Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Important life update: "Maybe the dingo ate your baby" edition

While I still have trouble saying the word "fiancé," having grown up with "Seinfeld," I've now got one of those. Any and all poodles, dachshunds, and (a girl can dream) llamas Jo and I acquire will be legitimate. And I will soon be 100% madame. Woohoo!

Not new information, but I figured I'd wait to announce this here until making it known off-blog, something that took a while in part because I was busy battling ants and a demolition team in my old dorm room. At any rate, there will be a dinner for close family, then (eventually, better get on that...) some kind of party for friends.

While I see how one would have been something, I have neither the time nor the inclination to organize a theatrical display with Flemish and Ashkenazi-American motifs in equal measure. There will be no glass broken with a clog, no huppah constructed from leeks. No tradition-invention whatsoever - Flavia would approve!

I may - stop the presses - get a manicure, and will most definitely wash my hair with the good conditioner, but otherwise I'm not going in for the bridal primping (no "Japzilian," thanks, but what a name), workouts (at most some jogging around especially lap-dog-filled neighborhoods), or diet (limited time in Paris + le boulanger des Invalides = I expect to be if anything larger than usual in the photos). I have instead channeled all 'zilla urges into the shoe purchase of the century, namely going into the Repetto store in Saint Germain - a space I'd always looked upon as a museum, a shrine, but not a shop - and buying a pair of 1920s-ish silver shoes. (These, but in silver.) The shoes cost more than the (also-1920s-looking) dress, which strikes me as appropriate considering that I'm likely to get a whole lot more wear out of them than a dress that, while not precisely a gown, is off-white and "bridal" (says my mother, and I fully agree), and while no doubt purchased as a sundress by some Parisiennes, is going to be my wedding dress. It could get lint on it!

32 comments:

Withywindle said...

Congratulations!

Phoebe said...

Thanks! And wow that was quick!

Amber said...

Congrats!

Phoebe said...

Thanks Amber!

Jacob T. Levy said...

Mazel tov!

Isabel Archer said...

Congratulations! Also, it sounds you're being very sensible so far about resisting the craziness surrounding wedding planning, which is excellent.

Phoebe said...

JTL,

Toda!

Isabel Archer,

Thanks! Re: my lack of wedding hysteria, this is aided by a number of factors, not least of which the fact that bride, groom, and groom's family are in three different countries and will be until just before the big day.

There's also the fact that I already had a bat mitzvah that was quite a production (if not by the standards of its milieu), complete with extended family and even a white dress. I don't remember having dreamed of being "princess for a day" prior to that, but even if I had, this would have gotten it out of my system.

X.Trapnel said...

Congratulations!

Miss Self-Important said...

Woohoo! However, I must say, having gotten my one and only manicure (and pedicure) for my wedding, I can see why people go in for them.

Phoebe said...

X. Trapnel,

Danke!

MSI,

Let's see: there was the time a friend had gift certificates for them in 6th grade; my now-legendary bat mitzvah; two grad-school aberrations in my normal (cheap) behavior... and that adds up to four manicures and one pedicure (6th grade, obvs) thus far. My shoes are closed-toe, but I could see opting for the whole ten-digit extravaganza. (How the spray tan NYMag recommends fits with wearing a white dress, I don't understand, but this is not something I was considering, regardless.)

eamonnmcdonagh said...

congratulations!

rshams said...

Mazel tov!

"Japzilian" - had never heard of it. But my first thought on seeing the word was that it was relating to a Bridezilla who happened to be of a particular ethnic group. Very happy to be mistaken.

Phoebe said...

Eamonn and Rshams,

Thanks!

Rshams,

Heh. It wasn't mentioned in a bridal context, and my first thought was that it sounded like an intimate hair removal procedure aimed at "a particular ethnic group," given which beauty procedure "Brazilian"-without-further-explanation generally refers to. Whatever the case, it seems a poor word choice for a hair-straightening procedure, given that it sounds like an ethnic slur about the very demographic most stereotypically associated with getting frizz de-poufed in Beverly Hills.

Britta said...

Congratulations!

I have to say that I didn't google "Japzilian" at school lest my account get permanently blocked. Glad to know it's not as disgusting as it could have been.

David Schraub said...

Congratulations! (Nick Tarasen actually accidentally spilled the news to me, but don't resent him for it).

Nick said...

Thanks for selling me out, David!

And, public congratulations!

Phoebe said...

Britta, David, Nick,

Thanks!

And, not a secret - under normal circumstances, the fact that I now wear a ring - and, aside from at most small earrings and a watch, no other jewelry - would have given this away left and right. It's the whole being-a-hermit-in-Frahnce thing. My friends in the dorm (bad hermit!) know, but everyone else has had to (or still has to) be emailed.

There's also, of course, the option of a Facebook album devoted to the decorated finger, but I think I'll pass.

Daniel said...

Congratulations!

Daniel Goldberg said...

Mazel tov!

Phoebe said...

Daniels,

Thank you!

Flavia said...

Congratulations! I do totally approve, not least about spending more on shoes than on dress. (Still stalking mine on Zappos, hoping to see them go down from $298, but may pull the trigger soon.)

And. . . the whole time I was reading the bridal-lint article, I was wondering if you'd blog about it. There's still time!

PG said...

Congratulations to Jo and best wishes to you!

Your first thought about what a Japzilian would be might be more appropriate for a wedding anyway ;)

It is brilliant to spend more on re-wearable shoes than on a wedding-y wedding dress that you'll get dry-cleaned, boxed and have to pay for storage. If y'all have family who are OK with a human-scale wedding, count yourselves already blessed.

Phoebe said...

Flavia, PG, thanks!

Flavia,

Re: your dream shoes, at least they're in dollars, with free shipping?

Re: the lint article, I definitely see how easy it is to go from notions about plastic rings and a potato-sack dress to something more expensive/conventional. I think things get out of hand because the extremes are presented as the norm - the lint bride, for example, offers as the 'before' a vision of a 'small' party for 70 people, and a dress that costs 'only' $500. The party would have been small and the dress cheap by wedding standards, but that's still... a lot of people, and an expensive dress. But rather than looking at it that way, we're expected to view the green dress and vegetarian park festivities as evidence that the bride/couple (as if there's a distinction in the popular imagination) was bravely rejecting the Wedding Industrial Complex. Anything short of, what, 1,000 people and a $10,000 dress can get spun as a modest to-do. It's like how, with plastic surgery so publicized and in reality shows, a woman who 'just' gets her hair and nails done twice a week and runs up hundreds of dollars a month at Sephora can claim to embrace a 'natural' look.

PG,

Good point that it's often (most of the time?) families who insist on big weddings. The culture places the responsibility/blame on brides, when the reality is more likely 'remember that tenth cousin ten times removed you've never met? She and all of her friends expect invites' than 'princess for a day' fantasies that involve a desire to plan a party for distant relatives and acquaintances.

Daniel said...

Also, after (almost) 2 years of being married, I still have trouble saying the word "wife". It's kind of weird, you know, because those are words that adults use...

dance said...

Congratulations! (belated, behind on RSS :-)

Britta said...

In terms of wedding advice, as someone who wanted a courthouse wedding with maybe 10 people and ended up with a backyard wedding with 75, you must be really firm with your parents. My normally low key mother, who all through high school and college told me that she wasn't contributing a cent to my wedding, and I could get married in a paper bag for all she cared, suddenly turned into "momzilla." She basically strong-armed me into having her perfect wedding (which ironically she was deprived from having by her own mother.) It was lovely and my mother and her gaggle of middle-aged friends did ALL the work, including preparing a traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord for 100, but it wasn't what I wanted, and since it was her time and labor and mostly her money, I didn't really feel like I could disagree. About half the guest list were my mother's cousins. I think they outnumbered my friends 3:1, and there wasn't even any of the groom's extended family there (since they live in Australia).

kei said...

Congratulations! On many things: the engagement, a wedding you seem to be happy with, dream shoes, pending dog(s), so many things!

I also had a hard time with the word "fiance" and still do with "husband" although I think it forces people to realize I'm not 12-18 years old, which is turning out to be a not bad thing for me. Another thing you might find strange is being referred to as "mom" or "mommy" when you have a dog. To cope with this, I've resorted to variations: I refer to myself sometimes as "human mom," or Mordecai as "Diddy" or "Diddy-cai." Of course, Mitsu couldn't care less about any of this, or her real mom and dad, or anything but her bone, peanut butter, and attention.

Phoebe said...

Daniel, Kei,

For whatever reason, the thought of saying "husband" seems much more normal to me than "fiancé." I think it's that the latter seems like announcing an achievement - as in, look, I snagged a man! - whereas "husband" just seems... the usual grown-up way of describing one's long-term partner in our society. Whatever man-snagging implications "husband" might have are cancelled out by the fact that the word implies a relationship that isn't all that new.

Dance, Kei,

Thanks!

Britta,

This is probably a common scenario. Maybe what happens comes back to the whole window-of-opportunity thing - parents go from thinking their daughters are far too young to pair off, to being utterly grateful that there's still a chance there will be grandchildren/that their daughter won't be alone at that age. My sense is it happens without parents necessarily articulating this, especially not parents who consider themselves progressive.

Kei,

It does seem odd to be called the "mommy" of a miniature poodle. Hmm.

PG said...

My own mother used to refer to me as the "mommy" of my pet rabbit, and to my father as its "grandpa." This bothered me especially because I'd basically ditched the rabbit with my parents when I went to law school, which if I were its mommy made me the kind of Bad Single Mother whose children are raised by their grandmother. Chris Rock: "If a kid calls his grandma 'Mama' and his mama 'Pam,' that kid's goin to jail." And the bunny did end up running away from home...

Phoebe said...

PG,

Love it.

Jeff said...

Phoebe, sorry I missed this before. This is wonderful news, congratulations.

But you know, there's a dark side to all good things - this news may make dozens of men unsubscribe from the site.

Phoebe said...

Jeff,

Thanks, I guess?