Monday, June 4, 2012

Fit by 40 and other lofty goals

I am not at what one could politely deem "my healthiest".

My entire life has been defined - but hopefully not to limited by - my weight.   I've always been a big girl - 5 feet, 8 inches isn't short - but I'd like to not be as wide as I am tall.  Ok, ok it's not that bad but I'm definitely not a petite person.

And so I embarked on the "Fit by 40" campaign.  Who doesn't want to look as fabulous as they possibly can on their (fake) wedding day?  For the last year and a half I've been on Weight Watchers and have managed to lose AND MAINTAIN a 40-lb weight loss.  I think there are lots of individuals out there who struggle with their weight and/or body image, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I do as well.  We all need help sometimes and mine comes in the form of a program that teaches me how to listen to my body and take care of it.

I've still got a ways to go but I can see an end in sight - an end where I'm living a healthier lifestyle that I can maintain for the rest of my days.  Turning 40 is just an excuse ... the real reason is that I've come to the realization that no one can or should love me more than I do.  It's not egotism to want to value yourself and I'm finally giving myself permission to do just that.  I'm not going to take jobs for people who abuse me, I'm not going to put food in my body that isn't good for it and makes me feel sicker in the long run and I'm not letting turning 40 (or any other age) color my outlook on life.  I have as many days on this planet as I'm gonna have but I vow to make each one as memorable and worth living as I can.  December 15th should be an epic day filled with love, laughs and happiness but I plan to make it not the only one I have.

oh Facebook how I love thee

There simply can't be a better day and age to get (fake) married in.  Sure the costumes aren't as great - I'm looking at you Elizabethean England - but wow the internet makes it easy.   Researching happens in a snap thanks to Google, announcements are instantly handled by Facebook, interesting and cute ideas are rapidly shared via Pinterest and for those with no shame and a penchant for sharing their thoughts best left to their diary online, we have the blog (raises hand sheepishly).   It is immensely rewarding to have well wishers - attending the BFFW or not - leave positive comments and good thoughts.  It's a strange and scary new world we're living in but hey ... it's also one where time and distance have been rendered irrelevant in maintaining friendships and connecting with our fellow man.  And I gotta say, I

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Do I have to pretend to care?

It's enough that I just show up, right?

It's amazing how all consuming wedding planning is.  Not necessarily because it has to be ... even for those who are actually getting married the task could easily be accomplished by finding the local courthouse.  For me - considering the goal of this event isn't to celebrate me binding myself to someone else legally, spiritually, emotionally or in any other way - it should be even easier.  I'm planning a huge birthday party.  It's okay if the baker drops the cake or my pantyhose get a run in them day of.  It's a party, it's supposed to be fun.  I'm not stressing out about it.

But man do I care.  I LOVE planning for the wedding.  I love thinking about decorations, and imagining the first song that will play and going to tastings (ok, ok, that last part is just because I like delicious food).  Now that the horrific, agonizing ordeal of finding a !@#$% wedding location is behind me I can focus on all the fun stuff.  What I'm going to wear, how my hair will look, the cute invitations, the size of the dance floor.  It's like the gift that keeps on giving ... not only do I get a kick-ass party I get to go through the completely fun process of giggling over shoes with my girlfriends and trying on different dresses.  By not attaching life and death significance to the day (which no offense to anyone who does but ummmm, really?) I can enjoy the process of throwing myself the best party EVER.

The only problem I've discovered is that none of this actually pays well.  It turns out I still have to hold down a job.  Apparently in order to have the money for said awesome party one actually has to show up at work.  Which I get.  But I'm gonna need me and my employer to come to the understanding that I'm phoning this one in.

Say Who Da What Now???

There's nothing more fun than trying to explain to complete strangers the concept of throwing a fake wedding.  And by "fun" I of course mean a variation of embarrassing to excruciating.  

My closest friends have been nothing but supportive.  My parents didn't quite get it at first but they've quickly come around and my poor father has even feigned interest in my long monologues about dessert choice.  But there's not a whole lot of ways to succinctly summarize the concept to complete strangers.  

Sometimes I get:
 "Are you depressed?" 
(Nope.  Not having kids was a conscious choice and I don't feel defined by any other human being, let alone having or not having a spouse) 

But most often it's the much more common exchange that goes:
Me (without thinking): "oh that would be perfect for the wedding!"
Stranger (usually while glancing at my left hand): "You're getting married?"
Me: "Nope, but I'm planning a lavish wedding for my 40th."
Stranger (usually with blank stare): "Huh?????"

In the end it doesn't matter what someone else's opinion is, of course.  I've always tried to live my life by my own terms and to not allow other's perceptions to influence me.  But I gotta admit, it kinda sucks sometimes.  There's a lot of stigma with being 40 and single and childless.  Is it fair?  Nope.  Does it make sense?  Nope.  But it's there nonetheless.  

Which makes it all the more important that I go forward.  Because I'm not the only one.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Location, Location, Location

If making movies was as hard to do as finding a wedding venue, the last thing you would have seen on the big screen is some grainy footage Spielberg shot as a 7-year old.  Seriously.  It was absolutely easier to create the world of Middle-Earth in a cow pasture in New Zealand than it is to find a place to hold a party in Los Angeles that charges less than $4k to walk in the door.  This isn't Sparta.  THIS. IS. MADNESS!

I began the hunt for locations a few weeks ago.  Since my birthday's the 17th, I want to have my BFFW on Saturday, December 15th.  Which is not only a popular night but also smack dab in the middle of holiday season so I'm facing extra competition for spots.  But I figure I'm starting plenty early so how hard could it be?  So, so wrong.  It's honestly sad how delusional I was.  I'd weep for the loss of my innocence if I wasn't so busy weeping over the fact that I was told by one location that their $50 a person price for pasta, green salad and water was "really quite reasonable compared to other locations".  The last time I went to the grocery store, boxes of noodles were on sale for a buck a box.  I flunked algebra in high school but I do think I'm doing the math correctly here and there is no way on this green earth that tap water, a head of iceberg and 50 cents worth of noodles somehow adds up to FIFTY dollars a person.  Someone bust out a calculator and run the numbers to confirm.

I feel like Tommie Lee Jones in The Fugitive except instead of checking every farmhouse, henhouse, doghouse, etc. I'm checking every Mason lodge, VFW hall and structure vaguely resembling four walls and a roof in a 3 state radius.  If I find one that charges no rental fee it's because they have the magical $50 pasta.  If I find one with a low fee that lets me bring in my own catering / alcohol it's because they close at 9pm (I mean even in middle school I could stay up past 9pm! Yes that was only on Fridays, and only because Miami Vice was on, but you see my point).  If I find one with a reasonable per head price (and by "reasonable" I of course mean that unless the menu is composed entirely of ingredients not found on this planet there is no way to justify that price) they want $600 - 1000 AN HOUR for the pleasure of their company.  If I were really getting married that $59 special at the Elvis Chapel of Love would be looking super good right now.

So the hunt continues.  But everyone should be prepared to fly to Middle-Earth if I can't lock something down soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


You know. Simple. Tasteful. Elegant. With a deeper (ahem) message.

Everything a BFFW should be.

It Takes A Village

You know what the best part about getting fake married is?  You find out who loves you.

I always knew I had great friends.  I've got a baby sister and a brother-in-law who would walk through fire for me (and I for them).  I've got a dozen nieces and nephews, biological and non, who make me the happiest Auntie in the world by just smiling at me.  I never thought I wasn't loved just because I didn't have a lover.

But nothing prepared me for the outpouring of support when I told everyone my plans for my BFFW.  I've got friends scouring the internet day and night for the perfect doilies, offering to make calls to vendors, brainstorming venues, pulling in favors to get me cut-rate alcohol.  Folks are so giddy with excitement for me I even had one friend say "I hated every second of planning my wedding.  But I can NOT wait to plan yours!".    Love comes in many forms.  For me it didn't come in the shape of a husband but as friends who are willing to help me dye dozens of roses in the team colors of the Seattle Seahawks.

So in that spirit I open the blog up to them.  You'll see posts from my bridesmaids (or Broad's Maids as we've taken to calling them) and other folks.  I don't need to marry in to someone else's family.  I already have a massive extended one of my own, made up of the people who love and support me day in and day out, regardless of genetic ties.  And let me tell you, that's a mighty fine thing.