Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dress diatribe

Today should have been the day to post the Daring Bakers May recipe: an apple strudel. But I'm too swamped with work and prepping to leave for NYC on Saturday to deal with it. The recipe calls for stretching the dough out until it is paper thin on a table large enough that you can walk around it and work from all four sides. I do not have a table. There are some really impressive strudels on the Daring Bakers website and I do hope to make the thing sooner or later. With a spinach feta filling, maybe, instead of apples.

This week has been a flurry of activity and anxiety, and Jake and I are both stretched really thin. And yesterday I went to go pick up my wedding dress. I was not 100% pleased, although Martha N and Jake both tell me it looks good, even if it maybe needs a little more tweaking. The seamstress, who comes very well recommended and to her credit is constantly saying she will keep working at it until I am happy, installed these two thick, wide elastic bands inside the waistline to help hold it up. And also replaced a ribbon around the waistline that needed an upgrade. The ribbon is nice but seems a bit worn. Martha N says it looks appropriately vintage and she likes it a lot. I am inclined to believe her. But the elastic bands feel sort of like some sort of S&M device, but they don't really do the Holding It Up job. I think they need to be fastened at exactly the right spot on my ribcage, but I didn't have them on the sweet spot when I tried the dress on at the seamstress's place. So instead it felt like it would stay put through many hugs and drunken dances, but would stay put in a really awkward and uncomfortable place. It looked and felt like it needed to be yanked up, hard.

So I acted aloof and paid the lady and got the hell out of there as fast as I could, with the seamstress's assurances that I could come back when I get back to Seattle and she'd do whatever else I feel needs doing. I feel slightly bad about that. She gave me a free veil I have no intention of using, no doubt sensing my dissatisfaction. Back at home, after some unexpected tears, some assurances from Jake and some technical assistance from Martha N, I think I can be happy about it. Not in love yet, but if I can make it a bit more comfortable I think it'll grow on me .

I think the tears were disappointment that I really wanted to be able to say I have gotten this one wedding thing done and walked away happy. Frustratingly enough, I'm not really sure what I would like better than the dress I have. Just in case, I bought another one on sale from JCrew that is not scheduled to ship until June 30 as a fall back plan. Amy gave me the thumbs up on that one. But maybe I should wear the one I have for the ceremony and do a costume change into something comfortable for the reception. Something in a color I never wear. I do think that it's a lovely dress; my main issues right now are that it is pretty uncomfortable.

There is this incredible pressure associated with all things wedding-related that I wish I could say I am avoiding. There is sort of an expectation that as The Bride you will 1) know what you want and 2) enjoy it. Yet I have no idea what I want, not much energy for figuring it out, lots of baggage about marriage and weddings in general, and am not really able to have a good time with the process yet. Figuring out what you want or like takes time and energy I don't feel I have to give. I would like to say that I am not interested in traditional things, but I don't really feel interested or equipped to come up with my own particular brand of non-traditional. I just tried to grill Martha N about her sister Sarah who is ridiculously crafty and talented to see if there was ANYTHING I could maybe outsource to her. Martha N seems to think there is not. Friends offer to help (thanks Amy! poor Amy ...) but I haven't taken them up on it. I'm not good at asking for help. But I do think I might ask someone to do the invitations for us. Meaning, find a cute, simple cheap one, design it for us and just tell us how much it costs. Any takers?

I think what has been the most jarring for me about all of this is just how much I have been affected by it. I have been kind of an unexpected emotional rollercoaster ride, as they say. It is most definitely jarring for Jake. I'm not sure what to make of it. Intellectually I know that the stress and changes we are facing inevitably kind of grates every feeling to sharp point. It is hard to manage anyway.

But Rocky IV is on as I write this (the one where he takes on the cyborgish Russian who killed Apollo Creed by training exclusively with snow and lumber and rocks, and Adrian follows him to Siberia), so I am feeling encouraged. I am happy that the spurts of enthusiasm and clarity that I have had about wedding stuff do seem to be getting longer and closer together. Sort of like contractions are portrayed when women go into labor on TV. Maybe soon they will come together in a single painful crescendo--in a cab or a plane or stuck on the subway--and I will emerge flushed and smiling, with a color scheme and some new self-awareness.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of hot Bikram yoga (Bikram is this guy, shown with his wife) and longish runs with Jake. He mapped them out on google maps so we know how long they are, and we'll miss when we leave for the summer. 4.8 is so far our farthest -- keeping in mind that about 2 miles of it is uphill. We're going to work up the distance, hopefully.

Funny aside on Bikram: a friend who moved to Seattle from LA tells me that she saw him once in an Indian video store there. He drove up in a Bentley, was wearing white snakeskin pointy shoes, and asked for the the most recent movie by the Bollywood equivalent of Chuck Norris. In the photo he is in a pose I can get nowhere close to.

Ok -- I'm off to bring Rocky the pug to his red eye flight to NYC. I feel guilty, but then again nothing that costs that much can be all that bad. I think. Thanks for reading.

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