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Saturday, February 01, 2003

Sara: snot monster

I am sick. Grrrrr.

Dennis and I were supposed to be on our way to Santa Cruz this afternoon for a quick getaway to celebrate the anniversary of that amazing first date. Instead of a weekend of hot monkey love, he gets to share space with The Snot Creature, who whines all the time, demanding juice and toast and other treats.

I started getting sick yesterday, but still had to put in a 12-hour day at work because of our parish's annual meeting. I felt like death on a stick and I wonder what grand mistakes I made but was oblivious to at the time. Monday should be interesting.
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Sara: good things

Dennis got english muffins at the store this morning. I'd forgotten how much I loves me some english muffins. Am now trying to decide if it would be wrong to go back for another one.

I'm feeling a bit more human this evening. Dennis is out at a movie with a friend - one of his favorite people was unexpectedly in town this weekend, and called this morning. If I hadn't gotten sick, they would've missed each other 'cause we would be in Santa Cruz. It kind of takes the edge off losing the weekend we had planned. It looks like we're going to reschedule that for a few weeks from now, so nothing is lost and Dennis gained a day with his friend. Life keeps doing this to us.

Thursday night, our water heater (I can't bring myself to say 'hot water heater' after hearing one too many stand-up jokes about heating hot water) developed a leak. Not the most fun thing to come home to, but we caught it early enough that the kitchen didn't get soaked, and it happened the day before we were going to mail the rent check, so we could just deduct the cost of the plumber from our rent. If this had happened a week earlier, we would've been a lot more worried, since we were pretty broke, but I'd just gotten paid so we had money to pay the plumber. Also, it got the landlord to stop by the place to take a look, and he noticed some other things he wants to fix, AND he and Dennis talked about the front yard, and he is going to knock $40 off our rent if Dennis will do some work out there. Which he has been wanting to do anyway, since he likes gardening. Everything just keeps working out for us. It makes me realize that the vast majority of the worrying I do is really useless. Even our mishaps have little offshoots of blessings.
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Friday, January 31, 2003

Sara: It's just more speshul this way

My latest stress-killer is reading the horrible 'creative' invitation wording at VerseIt. By far the worst sections are the 'give us money' poems and the preprinted thank you notes. I've never encountered these in the wild, but it appears that sometimes the happy couple is simply too busy to write a proper thank you note, so they sign their names to these little preprinted wonders and the guest gets a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, they can be ordered with the names already printed, so maybe I'm giving the couple too much credit by imagining that they would take the time to sign their names.

You just know these go out with computer-generated labels on 'em. For that personal touch.

Now for the laughing:

When you care enough to refer to yourself in the third person:
NAMES
sincerely appreciate and thank you
for your very lovely
wedding gift.


Oh, it does, it does...
This brings sincere thanks
for the lovely gift you sent.
We hope it helps to tell you
just how much it meant.


I like that this one gives you the option not to accept their sincere thanks:
Please accept our sincere thanks
for the lovely gift.
Both the thought and the gift
made us very happy.


So, like, we didn't even bother trying to write one:
A loving note can barely say
all we felt that magic day.
A heartfelt thanks is sent to you
for your thoughtful gift and wishes, too.


Can the people who sell these things be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of the etiquette-challenged? There are people who think that, if you see it in an invitation catalog, it must be OK.

Here is my favorite gift poem:
We have two of EVERYTHING because
joining lives means joining households, too!
So please don't give us another toaster --
a gift of money is what we'd appreciate from you!


Wow, that sure would be tacky if it wasn't in a poem. Since it rhymes, though, I'd better get my checkbook. Yeesh.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Sara: The Bridezilla Show

Sorry for the delay in registering my opinions of the Bridezilla show on FOX.

First, obviously they had enough footage to do about half an hour, and then they stretched it out by showing the same clips over and over, and inserting those silly graphics and COPS-style voiceovers. They also really didn't focus on all nine brides, so I'm not sure why they were all even there. Oh, yeah, padding.

The bridezilla behavior was pretty bush-league. Check out the confession booth if you want to see real BZ action. They didn't even show the brides interacting with their wedding party or parents, which is the focus of so many BZ moments. They were bridezillas in a vaccuum, except for their hapless fiances.

The brides were just like the chicks I went to school with in NYC. I didn't like them much, not that they could stand me, either, even though I was a much more shallow and materialistic person then.

The dresses were pretty bad, especially the toilet paper one that was shown being altered with scissors while being worn. Not that this excuses the way the brides treated the alterations and sales staff. I liked that it was New York so the 'servants' were free to talk back, hang up the phone, etc. I'm not sure that would fly here.

I don't even care that ridiculous amounts of money were being spent on these weddings; if people have the money and want to spend it, great. The people who don't have it and want to pretend that they do (by getting their parents to spend more than they can afford, or by trying to squeeze money out of their guests, or by blatantly flogging their Bridezilla Wares on the internet. Oh, wait, that last one is me.) are the ones who bother me. If you can pay $100k for your wedding, do it, go stimulate the freakin' economy so my friends can have jobs again.

The baby-voiced chick who wheedled the $15k necklace out of her fiance didn't really bother me, either; I don't have to date either one of them, and they're not related to me so I don't have to see them at Thanksgiving. They remind me of the MeanWoman couple from this story.

Overall, lame show, could've been much better. I am available for consultation for the next one, at very reasonable rates.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Sara: Oooh, shiny

I am now thinking about rings.

My engagement ring is an antique from the 30s or 40s, which I bought it at an antique show for $75. It looks a bit washed-out in the bad photo here, but it's a carved yellow gold band with a white gold (most likely - it could be platinum if it's pre-war) mounting for a teeny little diamond. Ah loves it. The diamond actually gets a lot of light and has a very sparkly cut. I like sparkly things.

I'm going back to that antique show in a few weeks, and will look for a band to go with it. I'd like something from the same period. These rings are so out of fashion that they're really inexpensive, so I may even be able to get something with a few diamonds on it.

We haven't done much shopping for Dennis' wedding ring, so I don't know what's going to happen there at all.
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Monday, January 27, 2003

Sara: Weddings are all about shopping, right?

In honor of tonight's Bridezilla special on FOX, I've added new bridezilla gear to the Going Bridal Store. There are some other new items with the new black & white Bridezilla logo here; I'm still working on it!


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Sunday, January 26, 2003

Sara: I've become one of those people

Last night, I had a dream that something happened to the Beetle, and this morning I had to look out the window to check to see that it's ok.

I have also ordered a corsage for the car for the wedding. Just something with daisies to attach to the door handle. Because I am clearly insane.

The image here is a really cute wedding invitation. It's about 3 times as expensive as the dots one, so it's not an option for me. But I wanted to share it anyway!
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Sara: Feel the slip and the grip of grace again

The fact that I am now a bit of a charity case is making me act weird.

I've always made an effort to be on the other side of giving - the 'oh, here, you poor dear' side. It is much more comfortable to give than to receive. You get to look like a good, caring person with many fine qualities, especially if you are helping someone you consider to be less fortunate. That's the kind of giving I'm used to, the kind that puts the person receiving in the significantly less comfortable position of being grateful for something they didn't want to have to ask for in the first place.

One of my imaginary friends online was recently talking about what it was like to go to the grocery store with food stamps when her family fell on hard times. I guess that's kind of how I'm feeling, that everyone now has the right to scrutinize what I've put on the conveyer belt. I'm second-guessing every decision I make that involves money. I feel really guilty about driving my fabulous car. I found a cross necklace that would look great with my dress, and I could probably afford it in a few weeks, but I'm not sure it's really appropriate to be buying things for myself.

I remember when I was a kid, I once spent a year adding up all the money my parents spent on me so that I could pay them back later. Of course, I probably thought that I would be able to do this on my allowance, which is really bad kid-logic, but whatever. I wanted to be beholden to no one then, and there's still some of that left in me now. I want to be able to do everything myself so that no one will have a right to criticize my choices. I want to be able to drive ahead and make my own rules and say fuckit to what the rest of the world wants, just like an SUV commercial.

I know that the whole American independent loner thing is a crock of shit, but I'm not moving into inter-dependence gracefully, either. And yet I know that it's what God had in mind for us. If we're supposed to be a blessing to one another all the time, sometimes that means being on the receiving end, letting someone else (or in my case a whole bunch of someone elses) be a blessing to me. I see this, but I'm still resisting.

I've been imagining that everyone who gives does it out of a desire to be in that comfortable, superior place, which would put me in that other position. Which is especially lame given that there is another model, that of joyful co-creation. It's a gift to be invited into other people's lives. Who wouldn't rather be in the middle of making something happen, instead of being an observer? There's a reason why Ryan and Jon's wedding was the most fun - I was up to my elbows in flowers, dresses, decorations, invitations, all of it. I never once felt resentful of the time and energy I put in, and was always looking for more stuff I could do, just to be closer to the action. And the same thing is happening with my wedding. This is creating a chance for people to use their gifts and come together as a community. And I could be less of an asshole about it and get out of the way.

It all comes back to Grace again. Dam-nit, everything is coming up grace for me lately. Guess it's my next challenge, huh? I've gotten softer and slightly more humble and less MeeeeEEEEEeeeee this year, so I guess this is what comes after that. Grace, defined as an unearned favor. You don't ask for it, so you can't bargain a repayment plan. It saved a wretch like me. I have a keyfob I really love, which has the words 'I once was lost, but now am found' under a glass dome. On the one hand, it's a good statement about what happens to my keys. On the other hand, it's my life in an easily-digestible sound bite.
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