morning, indeterminate time:
Rise hazily out of sleep. Wonder what time it is. For the first time in months, you have awakened without the wedding to-do list blaring itself into your consciousness. Sigh happily and fall back asleep.
Wake up for real this time. You still have no idea what wedding chores you have slated for today. Freedom, horrible freedom!
Today is the RSVP deadline; surely the outstanding 25% of responses* will come pouring in by nightfall. Laugh hollowly.
*That percentage is not really fair. The Fella’s co-workers need to see their completed schedules before they can accept or decline, so we expect some of their responses to come late. It’s the other 15% that rankle ever so slightly.
Have a cappuccino and a peanut butter toast. Vow to have no more caffeine today; you’re on edge during the day and restless at night.
Search for camera. It’s around here somewhere, right in plain sight. You’ve lately been suffering from an odd inability to recognize common objects even when you’re looking at them. Mentally label this phenomenon “object aphasia.” Aha! Found it!
Upload venue images from camera to email; send to your brother overseas, who foolishly agreed to take some photos on the wedding day. Prepare similar emails to send to other volunteer photographers.
Check email for RSVPs. Nope.
The Fella leaves for the gym. You are sitting on bed writing emails and making lists for self-catering.
The Fella returns to get ready for work. You are sitting in exactly the same spot, writing feverishly. Do not even consider looking at the table chart; everyone will just have to fit into the rented hall, which once seemed enormous but is suddenly a tiny mousehole.
The Fella calls from work to announce that [friend] and his family have sent their regrets. You both say, “Awwww, that’s too bad!” and you mean it. From the corner of his mouth, The Fella adds, “…but that’s four seats right there,” and you mean that, too.
Hanging up, decide that you have just time to drop into the cheap salon and get a haircut. You’re overdue. Just have a quick shower and you’ll be on your way! You deserve a treat!
The toilet overflows. This is not the treat you had in mind.
Intermittently plunge, dose the bowl with detergent and hot water, and search the internet for advice, which is both plentiful and suspect.
So much for your pretty haircut.
More plunging. Think how much nicer this would be with a tiara. Maybe a trip to a bridal shop is in order after all.
Admit that the the cup plunger is not working. It always has before; something might be seriously wrong. Try not to think about snakes and plumbers.
Head to the local hardware store. Hustle, because it closes at six and you move slowly when your back is wracked up. A) Stress and B) jerky movements exacerbate your back problem. The plugged toilet and vigorous plunging qualify nicely for A and B.
Check the mail for RSVPs. Nope.
Hurriedly rounding the corner, you stop, back up a step to the lilac bush, and breathe in deeply. If ever you needed to stop and smell the flowers, this is the day.
On your way, notice: the wobbly girl on roller skates, who waves and almost falls over as a result; the kids racing on their bikes; the fresh dark dirt in the schoolyard garden; the Rowantrees creamers in the antique store window. This is nice, this is okay. This is nice, this is okay. Keep telling yourself this. You’ve been prone to anxiety lately.
Notice your shadow. With the purse on your shoulder and a big soft scarf wrapped around you, you look like a lumpen hunchback. Your limp intensifies the image. Wonder if the devastating body consciousness from which you have been suffering will end after the wedding.
Ask yourself earnestly what the heck wedding-related tasks you were supposed to be doing today. The remaining tasks are either so small that you forgot them or so large you lost sight of them.
Realize that you haven’t eaten since your morning peanut butter toast.
Intent on your mental list and your body horrors, you shot right past the corner for the hardware store. Double back, double quick.
Hey, the local hardware store is open ’til seven! Good to know!
The clerk shows you right to the plungers and helps you find one with a proper flange lip on it. It’s nice and cheap, too.
One the way home, stop by the local grocery and pick up some essentials. And some inessentials, too. Have a nice chat with the butcher, his friends, and the cheese lady. The checkout woman calls you “Dear.”
Stop near the corner and smell the lilacs.
As you round the corner to head home, the bells a few blocks away start ringing their carrillon. This is nice.
More plunging and hot water with detergent. This is getting discouraging.
You are a genius. A plumbing genius. A tenacious, stubborn, very sore plumbing genius.
Preen and revel in your smug cheer. Now, for the love of all that’s holy, pee.
Unpack the cake and Dr. Pepper you got at the neighborhood store; lie down with an ice pack on your back and another on your shoulder; have cake and soda for dinner. Toilet trouble trumps your resolutions to eat better and drink less caffeine, just for tonight.
Reflect that you’re no pretty pretty princess bride, but you’re pretty handy. Feel like maybe you deserve The Fella after all.
edited to add: Erik wrote me to say:
I loved your ‘bridal blog’ post. I read it all in Google Reader where there wasn’t any formatting, just the times were bolded. The lack of formatting really added to the hectic stream-of-consciousness feel. It’s cool when a computer error accidentally makes something better.
I took a look at the Google Reader text, and it exactly mimics the pressed, unstructured anxiety I was feeling. Thanks for pointing it out, Erik! (This comment is posted here with Erik’s kind permission. He also suggests “P.S. Maybe your comments could use some prodding with that fancy new plunger? :-)”
To which I can only respond: word.