Archive for November, 2007

Public Proposals: You’d Better Be Very Sure

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

More and more folk seem convinced these days that if a marriage proposal is just a simple question asked privately, that’s not nearly enough. Almost every day, it seems, we hear tales of guys who did it ‘right’ by hiring casts of thousands, organizing hugely elaborate rituals, or submerging perfectly good rings in glasses of good champagne to the sorry detriment of both items.

The thing is, if you ask someone to marry you in public and they say no, there’s pretty much no way not to be publicly humiliated. You need to be very certain a) that the answer is going to be yes, and that the askee is going to be okay with the very public nature of the moment.

After all, you don’t want to be this poor guy:

But if you’re very certain of the answer, and certain she (or he; after all, it’s the 21st century and women can do the proposing, too) will appreciate something very public and very elaborate, then by all means go for it…particularly if you have the sort of friends this guy has to help him out:

Never teh Bride says, Give the gifts you’d like to get

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Start your engines, people—the holiday shopping season has officially begun. Some people start stock piling prezzies in February, and stores have been displaying Santa Claus stuff since October, but who cares? It’s Black Friday! Hours and hours ago, large groups of utterly insane people drove through the dark to malls and big box stores to take advantage of deals like $3 DVDs and $800 HDTVs.

My stepmother is a seasoned Black Friday shopper. Ignoring the fact that she got up wicked early the day before to start cooking, she gets up even earlier—around 3 a.m. or so—on Black Friday to ransack the nearest Wal*Mart. When you have seven kids, it makes a lot of sense. Christmas gets damn expensive. Me? I don’t have the stomach for a pre-dawn trek to a crowded store. The whole thing is one big marketing gimmick designed to get shoppers into the store by offering them seriously limited quantities of deeply discounted merchandise. Bleah.

I prefer to shop from the comfort of my own desk chair for two reasons. One, I am a wuss who just can’t handle the Black Friday “action,” and two, I can find the things I actually want online. Those $3 DVDs? I’m guessing it’s a big bin full of copies of movies like Zardoz and Bride of Chucky. No thanks!

I’ll admit that I am shopping today. The Beard and I don’t exchange gifts in the name of frugality, but I’ve got family members who are expecting presents. My gift giving strategy involves buying people things I want for myself, and it’s worked well for going on five years now. Seriously, I win Christmas. If you’re stumped for gift ideas this year, feel free to get everyone on your list stuff I’d like to see in my stocking. As always, clicky for more info.

Women: Women's Turtleneck Sweater Dresses - Tan HeatherWomen: Women's Turtleneck Sweater Dresses - Gray

Dresses are good all year long, but knit dresses rock my socks in the wintertime. I have three younger sisters, all of whom are pretty girly. Do they know they want dresses? No, but they’ll love ’em anyway!

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Ten Great Romantic Films To Share With Someone You Love

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Once again, it’s time to think about what to give the special people in your life for Christmas. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow things down. But if you have a movie buff or a couple in love on your holiday gift list, any of these romantic classics (all available at amazon.com) might well be just the thing.

It Happened One Night1: It Happened One Night is the screwball comedy that single-handedly destroyed the undershirt industry and made hitchhiking sexy. Sparks fly between Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in this delightful film. If it doesn’t make you laugh, you have no funny bone.

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Happy Turkey and/or Tofurky Day!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Now that’s one beautiful bird

She’s a beautiful bird, but she’s gonna get ate. Not by me, though. The Beard and I feed the kitties meat but we’re not fans ourselves, so we’re cooking up a Tofurky. I’m pretty sure The Beard plans to deep fry it (how distinctly American!) but I can’t say for sure. Cooking is just not my thing, and this is a working holiday for yours truly as the book deadline approaches almost too quickly for comfort.

Anyway, eat something tasty on my behalf and I’ll eat something tasty on your behalf. Happy Thanksgiving!

You say this. Now you say this. Choreography at its best.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Pick one, double up, or borrow from all of them

Finding an officiant to officiate is easy when you’ve got strong ties to a particular faith. If you and your sweetie belong to a church or are members of a synagogue, you may spend no more than a couple of seconds asking yourselves who will perform your rites. Those who are either unaffiliated or nonreligious don’t have it so easy.

What’s an officiant good for? Unless you’re in Colorado, where you can legally perform your own ceremony with the right forms, you need someone to sign off on your wedding to make it official. What are your options? You could hit up the Yellow Pages and pick some random minister or JP. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous search engines for this sort of thing. You can find interfaith officiants, Humanist officiants, Pagan officiants, and freelance rabbis.

Or you could have a friend hit up one of the many, many, many online ordination services out there. Before the Internet got hot, the Universal Life Church ordained folks via mail. Nowadays, you can pick and choose between nonreligious online ordination or heavily religious online ordination. Do a search for “online ordination” and you’ll have more opportunities for ordination than you can shake a stick at.

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Folded flowers

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

My favorite part of the book-writing process is the research. Buckling down and actually doing the writing kind of sucks because it can be tedious if you’re not in the right frame of mind. But dang if I don’t love me some serious hardcore research. When you plug something like, oh, “unusual wedding flowers” into Google or Images.google.com you get some super cool results. For example, Lisa Shea makes colorful origami flowers that can be used as a floral alternative in bouquets and centerpieces.

You can write your grocery list on ‘em after you say “I do”

There are a ton of paper options, so you’re almost guaranteed to find something that matches your wedding color scheme. I think a mix of textured and monocolor flowers would look awesome. Of course, if you’ve got all the time in the world, you could try making your own origami flowers with sheets of origami paper and long green pipe cleaners. Directions for various sorts of origami flowers can be found here, here, here, here, and here. If you want to go all out, spring for Origami Flowers: Popular Blossoms and Creative Bouquets. Be aware, however, that the book isn’t really for beginners. Bone up on your origami skillz before attempting a full bouquet.

Putting boys in bows is harder than it looks

Monday, November 19th, 2007

My littlest brother was six when The Beard and I got hitched. I didn’t have a ring bearer because I think they’re kind of silly, what with the fake rings most carry, and furthermore, I doubted my bro would have much fun wearing a miniature suit for the day. As it turned out, he was run over by a car and stuck in a rolling chair during the whole wedding anyway. Now that he’s up and about and good as new, I don’t feel so bad about imagining him in short pants and a little velvet or satin jacket with a big bow collar.

Your little dandy?

Back in the day…by which I mean the Victorian day…little gentlemen were given the responsibility of holding the bride’s train. In the most formal of weddings, these boys would wear white silk hose, buckled shoes and matching hats. A Fashion Timeline has a few more interesting things to say about mini-men and their roles in Victorian weddings.

No fashionable Victorian bridal party was complete without small boys as pages. The pages were usually chosen from among the young brothers or nephews of the bride. They were one of the most picturesque features of the bridal group when quaintly dressed in little prince costumes or Lord Fauntleroy suits of white or pale tinted satin with collar and cuffs of lace and a sash of soft silk in a contrasting shade.

Getting my rambunctious younger brothing into a getup like that would have required stuffing him into it by force and then sewing him into it so he couldn’t escape. Even then, he probably would have found some way to cut it off. How did your ring bearer feel about suiting up for the day?