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Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

I have been on a Rent kick this week. The first time I saw it was actually not on Broadway. It was a traveling production and I heard a radio ad for the show. I got this very strong sense that if I went to the place and tried for those front row tickets that I would win them (for those who don't know, the first two rows of Rent performances are set aside to be sold cheaply at last minute on a lottery system. The point is to give everyone a chance to see the show regardless of financial situation). I asked a friend if he would come and take the second ticket and he wouldn't believe me when I kept telling him that I had a feeling I would win. He told me to call him if I got the tickets and he would drive over. Needless to say, he ate crow that night and enjoyed Rent from the front row. And Tom Collins accidentally sprayed me mid-song. It was wonderful.

A little while later, I was in NY and I had the same bout of intuition. I asked my friend if she wanted to go see Rent and she hemmed and hawed about buying Broadway tickets and I told her that I would win us the ones in the front row. She said she had tried for them dozens of times and had never won. But, of course, we won that day.

I went back and saw Rent like this five more times. Each time, I felt absolutely positive that I would win the tickets and each time I did. Then one day we went up to NY specifically to see Rent and to hang out in the city with my friend's cousins. And I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to win the tickets. I could feel it though my friend kept laughing it off, saying, "you always win the tickets." Of course, we didn't win and I was so crushed because it felt like this little candle that had been burning (would you light my candle?) had been snuffed out. I never got that feeling again and I never won them again. And now the show will be gone. It makes me so incredibly sad.

I am trying to convince Josh that we need to see it one last time (though we will have to buy tickets. I just know that I will not win them). Part of me wonders if I stopped winning the tickets because I got too old and crotchety. At first, when I was winning them, I was just out of grad school, poor, idealistic. Now I'm listening to the soundtrack and saying to Josh, "why should they get out of paying restaurant bills?"

What is the saying? If you're under 30 and you're not a Democrat, you have no heart and if you're over 30 and you're not a Republican, you have no head.

I am still firmly an open-minded Democrat, but damn, pay for your cup of tea, Mark.

Why the Rent kick? Because I am going to a wedding and I was thinking about a wedding I went to many years ago with a Rent theme. Which was...a little strange, no? Mostly because all of the songs they played were not the ones about love but the ones about the impermanence of life. Not very wedding but they loved the show and that's what they wanted AND they paid for their wedding instead of trashing the hall and screaming, "we're not going to pay!" But it was a little disconcerting to sit at the Mimi Table complete with handcuffs and a whip as the centerpiece (is she joking? Is she not joking?).

All weddings remind me of that wedding because it's hard to forget a Rent-themed wedding. And while all wedding are--at their core--about love, this particular wedding that I'm about to go to is about Love. It's about absolute true love and it's an amazing story of twists and turns and two coasts and pure, undeniable love. It's one of those weddings where all of the guests are just as happy as the couple--isn't that rare? So, even though the groom has been a member of my family for years (at least in our hearts if not on paper), this weekend, I get a new brother. And we are figuratively turning cartwheels even if I don't have the coordination to do them in actuality.

The wedding is also why I seem to have forgotten Mother's Day. I would read a post and think, "oh! Wait! Mother's Day is coming up." And then I'd switch back to my to-do list about shaving through the leg forest (completed this morning--the legs are nude) and getting a pedicure and buying wedding cards and forget. And when it comes down to it, I don't really know what to say about the holiday. It's such a strange beast.

And it is simply easier to return to talking about love than unpack the complex feelings I have about this holiday. What was the best wedding/commitment ceremony you've ever been to? Obviously, if you are married, you probably have strong feelings (or not?) about your own ceremony and if you are not married or can't get married, you may have some strong feelings (or not?) about weddings in general, but what was the best wedding/commitment ceremony you've ever attended or heard about? Best is however you wish to define it--happiest, craziest, most unforgettable. I have another wedding story beyond the Rent one, but I'll share it in the comments section below since this post is getting too damn long. And if weddings are not your forte but you have a damn fine graduation ceremony story or a Bat Mitzvah that rocked the bimah, I'll take that too.

So now, the blogs...

Gabrielle's coverage on Fertility Notes of the death of Eight Belles brought me to tears. There was not only the infinite sadness in the loss of the horse, but the analogy she drew moved me too: "Isn’t it crazy how so many emotions can occupy and be caused by one single point in time? I think a lot of women who are trying to conceive are familiar with this polar tug. There always seems to be a friend or a family member who is pregnant, right when you should have been. There is always a child who is just about the same age of your child if only…." I especially loved her end thought about the contrast of celebration and grief. This post was brilliant.

Bri at Unwellness has a post called "Happy. Weird." She begins, "It has been hard for me to write lately. I know everyone has one of these obligatory posts, apologizing, as it were, for success and happiness. Once an Infertile always an Infertile and all that, but not really, right? I mean, surely you think of me as I think of me, judging and ranking." She goes on to explain why she writes the complaints--because we do a disservice to each other when we paint parenthood as all sunshine and roses. But also why she doesn't write more of the happiness--because she doesn't want to gloat. Because it's a fine line: what is talking about that happiness and what is "admitting that I am happy and seeming to not remember what it is like to be without the thing you want most." I loved this post because it was so honest and smart and raw. Personally, I want to hear the bad AND the good. Only hearing the bad doesn't give a realistic view and only hearing the good isn't helpful either. The middle is a nice place to be.

517Butterfly at A New Kind of Normal has a post that brought me to tears. Very brief, very moving. Click over and just sit with it for a moment.

Lastly, Sharah at Outlandish Notions has a post about living child-free. It is the most gorgeous analogy and I love this part: "More time passes, and memories grower paler and the pain grows duller and then one day you wake up and it hits you: you are happy. Not just faking it, not just the absence of pain, but true and real joy in the life you have instead of longing for a life that might have been. And that is a wonderful day." Did I love it because it's the happy ending or because peace is good? I don't know. But it's a post that fills me with hope about a plethora of situations.

Roundup to the Roundup: tell me your greatest ceremony story (one you attended or one you merely heard about--since mine is a "heard about" but damn, I wish I had been there) and drag at least three bloggers to the NaComLeavMo list. "Give me your commentless, your feedback whore, your thoughtful writers struggling for affirmation; send these, the casual journaler, to me; I hit my ctrl-v and place them on the list." Even if I may be a bit slow this weekend. You stuff.


The Town Criers said...

I wish I were still friends with the girl so she could fill in all the things I forgot, but it began when the rabbi and minister who were marrying her parents got into a fight and accidentally threw a glass of red wine at the bride who was already in her white dress at the time pre-ceremony. As they were trying to clean the dress, a small cousin came by saying he didn't feel well and he projectile vomited on her. So now the dress is covered in red wine and vomit.

They have the ceremony and during the vows, one of their guests has a seizure.

They finally leave for their honeymoon (and missed most of the party because the seizure and getting the guest to the hospital stopped the wedding for two hours so they missed their own party since they had to catch the flight with everything pushed back), and when they land, they found out that in between the time the plane took off and landed, a military coup had broken out. All flights are grounded out of the country.

A taxi driver tells them that they'll be safe at his farm house in the country. On the way out, the husband is snapping roll after roll of film--buildings on fire, policemen beating civilians, etc. They stay at the farmhouse for three days until flights resume. When they get to the aeroport, the first media people are arriving and he speaks to someone at the NY Times about how he has this early footage of the war. They tell him that they'll pay him per picture that they use. The couple think this is the one saving grace to this shitty experience--they'll make enough money to go on another trip.

Except he never took the lens cap off :-)

loribeth said...

Oh my, Mel!!!

I think the most memorable wedding I ever attended was one I almost missed. One of my dearest childhood friends was getting married on April 28th, 1984 -- I arranged to leave school early & fly home to attend. I got home to my parents on a Wednesday. The next day, there was a huge ICE STORM. We had no power & no water for over 24 hours. My dad cooked everything (including bacon & eggs for breakfast) on the gas barbecue outside, we had a kerosene heater to keep warm, & we slept in our clothes under about 10 blankets each!

The wedding ceremony was about a 3 hour drive away (in the little town where we'd all grown up), with the reception in another larger town about 45 minutes from that). When we woke up Saturday morning, the weather had finally cleared & the roads were improving. My mom called the mother of the bride, & they'd moved the ceremony, at the last minute, to a church in the same town where the reception was, for 4 o'clock that afternoon. We decided to go for it & hit the road. We were late & headed straight for the church (in jeans & T-shirts, etc.) & arrived midway through the ceremony. (I felt a little like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.) Nobody thought we would come & they were so happy to see us! Because of the weather, only about half the people who had RSVPd wound up attending. The bridal party & the groom's family spent Friday night with kind farmers all along the TransCanada Highway who took them in (!), & one of the bridesmaids & one of the ushers didn't make it at all. It was pretty wacky, but they did wind up married in the end (although sadly, they are divorced now). The reception was also fun, with the bride & her cousin leading a conga line of women to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

gabrielle said...

Mel, your addendum is hilarious. I cannot imagine celebrating my wedding day bathed in red wine and puke (especially if it weren't my own) only to find my honeymoon locale in the midst of serious political turmoil, myself thinking I had priceless photos of the event only to find my lenscap was still on. Good lordessa. You have to laugh, right? Your friend had a sense of humor, right?

I would be so curious to see how they themselves recall the event - with horror or with a "you will not believe this" segue into a great story.

(Thanks so much for the shout out.)

Jen said...

My best wedding I've ever been to was my own. It was beautiful and amazing and totally awesome. There was a toxic waste spill in our reception location that morning and we got moved (without being told until we arrived there) to a new location decorated with a circus theme. There's a link on my sidebar to my wedding pictures if anyone wants to see the circus. But really, it wasn't that bad overall and all the fabulousness made up for it.

The only other weddings I've been to were for a good friend where it was so hot and disorganized and for my sister's nineteen year old pregnant friend. So, no wonder I liked mine the best.

Kathy V said...

Okay so I went to my cousin's wedding a number of years ago. Not a lot of people in the family were fond of the bride for various reasons. During the reception, there was a bomb threat called in and we all had to exit the building. The bomb squad came in and everything. Then the bomb squad thought the bomb might be in one of the presents. They told the bride she sould open them all immediatly with them supervising or she could let them open them all. They of course couldn't guarantee the safety of anything breakable if they opened them so it became an assembly line outside where they tested things and then she quickly opened them and moved to the next one. all of her pictures after this point have her giving a pouty face. All the family members kept saying that they didn't call in the threat. Turns out it was an ex-girlfriend of my cousin, the groom that called it in. It was hot outside and had very few beveradges cause the wait staff and kitchen staff all had to be exacuated also. Several hours later, they found nothing and we were aloud back in the building but by then it was time to go home. Very memorable occasion.

I loved my wedding. We had an M&M theme. All bridesmaids wore a different color dress. All table coverings were a different color. M&M party light and M&M garlands were everywhere. Not to mention all the M&M candies. Everybody seemed to have a good time. kids everywhere and I never sat down from talking to people and dancing. Great fun and lots of good memories.

r_is_moody said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any wedding horror stories besides my own. I guess my friends are happy about that.

Of course the best wedding I have been to was my own. We got married at a B&B in May outside. It was absolutely beautiful. In the middle of my vows one of my bridesmaids passed out. And it wasn't where she kinda went limp and fell into a puddle. She fell straight forward. Thankfully the flower girl had gone to sit with her mom or she would have been smashed. So all the nurses run to her aid and they leave to take her to the hospital.

The rest of the ceremony went well once I found my composure and stopped crying. There were these big ball lights in front of the house and all of dh's friends took his underwear and put them over the lights. That was not very funny to me at the time.

And then they went overboard with decorating the car. Vaseline under the wipers and door handles. Shoe polish, baby powder and chocolate sauce all over the car and then they tried to wrap it in papertowels. Needless to say I was not amused at all since we were leaving town the next day in that car and we had to stop to wash it.

Anonymous said...

I love RENT...LOVE RENT...LOVE RENT!!! I want to go see it so badly before it closes, but Hubby isn't that into it. Although, I do not think i would want it to be the theme of a wedding (or bar/bat mitzvah either...). My best wedding was by far my own. I loved it. it had more ruach than (almost) any wedding I have ever been to. Everything was pink and sparkly. The band was fabulous. We had a 45 minute hora. I LOVED my tulle dress (with pink flowers on the bodice). It was fabulous! For our honeymoon we went to Spain, and I was seriously high from my wedding for then entire time. Then, of course, I came home and had my first miscarriage (talk about a downer!). know what's weird? There is a blank for me to type in the "word verification," but there is no WORD! Hmmm...

JJ said...

LOVE is always, always, always on my iPod. I saw it in London with the original cast--I would love to see it again before it leaves Broadway. Such a fantastic show!

Haven't been to one of these, but that show on cmt: my big red.neck wedding--cracks me up. I want to go to one. =)

Heather said...

When we got married it was just us, the pastor, BigP's mother and my immediate family. It was nice and simple.

When we renewed our vows, his mother and my parents were there and my BFF from college and her husband. It was all planned as a surprise for me. I thought we (the two of us) were going on a cruise for our 5th wedding anniversary and he planned and paid for them to come too. It was our first cruise and we had a blast! I was very surprised and he gave me a gorgeous ring and proposed to me on the back of the ship under the stars the night before the ceremony.

So, we had a great ceremony and he was in a tux (my fantasy!!) and a cake and a photographer - the whole shebang that we didn't have the first time.

I wasn't in a wedding dress (but I wouldn't have anyways for our vow renewal) but I was in a gorgeous gown for the formal dinner that night anyways. It was great!

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Searching said...

I LOVE Rent!! I saw it during high school and wore out the soundtrack I had on tape. Awesome is the only way I can describe it. Life-changing even.

The best wedding I ever went to was my own. I posted my response on my blog so I wouldn't take up too much space!

Kim said...

I have a funny wedding memory. One of my hubby's friends was getting married. He was voted class clown in high school and she was so serious all of the time. Her parents were so proper and well mannered. We did not even have to guess which side of the family the guests were from. As the new couple was announced and walked into the reception hall, the groom pretended to trip and fell onto the floor. Not only did he fall, but he did a complete forward roll and came up dancing to the newly cued music. We did not know whether to laugh or cry. Then all of a sudden the silence was broken. The bride was laughing so hard that she was almost snorting and tears were rolling down her cheeks. The couple might have been complete opposites but were a perfect match. He knew how uptight and worried she had been about the day. His stunt had caused her laughter and in turn released all of her stress. Soon all the guests were laughing. The night was so much fun and I don't think the bride would have had as much fun without the laughing episode!

Kymberli said...

Mel, I've given you an award. Head over to my blog to get it! :)

luna said...

just wanted to say mazel tov on the wedding and new family addition!

my favorite wedding was my own, maybe I'll write about it for our anniv. in june...

Shelby said...

I love Rent too! I have seen it four times, three times in Buffalo, and once in NYC, paying full price each time and it was SO worth it! The time in NYC, Mark actually screwed up the first bit after intermission- "december 24th, ni-ten PM" It was great!

My favorite wedding, other than my own, was my friend's last March. It was our 5 year wedding anniversary weekend (the rehearsal dinner was on our actual anniversary), and it was for a friend who was one of my bridesmaids, and the guy who was my husband's best man at our wedding- they actually hooked up in the limo on the way back from our wedding. It was amazing, fantastic food at this cheesy Italian restaurant in Buffalo (with statues and stuff out front), fantastic food, and tons of wine (each table had a bottle of red and white). It was the perfect way to spend our 5th anniversary.

JuliaS said...

Dang - the most exciting thing to happen at our wedding was the punch bowl broke at the reception AFTER it was filled with punch.

I broke out in a head to toe rash on our honeymoon after staying a couple nights in a hotel that super bleached their sheets and towels apparently (I am ALLERGIC or at least highly sensitive) and this was right before we arrived at dh's house for his sister's wedding the weekend after ours. The Rodney King riots broke out the day we arrived and so our day trip to SF was scrapped. (BART shut down and the Cal Berkley students were protesting on the bridge) I sat at dh's home all by myself scratching furiously while mil and sil did last minute wedding stuff and dh did last minute get the house ready stuff with his dad.

Then I met the Uncle who had himself legally declared dead so he wouldn't have to pay taxes who thought it would be fabulous fun coming up with all sorts of honeymoonish reasons why I might break out in a rash, none of which involved bleach or laundry practices . . .

No cage fighting, vomit or seizures though - thank heavens!

hopeful #1 said...

RENT is my all time favorite show. No matter how many times you see it, it just gets better and reaffirms how much you really love it! I've seen it about 5 times now, and I love it! I actually had a friend that played Maureen and I was able to see her in it too!

I've also done the front row tickets twice and LOVED the view! It's amazing what you can miss from farther back!


Liza said...

My favorite wedding story is that 3 of my cousins, all siblings, got married over the span of 10 weeks.

Their brother who lived in DC at the time, and I drove back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. It was a strange but awesome bonding experience, both with the DC cousin and with the family & friends I saw once/month for the first time ever.

My craziest wedding story is my own, although thankfully it was a few months before I found out.

We had an interfaith ceremony, and the Christian minister was sort of an odd duck, but charming, as was his wife. During the reception, they sat with my parents and some very dear family friends, with whom I thought they would hit it off.

Instead, the minister made a pass at the family friends -- as a couple, on behalf of himself and his wife.

Thankfully, Mr. Family Friend was able to laugh it off without creating a scene. But I was MORTIFIED later when he told me what happened.

nutmeg96 said...

I definitely had qualms about Rent's main characters' expectation of free lodging. But the music was so good. :)

The most memorable wedding I ever attended was that of a high school classmate.

The scene: Jersey.

The music: AC/DC.

The special effects: Copious dry ice.

It's no vomit/seizure/military coup, but I'll never forget it.