Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hygiene Issues

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So recently we purchased some necessary items at MembershipWarehouseCo, where you can buy such things in bulk and also sample things on toothpicks while you load your cart up with lifetime supplies of toilet paper and hemorrhoid cream and the like.

These items we purchased were of a feminine nature.

Okay, they were pads.

They were what we used to call “maxi-pads.”

Back in the old days these were made out of a curiously non-absorbent material and were almost exactly the right size and shape for Barbie to sleep on whilst camping, but nowadays they are practically paper-thin and come all folded up in a swell little plastic wrapper with the cutest little teensy-weensy adhesive tab on it.  This is an improvement in so many ways that I can’t even list them all, but I’ll say for starters that at least if you go to the grocery store to buy them, you can now fit something else in the cart besides the ginormous box of pads.  And the chocolate, the box of wine, and your shame and humiliation.

Don’t we all disguise them with other stuff?  “Oh, I had to come to the store to get these corn flakes that we desperately need at eleven p.m., and also some steel wool, and magazines and gum and oh I guess I can pick up some pads for when people visit us, they are not for me, I am genderless and have no embarrassing bodily functions.”  And then we pray to get the older lady checker with the big hairy mole on her face.

Last night The Lovely Rhonda finally cracked the seal on the box and took one out for inspection.  This was after we’d left them sitting on a bookcase in the living room for all the world to see for at least a couple of weeks.  Because we are (pick any two):  a) nurses, b) adults, c) completely clueless.  (Hint:  it’s c.)

She was behind the closed bathroom door but I could hear the zzzzzzip sound of the outer wrapper being peeled away, after which came the exclamation:  OH MY GOD, shouted TLR through the door, YOU HAVE TO SEE THESE THINGS, THEY ARE HUGE.

There followed an episode whereby I stood in the hall trying not to pee my pants laughing while we yelled things through the door to each other about the hugeness and absorbency of these new pads, i.e. “Does it go from your chin to the nape of your neck?”  and “Don’t leave one open near the toilet, it’ll suck all the water out of the bowl and swell up and smother you!”

This all reminded me of basic training, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1986.  Drill Sergeant Pringle sat on a stool, all us winsome young female recruits gathered around at his feet watching with rapt attention as he red-facedly tried to claim that he was “not embarrassed by all this, I’m married and have daughters” while he told us to carry a few such items in our packs, “one for you and one for your buddy.”  As if ONE would be doing anybody any good out in the field.  And also: “And keep it in a ziploc bag, because if it gets wet it’ll SWELL ALL UP and won’t be any good to anybody!”

At this point we died laughing to the point that he had to get up and leave.

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The Weddin’, Part V: The Reception

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So I got married on Saturday, January 5th.

After we promised to love each other until the end of time, it only made sense to then strap on the feedbag at a fantastic spread provided by the best friends two lesbians could ever have, the toothsome Kirsten and her inexplicable husband, The Davey.

We met Kirsten and their daughters at family camp a couple of years ago and, as I’m sure everyone they meet does, have grown to love all of them almost more than is healthy.  They have kids very close in age to Rhonda’s girls, they like to play games and drink things and dip things into other things and eat them, and they are delightful in every possible way.

So you can imagine our breathless incredulity when they heard that we were thinking of gettin’ hitched and the first thing they said was WE WANT TO DO THE FOOD.

Did I mention that The Davey is one of those people who cooks?  Like, so well that he used to do it for a living?

There followed a certain amount of disorganized yammering at them by us, which they kindly interpreted and/or completely ignored. They occasionally asked us questions in the weeks leading up to the wedding, questions that began with, “Do you mind if we have some –” and which we always interrupted by shouting YES PLEASE SERVE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CARE TO MAKE, POUR A BAG OF PURINA CAT CHOW ON THE TABLE IF IT SUITS YOU, WE ARE NOT WORTHY.  And so against all odds a delicious buffet was produced, for which neither I nor my lovely wife can take credit.

And which our boisterous guests stripped completely bare.  It looked like rabid locusts had descended on the table and left only what they couldn’t grasp in their horrible hairy pincers.

Dear reader(s), it was lovely.  There were nibbly things of many types and an enormous slab of smoked salmon that was hand-caught and smoked by yet another friend and church-member, Clay.  It should be noted that I was so busy schmoozing, and obviously woozy from the fumes of matrimony, that I never even saw the salmon in person but have only now become acquainted with it via photographs.  There were Cheesy Poufs, and those little quiches that are like a little savory mouthful of paradise, and also: WEENIE wraps and meatBALLS.  Because, of course, it was a lesbian wedding.  Ha. Of course.  That.  Yes.

And little cubes of cheese and crackery things and bread and all kinds of things.  I ate, um, one weenie wrap and I think a Cheesy Pouf?  Because I was busy.  And dazed.

Buffet Table #2

I have already described the cake, but I show it again here because it is so wonderful that it deserves another look.  There was even a little tree-root sticking off to one side at the back, designed specifically to be cut and fed to one another by the newlyweds.  This was a good thing because it looked complicated to slice otherwise.

Deb and Rhonda Cutting the cake

 

We also had a chocolate fountain, because we are brilliant like that.  Because Rhonda and I were fussing over the idea of having some chocolate-covered strawberries but they are so expensive and delicate and and and, and that of course was when Rhonda’s oldest piped up about how we should just have a chocolate fountain.

The reason why we wanted chocolate-covered strawberries at the reception was because way back on our first real “date,” The Lovely Rhonda brought a small cooler filled with chocolate-covered strawberries.  (This is the same reason we have a Christmas ornament shaped like a chocolate-covered strawberry.  It’s a really nice one too, not plastic or anything.)

Should you, gentle reader(s), ever have a wedding or gathering where children will be in attendance but will also be bored to death by all the dull conversation and lack of fun that grown-ups have when they get together, might I suggest a chocolate fountain?  Because the children will happily destroy all surrounding landscape with dribbles of chocolate.  They will gleefully race to and from the chocolate fountain table with precarious platefuls of pretzels, fruit and marshmallows fossilized in chocolate.  They will decorate their clothing, shoes and hair with chocolate.  They will practically dive into the chocolate and do the backstroke à la Augustus Gloop.  And it will keep them fantastically busy, and afterward they will leave and you won’t have to deal with the aftermath of giving children unfettered access to sugar for two hours.

Before:

After:

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Seriously, that table was surrounded by children at all times, to the point that TLR had to elbow through them to dive for the last strawberry, twirl it through the dwindling chocolate curtain and present it to me, moments before the teeming mob of pirahna-tots dipped that fountain dry.

Best.  Idea.  Ever.

Once everyone had attacked the buffet for a while we served up glasses of sparkling cider (this is a church, after all, no alcohol unless it’s the sacramental wine) and jointly tried to express our gratitude and humility for all who had helped us, all who had showed up, all who were happy to see us reach this day.  We tried to express this via an extremely inarticulate toast.  What it lacked in polish it made up for in enthusiasm, which I am told can compensate for a great many things.

We drank the toast using champagne flutes given to me by my grandmother years ago, beautiful cut-crystal things with platinum rims.  It was my way of including her in this happiest day of my life.  I am happy to say that my other grandmother, still pretty spry for 87, was in attendance and welcomed Rhonda to the family.

I am a very lucky woman.

At the end of it all, when the last chocolate-smeared parent was herding the final protesting child out to the car, we turned to find our friends who had slaved in the kitchen all day, and half the day before that, busily cleaning and putting things away.  Other church friends were there to stack chairs and tidy things up.

We tried to help but they chased us off.

We have the best friends imaginable.

The Weddin’, Part IV: MAWWIAGE

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So we got married on January 5th, twice, and the second time it was a little fancier than the first.

I’d made this powerpoint of photos of the five of us, arranged chronologically, set to music.  When we met, the younger of The Lovely Rhonda’s two daughters was only a year old, her older one was not quite three, and mine was just turning four.  It’s nearly five years later, so they have changed a bit.

This powerpoint was playing on the gigantic plasma screen in the sanctuary as guests were filing in before the ceremony.  I can’t include the music without paying for some kind of upgrade, so imagine Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World playing as you view it, and if there is time, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds singing You & Me.

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Then when it was time, Sting’s The Secret Marriage.  This is a short song, only about two minutes, and I think it kind of sums up the way it is for people who for whatever reason cannot marry: 

No earthly church has ever blessed our union
No state has ever granted us permission
No family bond has ever made us two
No company has ever earned commission

No debt was paid no dowry to be gained
No treaty over border land or power
No semblance of the world outside remained
To stain the beauty of this nuptial hour

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

No flowers on the alter
No white veil in your hair
No maiden dress to alter
No Bible oath to swear

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

Toward the end, Rhonda’s youngest emerged as the flower girl.  She walked very slowly at first, tossing each hand-selected petal carefully first to one side, then the other.  After a few such occurrences she looked up and realized everyone was staring at her.  At this point she bolted to the front of the church to stand in her appointed spot, mortified and alone.  So I am told, as I was waiting in the entryway of the church like a good bride.  The ring bearers walked out in turn without incident and soon we stood before the altar, our super awesome minister poised above us.

There was a brief pause, and then, a la Peter Cook in The Princess Bride, Pastor Don opened his mouth and intoned:  “MAWWIAGE!  MAWWIAGE IS WHAT BWINGS US TOGEVVAH!  TODAY!”

mawwiage

…Okay, so when we asked him if he would do this for us, he had never seen the movie.  We showed him a clip of that scene on YouTube using Rhonda’s phone and he immediately agreed.  “I’m a bit of a ham!” said he.  We were fairly sure that many of our esteemed guests would be fluent enough in Dorkish to get this, and we were not disappointed.  There was a roar of laughter.  This very neatly set the tone for the rest of the ceremony.

After this there was the usual stuff about what makes a marriage and all that mushy stuff.  There were things we were made to repeat to each other.  Rings were produced.  I helpfully indicated which finger the ring should be placed upon.

helpful

At one point the minister asked the assembled guests whether they would support us as a married couple to which, to my great and happy surprise, they responded shoutingly to the affirmative before he could even finish asking the question.

The minister from the church we used to attend was there too, reading poems in between things that we were repeating and so forth.

After the third and last such poem I turned to face the assembly.

“Okay, so, Rhonda doesn’t know about this part,” I said cheerfully, and pulling a folded poem that was tucked into my highpockets (as my Grandmother called it), gave the signal to the computer guy running the show in the back to fire up the secret powerpoint that I had smuggled in earlier.

highpockets

Here I have inserted the poem into the powerpoint so that both of you can see it:

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I must say that it was deeply satisfying to express all of this in the nerdiest way possible, i.e. using a powerpoint and a piece of paper retrieved from one’s brassiere.

At the end of the ceremony there came that magic moment when you could kiss the bride.  There was kissing, despite the fact that I am not the sort of person inclined to do such things whilst on display in front of my family, friends and co-workers.  It was made clear to me that this was necessary, to the point that bodily harm may come to me should I merely present a cheek for the kiss.

I am told that the flower girl chose that moment to throw, with great enthusiasm, the petals remaining in her wee basket.  This constituted a lot of petals since, as stated earlier, she only cast a few down before stampeding down the aisle in a panic.  Nevertheless, the timing was perfect.First Kiss

We made our retreat accompanied by hooting, catcalls, cheering, applause, and the ringing of a sh!tload of bells, lovingly crafted into beribboned fistfuls by stray members of the behind-the-scenes wedding party (millions of thanks to Bobby and Alison).  The song, not that anyone could hear it, was Lyle Lovett’s She’s No Lady. 

It was, in a word, perfect.

Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion:  The Weddin’, Part V: The Reception

The Weddin’ — Part III: BRIDEZILLA UNLEASHED

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So we got married on Saturday January 5th.  In our last thrilling installment, we had just had our collective hairs styled by gum-cracking teens at the local beauty school and were speeding on our way to the church, oblivious to the carnage that awaited us.

Okay, not really.  But that sounds more interesting than, “And things were being prepared and more or less on schedule.”

Our besties Kirsten and her mister, The Davey, were up to their elbows in little nibbly things in the kitchen.  They volunteered to make the food for the wedding, which was in part why we held it when we did.  We also told them to make anything they wanted including — snicker — meatballs and little miniature weenie wraps.  (Get it?  For a lesbian wedding?  We slay ourselves!) And those little quiches, oh lordy how I do love those.  And cheesy poufs.  And and and.

buffet

At one point we were idly discussing, at home with the kids a few weeks before the wedding, whether it was feasible to have chocolate-covered strawberries at the reception when the Middle Spawn piped up with, “You guys should just have a chocolate fountain!”  We roundly proclaimed the brilliance of this idea.  She still reminds us how she is a genius because Mama told her so when she said that.   More on this later.

We flitted about throwing tablecloths on tables, fussing over the candles in the sanctuary, oohing and aahing over the flowers and the cake, both of which arrived very shortly before the wedding was to begin.

I cannot even begin to describe how gorgeous the flowers were.  Our flower guy, Justin at Bloke, did such an amazing job.

Bridezilla Moment:  The bouquets were not quite identical, though very similar.  The Lovely Rhonda asked me which one I wanted and I said, “Oh, I don’t care, they’re both pretty simil — OMG I WANT THAT ONE IT HAS PURPLE TENDRILS.”  And snatched it out of her hands like she was a dingo and it was my baby.  Observe:

And the cake!  Was so fantastic!  And perfect!  And even had three little fondant owls on it representing the Collective Spawn.

I’m the one on the left. TLR claimed the one with the pink bow as herself in ceramic salt-shaker form.

The fact that it arrived what felt like five minutes before the ceremony (but was probably more like a half hour, if not more)?  Just a little nerve-wracking, but I had faith in our beautiful cake-maker.  Who is beautiful AND makes beautiful cakes.

Out of respect for TLR’s dignity I won’t divulge too much about HER Bridezilla Moment, except to say that pantyhose are the very devil. 

And it really wasn’t so much of a Bridezilla Moment as it was a failure on the part of the hosiery industry to provide hose that are durable enough to withstand the stresses of your average wedding day.  Also: acrylic nails are rather tricky when it comes to the application of reluctant pantyhose to the legs of the modern bride, particularly when she is in a bit of a rush.  My BFF from high school, Alison, was dispatched to the local Fred Meyer to purchase more, thus saving the day.  Nothing worse than a wrathful, bare-legged bride.

We took a few photos in the sanctuary before the wedding began, when only a few early birds had arrived.  I haven’t gotten those back yet but rumor has it that the great guy who took the photos will be polishing them up this weekend.  Can’t wait!

Next up:  Weddin’, Part IV: MAWWIAGE

The Weddin’ — Part II

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So we got married on Saturday.  The first time was of course just for show.  And to get lattes.

After that we stampeded on home to throw some of our stuff in the van and then head to the beauty school down the street for some beautification.

Because, you know, it’s a weddin’.  We got to look all purty.  And, I’m a lesbian.  For a long time, my idea of beautification involved wearing my newer Crocs, and maybe earrings.  So, although I’ve come a long way in recent years, I’m not exactly well-versed in Fancy Hair.

We had inquired at the salon we usually frequent, about whether they could gussy us up for the nuptials.  Sure, they said, but it would cost ninety dollars.

Each.

Oh, and they didn’t have two appointments available that day anyway.

So no.  The Lovely Rhonda then phoned up the beauty school to see what could be done.  Turns out they are always looking for victims  guinea pigs customers.

At the beauty school they managed to get the entire wedding party — the brides, the three little-girl attendants, my oldest friend from high school, and our babysitter — done in about an hour.  And, at fifteen bucks a pop, it was 105.00 plus tip for the entire posse.

A few days ago I posted a rather snarky comment on Facebook about some ladies, a mother and daughter, that I saw at the supermarket.  They looked as though they had just stepped out of that Jersey Shore show — voluminous dyed black hair, snug outfits, designer purses, teetery shoes, tons of cleavage, heavy makeup.

Guess who owns the salon?

Jersey Mama.  Nice lady, as it turns out.  Remind me to cut the snark back a little further.

The nervous, sweaty students spent this hour applying every curling iron in the building to the various hairs of our various heads.  I learned some stuff.

1.  If you normally have straight hair, curls are required for fancy events.

2. The opposite is true if you normally have curly hair.

3. Curling irons come in a dizzying array of “barrel sizes.”

4. A 5-year-old will sit unnaturally still for an hour if a teenaged beauty school student is wielding a hot hairstyling implement to her head.

5. It takes a solid hour of attention with a one-inch-diameter-barrelled curling iron, as well as expert supervision by a trained professional, to make my hair straight.

6. Not to mention about a can and a half of hairspray.

7. Curly hair is much longer when straightened.  (I already knew this but threw it in because it was dramatically longer and I felt that this deserved mention).

Afterward we returned home for a mad scramble of gathering various Fancy Event Costuming bits and personal care products after which we high-tailed it to the church, arriving only about fifteen minutes later than we had estimated.  Not bad.

Next:  The Weddin’, Part III: BRIDEZILLA UNLEASHED

The Weddin’ — Part I

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So I got married on Saturday.

It was, you know, kind of okay.  I guess.

Actually, I got married twice.

The first time was at Starbucks.

Yeah.

Starbucks.

Because, we needed to get married in Washington.  And our church is in Oregon.

So, we met the minister at the Starbucks down the way and we all got lattes and things to eat and then the children sat at a different table with the babysitter while we sat with Pastor Don and got the legalities out of the way.  The other Starbucks patrons probably thought we were meeting with our realtor or something, except that Don was all gussied up with the clerical collar and all that.

He asked us the questions and we gave him the answers and we signed the papers and there was a kiss.

And then one of the kids spilled her juice all over the kids’ table.

spilled apple juice

Such is married life, already.

Bachelorette Party

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So I got married last Saturday.  The lucky recipient of my affections would be The Lovely Rhonda, in case there was any doubt.

Obviously if there is going to be a wedding, there must be a party, and it follows that if it is my party, it must be timed very poorly.  We were unable to go over the holidays because mumble mumble Christmas mumble mumble New Years mumble mumble kids, money, working, school mumble mumble.

This just in:  the word mumble is hilarious.

Anyway, we went out the night before.  To a drag show.  That starts at 10:30pm.  Also: I am in my forties.

We had originally intended to have a shootin’ party, but that turned out to be more hassle than we could manage with everything else going on.  And then the Sandy Hook thing happened, and, all other arguments aside, it felt disrespectful to plan to go shooting for fun so close to that.  We will go sometime this year but not right now.

Fortunately we had our fall-back plan which was to go see a lot of men dressed up as ladies, because yes.  Booze plus sequins plus makeup plus a bunch of damn lesbians?  Good times!

Naturally TLR insisted we don white satin sashes emblazoned with “BRIDE.”  They were very nearly left behind at the house (um, certainly not by anyone’s nefarious plan but merely accidentally) but a quick u-turn and order was restored, over my vehement objections that we might not have time to get Starbucks if we turned back.  TLR was quite determined so my pleas went unheeded.  Thus a taste of married life was enjoyed a night ahead of schedule.

We got our coffee and skidded into the drag club with mere moments to spare.  Those queens are very particular about seating large parties by a certain time or the deal is off.

A good dozen or so of our best/youngest/most durable friends showed up, and they were not disappointed.  We had been seated up front so that the public humiliation recognition of our impending nuptials could be enjoyed by all.

The show was fun, as always.  There was the requisite Liza performance.

Liza

And Celine.

It's All Coming Back To Me Now

Prince, of course.

Prince

And several incarnations of Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga

Gaga

Poison Waters was there to make the straight boys uncomfortable.

Poison Waters

Or not.

Oh baby

The owner of the club and mistress of ceremonies is Darcelle, who is 82 and still rockin’ the sequins like nobody else, although sans the heels these days and who can blame her?

Darcelle

She’s still doing her signature number, a sassy take on “Rhinestone Cowboy” complete with assless chaps.

You heard me.  82.  Assless chaps.  What’s holding you back from YOUR dream?

Elderly Ass Cheeks

Darcelle called us up on stage toward the end and congratulated us and gave a little heartfelt spiel about marriage equality.  I don’t have pictures of that yet but I’m sure someone will send me one soon.

Of course, no drag show is complete without the big finale.

The Big Finale

It was fun and then it was over and then we went home to bed so we could get up and get married, the end.