Friday, November 15, 2002

I just wanted to say that I am getting married tomorrow, and everything is insane, and I can barely type because my wrists and hands are so stiff from spray painting PVC pipes and terra cotta pots this morning in the basement with my dad, and I still have one more mix CD to burn today, and we still have to arrange flowers, and we have to print the programs and scroll them up and tie them with ribbon. And I am scheduled for a manicure at 4, and rehearsal at 6, and rehearsal dinner at 7, and then trying to get some sleep before tomorrow.

It is all perfect, in a way, even when it's insanely not perfect and out of control. My friends are amazing, wonderful, sweet, generous people. Most of my family is that way, too. The phone rings off the hook, and the door buzzer goes off every few hours or more often (more people will be here in 15 minutes), and this may be the last time that I am able to sit down at the computer and type anything to you, so I wanted to say thank you for all of the warm wishes that you've been sending me over the past few days, and for all of the cranes, and for all of the email and e-cards. We have over 1000 cranes!

And I'm happy, and I'm weepy, and I'm excited, and I'm nervous, and today I didn't get to take a shower until almost noon even though I'd been trying to since about 8:30. This is how it is. These are days I'll remember forever.

That's all for now. Thank you, all of you. I'll miss writing here! I'll save up pictures and stories for you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

So yesterday I was a mess. I felt horrible and irritable, and when I talked to Geoff I was hateful and grumpy. So much for pre-wedding bliss, I thought, as I crouched on my hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor and the baseboards with a sponge, and felt sorry for myself.

It was mostly hormonal, the overwhelming irritability that I felt yesterday, and yet telling myself that there was a biological reason for the horrible way I felt didn't do much to relieve the horrible-ness (horritability?).

But then what happened is that after I yelled at Geoff for not having done as much wedding stuff as I've done (and while I was yelling, I knew that I was just mad without having any real reason for it), he sent me a profusely apologetic email, which made me cry. ("I love you like crazy. Thank you for marrying me," he said. How could I not?)

And that was the end of the irritability. I was just me again, a little sadder and a little more tired, but without the hostility that had been with me earlier in the day.

I picked him up from work, and we went to Target and Office Max and Home Depot, and while we were in Target, my brother Josh called my cell phone and told me that he was in Philadelphia, on his way back toward Chicago after leaving Amsterdam yesterday morning, and could he stay with us when he arrived. Of course he could. Then we went to O'Hare to pick up Geoff's sister Stephanie, and then we went to a Red Lobster out by the airport so that we would be out there when Josh called, if his flight got in any time soon. (Stephanie had the Ultimate Feast. She also had a strawberry daiquiri. I think the Red Lobster trip was a success, if not one that will be repeated any time soon.) Just as we were finishing dinner, Josh called from O'Hare, so we went back to get him, and then there he was, my little brother, standing at the airport with a huge backpack on his back and more bags at his feet, and we pulled over to get him, and he smiled at us.

I am so glad to have him here.

And Stephanie, too - after we picked up Josh, I drove us downtown (so we could look at the nightscape) and then back up to our apartment on Lake Shore Drive, and Stephanie oohed and ahhed over everything, or at least everything that she's heard about in commercials shown in Canada for places that don't exist anywhere near her. ("Ooh, Bally's!" "TARGET!!!" "Outback, I think I've heard of that!" "What about Krispy Kreme, do you have that?") We all laughed, and the car was full of that warm feeling that you have on holidays, when you're with these people that you love way more than how often you see them would seem to indicate, and you are all laughing and tired and happy to be together. We got home, and it was the same way. Josh made us citronella tea with citronella leaves that he brought back from Italy, and he presented us with a bottle of olive oil made from olives that Josh had helped to pick not more than three weeks ago, and we all padded around the apartment and got ready for bed in a step by step way. PJ's. Brushing teeth. Blankets for the guest bed and couch. Let the dog out. Stephanie gave us a card for the bride and groom in which she'd written, among other things, "I love you both and I love you together." She said she had cried when she wrote it, and I started to cry reading it.

After Stephanie was in bed, and after I got Josh settled in on the couch, I went into our bedroom and got in bed with Geoff (and Molly).

I stretched out and scooted down under the covers. "They're funny," I said. "I like them."

"Yeah, it feels good having them here," Geoff said.

And it really does.

I had thought that once people started to arrive, I would feel even more anxious about anything that still needed to get done, and even more stressed about how little time was left to do it in. Instead, I just feel grateful that they're here, and that they're such nice people, and that they came here to see us get married, and that they love us.

Everything's going to be wonderful.

Monday, November 11, 2002

How did it get to be FIVE DAYS before the wedding? How? This would probably be a good time to try to capture this insanity that I'm currently experiencing, but the problem with my insanity is that it doesn't lend itself well to description. I feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I don't think that I will really have a breakdown, of course, but that's the feeling that's with me today.

I still have to make CD's and print programs and spray paint our crafty stuff. I still need to make a list of "must take" photos and finish stringing cranes. We need to talk to the chaplain again. We need to talk to our photographer. I need to finish with the cookies and package them up for presentation. I need to cut the foam core stuff to the right size to go in the flower pots. We need to drop off the check with the cake baker. I need to mop the kitchen floor and Swiff the whole apartment again and put clean sheets on the bed in the guest room, because we pick Geoff's sister Stephanie up at O'Hare tonight at 6.

She called last night to make sure that someone was going to be there to pick her up, and then she asked if she could take us out to eat afterwards, her treat. Sure, we said. Geoff was on the phone with her. "Can we go to Red Lobster?" she asked Geoff. "Sure," I said. "But why?" She's seen lots of commercials for them, she told him, and the commercials make it look really yummy.

So tonight we are going to go eat at Red Lobster with a girl who will have just flown here from the Atlantic Coast. Score one for Red Lobster advertising.

Friday we got a card, check, and note from my aunt Lisa, who was 14 or 15 when I was born. The note was my favorite part. She wrote that she is sorry that she won't be able to come to the wedding, but that she'll be thinking of us. She wrote, "I remember when you were born, and I showed your picture to my friends. We were all amazed that you were the prettiest baby that we had ever seen! I have continued to be amazed and delighted throughout the years." What a great aunt. I love her.

We got a lot done this weekend. Rebecca and I shopped. I bought a purse, and white slippers, and some honeymoon "clothing," and candles and napkins (pink and orange!) at Ikea. After we got home, we made pink & orange spritz cookies with the cookie press. We also picked up my wedding dress.

And it looks beautiful. It's gorgeous, and it fits me (without me having to suck in or anything obnoxious), and the seamstress put in buttons and loops to bustle up the train, and she put darts in the bodice, and she hemmed it an inch so I won't (hopefully) step on it (too much). She reattached some beads that had fallen off. It's lovely, and it's at home in our huge, newly straightened walk in closet where the cats normally live but which, for this week only, they are not allowed to enter. For this week, it is the Room of the Dress.

I was completely unprepared for how much the alterations would cost, because I assumed (and you know what happens when you assume) that they would not be too much. Of course, "too much" for one person is "not much" to another, and so when Dina of the Golden Hands looked at me and said, "two twenty five" I just stared at her as if she were speaking another language, as if "two twenty five" was code for, say, "eighty dollars." And of course she doesn't accept credit cards. So I wrote a check.

The dress is perfect, though.

And yesterday I went to brunch with Wendy and Ericka (who does not, in spite of much urging, have a journal at this time). Wendy is the coolest, and she picked me up in her car and drove me out to Arlington Heights. And Ericka is the coolest, because she brought me one gazillion strings of lights that she is loaning me for our reception. As a bonus, she also brought fake greenery and other strings of lights with white paper cones over the lights. And she is making me something to hold wedding cards. Then I came home and we cleaned the pantry and the kitchen and the back room and the bathroom, and we did laundry. And then Erin came over to help me string cranes, and Erin now holds the coveted title of "Master Crane Stringer." Oh, yes, she does.

And this weekend I talked to Laurie and Tracy and Allen and Candace and my mom.

I have 975 cranes now. All but about 140 or so were strung by people other than me. They were strung by people like you. I am so grateful and amazed.

So Erin and I strung cranes, and then I went and had chai tea and French onion soup (I had those things, she didn't) with Liz, and she let me talk and talk and talk way more than my fair share without complaining one bit, and it was good, because for the hour and a half or so that we were there, I forgot to be worried or scared about anything wedding related.

And now here I am at work. I am about to go drop off my engagement ring to be re-sized, and then I am leaving here early so that I can go home and do some of those things that need to be done.