Although we've still not set a date yet (SO STOP ASKING EVERY DAY, FRONT DESK LADY, SHEESH!), my thoughts have been preoccupied lately with all things wedding. Every morning when I look in the mirror, I contemplate whether my hair has grown any longer, whether I should get a trim this week or push it off a little longer, whether I should go for a casual, flowy down-do for The Big Day or perhaps a simple, low bun instead? I wonder whether I should look for a makeup artist and risk having a panic attack when she tries to put foundation on my face, or if I should just go to the Clinique counter a few weeks before, stock up on some new mascara and lip gloss and call it a day. Ooh, maybe I should ask Sister-Wife Jenny to do my wedding makeup! She's good at makeup, and she won't try to sneakily put foundation on me. That's a great idea!
And this is all before I've finished brushing my teeth in the morning.
I've also been suffering a compulsion to buy things, especially things that are on sale, "for the wedding". Like that three-strand pearl necklace I saw in the Macy's One Day Sale circular, marked down from $400 to $99: I was thiscloseto buying it. What if I never see such a great deal again? What if I can't find this exact necklace next month? And wouldn't it be nice to have another thing checked off the list, one less item to worry about down the line? I tell you, I almost had myself talked into that necklace. And the matching earrings. And a pair of shoes I saw on Piperlime. All these things, for a wedding whose date has not even been set yet. Is this what "nesting" is like? Because I think maybe I should have bought that necklace. Damnit.
Although we still haven't set a date, we have been making excellent progress in Operation Wedding. Over the past few weekends, Joel and I have visited no less than eleven potential weddings venues. I have almost finished entering these all into an exel spreadsheet that tracks the date we visited, their prices on everything from ceremony fee to chivari chair rentals, the cost difference between Saturday and Sunday, and everything in between. So far, we have four real contenders. And a dozen more places to look at. (What can I say, I like to be thorough!) While time consuming, I'm really quite enjoying the great venue search. I didn't think that driving around all around Maryland every Saturday would be enjoyable at all. In fact, I kind of thought it was going to suck. But it doesn't suck! It's actually been a fun way to spend time together. The set appointments force us out of bed at a reasonable hour, and with coffee in hand, we set of to conquer another corner of the state. Driving through the beautiful scenery in Western Maryland on Saturday was downright idyllic. I can't wait to see which place we end up going with.
After spending Saturday looking at four different venues, the only task I wanted to get accomplished on Sunday was getting the new bed upstairs, by hook or by crook. Joel and I managed to get the boxspring upstairs by ourselves on Thursday, which involved some tricky engineering and a bit of walking on our neighbor's roof, but I had this sinking feeling that the extra-thick, extra-foamy mattress was just not going to make it up the stairs. I'm a worrier, that's what I do -- and let me tell you, I was worrying plenty when three kids from Joel's team arrived on Sunday to help move it. Luckily, we needed neither hooks nor crooks, and it only took the four of them less than 20 minutes to get the entire job done. One of them actually said "That's it?", when I showed them the mattress. "Dude, when people say they need help moving furniture, they usually mean, like, the whole house," he explained. God, I love the college mentality.
You know what else I love? Our new mattress.
And as you can see, I'm not the only one enjoying all the magical little Swiss masseurs. Madison plopped himself in the middle of it within minutes after it was set down, and I thought he was going to die a happy cat right then and there.
I've slept very well both nights so far, and I haven't even been doing what Joel calls my Alligator Death Roll during the night -- turning over and over until I have managed to wrap all the sheets and blankets around myself. I consider that a very auspicious start. With all the money I'll be saving on Tylenol PM and coffee, this mattress is practically going to pay for itself... after about 35 years. But you know what, you can't put a price on a good night's rest. That's what Madison says, at least.
Thanks to the wonder of Craigslist, our old bed was sold and gone by Sunday evening. During the 48 hours it was listed, twelve people responded to my ad. When I informed interested parties that it had already been promised to a buyer, two people tried to offer me more than the asking price, and another wanted to come over right then to whisk the bed away first. I turned them both down, of course, but I still made out with $40 for a 5+-year-old mattress and a slightly warped wooden frame (which was fully disclaimed in the ad). The best part is, I only paid $20 for the set five years ago. I think I've stumbled upon my life's calling: stalking craigslist (already do that), snapping up underpriced items, and selling them for a profit. All I need is a partner who has someplace to store all my finds. Any applicants?
Max was the only one sad to see the old mattress go. I came downstairs on Sunday afternoon, after we'd carefully laid it across the couch, to find him sleeping right in the middle of it. When the buyer came to pick it up, I swear I saw Max shed a single tear. I promised him that the mattress went a good home, where it would receive lots of attention and plenty of Fancy Feast, but he still wouldn't speak to me the rest of the evening.
An adorable duck couple was hanging around on our block yesterday. I saw the male sitting on the sidewalk in the morning when I left for work, and I thought he must have been sick. I mean, ducks don't hang out on city sidewalks, right? There are plenty of ducks in the harbor and plenty more in the nearby park, but I've never seen any just wandering around the 'hood. I thought this poor dude would surely fall victim to the stray cats that prowl our block, but when I arrived home that night he'd been joined by his wife and they were marching around together, quietly quacking to themselves. I found it so adorable that I grabbed the camera and took a few pictures of them. I wasn't the only one interested in them; the orange cat that lives a few houses down looked like he would have killed to be able to jump through that screen.
I assume that the Mr. and Mrs. Duck were visiting because one of the crazy ladies on our block (the owner of Orange Cat) likes to feed the pigeons, and our sidewalk is constantly littered with birdseed (and pigeon crap, but we won't get into that). I didn't see them this morning, so I'm telling myself that they were just out on a daytrip and they've now safely returned to the park or the harbor or wherever they came from. They were NOT hit by a car or eaten by a stray cat, so don't you even THINK that. No, I can't keep them as pets, and, yes, that makes me sad.