What a crapfest of a day. A completely defeating Monday where I spent 10 minutes updating my resume out of spite. Then I came home to Teh Fluffitude and made a yummy but fattening dinner, took a bath, and then had the most lengthy and perfect cuddle with the pup ever. A glimpse of the awesome dog she will be? I hope. It really helps on the meh days.
Whoops. Kind of let things go fallow there for a while. Let’s see… Marriage is pretty neat. Got really sick over Christmas in FL and still recovering. New job (same agency) starts on the 28th. Sir Smitsalot and i had a frabjous honeymoon cruise and are planning a Euro version for our 1st anniverssary. And, iphone has a wordpress app. If I could upload photos using this it might be possible to spend less time on FB.
Also, I haven’t shaved my legs since early January. We are headed to FL on Monday. I wonder if anyone would notice if i left them fuzzy… It isn’t like I have anyone to impress down there and I don’t give a damn what the pedicurist says. Mostly.
So this Facebook thing has really screwed up my blogging. Having an extraordinary person in my life who keeps me busy doesn’t help either. I get sucked into these stupid games, like Frontierville, because my sweet nephew talks me into playing. And then he quits playing almost immediately, leaving me to frantically harvest crap and whomp critters all by myself. I’m not proud.
Anyways, Teh Smitten and I are getting married. Next month. This is how it happened:
My sister calls after our Labor Day staycation at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington (we had a suite with a Japanese soaking tub for two – it was kind of fantastic) to see if we had gotten engaged yet. She expresses deep disappointment that we had not gotten engaged in that I’m-kidding-but-not-really sort of way. (She has been a little panicked that we might get married on the upcoming cruise in November despite my telling her repeatedly that we would not do so as it costs $2500 for a very dinky sort of to-do.) Anyway, her concern tickles me to no end and I tell Teh Smitten, who later says something like, “Well… I guess I could ruin the surprise…”
It turns out he was planning to propose on the cruise, buy the ring in St. Maarten, etc. He thought I wanted a wedding with the dress and the people, etc. Except I don’t. I want the marriage. I suggested we just go ahead and do the civil wedding thing next to file cabinets and then use the cruise as our honeymoon. He countered by suggesting a party for our friends and family in a few months and I happily agreed.
But planning the civil wedding and a small dinner with our family has ballooned a little. First, I found a dress:
$198 from Nordstom. No lie. So, I thought I’d order it and if it didn’t work, it would be a very simple thing to return. Except, it fits. Beautifully. I think it could use a little tailoring around the bust area to make sure it doesn’t gape shamefully and all. $198 and I LOVE it.
Tomorrow, my awesome minion from work, who really has become a good friend more than anything, will be headed to Nordstrom with me to meet with my personal stylist to work out a wrap, sufficient undergarments (finding a plunging bra in my size is going to be fun, and by “fun” I really mean a fucking nightmare because they don’t make plunging bras that actually provide support in a 40F), shoes, maybe a bag…
I swung by the store on my way home last night and, with the stylist’s help, picked up an ivory dress shirt, a very lovely Armani tie and pocket square for Smit, and then moseyed over to the shoe area to see if I could improve upon his current dress shoe dilemma. Why must men hold onto awful worn-out shoes? He has been quite devoted to his Bill Blass wingtips, which have seen better days. Anyways, there were a pair of Cole Hahn Nike Air technology wingtips on sale for $129. Now, if I can just convince him to “retire” the old pair.
Teh Smitten and I met at the Arlington Courthouse yesterday to pick up our marriage license and have lunch at a potential dinner venue. Getting the license was pretty painless. If Virginia allowed gay marriages it really would be a great state. We dropped the license off at the official Arlington County celebrant’s office afterward so that he could have the certificate prepared on October 23rd. He is a lovely fellow – an older gentleman who estimates he has officiated the weddings for about 54,000 couples in the last 45 years or so. Wow. His offices, not so lovely. When people say they’re getting married next to file cabinets, they’re not kidding. The officiant’s conference room is decorated in what I’d call Early 80’s Legal Office Banal. There’s a very sad looking silk flower arrangement in one corner – a nightmare of red roses in a white basket. Truly awful. At least the chairs aren’t folding chairs. And his office itself is a maze of stacks of paperwork. I can’t imagine how shocked my sister and brother-in-law will be when they compare the venue to theirs, but how much better can you do for $100 cash?
Despite my negativity towards the Wedding Industrial Complex, I find myself buying wedding favors and place cards. I’m trying to find that fine line between simple and special. It is very very hard when you have a shopping addiction. I totally see how this gets out of control very quickly. Teh Smitten gets this nervous look every time he hears me say, “Oh guess what I found today for the wedding!”
So, even if we’re only having our parents and maybe a couple friends in addition for dinner, don’t we need to have a favor of some sort? No. But I’m not letting reasonableness stop me.
I’ve ordered travertine tile magnets, sample photo on the left, from Etsy.
But it was all so easy! And then I got completely mired down in the wedding craftiness parts of Etsy, that seem to go on forever in a very Gormenghast sort of way. Its pure evil. There are personalized antique handkerchiefs, specially handmade invitation suites, apparel, headbands…
And that is when I ordered the place setting cards, as seen in the sample photo on the right for our party of approximately 15 people. So cute!!! And so very unnecessary.
We’ll be doing cupcakes instead of a wedding cake. I hear that cupcakes are passe but I don’t care. The wedding cake business is a total racket and they’re usually a dry tasteless mess. DC’s Red Velvet Cupcakery is our running favorite, and they do lovely decorations. I’ve ordered a disposable cupcake tier thingy of Amazon for it.
As for rings, we bought mine – an Art Deco estate piece circa 1925-1930 – last weekend from Pampillonia Jewelers in Dupont Circle. It is exactly what I wanted. We’re now searching for its partner for Smitty, who would also like an Art Deco look. Hopefully we will find what he wants before the wedding.
The jeweler, Richard Pampillonia, had just taken the ring out of the “cooler”, where all estate jewelry must sit for 30 days before it can be sold. He overheard that I was looking for an antique look and brought it over for us to look at. Here is a photo of me wearing the ring before it had even been shined or cleaned. It is a platinum setting with a mine cut diamond in the center, baguettes on two sides, and then about 20 teensy diamonds sprinkled around the rest of the setting.
I’m not getting a band. The ring is enough. And, yes, I’m wearing that sucker before the wedding. My mom and I had a fun 30 second argument about that until she conceded, good naturedly. It is the precious and I have become Gollum.
So, yeah. Its not really real yet. When does that happen? The night before?
So, today, I had a little time and decided to do a little cruise research. It started harmlessly enough. I called a travel agent to inquire about the amount of on-board credit they may give in exchange for transferring my reservation to them. This first conversation led to a 2nd with Celebrity Cruise lines, where I somehow determined that I needed to upgrade to a sky suite from concierge class, on the Penthouse deck. Then I giggled like a fool for a little while, sent Teh Smitten an instant message that I had a surprise for him, and left message with our fun friends who plan to go with us. You know what sold me? Butler service, afternoon tea, and a bathtub.
No, I’m lying. It was just the butler service.
Fun friend – she needs a nickname – called back and I shared my bit of reckless abandon. FF liked the cut of my jib and proceeded to take notes on the benefits of upgrading. She reported that she would check with her husband and get back to me. She thought she could sell him the idea purely on the merit that a larger balcony = more room to get it on. Well, this is true, but it also gives the folks on Deck 14 a show they ain’t paid for…
On the way home, Teh Smitten, knowing that I have the impulse control of an 8 year old boy, quickly guessed my surprise. Since I also cannot lie to save my life, I fessed up. He approved. He likes it when I giggle foolishly and encourages me to no end.
Then FF and her husband call, while on another phone with a Celebrity agent. They are booking the suite, but on Deck 12 and not Deck 10, where the balconies are HUGE. Like 179 square feet instead of 69 square feet. Also, there are potentially huge benefits to not being the deck under the pool or grill. We (okay, I) panic, thinking they are on to something really awesome that we might miss out on, and call Celebrity simultaneously to try and improve our balcony situation. I’m not an outdoor nookie sort of person, mind you, but there wasn’t a difference in cost between the decks and I like the idea of not competing for a deck chair.
I do, however, suspect that I am a butler person. FF reminded us that there was good rationale to making the upgrade: you are given first chance to disembark at ports, get better service, the little spa therapy pool is free to us, etc. I’ve now spent the last 2 hours trying to find photos of our suite’s bathroom to no avail. Neither the cruise lines or previous cruisers have posted photos of bathrooms. So annoying. I need to know that the bathtub is Lush Bath Bomb-worthy.
In related news, I cannot save money. This does not bode well for my old age.
I’ve purged the closets as well as the underwear and sock drawer. Surely somebody out there is going to LOVE that pimpin’ suede Wilson’s coat with fur collar. Now that I’ve switched out the cold weather gear for warm weather, I have a better idea of what I’m lacking/must spend money on. What I really need to do is a thorough purge of shoes and purses. Why is it harder to let them go? I wear maybe 10% of my shoes and I don’t wear any of the cute-yet-painful ones. One good thing about getting old is that I don’t give a hang about how ugly my shoes are.
The real beast of a job is still waiting on me. I don’t know about the rest of you neatniks, but I like to cram anything I’m not currently using (or might need desperately someday) into the closets. This results in my maxi dresses and pants being a little wrinkled. It also means that I now fear said closets-which-can-no-longer-close. And don’t even get me started on all the damn shredding I need to do. Alas, all further work is on hold with the start of the social season (see below).
Its been a little over three weeks since I had my sinus surgery and I’m beginning to feel a little more normal. Considering the lack of noticeable trauma, it seems ridiculous that it took such a toll on my energy. I’ve been sleeping far more than usual, which is to say lots. Teh Smitten has been quite a trooper and an amazing partner in all this.
We commence the social season this week through Memorial weekend. I hope I can keep up. It will be good to see old friends and meet new ones. Smit and I celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our 1st date on May 18th, so I’ve arranged for a weekend at one of the new Kimpton hotels in Old Town. The Lorien Hotel and Spa is pretty new. I signed up for Kimpton rewards long ago and got a rate of $153 a night for the King spa tub room. I’ve also gone ahead and made massage appointments for us both and Smit has made reservations for Restaurant Eve’s tasting room. I’m counting the days.
And because nothing makes me feel better than planning a vacation, a couple days after my surgery we made our initial down payments on a 12 night cruise on the Celebrity Mercury in November. We go right out of Baltimore, spend three days at sea, then hit St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Maarten, and then have another 3 full days at sea before returning to Charm City. After dragging the boy all over hither and yon (Spain and France) last November, he stated a preference for just unpacking once while visiting several destinations. Fortunately, Baltimore has three different lines operating out of its port, and we both love the concept of being able to drive directly to the port instead of having to fly to FL. I think this will be my 8th or 9th cruise, but its been quite a while since my last. I’ve booked a stateroom with a balcony and concierge service, which will both be firsts for me. Woo!!! 196 days and counting. You know what else is fun? Shopping for cruise wear and gear.
For the past 5 years (or so), the months of January and February have been really hard on me. It got easier once my thyroid problem was diagnosed and they put me on synthroid, and this year has been easier than past years. However, the snow is killing me. DC is mired in tall mounds of dirty snow and ice. Roads are not back to normal – we’re still missing having more than one traffic lane in most neighborhoods. People (including me) are getting nasty over shoveled parking spots. After spending a couple days digging out, TRUST ME, you’re going to want to key that asshole who snags your spot and then sits in it for the next three days. On top of all that, I’ve had sinusitis since October – not being completely well is not helping. I see the ENT again on Wednesday to go over last week’s CT scan to figure out what to do next. I have a partially deviated septum and a concha bullosa. Whatever that means. I don’t care what they have to do to make it better at this point.
I was smart and bought a ticket to go see the fam in Miami a few weeks back. I leave on Thursday night and return on Monday. Its a short trip, but hopefully will help boost vitamin D and mental health back into better ranges. The fam is all, “I hope it is warmer when you get here.” Um, 60 degrees F IS warm compared the DC frozen tundra. I’m bringing sandals regardless. Teh Smitten is staying home and will probably spend it watching awful horror movies and playing video games in utter filth. Good for him. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane.