Friday, April 29, 2011

My Inconvenient Wedding (Revised)

In honor of the big Royal Wedding this morning, I thought it would be fun to revise and republish my thoughts on the perfect wedding. This was first written in 2009 and posted as a note in Facebook. We've come a long way since then and attended a few more weddings and showers since.

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. We dream about the dresses, the flowers, the music, the dances, the bridesmaid’s gowns, the honeymoon and the groom. (I almost forgot that last one.)

 I've attended many weddings and worked at a banquet hall in a small western Pennsylvania town. From these experiences, I've gathered a lot of ideas and plans for elements and traditions I'd like to incorporate into my own wedding. I thought I'd share some of them.
I want to get married the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2021. This should be excellent time of year because venues should be cheaper because it's right before the holiday season. I wouldn’t want to be a complete jerk and have it on the most traveled day of the year before an important family-oriented holiday. It should not be a problem for my guests to burn a vacation day and hire a baby sitter.

I figure that in the next ten years, I’ll attend many more weddings, followed by house-warming parties, followed by baby showers, followed by birthday parties and graduation parties and other gift-requiring celebrations. I’m going to be broke. I do not intend on spending much on my wedding as I’ve probably spent most of my money on buying gifts for others. There will be several cost-cutting measures on my part but at  inconvenience of my guests. I'm sure my guests would not hiring a baby sitter, burning a vacation day and fighting rush hour traffic to attend my Friday evening reception so I can save $300 on the reception venue. 
The ceremony will start at 10:30 or 11 a.m. My guests should just miss the rush hour traffic but probably be starving because it's not a set meal time. I might even be late because there is nothing my guests would enjoy more than sitting on a hard wooden pew with a church full of strangers for a long period of time. The ceremony will conclude around noon but lunch won’t be served until 2. I will provide my guests with directions to the church and to the hotel. I will not, however, provide directions from the church to the reception site or from the reception site to the hotel. It would cost an extra $5 and 10 minutes of planning. While we’re getting our photos taken my lovely guests can drive around aimlessly for three hours and enjoy the scenery and day off from their busy lives.

I am blessed to have a great family and really amazing friends. If I were to include all of my close girl friends, I'd have an eight-person wedding party. (I've maintained that the the number of bridesmaids directly corresponds to the age of the bride and the potential for divorce. If she's 23 and has 12 non family bridesmaids, I'd maybe be conservative on buying anything with a warranty.) I don't like big wedding parties so I've set up qualifiers. No matter how awesome you may be you cannot be in my wedding if you:
  • have a tattoo that is visible and would need explained to senile relatives or impressionable children. I'm going to have many a senile relative by that point. If I have to explain the tribal tattoo four times to my aunts, I have to explain it forty times to my mom.
  • do not like to get dressed up or dance. I’m not listening to you belly ache about the perils of heels while I’m sucked into a dress and probably won’t have eaten for a month.
  • are going to project your past experiences and spend more time talking about how your wedding was or what you did 
  • are skinnier and prettier than me. You’re out, sorry. Unless you’re willing to pack on some pounds and not wear makeup on that day.
  • have any kind of life outside of wedding planning. I'm going to need your undivided attention from engagement shower all the way through to the honeymoon.
Know that having a life, tattoo or aversion to heels does not mean you're not invited! I still love you and would love for you to buy me something. For those who do BQ- Bridesmaid Qualify- I'm still working on the dresses. It will probably be hideous, outrageously expensive, unflattering, and you won't be able to or want to wear it again. But you'll coordinate with the centerpieces!

I will insist on every possible combination of photo to be taken….. candidly. I still want the obligatory Grandmom/Grandpop/Bride/Groom/Mom/Dad pictures, but not posed. Who likes knowing when they are about to cemented into a person's history? It's much more fun to be stuffing your face with a mini quiche for the photographer than smiling gracefully. But be prepared to have a grumpy photographer sneak up on you several times.

Oh, the flowers! Huge, fragrant and full of allergens is how I roll. I envision GIANT centerpieces that encompass almost the entire table. Who needs room for utensils, plates, glasses when you can stare at a tree for three hours. I do think that it's more fun to cram 10 people to a round table meant for 8 so that everyone can bump elbows and become friends. I think my third cousins will love trying to scream over a huge arrangement of tropical orchids (or something) to talk to one of my coworkers. 

Get your dancing shoes ready for my inconvenient wedding. We’re doing all the dance combos out there Father/daughter, mother/son, grandparents, parents, siblings, bridal party together, bridal party with respective spouses, couple’s first slow dance/fast dance/choreographed dance/ kids dance/ bridal dance (so you can give me more money). If you leave at the end of night having not been able to cut a rug because your current social situation didn't allow for name to be called, mission accomplished. It's been my experience that best way to get pegged as "single and pathetic" at a wedding is when the DJ plays the "couple's dance" and you're the only one still sitting. It's fun and really a great way to meet the losers single people at the party.
My best worst wedding ever idea is my favor. I love the wedding favor. I love the the pointless trinket with our wedding date on it. It can sit in closets and drawers for years- sometimes lasting longer than the marriage itself. I like the frame with the names and dates on it. A guest can only put a picture from my wedding in that frame! How awesome is that?  But, since not everyone likes worthless junk that will be trashed before the cake is eaten, I will give all of my lovely guests a card with a donation. To me. I’m not donating that money to research or a charity. In lieu of wedding favors, I’m paying my credit card bill on time. My good credit is the best gift of all, for me.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Runner

Runner Confession:

I'm a wimp- a wimp with a very large tolerance for pain and a larger dislike of doctors. I will interview CEOs and go toe-to-toe with academic department chairs, but when it comes to making a doctor's appointment, I throw temper tantrums. My knees started to bother me soon after starting karate. Ninja-ing, as I like to call it, is a lot of kicking, jumping, squatting, jump squatting, lunges, more jumping, twisting, spinning, and more kicking. All of these actions are very different from the one foot in front of the other motion of running. The discomfort was not surprising and would easily remedied with a dose of glutimine in my post-ninja smoothie.

One night in early November, we did nothing but right leg front kicks. We worked on form and power. And  my right knee has not been the same. I woke up the next day and went for a run and felt fine. I wore heels to the office and noticed some extra soreness.

I should note here that the combination of karate and running means that I'm almost always sore. Before I started karate, I was doing strength training with a personal trainer. At this point, I'm able to recognize typical muscle soreness from something-ain't-right. Soreness means your muscles are growing or changing. There are exercise-y people with scientific definitions and reasons for why soreness is a good thing.

Back to the night of my knee. I woke up two days after the front-kick fest and was greeted with a sharp, burning fire sensation in my right knee. I iced it throughout the day and kept my leg elevated. I bought a cheap-o knee brace from CVS that afternoon and felt immediate relief after putting it on. I went to ninja that night and out to the bar after.

A dull ache has persisted in my right knee since. I've iced. I worn the stupid, cumbersome knee brace that makes my thigh look like a sausage. The brace helps the knee but hurts the rest of my leg. I've diagnosed myself with runners knees, torn meniscus, sprained ligaments, tendinitis, arthritus, and the same thing that Chase Utley has. I'm on the DL list.

While the breakdown in my runnerness of late has come from a busy schedule and conflicting priorities, there is also a little voice in the back of my head saying, "ummm..... maybe this needs looked at." And also a louder, nag-type real voice from boyfriend and mother telling me the same thing. Here's the thing: I hate doctors. I resist going until I'm on my figurative death bed. I subscribe to my father's theory of illness, "I can go to the doctors and get meds and I'll be better in seven days. Or I can just let my body heal and I'll be better in a week." I even resist taking OTC medicine until orange juice fails me.

It took me three months to gather the courage to call an orthopedic doctor. I faked that I was looking for recommenations. I wanted to wait until after Gasparilla. Honestly, I'm scared! Dr. Google and the staff of Runner's World have the rational side of me convinced that this a minor injury that can be healed with ice and rest. The irrational side of me has been listening to my mother too much and is pretty sure that I'm going to need a total knee replacement and will never be able to run again. I'll just have to learn to swim or bike or deal with my emotions through a non-physical outlet. The horror! Even worse, the irrational side has a 60-40 majority.

My appointment is tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping that I will be a  waste of the doctor's time and this chronic dull ache is just a symptom of overuse.  But, what if it's not?