People just love to get engaged at Christmastime. I imagine this is a result of a combination of factors, from feeling more family-oriented than usual (although the holidays have the opposite effect on many of us) to the celebratory atmosphere at large and increased presence of shiny objects generally. I spent Christmas Eve “liking” a whole new host of “Blankety Blank is engaged to Persony Person” updates before heading to sleep in my childhood bedroom with my new-ish husband. Keep reading »
Deciding to get married — or to get engaged, or to generally not ever split up with your partner and make this preference publicly known — is an exciting and big life decision. It’s also, like a lot of life decisions (see also: parenting, graduate school, switching to hard liquor), one that your friends, family and closest total strangers have some opinions about. And it is extremely important that they share all of them with you, quickly, right now, if you just have 10 minutes or several hours.
I genuinely enjoy talking about marriage and weddings — hell, I’ve made a point of doing it almost every week for more than a year here at the Frisky. But because of the shifting nature of marriage and wedding culture, generally in a more positive, inclusive and less-materialistic direction, I’ve found that it’s dangerous to assume anything at all after one has heard (or read, on Facebook, occasionally to one’s horror) the words: “We’re engaged!” Keep reading »
When I first read what folks are calling Amelia Earhart’s “prenup,” I was sure it was too good to be true: here is, in 1931 or thereabouts, a woman telling her fiancé in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t necessarily intend to be faithful to him, that her career comes first and that she intends to keep a place where she can be alone, “now and then.”
But no, there it is at the Purdue University Library in a collection of the aviatrix’s papers.
Would that we all sent these letters to our partners before walking down the aisle. How much heartache could be avoided if people laid their hopes and intentions out plain for each other instead of assuming that a preacher and a piece of paper and an open bar would magically align life goals, personal preferences and financial habits? The answer is: a lot of heartache could be avoided. Keep reading »
My uncle Tommy’s hot sauce is the recipe by which I measure all hot sauces; it is the recipe I try to recreate to varying degrees of success every time I come home from the store with cilantro, peppers, lime, onion, garlic and tomatoes. But Tommy just knew, in some magical old-Texas-guy way, the way hot sauce was supposed to taste and look and feel.
“Tommy Baker Hot Sauce” was a staple at all my family’s holiday gatherings for years, sitting up there on my mom’s or my aunt’s counter, decimated by the time anyone got around to ham or turkey — which my uncle Tommy almost always had a hand in making, too. The man was a genius in the kitchen or on the grill.
He’s been gone for two years now, and I miss him for all kinds of reasons, but one of them is because he was a family man who owned the holidays. He didn’t just sit around and expect his wife to make him a plate and trim the tree. He wasn’t quite Clark Griswold, but he was real close. And there’s nothing I love more than a man who’ll fry a turkey, make a side dish, wash a roasting pan, and slap a wreath on the door. Keep reading »
I remember climbing into Patrick’s pick-up truck in a fog of glittering sparklers. I remember noting that there was a giant penis shoe-polished on to the passenger side window. I remember taking an Instagram of us driving the few blocks back to our hotel. I remember being very excited about getting my shoes off.
And I remember being so, so exhausted. After our wedding, as soon as we got back to the hotel, I put on my tent-iest, most shapeless dress and some comfy Toms, curled up on the couch and said an enthusiastic “Yes!” to my favorite question, which is: Do you want a beer?
We’d stocked up the suite’s fridge with beverages and invited anyone who wanted to after-party with us to stop by post-reception. In the weeks before the wedding, I thought we might have something of a post-wedding rager with all our out-of-town friends and really get to sit down and hang out and talk, the way you really can’t do at a wedding reception.
I was wrong. I was the tiredest, sleepiest person who had just made a lifetime commitment to the man of her dreams ever. I really wanted to see all my old (and new!) friends. I really wanted to hear all about how the second floor of our hotel appeared to be hosting an extremely snazzy dance party. But mainly, I wanted to go to sleep. Keep reading »
I consumed almost no wedding-related media in the eight or so months between when Patrick and I got drunk at the lake and decided to get engaged and when we actually tied the knot on April 21, 2012. I came to like Offbeat Bride and its attendant forums and creative user group, though I was ultimately put off by its (I think unavoidable) preciousness. Not surprisingly, I found the full-throttle focus of wedding-related magazines and sites to be frustrating and demoralizing rather than helpful.
Instead of answering actual questions I had about weddings — about how much should it cost to feed 80 people? Why is it so hard to find tea-length wedding dresses? What’s the history behind women being “given away”? — I was being given solutions to problems I didn’t know I had: for starters, I was almost certainly too fat. And my hair was too short. My bridesmaids (who would obviously be all women) either should or shouldn’t wear matching dresses, but whatever I decided would be ultimately wrong according to somebody. I hadn’t given enough thought to napkin rings and their very important role in the formal place settings my guests would be wholly unable to enjoy themselves without. I was already behind on making the 6,000 origami swans that I was previously unaware I needed to personally hand-craft. The list grew and grew. Keep reading »