What is Drastic + Dramatic

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

The world is probably one of my least favorite places the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps there were some great deals that I missed, but I'm going on a mediterranean cruise in a few weeks. I don't need to spend money on anything else.

Instead of venturing into the Blackness of the day, I played mommy-daughter-day with Alexandra, a lovely, young neighbor friend. At my mom's house in Provo we had a bundle of neighbor kids stay the night. Alex woke me up because I told her to, before she'd have to go home so I could see her. She's a delightful twenty-year-old trapped in a ten-year-old's body. :) We quasi-snuggled for a few minutes as I fully awoke, then went upstairs to eat some breakfast.

At a point where I'd sat down to dink at the piano she came up to me with a suggestion. "You may not like this idea, but here's what it is: can I do your hair, and you can do mine?" Something like that. We set out to do our hair (and of course i knew she wanted to do make up, too, by the way she watched me put it on the day before) and it was the most simple and inexpensive and charming fun two girls can have. Make up went over pretty well. We only had to wipe away a little renegade mascara with a q-tip. Here's how stunningly we turned out:

After being beautified we went upstairs again and I made lunch for all the kiddos (fresh Mac & Cheese and Thanksgiving left overs. Glorious, I know). I asked Alex if she wanted to go see Tangled, the movie, and she said yes. We looked online for times but when we got to the theater seats were sold out. So we went to another theater, Movies 8, and looked for other movies and times. She wanted to see Easy A. I couldn't remember really what it was about, but she said she and her sister had wanted to go see it and I asked if she was sure her dad would let her (PG-13) and she said yes. Of course they always say yes.

The movie didn't start for another hour and twenty, so we had to find things to do. We got the tickets and drove over to the car wash, got the express spritz and rinse/no dry service to clean off the salt and what-looked-like-poo off my car...and then I dragged her (of course willingly she came) to KOHL's and we tried on cute clothes/business suit options for my limo driving job. I hate how hardly anything every fits my body quite right.... Anyway, we killed some time like a ma and daughter would at a store, then we steered ourselves over to Cold Stone for a sweet, melty treat to sneak into the movie with us. (Cold Stone has a dark chocolate peppermint flava...delish with almonds and coconut.)

The movie Easy A....yeah..not exactly what I hope to take ten-year-old ears and eyes to...But still, it was actually enjoyable. I'm glad the ultimate message could be summed up: avoid messing up your life with premarital/extramarital sex and telling lies...but the presentation was unsurprisingly irreverent. I talked to Alex afterward, expressing my feelings about the movie, these same ones I'm saying here, and she was mature about it, but also still so innocent, ya know. 10 years...she's learned a lot, but we only come to find that the more we live, the more there is to learn, right? Well, I felt kind of bad having taken her. I was sure to mention what I disapproved of and how the consequences of the portrayed actions were rather true to life, etc. She listened and agreed.

I thought how I wished my own little sister (17) would have come, as well as Alexandra's big sister (16); they hadn't been invited but, even if they had, and had come, interactions with them would have been so different during the day's activities. The life-growth in a day, let alone six or seven years, is immeasurable, really. And maybe what happens is that people they admire, like big sisters, expose them to sleazy stuff little by little over the years and they begin to think they know what they think and understand what they feel. They're discovering their place in the world, defining themselves, either by the world's standard or some other standard, but by mid-teen years, we've pretty much got it all figured out, right? Or at least we definitely know we don't need anyone's help to figure it out.

Sweet, tender Alex was happy to have spent the time with me. She expressed gratitude for the things I spent money on, but there was unmistakable, unexpressed gratitude that I could read on her face that she was so glad to have been "mothered" for a day. Alex lost her own mother nearly seven years ago, an uninvited illness placing a permanent resident of unknowable grief in the hearts of four young children and a brave, unshrinking father. I have no power to replace, but I can love. And I do.

Money can buy and time can spend, but one free afternoon sponsored the priceless building of memory. Eight hours of my twenty-six years given to do whatever I wanted, and I can't think of a single thing I could have wanted more. If I were her mother I would be so grateful....That sounds bizarrely egotistical in a way. I didn't know her mother at all, but if I left four children in mortality I would be eternally grateful for every kindness bestowed on my children. It was my humbling and cherished honor to play mommy today.

I feel I got the best Black Friday deal of the day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There is a sideways stream of snow flowing through the air outside . . . actually, it's more like unto a flash flood gushing between homes and down the streets. I am so glad to be inside my nice, warm home that is surrounded by small, immature and leafless trees, with no need to go anywhere (me nor the trees). It only took a minute for my car to frost over and blend into the white frenzy. He (my car) and I are expected in Salt Lake tomorrow morning. We'll see.

I want to write a few words on the subject of wedding receptions. Trampled topic? Uninteresting? Your chance to stop reading is now.

But if you continue (yay!):

To stand in line for at least half an hour. . . .

Why would I, a tender-footed and tired bride, subject myself to a receiving line for a few solid hours when what I truly desire is to take my husband home and . . . help him loosen his tie a little?

Well, call me selfish (as I'm already being presumptuous), but I propose that a wedding day should be organized to include exactly everything you would want for one day. You know, within reason.

I love people and will want to receive as many as possible at the time of my wedding, but I refuse to submit to the receiving line. I am stubbornly creating quite a dilemma for myself, but I'm going to try to make it happen.

How? Yes, I don't know quite yet. Somehow.

When you travel, it's impossible to see everything and to meet everyone; there's just not enough time. But as you've traveled through life, you've met thousands of people, hundreds of which will be considered important enough to invite to your wedding reception. And how can it be satisfactory to shake a hand, share a laugh and send away with a hug; so little for all these lovely people?

It's like Santa. How does he manage to touch every unnaughty life in so little time? (spoiler alert) Oh, right, he's not real. But if he were, what if he decided to invite all his favorites to the North Pole for Christmas instead, certainly he would dread the line that would form as everyone waited to sit on his lap. . . .

What if I reached out to "mes invités" (that's French for 'my guests'), with an interactive website of sorts, before they even came to the reception? That would be cool. They would then arrive at the reception, already informed about the party they formerly knew nothing about, they wouldn't have to meet parents unless they truly wanted to, and by then they'd know what everyone looked like, sounded like, etc. They would just need to come for the food, and to deliver a present if they so wished me well.

I'm just making this up. Seat of my pants.

But, that could be cool. Don't send a million fancypants invitations; instead send a shot of my smiling face next to his* on a card with a Web address and a reception date (you know, in case some are interwebbedly challenged so they can still know when to show up).

(*there currently is no 'his')

Then, on the day of the festivities, I would be in a nice dress with a fantastic apron, doting on my guests with delicious sweets and eats as they mingled. They could arrive, and first thing find a table, or purposefully be seated, much like at a restaurant, and my groom and I could visit each table, handing out favors and goodies, deciding for ourselves if we would like to linger at their table, or not.


There could be a blasted line, BUT I will not be standing. In the very least i will have a tall stool propped beneath me which would allow for graceful transition from sitting to standing, and back, with little notice of the shift of weight from my feet to my bottom. In my wildest dreams it would be a hammock behind me, high and taut, allowing for the same ease of movement, but adding to it a nice dangling sway for fun.

Along the receiving line there would be food samples. People come for the food and to wait in line; why not combine the two at once? So they'd sign their name, drop their gift, start snacking on various cheeses and popcorns and olives and smoothie shots and whatever else I'll be in the mood to have served. That way, by the time they get to me, they'd be happily surprised that they hadn't just been waiting awkward and anxiously, having involuntarily memorized the balding pattern on the head of the man in front of them.

And we all hate that moment where we've pulled up to the groom's ma and old man and mutter how we know the bride while baldy take two minutes-feels-like-hours with the best dressed couple, and we're stuck: no retreating, no way to avoid filling that empty, in-law gap until the couple is free. . . .

Then, all those who didn't see the website would have the opportunity to do so at the "movie corner" where the couple's history and cutesy kissy faces would stream, continuing all night on repeat. Even better, the images and sounds on repeat could be the wrap up to something "to be continued" from the website. Hook them, bring them in, make them want to pay attention to something more than food and couple. This also doubles as a great little kid amusement area.

And you're guaranfrickenteed there will be popcorn at my wedding, a perfect addition to a movie corner. Doing this.

And Bean bags. More hammocks. Hey, it's (it'll be) my reception.

Then there's all this traditional stuff, like cutting a cake and nibbling a bite from each other's fingers; throwing a bouquet at the next single lady to presumptuously post on her blog; slipping a garter from bride's leg and flicking it to the next single male to hang it from his rearview mirror. . . . I would go along with these traditions, for fun. For pictures and smiles.

Anything that brings smiles should greatly be considered.

But, I'm not much of a dancer. I would be okay to do the parent dance thing and the couple's first dance thing, but I hereby promise the songs will be very short, no more than two minutes. Two minute and eight second max. (because THIS, I'm pretty sure, will be my wedding dance song. Just imagine it's a girl singing to a boy and not a pig. This is another song that may show up somewhere that day.)

But, if my hubaroo wants to dance till his pants catch fire, he can do what he wants. It's his wedding day, too. (And actually, there are sincere and weighted considerations that the reception would even be the day/evening before the day of wedding so that the instant that I'm married I can go off to , , , reception only my husband for the rest of time and all eternity.) I can wiggle my hips and cheer him on from over by the cheese tray.

I like the sound of all this, more or less. One thing I've told myself before is that I'll never have my wedding reception inside a church cultural hall . . . but I don't care so much anymore. Churches are great places.

As for other details, like colors, decor, dress, flowers, etc. . . . We'll go with the flow. But I think it would be way sweet if the men wore brown suits. Something untraditional.

I'm pretty easy to please, I think. I postulate that my wedding day/reception day will be quite easy going and laid back. If so, it will be a perfect day. A great way to start off a bazillion more days of marriage. Awesome idea.
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