Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
On the day, all gussied up in an official but dressy-looking pantsuit, I arrive at the local hotel where the wedding is being held. Not one of our more up-market locations, I knew what to expect having done a wedding there before. I walk in, see a young man in fairly nice dress sitting near the ballroom, and ask him if he knows where the bride is. Sure, says he, and proceeds to take me to her.
To get to the room, you have to key in a code on the hall doorway. He keyed it over and over, and it didn't work. Finally one of the bridesmaids opens the door, telling him he transposed a number. He walks me to the bride's door, knocks, tells them the minister is here and walks away so as not to see the bride. I wait. And wait. Finally I knock again, explain that I am actually standing here, not just in the building, and would like a word with the bride. After ascertaining that I'm alone, they let me in.
I like to see the bride before the service for a couple reasons, especially when, as with this couple, there was no rehearsal. As an aside, unless your wedding is tiny and NO children under 12 are involved, have a rehearsal. Anyway, I like to let the bride see that I'm present and show an oasis of calm demeanor in the chaos that is typically surrounding her. I check for any last minute changes, remind her that no matter how people are pushing her, nothing starts without her, and re-establish how word will get to me that she is indeed ready to start. I get the license, which must be in my hands before the service can be done. All that done, I clear out of the way.
I headed to the ballroom to check out the arrangements in there. I walked in the door to be assailed by the strong smell of bacon, of all things. People are milling around in everything from formal wear to Nascar gear. The arch is nicely decorated, the cake is set up with a twirling cake topper, and the head table is pretty. Everyone else will be seated at tables to watch the service.
Looking around, I see one man the right age to be the groom that's in the right clothing. He's drinking a beer, from a can, in, heaven help us, a cooler-style cozy. It's very apparent that it's not his first. Not that he's incapacitated by any means (I wouldn't do a service if he were; it wouldn't be legally binding), but he's a bit lit. Clinging to his leg is the couple's small son, about age 2, the ringbearer. Said son is very fussy, although dad says he's had a long nap that day. I consolingly reply that it's a lot of strange goings-on for a little one, as I watch with a faintly horrified eye has Junior picks his nose and proceeds to have his own little feast for one. Dad scolds him, and tries to farm him out to a willing helper, but Junior is at that unlovely stage where kids discover the joy of screaming. We let him cling to Daddy.
Someone mentions how good the food smells. Yes, it's all being set up already, like a picnic brought inside. I make my bacon smell observation and am informed that that's because there's a roasted pig back there. I take their word for it. I also listen to remarks that the Mother of the Bride (MoB) is ticked off because the FoB (you work it out) has been drinking already. I get the sense that he shouldn't be drinking at all. But the groom says, "What's he supposed to do when everyone else is having beer?" I refrain from expressing my opinion. I'm feeling almost saintly in my restraint.
The saintliness continues through two more encounters. First, I'm told by the groom and some guests that there's another wedding going on in a different room...and the color scheme for everyone but the bride is camouflage. One guest says with an odd sense of pride, "I told everyone that they're the West Virginia wedding, and we're the Redneck wedding!" Oooookay. Then I'm flagged down by a faintly familiar looking woman. She reminds me that we've done photography for her family before...when we shot her daughter's FIRST wedding a couple of years ago. I wince a bit.
I busy myself filling out the license, and watch the flower girls racing around the room, almost toppling the arch. I help the 'videographers' set up camera angles. And as it gets to be time, one of the bridesmaids tells the groom and I to come out to the lobby, the bride is almost ready and we'll formally walk in. We get out there, and I send the bridesmaid in to ask if the bride is ready to start. She doesn't come back. As the groom wanders off, I send one of the older boys in the wedding party...he doesn't return. While I'm standing alone, I hear a loud noise outside the big entry windows. I turn my head, and am flabbergasted to see an ATV being driven past, beer cans and old boots tied on back. A man whom I assume to be the groom in full camo is driving, as the bride, all in a formal gown, clings to his back and grins like a loon. It's official. I've seen it all.
Finally the groom saunters back, and I send in the bride's dad, who backs out quickly, because she's about to walk out with her groom there! I put a halt to that, and get ready to walk in with the groom. The FoB, definitely a bit worse for that forbidden beer, makes to come with us. I remind him that his daughter might actually like his escort. As we go back in, I ask one of the women who've been arranging things to have everyone be seated, corral a groom who wants to socialize some more, and get things started. The mother of the groom is seated and loudly scolds her husband, the best man, for not having his collar buttoned and his tie at half mast. He answers equally loudly that he can't button it, and the groom backs him up. Then the bridesmaids come in an outside door...and the DJ has vanished. No music is playing, and these girls come down the aisle like they're getting ready to clear a ditch on all four hooves. I sigh, unnoticed.
The little ringbearer comes down, races to Daddy howling, and refuses to let go. I tell the groom to leave him, knowing it will be worse if we try to move him. Then the two flower girls, sisters and adorable. They have lovely silk fall leaves in their basket, and the younger, in front, is clueless. Everyone tries to coach her. Ringbearer sees the older girl dropping her leaves, thinks it's intriguing, and goes to help. Littlest girl drops one or two, and raises her hand to her hair in befuddlement, leaving one leaf as big as half her head stuck in her hair. I laugh, but so does everyone. As she looks around to figure out why we're all laughing, she sees Big Sis dropping leaves, and promptly starts to pick them back up and put them in her basket.
We finally get them down the aisle, and in comes the bride, looking lovely. Her Dad looks wasted. I start the service, and Junior begins wailing. I speak over him, pausing when his parents try to comfort him. This, folks, is the best argument for marriage before children. He continues to scream, and when one line in the service refers to future trials, I make an audible aside and say, "Or even present ones!" This has the effect of cracking everyone up, showing them I'm not upset, and calming the bride and groom. Someone sweeps the little guy away long enough for us to get through the ring portion, and he's back, holding on like a leech, as they share their first kiss as husband and wife. *shew*
I grab my stuff, give the bride her portion of the license and tell her I mail the court copy for her. I give her a hug, and she is profuse in her thanks, and then I dart out the side door to the parking lot. Thinking I've made my escape, I see one of the bridesmaids coming out the front, sobbing her heart out. She's in her late teens, and I'm at a loss as to what's wrong. Figuring that I'd better act my ministerial role, I ask if she needs some help. But the mother of the groom comes out and goes to her, and I'm off the hook. I duck into my car and bolt.
A few days later, I got an email from the bride. I quote (sic):
"I just wanted to thank you for performing our ceremony. We enjoyed everything. And despite the chaos surrounding the beginning, we still thought it went well. Thank you for waiting and being so patient while we straitened everything out. We had a wonderful day. We resolved a payment issue with our dj after a conversation about the ceremony music that didn't get played. He also didn't play anything for the bouquet and garter toss or the cake cutting. It was still nice. Oh, and our cake table caught on fire! But believe it or not, we took everything with a laugh and had such a good time. Thanks again for everything."
That was, if you'll pardon the pun, the icing on the cake.
Friday, October 17, 2008
AND I finally got a response from the Holiday Inn on the bedbug incident, after writing to corporate again about receiving no answer from that hotel manager. They said they investigated the room and found no insects. Well, duh. Three weeks later one would hope that bedspread had been washed! That's the only thing that I laid upon that the DH didn't. Anyway, as a gesture of goodwill, they credited us back about 25% off the room fee. I can live with that. And you can bet I'll never lay down on a hotel bedspread again. When I told my MIL about this, she said the first thing the DH's dad did on entering a hotel room was to remove the bedspread and blankets. Wish I'd known that earlier, but what a dreadful commentary when rooms cost so darn much!
Oh, I found that pattern for the mittens I liked in the one shop (which they didn't have yarn for but left on display). They are called Fiesta Mittens by Lucy Neatby. Her kit pricing was kinda steep for a) something I'd never attempted before and b) a pair of mittens. So I bought the kit from Blackberry Ridge with their fingering weight. I think it's next on my list for a quick knit.
On the knitting front, I'm working feverishly and pretty well exclusively on a birthday gift for my adorable grandson Camo. I'm using my own handspun and Paton's Merino. I knew there wouldn't be enough handspun for the hoodie his mom selected, so I'm using the Paton's for the sleeves and hood, with two stripes of the handspun on those areas to tie it all together. I have a few more rows on the hood, finishing sewing, and ribbing around the hood edge to be done. I'm pleased it's going so well, since I have a month yet till his fifth birthday.
I did sweat a little, though, when I had to RIP OUT THE ENTIRE FRONT!!! Oh, the pain, and all of it my own fault. The pattern, a freebie from Lion Brand, has both kids and adults sizing. Being oh, so clever, I went through and marked the numbers pertaining to Camo's size. Folks, that only works if you mark the right number! On the cast on for the front (knit after the back), I unknowingly marked the adult large. And knit, and knit, all through the drive to OBX and back, wondering why it was taking so much longer to knit than the back had. Finally, just as I'm about to do the neckline shaping, I think to hold it up to the back. The curling of the stockinette had prevented me from realizing that the front was a third again bigger than the back! So I frogged the whole thing, and started over.
All's well now, though, and as soon as it's done, washed and blocked, I'll post you a picture.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Then he left it to us what we want done about the coach. Both of us have backed away from making the little twerp come grovel to us...it could only be awkward. I think we’re going to go with him admitting he was over the line, and leave it there. I suggested slices of pizza from the concession stand might help, but the DH laughed at me. LOL
In the meantime, we heard through the booster-mom-grapevine that that same little twerp coach is the subject of DAILY phone calls to the AD or head coach by one mom. She apparently objects to him using foul language at the players. Go figure.
Now on to two amazing bits of entitled behavior. First, yesterday we have the mother of a senior arrive with no warning to pick up her daughter's pictures. That's okay; we don't require an appointment for that. But what made this particularly fun was that the mother went on to say that Daddy Dear had dropped the final payment check in the mail that very day, but since she was in the area so rarely and happened to be today, could she go ahead and pick up the pictures? ROFLMAO! Um...that would be a 'no.' She tried to debate that with the receptionist. "I don't know when I'll be back this way." Don't much care. I'm fairly sure your daughter will make sure you're back here pretty darn soon! As the DH aptly put it, why don't we go to the gas station, telling 'em we'll be sure to come back tomorrow and pay them for letting us fill up today? Unreal what people think they should be able to pull. To be fair, and I'm all about the fair, the check DID arrive today. So she can pick the pictures up anytime. Now. Although my deeply suspicious side makes me think I should call her bank and make sure it's good after this stunt.
The second bit was from an online order for some wedding pictures. The woman ordered one 8x10, one 5x7, and a few 4x6s. By no means a large order, especially for a wedding. We get to the end of the order, where there's a customer comments section, and she has written, "Can I get a discount because I'm the mother of the groom?" Are you nuts, lady? Who else but family is going to order? And a puny little order like that from your SON'S wedding? We offered advance sale packages that offer a discount, and she didn't avail herself of any of those, so that ship sailed.
I never cease to be amazed at the people who think they should be allowed to take money out of my pocket for the flimsiest of excuses. Like I care that she spawned the groom. He looks like a turtle anyway. Come to think of it, maybe that's why she didn't order any large pictures. Hmmm.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
So popular that the varsity football boosters came courting. Would DH do the home game announcing? Including pre-game show music, and all that jazz? Would he? You betcha. He asked me to be his spotter, and once I found out it didn't mean cleaning stains out of carpets, I said sure. What it does mean, for those of you as ignorant as I was, is the person who helps the announcer know who is in the middle of the play, running, tackling and the like. I get to use binoculars and feel important. :-)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
This is wonderful. You have to watch. Really. Trust me.
If you aren't registered, DO IT NOW. If you are, VOTE. Because I'll tell you what. If you come to me to complain about any facet of our government, if you come to gripe, bitch, snipe, grouse...and you haven't voted? I'm gonna kick your ass right out my door.
Seriously. And don't even THINK of kvetching if you don't vote.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The next shop was recommended to me by the ladies at the Yarn Lounge, and bless them for it. It was my favorite. Called Knitting Addiction, it's a wonderful, roomy shop, as the picture on their home page shows. They even kept their pretty cat away from me, since I'm allergic. I fell in love with the colorways of Ellyn Cooper, and found a shop pattern (free with the yarn) to make a vest with her Cotton Ripple in Blue Hydrangea plus some Mission Falls cotton. Here you see half what I bought to make it.All the solid shades of Mission Falls appear in the Cooper yarn in the center. While I was picking them out, the shop owner had already wound the Cotton Ripple!
I saw another quickie pattern, a shrug, that looked perfect for keeping winter chill off in the office, and got it with some Plymouth Brushed Baby Alpaca. It's a lovely gray.
Last, I visited a shop on the Manteo waterfront called Fine Yarns at Kimbeeba. This was a smallish shop but with some nice yarns and another very good website. Again, I didn't feel as at home here, but I did get helpful service. She didn't have the Berroco yarn I wanted, but showed me a couple good substitutes, and even showed me one yarn, an Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, that would be about half the others, especially once I got her 15% off for ten skeins or more.Unfortunately, I felt pressured by the shop attendant (owner?) to purchase some very nice Noro sock yarn that I didn't want or need, and that was off-putting, but she did toss in an entralac pattern which was nice.
Thinking back, the thing my two preferred shops (and I emphasize, all four were nice and had helpful aspects) had over the less-preferred was that I didn't feel condescended to. I am pretty yarn-savvy. I run three knitting lists, but in the two shops where I was less comfortable, the staff ASSUMED a lack of knowledge on my part. It seems to me to be a healthier attitude to assume I have a yarn background, and if I have to ask more questions, then go more in-depth with explanations. Or simply ask how much help understanding various yarns I might need.
Assume I'm smart. I'll like you better. More important, I'll spend more. *sigh* Probably more than I should.
We had a great meal at the Outer Banks Brewery that night. Scallops that were the tenderest I'd ever tasted, and a very good Porter for me. The DH, being a home-brewer, did a sampler of four of the other brews. Another notable meal was at Penguin Isle, a restaurant my cousin had recommended. We got up early enough to capture the sunrise over the ocean, and this place let us watch the sunset over Albemarle Sound. Utterly glorious, and the DH was in charge of capturing them.One place we found with excellent, fresh roasted coffee was called The Front Porch. They had Kill Devil Hills roasted coffees, and this hysterical sticker on the toilet. Yes, I did go back out to grab my camera just to capture this.
We had a lot of fun, some romance, found some nice shells, even had a great round of miniature golf, at which, dear readers, I'm distressed to tell you, the love of my life cheated like mad. I still beat him. Life is good. It was even good when, sitting at the edge of the surf, I got a suit full of tiny pebbles. Some in places that I would have thought nothing could reach. :-X We watched plovers, and ghost crabs, and waves, and barely touched the books we'd taken.
The best thing is that we have very little post-vacation letdown. The DH's sweetie of a brother vacations at OBX and has invited us to join him for a few days next July. So we have THAT going for us!