Sunday, August 25, 2013

Smug Marrieds

Let me start by saying -- I love love. I love marriage. I am always honored to be a part of people's weddings: as an attendee or a bridesmaid or by playing songs on the piano from the Little Mermaid while guests file into the church (Yes. I did that once as a child. It was background music and no one realized what is was from, don't judge me).

But as I've mentioned before, I've never been one of those people who just needed to be in a relationship. Not that marriage/kids isn't one of my goals - it is - but unless I'm just crazy about someone, I'm going to choose being single over settling, every time. But it is frustrating the older I get, especially when "are you dating anyone?" is the first question out of everyone's mouths and if I tell people I'm not in a relationship, it's like I've short-circuited them. And it gets worse during wedding festivities.

At my age, I've been to roughly 9,007 weddings/bridal showers/bachelorettes and not that I wouldn't want all that tradition for my own wedding - I totally will -but after awhile, you feel like you are just going through the motions. I've become the female version of the Wedding Crashers, practically betting people around me whether they're going to quote First Corinthians or Colossians 3:12 during the ceremony. And bouquet toss? Forget about it. I'm the epitome of this scene from Sex and The City. Except, you know, I'm not speaking Italian. Usually. (I guess the You Tube copyright police ignore uploads as long as they aren't in English? But you get the idea of the sentiment at least):

So with my shoulder shrugs ready, I headed to Atlanta last weekend for yet another friend's bridal festivities.

Let me set the scene:
-I'm the only non-Indian/Pakistani bridesmaid, which already singles me out a bit.
-I'm one of only two out of the whole group who is not/or has not been married.
-I'm 5'8. The tallest of the other girls is about 5'4 on a good day. The shortest? 4'11. I felt like Elf.
Or, like this:

And we had a whole weekend of events and I didn't really know anyone well except the bride. And many of the other bridesmaids had never done a traditional American bachelorette night out so they came armed with accessories, games, and talk of staying out all night on our last night. (I'm getting too old for this).

I immediately set my sights on the pregnant one and silently vowed that when she went back to the house, I was going with her or would die trying.  

(She actually lasted longer than I expected, but still enabled me to get back to my bed --aka The Floor (I'm getting too old for this) -- before midnight, so I count that a success.)

But we need to back up to earlier that day: The Bridal Tea.

First of all - I loved the venue, very southern and very girly and totally something I'd want as well.


We walk in, and not only is our bridal event there, but on the same floor, the rooms next to ours are also all bridal events. You couldn't swing your string of pearls without hitting a sign that said something like "The Future Mrs. Bearman!" or "Chrissy's Bridal Brunch!!"

I started texting my single DC friends for back up.

I walk in and find that not one, but two ladies are pregnant in my room, one with twins. I immediately feel like I'm in the Bridget Jones scene where Bridget has dinner with "smug marrieds" and everyone is paired up around the table and they stare up at her in robotic unison and one man winks and starts patting his pregnant wife's stomach saying “You really ought to hurry up and get sprogged up, old girl. Time's a running out. Tick tock."

I texted more furiously.

I got back the response,  "Stay away from sharp objects. You sound very vulnerable right now."

Very funny. But before I could harumph too much at my DC friends' obvious enjoyment of my being left to the love-intoxicated wolves down south, we had moved to:

The reading aloud of inspirational quotes about marriage, portion of the day.

::Face Palm::

I had already asked my friends for help with this assignment, and they suggested I just write down the lyrics to Maroon 5's "Pay Phone" and call it a day.

Very helpful, thank you friends. You will now absolutely be asked to sing "I honestly Love You" for my reception. Especially if you are still single. 

So clearly I was on my own in this and thankfully found a couple quotes that were nice enough to offer, but not so nice that I'd accidentally dry-heave in the middle of reciting them. And of course, by luck of the draw, I was chosen to go first for this reading.

And thank the Lord I was, because shortly after me:

everyone started crying.

There was talk of love and why it's so important to stop and look around on your wedding day, and how this man is now your family, etc. etc. And then there was something about each other's "love languages" and at that point, I nearly dry-heaved anyway while everyone else was having "and it's just! so! beautifuh-uh-uh-uhlll!" moments and I sat there practically whistling, looking around to see if anyone else had eaten their cheese straws yet.

I started texting again. "I mean, I wasn't going to have dessert, but I mean...."

I get the response, "Whatever gets ya through, man. Whatever gets ya through."

I giggle to myself and the tea ends just in time for us to move to the art project portion of the weekend:

Working with broken glass.

So much for staying away from sharp objects....

In the end, the weekend was actually pretty fun (and I got a nice new personally-mosaic-ed bowl out of it, so there's that.) And as I'm typing this, no joke, I just got an email from the last bride who's wedding I was in and her email says "you can thank me for not having you do this." And apparently there's a new trend in weddings called: "Bridal Party Boudoir Photos," where the whole bridal party gets photos done like this:

So at least I wasn't asked to do that during the weekend

And of course, my friends are lovely brides who deserve all the fanfare. I just find the Bridget Jones-esque moments too hilarious not to comment on. And I recommend that if you are a bride out there with friends who are single or just don't have very strong googly-eye genes, just don't take it personally if you find them texting when they are supposed to be sobbing over just how darn special weddings are.

And maybe stay clear of broken glass projects too. Just in case.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Repost: Mustang Sally

Did I mention that I! FINISHED! GRAD SCHOOL!!! ?

I did. And you'd think I'd have a ton of free time now but I'm still trying to get my head above water so I've neglected you, Internet. So I'm leaving you with an old post about cars because I was just recounting this story over the weekend and it's just so funny to me even now....

Original post: June, 2011

Mustang Sally

You all may have read the account of the time I reported my Mustang ("Sally", of course. She looked similar to this:)

stolen after forgetting I had driven it to the gym. But that wasn't the last time I'd report that car stolen.

Many of you know that I miraculously landed my first job out of college at The White House. Trust me, this was God's doing, because I actually had to ask someone who Dick Cheney was when he walked past me shortly after I got to DC. I was THAT oblivious about politics and this career path literally fell in my lap in spite of myself. Anyway, during my 2nd week on my job - where I'm trying desperately to act smart and capable - my car gets stolen from Union Station. And the joys do not end there.

I'll back up to when I parked to begin with. I was awaiting my official parking pass to use the garage at work, so I parked at Union Station and took the metro. That morning, as I parked next to BMWs and Mercedes, I looked at my steering wheel "Club" and thought, "I'm being paranoid. Who is going to pick the Ford to steal?" and I put the Club in my trunk.... When I got back that evening, my car was gone.

And the police and insurance company gave me no hope of recovering it since they believed it'd be sold to a chop shop immediately, so I got a rental car through my insurance. By then, I could use the garage at work - which is valet. So you drive down into the garage, then just exit your car with the key in it and the (mean!) garage attendant parks it for you. Easy enough! I jump out and walk across the street to my office, get through Secret Service, up the elevator, to my desk...where my phone is blinking.

And on the voicemail, is an irate message from the garage attendant yelling something difficult to understand. But I hear "key in the car" and I hear "you locked the doors"....

So I scurry back over to find a LINE of White House staffer cars behind mine who can't get in the garage, and I have to face Mean -Now Livid- Garage Man, and call a locksmith.

And you know what is easier to break into than my generic rental car? ABSOLUTELY EVERY OTHER CAR IN THE WORLD. I can't even remember the model, it was something akin to a Ford Probe, and the locksmith is dumbfounded. He cannot break into this bad boy and he even tells me how he's had no problems with high-end vehicles, how there are certain points in a car you can compromise, but nope! Not this one! This one has thought of everything and you cannot break in.

So he breaks the door handle to finally help me. On. My. Rental.

And at this point, I'm feeling so embarrassed/frightened that I would've smashed the window and slid in Dukes of Hazzard style if it would get Garage Man to stop glaring at me. So I pay the guy. And walk back to my office.

And since I'm still trying to put on a charade of dependability, I begin to brief my boss on the day's tasks. And she stops me. "What's wrong with you? You've broken out in hives."

I didn't even know I could break into hives, but apparently red splotches had creeped up my neck towards my face as I'm trying to suppress the stress of the morning.

And I burst into tears and explain the whole thing.

Thankfully, my boss was a very cool lady and everything worked out. My dad came to help me finagle the handle back on my rental before returning it and my insurance settled with me for a good amount and I bought another Mustang.

Then they found my old one.

Apparently, punk teens had just taken it for a joy ride and abandoned it in an alley in DC. I was even able to go to the impound lot and recover what belongings (which is another story for later) they hadn't taken with them. But guess what they did take?

My Club.

Oh sweet irony.....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More Insight Into My Family

Me to my father: So I just noticed that they spelled mom's name wrong on my birth certificate. You think that's an issue?

Him: Nah, they got something wrong on our marriage license too...

Got it. So my parents may not officially be married, and they may not officially be my parents. 

Sounds about right.