The Czarina left a message on my phone yesterday. "Are you dead?" she asked. "I haven't talked to you in weeks."
No, I'm not dead, but by the sound of that message, I bet I will wish I was when I call you back! I thought. This kind of voice mail means only one thing with my mom: she wants to talk about something. A lot. Please don't let it be my weight and lack of diet and exercise, I thought.
I called her back on my lunch break and told her that yes, I am still alive, how we are moving on August first, how I am not coming up for her annual party this year, and how I still love my new job. Other than that, I'm just busy with mundane things. I did not tell her that most of those mundane things include eating and watching tv, which is why I still haven't lost any weight. Which is the real reason why I am not coming up to see her this weekend. I told her I don't have much vacation time saved up (which is true), but I could have come up if I wanted to.
"That's ok, honey, you need to save your time up to make a trip up here maybe in August so we can go dress shopping, anyway," she said.
"Yeah, I am already dieting in preparation," I replied. LIE LIE LIE
Then she launched into wedding plan mode. We discussed changing the date -- again. Now it is looking like mid-July of next summer, rather than my dad's birthday like I wanted. My aunt won't be able to attend if I get married on my dad's birthday, because she has to work that weekend, and I want her to go. So I guess that is out, because she HAS to attend or I will cry. I told The Czarina how important it is to me that I get a photographer who will take lots of action shots, instead of just lame-o glamour-shot poses. I want an artistic photographer, ya know?
We discussed the bridal party. "Actually, Mom," I explained, "I was thinking of not having a bridal party."
*huge pause from The Czarina*
"But you have two sisters," she said flatly. Her brain was saying in a robotic voice: Does not compute. Does not compute.
"Yeah, but....I was thinking....and CN doesn't....." I tried to explain. I could hear her irritation over the phone.
"Ok," I surrendered.
Somehow, now I have 4 bridesmaids. When I didn't want any. It's no offense to my sisters, I swear! Well, ok it is a little bit. My older sister might think I would be rubbing it in her face that I'm getting married and she's not. (Yes, she's like that.) So I just don't really want to even go there with her. No bridal party = No pissed off older sister. And although I love my MJ to death, I know she doesn't like being a bridesmaid any more than I do. She's totally not the type of person who would be upset about not being one! She would be relieved!
Add to that the CN is such a loner, and he doesn't have any brothers. So who the hell is he going to have as his groomsmen? My brothers? So the entire wedding party consists of my people, and none of his? That is so lame. I don't want to do that to him.
Actually, one of my big worries is that the wedding will be all about me and my mom, and not about CN or his family. Most of his family lives in Alabama, and asking them to go to a wedding in Virginia is a lot. CN doesn't have a lot of friends, and they are all in South Carolina....so I am picturing a church that is totally lopsided -- everyone on my side of the church. Ugh. That is so not how I want it to be.
The Czarina told me one of her friends recommended a wedding planner to her. I told her I purchased a wedding planning book, but it is now lost somewhere in my overstuffed apartment and that I was going to start officially planning when we move and unpack. This was no excuse for her. Shocker.
She wants me to get cracking on things.
"Look, I want a guest list. We need to know how big this thing is going to be, because we may not be able to fit into the train station if we get more than 150 people coming to this thing," she told me. (The old train station in my hometown has been converted into a perfect place for wedding receptions, but it's not a huge building.)
"Mom, I can't make a guest list until I know what my budget is," I replied. Holy cow! 150 people?? I was thinking like....75! I thought. Oh dear...
She told me what she was planning on chipping in. I was relieved to hear it was not a lot. I do NOT NOT NOT want a big wedding. I have enough debt and I don't want a dog and pony show where half the people attending don't even know me. No, I have not figured out how to get tons of presents despite holding a small wedding. I need to strategize for maximum gift receiving, despite a tiny guest pool. Hmmm...
We are going to save a ton of money on food, because we are going to serve BBQ. (For those of you who are not Southern, no this does not mean hot dogs and burgers from a grill. I am talking about a good Southern buffet -- pulled pork, baked beans, tater salad, biscuits, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, etc.) This is what Mom, CN and I all wanted, so that was an easy thing to decide! Mom wants to reserve most of the money for the band and the alcohol, which is exactly what I wanted to do. I want all my guests drunk and dancing, much like a frat party. Again, another easy decision. So we are on the same page for much of it.
"And when is this jerk planning on proposing to you, anyway?" she half-joked. "I am sitting here, looking at this ring and it's gorgeous."
"Mom, you are not supposed to be telling me anything about the ring or its whereabouts. You will ruin the surprise. Besides, CN said that he is waiting until we move before he does that. We have a lot of things on hold right now until we move," I explained.
Things on hold include: wedding proposals, wedding planning, buying things bigger than a loaf of bread, exercising, organizing, cleaning, major cooking and doing anything other than watching tv at home. Because we live in a sardine can. Everything has something on top of it, so there are no places to spread your legs, your papers, your projects, your cooking implements, your books or your board games.
I was kind of mad at her for saying this, actually, because I was secretly hoping that he had somehow already gotten the ring from her. (She was in Charleston, SC a few weeks ago, just by coincidence.) Then again, maybe that is a red herring....hmmm...I wouldn't put it past her.
Anyway, I guess I need to get going on this wedding planning stuff. But I have mixed emotions:
33% of me is thinking, "COOL! This is actually happening!"
33% of me is thinking, "OMG. Nononono. Elope now, while you still can. You will kill your mother if you don't."
34% of me wants to boycott this whole thing until I get that damn ring on my finger. I am tired of explaning to people how I am only partially-engaged. I'm trying so hard to be patient, but let's face it. That's really not my forte.