So I signed up for theknot.com and brides.com, (mistakenly) thinking that all would be well. But then I was presented with lists of over 300 items that I should’ve started working on fifteen years ago.
I should’ve been planning this before I even got my learner’s permit, let alone my driver’s license. Why, on my 18th birthday, was I thinking about my newly-minted ability to vote instead of the fact that in almost 12 years I’d be getting married and would need to put together my wedding? And the day I got my first job after college? My attention should’ve been turned to themes and flowers and cakes, not my entry-level salary and benefits package!
Shit. I’m already behind the curve on this.
I was teetering on the brink of a total freak-out when it occurred to me: I don’t have to do half this stuff. I can pick and choose. It doesn’t need to be this complicated.
Woo-sah. Wax on, wax off. Serenity now.
Three happy things happened shortly thereafter. First, Amy, who commented here after my last post, recommended that I make my own wedding planner. This, since it obviously saves money, is a welcome and brilliant suggestion. (For the record, Amy is not only a fabulous source of ideas, but she’s also an incredibly good sport. Homegirl is a wedding coordinator -- which means she listens to me as I bloviate about the evils of the MIC, and yet she’s gracious enough to not be offended by said bloviating. Mad props.)
Secondly, my future mother-in-law, who happens to be both an awesome person and a phenomenal logistician, compiled a comprehensive yet totally reasonable list of all the aforementioned moving pieces. When I looked at it, I'm pretty sure I breathed a sigh of relief so big that it probably caused tornado warnings to go out in neighboring counties. I’m also pretty sure that, before she sent me the list, I had “FML” or, alternatively, "please shoot me now" written out in sweat beads on my forehead.
Then I had an idea: why not, in my effort to eschew the marriage-industrial complex, enlist the help of Eisenhower himself? Now, Eisenhower – or Ike, as he was commonly known – died in 1969, so it’s not like he’s available to render assistance. And I’m not about to hold a séance to get strategic guidance from beyond the grave, so no, I’m not going there. But why not let Ike be the inspiration for planning this gig?
As background, before Ike was president, he was a five-star general in the Army and the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II. He was responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the invasion and subsequent liberation of France and Germany from the Western Front. This was an almost year-long campaign that started when the Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy –the event also known as D-Day.
This obviously required epic strategic planning and coordination. And, since Ike was a master of strategy and coordination, he could serve as some inspiration.
Now, Ike was undoubtedly a better human being than I am. He played a critical role in defeating the Nazis and is widely considered to be one of the most effective presidents in American history. I, on the other hand, am prone to meltdowns (usually brought on by sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, or hunger…so basically, I’m like a small child), irritation bordering on outright hostility for people who double-park or fail to use their turn signal, and a raging, nearly irrational hatred of seafood.
I also, in case you hadn’t picked up on this, am opposed to the idea of pumping any more money into the giant, pulsating, soul-sucking beast of the marriage-industrial complex than I absolutely have to. If I’m going to eschew this thing, I want to do it with Ike’s help.
So, because I’m cheap and, apparently, deeply spiteful towards the MIC (again with the "I'm like a small child" motif), I grabbed the grocery list that my Betrothed was putting together before we left for the store. I added “cheap notebook” to the list. At our local Wegmans, I picked up a college-ruled notebook – the kind that high school sophomores scrawl illegible algebra notes in – and paid $2.99.
Once we got home, I pulled out my future mother-in-law's list ("the happy list," as I call it) and began writing. Shortly thereafter, it was time to incorporate Ike into this process. I printed out a picture, taped it to the front of my new notebook…et voila.