Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Name Assumptions, Expectations, and Decisions

As I looked down at one of the most generous, meaningful, thoughtful gifts I've ever received, my heart twisted a bit. I was profuse and honest about my gratitude for such a beautiful, hand-embroidered gift. And I quietly ended my thanks with a nervous, almost inaudible addenda: "It's great that Jason and I already share the same last initial, or this hand-embroidered set of monogrammed items wouldn't be accurate."

Because, you see, I'm keeping my last name. And I'd never thought it would be a big deal. And I simply didn't know how to react the first time it suddenly became a big deal when, unexpectedly, I was given a generous gift in front of a large group and because my first response to any generous gift is to be vocally and genuinely grateful. And I ended up saying something, but not in a way that necessarily got noticed or felt right. Because my name had suddenly become complicated. In an instant, it was no longer just my name. There was an expectation about it that tied into strong traditions about The Way Things Are Done and what family means. My name was no longer just a name. Keeping it suddenly felt like a statement, and I wasn't prepared to make a statement at that particular emotional moment. I wasn't prepared for how emotionally alienated I suddenly felt from an important moment and line of traditions that don't speak to me. I wasn't prepared to talk about it as I sorted through the jumble of anger, love, frustration, yearning, and dig-in-my-heels stubbornness that this gift had suddenly provoked.

For me, it just seemed obvious that I'd always keep my last name, regardless of marital status. I learned from my mother, who had taken her first husband's name. Then her career took off. Then they got divorced. And by then, it seemed like too much professional confusion to change her name. She vowed that if she ever changed her name, it would be back to her maiden name, but it was such a giant paperwork nightmare that she never bothered.  When she met my father, he was wise and open-minded enough to recognize that their commitment wasn't rooted in last names, and so she continued on, throughout my childhood, with the name of her ex-husband. She eventually changed her name back to her maiden name, when she finally became a United States citizen and the paperwork hassle was going to be a nightmare anyhow. She and my father are still happily married.

So when I hear arguments about women and name-changing that center around mothers wanting to share a last name with their children, I just shake my head silently. I can understand the emotional pull and sense of logic behind it. But I also know, from experience, that we never felt like less of a family because we didn't share the same name. My mother-daughter bond was cemented over rocking chair bedtime stories, adolescent tears, and Sunday phone calls when I lived abroad. I remember finding many adults rather presumptuous when they referred to my mother as Mrs. MyFather'sLastName, though it was very useful for weeding out telemarketer calls.

I understand that there are arguments for taking your husband's name - maybe you hate your father and want to be rid of his last name, maybe you hate your last name for aesthetic reasons, maybe the "family" name has a lot of emotional resonance for you, or maybe it's something else altogether. And I also know that there are complicated arguments in same-sex partnerships about having a shared name to publicly claim and legitimize the partnership.  I get it. But for me, I always knew that my name would remain my name, regardless of marriage. And I know that this marriage will be rock-solid, regardless of my name.  I've experienced my entire life with this name, and it's a life and accomplishments that I'm proud of. I have a professional history attached to my name and I want to feel connected to those with my legal name (no personal-name and professional-name solution for me.) I'm not worried about the family-name as an imperative part of the family bond and neither, thank goodness, is Jason. I am fine with our future children taking his name, since it's more important to him than it is to me. And, like my mother before me, I have a true abhorrence of paperwork and I'm sure name-changing would be a horrendous process.

But as the wedding draws closer, I'm starting to realize that most people assume I'll change my name. Some of the assumptions are subtle. For example, when I looked for return address stamps on Etsy - you know, that marketplace for independent artisans? -  none of them had room for two full names. Every stamp was either "The Jones Family" or "Mr and Mrs Jones" or simply and informal "John and Jane." I was so ticked off I ended up designing our own stamp for the invitations (and life.) Some of the assumptions are more challenging, like when I'm left stuttering out a reply to a generous monogrammed gift. And sometimes it's just frustrating, because it feels like I'm always gearing up for a defensive fight, as if my decision is some sort of attack on all my friends who are taking their husbands' names. And sometimes it's just lonely, because I'm one of about three married peers who haven't taken their husbands' names. With all the pressures and expectations pushing down on me, it would be really nice to have more allies. More people who understand that my name isn't a statement of any kind. It's just a name, specifically MY name, and I don't see anything particularly strange about wanting to stick with it from birth through to death, with Jason as my partner for the rest of this journey. 

I also haven't figured out a good way to let people know that we're not becoming Mr. and Mrs. HisLast. No one seems to like my idea about announcing the bride and groom with our entrance as "Jason HisLast and Becca Herlast" but I haven't come up with a better option. I don't want to make it a big deal announcement, but I do think there should be a subtle way of making it clear at the wedding without banging everyone over the head with it. Because, while I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable at our wedding, I don't want to feel uncomfortable with the ongoing assumption that I suddenly have Jason's last name. It's hard for me, it's hard for the person at the other end who feels either silly or defensive, and it's just hard to have to deal with it again and again.

I never expected it to be this hard. My mother's different last name was just matter-of-fact. My mother's last name and the rightness when she returned to her maiden name are a powerful reminder of what married names mean and don't mean. And yet. Here I am, grappling with this uncomfortable facet of many modern marriages and partnerships in a world that hasn't really updated its social expectations or etiquette for these sorts of dilemmas. And like I said, sometimes it just gets lonely dealing with this all on my own.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rings and Perfect Moments of Happenstance

This wedding has a funny way of turning my decisions upside down, laughing at me with an "I told you so" gleam out of the corner of its eye, and shoving the best outcome into my hand, even if I'd been unwilling to see it before.

The ring shopping process was no exception. I'd made my decision, after a lot of soul-searching and budget calculations. I wanted a sustainably-made ring (no newly mined gold or unethically mined gems) and I wanted something I could wear on its own, without my engagement ring. And although I wanted a plain band for a variety of reasons, I found myself drawn back to this handmade stunner from Blanca Monros Gomez. So I decided to listen to my heart and dig deep into my pocket for a meaningful purchase that still met my criteria with its recycled gold, responsibly-sourced diamond, subtle-but-gorgeous design. I just needed to get my finger properly sized so I could order the ring (since my engagement ring has always been a bit big).

This weekend, we finally went to a jeweler to measure my finger, resize my engagement ring, and to shop for Jason's ring (What? We procrastinate but ten weeks isn't frantic last-minute territory for rings). I tried on a few rings at the shop (What? I'm like a bird - attracted to pretty sparkles), but remained confident in my earlier ring decision. Jason really liked a tungsten ring, but we made a second stop at the Sherman Oaks Antique Mall on a friend's recommendation, to compare all his options on such an important purchase. 

And that's when I saw it, in amongst a case of vintage ring lovelies: a single dainty eternity ring.  I don't even like eternity rings - they feel too flashy for me - and yet, I needed to try it on. And so I did. And it was perfect (and I don't use the word "perfect" lightly). It fit perfectly on my finger (which is important and rare in a vintage shop, because eternity rings can't be resized). It fit perfectly with my engagement ring (unlike every other ring I'd tried on, it looked like it belonged with it). And it looked even better on its own as a simple, slender, elegant band of teeny sparkles. At it was the perfect price too: the very upper limit of what I was willing to spend on my ring, and the exact same price I had been quoted by Blanca.  Its vintage gold and gems even met my criteria for sustainability.

It took me a few minutes to say goodbye to my hopes for a simpler band. I ran around all the Antique Mall stalls trying on plain bands, etched gold bands, and minimally sparkly vintage bands, but I could just feel the ground shifting beneath me in a perfect moment of happenstance. That specific eternity band is exactly what I've always wanted, even if I hadn't known it beforehand.

Like with so many other things about this wedding, my expectations have been turned on their head and my thoughtful calculations were thrown aside in a gut-check moment of rightness. We've spent so much time during this engagement clarifying our joint values. We've been deliberate with our decision-making, using this process as a springboard for the larger life we're building together. But sometimes the right answer for our wedding leaps out and surprises me - whether its a necklace, a ring, our invitation design, or a compromise I didn't want to initially make.  And in these last few frantic weeks before the wedding, it's a relief to know we can count on our gut to guide us. We've done the hard work and we know what's important to our core-selves. So when the right option presents itself, we're actually ready to embrace it, even if it wasn't what we expected.* And so now I'm the excited owner of a vintage eternity band I keep sneaking off to try on and Jason put in his order for the first tungsten ring that caught his eye. And we are both thrilled, because these choices are perfect for us.


*And yes, this does suddenly seem like a giant metaphor for how I met and fell for Jason.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sneaky DIY

So remember how I said that DIY projects can shove off because I'm focusing on wine-drinking and logistics instead? Well,  in the process of making one of my "Get Organized, Dammit" lists, I subverted that intention with a boatload of icky-but-important DIY needs that are stealing my wine-drinking moments. It's not pretty-crafty-bloggy DIY, but it's a whole lot of Do-It-Yourself W-O-R-K. Or, since we're enlisting an army of helper friends, it's more like a Do-It-Together-Mush-of-Chaos-And-Hopefully-Some-Results. Unfortunately, DITMOCAHSR doesn't have a great ring to it. But DITMOCAHSR does require lists, assignments, and hours allocations to edge ourselves towards more results and less chaos.  Hopefully.

Our current DITMOCAHSR projects include:
  • Centerpiece Jars: taking the gunk off the 80 jars we've collected over the past year and spray painting them
  • Centerpiece Succulents: praying that the lovely man we found on craigslist five months ago still wants to sell us succulents for cheap (and maybe would help us plant them, for a nominal fee?)
  • Chuppah Construction: Figure out how to hang the cloth from our poles
  • Chuppah Fabric Design: I just figured out a cost-effective(ish) way to solve our chuppah embroidery dilemma with craft skills (and paid delegation) I can handle. However, the time involved may make me cry, so I might scrap it anyhow. We'll see, since this one is important to me. 
  • Guest Book: It's not really a book. And it's linked to my chuppah plans, which makes it feel important. Blerg.
  • Signage: Other people care about coordinated rustic wooden signs. I just care about making sure people don't get lost on the way to the ceremony or eat things they're allergic to. Unfortunately, even practical, ugly signs take time.
  • DIY Photobooth: I have a camera. I have crazy costume crap. I have local friends with even crazier costume crap. But as easy as this task is, I'm still loathe to deal with coordinating wig pick ups and writing camera instructions. I have issues. 
  • Out of Town Welcome Packets: It's just an envelope and a cookie, and I'm refusing to bake the cookie. And yet I'm still stressed by the mounting pile of information people keep requesting and the 83 phone calls from different people about the same topics. I need to find time to write this information down. Time. Wouldn't that be lovely? 
  • Escort Cards: I don't care that someone else did it, this project is important to me too. It won't be pretty, but it will be worthwhile. It may also drive me to ultimately declare that people need to just find their own seats when I end up crying at 2am the night before the wedding. You've been forewarned.
Oh, and because this list hadn't panicked me enough, I decided to develop a project manager task breakdown, to keep me and Jason on track. Each of the items above is organized like so:
  • Craft Project: Out of Town Guest Welcome Packets
  • Description: Envelope with Weekend Instructions, Cookies
  • Items to buy: envelopes, paper, cookie plastic bags, ribbon
  • Time Involved: 4 hours to write, print, stuff envelopes. 3 hours to bake and wrap cookies, 1.5 hours for shopping
  • Request Help from Friends/Family: need to email C, J, M. 
  • Task Assignments: Write copy (Becca), print (M), Stuff envelopes (M&B), Bake and wrap (J &C?), Attach to envelopes (J&C?), Deliver to hotel (??)   
  • Research Links: various cookie recipes on file
  • Logistics: Cookies need to be baked Wed night (at the latest) and delivered to the hotel by midday Thursday.
  • Calendar entry: Not yet scheduled
If you try to soothe me by saying "it will be alright, you can do it, that's not so terrible, you seem so organized!" I'll trump you with the reminder that I haven't shared my soul-suckingly massive "buy/borrow/steal" list. (Yep, steal. Since I'm contractually obligated to provide our vendors with coffee, I'll provide it to them... and no one else. So we're packing up our coffee maker and nicking those little sugar packets, cream, and coffee stirrers whenever I walk past a Starbucks from now until April 3.) 

I just noticed that "DITMOCAHSR" has hints of the word "masochist." If you can't see it, you clearly haven't been in the throes of wedding planning lately. Now please excuse me while I go rock myself in the corner and decide which of these tasks I can throw off the closest bridge.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When Hard Becomes Real

The wedding has just hit that rock-hard-terrible stage. Both Jason and I are focused on our careers right now, and on all sorts of hectic needs that keep us at our respective offices until 8pm (or later.) We don't have much time or energy for basic around-the-house chores, let alone the pile of wedding items that we need to get done. And the wedding items range from labor-intensive last minute shopping, planning, making, and logistical planning to the heavy things like ceremony writing and the planning of private us and family time. We can't seem to give any of them the time or focus they deserve and require.

And somehow, in the middle of all this, we're finally slamming up against the real, gut wrenching challenge of what it means to become a new family unit. We're just under three months out, and all the small nagging concerns that were easy to ignore have suddenly become urgent. Pressing inward until I can hardly breathe. Ramifications pushing outward in ways that mutate beyond our control or ability to manage. To mitigate. To desperately try and fix. We can't brush these things aside any longer. They are demanding our attention, just when we have no attention left to give.

I was prepared for the unending task lists. I was prepared for the effects of procrastination. I was prepared for the challenge of balancing work and wedding needs. But I wasn't prepared for this. I wasn't prepared for how twisted my emotions would come as we finally battle out what this wedding and our new family really means.

Ask me again a few months from now, and I think I'll tell you it was worth it. That these battles during the wedding process are important. Crucial. Imperative. We're redrawing the lines of family and responsibilities and who we are in the world - as individuals, as partners, as children, as a family, and that process deserves our time and attention.. I may emerge battle scarred and bruised from this wedding planning process, but I'm forging ahead, because I can tell that we're finally getting to the stuff that makes the wedding worthwhile. And in the meantime, as we muddle through, I can look forward to our massive celebration of family and love, and our two week honeymoon of solitude and adventure as my reward for working through these challenging moments.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Feeling Like A Bride

As I looked at myself in the mirror, wearing my wedding dress and the necklace I'd fallen in love with, it hit me: I finally felt like a bride. I had that "moment" that so many women talk about when they find "the dress" but that had entirely eluded me. When I finally put on the dress I love with this long necklace composed of interlinked silver circle hoops and sparse grey and white pearls, I could suddenly see myself as a bride. I felt beautiful. I felt elegant.

And I felt entirely sick to my stomach as I ripped off my wedding attire and ran into the shower for a good cry.

I never really pictured myself as the marrying kind. So when I fell in love with Jason, it was hard to come to terms with wanting a wedding, let alone wanting a larger wedding that could accommodate our guest list and other needs. But I came to terms with it. And he came to terms with something that's a far cry from the sort of weddings he's been accustomed to. And just like this relationship, we've built something stronger, together. But as proud as I am of what we're building, I'm also exhausted by the compromises. And although we've come to the right decisions and compromises, that hasn't made our negotiations or choices any easier along the way.

Despite all these compromises, there's been one aspect of the wedding that's been gloriously, selfishly mine: my wedding day attire, accessories, hair, and makeup. As this event swirls around me, I've held onto my style choices as a ballast. I defiantly announced to Jason, "I'm wearing my nose ring!" tamping down the cold knot in my stomach when thinking about all his family members and my co-workers who have never seen my (now) weekend accessory. "I'm not wearing a veil!" I snapped at a dress saleslady and our rabbi, as I held fast to the hairflower hippie dream. I've looked at the excessive prices for professional hair and makeup and decided that I just don't effing care: I'm paying for it with my hard earned money because I want to and I can. 

Every decision I've made about my attire has taken on a feeling of monumental importance. I bought one dress and then sold it. I ordered five more dresses from department stores. And then I bought three necklaces - three! - in the same confused and overwrought pattern that's defined everything about my wedding attire so far. And until I stood in the shower, crying about necklaces and wondering what the hell had happened to me, I couldn't figure out why I care so d*mn much about my wedding appearance and clothes when I'm generally pretty run-of-the mill in my everyday style.

This wedding is mine, but it's also not-mine in so many important ways. I'm giving so much time and money into needs that were defined by everyone else, that defining my appearance has become so much more. It's not just a dress: it's a statement that I'm still here under the weight of all this tradition and expectation and compromise. It's not just a necklace: it's an announcement that this is MINE, damnit. MY WEDDING. MY LIFE. I'm not just a bride. It's ME here, in this bride costume. It's like somehow, I need my attire to scream for me. Because I wasn't supposed to be here. This wasn't supposed to be my life. If I got married at all, it was supposed to be barefoot in a backyard and I'm still a little dazed that I ended up here. Most days I'm happy-dazed, but it's confusing, nonetheless. And the only thing I can clutch at as MINE MINE MINE is ownership over my body and how I decorate it.

That's a whole lot of pressure to put on one-day attire. That pressure led me to fret over whether to buy a white dress or a colored dress. I got emotionally twisted after buying a gorgeous Nicole Miller "I'm different, seeee" dress, but realizing it wasn't right. I bought a number of other non-traditional dresses and struggled with realizing I'd fallen in love with an elegantly simple dress that didn't "say" much at all. I mollified myself by searching for an "I'm different, seeee" statement necklace. And while I liked the statement necklace I bought, I really fell in love with an elegant, modern, understated, and classic piece of jewelery. Which is the opposite of what I thought I wanted from my wedding attire.

That's how I found myself crying over a necklace. All along, I've just been trying to claim a part of this wedding for myself, which I thought meant some sort of bold color or statement attire. Instead, I'm finding myself drawn to understated elegance. It's radical in a different way than I had expected: I felt gorgeous when I saw myself in the mirror. But seeing my reflection was a shock, because I'm scarred by too many schoolyard taunts and cruel adult rejections to feel entirely comfortable in my body. And yet, I am stunning in my wedding attire, and I finally knew it as I stared at my reflection. Allowing myself to experience and revel in that is an entirely radical approach to my wedding, more so than any "I'm different, seeee" dress or jewelery I might have picked. I'm wearing a simple dress and simple accessories, and that turns out to be enough. And even if that simple dress and simple necklace are more traditionally bridal than I had anticipated wearing, it turns out to be just right.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NWR: A Rant About Political Rhetoric and Its Violent Results

In my non-wedding life (which is most of it, thankfully), I'm very involved in policy and government affairs. My degree was in political science and I spent a lot of time studying the roots of violent ethnic conflicts and civil war, with particular emphasis on the way political rhetoric, economic despair, and demagoguery have played integral roles in some of the world's worst human tragedies. With this as my background, I've watched - horrified and seemingly helpless - as our economy and hopes have crumbled and as dangerous political rhetoric has provided false hopes and a twisted focus for legitimate rage. I watched in horror as the media and politicians twisted a community center development at the site of an old Burlington Coat Factory into an outlet for islamaphobic and racist fears, twisting the memory of Ground Zero into xenophbic fever, screaming at innocent black bystanders and stabbing New York cab drivers for being muslim.

Disagreements - even fierce disagreements - should be an aspect of public discourse and political life. But what I've seen in the last few years is worse and uglier. And today, my worst fears have been realized. So please forgive me as this blog veers off from the wedding-and-life-story category today. But I just wanted to take a moment to mourn for the victims' families and make a public plea for a shift in what we as a society have come to accept from our political leaders and media. Feel free to turn away now if politics aren't your thing.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was shot today. Point-blank, in the head, at an informal meet-her-constituents event at a supermarket. After a gunman walked right up to her and shot, he continued shooting with his semi-automatic rifle. Another six people were killed and eighteen wounded. At the moment, the congresswoman seems to be in stable but critical condition, with the bullet passing through her brain.

This assassination attempt would be bad enough in normal circumstances. (Yes, assassination. That's what we call political murders.) But it turns out that Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's controversial "crosshairs" site http://www.takebackthe20.com on which she placed literal targets on representatives who voted for the healthcare bill. Palin introduced the website on her twitter account by announcing "Don't Retreat - Instead RELOAD." This sort of violent language was taken up in Republican and Tea Party campaigns and discussions across the country, including by Giffords' main opponent, Jesse Kelly, who used similar language. Kelly's campaign held an event called "Get on Target for Victory in November." Description: "Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."


Both Palin and Kelly have already scrubbed their websites (though google cache lives forever). Palin's website is down and she has issued a statement about her prayers for Giffords. Even if the real-world result of their incitements to violence isn't directly their fault, they both had the guilt/insight to suddenly recognize that such words are in entirely poor taste (to say the least), despite the outpouring on Palin's facebook page from supporters who are upset about fingers getting pointed at an obviously innocent Palin.

Unfortunately, these defensive politicians and their supporters are right. It's not Sarah Palin's crosshair chart's fault that a clearly disturbed person (whose motivations we don't yet know) tried to assassinate a congressperson. We can't point to a single statement about M16s or reloading and say "that's it! that's what set the assassin off!"

But we can point to many Republican's and stridently partisan media's willful use of violent rhetoric to incite political fealty and destroy any semblance of civil society. Their combined, unrelenting, violent, and divisive, rhetoric has taken standard political disagreements into a culture war that they are actively arming. This is the sort of hateful rhetoric that sparked violence in Rwanda. This is the sort of hateful rhetoric that sparked cultural acceptance of Hitler's genocide. There's enough historical precedent to show that violent rhetoric and troubled economies lead directly to real violence.  Regardless of the background of this one lone shooter, this shift in public discourse has created some level of public acceptance for rage-filled rallies, disgusting dehumanizing language, and violent incidents.


We can't let politicians and talking heads hide behind the bullshit flimsy excuse that words aren't a real call to violence. Because when speech after speech riles people up with incitements to shoot, kill, and destroy, the sum of these words played a part in this. Their hands are bloody, even if I can't pin it to a single statement and even if murder wasn't your direct intent.

And if the Democratic leadership doesn't finally stand up to denounce this as an assassination and to finally call out mainstream Republicans' language as a disgusting, flimsy cover for hatred, fear and violence, then we're all lost. There was a time when disagreement could be principled. There was a time when we could debate and agree to disagree, even on serious issues and seriously held beliefs. But when we use imagery to instill fear in order to derive fierce political support, we're stirring a dangerous pot that's starting to boil over now.

Fucking politicians. Both the bastards who found this acceptable in the first place and the spineless wimps who allowed it to continue in search of some bipartisan bullshit. We all need to stand up to hateful and violent language, regardless of our political beliefs.



Please excuse my language and the topic today. But murder is too much. I wanted to say something back when the cab driver was stabbed, but I didn't think a wedding blog was the place. Oh well. This is my blog, and I'm done worrying what people will think or whether this fits with the purported topic of this site. Some things are too important. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shut Up, Weddings

It turns out I really care about this wedding. But it also turns out that I don't have a DIY bone in my body nor do I care to pay someone enough to make this wedding look spectacular. I am decidedly NOT as creative as some of you out there. I'm just not. And even when I get temporarily inspired, I think about the logistics and time involved in your gorgeous wedding projects (making them, transporting them, setting them up) and I want to curl into a tiny ball and cry from the stress and my apparent inadequacy in comparison to all of you.

But none of that changes things. My wedding will be decoratively basic and somewhat incohesive. We'll have Ikea centerpieces and papel picado bunting, and that's pretty much it. It doesn't have "colors," unless you mean "all of them." I genuinely don't give a fig what my two bridesmaids wear apart from "something purple that's not floor-length" and I only picked purple because they both said it was a color they like and not because I give a d*mn. My shoes are probably going to be boring because I have back problems and flats with arch support don't send people into Louboutin-shoegasms. I'm not having favors or fans or bunting or cute signs or anything else so many people get excited about. My chuppah is probably going to be a meaningful but unattractive concoction.

Oh. Effing. Well.

I'm having great food.
I'm having fabulous music.
And I'm getting married to the most amazing man in the entire world.

I'm trying to hold onto that, because all your beautiful weddings have been getting me down lately. Because even if you claim it was your amazing photographers who made everything look spectacular because you just effed it all, I know better. I see those little details sneaking into the photos. I can tell that you have more style than I do. Stop poo-pooing right now, because it's true. You guys see how to coordinate things artfully, whereas I'm comfortable enough with a semi-easy, semi-cheap mishmash.

In other words, I'm lazy and practical, neither of which get extolled here in weddingland. Here in weddingland, I'm supposed to give a d*mn about inane crap like what my bridesmaids wear. But here in weddingland, even if you say you don't give a d*mn and go for mismatched dresses, it's not because you don't care... it's because you're cool enough to have scoured for coordinated mismatchedness.

But it really turns out that I really truly don't care. And if that makes me some sort of unstylish funsucking beast of a bride, so be it. I'm a heck of a lot more worried about transporting and setting up all our wedding cr*p (it turns out you can acquire a ton of cr*p for DIY setup, even if you didn't DIY-make it yourselves) than I am with finding pretty details. Details are fun. Logistics are not. But details make logistics even less fun, so I'm saying eff it to a whole lot of them.

I'm a lot more comfortable stressing about finding boxes with cardboard dividers for our 45 bud vases (yes, 45 bud vases) than I am giving a fig about making Martha Stewart Poms. I mean really, poms??!! I spent a good week considering making them until I thought about the stress of making them night after night, transporting them into Malibu, hanging them from the rafters, and getting them down from the rafters and wanted to cry. In fact, I actually got so wrapped up in thinking about how to color coordinate the poms with our centerpieces that I forgot WE ALREADY HAVE 10 LONG STRANDS PAPEL PICADO FOR THE RAFTERS.

And that was the moment that I knew I'd lost it. Somehow, despite all my attempts to stay strong and fight the wedding pressures from traditional and indie weddings alike, I'd entirely gone off my sanity rails and into screaming crazy stressed out bride territory. And that was the true eff it moment. Because I've been trying to eff it the entire time, but all of the pretty pretty possibilities from women who claim to not be crafty or stylish (I call bullsh*t) snuck up on me. If they could do it, I could do it too, right? What's wrong with me that I can't do it if they all do it so well? Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with me anymore. I've decided you all have a higher tolerance for pain than I do, and I'm okay with that. I'd rather grab a glass of wine while I deal with immediate necessities like shopping lists and family politics instead of making poms.

Trust me, I still want poms. And crafty placesettings. And a fun photobooth backdrop. And possibly a color theme. And I blame all of you and your pretty weddings. But I'm thanking my last shred of sanity for saying NO EFFING WAY and grabbing a glass of wine instead as I deal with real-world cr*p like address labels.  From one unstylish funsucking bride to all the others out there: I'm dedicating my next glass of wine to you. I know you're out there. You just remain pretty quiet, but I'm letting you know that it's okay to celebrate the eff-it-ness. It's okay to be practical and "lazy." It's okay to worry about call lists instead of crafts. In fact, it makes a whole lot of sense in the middle of a wedding maelstrom that doesn't. So cheers. Cheers to the eff-it sisterhood. Come on over any time you need a break from the pretties, because I'll be here with my papel picado and rants for the next three months.

April 3, you cannot come soon enough.