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Monday, January 18, 2010

So, T and I are now officially engaged. While the story goes something like, "A romantic kiss held as we watched the fireworks bursting over Seattle's Space Needle minutes after midnight, and a heartfelt promise to hold no other in our hearts excepting the one we each kissed," the reality is that yes, I made that promise, yes, I made that vow, and then we both saw a freaked-out golden retriever scampering across the condo parking lot, hell-bent for cover. I, of course, being of less-than-sober mind and body, surged downstairs to try to capture the wee beastie and return it to the fold of its owner, or at least clap some hearing protection on the poor puppy.

Needless to say I was unsuccessful, but it's one of those things that reminds me not to leave little details to chance. If proposing any other way, I probably would have split my dress pants in the crotch trying to get down on one knee proposing at the restaraunt we'd said we should go to instead of, say, chasing a stray golden retriever minutes afterwards and slipping down four stairs to land on my butt. As my grandmother says, I was not born to be graceful.

But as a result of that kiss, that proposal, and the subsequent idea behind our wedding date, everything is a little "YIPES!" We went to the Seattle Wedding show and managed to book not only the photographer, but reserved our limo (a Rolls Royce 1963 Princess with enough leg room for a 6'5" groom), and a wonderful friend who happily said, "Yes! I'll DJ for you guys at the wedding!"

And we've been looking at really AWESOME cakes. The one thing I don't like in this world is sugary, high-fructose corn-syrup monstrosity cake slathered with a half-inch of icing. I like fondant; I like the filling, I like tasty crunchy eclairs, but I cannot stand the spongiform mouthfeel of the cake.

That said, I've been exposed to the idea of the "Groomscake", which was in the wedding planner T and I bought. Well, I say "we" bought; realistically I cringed from the wedding planning section of the bookstore that more or less exuded estrogen. (And in an excellent move of product placement, right next to the "Cooking Light" and "Diet for Success" section of books. Knowing one's audience is probably the best way to make a sale, right?)

At any rate, the Anti-Bride's Wedding Planner is what we're using. It's helpful, but there's some parts of it that make me realize that this is definitely NOT a book that the male gender is allowed to peer inside. Wedding planning seems to still be the last bastion of feminine holdouts. Walking into that world seems akin to tramping into a women's nail spa and salon in a leather outfit, your axe dripping with the blood of the Saxon horde. You might need a manicure, but dude, you're so very much not in the right place.

At any rate, we now have large chunks of our wedding more or less outlined, and I can probably say I'll be the only groom in Seattle who will have former Iraq-war embedded photojournalists snapping pics of me all day, but I still come back to the cake.

Oh, the cake. I tell you, if I had my way, I would declare soppy cake illegal. Give me brownies! Give me cookies! Give me pie! Give me cupcakes layered with creamy fillings! But for the love of god, you keep that half-inch of frosting away from me! The tradition of smashing cake in the face of the bride or groom makes me growl. Do that with key lime and I won't complain. My issue is with the cake.

That said, I still do love the Ace of Cakes and the Charm City Cakes show on the Food Network; the creativity and the insanely cool methods used to make food into art; which is one of the most important things to me. If I don't have the ability to make art in my life with the aspects of my work, it's not fun.

Which is why I still think people who wear rubber noses at formal events are a LOT of fun, that a ceremonial clown wig is preferable to a barrister's periwig, and a stretch Beetle is WAY better than a stretch Humvee.

But the additions of weddings and the excess seems...difficult to me. On some level, I keep wondering why people add things in like the "Groomscake". I don't want more than one cake; I want ONE cake that's awesome.

But then again, I'm also probably both the infuriatingly involved groom - most women if they really did want their significant others involved in the process mean they want someone to do the things they don't really want to think about very much. I, on the other hand, tend towards the less-than-helpful questioner of "Are you sure we should get this place/photographer/pie/floral arrangement/vehicle registry/clown for the wedding?" (Okay, I'll admit, the idea of the clowns was mine, but still.)

And the reality is, clowns or no clowns, I'd happily marry this woman in front of three people and a labrador retriever wearing a bowtie. I don't need frippery or excess to prove that I'm going to be with her for the rest of my life...

..but I do want it to be one hell of a party.

I'm excited, and terrified, and I have almost 342 days before I get to see her in the dress.

It's freaking AWESOME.
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