Monday, March 16, 2009

My List of (Reasonable and Unreasonable) Demands

As many of my faithful readers know, March is Wedding Hell Month. Everyone and their brother seems to be getting married, and that means all my weekends are booked up with receptions. I made brief appearances at two on Saturday alone.
Now, don't get me wrong: I wish these couples every happiness they deserve (and more, in some cases). No one gave me the "You should get married" lecture, except my father, but this is a daily occurrence, so not a big deal. The brides are always lovely. The cultural halls are consistently and magically transformed into fairylands of twinkling lights and tulle. But all at once, it's just a bit of overload. I wasn't even tempted to eat cake. I used to justify eating wedding cake, thinking it was for a special occasion. The weddings are indeed special, but if I ate cake at every reception I attend this month, I'd gain 50 pounds.
Regardless of my personal feelings about other people's weddings and receptions, paired with my current spring-cleaning of all boyfriends, I figure my blog is the perfect forum for making my own list of demands. You see, I can do this now better than at any time. If I said any of these things while I had an actual boyfriend, I'd be the psycho he'd be justified in ditching. If I were to let these things be known during my engagement, I'd be Bridezilla. But under the present circumstances, no one can call me out-- who would dare stomp on the dreams of the Old Maid? Ha! I got ya there.
First off, let me give you the vision of the reception itself. You'll notice that at this point in my life, any old groom would do for the fantasy (unfortunately, this is what is most wrong with society: most women have a grand idea of what their weddings will look like with very little thought given to the actual marriage). I'm picturing something much less grand than my sister and sister-in-law were able to achieve. Truthfully, I'm intrigued by the idea of elopement, but we'll go traditional for the sake of the argument. Get rid of all the excess lace and frillies. Give me a reception in my parents' backyard in autumn. I don't want expensive flowers (and for the record, I hate roses... so unimaginative-- but daisies just look cheap, people!): give me green button mums and maybe a little hypericum (that's the coffee-bean berry, for those who don't speak flower). I don't want a floor-length dress with buttons down the back-- How about a white 50s style party dress like the one Diane Kruger wore by Giambattista Valli? We'll eat a little cake (on this occasion, I think indulging is appropriate) and dance the night away (and because this is the fantasy, let's go ahead and book Le Chat Lunatique). Decorations: Wrap Ma and Pa's trees in lights a la Tavern on the Green. Throw in some white lumanarias for good New Mexican measure. People can throw feathers instead of rice. Then I can get the heck out of there, and on my way to the honeymoon with my handsome husband with all the money I saved by not arriving in some horse-drawn carriage or a hot air balloon or whatever other brouhaha brides come up with. I'll splurge on a photo booth for my guests instead.
As for the groom, let's just forget about him. Oh wait.
OK, well, that won't work, but let's get my new boyfriend rules out there into cyberspace first:

1) Any future man I date must either a. Have a job (and we're not talking part-time, fast-food here) or b. Be very close to having a job. No more college freshmen. No more grad students studying Spanish Linguistics (sorry David... it's not personal). No more "I'm 3 credits away from graduating in microbiology but let me just switch to accounting because I have commitment issues." It doesn't have to be glamorous, and it doesn't have to make him Donald Trump rich, but there needs to be an income.
2) I will no longer accept dates with boys I have no interest in, only to have them cancel on me at the last minute anyway. It is a waste of my time and money. I'm calling you out, Jacob Divett. Not that we have ever a) have had a date or b) you've canceled on me. But what I'm saying to men everywhere is WOMEN SPEND A TON OF MONEY ON DATING. Not only do I spend hundreds of dollars every year on clothing, makeup, hair products, etc., etc., etc., but also I often find myself driving (because let's face it, I get car sick and I am a more cautious driver than most people I know) which = gas money and wear and tear on my car, and I ALWAYS offer to pay. And you know what? I think I could count the men who have insisted on paying for me on ONE HAND. I'm not joking. This is not just going dutch. This is me footing the whole bill for something that wasn't my idea in the first place. This subject has brought on new issues, thus:
3) No car, No date with Rachel.
4) If you are selfish and self-centered, we are not a match. Go find a high-maintenance girl who can make you look good, because I'm looking for someone in the Peace Corps.
5) I will not be your beard. If you are a gay man, bully for you. I've got no problem with you, and I wish you every happiness. But don't you dare treat me like one of your misfity, self-loathing girls who needs a self-esteem boost and therefore will feel like your flattery is enough. I'm not looking for a Will and Grace situation.
6) If you are Mormon in name only, walk on by. I don't mean to be a judgmental jerk, but we're not going to work out if you can't pay your tithing, serve cheerfully, and put God first. We don't break the sabbath. We don't treat General Conference weekend like a freebie. I'm not a Molly, but I do take religion seriously. And let's face it-- it's part of everything I do. Things will never work out if we don't have those same fundamentals. Remember the guy who asked me if I were a virgin in "every sense of the word?" Hit the road, jack.
7) Goodbye, political extremists of any variety. Yes, I believe that there is right and wrong and black and white for certain situations, but if you let talk radio or MTV do your thinking, we can have no future.
8) Please don't force me to suggest you help out. I've just cooked you a meal. Can you please help clear the table or offer to do a dish? Wipe off the trash can if you spill junk on it. Clean out the microwave if there's chili or butter splattered all over the inside. Or better yet, cover the leftovers before you nuke them. Don't flop on my furniture and break it. And please, please, please be helpful when we spend time with my parents. We have little use for the useless in my family.

I just read this to my mother. She thinks I sound bitter. I told her that was the point.
Anyway, as long as we're on the subject, I do have just a few suggestions for any man who makes it long enough to get to the engagement portion of a relationship. Congratulations. You managed to Tame the Shrew. So you can do a few things to make our engagement and wedding planning go smoothly:

A) No lame proposals, please. By this I mean if you want me to marry you, ask me. But can you please surprise me? If you want me to pick out my own ring (which I can almost guarantee will save you a lot of money because I'm practical and greatly admire Costco jewelry), then propose with a ring pop or a fakey from the toy store. I want a surprise. Sorry to all those who had it go down this way, but in my mind there is little more sad than the girl who says, "Oh, I was so surprised! We'd picked out a ring and the jeweler said it wouldn't be ready for three weeks, and two days later, it happened!" This is the oldest trick in the book. It's always ready early. I hate that B.S.
B) Remember it's your job to pay for the bouquet and the honeymoon and your suit. This is not asking very much. I am paying for everything else-- Le Chat Lunatique and your fancy cake and the decorations, etc., etc. It will be marvelous, don't worry.
C) Go with my vision here. Now, I don't buy into this "It's the bride's day" crap, because you are the most important reason I'm getting married. But can we pretty please have "Somebody" as our wedding song? Can we go with green and brown? That's all I really want, unless it's you wearing Chuck Taylors with your suit or tux.
D) Please don't ever expect me to say, "I think I'll go slip into something more comfortable." There are very few sentences in the English language that give me the creeps faster (in fact, the only one that beats it is, "We need to talk.").
E) Just in case you were wondering, I prefer square or emerald cut diamonds, white gold, and antique, art-deco settings.

And people say women don't communicate!
One last thing: My mother thinks it would be tacky to substitute the traditional slide show featuring the bride and groom growing up and sappy Magic 99.5 love songs with my idea: A slide show of me with my 95+ boyfriends of yore scrolling through to Beyonce's "Single Ladies/ If you Like it Then You Should've Put a Ring On It." What do you think?


At March 17, 2009 at 9:42 AM , Blogger Tresann Kathleen Van Drew Dawson said...


I am sorry you didn't like my daisies at my reception and the button's down my dress. The buttons were just something that came with the dress....not something that I HAD to have on the dress. The daisies though, those were my choice. I love 'em. Even if you say they look cheap. But then again I dunno why I am apologizing. It was my choice in flowers and Justin's reception too...

At March 17, 2009 at 9:54 AM , Blogger Rachel said...

Oh Sorry T! I wasn't making a comment about your wedding, and of course it was lovely. Everything I wrote was supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

At March 17, 2009 at 12:04 PM , Blogger Jacob Divett said...

Boys have to pay for their own hygiene products and clothes, too, so I don't really see how that is relevant. But nice try. A for effort.

And if you are always driving and paying, then I suggest:
1. take some Dramamine and let someone else drive, or stop complaining about it.
2. stop dating sucky guys.

At March 17, 2009 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

Everyone, please notice how Jacob admits that guys who don't pay suck.
Thank you.

At March 17, 2009 at 1:09 PM , Blogger Jacob Divett said...

True, and I do pay when I ask somebody on a date, but sometimes it's a pain.

At March 17, 2009 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

Stop dating stupid girls, then.

At March 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM , Blogger Jacob Divett said...

No, see, it's a pain no matter who I take. Cool girl or stupid girl, it still costs money.

At March 17, 2009 at 1:38 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

But cool, smart, nice girls don't expect you to spend a lot of money all the time. Don't get me wrong... I know a lot of girls who aren't impressed unless it's some expensive thing. Then there are those who think they are a bargain because they always want to go on "creative" dates that often also cost a lot of money (and which are, quite frankly, creepy). Women such as myself value time above most other commodities, as we have so little of it, and assume that quality men who we'd date are also sacrificing simply by carving out an afternoon. And hello! Ever hear of Buy One Get One Free at Sweet Tomatoes?

At March 17, 2009 at 1:42 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

AND what's more, I echo Paul Rudd's sentiments as he promotes his new film this week:
"If we went to ESPN Zone, that's not our kind of guy. We want someone nerdy. Bookish. Probably wears Chuck Taylors ... I love straight guys that seem gay. I'm a little like that." -- Paul Rudd in Time, on the type of guys he looks for in a bromance


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