Monday, April 11, 2011

The Guestbook


I’ve been home for a few hours after a six-hour shopping trip and haven’t unloaded the stuff from the back of the car. It’s just too much for me right now.

Since January, Gina and I have spent approximately sixty hours on the road in search of what we think we need for a wedding celebration.

We are less than three weeks away and it’s an exciting time. It’s also making me flip. My nerves are dying.

Recently I attended a bridal shower at her office. I hadn’t been in a high-rise for a few decades and oh, my. “Gawwwleeeeee. Gina, I SEE MY CAR DOWN THERE!”


In the middle of the night, I wake and think of details. My alarm clock wakes me and I immediately think of details. Hundreds of them.



And I tell myself, “Go outdoors and just breathe.”

It’s crunch time. Regular folks like us aren't accustomed to throwing the largest party of our lives. We need to work feverishly now and I do believe I hallucinated at the mall today, after hour number five.

“Gina, where did we park the car? It is not funny. Where’s the car?

Oh my God, I can’t… find… the CAR!


A clean pond. Breathe.


Just lovely. Breathe. Relax.

(Mental picture for readers: At the shopping mall my hair had dried in crunchy curls from sweat during a two-hour Zumbathon the night before, all enhanced with blood-shot eyes.)

“Oh Lord. That’s the mens’ room. Oops. (laughed out loud).

Where am I?

Where are WE?”

Ensuing laughter, but honestly, I’m at the end of this, already. I’m so spent, financially and emotionally, yet the best is yet to come. The payoff. Please let it be worth all of this.


Find the first lizard of the year. Breathe.

That girl can shop for days with little food and a few pee breaks. After four hours, I’m brain dead. I hate shopping now and after the wedding, I don’t plan to visit a shopping mall until next Christmas.

“Gina, I need to eat something. To hell with the diet. Let’s stop for a slice of pizza.

Do you know I tripped and almost fell into that display of crystal over there? Stop laughing. It isn't funny...

(crazy laughter)

You go into J Crew. Just go. I’ll lean against the railing here and wait. Don’t make me wait too long, either, dammit.

Don’t you DARE lead me to Abercrombie."

I’d rather die than to inhale toxic fumes. (She doesn't venture into that awful store anymore and for no apparent reason, my nasty streak reared its ugly head.) "I HATE THAT STORE. IT STINKS."


While watching the Bumbles, breathe.

“Please! I can’t look at another shoe! Let’s go. Now.”

We’ve visited two different craft stores at least twenty times. Yes, we (I) made a few little things and I have fallen in love with a little glue gun. I never used a glue gun until last week and let me tell you, when I had that mini hot glue gun in my hand, I had the POWER!

Today, what remained on our list of things to purchase was a Wedding Guest Book. We visited a “party store” where you can find anything you’ll ever want or need to throw a party. It’s a store filled with two trillion tiny items.

Ah ha! Guest books! Pens!

I said, “Oh, what the heck. It’s a guest book with some silver on the vinyl cover. The pen? It might not have ink, but for less than $15.00, it isn't bad.”

Without much thought or another glance, she threw it behind her into the buggy. Good shot.


Let’s check that off the list. Yeah!

A few hours later, we stumbled upon a very beautiful guest book with a very nice pen that we are certain is full of ink. She had it engraved and it belongs to her now.

On the mall parking lot we laughed until we cried at that flimsy guest book from the party store, suitable for one of those funny redneck weddings you see in e-mail forwards. I’m glad we decided to care.


Rest by the pond and breathe.

Wedding gown fittings, Mom’s fitting, menu and cake tastings, hair trials… all lead to a day we will always hold close to our hearts.

A union.


Both Mom and Bride are wishing for the end before it’s time.


I'm breathing and laughing with Mockingbirds. My saving grace.


Susan Gets Native said...

Breathe, Mare! :)
If I had to do all over again, there are so many things I would have done differently. But I wanted "simple" and I wanted to get it over with so I could begin my married life. Oh well.
It will be worth it. And you better dance so much at the reception, you wear holes in your perfect shoes.
Love you!

Mary said...

I will. I'll be changing into a dancing pair of shoes at the reception. Thanks, Susan ;)

Caroline said...

41 years ago we told our folks on a Sunday night that we were getting married on the following Saturday and we sure hoped they would come.
We had just immediate family, cake and champagne and I had to take finals in summer school the following Monday.
In hindsight, wouldn't do it differently if we had to do it again.
We have had 2 weddings of daughters, one simple, one fancier, it all seems to work out in the end. Best wishes to you all as the big day arrives.

PS Big sisters have told Little Sister that when it is her turn she needs to have a beach wedding so we can all go to Sanibel Island together again. :o)

Angie said...

You are going to make it, girl, and you are going to be sooooo happy --- at the reception, doing the HAPPY dance! :) Until then, just BREATHE! RELAX with the birds and bees, down by the pond. It will all be sooooo beautiful---especially the bride and bride's mother. :D Can't wait for 'after' photos.

Kerri Farley said...

Enjoy! and Breathe!

KGMom said...

A couple of things--first, been there. And I do understand completely. Except the shopping place was Banana Republic.
Second, just think--you could be planning a wedding that the whole world will be watching--aka William and Kate.
Third, enjoy it. Trust me, a year from now you will look back and smile smile smile.

Balisha said...

My very proper neighbor danced on the table at her daughter's wedding :) I was just the mother of the groom and I was a basket case..Enjoy the celebration.

NCmountainwoman said...

I would write a long comment, but I am exhausted just reading about your busy time. Just keep remembering that the end is in sight and you can relax. And thank your lucky stars you can both laugh.

cat supplies said...

Your photos are great. I have been enjoying my walks in our woods but I have to go far to find trout lilies. They are a great find. Here are photos we took from the event! Please feel free to tag yourself. Here are photos we took from the event! Please feel free to tag yourself. And nicely finished with a picture of the grizzled muzzle. True Story here Tom: Several years ago our family was on a road trip to visit some relatives... Everyone was in the car at the time (the wife, the kids, and even the dog...). We got into a horrible accident and flipped the car MANY times before it came to a stop. The wife got a helicopter ride to a trauma hospital and the kids and I got carted off to a different hospital in an ambulance. Needless to say, Our Doberman was severely injured and fled the scene the first chance she got! (It is hard to chase your dog when you are knocked out and on a stretcher!How many warblers etc will die because of this. I always wondered this but I never really find dead birds(ground conditions are great to find any)..Always hate when we get that week of really warm weather and then the cold comes back, know it can't be good for our feathered friends.

RuthieJ said...

I'm so glad you're able to find the humor in all of your wedding preparations Mare. I'm sure it will be the most beautiful wedding EVER!

davidprice said...

You hooked me with your photographs and reeled me in with the your wedding shopping hysteria. Lovely counterpoint. Found you on Murrmurrs