Friday, December 14, 2007

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Well ladies and gents, mark your datebooks at #171. It took that many entries for me to be called out!

The previous entry was found inappropriate by an interested party and I was asked to censor it and remove comments posted by other readers. While I respect the viewpoints expressed to me by that person, I decline to do so as there is no basis.

It's a sticky business to be sure, as when I began this blog it was on the foundation of honesty at all costs and was intended to be as truthful to real life as possible. Over the past several years, I have used my editor's red pen more than I would have ever thought in the beginning; some tales were not all that interesting in the end, some required far too much setup (including details that would have be inappropriate to write) and others, well hey, I also don't shower with the windows open...a gal has to have some mystique!

For integrity's sake, I've always maintained that no real names would be used (either an initial or a online handle), no images posted of friends/family without their consent and a PG rating would be maintained (at least for language, if not always for content). Also, if there was a comment that failed any of the above criteria was obviously slanderous or an attempt to start a flame war that I would delete it; not liking or agreeing with it would never be a reason.

That said, I was going to post an update to the previous entry (though it was to be attached to ponderings of a much cheerier nature) and will do so now:

12/8 UPDATE: Well, it turns out things did work out and my Mom did email me the information regarding the viewing and funeral in a timely's quite nice when one's fears are proven wrong. Unfortunately due to the flippy-flop nature of Chicago weather and an ice storm warning by the National Weather Service it seemed especially unwise to travel via car or bus and quite possible that an attempt to fly would end me up in Springfield-Branson, Bloomington-Normal, Louisville-Standiford or some other twice monikered regional airport from which a quick escape was unlikely. In the end, it seemed best to send a card and not attempt to attend the services.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Four Wedding Dresses and a Funeral

Let me begin by saying that it sucks the big wazoo that this is the next entry to be logged.

The last 48 hours have been a high speed fun ride of nauseating highs and lows that I find myself still very much in the thick of. Thus, retreating to virtual pen in an attempt to process some of this seemed like a much better alternative than staring at the darkened ceiling of my bedroom.

This all began quite innocently Thursday morning when I met fellow Bridzilla-in-Training "K" out for another round of wedding dress shopping on Michigan Avenue. We had gone to a high-class consignment place a few weeks ago, but found that neither of us had the requisite screw loose required to lay down a couple of Grover Clevelands for real Peau de soie satin with enough beads to put Mardi Gras to shame.

As K's wedding is in June, she is on a much quicker timetable than your humble author who still stands by "No date, decisions or matters of detail until January 1st, 2008." But, it is fun to mock the ridiculousness of the silly dresses and even sillier brides that one finds hovering around said frocks and even more so with someone who shares my dark sense of humor. Arriving at the JMC Boutique we found that we were the only two people in the store, so immediately turned our vengeance on the wall of dresses. It was a delightful surprise that most of the dresses were not horrifically ugly, did not have bows or bell skirts and were ridiculously affordable; a Benji or two and a couple of his lesser denominational buddies. K found a delightful frock quickly, and after filling her dressing room up, started on me. I had no intention of actually trying anything on, but after some cajoling that I should "at least know what shapes look flattering" pulled two off the rack to try on.

SIDENOTE: Wedding dresses are apparently made in "European sizes" and they had dozens in size 2 and petite self was a size 10/12. Who in blazes wears a 2 then and do they consider gum a meal?

Anywho, K hit a home run in Dress #2 which was just delightful and made her look amazingly feminine, yet very regal. I didn't hate either of the dresses I tried on, but neither really made me feel like a bride; it was like the dresses sensed I had no experience with formal wear and were mocking me. K had already changed back into street clothes and I was ready to go back into hiding for several months, when I decided to try one more off the rack by the dressing room door. It looked rather strange on the hanger and I saw K's eyebrow raise at my suggestion, but she humored me. It was perfect. Every part of me was coddled and draped in the most flattering way possible....I felt like a bride! K was awestruck, and mentioned that if I didn't know that was the one, then I was an idiot; what can I say, the gal adores me ;) But, I needed a bit of time to ponder, so we left the store to grab a coffee and said farewell for the afternoon. After all, I had heard that this wedding stuff was shear torture, could I actually try on 4 dresses and be done with one of the bigger pieces so quickly?

HA! One should never ever tempt fate in such a way.

Thursday evening was the night of my office "holiday" party, and waiting for a train downtown on a chilly platform I decided to bide my time by calling my mother back from an earlier message. After 5 minutes of pleasantries and pressuring me for Christmas ideas, she matter-of-factly informs me that my uncle has died. This was not unexpected as he has been ill for awhile and declining steadily over the past few months. It was a shock that she just laid it out there like a big steaming lump in the middle of the conversation. While she faces death on a daily basis in oncology nursing and thus might be used to it being "normal" conversation, it did seem rather callous to not bring that up immediately upon my calling. But just my 2cents, touché.

In the middle of me pumping her for info "Who, What, When, What Can I Do, etc." she asks me quite sharply "Is Bosco Jewish?", this is about as random a comment as I could have ever imagined being asked. I had never hidden the fact that yes, Bosco is one of the "chosen people" as it doesn't really factor into our lives too much, except around the bigger holidays. But, apparently I was amiss as I should have been introducing him around as "Hi, this is Bosco, my Jewish boyfriend" 'cuz ya know that fact that he loves me for who I am and treats me like gold and doesn't smack me around or yell at me like some drunken oaf....that's not what's really important, he has a different religious upbringing and what a flippin' travesty that is.

Sorry, lost it there for a minute (and the above is the shorter edited rant!)

So, apparently my mother had been at the nursing home at/after my uncle's passing (I'm not sure as that was not the topic of the hour being discussed!) and after mentioning my engagement to the family at hand, one of them queried if this "was the Jewish guy" I had been seeing (my apologies to the relative in question if this is out of context, I am working with 2nd hand pissed off mother-in-law information). My mother claimed she didn't know how to respond and was horrified that she didn't know this key info about her soon to be son-in-law. A barrage of questions followed and I was pummeled for the ones I couldn't answer as "How can you agree to marry someone and not know [insert random nugget of info, ie: Father's hometown]. Hmm. Yes, I realize how many marriages fail because you didn't know where Cricket Corner, New Hampshire was as opposed knowing if your betrothed is in the mob or has syphilis or has 16 split personas!

With that conversation, I had an inkling into what delightful circle of hellfire I shall be entering into the next 9-12 months. Had I bought the dress, I was 2 seconds from returning it and booking the first red-eye to Vegas....and it's still a very attractive escape route. But, it's not what I want. I really do wish for a ceremony with all my/Bosco's friends and family that wish to support us in this endeavor attending, and for it to be a quirky, fun expression of who we are as individuals.....and I have little doubt that our choices will confuse, hurt and anger various famial factions. As the typical "peacemaker" in most situations, it's a ridiculously difficult precipice I find my toes on the edge of. Is it worth the headache to repeatedly play the "It's Our Day" card at the risk of alienating someone (which yes, the thought of unhappy folks eat away at my insides) or worse to sacrifice the beginning of what looks to be a very happy little life to the greater good.

As to the my uncle's funeral, there is no date set to the best of my knowledge. That in itself is a whole other matter as it is a mixed bag of feelings of sadness for those closest to him, relief that he is no longer in pain, guilt for being greedy and wishing to keep my memories of him pure and happy and avoid the awkwardness of deterioration and dementia as I have not seen him in over a year. While I very much wish to attend the viewing and laid out my intentions to my mother, that short of an epic blizzard, I'd find a dogsled and a way to be there. I should, he was not only one of my Dad's closest brothers, but also my godfather. But, there is a nagging feeling though that my mom will call me with the date/time casually about 2 hours beforehand, eliminating all chance for me to attend. It's passive, it's aggressive, it's motherhood at it's finest.

So, until later, a nugget of knowledge while my peptic ulcer has triplets:

From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins":
DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T - "Early American evangelist Lorenzo Dow (d. 1834) coined these words while condemning other preachers who 'make the Bible clash and contradict itself, by preaching somewhat like this: 'You can and you can't - You shall and you shan't - You will and you won't - And you will be damned if you do - And you will be damned if you don't.'"
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