2007 April | Somewhere in Middle America

I love to shop, and I love to receive gifts, so I didn’t anticipate how hard creating a registry would be. J and I spent nearly every night this past week browsing different online retailers getting ideas of what types of things we could get away asking for. We decided that this weekend we would both go to the same store in our respective cities and check out things in person while on the phone with each other. One of us could have the scanner and we’d officially open a wedding registry.

Our first attempt at “teleregistering” was at Williams-Sonoma, but the store was crowded and noisy, making it hard to hear him. Plus I had my mom with me, and she kept trying to talk into my other ear. Since I am a complete novice in the kitchen (I eat cereal for dinner), I wanted a salesperson to walk around with me explaining each piece of equipment and telling me why I needed it. But then I’d have to reiterate everything that person told me to J, which would get annoying real fast. After 20 frustrating minutes, I decided that I really wanted to have the experience of registering for these big ticket items with him, so we decided to wait until we’re together to register at W-S.

A short while later we were back on the phone with each other at Bed, Bath and Beyond, where we didn’t think we would need so much help. That was a bust too. Our connection was crappy, we both couldn’t make up our minds about what we wanted (a coffee machine with a built in grinder or two separate machines?), and to make matters worse, I hadn’t eaten in like 6 hours. I was famished, tired, cranky and completely frustrated by the whole process.

Total items on our registry = 0

Perhaps internet shopping really is the way to go.

My father sent an email to my mom and me telling us to check out the first page of the Weekend & Leisure section in today’s Wall Street Journal. He was referring to the article “The First Dance Spins Out of Control,” which describes how newlyweds are turning the traditionally slow and sentimental first dance into a Dancing with the Stars-worthy choreographed routine. Each trying to make their wedding better than the next (or get themselves on You Tube), brides and grooms are using lights, fog, theatrics, and, sometimes, even their wedding attendants to produce a first dance unlikely to be forgotten by their guests.

The best part about reading the article online was the added bonus of this video.

On a similar note, I never understood why some couples take dance lessons before their weddings. I imagine if I were taught how to waltz or something, I would promptly forget all the steps when it came time to perform out of sheer excitement and anticipation. I’d rather sway back and forth in J’s arms like an 8th grader at her first dance than worry about executing a move properly.

That said, I think it would be absolutely hysterical to surprise our guests with a choreographed routine to something completely unexpected, like an ‘N Sync song.


I caved last night and took an Ambien because I was tired of being tired. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the pill until close to midnight, so when my alarm started beeping at 7:30 AM, I was in no shape to get out of bed. I could have stayed asleep until 9 or 10 AM easily. I doesn’t help that it is cold and wet outside. Rainy weather is the best sleeping weather.

I had to get myself to work close to on time this morning because I had a conference call at 9:30 AM, which meant no getting Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Instead I made myself a cup of Irish Breakfast tea when I got to the office, but it’s not helping me feel more awake. It’s particularly bitter – and so am I – because there was no milk left in the fridge for it. I love my tea like I love my coffee — light and sweet.

Michael Musto, writer of The Village Voice‘s celebrity and gossip column, “La Dolce Musto,” riding a bicycle past my office building on Hudson St.

The glasses gave it away.

I’m an insomniac. I need to pop an Ambien before bed if I want to get a restful sleep. But every once in a while I’ll feel so exhausted that I think I might be able to sleep through the night unassisted. And every time time I think that, I’m wrong.

Tuesday morning I woke up around 2:30 AM and couldn’t fall back to sleep until after 4:00 AM. Wednesday I was awake from from 3:00 to 4:30 AM. And this morning I was up from 3:45 to 5:00 AM. I played about five rounds of Solitaire on my laptop – in the dark – until I finally won.

Needless to say, I can barely keep my eyes open, and it’s not even 10:30 AM. You know it’s going to be a rough day when you start falling asleep at your desk before you even get through all of the email in your inbox.

I had to make an emergency run to Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium French Vanilla iced coffee with cream and sugar. Could be a little lighter and sweeter. Sigh. It’s definitely going to be a rough day.

I’m taking today off from work to get my life back in working order – cleaning my room, refilling prescriptions, dropping clothing at the dry cleaners, getting a much needed mani/pedi and refocusing my attention on the here and now. When J proposed, we decided that we would wait until the beginning of June, until after I moved to Omaha, to start making wedding plans. I seriously thought that I could return to New York, share the news of my engagement to friends and family, and not feel intense internal pressure to start researching engagement announcement, dates, venues, wedding coordinators, colors, favors, etc. But all I can think about is planning the wedding. It’s so exciting! At the same time, I don’t want to get tangled up in decision-making yet; I’m going to have months and months of that to come. I want to just sit back and enjoy being engaged. I feel like I’m being pulled in two directions – the more I tell myself to wait, the more I want to dive right into the planning!

So I decided that today I won’t be comparing places to register, looking at duvet covers online, or trying to coordinate a time for our parents to meet. I will simply enjoy the sunshine – it finally feels like spring in New York! – and smile a lot because I’m really, really, really happy to be engaged…even if I am starting to stress out just a little bit. I’m giving myself permission to not think about the wedding until tomorrow.

J proposed this past weekend in Boston, and after getting over my initial shock – “What’s happening?” I asked. “What do you think is happening” he replied. – I said yes! During a BBQ for the alumni of his college a cappella group, he was told that a small group of them were needed for a (fake) interview for a (real) documentary about a cappella on campus. The girl coordinating the filming wanted the guys in front of this giant rock on campus, a favorite to graffiti with Greek letters by fraternities and sororities. We all walked up behind it, and then J lead me around to the front of the rock, and I saw it was spray painted with “PJ MARRY ME.” With his friends watching and taking pictures (they knew this was coming), J got down on one knee and presented me the most unbelievable ring I’ve ever seen in my life. He was shaking and crying and trying to push the ring over my bony knuckle – it fit! The large crowd that had gathered clapped and cheered, and J and I kissed and hugged and kissed some more. Soon, the crowd dispersed, returning to the BBQ, but J and I hung back to call our parents and take more pictures of each other and of the rock and of us posing in front of the rock. Eventually he had to drag me away; I was so reluctant to leave our new special spot. I could have sat and stared at the message spray painted onto the rock all day, reliving over and over again the moment when he asked me to marry him and I said yes.

J put down a deposit on our new apartment today – #313! I’ve seen the apartment, I’ve reviewed the floor plans, I’ve known this was coming…but I still can’t believe it! The little girl in me is giddy at the idea of living with a boy. And look at all the space we’re going to have!

This is a rental apartment. We’re not ready to buy anything yet. When the time comes for that, if we’re still living in Omaha, we’ll probably buy a house – or build a new one. Crazy, right? But the cost of living out there is ridiculous. When we toured a different apartment complex, J actually laughed out loud when we were told how much the lease was. I’m paying more for one small bedroom in a tiny two bedroom fourth-floor walk-up in NYC than that entire two bedroom, two bathroom apartment would have cost us!

I gave my six-week notice today, so it’s official – I’m moving to Omaha! Once you say the words “I’m leaving” to your boss, it suddenly feels very real. I predict the next couple of weeks are going to pass very quickly. Before I know it it’ll be time to pack up the car and embark on a 20 hour road trip. Thank goodness for iPod playlists…and a boyfriend who loves to sing.