I’m always excited when I get the chance to interview an author on HelloGiggles, and this week’s post was ESPECIALLY exciting because I had the chance to interview fellow HelloGiggles writer and all-around awesome lady, Leila Howland. You can check out the interview here (and go read her book, Nantucket Blue!).
I have a terrible habit of making do. In my last apartment, when the pull chain broke off of the light above my mirror, I didn’t fix it. Instead, I did my makeup by the light of the overhead fixture, which was on the other side of a half-wall. I did my makeup in shadow for the better part of a year.
When a drawer broke, instead of fixing it, I just stopped using it.
When my doorknob kept falling off, I found the one way I could turn it so that it would stay on instead of finding a screw driver and fixing it.
If it sounds like I lived in a perpetually broken apartment, well, yeah. But that’s not the point. The point is, that’s what I was doing with everything in my life at that point. Everything was broken and I was just adjusting my life to fit around it, because there was nothing really wrong with it.
I didn’t like my job, but it wasn’t terrible and it paid me money, so I stayed. Living where I was made me miserable, but it wasn’t like it was awful and there were things I liked about it, so I just dealt with it. I was too scared to try writing, so I tried to find lots of other interests to fill my time. It was a life full of “good enough” and “not terrible” and “I have money and a place to live, so I shouldn’t complain.”
I hope you already know that you shouldn’t put up with things that don’t make you happy just because they don’t make you miserable. But I sure didn’t. Over the past couple of years, I’ve moved to a city I love, gotten a new job, and started writing for real. And you can probably guess how much better life got when I stopped settling for “good enough.”
This might not be a revelation, but its something I have to remind myself all the time. You can always change anything that’s bothering you. Like, right now I’m stressed out because I have too much stuff. Instead of boxing it up in the basement, I could get rid of it. Get rid of all the clothes I don’t wear, all the books I’m never going to read again, all the magazines I inexplicably held onto. I’m feeling gross because I haven’t had time to workout, but I can make time to work out. I want to spend more time writing. Well, you know what I should do. These are things that can be changed.
Don’t just live your life around the broken stuff. Start fixing it and move on.
I forgot to mention that I had an article on The Daily Muse a few weeks ago! It’s all about the things you learn when you’re an assistant, and it’s based on extensive personal experience.
The Daily Muse is a great, lady-focused business site and I’m happy to be published there! Yay!
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this on WTLV, but H. and I met because of music. We both had radio shows on Miami’s student radio station, WMSR. He and his friends had a show right after me and my friend Liz’s show on Friday nights. That’s how you know we were really cool in college; from 9-1 on Friday nights, one of us was in a student-run radio studio. What could be cooler?
Anyway, since music is so important to us, obviously we wanted to have some jams at the wedding. Originally, I was going to walk down the aisle to Strangers by the Kinks, which I’ve wanted to do since I first heard it in the Darjeeling Limited (shut up). But then when we ended up getting married in a church instead of outside like I’d originally planned, I didn’t want to risk upsetting the church that already didn’t understand our “liberal” ceremony (their words, not mine…our ceremony was actually pretty normal). Also H. gave me some serious grief about it. He, no joke, asked me if I could walk down the aisle to HERE COMES THE BRIDE. I love him, but no. There was no way.
So anyway, as a compromise, I picked out some classical music I actually liked for the ceremony (a lot of Bach) and made up a playlist of fun love songs to play while all of our guests were arriving. You know, Going to the Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups, My Girl by the Temptations…Islands in the Stream by Dolly and Kenny. Okay, so I snuck by a few weirder picks because H. was busy while I was making the playlist and he wasn’t paying attention. I also included Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely even though that song is TOTALLY about a baby because whatever! This was my wedding and I could do what I wanted! Also, I put Robbie DuPree’s Steal Away on there because, hello, it’s the best, smoothest, yacht rockiest song ever recorded.
I’m pretty sure it was the best playlist ever made and I’m pretty proud of it. As I was walking up the stairs to the chapel and we were getting ready for the ceremony to start, Frank Sinatra’s Love and Marriage was playing, so now whenever I hear that song I’ll feel really queasy and nervous. Bonus!
I mentioned in my ceremony post that we walked up the aisle to Queen’s You’re My Best Friend and entered the reception to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky. Those were easy songs to pick. I sort of obsessed over our first dance song, though. Initially we were going to use I Will by The Beatles. It’s my second favorite Beatles song and, as an added perk, it’s extremely short, which meant less time that we’d have to spend dancing in front of everyone. In the end, though, we decided to use Ain’t It Strange by our all-time favorite band together, Dr. Dog. We’ve seen them in concert four or five times now, and we love them. I’m glad we used this song, since they’re such a special band for us and now it will be even more special next time we see them. I made Alex shorten this song for us around the 3:30 mark so we wouldn’t have to dance through that last, jammy minute.
Let me tell you guys something really important: it’s EXTREMELY awkward to dance in front of everyone. Like, I can’t even tell you. Almost the entire time, we were saying to each other, “This is weird,” while smiling because our picture was being taken a lot.
For my dance with Papa W., I picked a short song. I mean, that’s not why I picked it. I love The Wind by Cat Stevens and it’s a really pretty song, but I’m just saying its length wasn’t exactly a deterrent. And since Papa W. hates being in front of people, like, ever, this was a pretty good choice.
We had an open bar, because one of my bridesmaids convinced her (very nice!) mother to be our bartender and we were able to get a deal on booze, and I’ll tell you guys something: it really helped with the dancing. I didn’t really notice/don’t really remember the songs the DJ, our friend Eric, played for the rest of the night, but I do know that people danced until Mama W. kicked everyone out. Here are some things I know for sure, though:
-People go crazy for Gangnam Style. Like, I didn’t even know.
-A group of girls can VERY easily learn to do just about any slide or shuffle.
-People love slides and shuffles. Any of ‘em. Electric? Cha-Cha? Cupid? Doesn’t matter. And even though Catherine once called the electric slide, “The dance that promises to teach you but never does–you have to be born knowing,” that didn’t stop people from trying.
-Our friends really, really love to dance. Like, really.
-Dance circles are just going to happen, and also the one person there who’s from Ireland will know how to riverdance because apparently everyone there does.
-People might say they don’t like the chicken dance, but you get a few drinks in them and put them on the dance floor of the Sky High Lodge and they’re gonna be singing a different tune. And also they’re gonna be doing the chicken dance.
-You should all have friends who like to dance. It’s really fun.
Read Part 1, about the ceremony, here.
When we were finally done taking pictures in the freezing cold, we drove to our reception site, Hidden Hollow Camp. Normally, the building’s used for summer camp, so it was basically just a big, empty, sort-of-rustic looking room with amazing views. Also, I hadn’t even noticed this, but in addition to getting married on 4/20, we got married in a building called Sky High Lodge. Good Lord.
H. and I and our bridal party entered the reception to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky (because that’s the best song ever) and ate some amazing food provided by Fast Eddie’s. There was broccoli salad! If you don’t like broccoli salad, then I don’t even know what to say to you.
Our decorations were bright and pretty. Lots of flowers, poms, and twinkle lights and lots of coral, pink, orange, and yellow. So basically what you would expect, given the design of this blog.
There were a lot of wedding traditions we didn’t do, just because we didn’t really care about them (or, in some cases, outright hated them). We didn’t do a bouquet toss because every woman hates that. There’s probably a lady somewhere who thinks it’s really fun, but I’m not friends with her, so I wasn’t going to put all the single women I love through that. Also, no garter toss, because it creeps me out so much. I mean, are you really going to pull that garter off in a over-the-top suggestive manner in front of all your relatives, and then toss it to people as if they want to touch it? I truly don’t understand.
We still had lots of the “regular” wedding stuff, though, like the cake cutting. Our cake, by the way, was AMAZING. Mama W. made and decorated it herself. Seriously, look at those flowers! Clearly she should be doing this for a living, right?
We did NOT smash the cake in each others’ faces. I told H. that I paid money to get my makeup done, and there was no way in hell I was going to have to wash it off. Priorities, you know?
H’s best man, Bob, and my maid of honor, Cat, both gave amazing speeches that made us get a little bit choked up. H. and I agreed that this was the first wedding we’d been to where both of the speeches were perfect (usually there’s one that’s good and one that’s inappropriate or rambly or weird). Cat’s involved large photos of Zach Galifianakis, Jeff Goldblum, and John Travolta, which were put into use later in the night once the drinking started.
And then there was dancing. So much dancing.
My single favorite moment from the wedding (besides getting married, of course) happened during our first group slow dance, to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis. As H. and I slowly spun around, me already a little tipsy, all I could see was a blur of twinkle lights and warm colors and all of our friends dancing. I saw everyone we love, our families and the friends I’ve known my whole life and the friends we’ve just gotten to know recently. I saw all of our friends who’ve gotten married in the past couple of years, our friends who are engaged, our friends who’ve been dating for years, and our friends who’d just brought their new sweethearts to meet the group for the first time, all dancing together. And I saw our friends who were dancing with friends, too, which is a love just as important as the romantic kind. And I even saw my parents, who never dance, on the dance floor. “Everyone’s so happy and in love!” I said to H., and even though it sounds kind of silly now, it felt like the best, warmest feeling when I said it then. That one moment, just watching everyone else in love and dancing and enjoying themselves made every little bit of wedding planning stress worth it, and I was so glad we decided not to elope. I certainly don’t want our wedding to be the best day of my life, because I really don’t want it to all be downhill from here, but it will probably be pretty tough to top the way I felt right at that moment. I’m going to keep a mental snapshot of it forever.
So it was a good night. I have one more cautionary tale to tell you, but it will have to wait for another post. Until then, enjoy a few more pictures that made me laugh or smile.
This photo of Chad (videographer extraordinaire) peering through the cherry blossoms makes me laugh so hard.
These pictures make me realize how attractive our group of friends is:
Thanks again to Cat, Jayne, Jessie, Mike, and Sam for taking so many great pictures!