Two Peas in a Pod

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Focus on the white disaster waiting to happen

When I was in my early 20’s, I accompanied one of my girlfriends to a wedding dance in her hometown; a place where I knew no one. Back then, we were drinking buddies who met in University residence and when it came to the booze, we “didn’t mess around”.

I don’t remember much about that night other than the events leading up to something that COULD have easily been a disaster, and a bride’s worst nightmare. At this point in my life I was also what you might consider a gentlemen’s woman and pretty much every gentleman who met me, had an unsettling urge to twirl me around a dance floor (and I mean that literally). Being a little girl with almost teen-like features, I was a fan favourite as a two step, jive, or boogie woogie partner because anyone can throw around 100lbs and still look macho doing it.

At this particular event, I had had my fair share of loonie refreshments and was tearing up the dance floor with a friend of my date. We were unstoppable. Until my dance partner got a little too ambitious with the twirling and I fell to my social death. Due to my lack of inhibition, my personal embarrassment was short lived, but when I fell I narrowly missed the wedding cake which was sitting there – beautiful and virgin; not yet cut for the guests to enjoy.

This is a story my girlfriend and I often relive; folklore we share with new (and old) friends to make a point or to catalyze laughter and kinship. Today I am telling it to argue the point that my niece should have been my daughter and the apple did not fall far from the tree.

My brother was married to his love over the weekend, and there wasn’t as much drinking on my part this time (because I’m old as shit and had a third wheel), but the cake was again almost brought to its knees. As my parents were welcoming the bride into our family through a wonderful speech in front of 150 people, my adorable and energetic two year old niece was playing behind them. With one of her favourite games being hide and (sometimes seek, but mostly “hide”), she happened to choose the tablecloth of the cake table to tug and hide underneath. Her Mother gasped. Her Auntie (me) panicked, pointed, chuckled, and struggled to get her phone out in time to capture the precious moment. Who knows what could have happened if the conditions were slightly different, but I’m glad we both only ALMOST ruined someone’s wedding day.

We’re just two peas in a pod.

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I’ll Drink to That

Men are proud beings.

They take pride in their work, and bask in the glory of completing a task by standing beside said task and bullshitting about it with their buddies. There have been many times any combination of Jack, my Dad, brother, and brother-in-law have done just that. The project doesn’t have to be lengthy, costly, or even manly to qualify for post-project celebration.

One such instance was the building of our wedding archway. The girls were inside the house getting tipsy on jello shooters prior to the stagette, and the men were hanging out in the Quonset conversing about the most architecturally sound design for the reclaimed barn wood arch. As far as I could tell, this banter lasted approximately two cosmopolitans before the work commenced. In no time, a beautiful piece of art emerged from the darkest shadows of the shed; while the wedding angels shone down from above.

Of course, I did not get to examine the arch until the next day when those cosmopolitans were resurfacing, and the aura around it could have potentially been a migraine.

What I know for absolute certain was the boys drew straws on who had to come pick us up from the stagette and I’m guessing it had to do with one of the following scenarios:

Project Supervisor: “That was hard work. Let’s have a beer.”

Project Co-Supervisor: “Look at how the pieces of wood fit together so perfectly. We deserve a beer”.

Project Co-Co-Supervisor: “We nailed it, now let’s get hammered.”

Boys, I’ll drink to that.

I am in love with our DIY barn wood wedding archway! I'll drink to that!

I am in love with our DIY barn wood wedding archway! I’ll drink to that!

How to Build An Easel

Like a fine wine or the whiskey that shares his name, Jack gets better with age. As his beard grows longer and more fruitful, he adds to his trades and becomes handier. It is tough to fathom how his projects have such positive outcomes when he never plans and only measures half the time. I’m not necessarily talking about quality of workmanship, but he has a hell of an imagination, will get the job done faster than anyone I know, and is not afraid to spend a few more minutes hiding flaws and presenting his masterpiece as though it were professionally crafted.

Our detached garage seems to be stuck in a sink hole and last spring it was floating. To remedy the problem, Jack dug a small ditch last summer and installed eaves troughs on our garage a few weeks ago. Originally the eaves troughs were laid on the ground to catch the water, and a guidepost (that was in his truck from work) was attached to the end of the trough as an extension. Eventually, he installed the system properly, but I bet if I paid the garage a visit I would notice another impressive “McGuiver “ situation.
Jack is a solution man. I have been troubled by the logistics behind showcasing a piece of barn wood wedding artwork that Put-Put gave us for Christmas. I am lucky that Jack was feeling particularly crafty the other day, because not only did he throw together an easel for me, but he successfully solved my seating chart predicament.

How To Build An Easel
by Jack of Most Trades

1.) Cut down a tree with a chain saw.
2.) Cut tree into approximate 6, 3, and 1.5ft lengths. No, don’t measure.
3.) Make a letter “A” with the tree.
4.) Drill screws into wood.
5.) Hide screw holes with an entire roll of jute twine.
6.) Add tripod.
7.) Hold tripod up with more jute twine.
8.) Proudly present easel to your girlfriend as “rustic”.

As much as I joke, I was impressed with Jack’s throw together project this time. See?

(Note: he did not make the sign; he’s not THAT crafty)

Pretty! If you look closely, you can see the eaves trough in the background.

Pretty! If you look closely, you can see the eaves trough in the background.

So He Thinks He Can Dance

My Illustrative Rendition of Dance Monster "Jackerlake"

My Illustrative Rendition of Dance Monster “Jackerlake”

I have created A MONSTER!

At first, Jack wasn’t fond of the idea of having a choreographed dance as our “First Dance” and he has never been very coordinated. See the post “He Don’t Dance” for further details.

A few weeks of creating, practicing, and NEARLY perfecting our routine, and the guy now thinks he’s a professional choreographer for Britney Spears (I’m Britney Spears, I guess).

Last time we practiced our little gem, Jack became all kinds of frustrated (ie.Frankenstein, Hulk, etc).

The following sentences were uttered by an exasperated Jack:

“This is not working the way I’m envisioning it.”
“LISTEN to the music!”
“NO, that is not the right time to turn around.”
“I’m just standing here all awkwardly for you to come back.”
“I’m going to yell out “NOW” when I think you should do that part.”

If this was not humiliating enough to a former dancer, Jack proceeded to order me to sit down and watch him dance my part.

Me: “Can you just dance both of our parts at the same time so I can see how you envision it?”
“Show me that again, I didn’t really get it the first couple of times.”
Jack: “Are you asking me to keep dancing by myself so that you can make fun of me?”
Me: “I wouldn’t do that.”

And if you’ve been following the blog for some time now, you know it is out of character for me to not be making fun of Jack. But, I truly did not understand what he was wanting from me. Each time he showed me different timing and was confident he was doing it the exact same every time, and that it was the way it should be performed.

Jack: “WHY AREN’T YOU GETTING THIS?”
Settle down, Mr. Timberlake. Let’s take it from the top.

Wedding Numbers

How to Give a Piggy Back Ride

How to Give a Piggy Back Ride

I wrote this the other day because I KNEW I would be too hungover to function this week.Thanks, pre-stagette Lady Leisure. . . 

Over the past two years of being engaged, wedding shit has ruled (ruined) my life.

I now belong to 20 Wedding-related Facebook Groups; one of which I proudly Administrate.

I have crafted approximately 100 tissue paper flowers, 40 invitations, 30 guest favours, 15 silk flower arrangements, one popcorn bar, a thank you banner, and a partridge in a pear tree. We’ve got a barn wood bar and archway, mason jar chandelier, 17 tree slices, 6 table runners, and one fake wedding cake constructed by the hands of my annoyed loved ones. My friends and family can barely tolerate me at this point. I feel the same way about myself.

I decided on my perfect dress about a year and a half ago. This decision became reality when my Dad tagged along one day and cried at the first dress I tried on. (And I have proof. I have in my possession a photo of me in THE dress looking in the mirror at my Dad bawling in the background).

Okay tears, you win. Obviously this is the dress I’m getting. 

If he were present, the guy would have undoubtedly cried when I tried on the princess ballerina-ball gown-from-hell that made me look and walk (and feel) like a white fluffy minion. Thankfully, I attended that appointment by myself. No matter how convincingly my store consultant “ooh’d” and “aww’d” over how the unicorn sparkles brought out my eyes and explained how “Every girl deserves to feel like a princess on her wedding day,” I was not fooled.

Shut up. Unicorns don’t even exist. 

Lucky dress number 50 is the one my Daddy chose and I’m curious to know if maybe he forced the tears to end my dangerous obsession. I am only estimating when I say I test drove 50 dresses; I always downplay this one because people raise their eyebrows when I tell them it was more like 75. I shopped till I dropped at ten to twelve bridal shops across the province. It was an addiction; I am a recovering dress shopping addict.

I like the dress. It’s pretty and brings out my figure and shit. Would I ever want to shop that aggressively for wedding gowns again? I’d go tomorrow, next week, when I’m too old to walk, even when my daughter gets married.

Shh, darling, Mom wants to try just ONE more on, THEN it will be your turn.

I apologize in advance to my future daughter who will be unfortunate enough to receive my genes. She’s got some grandiose wedding numbers to “try” to shatter. On second thought, I apologize to my future daughter’s future husband. And my future husband.

Jack, I’m sorry for my OCD (past, present, and future). 

He Don’t Dance

Prehistoric Bird in Flight Dancing is hard when you have wings.

Prehistoric Bird in Flight
Dancing is hard when you have wings.

Jack is installing flooring in our office today. He tells me it has slowly migrated to one side as he works his way across the room. His plan? Cut little pieces to fill the holes at the wall and then hopefully cover it up with baseboards.

Believe it or not, I call this a win. He’s still Jack of Most Trades to me.

Something I will admit Jack hasn’t mastered: the art of dance. He is learning to partner dance quite successfully; he spins and lifts me like a pro (look out wedding dance), but when it comes to the solo it’s sort of awkward watching him.

Just so I don’t get in trouble here, I should also state I had the idea for this post a few weeks back and Jack’s dancing skills have improved immensely.

Let’s take a trip back to January, shall we?

As some of you may know, I lived and breathed dance from the time I was 4 years old until I graduated high school, and have regained an obsession of dance through weekly Zumba classes over the past year. I know a little bit about dance steps and would say I would be able to teach them to ALMOST anyone. I also believe my dance skill evaluation abilities to be true and accurate.

The description that best fits Jack’s “moves” would boil down to: “Prehistoric Bird in Flight”.

One evening I was pleasantly surprised to hear of Jack’s openness to trying a few dance moves, so I seized the opportunity. My mistake.

We began with a basic 3-step move named the “chasse”, literally meaning “to chase”. When it was finally clear to me Jack was not a natural born dancer, I decided to mess with him a little. We followed the chasse with the pique and the jete, two steps that if attempted by an uncoordinated man, could appear bird-like.

Remember: a good wife always sets her husband up to entertain herself. If I truly respected him, I would have taken a video and uploaded it to YouTube so all my Laughers could bask in the glory. I did not do this. But if you’re curious about the dance steps, look up the words in the French-English Dictionary or the Ballet Glossary to aid in your imaginative journey.

Oddly enough, Jack had already perfected the plié by the time we reached that part of our lesson. I chalked it up to beginners luck and moved on (even though I was tempted to teach him the grande plié, for the mere fact that I haven’t seen him rip the crotch out of his wranglers in a few weeks). By this time the pain in my core was agonizing from laughing uncontrollably, and we ended the lesson on a positive note.

Jack undergoes a certain amount of harassment from me (clearly), but one of the things I love about him is he never gives up. He understands dancing at our wedding is important to me, and he would do anything to make me smile. Even if this means his tough guy reputation is shattered.

Jack may be a pterodactyl, but he’s mine, and in one month I’ll rightly be referred to as Mrs. Pterodactyl.

Princess Bridezilla

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“I’ll go praying mantis on you.”

 

I don’t think I will ever get married. . .

I decided this over the weekend while Jack of Most Trades and I toured 5 venues in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He didn’t want to go and I didn’t understand why until the end of an entire day of BS. After only two tours, we went for a lovely lunch at a restaurant that turned out to be my dream venue. The one I told myself (I didn’t listen) I wouldn’t torture myself visiting because we would never be able to afford it. Not even if we won the lottery.  Other than the goat cheese on my veggie burger and the fact that I could taste only goat cheese for the rest of the day, I digged (dug?) that place. After getting drunk, the only way to keep an open mind after finding my dream wedding setting and having my heart ripped from my chest, we continued on with the BS.

Why the hell do men and women even bother with each other? I don’t get him and he doesn’t get me. We had completely opposing views on the venue thing. Not only that, but men don’t understand that a venue quote is NOT the entire price of the wedding. Five grand isn’t bad. You’re right, it isn’t. It’s the dress, tux, rings, cake, alcohol, decorations, flowers, photographer, DJ, JP, invitations, thank you’s, safe rides home, and all the other random shit that are going to sink us.

Whenever I bring this up, I get a, “Let’s just elope.”

NO! Although I haven’t been picturing my wedding since I was five years old like most women, I am still getting the chance to be a real life princess for a day, a weekend, a month, or really as long as I feel like pulling off the whole “new bride” act. Let me do it and I won’t go praying mantis on you and bite your head off. Princess Bridezilla has a nice ring to it.

I am still tirelessly searching for a beautiful venue (with windows) in Canmore or vicinity that will allow us to stay past midnight and preferably will let us bring our own liquor. It’s tougher than it sounds. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

My Favorite: Canmore Miners’ Union Hall (Jack would go bat shit if he had to have his wedding in Downtown Touristville).

Jack’s Favorite: Bill Warren Training Centre at The Nordic Centre (The scenery is amazing, but it is expensive with less flexibility).

sad bride

Don’t let me be a sad bride. Please help me find a venue.