Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dress for Success

Is it lame to admit that I love my bridesmaid dress? Probably, right? Well, too bad. I love it. Probably a great deal in part to the fact I picked out not only the style but then proceeded to pick the color and for some reason Alexis agreed with me.

I didn't even have to bribe her! What a pal.

I mention this even though I bought the dress like over a month ago because I'm on the cusp of attending a wedding and if we're being 100% honest I was deeply considering wearing Lex's bridesmaid dress to this occasion. Because dude...one less dress to buy! But then I'd be really lame because there'd be pictures of me wearing the same dress to TWO weddings. And that's simply unacceptable behavior in my book.

So I bought a new dress. Ugh. By the time I pass away I might have 500 billion dresses in my closet.

But in addition to it being totally unacceptable to have dozens of pictures of me wearing the same dress at two separate occasions I think I'd be really pissed at myself if I somehow ruined this bridesmaid dress. Perhaps I'll involuntarily decide to do a little mud wrestling; you just never know. And if that were the case I'd probably end up having to buy a 2nd bridesmaid dress to replace my ruined one.

Odd side effect of having a bridesmaid dress many months before the big day? I can't gain any weight. So I guess I'll have to refrain from taking baths in lard and entering every food eating contest in the area. Oh, and having babies....sorry mom.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hey Jealousy

So...dudes. I have been a grumpalupomus (yes that is a made up word but it WORKS).

The husband had two dozen roses sent to work this Tuesday. This immediately makes you think "oh how nice" but it's kind of a funny story because there was no reason for these flowers. No one died. I didn't announce I was pregnant. Not my birthday. Not our anniversary. Not even one of those arbitrary anniversaries like "oh it's the 49 month anniversary of our first kiss."

Totally just no reason. And people? They cannot wrap their heads around these no reason flowers. I've been answering questions about the darned flowers for the better part of a week and they just don't stop. Really. I guess it's instinctual to have feelings of "why doesn't my husband do that for me?" and then guilt trip the BAHJEEZUS out of that poor man.

Really? They're just flowers. If my husband never bought me flowers that's okay. I'm not a big plant keeper-aliver anyway. I like that he likes me and wants to do nice things. Believe it or not, I do not guilt trip my husband about flowers, candy and jewelery. If he wants to do it, then it's genuine and it's nice. If I have to layer on the guilt then it's not particularly meaningful and I don't want peer-pressure-flowers. It seems...dirty.

But if you want to see a bright side? I've been pretty amused by all of my coworker's questioning. I also think it's strange human behavior but in a totally entertaining way. A friend of a friend, hitherto referred to as Freida was talking about another mutual friend...ummm...Delilah. (Like the pseudonyms? I'm working on being anonymous and thus slightly nicer.) Well, I guess Delilah's boyfriend got her a Tiffany's bracelet and Freida? Freida was PISSED at her boyfriend for not showering her with gifts as well and was wondering if she should bail on her long-time boyfriend because her expectation of the relationship was clearly different than reality and she was thinking that perhaps she was settling for less than she deserved.

Now, I can see where Freida would feel that way because you always want your relationship to feel fresh and exciting. However, if the basis of your relationship depends on a constant stream of overpriced gifts perhaps there are much bigger problems at hand. Like how you might possibly be a gold digger. But it's acceptable for women to be selfish and..um...gold-digger-like. Strange. My husband doesn't guilt trip me about not buying him enough...um...matchbox cars? lol If that were the case all my coworkers instead of exclaiming that I caught a good one, would probably whisper about me behind my back about being a total sucker.

I'm not saying we should all forgo material possessions and go to Tibet to get in touch with our spirituality. I like random stuff as much as the next sheeplike American consumer. I just don't think it makes your relationship better or your marriage stronger. It's not a litmus test for true love and it's not anything more than just what it is.

A singular nice gesture.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Farewell to Amanda

Sunday was Kim's baby shower. I almost missed it because I thought it was at 2pm and then Amanda called and said, "where are you?" and I began to flip out because it was at noon. I zoomed over to Kim's mom's house and got there about 15 minutes before Kim showed up.

Phew.

I didn't even comb my hair let alone put on any makeup, so I wasn't particularly well dressed either. But Kim's shower was a surprise so I wasn't expecting her to be dressed to the nines either. What cutesy gift did I give her? I chipped in for a group gift. No little ittle shoes. No itty bitty hats. Eh. They outgrow those things in a month anyway. Kim is so inundated with secondhand onesies and slightly used baby gear that she doesn't need for anything. The entire nursery is full of plush animals, shoes, onesies, crib bumbers...etc. It's packed with stuff and that was before the shower. I don't even want to imagine what it looks like now after the shower's done.

Oh, and Kim got a diaper cake. I was mildly considering making one (I love crafts) so I'm glad I didn't because that takes guessing about diaper brands and that's kind of unchartered territory for me. If I got a (pardon the term) cruddy brand of diapers it'd be sort of a waste of money if she just gets peed all over and frustrated. Because first time baby frustrations plus sleeplessness plus recovering from giving birth is enough without adding inadequate pee-pee coverage with a little boy. I hear they're squirters.

I'm not really...um...googley eyed about the baby yet. An extended belly does not bring out a cooing, baby-voice making sap in me. I reserve the right to change my mind, but I think it's just hard to empathize unless you're going through it. I feel bad I'm not really 100% on the same level, but I can't pretend to know what she's going through. I think it would be incredibly disingenuous to even pretend I can understand it. It's definitely just one of those things that you have to do yourself to know anything about. Plus every experience is so unique. Some people love being pregnant and some people despise it with every grain of their being and can't wait for it to be over.

In other life changing news, today is the last day for me to see Amanda. I just got back from her house and chatting with her, her dad, and Lex. I didn't want to be a big blubbering jerk and making Amanda sad about leaving. She shouldn't be sad and no one should make her feel sad. It's a great opportunity for her. If anything I'm jealous she gets to have adventures without me. And she's not going to Africa; she's within a reasonable flight and if I'm any kind of friend at all I'll make it a point to see her. Plus I like how much bigger food is in Texas and umm...I have family out there I'd probably owe a visit.

I also really enjoyed seeing her dad because it's literally been like 7 or 8 years since I've seen him and I always considered him and Louise to be an extension of my own family. My second set of parents. I cooked up some eggrolls for them for their farewell. Mind you, I've never made them on my own ever. It's really more my mom's specialty but monkey see, monkey do. If she can do it, I'm convinced I can do it too and apparently it got raves. I cannot divulge the recipe. 1.) Because I do not measure things anyway and god only knows how much of any ingredient goes into there. 2.) Rich thinks I need to go into business and if that's the case you don't become a multi-billionaire eggroll tycoon by telling the internets your best tricks. 3.) My mom might be really mad at me because she might be small but you don't mess with that woman.

Originally mom wanted to make eggrolls for Amanda's farewell but she was working this weekend and I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news that there would be no eggrolls. So clearly that just left making them myself because I'm not about to let her down even though I'm not fully confident in my Vietnamese food making skills. I'm not that kind of person. I talk a meanspirited, cynical game but I am a tenderhearted fool when I love someone. And I love her very much. I'd bend over backwards to do something kind for her.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dolla- Dollar Bills y'all

So, you might wonder what if I forgot about my list. Oh no...you only wish. I've been busy. Work is like a rollercoaster of busy, busy, go, Go, GO!! My bestie is moving away and I gotta buy gifts again. Darn it! Anyway...

#2 on Things I didn't know before I got married.

Money. Well, obviously I knew money existed. Duh. I'm actually quite proud that I know my way with money. I often thank my lucky stars for having absorbed so much geekiness from business school. But, perhaps nothing could prepare me for sharing finances because there are inevitably inequities. Not to go into many specifics but if you have money and your spouse does not, does saying "I Do" suddenly entitle them to using your money? Maxing out your credit card? Running up your bills?

I think it's a recipe for disaster. The number one thing that couples argue about? Surprise, surprise...Money.

Do I know how to fix this? No. It's really something for every couple to work out among themselves, but it's helpful to know it can be an issue before it does become an issue. People tend to stray from talking about the hard truths, but love can only get you so far if you don't have any money and are shacked up living in your parents' basement because you can't afford the rent.

There's a commercial out now where this woman comes out to the living room in a new dress to show off to her husband. He then starts talking about how he really wants to spend their reward points on a trip or a show or whatever and then she thwarts all of his ideas by inferring she spent all their points on the dress. I know it's supposed to be tongue in cheek, but it's a prime example of not communicating your goals effectively.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bridal Dumplings

What a crazy busy weekend.

I spent Friday evening frantically trying to wrap my shower gift to Alexis. By the way, it was the best shower gift I've given yet. No joke. I like to think I put a lot of thought into all my gifts but this one took the cake. I'll find it hard to top myself for the next round. But I ran out of paper to wrap it and of course I was frantic trying to find something late at night. One day I'll remember not to procrastinate. So I ended up wrapping part of it in a brown paper bag. How lovely...yet ghetto of me.

Saturday was the shower and I was pretty much cooking, serving, cleaning..etc. for hours and hours. Because I volunteered to bring potsticker dumplings and then I also volunteered to help Lex's mom prep before the shower so she'd be less stressed out. So that meant cooking at home my dumplings. Then getting dressed. Going to their house and then cooking and prepping and wrapping and serving other food. It was fun; don't think I mean it in any other way than that I love helping. I think helping prep for a party can sometimes be more fun than the party itself. You get to know all the food first, plus the talking? Very fun.

But there was a lot to do, so thankfully Amanda and Maddy were there to help Lex's mom too because it really took all of us to pull it together and even then guests started pouring in before Lex's mom got dressed for the occasion.

The shower itself was cute. Not too big, not too small. Everyone LOVED the travel theme. We had luggage tags and travel sized toiletries as favors. We served jerk chicken and english cucumber sandwiches, and irish soda bread and garlic chicken, and salad and lots of s'mores pie and s'mores martinis (in honor of Lex's girlscout history). It was a great spread. Lex's family really wanted to pull together something nice and you could tell. They're just so cute.

Lots of fun gifts. Mine was likely one of the least traditional but it REEKED of sentiment. If it could have stood up and given everyone a big fuzzy hug, it might have. I'm not going to tell the internet though. For the sake of keeping Lex's wedding unique and segregated from the pack, I'll refrain from too much detail. If you ask her though I'm sure she'd be happy to chat with you about everything. She was even showing guests pictures of her wedding dress. But that's for her to share and if I weren't in her wedding party I wouldn't bother asking about the color scheme and bridesmaid dresses just to save it for the big day and the big reveal as you walk down the aisle. It's totally natural to be curious, but I prefer to go in totally blind because I always build things up in my head. (I do admit to having a very colorful and vivid imagination.) Because when people say "oh my gosh, you have to meet (insert generic name here). She's so hot. I can't believe Stan's dating such a gorgeous girl." And then I meet her and...hmmm. And I don't know what I was expecting but she was NOT Heidi Klum. And then I kind of have to quickly muffle my disappointment because my expectation did not match up with reality. And I feel like a jerk because, really? What are the chances anyone could date a supermodel, let alone my 100% fictional friend Stan? He doesn't even have a Bentley convertible or good hair. Why would I possibly assume he could bag a woman so hot that people standing in her general proximity would melt from the glow of her 1000 watt smile? But I DO assume that!

I don't think a lot of other people build up stories, details and even entire plot lines in their mind the way I do. It's funny but surely confusing.
Crazy incoherent rambling tangents aside...

Amanda felt bad because she got Lex a double gift, but that happens with Target registries. They don't count the gift as purchased right away so there is a pretty big gap where you end up with doubles. Lex didn't seem too upset by it though because she could always use more than one suitcase. They always get destroyed when you check them anyway. I agree. We travel enough where our suitcases look disgusting and banged up. We did not play games at the shower because it felt like we ran out of time. Like, it was go-go-go for me and the other maids just actively mingling, snacks, serving, gifts..etc. It was a long day, but it was an active and fun one. I guess it's good prep for a bride because that's pretty much how your wedding day goes. It's just rush, rush, rush. Don't sit down. Chat, chat chat. Smile. Laugh. Rinse and repeat. And then it's over and people start leaving you.

Sunday was our horseback re-do. And I really had fun. Trevor was a little bored because it was a beginner lesson and he feels way super advanced at all things, but whatever. He married me knowing how lame I was, so he should be prepared for this. I kindly and patiently listen to him tell me the same stories all the time, even though I was present for the actual event and there's no need to re-tell me what happened. I think this is just fair compromise.

My horse was Bailey and she was way stubborn and did not want to trot. She just wanted to slowly slowly walk in directions I didn't want her to go in. Nonetheless it was an adventure for me. Trevor had a gigantic monster horse (it was part Clydesdale) named Mick whose only joy in life is jumping stuff. Not so much walking or running, but jumping stuff made Mick really happy. I'm not suddenly some big horse lover, but it was fun. I wouldn't mind doing it again.

Today? Errands! Oh the errands. Grocery shopping, making potatoes au gratin, baking a ham, taking my cousin to the mall to pick up her makeup thing she preordered. All the while? My body is aching like I ran 8 miles yesterday. Horseback riding apparently makes you use all kinds of muscles you don't think you use because, hey you're just sitting on a horse right? Except that thing needs to be controlled and when you have super stubborn horses you have to be all the more aggressive. Ugh! My back is killing me today. My legs are sore too, but I can handle sore legs. Sore back made sleeping awful.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Trevor!

How did we celebrate? I had a mild panic attack about my work and not being at work and kind of wishing I had more time. UGH. But you don't live your life, look back and wish you sat in your cubicle longer. You wish you spent your free time constructively and with people whom you love. So I did. I spent a lot of time with my husband. I made him a three course meal totally from scratch. Mind you, he seemed confused his Vietnamese wife made him such a convincing Chicken Tikka Masala and seemed genuinely convinced I used some kind of prefab mix. For our anniversary? Ugh, yeah...that's not my style.

I also had this weird desire to make mashed cauliflower. It seems like a forgotten vegetable that no one ever buys or thinks about. I liked it okay. You won't ever mistake it's flavor profile for mashed potatoes. It can't ever whip up as beautifully as mashed pototoes, okay? But it's nice if you just take it at face value as being cauliflower. Nix the heavy cream and butter and save yourself some serious calories. You can google it up; it's not a terribly complicated list of ingredients and it's not a weird side dish...one of those big restaurant chains carries it on their menu, so you can see it's pretty tame and easy if you have a food processor. It would have been a TON easier to make with a big 10 cup food processor. Eh, I made due with my awesome blender and it was fine.

We went out too. I can't spend my entire anniversary standing over a hot stove...although I do kind of love it. We actually went to Mill on the River on the day of our anniversary to relive a little bit of that nostalgia. It's a nice enough restaurant although it's not ever going to be QUITE the same as our wedding day. Plus, although it's a nice restaurant I tend to enjoy less mainstream American food. I'd like it a little more ethnic, even if that ethnicity happens to be Italian. Of course they took very special requests for the wedding, so I do give them a lot of props for putting up with throwing in Asian flair for us. It's a bit out of the usual for them.

We had planned to go horseback riding Saturday but unfortunately it looked a bit rainy and stinky horse poop plus rain just doesn't go together very well. So we postponed to the following week. It's not as though I'm the kind of person who cares desperately that we celebrate things on the exact day-of. The fact that we both remember to spend time together is the entire point of making a fuss at all about one's anniversary. My parents never make mention of their anniversary at all. In fact I have no idea when it is. I guess it's a cultural thing. No one in my family makes much of a fuss about anything except Chinese New Year.