Tag Archives: marriage

A Royal Wonder

It was, to borrow the popular British expression, absolutely brilliant.

I shot awake at 6AM PST, an hour ahead of my alarm, and I literally only had one thought in my head, the way you only have one thought in your head on Christmas morning, “It’s done!  They are married!” 

I know this should be embarrassing to admit, but I got over that admission about a decade ago.

I turned on my DVR and fast-forwarded through Bah-bra and Diane’s two-hour pre-wedding coverage to get to the point of the day — her dress. 

Needless to say, it did not disappoint.

I always wagered that she would use lace, if only because it matches so perfectly with her style and grace.  And, it must be said, she had grace in spades on her wedding day.

If I were an alien visiting Earth on April 29, 2011 and happened to land my spaceship in London, I would never imagine that this lady in white was joining the royal family; I would assume she was leading it.

And as she joined her prince at the front of the abbey, I was only thinking one thing: it’s a shame he couldn’t keep his hat on for the duration of the ceremony.

One of my favorite things about the service was that those leading it managed to use the word “betwixt” not once, but several times.  How utterly English is that?  For the remainder of this post I shall now use that word in place of “between.” 

Though we all know I could write the entirety of this post about HRH The Duchess of Cambridge alone (just writing her new title makes me happy), I’m afraid that if I start down that road it will prove as endless as some of the hymns sung during the service.  So let’s move on to the attire of the attendees, shall we?

First stop: cannot be avoided, must be mentioned and condemned immediately:  Princess Beatrice.

I don’t care that she’s wearing Valentino.  I don’t care that her hat is Philip Treacy.  It is absolutely abhorrent and she should have been escorted out upon arrival.

On the other end of the fascinator spectrum lies that other British princess, Victoria Beckham.  Now THAT is a perfect topper.

On a sadder princess note, my former favorite mistakenly thought this was an Easter service and got a little carried away with the color peach:

Without question, a real winner of the day was the bride’s sister and bridesmaid, Pippa.  Wasn’t it obvious she was doing all of the work?  And she was doing it in a difficult-to-walk-in, awkward-to-bend-over-in dress.

She had to escort the little royals down the aisle, which could have gone wrong a hundred different ways in front of two billion people.  She had to carry her sister’s train for what seemed like weeks, and looked like she was happy to do so.

Also, did anyone else notice a little flirtation betwixt Harry and Pippa as they walked down the aisle? 

And who could blame him, when he’s used to dating this:

Let’s just say the difference in level of sophistication betwixt the Davys and the Middletons is akin to the difference in hair coverage betwixt William and Harry.

But I digress.

When they arrived at Buckingham Palace and the crowds were given permission to surge toward the front gate, the sight of a sea of humanity filling the entire mall was overwhelming.  It’s no surprise that Catherine was seen saying “Oh wow!” when she stepped onto the balcony.

In true break-the-mold style, the couple kissed two times.  It almost seemed like they were saying “We actually like kissing, because we actually like each other!  This is not just for show!”  Anyway, I bought it.

After all of the fashion analysis fades and the wedding stops making headlines, I think those who watched it will remember it one way: as a happy event.  It was undeniably exciting, and despite the grandeur it managed to feel strangely intimate.  Somehow Will and Kate brought us all along for the ride, and as silly as it sounds, this fan-since-she-was-13 is grateful.

Here’s hoping the love betwixt The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is as strong and long-lasting as the stone pillars of Westminster Abbey.

To read about the wedding from someone who was actually there, check out my friend Maggie’s post.

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Filed under One WORD (Current Events)

Disposing Martha

There was a time when women got married, bought a four-bedroom house, and expertly knew how to care for every aspect of their home. 

2008, the year I got married, was not that time.

And my mother knew this about me.  She knew that not only did I not really have a clue about home maintainance, but that I was taking the easy road by living in a condo versus a house (thereby eliminating half the work — cleaning out gutters is not part of my spring cleaning routine).

So she turned to the expert to teach me how to become a decent homeowner:

Yes, she bought me Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook, and I’ve never looked back.

While most people would stuff this on a shelf and only dive for it in the wine-on-carpet disaster scenario, I have decided to read it cover-to-cover.  I tend to retain information like this, so I figure if I just read the whole thing I won’t need to look everything up all of the time.  Naturally I do this in a closet with a flashlight, because reading it is, of course, mortifying.

What’s less embarrassing is when that book totally saves the day. 

Last week, Mike and I were talking about how we tend to make each other do chores based on gender.  For instance, I always do the laundry and change the sheets, and he always takes out the garbage and fixes anything that breaks.  

But then the garbage disposal broke.  And we got into a tiny argument about the fact that neither of us intrinsically knows how to fix a garbage disposal.  I was extremely dismissive, you know, in that charming “Not my problem!” manner.  He was slightly irritated that this was his job just because he’s wearing the pants.

And then it hit me — MARTHA!

I ran into the den and pulled Martha off her place on the bookshelf.  I remembered reading a little how-to on fixing the garbage disposal.  I raced through my index, found “Garbage Disposals” and flipped to page 89.

“How to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal.”  Eureka! 

(I love how she even has optimism in her How-To.  No, your disposal is not broken — it’s merely jammed!  Let’s fix this in a jiffy!)

Mike opened the cabinet below the sink and had all his tools at the ready.  I started reading from Martha (everything was numbered and extremely detailed with things like “1.  Turn off circuit breaker to stop power to disposal.”  I honestly would not have thought of that).

After shutting off the power, Martha told us all about removing blockage and using our “reset button” (disposals have buttons?). 

After jamming things around in the sink for a few minutes (no actual tools required), we turned the power back on and tested the disposal — voila!  The genius of Martha lives on!

Mike’s look of shock was barely disguised, and my victory dance wasn’t remotely concealed.  We felt like we had broken through the genderism and had actually fixed something together…well, the three of us — Mike, Abby, and Martha.

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Filed under Good WORD (Etiquette)

Switching Seats

As Mike and I boarded our plane for Cabo two weeks ago, we prepared ourselves for the battle to sit together.

I was 23A and he was 25F.  We thought that since neither of us was a middle seat, we had a pretty strong chance of someone trading.

When I arrived at my seat, however, it was already filled.  With a four-year-old.

I politely told the gentleman next to the boy that I was 23A.  He looked up at me with the most pleading eyes I’d seen since Mike last saw a puppy.

“Would you mind sitting across the aisle next to my wife?” he asks.  “We’re trying to seat the family together.”

That’s when I notice a six-year-old boy next to the four-year-old, and across the aisle a smiling woman and a two-year-old girl next to…my new empty seat.

“Sure!” I reply quickly.  “I totally understand.  In fact, we were trying to switch too.”  I said “were” because of course now I had zero chance of anyone trading with me to sit in day care.

Mike leans over to me and says, “Who cares? I’m going to ask somebody to switch you anyway.”

I exchange hello’s with the wife next to me, and five minutes later from behind me I hear, “BABE.  IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK.”

I look back to Mike’s row where two grim-faced elderly people made it perfectly clear that they had no intention of joining my row of potential screamers.  I decide to make the best of it.

The husband turns to me and asks if this is our first time to Cabo, and I tell him no, my husband has been many times.  His mouth falls open.

“Your husband?!”  he replies.  “Oh my gosh you must be newlyweds!  You look so young!”

“Actually we’re not,” I answer, because I get this reaction all the time.  “We’ve been married for three years, and I’m 26 years old.”

His whole demeanor changes.  “That’s fantastic!  We’ve been married five years and we come here every year!”

I look at the three children surrounding them and realize this couple has had three children in five years.  My mind reels.

“Oh and we’re pregnant so we have one more coming!” he adds.

Suddenly I felt the need to defend our lack of children.  This also happens often.

“Oh wow!  That’s amazing,” I tell them.  “We don’t have any kids yet…we’re just having too much fun!  I mean, once you have kids you can’t just jet off to Cabo…or…um…” I stop myself mid-sentence because jetting off to Cabo is exactly what they are doing — with 3.5 children.

The wife smiles at me and leans in to give sister-to-sister advice.  Suddenly I feel as if we’ve been friends for a decade and we’re discussing family matters over margaritas.

“You know what?” she says.  “Your kids are the ones joining your family.  You didn’t join theirs.  Once you have them, you have to keep living the way you want to, and they just come along for the ride.  You don’t suddenly lock yourself in your home and orbit around your kids.  Believe me, we are still loving our lives.”

I wanted to kiss her.  Or hug her very hard.  Her words were like a happy birthday present from Jesus straight to me.

I don’t discuss it often, but one of my biggest fears about having children is that my life will turn into a scene from The Shawshank Redemption — starring me as the prisoner.  I’ve just met too many moms who complain about how fun their life used to be.  But meeting this woman punched that notion out of my mind.  She’s right; Mike and I are going to continue to live our lives even if little people are in them.

…though it may be slightly more complicated; after all, they were carting approximately 57 pieces of luggage.

And then it dawned on me: my sister-in-love was doing the exact same thing.  She was meeting us in Cabo with her three kids.  She didn’t have to stay at home in single-digit temperatures to appease her kids; she packed her bikini and got on the plane.

The point was really driven home with her next question.

“And how long are you guys in Cabo?” she asked.

“A week,” I replied.  “And you?”

“Three weeks!”

Blink.  Blink blink.  You have to be kidding me.  This woman isn’t just my hero, she is officially my idol.

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Filed under The WORD (Faith)