One Awkward Wedding: Registration Situation

Yesterday marked exactly 4 months until #HottWedding (Hohenadel + Scott…just get on board, I’m making it happen) and I realized it’s been for-ev-errr since I’ve shared any updates on the planning! Mostly because I haven’t really been planning? We’re sort of at a lull in the excitement, between the long-lead and the last-minute. We’ve booked all the big stuff – venue, dress, DJ, etc – and aren’t quite ready to tackle the little deets like place cards and play lists, so most of our planning is just me reading wedding blog after wedding blog and my mom calling me with lists of random details she thought of in the shower and “just wanted to discuss quickly before she forgot” and me being like “Mo-ommmm lay OFF” and getting weepy and Brian wisely just staying out of the way. But it’s all great! Seriously it’s totally great and honestly not even that stressful. Maybe because I’m not actually doing anything? Maybe because we only think weddings need to be stressful because that’s what the Wedding Industrial Complex wants us to believe?

Think on that!

Speaking of the blessed WIC, there is one Knot-approved activity we have thrown ourselves into wholeheartedly: registering. Like most traditional facets of wedding planning, I initially snubbed my nose at the idea of creating a standard registry. We had plenty of STUFF, I thought, and isn't it a little antiquated, to ask for dishes and things in this modern living-in-sin era? We went back and forth on alternative ideas, like a travel registry or creating our own "experience" registry, asking for things like tickets to the NY Opera or the Mets  or forgoing gifts altogether (JK I wish we were that selfless but real talk: nope*) but in the end, none of those ideas really panned out. Travel registries cost money to set up and we have neither the technical skills nor the free time to build our own.

Lo, we threw ourselves headlong into the time honored tradition of Wedding Gift Registering and if there's anything more fun in the world, I've yet to discover it. The power of striding through stores, registry gun in hand**, scanning item after item of silly things you want other people to buy for you? Can I do this all day everyday?!

And so, in a few short weeks, we went from modern minimalists who were going to register for "just a few essentials!" to greedy gift monsters with not one, not two but three traditional registries. Whoops?

Love may be all we need, but it turns out we want everything.

REGISTRY ONE: BED, BATH & BEYOND!

Highlights:

1) I was wearing this outfit, which I only noticed and documented because I realized I wore this outfit the day we were engaged and the day we went looking for venues and now the day we went registering.

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Apparently this is my go-to wedding ensemble. I should just return my gown and walk down the aisle in this ratty yellow cardigan. Save some $$!

2) Realizing that the overzealous registry consultant planned to tag along with us the entirety of our excursion, pointing out every last item in our wake.

Thank the lord Brian politely spoke up, asking him if we could do it on our own. I’m so people-pleasy, I probably would have just silently stewed, registering for every pricey thing he suggested, just so he wouldn’t feel bad.

Crisis averted!

3) The discovery of the As Seen on TV section:

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We need all of this!!!

4) This Frame.

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PLEASE if you own this I do not want to know.

Items I'm most excited about:

This little pitcher shaped like a cow

Onion Goggles (only sort of joking?!)

Cast Iron Skillet - BScott is a big fan of the cast iron!

At BB&B we managed to find most of the things we were looking for, except basics like dishes and silverware. I wanted plain white dishes but Brian said he didn’t like them…he prefers “cream colored dishes.”  Any specific sets you like, champ? No, just “cream colored.” Sure, sure.

And so, we left with a plan to visit some other retailer to finish off our list and then let many a week pass before we were able to make said visit, during which time whenever my mom would casually ask if we’d thought any more about finishing our registry I’d fly off the handle into a dramatic huff “I’M ON IT, MOM, OK?!?!” and that was a special and exciting time for us all.

And so we come to...

REGISTRY TWO: MACY'S!

Highlight:

1) Macy's herself.

 Holy shit, gang. Have you ever been into Macy’s Herald Square? That place is enormous! And they sell EVERYTHING. Literally. You want it, you can probably get it at Macy’s. Beds. Car parts, probably. Grass seed. Rifles. Everything. I’m sure you’re all thinking this is obvious but I really never realized just how vast the Macy’s inventory is, or the massive size of their NYC flagship store.  What an amazing place!

We sat down with a consultant, Norma, and were (no jokes here!) highly impressed by their customer service and the many perks they give to people who register there, as well as the expansive amount of items they offer. I knew they had china and glassware but didn’t realize how many electronics they carry too. And many at cheaper prices than Bed, Bath and Beyond!

WHAT A PLACE!!!!

2) The man who came up behind Brian and creepily whispered in his ear “the trick to marriage, just agree with whatever she says” and then wandered away.

Thanks?

3) Visiting the 9th Floor where they sell furniture, rugs, clocks and luggage and the only way you can get there is via this creepy express elevator that drops you off in an abandoned hallway.

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Brian looks nervous. What do you think is scarier, the hallway or the weird lady following him around taking photos?

Probably the 2nd one.

4) The discovery of Stella 34, the Italian restaurant/bar on the 6th floor of Macy’s. Guys. This place is classy as HELL. A wood-fired oven, fully stocked, modern bar, the works. And it was packed to the gills with attractive people at 7 PM on a Tuesday night! Who are these people? Why would you go eat and drink in Macy’s?!

I’m so confused and also I really want to go there? Happy Hour directly next to the Martha Stewart Everyday Linens Collection? I can get down with that.

5) The horrified look on our consultant’s face when we returned, having registered for only plates, wine glasses and a dish soap dispenser.

“Is this it?” she asked, with a tone of abject horror typically expressed on teenage children when their parents reveal they're getting an unexpected divorce.

We assured her we were planning to go home and add on more items, comparing against what we’d already registered for at Bed, Bath and Beyond and she told us she would “stalk us on email” if we didn’t.

Um, yikes?

I tease, but I can’t complain. We were legit very impressed with the whole operation over there at Macy’s and again, I repeat: who knew?! Probably everyone, but not us, so it was a real treat. If you're planning to register for a wedding anytime soon, this joint gets two thumbs way up from the #Hotts

What I"m most excited about:

Le Creuset Dutch Oven - the same one Taylor Swift recently purchased for a fan. TAYLOR! MY SHOWER IS MAY 24TH!!! PLEASE COME AND BRING A LE CREUSET!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!

These Adorable Champagne Flutes

We made good on our promise to finish the registry from home (please don't stalk us, Norma!!!) but still had a few items we wanted to add, namely luggage and power tools, and so...

REGISTRY THREE: AMAZON.COM

Highlights:

1) Creating an entire wedding registry from the comfort of my own home, without having to put on pants or interact with other humans.

2) Feeling gleefully smug over adding tools to our registry. How modern! Breaking expectations and gender norms! Boom.

Lowlights:

UGH AMAZON. 

What I'm most excited about:

Drill, baby, drill!

And now, I do believe, we're set for life. We did leave off a few "Must Have" items that didn't really feel right for our lifestyle, like formal china and crystal and the now ubiquitous Kitchen Aid Mixer. And we added a few things that felt fun and personal, like wine stoppers shaped like owls (I love owls. AND WINE!) and beach towels and about thirteen different pitchers, which Brian and Schmoops both told me was maybe too many pitchers. Too many pitchers? Impossible!

I'm cheesy excited about all of this STUFF. As much as I like to pretend to be a minimalist who's so over tradition, I'm really looking forward to filling our home with beautiful new things, thinking about how we received them from our loved ones as we started our life together. AWW!

If you happen to be the sort of weirdo who takes pleasure in judging other people's wedding registries (like me, for example), feel free to view ours at our website. Judge away!

And as long as you're still reading this, might I ask for a little advice?

  • Do you have any secret kitchen gadgets or tools you LOVE love love?
  • Married people - did you receive anything unexpected you wish you'd thought of for your registry?
  • What kind of blender do you have? I'm totally torn on brands - we're currently registered for the Ninja and I've heard rave reviews from a bunch of people, but also a few naysayers. I've also heard good things about the Breville. Any opinions from the crowd? And don't say Vitamix. I know it's the Cadillac of blenders or whatever (are Cadillacs still cool?) and of course I totally want one,but it's just a little too aspirational at this point. Like, as much as I want to be the kind of person who makes my own organic cashew milk, let's be real. See also: $700.
  • When you buy wedding gifts, do you always go with the registry or forge your own path? People have such strong opinions about this, I'm genuinely curious to hear your thougts!
  • If you do go off-registry, any unique suggestions you're willing to share? THIS shop  is my go-to for wedding presents (SPOILER ALERT to all friends getting married this year!).
  • Do you know how to remove make-up from cotton shirts? This has nothing to do with wedding registries, I'm just curious...

And, as always, I've turned a short post into a Russian novel. The End! Happy Thursday, my fine friends. Thanks for reading - don't you have work to do?!

xoxo Liz

* Obviously gifts are not actually mandatory, guests! If it's a stretch to afford, we'd rather see your faces than a gift-wapped box. TRULY!

**while googling “gift registry gun” to confirm proper terminology I discovered there is a website devoted to registering for actual guns. SWEET lord have mercy on us all.)

Another Awkward Week [2.14.14]

Me again? What! I'm having such a prolific week. I pinky swear I won't so much as say the words "wedding dress" one time. I mean, except there, where I had to say it to tell you I wouldn't say it. But no more. No more, I promise! Hey, Happy Valentines Day, you guys!!! What are you guys doing to celebrate? I'm wearing my red pants (though suspiciously no new Valentines Day socks this year, mom?!?!) and will be hosting my Second Annual  Romantic Valentine's Day Chip & Dip Party this afternoon. This year I'm taking it to the next level, conference room style. I'm even serving champagne! I will make V-Day fun for all, so help me Anna Howard Shaw.

If any of you are feeling grinchy and anti-Valentine this morning, allow me to redirect you to my manifesto on why it's actually not that bad and say to you: cheer up, you grouch! I love you!

Speaking of love, I'd like to sincerely thank you all for your sweet comments & notes of support for my family during this last week. You're a beautiful bunch, you know that?! Seriously. Thank you!

And now, without further ado, why don't we take a look back at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Snowbank:

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There's literally nothing more boring than talking about the weather all the time, we get it, it's cold out, but sometimes, it can not be helped. For example: this week. ENOUGH with the snow and ice and thundersnow and freezing rain and wintry mixes, Mother Nature. You've had your fun, let's cut right to spring. I'm not joking around...I will hunt you down, Mother Nature, and I will hurt you.

Thanks to the horrors of this winter, the curbs and sidewalks of Brooklyn are now just buried in piles of ice and snow at all times. The other night I had a party after work, so came home pretty late. I'd worn my snow boots there and then changed into heels for the party, I'm such a classy bitch, and didn't bother putting the boots back on to come home. I took a taxi home and was counting on door-to-door service, but forgot that the path to my door is paved in sheer ice. The taxi dropped me at the corner next to my building, I paid, exited, took one step towards my front door and yup...

bit it.

Booty on ice, legs in the air, arms flailing: bit it.

Enough, winter, enough.

I am now done complaining. Possibly.

This Cheese:

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NOM.

This week's adventures in large-scale grocery purchases. I guess I didn't learn my lesson with that oatmeal.

If you'll recall, last weekend I had some hawt plans to gorge myself on veggie lasagna (this recipe! so good!) and gorge myself I did. I hit up the grocery store Sunday AM and had ricotta on my list, but didn't know how much I'd need for the 'zan (attempting to abbreviate "lasagna." NO, Liz, no). To be safe, I decided to just buy the largest tub I could possibly find. Turns out the recipe called for just 1/6 of this puppy.

Which leaves me with a large quantity of ricotta cheese just sitting in the fridge, tempting me, calling me, begging me to just grab a large spoon and stand in front of the fridge with the door wide open, shoveling ricotta right out of the container and into my face.

And OH have I been giving into that temptation. If you guys have never experienced the joy that is ricotta cheese straight up, I urge you to run, not walk, to your neighborhood grocery store and purchase the largest container you can possibly find. You can thank me later.

And on the subject of our hawt weekend...

This Bumping Nightclub:

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Oh wait, no, that's actually the laundromat, where Brian and I spent our Saturday night. We filled in the rest of the weekend doing our taxes, reorganizing the kitchen drawers and marathoning the epic Ken Burns masterpiece "The West."

Um, yeah, we know how to party. This is how boring we are and we're not even married yet! I'm so nervous (slash EXCITED!) for our future, where we just stay in every weekend and watch television and eat  noodles!!!!

And quickly on the topic of Ken Burns, basically his entire oeuvre is now available on Netflix, so if you, too, are a huge loser with many hours to fill ingesting thoroughly researched historical documentary miniseries...hop to.

This Ensemble:

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Something that I love is the concept of  attractive "lounge wear." Stores like Gap and Victoria Secret have whole lines of clothing dedicated to looking nice even while relaxing and TV and movies always show women somehow managing to look chic and cute while lazing around the home (especially Olivia Pope and her gorgeous cream colored satin wine clothes!)

I adore these outfits and aspire to some day look great even while getting my Ken Burns on but in reality...I am just not that gal.

The outfit above is a classic example of the sorts of get-ups I rock around the home. Plaids on plaids on stripes on stripes on neon and the reason my pants are so short is because I think it's really comfy to hike my PJ bottoms all the way up so they're basically sitting right below my boob line. It is an INSANELY sexy look. (Also what is that face?!)

And in case you're curious what sort of spicy lingerie I'll be changing into the second I get home this Valentines Evening...ding ding. You're looking at it. Brian is a lucky man.

The End! What a week. Here's wishing you a day full of hugs and smooches and candy hearts and photos of red roses captioned "Best boyfriend ever I'm such a lucky girl <3 <3 xoxo luv u hunny happy vday!" cluttering your facebook feed and all the chips and dips your heart could desire.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZocWZYJx6Ic]

luv u hunnies happy vday!

Liz Ho

One Awkward Wedding: Get Down with the Gown

Excitement abounds, you guys. I have officially made the most important decision a woman could ever make in her whole life: I've said yes...to a wedding dress! SQUEE!

I lead with sarcasm because I continue to allow the feminist internet to give me deep guilt and anxiety over all of my wedding-related enthusiasm but there's no need to rehash that here. I'm quitting Jezebel, I swear.

Onward!

A few weekends ago I set out on an epic gown shopping excursion, visiting five stores in the course of three days and, spoiler alert: settling on a winner. The initial plan was to shop in  Lancaster and Elizabethtown, but a colleague suggested I should look here in NYC, as there might be more selection. To this suggestion I said "why thank you, I shall calmly and rationally consider this idea."

Juuuust kidding. I flew into a tailspin of worry and second-guessing and frantic g-chatting but I'll spare you all those details and just cut right to the fun stuff.

Joining me this weekend were my three "bridesmaids" (don't worry I have a whole long story coming about why I don't like the term "bridesmaid"... don't you just love me?), who are my sister Marge and friends Kathleen and Maureen and my Schmoopster, obviously, and I invited Brian's mom, too. I wasn't sure if she would say yes but sure enough, she did, so we were quite the crew. I was having a lot of emotions over bringing such a large group with me...was I putting too much emphasis on an antiquated gendered ritual enforcing the belief that a woman's value is only in her appearance?! Was everyone going to get bored? Were they going to resent me for forcing them to spend a day thinking about ME ME ME?

Possibly, no and NO.

If you're thinking "wait, I thought I was going to read about wedding gowns, why are you still talking about your insane emotional problems?" Um...are you new here?

Fine, fine, I'll get to it! This story is so effing wordy, I'm going to break it up into chapters to give the allusion of a break from the monotony. BUCKLE UP.

CHAPTER ONE: FRIDAY

My mom came up Friday afternoon and I left work early for "an appointment" which was not a lie AT ALL but also possibly misleading them to thinking I was caring for my health when in reality, I was on a shopping spree. (Again, I'm checking the mail daily for my Employee of the Year plaque. Do you think maybe FedEx lost it, or they have the wrong address?) We met downtown and visited two stores, just us. The first store was Saja Boutique on Elizabeth Street in NoLita. It was a super cute boutique carrying just this designer's wedding and bridesmaid dresses. They were all lovely - ethereal and floaty and flattering - but nothing super exciting. They'd be ideal for a beach our outdoor wedding or for anyone who doesn't want to look so traditionally "bridal." Turns out, despite the feminist internet, I definitely want to look bridal. So sue me.

Next up: Lovely Bride in Tribeca. This store was so gorgeous, it was like Anthropologie and Style Me Pretty had a baby - all glitter and chandeliers and vintagey details. I loved it and want to live there. Do you think they'd notice? It was essentially one long room - the front was partitioned by sparkly curtains and mirrors into a series of dressing rooms and in the back, they had racks and racks of gowns. We sat down with a consultant named Lauren who reminded me of a less obnoxious Natasha Leggero and talked about my likes and didn't likes and  most importantly budget and then she took me to the back to pick out some gowns to try on.

I tried on maybe 6 or 8 dresses here and was surprised to discover that many of the dresses look awesome. It helps that they pin and pull them so they fit you perfectly and your boobs are at once securely caged and perky and it's hard not to get swept up in the enthusiasm of the whole "IT'S YOUR BIG DAY!" scene, giving every gown an extra bit of oomph. I thought that trying on wedding gowns would be more  of a traumatic and painful experience...it definitely helps that I'm so vain and love staring at myself in mirrors.

My two faves here were a sparkly strapless number, which looked unlike anything I ever would have picked for myself (I'm more into a slim, sophisticated look) and this super cool slinky textural slip dress that looked like it was covered in little petals which was gorgeous but ultimately maybe not quite "me." At this store we were allowed to take photos and my mom brought her new tablet (a Christmas present from her perfect angel children!) and used that to snap photos...I felt like Michelangelo's David in the middle of a Japanese tour group.

It was awesome.

Here are some unflattering photos from this day. Schmoops is a gold medalist at cutting off heads in photos.

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We then went home to my house and drank wine and ordered Thai food and it was delightful! Dee-light-ful.

CHAPTER TWO: SATURDAY

Saturday was the big Ladiez Day on the Town, as it were, with my whole motley crew of attendants. Today's plan was to hit up this gigantic gown emporium in Midtown Manhattan called RK Bridal. It is impossible to accurately describe this place with words, so I will provide visual explanation by way of the hit 90's television program Friends. Perhaps you've heard of it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUMHDW3xG0M

I'm going to just assume you watched that whole thing and not get into summary but basically this place was a war zone hellscape. They do not take appointments, instead keep a sign up list in order of arrival, with groups waiting over an hour for a dressing room. While you wait, you can roam among the room, which is packed to the gills with racks on racks on racks of wedding and bridesmaid gowns. It is insane and stressful and horrifying and not quite the classy champagne-sipping experience you might dream of, but they do have a huge selection of gowns at a variety of price points so if you have a high threshold for insanity and know what you're getting into, I'd recommend it!

I was prepared. I had a bag of nuts, a bottle of water, a list of gowns I wanted to try on and five minions to help me find them. The store opens its doors at 9:30 AM so we arrived at 9. It was freezing cold and mildly drizzling as we huddled together like refugees on the sidewalk outside of the store. Eventually a staffer opened the main doors and allowed the congregated groups to move into the store vestibule. She passed around a list for brides to sign up...I was 6th. By this point other crowds of women were beginning to pour in and I was getting hella anxious. I get extremely stabby and stressed out in social situations where there is no order, like waiting for a dryer at the laundromat or trying to get on the subway in the morning. (Or basically all aspects of living in New York City...why do I live here again?)

At 9:30:01 a staffer pulled open the doors and bellowed: "YOU MAY COME IN!"

It was like the running of the motherflipping bulls, you guys. Everyone just started sprinting into the store in a gigantic herd. Imagine that scene in Titanic when they're all running for the lifeboats. A staffer was standing on a chair directing traffic - women shopping for wedding gowns were to head one direction, those looking for bridesmaids were to head another. We raced to the dedicated bridal zone, where yet another staffer was standing on a chair attempting to control the crowd. "IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST?" She yelled? Several sad women who had yet to sign up pushed to the front, only to find themselves already on the second page. Once they'd gained control of the room, they began to read down the list name by name, assigning each bride to a dressing room and an attendant. I was in the first wave of rooms (BOOYAH) to be assisted by a woman named Janice.

Janice won't appear much more throughout this story - she talked with me briefly about my likes and dislikes and then set out to find me some gowns...she'd sporadically reappear to help me in or out of some gown or just sort of stand around staring while one of my peeps did her job for her. She was ... fine. I don't want to throw shade, but she could have been marginally more helpful.

Unimportant. Who needs ya, Janice. We had our own crew. This was when I really appreciated having this group with me - my crew and I fanned out throughout the store, in search of specific dresses I'd had in mind or others that seemed up my alley. I assigned Maureen the special task of bringing me stylish stuff I might not usually go for (she's a very snappy dresser!) and we all combed through the racks of gowns, pulling out our faves.

You were not technically supposed to take photos in this store, so I don't have any snaps of me (I know, you're like WHAT! We need more and more photos of you standing awkwardly alone in ill-fitting white gowns with your head cut off. Well sorry, guys, I can't help you here.) but did sneak a few of the scene:

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I tried on maybe 7 dresses here - a variety of different styles and cuts and once again I loved it. I meannnnn, standing around on a raised stage wearing a gorgeous gown while a crowd of people tell me how beautiful I look...um, sign me up to do this forever, please. Of these gowns, I was down to two favorites, but there was always one that stood out for me. There was no "oh mommy" (ugh) moment, no one cried, but I will admit, I'LL ADMIT that when I sipped into this particular gown ...I knew. I could see it accessorized, see it in photos, walking down the aisle. This was (probably!) THE ONE...but I wasn't quiiiite ready to commit.

First,we had to get the HELL out of that store and get some brunch. Ladies be brunchin'!

This was actually my favorite part of the weekend (even more favorite than all that spotlight time!). The six of us went to a cute little Italian restaurant near the store and got a great booth in the corner. They had delicious food and bottomless mimosas - something Brian's mom had never seen before. Needless to say, her mind was blown. We sat there for several hours just eating and drinking and laughing and it was just so nice. I felt very honored and special and loved to be spending the day surrounded by the most important women in my life, knowing they were all there to spend time with me.  It was a fantastic day and I loved every second.

Well, until  we split up and went home and I had my first Official Bridal Meltdown over the budget and guest list but that's another novella for another day. You're dying with anticipation, I'm sure.

One day left! Is anyone still reading this? OH WELL, no stoppin' me now.

CHAPTER THREE: SUNDAY

I woke up Sunday 99% set on the dress from HK Bridal the day before, but wanted to make one  more pit stop to that mecca of the WIC: David's Bridal. We had an 11 AM appointment at the David's flagship store where I did try on a few legit possibilities but mostly just took advantage of the opportunity to goof around.

My girls have this bridesmaid thing on lock, already showing up places in matching outfits:

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Well done, ladies.

Meanwhile, I tried on as many non-Liz dresses as I possibly could...like this ballgown:

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Which was actually gorgeous! But so not me. Too much fabric. How do you pee? And I couldn't go that voluminous...you've seen how slim my groom is. He'd be hidden!

I also tested out this sensual number that had like, chiffon wings flowing from the back. I made a turban. You like?

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And finally this severe trumpet number which admittedly did make my bod look pretty smokin...from the knees up.

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Better women than I have worn and will continue to wear these style gowns but they always make me think of the feather duster from Beauty and the Beast. Which, despite her obvious sex appeal, is not a compliment. Also, eating, dancing and walking are kind of my main priorities for my wedding (and life) so I remain miffed by this whole trend.

(No offense if you like this style!! To each their own! I'm sorry! How do critics live with themselves?!)

And here's my crew for the day. Maureen is on notice for not adhering to Bridesmaid Dress Code. One more stunt like that and she is OUT of the bridal party!

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After about an hour of being weirdos, we decided nothing at David's was speaking to us and hauled booty back up to RK to make things offish with my chosen gown. The designer I chose was actually 10% off all weekend at RK (booyah!) so our gal Janice told us that as long as we came back a half hour before their 3:30 PM close on Sunday, we could just cut right to the front of the line and grab the dress at the sale price. AGAIN not throwing her under the bus here, but she was apparently semi-misunderstood...another attendant told us I had to put my name on the bottom of the full long list which at this point in the day was at about 640,000. Luckily some manager did intervene and said that since I was just trying on one dress I could cut the line. I'm sure that the promise of a swipe swipe of the ol' Visa had nothing to do with this decision. Now all they had do to was actually find my dress which was  nowhere to be found. Our group poured through the racks. The attendants searched every dressing room, accosted every other woman holding an armful of white fabric, looked over and under and everywhere and they could not find my dress anywhere.

Then a full hour later, just as I was on the verge of an epic hanger and stress meltdown, they realized they had another version of the same dress hanging in the back room the whole time and, oh, would I like to just try that one one?

UM YES PLEASE.

I stepped into an empty dressing room and slipped into the beautiful gown and as I caught my reflection in the mirror, I quietly began to sing Shania Twain's masterpiece "You're Still the One" ...to myself...and then the whole store joined in, a cacophony of voices ringing out through the store and many people were brought to dramatic weeping over the beauty of  it all.

Juuust kidding that definitely did not happen. But I did buy the dress! Well, not this actual dress, this was just a sample, mine is being made by tiny child slaves somewhere in Asia as we speak (I do hate myself, don't worry) and will arrive in the store for me to pick up in a few weeks. Yay!

It was a ridiculous weekend but in the end, I was super happy and y'all, I looked AWESOME I'm not even going to pretend to be humble about it, I looked effing stunning. We were allowed to take photos of the final dress selection, which I stare at daily on my computer but won't show here because I need to keep rolling this suspense out for 6 more months. It looks very similar to a gown that a married friend of mine wore in her wedding...but I won't tell you which friend!

And that, my fine friends, is that. WHAT an epic tale of shopping and social anxiety and female bonding time! I have a LOT more to say about wedding dress shopping in general which I shall share with you tomorrow (STAY TUNED!!) but for now, I bid you all adieu.

1 Million Hugs to all who read this whole thing. You must be very bored at work!!!

xoxo Liz Ho

Cohabitation Situation Information Updation

My dudes. Happy Friday! R. Kelly's deeply poetic mantra "It's the freakin' weekend, baby" is speaking to me like never before. Now is when I'd generally recap the week but I'm too excited to think about anything but the future because, you guys, tomorrow is moving day!

Que sorpresa, right? I won’t give you the whole long, boring story which mostly just involves a lot of instances of me panicking and creating dramatic worst case scenarios only to have everything work out just how I wanted, but my landlady in my current apartment (she of the epic holiday decor) either really loves us or didn’t want to have to be bothered to find a new tenant (I suspect the latter) agreed to lower the rent to a price point that Brian and I can afford so the two of us will be living in my beautiful THREE BEDROOM mansion of an apartment in Brooklyn. Which means I don’t have to move any further than the big bedroom down the hall, we don’t have to pay an exorbitant broker’s fee and we’ll have room to spare, and then some.

Basically, I’m a really lucky B and I should count my blessings a little more.

We’d had it in our heads that Brian would move in this coming weekend, but we’ve both been crazy busy and still haven’t, technically, signed the lease (it’s a long story, don’t ask) so it sort of popped up on us. We just confirmed with the landlady last night that this date is a go and so in approximately 24 hours we will be shacking right on up.

AAH!

I am ridiculously excited and yet, surprisingly blasé. I guess I assumed that somehow the momentous nature of our big move would be more palpable. The earth would shake or fireworks would explode or there would be a plane with skywriting reading “Liz! In 24 Hours Your Whole Life Will Change And You’ll Never Live On Your Own Again, Holy Shit!” but so far, none of that has happened and I’ve mostly just carried on as normal.  I just realized that last night was probably my last night ever sleeping in my own bed – tonight I’ll likely go over to Brian’s so I can help him move in the morning. (haha “help him move” aka stand around, be bossy and do no heavy lifting.)

I always thought my last night on my own would be momentous, portentous, dramatic. Instead it was relatively normal. I met a girlfriend for drinks in the neighborhood, came home, ate a tomato for dinner, took a cold shower and read a book in bed. The drinks were fantastic but the actual being at home alone part was, quite frankly, lonely and boring. So maybe it was portentous, then, in that way. By giving me a night as dull and pathetic as they come (you guys: I ate a tomato for dinner. A tomato! That’s it! On my bed, in front of a fan, alone.), my solo life was sending me off reassuring me that excitement lay ahead, that I wouldn’t really miss these drab, tomato nights.

I’m sure I’ll freak out tomorrow, or in a few days or even weeks…don’t you EVEN fret about that.  I’ve never navigated a life change without at least one melodramatic breakdown, I certainly don’t see this being an exception.

For now, I’m just curious about one thing. Help me out, fellow cohabitators. What do you do with your stuffed animals? HA! Ridiculous question, I know. You see, I have this friend named Winston. He’s a polar bear I bought at the Coca Cola factory on a trip to Atlanta to visit my cousin when I was in 5th grade. It’s funny, that was my first solo big-girl trip and I came home with toy, ha. Winston used to have a plastic  coke bottle in his hand, but it broke when he was stepped on during a dance party at a friend’s sleepover, making him all the snugglier, and since then he has travelled with me to college, to Belgium, to all of my NYC apartments and on nights when I’m sleeping alone, I sleep with him. I know I’m a grown ass lady but it’s comfortable! Tell me I’m not the only one?!

Brian and Winston totally get along (once we were setting up to watch a movie in bed and I went into the kitchen to get a water and when I came back, Brian had the laptop all set up and was sitting up with Winston sitting right beside him, like he, too was joining us for the movie and I died because Brian is so cute and weird and funny) and the poor bear has seen some things he can’t unsee if you know what I mean, unless he’s into watching, that dirty bear! But still, it’s just not normal to bring a stuffed animal into your wonen samen bed, is it? It’s not!

But I feel bad just abandoning him in the guest room (or the office! Check me out I have multiple rooms!) (ha I am the worst). I know that most people have long since weaned themselves off of their childhood talismans, leaving them catching dust in parents' attics or childhood bedrooms, but Winston has been with me for the long haul and putting him away somewhere seems so…final. Like, this is it, you’re a grown-up now. Get on the big girl bus, next stop: menopause.

And now see… I think I AM freaking out about the big move! I’m just projecting all of my anxieties onto sadness over my teddy bear, which, upon further reflection, is mildly insane. But what can you do? We all panic in our own special and unique ways.

So that's what's up, friends! Thank you for reading this 83 paragraph essay about my teddy bear, this started as something so much more profound and took a pretty weird turn. In addition to the big changes, I'm coming off the nutsoist week and basically haven't slept in 10 days. If I don't shut this down now, who KNOWS where it might go.

The end, for now. This big adventure is actually just beginning! I promise I'll do my best to make it slightly more interesting next time. Hoping you all have the most magical weekends. Don't forget to hydrate!

winston

PS here is a cute picture of Winston tucked into my bed. True Life: I Am 28 And Play With Stuffed Animals.

 

A Cohabitation Proclamation

Summer is upon us, friends. Do you have any big travel plans? I’ve got a few weddings in the works (always) always and the possibility of a late August camping trip of some kind (sure to be ripe for blog material), but the majority of my summer will be consumed - physically, emotionally and especially financially - by moving. My lease on my beloved apartment in Brooklyn is up July 31 and I’m moving out of one of the best NYC apartments I’ve encountered yet. And why? So I can shack up with a handsome new roommate.

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That’s right. We’re taking the plunge. Well, not the big one, but the small modern, sinful step of pre-marital cohabitation. So maybe we're not at the plunge (yet!), but we’re definitely climbing up the diving board ladder.

I’m excited! Neither of us has ever lived in sin with a significant other before, so it’s a serious step, for both of us. And not one I’m taking lightly. I don’t judge anyone’s decisions to live how or where or with whom they please, but I know for a lot of people, cohabitation is a matter of convenience or a test to see if they’ll work it out for the long term but for me, and for the B-Man (I never call him that. Why did I just call him that?) is more just the next step in our big adventure together. It is important to me that the man I move in with ... I can't just move out from. We know that anything can happen but barring any unknowns, starting August 1, we’ll be eternal roomies.

A prospect both terrifying and exhilarating. Mostly exhilarating.

When I studied abroad in Belgium, which, have I even discussed that here? I should. Most of our stories are NSFB (Not Safe For Blogging), let’s just say we were never ever on our best behavior, but there are probably a few tales I could tell. Anyway, while abroad, we had to take a year long Dutch language class, a language which has come in handy exactly zero point zero times since, maybe until now. In Belgium and a lot of European countries, it’s not unusual for couples to live together for years before getting married, if ever getting married, even having children together. The Dutch have a special verb for this “wonen samen”, which translates into a phrase we don’t necessarily have words for in the English language: an unmarried couple living together.

I love that Dutch term and wish we had one similar. This morning while filling out paperwork with a realtor I had to list how many people would be in the apartment, two, and our relationship. “Boyfriend and Girlfriend” sounds trivial. “Partners” makes me think of those very intensely non traditional, liberal, artistic couples who wear a lot of scarves and live together for years but never marry and more power to ‘em, but calling Brian my partner, though he is, just doesn’t sound right for us. Special Roommates? Bed Buddies?

A problem, I know, that would be solved were we doing this the old fashioned “right” way by marrying first, then moving in, which, again, is a totally legitimate decision, if you choose to make it...but not the one that feels right for us. Or for for nearly half of the American population, so I do think we need some new vocab for the situation.

Any suggestions? As seen above, mine are pretty terrible!

Despite this huge number of pre-marital roomateships, many people still frown heavily upon it and we’re lucky that neither of our parents fall into that camp. I think they’d all wish the rings we’re about to share were for fingers, rather than house keys, but are supportive of our decisions, giving the oh-so-parental responses of “wellll, you’re adults and I guess that’s just how things are done these days.”

Indeed!

And so, here we are, gearing up to make this big step together. Before we can actually cohabitate, we'll need, you know, a habitat.  How’s it going, so far? Not great. We rushed out Sunday morning to make it to an open house...only to learn the landlord thought it was for a different day, and wasn’t able to show. We then rearranged the remainder of our day to meet a broker at 3 PM for a few showings...and he blew us off.

So, yeah, things are off to a bang up start over here. But I remain optimistic. My anxiety is on hyperdrive and my fingernails are chewed to nil, already, but I’m optimistic.

And how could I not be? In just over a month, I’m going to get to wake up next to this face every day.

IMG_20130528_014828

Barf times one million, but I can’t help myself! I'm pumped. There are practical things that excite me about living together - no more lugging overnight bags to each others’ apartments, no more having to pack multiple lunches for days I won’t be at home to cook or having to split up Saturday mornings to run home and grab that one thing I need before meeting back up again for the day, more cooking for two. So mostly food and fashion related. What else would I care about?

But on the non-practical, overwhelmingly emotional side, I’m just very happy at the thought of sharing and building a home together. Waking up next to each other every morning and then going to sleep together at night. Coming home late nights to each other, cooking together, making decisions as a team.

Barf times one million and two.

Despite a cynical streak a mile wide, it turns out, I’m really kind of a hopeless romantic.

That said, I’m still a little nervous. Er, a lot nervous. I know we’ll have new things to fight about and challenges we never even could have imagined. If anyone out there has any tips on successful cohabitation, I’d LOVE to hear them. Specifically in regards to taking on joint finances when one of you is a responsible, practical math nerd and the other is a fiscal trainwreck with mountains of debt and a penchant for blowing all of their earnings on nail polish and organic nutbutters.

$10 (worth of nail polish) to the first person to correctly guess which one of us is which.

It’s going to be an adventure, without a doubt, but I think it will be a great one.

Now we just need a home to shack up in. Ack!

Another Awkward Week [2.15.13]

Good morning, my beloveds! Did everyone have a nice Valentines Day? I wore red pants to work (the second time this week I wore those pants, shhhh) and invented a new VDay tradition that I am pretty excited about. I wanted to do something cute for my co-workers, since I am now the face and voice and body of Valentines Day Positivity, so I was trying to think of fun ideas. Everyone does candy and cupcakes and sweets and I don't have enough money to buy diamonds or roses for all of my work buds, so I thought, what do I love most of all in this world? Easy. Chips and dip!

So I invited a few of my colleagues to join me for a mid-afternoon snack break in my office "resplendent with chips, dip and romance."

dip

We ate our faces off, watched Justin Timberlake videos and listened to the Bodyguard Soundtrack.

Now THAT is love, my friends.

Speaking of romantic, last night Brian and I did prettttty much what we do every night,  just with slightly more elaborate food and better underwear (sorry Mom). My gift to him was a home cooked chicken pot pie, something he'd been craving lately, and it was delicious. To really make things special I also wrote a romantic love poem about our meal:

pot pie

A regular John Keats over here!

I thought of this dumb rhyme like two weeks ago and have been just laughing about it ever since. I slay myself. Good God, I am hilarious.

And that was my Valentine's Day! Here's what else was keeping it awkward this week:

This Backpack:

laundry bag

This is my laundry bag, overflowing as always. I have to go to a laundry mat (laundromat? is that actually a word?) up the street from my apartment and always look REALLY cool strutting through the neighborhood with this pack on  my back. This weekend I took a haul of dirty clothes and on my way to the laundrymat (Laundroplace?) I decided to stop into a bodega to get some juice which of course ended with me slamming this gigantic backpack of filthy clothes into the shelves and knocking over a few boxes of food and then I just ran out of the store without buying any juice because there was really no way I could make this situation work for me.

I can never go back there again.

Related: I would seriously chop off a limb to have laundry in my building. Just in my building! I don't even need it inside my own apartment, just somewhere that does not require me to strap on this beast and walk around town.

New York, I love you, but you suck so hard sometimes.

This Coffee Shop:vagAm I crazy, or does that say "Vag"?

This Mug:

mug

I bought it at Marshall's earlier this week on my lunch break (Treat Yo Self) and think it is just the cutest.  I came back from my errands and filled a different cup with emergen-c, because I am an addict, and was sitting there, drinking my vitamins and catching up on my emails and thought "oh, while I'm sitting here, I'll peel the price sticker off of the bottom of my mug, so I can use it later," so I picked up my mug and turned it upside down, except WHOOPS I picked up the wrong cup, the one filled with emergen-c, and poured it all over my desk and pants.

spotted pants

Attractive.

And yes, I was wearing jeans to the office. I might be a lazy slob, but here's what happens when I try to look cute:

These Tights:

tights

Riddled with holes. I was beyond proud of myself on Monday, I wore a dress and HEELS to the office. Heels, you guys. High heels. Like a grown ass classy lady. Only I looked down partway through the day to realize that I had gigantic runs and holes creeping up my legs. I give up!

And that was my week! One fun thing about doing these weekly roundups, aside from the attention, obviously, is that I've started to notice some defining patterns in my life. I think if you had to sum up the three main themes in my One Awkward Life they would be Ripped Clothing, Pantyhose and Spilling Things On My Desk.

What would define YOUR life??

Everyone have a splendiforous weekend - a 3 day weekend for me, Holla George Washington!, and keep that VDay love alive!

xo Liz Ho

Love Awkwardly

valentine-romance Hugs and kisses, everyone! It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Oh what’s that you’re saying? You hate Valentine’s Day? Love is a sham? This holiday was just invented by Hallmark to sell greeting cards? I don’t need anyone telling me when to show my love, I do it just fine myself!

Well, well, weellll, aren’t you just a ray of sunshine.

Here’s the thing: I like Valentine’s Day! I think it is cute and I like candy and I like wearing red and I like love.

Is it an invented, overly commercialized holiday? Sure. But honestly: what’s not? I mean, Christmas was invented by the Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and then hijacked by department stores. St. Patrick’s Day was invented by Irish Americans so they had an excuse to barf in public at least once a year. And Halloween?I mean, WHAT is even going on there? All holidays are weird and made up. You can be a grouchasaurus or you can put on your big kid panties and have a good time.

I feel like every holiday I encounter at least one person who refuses to celebrate. “New Years Eve is such pressure, I’m staying home.” “Oh, I don’t do Halloween.” Lame!

I “do” everything. Why not?! I understand that there is a lot of external, cultural pressure to make holidays into a big ol’ thang – dinner reservations and money spent and gifts exchanged and general high expectations abounding – but the way I see it, holidays are, at their very base level, a chance to turn an ordinary ho-hum day into something slightly more entertaining, whether you go all out or just add some themed candy to your daily diet. And Valentine’s Day, despite its current reputation of being the dumbest, lamest, worstest holiday in all of the land is no exception.

Would I be singing a different tune, were I not in a committed relash? No, I would not. Yes, I now am lucky enough to spend my days with a fella who happens to have the best face and butt in the Greater New York City Region and that certainly adds to my enjoyment of V-Day 2013, but I have always had fun on Valentine’s Day, even in years when I did not have a special love buddy.

[A disclaimer: I truly hate when coupled up folks reminisce all, “Oh, well, back when I was single...”, I find it very smug and self satisfied and frankly insulting, like “look at me, my life is better than yours now,” and I certainly don’t want to come across in that manner. I only bring this up to acknowledge that yes, sure, I am in a state of romantic bliss at this time, but my enjoyment of El Dia de los Valentinos is not contingent on checking off that particular box on my Liz Stats profile. I’m also so uncomfortable talking about honest emotions in public that I just called my committed adult boyfriend my “special love buddy,” sooo yeah...]

For me, Valentine’s Day is a chance to take one day out of the gross, dismal month that is February to celebrate everything and everyone you love. Your mom, your cat, your friends, your kid, everyone! Most of my favorite VD memories and by VD I mean Valentine’s Day, not Venereal Disease, have nothing to do with romantic love. Like the year I came into the office to find that a sweet colleague had stuck homemade heart-shaped valentines to everyone’s computer monitor. I kept mine hung up for years, until I had to move offices. Or every year wearing a brand new pair heart patterned socks, a gift from my mama who makes sure to send the package a few days early, so I’ll have socks to wear on the day itself. (She sends us care packages for every single holiday even though we’re pushing 700 years old, because she is the cutest.) Or the year my best friend came to town on VDay weekend. We went ice skating in a snowy central park before meeting up with another pal and getting rip-roaringly drunk over pub cheeseburgers.

 

None of these things were particularly romantic, nor were they that much above and beyond what I might encounter on my day-to-day life, but just knowing that it was a holiday made socks and cards and pints (and pints and pints and pints) of beer seem all the more special.

Or how bout this: I remember one year in college, we must have been sophomores. I was living with seven other girls in a campus apartment and we were thick as thieves. And all of us as single as...single cell organisms. Or something else that starts with “S” and is traditionally found alone. But we weren’t alone! We had each other and Carrie Bradshaw as it sounds, that was more than enough. We all dressed in our finest reds and pinks and went to dinner at our favorite local spot (shout-out Paper Moon Diner, Baltimore, MD!) and shared fries and breakfast for dinner and probably also a few milkshakes and slices of cheese cake and it was a true delight. A delight, I say! It was a popular trend at the time, mostly on AOL Instant Messenger, our fave, to write out “143” as a sign of cutesy endearment for your boyfriend or your family or your best gurlz: I Love You.

I = one letter LOVE = four YOU = three

143.

That Valentine’s Night at Paper Moon our total dinner bill came to...you guessed it...one hundred and forty-three dollars. $143.

Coincidence? Almost certainly. Adorable story proving that Valentine’s Day is a lovers delight whether or not your lovers = a group of awkward Disney Channel fans chowing down on western omelets or, you know, bow-chicka-bow-wow lovers? Aaaaaabsolutely!

These are things that I love: Socks. My mom. Sweet friends. Booze. Breakfast for dinner. And, yes, my special love buddy. While I don’t need Hallmark or TV or whoever to remind me to celebrate them just once a year, celebrate them I will. This Thursday I’ll wear pink or red and my new socks and maybe even some spicy underpinnings and hand out candy…and eat candy…and wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you are married or single or polyamorous or a crabbapple who insists you just don't do Valentine's Day. Especially you! For try as you might to resist it, as the great Hugh Grant once reminded us, Love Actually IS All Around Us.

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Happy Valentines Day, Haters!

One Awkward Full Blown Mini-Break Holiday Weekend

“Hurrah. Am no longer tragic spinster but proper girlfriend of bonafide sexgod, so committed that he's taking me on a full-blown mini-break holiday weekend.

 This can't be just shagging. A mini-break means true love.  Suddenly feel like screen goddess in manner of Grace Kelly.

 Though perhaps ever so slightly less elegant under pressure.”

—      Bridget Jones

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNkP2Y5wme0]

 

A few years ago I told one of my aunts that I worked in book publicity and her first response was “Oh! You’re just like Bridget Jones!” Initially I was mildly offended but upon further introspection have realized that Bridget is kind of the archetype for awkward, hilarious ladies, so I now consider it my greatest compliment ever.

 

Anyway, the point of all this is that I’m going away for a romantic mini-break holiday weekend with Brian and can not wait. We’re going to Vermont and we’re going to hike and bike and snuggle and eat maple syrup and, I'm sorry, I see I've made you vomit.

I'm not great at talking about love and romance in any serious capacity. One of my friends teases me that every time I mention anything even remotely sweet or cutesy or lovey about my boyfriend or the two of us as a couple I throw in some sarcastic and self deprecating comment about how gross or lame it is.

"We just said I love you for the first time, isn't that disgusting?!"

"Ugh, sorry this is so gross, but Brian got me the nicest Christmas present."

I don't know why I do this! I guess I'm so used to being in tragic spinster mode that I am uncomfortable expressing romantic affection in a genuine way?

Or maybe I’m just a weirdo? This morning I woke up and the first thing that popped into my head was “Oh yippee, today at 5 I get to leave the office and tell everyone ‘I’m off to V-T with my Sweetie!!’”

Good god, Elizabeth. No. I knew there was a reason that romance (ew, sorry!) was so terrible: I’ve started speaking in RHYME! I also told myself I’d never actually say that VT/SweeTee thing to anyone but here I am, sharing it with the internet.

Let’s all just watch some more Bridget Jones and forget this ever happened…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid=4YZy2deJstI&annotation_id=annotation_636508&list=PL93B000D4694F439D&feature=iv&v=tcIaT5D4Iwc]

One Awkward Relationship Milestone

Ack, I’ve been gone so long! On top of work and "The Wire," I just moved into a new apartment so I’ve been a little helter skelter of late. But now I’m back with a bang! Or at the very least, an audible toot. This past Saturday I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, such a hipster now, and all went surprisingly smoothly. I hired movers, which meant I got to laze around eating cheese while other people did all the work. It was glorious. Plus, my gentleman friend B was up for the weekend to help, which meant we got to spend so much time doing nauseating coupley nonsense like shopping for linens at Target and building shelves and organizing my shoe collection. It was que romantique. And amid the domestic bliss we celebrated a major relationship milestone: I farted in front of him for the very first time.

I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed, everyone does it (except Kate Middleton!) but ughhhhhhhh mortifying! As we all know and love, I’m not shy about discussing bowel problems and make frequent reference to my own debilitating digestive issues, but as much as I gleefully enjoy toilet humor, I prefer to keep my own toilet humours to myself. Especially in front of the one person I want to think of me as a perfect ladylike angel from heaven. Or at least someone he wants to bone on the regular.

Ok, it might not technically been the first time, but it was at least the first time neither of us was pretending to be asleep. I swear to God I could go days at a time without so much as a twitch of the intestines until I’m laying little spoon and suddenly it’s like all the Indian food I’ve eaten in my entire life has just kicked in. All the ladies know what I’m talking about, right ladies?!? (Ladies? No, just me? Someone please tell me this is a normal thing?) So there may or may not have been at least one other time where something escaped and then I just laid there pretending to be asleep, praying he was also sleeping or at least had the decency enough to pretend as well and never mention it again. So far, he has, but now I’m telling the whole internet and I’m sure he’s reading this so the jig is very, very up.

So after 6 months of sleepless nights and Bean-o, I finally broke the seal. We were rearranging my new bedroom, I was in the hallway, surveying from the outside in and he was standing just a few feet away inside the room.

“Hmm, let me think,” I said, pausing to observe our handiwork.

As I pondered the position of my bedside table he gazed lovingly back at me, eagerly awaiting my keen home decor insight and then a puff of air escaped my body and obliterated our tender silence. It was very small and did NOT smell but oh, there was no denying it, no passing the blame, no pretending it didn’t happen. He was looking right at me. Just staring at me, waiting for me to speak and instead, my hiney did the talking. We then stood, staring at each other, for a full hour and a half (at least!) while I considered my next move and he tried not to laugh at me. I should have taken the opportunity to bust out a Steve Urkel style “did IIIII doooo thaaaat?” but I couldn’t think quick enough. I must have tooted out all of my creative energy.

Kill me.

So blah, blah, it all ended fine, of course. B apparently found the whole situation to be adorable, but now I’m obviously panicking that the magic is gone. A friend of mine, who’s been in a relationship for years, told me that the magic stays until you pee in front of each other, so there’s always that to look forward to!?! I’m certainly making this more mortifying by telling the whole internet but you know what, someone had to do it! I mean, maybe (hopefully?!) there are millions of women laying awake right now fearful to break wind in front of their significant others who will read this and become emboldened and confident with their bodies and all things their bodies emit? I can be the change the world needs. I am the Mahatma Ghandi of female flatulence.

Ladies, get farting!

Gentlemen, you’re welcome!

One Awkward Love Cruise

I know we're still deep in the midst of Christmas but I need you to look ahead a quick sec to February and answer the timeless question: What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Now, I know most of you will be busy either a) making love to your one and only atop a pile of rose petals or b) watching Lifetime and downing a smoothie made of chardonnay, Hagen Daz, tears and Xanax, depending on your romance status, but I found something special that I think all of us could really enjoy:

Your eyes do not deceive you! In honor of their 20th Anniversary, American music legends Boyz II Men will reunite to host a special Valentine's Day Love Cruise. Amenities include:

  • Boyz II Men Welcome Cocktail Party
  • Boyz II Men Experience with all band members
  • Concert performance by Boyz II Men
  • Additional Fan Appreciation Concert by Boyz II Men
  • Special Ceremony - Renew Your Wedding Vows Onboard with Boyz II Men
  • Singles Mixer with Boyz II Men
  • Photo Session with Boyz II Men in small groups
  • Question & Answer Session with Boyz II Men
  • Formal Prom Night
  • Poker Tournament
  • Deck Party with Boyz II Men & Guest DJ
  • 2 Additional Deck Parties with DJ's
  • Gift Bag
  • Other onboard drawings for exclusive Boyz II Men Event Opportunities!
  • Full Access to all of Carnival's activities and facilities!
  • VIP Concierge at your service!

!!!!!! Formal Prom Night!!!!! I would cut off both of my legs and just hop around the dance floor on my bloody stumps if it meant I could go to prom, on the open seas, with B II M. (Only like 20% joking.)

Also: GREAT news, they offer a variety of packages/cabin sizes with room for 1 - 4 guests, so there's something for everyone! Marrieds, singles, sister wives, everyone! (They even have a roommate matching service for spinsters, awwwww.) Also, ALSO (so many alsos!) you can renew your wedding vows on board in a special ceremony with the band (gah!) AAAAAND, this:

Have you ever dreamed of having Boyz II Men be a part of your Wedding Day? Carnival Cruise Lines offers a limited number of wedding ceremonies performed onboard. First Come First Serve as only 3 weddings per port.

YES YES YES!!! I have dreamed of that every single day of my life since I was 7 years old and first discovered Boyz II Men and my mom wouldn't let me buy their CD because she thought the song "I'll Make Love to You" was inappropriate, even though, if you listen to the lyrics, it's actually a really, sweet, tender song, (pour the wine, light the fire, girl your wish is my command), especially in light of all of the rap songs you hear these days, where everyone talking about like, fucking hos from behind on the roof of a Benz or whatever they do, and anyway, that song is magical and despite being banned from listening, I would still watch the music video on VH1 whenever I went to my friend Becky's house, and I was like "THIS IS LOVE!" and then I knew what true romance meant and so yes, a million times yes, I would definitely like Boyz II Men to be a part of my Wedding Day!

So now I just need a groom! (Or bride, whatever! Are gay marriages allowed in international waters?) E-mail me: oneawkwardyear@gmail.com. Or if anyone's just interested in going halfsies with me on this trip, also e-mail me. (By "halfsies" I mean you pay for the whole thing and I sleep on the other half of the cabin.)

 In case you still need some convincing:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV8vB1BB2qc]

(AAAAAAAHHH! Matching striped button downs and white jorts!!!!!)

 And before you can ask, yes, maybe I AM going to include a Boyz II Men video in every blog from now on. What of it?