Sprinkled With Nuts
My goodness. It’s time to pull the weeds out of this keyboard, take the “Gone Ice Fishing” sign off the screen, and fill you in on everything that’s been happening over here.
I’ve been trying on dresses that make me look like a $3,000 dollop of whipped cream. The salesladies at the bridal store keep saying “you look great!” But I do not. I look like I should be topped with a cherry-red hat and sprinkled with nuts. I tell them that I hate poofy dresses, and they stare at me like I’m reciting instructions for breaking the necks of little songbirds.We registered last weekend. I walked around Crate & Barrel zapping pots and pans while Scott set up an Amazon registry on his iPhone. I was okay with our division of responsibilities until I saw that he registered for a robotic arm, a container of glow-in-the-dark silly putty, a 12-foot ladder, and magnetic paint. I’m not sure what he’s planning to build with these things, but if it’s not a 3-quart All-Clad saucepan, I don’t support it.I made our save-the-date cards instead of having them printed. I used paper, twine, glue sticks, and white wine. I mailed them. Some of them looked like they were made by a second grader in an underfunded afterschool program, but there’s not much we can do about that now, is there?Of course, before I mailed the save-the-dates, we chose a date and time for this shindig: we’re getting hitched at an apple cidery in late July!
After we booked the venue, things got a little complicated. You see, the thing about real, working barns is that they don’t have lights in them, so you have to rent 900 feet of bistro lights and pay to have them draped in the rafters. And the thing about throwing a party in the countryside is that you can’t let your guests zigzag back to civilization afterwards like the Great Gatsby, so you have to rent buses. And you can’t ask your older relatives to stand in the middle of a field in the summer heat for the ceremony, so you have to rent chairs. And your barn doesn’t have a kitchen, so you need to rent a tent for your caterer. Et cetera.Planning this thing is more complicated than I thought it would be. I’m not saying it’s hard. Gaining political asylum is hard. Defeating an incumbent is hard. In comparison, planning a wedding is a piece of cake. But that’s the thing: even if you’re a non-traditional kind of girl who isn’t going to toss a bouquet, or serve a tall white cake, or drive off in a fancy car, you still have to decide on some kind of schedule and, well, a cake alternative.In a fantastic essay called The Lesbian Bride’s Handbook, Ariel Levy captures the trickiness of the casual wedding. She writes:
We just wanted a big, awesome party where everyone could meet and go bananas. . . The thing is, though, you have to serve something, and you can’t very well go naked. You can call it a party about love all you want, but you still have to make all the same decisions that every other bride has to make, and you have to make them very carefully unless you want everyone you know to schlep to some crummy party in the middle of nowhere.
And I do not believe in crummy parties. I believe in glamour. I believe that when you are on your deathbed clinging to the murk of your memories, some will stay with you purely on the power of the atmosphere: the way a punch bowl looked surrounded by daisies at your fifth-birthday party, the feel of a certain set of blue sheets the first time you traveled alone. There was no way I was going to let this thing be shoddy. . . If I was going to have a party about love, it was going to be the classiest party about love ever. I did not experience this imperative as relaxing.
Amen, sister. I don’t find it relaxing either. In fact, the only time I’ve felt relaxed in the past few weeks was after I banged my head hard against the car door and saw darkness and a lot of pretty sparkles on my retinas. Scott thought I had a concussion, but I didn’t go to the doctor because I felt fantastic.I’ll tell you what else is fantastic: biscotti. They’re like cookies playing hard-to-get–they’re crunchy to the tooth at first, but if you dunk them in coffee they soften right up and melt in your mouth. If you like that sort of thing, I have a chocolate hazelnut biscotti recipe for you. It’s David Lebovitz’s recipe, actually–I just swapped hazelnuts for almonds and recommend reducing the baking time for the second round, lest they burn. (And make sure the logs are completely cool before you cut them, otherwise they’ll crumble.) And with that, I’m off to give Thunder a pat on the head. She’s been doing such a good job managing my wedding-planning schedule. Happy weekend!