesn’t like stupid people.

At party number two, Bitter Butterfly kept grabbing the Engineer away from her and shooting her dirty looks. I then made the Engineer fix my broken wings in a snuggly corner out of eyesight from the superhero. I also spent a considerable time telling him that I didn’t like her. I must say, that the Engineer and I spent most of this party together (I think) and excluded the superhero.

At party number three (I quite frankly don’t know why she stuck around), Belligerent Butterfly got mad at the Engineer because I told him that everyone thought he was in love with me but he wasn’t acting like he did. I then asked him if he ever thought that we should be a couple. When he said ‘yes’ I freaked out MORE – and told him it would be weird if we kissed. When he said ‘no’ I grabbed his face and kissed him. Then I yelled that his timing was off and that it was weird. So we tried again – but this time he grabbed my waist and the timing wasn’t off at all. And it wasn’t weird. Well, not really. I don’t know where the superhero was at this point but they still shared a cab and he saw that she got home. And in fact they went on a date a week later because we were both in denial about THE KISS.

And now that I write this down, I see the complete absurdity that was our first kiss and I can’t believe that I spent most of the time yelling at him – and that he still wanted to be with me. But we figured it out – albeit a month later. And now he pulls hair out of my drain. See? Now that is love. And as for the superhero? I don’t really care . . . . ..

Friday, July 13, 2007

To Prove that I don't really Hate weddings (that much)

Okay, now I feel bad for bitching about weddings as much as I do. Yes, I have seen too many weddings than I care to remember. But I have also been to several weddings where I had a great time and really enjoyed myself.

The first wedding in which I bridesmaided for was one of the lovliest. It was nestled in the mountains in the middle of August. it was not a $50 000 affair but something smaller and more intimate. The part I remember most is dancing under the stars on the grass in our barefeet. See? I can like weddings too!


1. Being with your best friend on the day of their dreams.
2. The daddy/daughter dance. It always makes me cry.
3. Free champagne and lots of cake.
4. Seeing old people dance. It’s really cute.
5. The night before sleepover (if you have one) where you giggle about boys like a teenager,

Monday, July 9, 2007

Everything a Bride should know . . .


1. Your wedding day is going to be the most incredible, memory-filled, happy day of your life. Note the “your’ in your life. It really is a great day that you have been dreaming about since you were five. But that’s just it. It’s your day - so don’t force your day on other people for a year and a half before the day. No one is going to think about your wedding 24/7, except you and maybe your mom. Your friends are happy to stand by you and celebrate your happiness; but they have a life outside your wedding. Remember that. (This also pertains to people who have babies talking to those who do not have babies)

2. Think beyond the wedding. Don’t worry so much about which dress has straps and which doesn’t. Don’t worry about matching toe nail polish on your bridesmaids. Don’t worry about ribbon being too gold or not gold enough. These things are not going to affect your marriage in 60 years. No one at the wedding will notice these silly details. And most importantly: people are dying in the world from war and famine. Put things in perspective and pretty suddenly minute details will be just that: minute.

3. Don’t’ waste time, money or energy on wedding favors. Seriously. That is silly. Most people forget them at the wedding and the rest just toss them away after a couple of months. The best possible thing you can do is giving that money to your favorite charity. Not only does that make you look really good but someone in need is going to benefit so much more than a guest will with a CD or a magnet.

4. When picking a dress for your bridesmaids, be nice. It isn’t even the prospect of wearing a burgundy dress that looks like a prom dress circa 1997 that scares us; it’s paying $300 that kills us. If you are going to insist on a dress that is expensive, you really should be picking up the tab or at least paying for some of it. Back when our mothers got married, the bride paid for the bridesmaid dress. That is a tradition we have sadly lost. Reason #1 comes into play here. It isn’t fair to tax your closest friends financially for your day. They want to spend their hard earned cash on something more fun – like a pair of Prada sunglasses! And if you don’t want to fit the dress into your budget then pick a dress for $100 or less and let the girls pick their own shoes. Also, don’t expect a gift so quickly from your girls. If they have just spend hundreds of dollars to support you on the day then that should be gift enough. Really.

5. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Things are going to go wrong, things are not going to go as smoothly as you would like but in the end nothing will matter except the marriage to the person you love. See #2

The Lucky Day

So this weekend was the famous 7/7/7 wedding day that apparently was the big day for more people than any other day in history thus far. That's right, a set of 7's is going to keep the divorce away - we hope. Actually, the traffic was clear at one of the busiest intersections in the city so I was grateful that everyone was at a wedding so we could get to our movie in time.

My girlfriend was a bridesmaid this weekend. She is like me in that she has served as bridesmaid more times than anyone really should. Unlike me however, her brides are vastly inconsiderate, as are the other bridesmaids. For the most part I have lucked out with brides that don't insist on the super expensive dress or feel that they should pay for all of it or at least some. My girlfriend though has been known to pay over $400 for her dress and shoes!!!! In this last wedding she also paid for food and drink for the shower and stagette, her dress and shoes and the gift for the bride and groom. She could ask for money from the other bridesmaids to help with the said food and drink but she is too shy, and I think it is appalling that money wasn't even offered! She is a teacher for crying out loud; it isn't as if she is rolling around in crispy $100 bills.

Thinking of her brings me to one of my PET PEEVES about weddings and why they drive me around the bend. I think weddings are one of the most stupid expenses we will face in life. For everyone involved. Let’s do some math shall we?

My girlfriend spent nearly $700 on food, drinks and decorations to throw her cousin nice pre-wedding parties. Not to mention the time and energy spent to put on the said parties. Then she spent another $400 on her dress and shoes that the bride insisted they all wear. Of course, she had to have her nails and hair done, let’s say another $100 at the least. PLUS she has to get a gift for her cousin which is often $100 or more (right here, this is what I HATE! Why should the wedding party have to buy gifts for the bride and groom – isn’t the fact that they spent a month’s rent on their wedding enough?? A little known fact is that you don’t have to buy the gift for a whole year after the wedding. I use this rule A LOT. In fact I think I am due pretty soon . . .. ). So her grand total is: $1300!!! $1300!!!!! That is half of her monthly take home salary! And for what? A meal that maybe was $60 a head and $40 worth of free wine? Oh and the joy of standing next to one of her best friends.

Another girl I know had to spend $1200, which included matching fake nails. MATCHING FAKE NAILS!!!! That is pure insanity! And I am sure you are wondering why don’t we just say ‘no’? Well first off, it’s hard. Brides have a funny way of guilting you into credit card hell. And I have said ‘no’ before and gotten my way. Not without some severe bitching and complaining but at least I didn’t have to use my overdraft on my bank account.

But it isn’t just the expense of being a bridesmaid that bugs me. It is the whole wedding thing. A cheap wedding is now $20 000. $20 000!!!! Many people I know have spent at least $50 000! And then there are the people who spend over $100 000 but they are just stupid. A day should never cost that much. A day should never send you into the hole in which you spend the first five years of your married life paying off. I have nothing wrong with the $100 000, $50 000, $20 000 wedding as long as the money you earn exceeds that amount. I know people who spent over $50 000 and don’t even make that in a year. GAH! Neither do their parents! GAH! Weddings have become this commercial enterprise in which all businesses involved can gouge you because they know they can. It is sick sick sick sick.

So if 7/7/7 was the most popular day this century to get married – how much profit do you think was made by dress stores, florists, halls, golf courses, caterers, hair salons, tux rental places, card companies, liquor people and the Bay alone? I don’t even want to think of the number because I might puke.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Why we marry

So I watched this CBC documentary the other day on why people get married in this day and age - and it made me think: why the hell do I want to get married so bad??

Apparently people in France and Quebec are no longer feeling the need to marry, they insist on common-law, which is surprising that a Catholic society who used to think that sharing a toothbrush holder without a marriage licence is a ticket straight to hell. But then again, they're French. French do everything they want to. They revolt against kings, they drink wine while pregnant, they don't get fat. Seriously, is it any wonder why French people are often hated? And now they don't need le wedding to commit to le love.

All my friends are married, well mostly. If they aren't, they want to get married. And yet none are particularily religious or traditional. At first I couldn't even answer why I want to get married. Isn't it enough if the Engineer and I decide to stay loyal to each other for life without the vows or the wedding dress? Ummmm, NO!

But then again, I am fairly traditional in some ways. And I am orderly and I like ceremony. My Christmas tree always goes up December 15th. I drink egg nog and listen to carols. The angel goes on last. I go to midnight mass even though I am a Buddhist simply because I like the carols and sticking candles in the snow. On Halloween, I have to carve the pumpkin BEFORE my costume goes on otherwise it is not really Halloween. Easter always involves a new pink item in my wardrobe and a pretend Easter egg hunt even though I am almost 30. Thanksgiving always gets a country drive. I get drunk at the Stampede. See? I am totally traditional.

And also, I ike a ceremony just so that I can refer to it. A commitment not said out loud to the love of your life is like a burial for your grandma without a funeral. I need those signposts so that I know it happened. Take University. You go there for four (okay, six) years and at the end you have the choice to go to convocation or not. I took the convocation route. I wore the cap and gown. I walked on stage and shook someone's hand. My mum took pictures of my dad and I with my $30 000 piece of paper. Therefore, I can look back and say 'Yes, I graduated from University'. I don't think I would have felt the completion as much if I had just had it mailed to me (like other friends I know).

Therefore, when that special someone and i decide we want to be together for the rest of our lives, I NEED that cermemony. I need those vows said out loud in front of friends and family. I need the dress and . . . . well, I just want a dress really. That way I KNOW I am commited. I will have had at least a hundred witnesses telling me so. I will look back at pictures and think "Yup, that's me. I said 'I Do' in front of people so I guess I have to put up with him throwing his underwear at my head when I am sleeping because he thinks it is a funny way to wake me up" I need that closure. Or beginning. Whatever way you want to look at it.

The Sandman and the Spreadsheet

I am a nightowl. The Engineer has to get up in the morning. This is a problem.

But before I talk about that, I have to say that my BF hates the fact that I am referring to him as the Engineer. Quite frankly, I like it. I mean 'boyfriend' is so boring, at least with the term 'engineer' you are all given an image. I date an engineer - that means I date someone who has slight autism (new theory and very interesting), enjoys spreasheets, likes to know how things are built and is very smart and science geeky. All is true of my Engineer. Before my Engineer, I never knew the magic of spreadsheets. He taught me that I could make spreadsheets for any situation and seeing as I am a Virgo and a lover of organization it was as if I fell in love with him just a tad more.

I have one spreadsheet. It is for all the restaurants I want to eat at or have eaten at here in Vancouver. And I have categories like price, ethnicity, dress, never eaten/eaten etc. If I have a craving for the new Thai in town that is cheap and dressy all I have to do is type that in and VOILA! I have a restaurant. There are none like that in Vancouver. But gosh darn do I love that spreadsheet! I wonder what else I can spreasheet? My shoes, my favorite movies, books I have read but forgot I have read, or charges on my credit card? Fun times I tell you. Fun times.

So back to being a nightowl. I get creative at night. I like to stay up and do things like vacuum (remember that i am a procrastinator) or stare out the window and visualize my life to be better. The Engineer has to show up at work between 7 and 10. When he sleeps over it is often the later time. And he sleeps over often. In fact I secretly think we are living together. I laundered his underwear the other day. I think that is a new level.

Often I go to bed with him and we talk about stupid things. But I have been really homesick for my late nights of creative wonder and infommercials. So tonight he sleeps and I write. And I have to admit something: I keep going and looking at him sleep! GAH!!!! What have I become??? But I can't help it - he is so cute when he sleeps. He has a slight snore and has the body temperature of a Hawaiian volcano so it makes him super warm and cuddly (not the mention that he is Asian so has super soft skin). I just did it again! I went and looked at him!!!! I am officially a dork. But I can't help it, apparently I am crazy in love and it makes me act stupid and stare at the Engineer while he sleeps.

We also don't make the best sleeping partners. I like to cuddle. The Engineer has the body temperature of a Hawaiin Volcano so gets too hot and rolls over. He only cuddles for a nano-second and only because I ask him nicely (okay, that is a flat out lie. I yell at him and tell him to spoon me). I also have this problem (apparently) of hogging the bed. I didn't believe it as I could always see the edge of the bed (makes sense right?) until the night the Engineer took a 3am photo of me sprawled in the middle of my queen with my mouth wide open! Why can't I be a pretty sleeper?? WHY?

The hogging thing is something we just have to live with. I have spent nearly 30 years sleeping in bed by myself so clearly I can't help that I am a creature of habit. Besides, I can totally see the edge of the bed. . . . . .

Woopsie Daisie

So May 31st is well over a month ago - woopsie daisie. Cleary things got out of hand in my world. OR I have the eternal problem of most writers I know. PROCRASTINATION. Why do we do it? Why do we insist on cleaning our closet or our storage locker BEFORE sitting down in front of our pretty white MAC's and writing something/anything/a word???? Seriously, we love it and yet we try to avoid it???? But I digress. This is not about my lack of ability to get my ass in gear, this is about my life. And yet the two go together like peas in a pod. Case in point: my best friend's tea shower.

I planned a tea party shower thing for one of my best friends. I planned it and sent out evites at least 6 weeks in advance. If not more. But when did I plan the menu/ask for help/buy the gift/clean my house/decidedwhat to wear/get some flowers? That's right, the day before. THE DAY BEFORE!!!!! I literally spent a sunny Friday afternoon chasing tea cups and cream around town. And I live in Vancouver - now for anyone who lives in Vancouver presently you know that driving in our Olympic-happy city is like driving in hell (or what I imagine hell to be like). That is why i don't believe in hell. No matter how evil one is, I don't think anyone deserves to spend eternity creeping along in traffic, avoiding orange pylon things, going slow for the damn workers, and always giving way to the highly retarded pedestrians in this city who think it is okay to stop traffic so they can saunter their fat asses across the street because they are too damn lazy to walk 12 meters to the nearest trafficlight. Don't even get me started on cyclists in this city . . . .

But wait, where was I? Oh yes, tea cups. So I am running around town searching for the perfect tea cup so my best friend can one day drink out of it in New York City (where she is moving) and think to herself, "Oh this lovely tea cup, it nearly drove Stella to insanity and all because I wanted her to be a bridesmaid" It is my own fault (obviously) but what is a bridesmaid without some bitterness?? And then I had to shop for food, and more food because the first grocery store didn't have all the ingredients. Then I had to clean my house. GAH! Inviting people over seems like such a great idea until I realize I am an anal-retentive Virgo who has to wash my walls lest a newcomer to my house should notice a slight black mark and immediatly cast me as a slob. No way. So I clean. The night before. I wake up early. On a Saturday. And I clean some more. And then I bake. I BAKE!!! Scones. And I chop and mix and blend and arrange. I literally have to pull my clean clothes on as the MOG sits in my living room eating cheese.

Why do I insist on procrastiating when entertaining?? Why?? I must admit though - I throw a damn good party. Everyone always thinks so. This time my house was all sunny and my couches glowed in their white glory. I had peonies in antique tea cups, pink cushions to accentuate the girliness of the event, P & P playing on mute and delicate music softly playing in the background so we could all be transported to an English manor in the spring. I rock. And the bride rocks. She lets me do anything and if anything means no 'toilet paper bride' then I am in!!

But seriously, when (or if) I get married, I am owed BIG time. I can't wait to cash in!! But knowing me I'll procrastinate until I die and forget to get married . . . . .