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The True Purpose of Weddings II: Confessions of a (tired) Czech bride

by Barbara Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 11:34:52 AM EST

It's all said and done, we're married and back from the honeymoon, too, as you know now that Miguel's trying his absolute best to make up for his absence on ET (who gives a shit the house is a mess and the grass in the garden is waist-high again). I still love him, though. We each have several diaries worth of experience and I apologize ahead for any inaccuracies and discrepancies that might occur in case we both write on the same subject... if you want to know what REALLY happened, you need to read MY diaries exclusively.

I had been writing a continuation of my still-single, pre-wedding diary, and only now managed to sort of finish it, so I will post that before writing anything new.

 


A tribute to Dr. Seuss

Chocolate cake.
Pink cake,
Nut cake.
Pancake.
Bunt cake.
Blue cake.
Here comes fruit cake.

Cakes, cakes, cakes.
What other kinds of cakes do you make?

The train towards our wedding has moved a few stations forward since my last entry - we have now 14 days and one helluva long task list to tick off left. As I sit at the computer trying to decide between a roast duck with red cabbage and dumplings and tenderloin with baby carrots and grilled potatoes for our reception, I am growing increasingly weary of making decisions. Migeru says he hates capitalism: too many choices!! Tiramisu, ice-cream sundae, roses, tulips, red wine, white wine, stripy tie, flowery tie, no tie, bow tie, veil or tiara, violin or guitar, parchment or gloss, embossed or hand-written, flats or heels, modern or antique, cold cuts or soup, Thailand or Madeira ... What do you think, should I shoot or hang myself?

Suicidal mission I: The "busyness trip"
To prepare our wedding, I was given (or gave myself as I do not wish to be fired) a week. I repeat, A WEEK. One week. Five working days, Saturday and a blip of Sunday, to be more accurate. I set out for Krumlov armed with my task list and an unhealthy dose of optimism. I came back sleep-deprived, with an even longer list that I left with and a tick in my left eye. I even managed to miss my plane from Linz and had to travel with the ever-so-patient Jonathan to Salzburg and pay a hefty fee to the Nazi airline RyanAir. If a woman ever tells you she managed to pull off a wedding in a week and doesn't mean she eloped to Vegas, slap her. There is simply no way. It's a full-time job for months, even if you are not a bridezilla. Once you decide to do your wedding the more traditional way, you're stuck. No matter how much you don't really care, you still need to sit down and pick your bouquet, think about the color scheme and the frigging napkins, what the DJ will play and the party favors, the music you will be marching to and all the other millions of smaller or bigger choices that turn out to be incredibly time-consuming and pretty damn tiring. There is always the hope that all this effort will be worth it in the end, like labour. I sure pray it is.

The (clown) gown:
Our original wedding theme was Renaissance. Krumlov is an old town and has the best-preserved historic centre in the country. We thought it would be the perfect package: ceremony at the castle, reception at the monastery-turned-hotel, complete with a medieval banquet and instrumental music. My American friends especially were excited about the possibility to dress up for the occasion.

We went to the theatre to see the gowns in great anticipation. The first two minutes, however, dispelled any hopes of finding the right dress I might have had. The makers of the gowns adhered to the original models not only in the choice of materials, but also in the proportion. Being 5'10, I'm closer to an Amazon woman than a medieval-size (read midget with ridiculously short arms) woman. Unless I was willing to settle for a knight's tunic and a chain-link vest, there was only one dress that sort of fit me length-wise, but the padded shoulders made me look like an aspiring American football player instead of statuesque royalty. It was black, too. "We'll have one in white in a few months, so you can use that one", chirped the cloakroom lady. I shuddered. It's well known that black is a slimming color. White is not. If I looked like a footballer in the black one, what was I going to look like in the white version? A team of footballers?

Okay, so strike Barbara as the medieval princess. But what about the rest of the guests? They will be oh so disappointed if they cannot wear a medieval outfit as we promised them, I wailed. So we went to the Rose hotel, our selected venue for the banquet, to investigate the possibility of letting people rent outfits right there and then. A voluptuous lady was sitting at the reception, wearing a red velvet corset and fanning herself with a bundle of papers. "How do you feel in this outfit in August?" I asked her with a hopeful smile. "Is it comfortable?" She looked up at me. "You're kidding? We sweat like pigs," she sighed. Then she leaned towards us a bit closer. "I shouldn't really say that, but they don't wash them properly very often... you should smell it in the summer!" And that was that. There was no way I was going to ask our guests to take off their carefully selected and entirely appropriate clothing and force them to put on this smelly armour. This is the twenty-first century, after all.

I managed to find my perfect dress on the next day in a bridal rental shop in Ceske Budejovice. It was easier than I thought, and a lot more fun than putting on medieval costumes.  

Suicidal mission II: Barbara's snip & cut sweatshop factory
Certain housewives would rather have their leg cut off than offer their guests a store-bought dessert or, god forbid, a whole store-bought meal. I am the same way when it comes to producing paper goods for significant others. I hate buying cards. They are usually very expensive, corny, and I often think I could do better. There was a period in my life when I was very poor (by our Western standards), and my ability to make gifts came in very handy. My numerous beloved friends received elaborate birthday cards, Christmas ornaments made of salt dough, paintings, magnets, candleholders, necklaces etc. I even made my own wrapping paper. So, when it came to choosing our wedding invitation, I thought it would be a sacrilege to actually BUY them: of course I would make them! I, the craftiest of them all, could never possibly trust anyone with a task as important as my wedding invitation!!! Plus, how dull would it be to actually have wedding invitations that someone else already had before.

So, I produced thirty-three presentable invitations (certified originals), spent about £40.00 and 400 hours, called Migeru to help, called Migeru an array of unmentionable names and almost called off the wedding. To this day I've been picking up paper clippings and eraser lint from various corners of our bedroom. Mission accomplished.

Here is a little adaptation of what happened between B&M on one of the invitation-making days:

Over MSN Messenger, Migeru at work:
Barbara: I've been making these stupid invitations the entire day. (Sad face).
Migeru: Awww, you poor thing. Don't worry, I will help you. We will do them together. (Smiley face and a hug.)
Barbara: Okay. That would be great. (Kiss and a hug back.)

Later at home:
Barbara (tired after ten hours of making cards, yet peaceful): Okay honey, I will continue to cut out the hearts and you can go and print the text to put inside.
Miguel leaves for the office to print.
Ten minutes later:
Migeru: AAAAAARGHHHH!!! The fucking printer is fucking stuck! And the text is out of alignment!
Barbara (startled): Well, what happened? It worked fine before.
Migeru: I hate this fucking shit! Why do we have to do this? Why do you have to put us through all this? Printer squeaks frantically, chucking out crumpled, stained paper.
Barbara stares blankly.
Migeru: This is all so much fucking work! Is it worth it? Why do we need to even get married? I mean, aren't we as good as married anyway? We've been doing nothing but getting ready for the wedding!
Barbara (voice a bit shaky): I thought you wanted to get married...
Migeru: No! You wanted to get married! I was perfectly fine!
Barbara (feeling uncontrollable rage well up deep inside): You £$^&ing asshole! You are such a jerk! I'm such a £$^&ing idiot! Go £*$& yourself!
Door slams, curtain falls.

Following day, a therapy session with B's Bulgarian friend:

Barbara: I'm such an idiot. I should have never agreed to this wedding. I don't want to get married anymore.
Friend: Try to focus on the positive. Come on, tell me ten things about him that you like.
Barbara: Umm... (stares at the floor)
Friend: Come on. Ten things. There's gotta be ten things.
Barbara: Well... um... He's not here... Does that count?

As outlined in my previous diary, the true purpose of weddings is certainly Conflict Resolution. To have plenty of excuses for a monstrous fight about nothing (the dumber the reason the better), scream, sulk, cry, make up and say: "Man, that was stupid. Now, where were we?"

Display:
<sinks head>

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 11:41:25 AM EST
Todavia parece posible que vas a necesitar aquel yurt.

Or at the very least a very nice couch.

Through the good times and the bad, that's the point right?  </says the single man>

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 02:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
aquel yurt

LOL!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 03:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to be confused with auquel yaourt.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Through the good times and the bad, that's the point right?

The best point of the wedding was when the mayor said the obligatory bit about "come worse days than this", and I looked out the window to the worst pouring rain in several weeks is not months and I thought to myself "yeah, I wanna see that one".

There you go, I just spoiled one of my upcoming wedding diaries.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:44:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for your honesty. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

But making all that stuff youself.....why ? I didn't realise, you should have said, I'd have been around in a flash.

I hope the next few diaries show it was all worthwhile in the end.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 12:14:07 PM EST
You know it was all worthwhile in the end... you were there!

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 12:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was halfway !! I saw two compeltely shattered people on the Sunday night. How do you feel now ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 12:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm looking forward to this series.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 12:26:24 PM EST
I'm looking both backward and forward, because we've discovered a great writer in our midst, surely at least partly somewhat educated in the Henry Miller school.  And her name doesn't seem to begin with M.

In my experience, a good marriage is based upon good writing, and the ability to use a Koch Insel for your friends' benefit.  Also, there was never a good marriage based upon football shoulder dresses, unless you were a pulling guard.

I have the sense that B's brilliant candor might entice me to drop a few (two words) stories.

A very large part of me can't wait 'til the next meetup.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 04:15:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggest paying a visit to http://www.eurotrib.com/user/Barbara/diary/2 for "a look backward".

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:51:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that there comes a point when a couple has nothing left to talk about. That is the point to get married - to have something to talk about for the rest of their lives...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:06:11 PM EST
A French (allegedly) wag also said:

"Why should I marry and see my 'friends' have affairs with my wife, when I can stay single and have affairs with theirs." :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 03:29:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Well, all of his mates were French."
-Dave Lister of Red Dwarf. Talking about Sartre.
by Number 6 on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 08:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then we must have gotten married too early! (see, Barbara? I told you so!)

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bur we cheated a bit - we did not invite family. Only friends. It was a lot of fun.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:07:13 PM EST
This is fun!!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:12:50 PM EST
For the innocent bystanders, that is ;-P

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[choking back laughter]

I always tell people to get married in Vegas. Or just go to the local justice of the peace / magistrate / whatever and have a real quick ceremony.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:37:31 PM EST
My girlfriend says she'd only ever get married in Vegas, If I'm enough of a leftie I might get turned back at the border ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:56:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hear you can be married there by an Elvis look-a-like music and all.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 07:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the only way it's going to happen.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 08:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You realise of course, that unless you also have the vows in Klingon and Quenya you are only married in this solar system and reality.
by Number 6 on Thu Aug 30th, 2007 at 05:02:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very funny, very honest - if you can share stuff like that you must have very good relationship and a very healthy ability to laugh at yourselves. However, I have just told Montserrat that she is not allowed to join Eurotrib - no way! :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 01:59:32 PM EST
You're a wise man. :D But I'm sure if she wants to she will find a way, and there will be nothing you can do about it.


"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes, she's small but try to stop her when her mind's made up - logic, bribery, pleading - nothing works :-) Fortunately for me she has no literary ambitions.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 09:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Barbara plays a very good Arlene to my very poor Feynman.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "ten good things about him" test is a real toughie.

(No, not just because it's Mig...) ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 03:24:56 PM EST
"Ten" is tough about anything. Like "say 10 good things that happened to you today".

"Three" is better.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 05:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 migeru is very lucky to have found such a warm, funny writer for a wife!

i'd happily read a whole book by you.

bridezilla indeed....historical-

bis, bis!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 04:00:35 PM EST
...the cutting wit of Mae West and Gore Vidal combined, cross-dressed or not.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 07:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's great Barbara! and always funny after the fact.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 06:34:34 PM EST
Always a pleasure to read your diaries. Congrats again on the wedding.
by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 09:12:29 PM EST
This is wonderful.  I'm glad I saw the wedding photos so I know there's a happy ending.  

No matter how much you don't really care, you still need to ... do all the crap that you don't care about.  This is true in so many ways.

Can't wait for the next installment.  

by Maryb2004 on Tue Aug 28th, 2007 at 10:19:02 PM EST
Wow. I could think of a lot of problems but the "Office Printer" one never came to mind ...

"PC LOAD LETTER? What the fuck does that mean?"

by Number 6 on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 08:22:20 AM EST
The paper size specified by the document as created is "letter". however, most people load their printers with A4, which is a different size and printers know this. Change the paper specified in print settings and all will be well.

ex-BBC Helpdesk FAQ no 94

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 09:11:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
Is there also mention of TPS reports?
by Number 6 on Tue Sep 4th, 2007 at 08:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that Barbara insists on using Microchof Word to do typesetting.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 09:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I confess, guilty as charged. I use Windows and all the flawed applications that come with it. Will I be excommunicated?


"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 09:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What you mean someone else here has yet to join the dark side? ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2007 at 10:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coming in late... The card will probably be later.

I actually re-read your previous installment before I moved on to this one. And whereas I commented the last time that in the US of A The Wedding is the most revered object to achieve, I perhaps should've wisely added that it is also the No. 1 cause of stress (after moving houses and job loss). As suddenly two of my closest friends in the Netherlands and two of my cousins all decided to marry next year in 2008 (oh no! Have I entered this phase of my life!) I've been patiently parceling this type of unwelcome advice to everyone...

At least we know there will be a happy end.

Thoroughly enjoyable read. Can't wait for more.

by Nomad on Thu Aug 30th, 2007 at 11:22:34 AM EST


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