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Small Goals | October 2017

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Small Goals

I hadn’t actually planned on writing a blog post today. In fact, I wasn’t much concerned with getting back into any kind of blogging routine. I don’t know what blogging is to me anymore, and I care far more about my zines and other projects than keeping a regular blog–but sometimes it’s nice just to talk things out, so I thought I’d do a little small goals update for October.

Bake and decorate festive sugar cookies. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with cake baking and decorating, so now I’m looking to hone my skills in the world of decorated cookies. I’ve never made a royal icing, or even a particularly well-shaped batch of sugar cookies, but since October is the month of my favorite holiday, I’m going to try making some bats, cats, and pumpkins before the month is through.

Finish a short story mini zine. I’ve been dipping my toe into the world of horror short stories for the past few months, and I’d like to start putting them out into the world in ways other than my Patreon, so my hope is that one of the stories, “The Birthday Party,” will become a 1/8 letter size zine by the end of the month.

Finish + return my library books. Weeks ago I ended up putting hold requests on ten books, and to my surprise they all seemed to become available within days of each other. Since then, I’ve been trying my damnedest to finish them before they’re due back–and now I’m completely out of renewals, with four books left, so it’s either finish them or bust! But I’m especially determined to finish them up so I can request Caitlin Doughty’s new book, From Here to Eternity, because I’m itching to get my hands on that one.

October 6, 2017
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Small Goals | August 2017

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Small Goals

Long time no see! I’ve been taking a lot of time for myself over the past few weeks, focusing on the things I want to do (mostly reading, exercising, and cleaning the house) and trying to avoid pressuring myself to do too much of anything else. I dropped off on my bookstagram, too, for a while, even though I’ve been doing a ton of reading. I just needed some me time. To be honest, I’m still not going to be posting as often as I was before, but it’s nice to be finding the right balance for myself now.

Continue to send out writing submissions. Only one, but that’s something! Plus, it was accepted, so it’s definitely a win for July.

Get caught up on 100 Horror Films. Yeah, not quite. I’m still about twenty movies behind, which I don’t think is going to take me long to reach, so I’m not quite freaking out–yet. But I do need to get cracking.

Clean my office. LOL. This did not happen, but I’m actually on planning on doing it today. It’s even on my to do list in my planner!Send out two more submissions. One last month was good, but since I’ve got a few things in the work this month (a couple more poems, mostly), I’d like to get them ready start sending out, because the more I put out there, the more chances to get accepted!

Read seven books. I actually achieved this in July, without even trying, and I’d like to keep the momentum going. I think requesting so many from the library has been helping to keep me engaged and excited to read.

Finish my horror short story. It’s this kind of ethereal yet macabre piece inspired by the Marilyn Monroe biography I’ve been reading and all of the horror films I’ve been watching. I’m feeling so enthusiastic and excited about it, so I think if nothing else, I’ll definitely achieve this one.

What are you aiming for in August?

August 8, 2017
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Small Goals | July 2017

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Small Goals

Sometimes I wonder why I bother doing these posts if halfway through the month my goals are going to be different from what they were at the beginning of the month. It’s a lot like my tbr lists, actually. I make them, and then just kind of shrug and say, “Screw it,” if I decide something more interesting or important has come along.

Finish writing and revising Whatsername #4. Okay, if I’m being honest, I still have a few pages to fill with content in this issue, but considering I not only wrote and revised but also laid them out what I have so far, I think this counts as a success. I should even have the issue finished and ready to list on Etsy before July is through.

Write for at least fifteen minutes every day. Maybe? I stopped filling out my habit tracker partway through the month. (Full disclosure: I just got lazy. It happens.) I can’t quite call this a win or loss, but I feel happy with what I did produce in June, and that’s what really matters.

Read five books. Technically, I only read four and started a fifth. So I’m going to call it a win, even if only one book was from my original tbr for the month.

Continue to send out writing submissions. I actually sent out two submissions in June, even without it being a “small goal,” and I’d like to keep doing so. It feels good to try putting my work out there in a different avenue than my usual choices (i.e, doing it all myself).

Get caught up on 100 Horror Films. I’m not uncomfortably behind, but I’d still like to get caught up so I don’t have to worry about falling even farther behind before the last third of the project comes along.

Clean my office. My office at home hasn’t been a particularly enticing place to work lately, and I’d like to go through everything in it, get rid of anything I don’t need/want, and reorganize what I can. It’s just kind of a hot mess right now, and I want to be excited to work in it again.

What are you aiming for in July?

July 3, 2017
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Madame Sherri Forest & Castle, Chesterfield, New Hampshire

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Madame Sherri Forest Trail Sign

This past Saturday, Dan and I took our fourth hike of the year so far, which is already notable just in the fact that it’s more than I think I’ve ever done in any year past. I’m well on my way to my goal of seven hikes, and I’ll probably surpass it.

This time around, we went to the Madame Sherri Forest in Chesterfield, NH. It’s one of our first hikes out of the Haunted Hikes of New Hampshire book that we have, and it was my favorite hike overall so far, not only for the “haunted” aspects but also the area itself.

Madame Sherri Forest, Chesterfield, NH

Staircase arches at Madame Sherri Forest

The forest houses the ruins of Madame Antoinette Sherri’s “castle,” a grand, fifteen-room house that she’d had built to house parties over the summertime. As she grew older, though, she no longer be able to host the parties and instead took up residence in a Vermont nursing home. The castle went into disrepair before burning down in 1962, presumably due to arson. The site is allegedly haunted because, well, what’s a ruinous site in the forest without a few ghosts to go along with it? It’s said that you might spot Madame Sherri at the top of the staircase, and if you take a listen, you can hear phantom laughter and music.

We didn’t hear anything, but it was a beautiful place to start our walk nonetheless. The ruins are on a little side path before you get to the actual trail, and there’s honestly not a whole lot there: a staircase with archways and a fireplace at the top. I was kicking myself when we left the house, though, because I forgot to pack the digital recorder that Dan got me for our anniversary a few years ago; even though we didn’t hear anything ourselves, who knows what the recorder might have picked up? So on top of going back just to hike another one of the trails, I want to go back just to do a little more investigating at the ruins.

Fireplace at Madame Sherri Forest

Staircase archway at Madame Sherri Forest

After our stop at the ruins, we headed out to the trail. There are a few different options–the Ann Stokes Loop, Daniels Mtn. trail, and Mt. Wantastiquet trail–and we went with the Ann Stokes Loop for our first trip. This took us up the mountain, with another trail that we stopped on, this time at Indian Pond, on the way up. All of the views along the trail were great, from the tree canopy, to the pond, to the view from the top. Most of my photos didn’t do them justice, but I love what I did get.

Indian Pond, Madame Sherri Forest

Ann Stokes Loop, Madame Sherri Forest

This was a moderate trail, which means I spent a fair amount of time grumbling and yelling, “Oh my god!” every time we were going uphill, which was often. As with all of our hikes like this, though, it was worth the trouble. I felt incredibly proud of myself after, and everything we saw was breathtaking. From just the trails signs to the view of Chesterfield from the ledges above to the plant life, the whole experience was beautiful and invigorating.

As I’ve said, this is the most hikes I’ve ever done in a year for the simple fact that I’ve never really been a “hiker.” While Dan’s gone on a couple of overnights, I just haven’t been that serious about it (or any kind of exercise to be honest), but something about this year made me want to start trying more, and I’ve been enjoying each trip so much so far. I’m looking forward to see what others we end up doing, haunted or not (although the more haunted the better in my opinion).

small white flowers

mushrooms

June 12, 2017
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Small Goals | June 2017

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Small Goals

I did my first monthly/small goals post in a while last month, and I really enjoyed having a focus for May, especially only a few small ones. I didn’t feel too overwhelmed, and even though I–spoiler–didn’t fully accomplish any of them, I do feel like I accomplished something on each of  them, so I’m not getting down on myself either. I’m excited to go over last month’s goals, see what I can continue versus what I want to change or set aside for a while and share a couple of goals for June as well.

Send out three writing submissions.  I sent out one. However, I did make a list of places to submit, and I’m currently revising a piece to send out in the next week or so. Sometimes you just don’t have the right thing to share, either because the publication has a certain theme or you just haven’t found the right place for what you have. But I’m excited to be taking steps, even if they’re slow baby steps for now.

Finish my Daria zine.  I’ve got all of the text laid out in InDesign and ready to print, but I started second guessing whether or not I want to finish this project the way I’ve set it up so far. I’m not feeling enthusiastic about the pieces I’ve written, and part of me would like to open it up to submissions for a bigger comp zine. I’m nervous to do it, though, because the last few times I’ve tried, I haven’t gotten nearly enough submissions. So I think this is going to sit around on my laptop for a while until I decide where to take it.

Write another 3,000 words on my novel.  Close! I got through 2,000 words, which is more than I’ve done since about February, so I can’t fault myself for it. The first thousand flew by, which was of course exciting and encouraging, but then as I moved onto the next thousand, boy, was that a slog. But I managed that much at least, so at least I’m that much further along with the book.

Finish writing and revising Whatsername #4. I’m thrilled to work on this issue of my perzine because it’s all about my relationship with horror and being a weirdo goth/emo/punk kid in school. I started working on this before I’d even finished issue three simply because I’ve been getting so deep into horror again, and it’s brought back a lot of nostalgia for me over the past couple of months. I’ve got a rough outline, and I’m having such a blast writing each piece, so I think this one is definitely achievable for me.

Write for at least fifteen minutes every day. I have a little row of habit tracker boxes specifically for this, and it’s kind of a dream for me to fill out every one of them for June. I’m going to count all kinds of things, too: blog posts, journaling, poetry, novel work, whatever–just maybe not my grocery list. I’ve never had a good habit for my writing, at least not a lasting one, and I’d like to start making it a more regular part of my day. I’m hoping to go back over the bit on writing in Lauren Graham’s book because that made such a difference for me when I first read it that I think it’ll be helpful to take another look.

Read five books. I’ve been a very slow reader this year. By this time last year I’d read about twice as many books as I have now, and while it’s not a contest, I do love to read. I just haven’t been making it a priority, instead letting myself get sucked into way too many shows on Netflix or listening to podcasts and coloring (which is fine and relaxing, but maybe something I need to take a break on, especially now that I’m caught up on my favorites). It’s just unusual for me not to read more than I have been, so I’d like to get back to my usual self. My tbr right now only has three books for the month, but I’m sure I can find more once I finish those.

I really wanted to include something that wasn’t “write…”, but I guess the best I could do was a reading goal instead. What can I say? I’m a lover of the written word.

What are some of your June goals, big or small?

June 5, 2017
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Cursive Letters Into Knives: About My Newest Tattoo

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When I was thirteen, I fell in love with my two favorite bands, one right after the other. I listened to Green Day’s American Idiot on my Discman every morning and afternoon, to and from school, and I was quickly sucked into the mystery of who was singing the opening to “Letterbomb.” Digging through the liner notes, I found Kathleen Hanna’s name credited and did what googling I could from there. YouTube didn’t exist yet. Wikipedia was still so young. The best thing I came up with was a thirty-second clip of “Rebel Girl” on the VH1 website. So I took a few notes, and on my next trip to FYE, I picked up a copy of Pussywhipped.

I listened to it in the car on the way home, the sounds harsh and unpolished in my headphones, and it might not have been instant love, but it was definitely second-listening love.

A month ago, just over twelve years later, I got my second Bikini Kill tattoo (the first being the turntable off of the New Radio album). Dan and I were driving home Brattleboro on a Saturday afternoon, windows down, Green Day’s Revolution Radio loud in the few speakers my car has, and it felt like it was finally time for this one. It’s an idea I’d had for probably ten years, but in the last few I’ve just never had the money for it, so I kept putting it off and getting smaller black and grey pieces instead. But this time the money was in savings, and I couldn’t in my heart wait any longer.

A switchblade tattoo with the words "We are turning cursive letters into knives" wrapped around it

I’ve listened to every Bikini Kill album countless times since I first discovered them. Various songs have cycled through my life as something of an anthem at that moment when I needed it, but the one I always come back to–besides the undeniable “Rebel Girl”–is “Bloody Ice Cream,” from the album Reject All American. It’s always appealed to my writer sensibilities, and its impact has grown all the more noticeable over the years.

The song is short, half a dozen lines or so long, but it’s always been influential to me.

The Sylvia Plath story is told to girls who write
They want us to think that to be a girl poet means you have to die
Who is it that told me all the girls who write must suicide?
I’ve another good one for you
We are turning cursive letters into knives

It’s brief, but it’s full of bite and meaning to me. The phenomenon of women writers committing suicide (Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf). The bullshit nature of that overwhelming narrative–these women weren’t just cases of suicide but amazing writers. And the power that we have when we write, using the words to fight and to survive.

That last line has always felt like a big “fuck you” to that fatalist narrative to me, and it’s stuck with me. It’s how I made it to twenty-six and how I’ll make it to twenty-seven, twenty-eight, and beyond. And this tattoo is to remind me of that and how much it matters to me and the impact that women writers–tragic or not–have had on my life and the world.

May 22, 2017
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Be My Friend: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, if you do not know, is a series about four girls–Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget–all born within days of each other and who as a result are something like built-in friends from the womb onward. The books specifically follow them through four summers, the first summer being their first time all apart, and just before they’re each set to leave on their own trips, they discover the magic of a thrift store pair of jeans that fits them all despite their various shapes and sizes. Obviously, these magic pants are the key to keeping them together even when they’re apart.

This is a book series I’ve been reading since about the time it started coming out in 2001, and despite my tbr plans for April, I ended up rereading them all once again–even the adult sequel, Sisterhood Everlasting. The books have always tapped into a lot of feelings for me, but this reading was different from the usual experiences throughout my teen years.

I’m a person who stays bitter and holds grudges. Maybe it’s the Aries in me or maybe it’s just a stunt in my emotional growth; either way, I’m getting too old to bother denying that anymore. So while, in the moment, many of my past friendships seemed good, they fell apart, and hindsight shows me that they weren’t what I thought at the time. I find it hard to forget that people have left me for other, better friends (or boyfriends) or that they were emotionally manipulative during our so-called friendship. Even though I should know better, even though I do have some good friends now, it still feels like it must have been my fault. It feels like there’s something wrong with me. It feels like I’m not good enough.

So when I read and reread The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, even now, ten years older than the girls were that first summer–and only a few years younger than they are in Sisterhood Everlasting–I find myself wavering between living vicariously through the story of their friendship and being envious of it. As a teenager, it was their fraught relationships with boys that made my heart ache, but now it’s their strong relationships with each other.

The bonds between the girls are so strong throughout the series as to seem almost impossible, but I can’t help believing in them despite my own experiences. I’m reaching a point when I start to think I’ll never have a best friend quite like them–which isn’t to say I don’t love the friends I do have. It’s just that, if I’m honest with all of us, they certainly don’t look like the friendship in the books and they don’t feel strong in the same way. Maybe I’m expecting too much from us, though. Maybe the books are an impossible standard. Maybe I’ll never really know.

The series is contemporary YA, which isn’t necessarily en vogue right now unless a horrific illness is involved, but far be it from me to criticize a series lauding female friendships and showing them in such an authentic, positive light just because it’s not the “it” thing to read. The books are also a little dated with the technology mentioned throughout (the newest was released in 2011 after all), but, at least for me, that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. I don’t read them to hear about the iPhone models the girls have.

I read these books for the friendship I just never had: theirs.

May 8, 2017
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Small Goals | May 2017

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Small Goals

April was a hard month for me. Some reasons are legitimate; some are just excuses.

For May, I needed a way to refocus myself in my work and my goals, and I realized the somewhat obvious solution was that I actually needed to have goals again. Sure, I’ve got my goals for the year, but I need to break them down further to be both mindful of what I want and gentle on myself as I take the steps to get there.

In a fit of inspiration gleaned from the myriad small goals posts out there each month (my favorites being Kay’s, Nicole’s, and Mia’s), I’m writing up my own. Maybe I’ll do them every month, maybe I won’t. But I needed them for May, so here we go.

Send out three writing submissions. / I mentioned this in my April recap, as well, but I wanted to expand on it a little bit. I’m excellent at self publishing my work. I have number of outlets for doing so, but I almost never submit my writing for publication by other people. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had anything published in at least a year. While I don’t need someone else to say, “Yes, this writing is good and we want to publish it for you,” it also doesn’t hurt to offer myself up in the hopes of expanding my audience to people and places that might not find me without that middle person. So in May, I would like to write and send out three submissions–three separate submissions or one submission to three places, either one will count.

Finish my Daria zine. / The ridiculous part about this is that my Daria zine is almost finished already. I just got stuck on it in March, then fell apart in April and lost all motivation to just wrap it up. I’d like to take May to finish the last piece or two to include and wrap up the assembly. It’s been a bummer not having anything to share after such a strong February and March and watching my Etsy sales plummet without adding anything new to my distro. My hope is that this will kick up interest again and help me start getting back on schedule with my zine goals.

Write another 3,000 words on my novel. / I haven’t worked on my novel in months, but it hasn’t been too far from my mind. When you think about something like NaNoWriMo, three thousand words doesn’t seem like much of a goal, but as I was choosing a number, I tried to keep in mind my other goals and obligations for the month and be realistic. I don’t always accomplish realism in my goals, and it’s something I’d like to start working on more to keep myself from feeling too overwhelmed by everything I want to achieve.

And that’s it. I was considering doing five, but as I mentioned, I want to keep it realistic and avoid inundating myself with too much all at once.

What are you hoping to achieve in May?

May 1, 2017
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The Betty & Barney Hill Incident, Rte. 3, New Hampshire

Posted in Horror, Personal, Pop Culture by

On a cold, sunny day the weekend before the March 2017 Snowpocalypse, I trekked my way north with Dan and some friends to achieve a life goal that took me far longer than it should have to reach. Taking Interstate 93 north through Ashland, Plymouth, Woodstock, up to exit 33 to Lincoln. We pulled off onto Route 3 and drove for maybe five minutes, keeping our eyes peeled against the bright white of the snow–a stark contrast to all the brown we’d had at home up until the following Tuesday–for the Indian Head Resort.

Twice Dan almost stopped too early because there were two large signs for the resort (one mile ahead, half a mile ahead…), but we finally came to it and spotted the opening to the parking lot at the last minute. We pulled in, and my head whipped left and right as I looked for the green sign with white lettering marking the event my home state for over twenty years deemed historical: The Betty & Barney Hill Incident.

The short story is that Betty and Barney Hill, a New Hampshire couple, were driving home from a vacation to Canada when they spotted a bright light in the sky. Maybe it was a plane. Maybe it was a star. Jupiter was out that night, too. They continued driving for a while before finally pulling off the road and watching the bright light, which moved erratically, in ways a plane or any other known aircraft should move, before realizing it was coming down to meet them.

The first part of story was that they watched it for a while before growing scared, jumping back into their car, and driving away, continuing their journey home. But as they drove, they realized they suddenly couldn’t account for  about thirty-five miles of travel distance. They’d experienced missing time. The second part of the story only came later, after connecting with several members of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and were put under hypnosis by a doctor to whom they were referred.

The second part of the story says they were abducted, tested, and returned to their car after, having their memories scrubbed to avoid the news getting out.

(That worked out well.)

Along with the official marker on Route 3, there’s a little gas station and convenience store that serves as something of a makeshift memorial. it features a plastic-covered painting on the outer wall at the front of the store. Inside, among the candy, chips, and beer, are newspaper clippings, summaries of incidents in other states and countries, photos, and a bulletin board devoted purely to the Hills’ experience.

Despite everything being so small and looking underwhelming, the entire experience was thrilling for me. When I was a little girl, I got a book from Borders that had a blurb about the Hills in it and I was floored to find out that they were from New Hampshire–that’s where I lived! It was unbelievable to me at the time that something so exciting could have occurred so close by little ol’ me.

I would often spend evenings outside, sometimes alone and sometimes with my dad, watching the skies for a hint of something strange. Usually it was just an airplane or a blimp or even a hot air balloon once, but my faith in what’s out there has never once wavered. On long drives home late at night, it’s not uncommon for my head to snap up and my body to move with the sky to keep the best view on something I’ve seen. I almost always end up seeing the blinking lights of a plane or checking the sky map on my phone to determine it’s a planet, but once or twice I lost sight of a bright light in the sky before I could be quite sure.

Visiting this little monument to the strange and unusual has fanned the tiny flame that was already in me to do some investigating this year, even if it just means camping up in the mountains or visiting other strange places in New England. Maybe I’ll never have the chance to see something obvious in the sky, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop looking.

the simpsons keep watching the skies

April 10, 2017
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Surprise! I Got Married! …Six Months Ago

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Come sit down, deary, and hear a love story full of mishaps and matrimony.

It starts a little over nine years ago, when Dan and I started talking on AIM, became MySpace friends, and eventually more than that. We had at least two classes together junior year that I can remember–English and College Chemistry, the latter of which still makes friends giggle because chemistry. For our first date, Dan took me to see Stephen King’s The Mist, an adaptation that neither of us enjoyed, which was a shame because I adore the short story and had been reading it in my spare time not long before. We were actually supposed to go out the night before, but it was late, it was dark, and it was December in the middle of nowhere, so Dan wasn’t able to find my house. The next day was much luckier, it turned out.

We went to college together, moved into our first apartment (along with Dan’s future best man) our junior year of college, and now here we are. He was my first serious boyfriend, and in all that time I didn’t need to bother with another.

A little over two years ago, we went to Boston Comic Con for the first time, and the whole time leading up to it Dan kept telling me about these really good tacos that he’d had in Boston and how we should go. Silly me, I agreed to it before we even got to BCC, so by the end of the afternoon at the con, I was feeling gross in the early August heat–but I let him drag me around because a. I love tacos and b. he swore they would be worth it. He got us a water taxi, which was also very cool and a good bit of relief from the heat, and I felt a little better, until we got off the dock and back into the summer heat. Then the sneaky bugger begged me to make a pit stop in some park “over there” because it “looked cool.” Please imagine me, dragging my feet around oceanside Boston because Dan wants to go sit in a park for the view, and he couldn’t even figure out where the park entrance was. I just wanted tacos! And home!

Now imagine Dan as we’re finally in the park, walking toward a bench, when a wedding party walks by us and the first thing out of my mouth is, “Ew, a wedding.” Not because I meant it, mind you, but because I’m an asshole.

Well, we got to the bench, I finally got to sit down, and it began: Dan started saying sweet things (sweeter than usual, I mean) with his hand in his pocket (which I promise wasn’t inappropriate), and in what felt like two seconds he was kneeling, and asking me to marry him. My response?

“Duh.”

Because I am a woman of many kind words.

From there, it was about two years of surprisingly simple planning. We always hear horror stories about wedding planning disasters and day-of dilemmas. Well, I only dealt with one of the two. The planning itself went smoothly, from finding my dress two months after our engagement to finding a venue we could easily afford to rent for two days (a prep day and an event day). I even found two bridesmaids dresses at the mall during prom season that were less than $100 combined and were damn near the same fabric despite being from different stores. My attitude through most of the planning was very, “Whatever,” because nothing seemed worth stressing out over, and most things came easily as a result.

And then the wedding day came. Strike that–the day before the wedding came. I had taken the day off from work to help prep our venue, a little pond-side cabin rented from our college alma mater, and on my way there I received a text from Dan: “There’s someone here with Connecticut license plates and I don’t recognize them but they seem to know me.” I didn’t even respond since I couldn’t be of much help while I was in the car on my way there. (My mom was driving, don’t worry. Don’t text and drive!)

As we pulled into the parking lot, Dan came over to meet us, and I have this memory of him starting with, “Don’t freak out,” though I don’t guarantee he did, before telling me that we’d been double booked. My wedding venue had been double booked. I looked around, put up my hands, and said, “I’m just gonna sit in the car for a minute.” And that’s exactly what I did. Even then I managed not to yell or anything, as tempting as it was, because while it would have made me feel better, that’s about all it would have accomplished.

When I finally got out of the car, Dan told me it was just that day that had been double booked. That was fine; we could find a work around for the prep day. The other group was only having a rehearsal dinner anyway. Dan went to the booking office to figure out what the hell had happened, and I went to Walmart to escape for a while and look for a cheap garter. (Fun fact: I found none and ended up just going without.) Walking around Walmart, I was texting a friend, telling her it was just the one day, it was fine, but what the hell? Because someone had made a pretty serious mistake.

As I was walking around Dan called from the campus office and while he started with, “Everything’s fine,” he went on to tell me that our actual wedding date had also been double booked. Honestly, how was I still not screaming at this point? He told me that the office had found the other group (a birthday party) a different venue for the next day, and that our wedding was fine. It was all going to be fine.

I self medicated with Taco Bell.

The next morning, I woke up at my parents’ house with my maid of honor, only bridesmaid, and my parents, though my dad left early to start setting up to cook with Dan. We did a little getting ready, my mom got gussied up, and the four of us ladies piled into my tiny car. There were no real disasters on the drive, until about fifteen minutes from the venue. Something in the universe made my mom look into the rearview mirror at the girls and ask, “You grabbed your dresses, right?” We got one affirmative and one, “Shit.”

Can we please just take a moment to appreciate the fact that I still didn’t murder anyone?

My mom called in reinforcements (her best friend) to try and pick up the dress on her way, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Our officiant had another ceremony to cover after ours, so the dress just didn’t make it in time. My bridesmaid walked down the aisle in a black shirt and black shorts, plus the gray sweater that I had gotten her and my maid of honor as gifts. Thankfully, she didn’t look too out of place, and the dress did arrive in time for photos.

The rest of the ceremony was relatively smooth. Apparently there was a mass of birds above our heads, but I was a little too busy staring into Dan’s beautiful face to realize it. We did a handfasting ceremony, which was nice because it not only took the pressure off of us both to write our own vows, but it also provided us with a beautiful, if messy, set of knotted cords to hang in our house.

Everything after the ceremony is a blur of photos, a quick bite to eat, a bouquet toss, and then everyone leaving. To be honest, I hated most of the experience. I’m ecstatic to be married to Dan now, but I don’t much recommend a wedding to people. It felt like more money and more hassle than was necessary, and thankfully I don’t plan to do it again any time in the future.

March 24, 2017
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