What’s up with all these Weddings?

In the past two months, I’ve been to one bachelorette and three weddings, while in the midst of taking the first major steps into planning my own.

In some ways it feels like I’m on an episode of Four Weddings — a reality show where four brides attend each other’s weddings, rate them, and the one with the highest score gets a free honeymoon. I don’t watch this very often because, you know, it’s a reality show. The contestants can be very bitchy and backstabby sometimes because, duh, they really want to win. But sometimes you get a good episode that feels a little more wholesome and almost like the ladies could actually be friends after filming is over, which is nice.

Anyway, after attending all these weddings, I’ve come away with a few observations — a compare and contrast, if you will, of what other people wanted for their celebrations that I do not. Out of all of these, I really only have one “what’s up with that” bone to pick and I’ll get that out of the way first.

MY WEDDING WANTS

  • I absolutely want to go around to every table during the wedding dinner, thanking people for coming. At two of the three weddings I attended, the couples didn’t do this and it seemed odd. To be fair, one of them had several days of events leading up to it where the couple did have the opportunity to talk with everyone at least for a few minutes. But, um, if you’ve put some family friends at table 9, they’re going to feel like an afterthought if you don’t at least come say hello on the day. (We’re not doing that kind of seating arrangement, but still.)
  • I don’t want a sweetheart table, head table, or anything like that. My fiancé and I have known for a while that we want long farm tables, ideally just one long one but two if we have to, and a family style dinner rather than plated service. We can do this because we have a sixty to seventy person guest list; the three weddings we’ve been to this year have all been closer to a hundred or one hundred fifty.
  • I want realistic vows. I don’t want flowery, poetic “I’ll be yours forever and a day” fluff. I want, “we’ve been through a lot and I’ve got your back.” I want the occasional chuckle from the assembled guests. I want real world statements that actually mean something. I want to feel the love, not feel like I’m watching a poorly done chick flick.
  • I don’t want a ton of flowers. Bouquets for the ceremony are a separate thing, but other than that I don’t want to blow too much on florals. For one thing, they don’t last and it seems wasteful. For another, we have a pretty tight budget and it will be better spent on amazing venue and spectacular food. For yet another, big arrangements at the dinner table doesn’t work well with family style, because of all the dishes being passed hither and yon. Have you ever been to a party where the centerpiece gets in the way of even seeing the person sitting across from you, much less talk to them? What we want instead is greenery with occasional pops of color — all colors, because as a queer couple we’re dead set on a rainbow theme.
  • I don’t want both rings held by someone on the groom’s side. My “person of honor” will be my brother, and I want him to be the one to hand me the ring I put on my fiancé’s finger. At all the weddings we’ve attended this year, the Best Man had both rings and passed the groom’s ring over through the officiant. Nah. I want my bro to feel like, “I’ve got this.”
  • I wish we could do fireworks! But we’re in a wildfire danger zone (thanks Northern California), and cant even have sparklers. But, the wedding we attended in the French countryside (it wasn’t exactly a destination wedding, both the bride and groom are French and have family in the area) had the most AMAZING firework show in between the main course and dessert. We will have to be content with a bubbles and glow sticks sendoff, or something to that effect.
  • I don’t need an official videographer, but I absolutely want to designate a family member or two as the iPhone videographer for vows and speeches. It doesn’t need to be professional, but I do want to remember those moments in their full-motion glory.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Not very many things, but the impact they’ll have on our big day ranges from kinda big to very significant. Some I already knew — but the rest, I am so grateful to have thought of. Attending weddings while planning your own is a fantastic source of inspiration!

Affirming each other’s feelings

Affirming each other’s feelings

https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/affirming-each-others-feelings/
— Read on druidlife.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/affirming-each-others-feelings/

“Acknowledging that something doesn’t have to make sense to you for it to be real, is powerful.”

Overcoming our own thoughts

Overcoming our own thoughts

https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/overcoming-our-own-thoughts/
— Read on druidlife.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/overcoming-our-own-thoughts/

This raises a very good point about internal vs external sources of stress and anxiety.

When I’m going through a rough patch, I sometimes have a hard time sorting out how much is in my head/body responses and how much is in my environment. Often, I’ve found, it’s both, and they feed on each other and get all tangled up. The first step is sorting out which is which.

Entry: Walk — A Creative PTSD Gal

This one had me holding my breath. It was as if I was the person in the story. Milliways, another author that kept me interested throughout the A to Z writing challenge. Head over and check out her writing and other awesome posts. If you would like to participate in the contest or share, check […]

via Entry: Walk — A Creative PTSD Gal

I wrote a thing. Mwahaha. 😊

Where do I start?

So many things have happened recently.

First, I finished the A to Z Challenge! I didn’t always post on time, but the nature of my theme kind of made that inevitable.

Second, it’s May. I was born in May. Sometimes my birthday falls on Mother’s Day, which is always annoying, but this year it’s the day after.

Third, MY PARTNER PROPOSED.

It was always the plan, and I definitely had a voice in picking the ring design, but I didn’t know when, where, or how. Afterwards there was an engagement party that doubled as my thirtieth birthday party, and it was absolutely lovely.

Fourth, I woke up at 7am today because I had to go to the DMV and renew my driver’s license before it expires on Monday. I got to the DMV at 8am and was able to leave again at about 1pm. BUT…

Fifth, while I was at the DMV I got a very important email from a winery I’ve been interviewing with. I am now in the wine industry part time! Probably just weekends. I’m also applying to full time things because, uh… I’ve got some time to make up for and I’m not currently opposed to the idea of pulling a lot of hours so I can pay my parents back for the money they’ve lent me in these past several months.

That is my update. I am still recovering from the DMV, so… ta.

#AtoZChallenge — Zusak and Zazz

 

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Monday Morning Wisdom #152: Z is for Zusak, ARHtistic License


As Melissa Barker-Simpson puts it, “Our minds wander, it’s just the way it is. Sometimes we zone out by choice, by necessity, or because we don’t even realise we’re doing it.” As writers, our words occasionally do the same thing.

tumblr_lu7sfdzagc1qdhxyeo1_500
(gif source)

What I’ve learned from participating in NaNoWriMo is that when the word(s) I want wander off while I’m otherwise on a roll, it helps to just put in some temporary filler and keep on going. If the filler lacks zazz I can highlight it and make Future Me deal with that problem later, but for the sake of momentum I can save making the words absolutely right for the editing process. … I have a problem with finishing long stories sometimes.

 

On that note, I haven’t finished my Camp NaNoWriMo project but I did hit my 50k goal. I started the month with about 36k, so it’s not as impressive as it could be, but I’m quite pleased because I kept getting stuck on stuff in chapter six. Eventually I will finish it and go back to do a lot of editing. Gotta make sure it brings the zazz.

And now I’ve also finished the A to Z Challenge, woohoo!

 

#AtoZChallenge — Your happy place

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


Find your happy place. This could be anything that gives you happiness. For me, my happy place is Harry Potter fanfictions. I have been a Potterhead ever since I read my first book. I took this craze to another level when I started reading fanfictions. (A fanfiction is a fiction written by a fan presenting his own PoV and his plot within the main storyline). I have never failed to read a few pages of a fanfic in the last 20 months.

You are in charge of your life, Musings of a Mother


My fall-back happy place is fandom participation. Mostly I write fanfics, and occasionally I do doodles — either way, I create. I do a lot of reading too, and commenting, and replying to comments, and feeling like part of a community. It’s constructive validation, because there’s always a special niche of people who will read what you want to write.

I am definitely in charge of my life. I’m broke and in debt to my parents, but I still have my freedom and make my own decisions. Sometimes those decisions gravitate towards being at home with my cats… because I’m an introvert anyway and why not spend my recharge time with furry little goofbutts.

When I quit my job back in August, it was because I was miserable. I’d seen my dad go through that for years, at a similar kind of job too, and I didn’t want to go down that dusty road. It was a hard decision, but it was one I had to make for my own sake and ultimately I still don’t regret it. Without my partner supporting me, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to leave without something else already lined up, and the problem with that is I was always to exhausted at the end of the day to job hunt for something better.

Support systems are pretty damn important. Without support, it would have taken me a lot longer to limp back to my happy place!

#AtoZChallenge — Xeriscape

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


X is the dreaded letter of this challenge, and frankly I was shocked when I started scrolling through the A to Z tag and found one I’d never seen before almost immediately.

Xeriscaping refers to the conservation of water through creative landscaping.

It was developed for drought-afflicted areas, but in today’s world it is gaining more momentum. It’s in wide use all over the world.

Derived from the Greek xeros meaning “dry,” the term means literally “dry landscape.”

X for xeriscape, Pragun’s Panchtattwa

This is the ideal for our little patch of the backyard. Currently it’s full of weeds that, I swear, are taller than me, but sometime soon we are going to get out there and whip it into shape. (In the meantime, it’s a relief that we have a fence to have our shame.)

2018-02-01 15.28.02-1California has been in a drought for years. Many suburban front yards have jumped on the xeriscaping bandwagon with rock gardens, and those that haven’t, we judge as we drive past. It’s what you do. And though the state is now in a weird drought-then-flooding-then-drought-then-flooding pattern, it’s becoming more and more clear that climate change is only going to make more intense.

Because of the warming atmosphere, the type of storms that produced the record flooding 156 years ago will probably be three to four times more frequent by the end of this century. That means San Francisco and Los Angeles are more likely than not to see an 1862-style deluge by 2060, according to the research published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change.

Such a series of storms, involving about 40 days of punishing rain, would become more of a 50-year event — a 1-in-50 chance of happening in any given year, the authors figure. …

The rapid shift last year from a five-year drought to an extraordinarily wet winter is a taste of the whiplash that the authors expect more of. Northern California is projected to see 25 percent more of these dramatic transitions, and Southern California will see 100 percent more.

SF Chronicle

So the drought is likely to continue, in an it’s-complicated-on-Facebook sort of way. Which means I need to find out…

What kinds of cacti and other succulents are cool with both drought and flooding?

#AtoZChallenge — We have labels

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


Our world is impossibly complex and often quite dangerous, it helps to have a system that can quickly process what kind of thing you are looking at and react appropriately. Categorization helps us make sense of a world where quick decisions have to be made, and a large amount of information has to be processed. It’s also a pretty reliable system for helping us get through situations that we may have not faced by providing a reference and a good guess. If you’ve seen a brown bear, you’ll have some idea of how to respond to a polar bear. If you’ve seen a mountain lion, you know that a tiger is dangerous. …

We have labels for what a man is supposed to be, what a woman is supposed to look like, how black people behave, what jobs a 60-year-old is capable of learning, what opportunities a poor person deserves, whether or not Muslims can be Americans. Our labels and categories help us understand our world, but they also put limits on it too. We aren’t good at seeing the shades, the subtlety, or continuity. We aren’t good at seeing the variation between two individual examples of a thing.

Kinds, Zen & Pi


I was reading Lisa’s post, quoted above, and it makes sense. Evolution has prepped us to categorize things on the fly, and in modern society that doesn’t always work well.

One thing people aren’t always good at recognizing is sexual orientation. Bisexuals and pansexuals get the brunt of this because, regardless of who they’re with, at first glance there are parts of their orientation that are always going to be invisible. Couples with one or more trans person might, on the surface pass as heterosexual, erasing their queerness, or if the trans person(s) doesn’t “pass” to the viewer’s standards then there’s several kinds of erasure there too. If someone says “partner” and the listener assumes that automatically means a same sex relationship — which could be true, and/or it could mean that the couple prefers the word as an acknowledgement that they are both equals in the relationship.

Everyone wants to be seen as more than just a first impression, as more than just a bookcover to be judged by. We may not be wired that way but we can, by virtue of self-awareness, train our brains to do more than just what evolution wired us for. We’re a social species, and we can adapt.

We can ask what pronouns people use.

Parents can ask their kids what synonym for “partner” they’d prefer used in the family holiday letter.

Before you hug someone, you can ask if they’re cool with hugs because, for example, someone with OCD might spend the rest of the day quietly but frantically going over and over and over it in their head for the rest of the day.

You can’t just see these kinds of things. Sometimes, you really just have to ask.