March 01, 2007

A Gorgeous Site/Sight

My cousin, who is about to graduate from Carnegie Mellon University's Master's program in Communication Planning and Information Design has just rolled out her new website, which is absolutely gorgeous.
Check it out: www.rebeccaaviva.com.
Maybe I can hire her to help me out with my blog!

Posted by eklanche at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2007

V-Day Update

When I went upstairs earlier to deliver David's Valentine's Day card to his office, the door to his department was locked, so I left the card right there for him. When he got in an hour later, he saw the card, remembered that it was Valentine's Day, and wondered if he had a secret admirer. Whoever his secret admirer was couldn't be too smart, he reasoned, leaving a card in plain sight like that when his wife works in the same building. But then he opened the card and realized that his secret admirer was actually his wife.

Posted by eklanche at 09:15 AM | Comments (1)

Happy Valentine's Day

I have to admit that Valentine's Day isn't my favorite holiday of the year. In fact, I think it is the one that comes with the most pressure attached: pressure to be romantic, pressure to do something romantic, pressure to have a partner to do something romantic with. And there is nothing that makes me feel less romantic than pressure. Fortunately, for the past five years, I have had a partner who pretty much feels the same way, but who still sends me flowers. Really, it's the best of the both worlds: we can make fun of Valentine's Day together, and I get a dozen roses!

I knew David was a keeper the first time he sent me roses at work on Valentine's Day. Actually, that was just confirmation -- I knew he was a keeper the first time he sent me flowers, which was when I returned from a Thanksgiving trip to California less than a month into our relationship. Since then, we have had a tradition of getting each other flowers when one of us returns from being out of town. I like flowers; it is a nice tradition. And David doesn't just send me flowers, he also grows them for me. Have I mentioned yet that he has about four green thumbs? Every spring and fall he takes me to Downtown Home and Garden to pick out bulbs for the garden: I get the flowers I want, but he does all the work. What could be better?

I have just delivered David's Valentine's Day card to his office (one of the many benefits of working in the same building as my husband), but we don't have anything romantic planned for tonight. It is a Wednesday, which means David and his dad will be going to the Earle as they do every Wednesday, and I'll be home working on my Kaplan lesson for Friday night. I'm a bit curious to see what the Earle will look like tonight, with all those couples out trying to have a romantic dinner, but I'm also glad to be avoiding the scene. Maybe we will play a board game when David gets home...

Posted by eklanche at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

I'ts All in the Timing

David has a knack for telling me things he thinks I won't want to hear at the time I am least likely to react or even register what he is telling me. For example, he didn't tell me that he voted for George Bush in the 2000 presidential election until the morning after our first date. Last night, he asked me if I remembered him telling me that he gave money to John McCain. I hadn't remembered, and it turned out that I didn't remember because he had told me when I was asleep! Apparently, though, we had had a whole conversation about it on Wednesday night when David came to bed. I know he isn't making this up because I am a sleep-talker and frequently have entire conversations with David without waking up. Sometimes they make sense, as our conversation about John McCain apparently did, and sometimes they don't, like the time I told David that I couldn't smell him commuting, whatever that means. Sometimes the converations seem to make sense, but I'm saying something totally inaccurate. Last Wednesday night, long after I had gone to bed, David asked me what I was doing for lunch the next day, and -- without waking up -- I told him I was going to Amer's. On Thursday, he called me at work to ask when I was going to head over to Amer's, I replied that it was Thursday and I only go to Amer's on Tuesdays. So David pretty much knows that he can tell me anything when I'm asleep, and I'll most likely reply, so he can say that he told me, but he won't have to face the consequences the next day!

Posted by eklanche at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2007

We Did It!

David and I have now been married for twenty-four hours. I have to admit, it doesn't feel any different yet, except that I have a ring on my left hand (I had been wearing my engagement ring on my right hand). It was, however, the absolute perfect wedding. My parents drove us to the Chelsea courthouse, with the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" playing in the car. I got us checked in and paid for the ceremony ($10), while our parents affixed their flowers. After that, we had about fifteen minutes before the ceremony, so we took photographs with just about every permutation of relatives we could think of: David and his brother, me and my cousins, David and me with his parents, with my parents, with my aunt and uncle, etc. Between all the relatives there were five cameras: two film and three digital. I'm working on getting the pictures up on the internet so that our friends can see them.

The ceremony itself only took about two minutes. The judge warned us that marriage is a solemn commitment not to be entered into lightly (he was a very serious older-looking man in judical robes -- I certainly wasn't taking him lightly!), and asked us if we took each other as husband and wife and if we promised to care for each other for the rest of our lives. I had imagined being married to David so many times over the past 5+ years, but I had no idea what it would feel like to actually say "'till death do us part." It was pretty magical. The best part, of course, was what happened after the judge said "you may kiss the bride."

After the ceremony, David stepped on a light bulb that we had brought per my grandfather's instructions. The judge jumped, startled, and admonished David for breaking glass in his courtroom. But it didn't matter -- we were married!

Posted by eklanche at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

January 03, 2007

T - 5 Hours and Counting

Today is the day -- David and I are getting married at noon! The only thing left to do is pick up our flowers: a bouquet for me, boutonniers for David and our fathers, and corsages for our mothers -- all in orange Gerberra daisies.

Last night we went out for dinner with my side of the family -- mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and two cousins -- to La Shish. None of us had ever been there before, but somehow the restaurant's connection to Hezbollah came up in conversation a few days ago -- my uncle Richard was telling my mother about bad luck in franchising: the Ann Arbor franchise of La Shish opened right before the founder of the chain was indicted for funding Hezbollah. Apparently the restaurant was a front for laundering drug money, which was then funnelled into the Al Mabarrat Association, one of Hezbollah's fundraising organizations. The point of Richard's story was that the owner of the Ann Arbor La Shish is now trying to break the franchise agreement so that customers can eat there without having to feel as though they are funding terrorism. At some point during the conversation, my aunt Lesley suggested that we go there for dinner the night before the wedding, so we did. The food was excellent, but there was way too much of it. My cousin Becky was already full before her entree even came out, and it looked like about four dinners' worth of food. Considering how well they fed us, I don't know how they make any profit at all, much less enough to fund Hezbollah!

Last night I finally understood why it is traditional to go out and get drunk the night before one's wedding: I was so nervous and excited that I didn't think I would sleep at all. Instead of hitting the bar, however, David and I took my dad out for coffee after dinner, and picked his brain about marriage. I have tried asking several people for advice now, but they usually just tell me that I'll figure it out or that David and I should just keep on doing what we have been doing. I think I'm most nervous because, having never been married before, I just don't know what to expect. But after we took my dad back to his hotel, we came home and I got to sleep pretty quickly. When I got up this morning, I was apparently still quite nervous, however, because I cleaned the bathroom before getting into the shower!

Posted by eklanche at 07:22 AM | Comments (3)

December 27, 2006

Complications

David and I have been trying to keep our wedding as simple as possible: a courthouse ceremony attended by ten family members, followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant. No tuxes, no white gowns. We will be using our parents' wedding rings, which are currently in the shop being resized for us. We thought it was all set.

And then the parents swooped in. David's dad began to insist that he had to pay for everybody's lunch, even though all the other parents (including my grandparents) wanted to help out with it too. My aunt called to try to convince me to register for gifts. My mom and aunt asked if they could bring champagne and wedding cake to the restaurant, even though David and I don't drink and I don't eat sugar. And we are going to be at a restaurant -- people can order drinks and dessert if they want them! My mom flew in last night and she and my aunt informed me that we have to go to the florist today to order flowers for the "bridal party." My response: "what bridal party" -- we don't have bridesmaids or groomsmen because we are getting married at the courthouse with ten family members!

I probably sound like the world's biggest ingrate right now. After all, David and I are blessed with families who are excited about our wedding and want to help us out however they can. And I am truly grateful for their help and support. We discussed eloping, but I wanted our families involved because I wanted to feel as though we had their blessing to enter this phase of our relationship. I'm overjoyed that so many people are going to be able to come to the courthouse with us, and I'm glad for all the help we are getting: David's dad with the lunch and my mom and aunt with the flowers. My cousin is designing the announcements and I'm thrilled to have such talented family members who are willing to share their skills. At the same time, however, I think weddings are one of those "less is more" occasions: the fewer people, the more we can interact with each one; the fewer details to worry about, the more relaxed we will be about the whole thing; the less we focus on the wedding, the more attention we can give to the marriage itself.

Posted by eklanche at 09:26 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2006

Going to the Chapel

I guess it would be more accurate to say we're going to the courthouse, but in any case, David and I are getting married. My friend Elizabeth called me out on the cryptic hints I've been dropping over the past few weeks, so I'll come right out with the details. We have set the date for noon on January 3 at the Chelsea Courthouse. It will be a small ceremony -- just family -- but we will have a celebratory bash at our house in May (when the weather is warm enough to party outside). If you are reading this, you are invited, so save the date: Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend!

I applied for the license last Monday and picked it up yesterday. It was a pretty easy process, once I got ahold of our three forms of ID. The application asked for our names, addresses, and birthplaces, along with our parents' names and birthplaces. There were no essay questions, asking why we wanted to get married, how many children we planned to have, or how we would deal with various marital disasters. I did, however, have to read a page from the Michigan Civil Code telling me that it is illegal to marry a relative, that I can't get married if I'm already married, and that people with untreated cases of syphilis or gonorrhea can't get married. Then I had to raise my right hand and swear that, to the best of my knowledge, David and I aren't related, already married, or infected with syphilis or gonorrhea. The woman at the County Clerk's office had me double-check all the information on the form, reminding me that if there are any mistakes, we will need a court order to change them later, and sent me away with a brochure about HIV and STDs. While I think it is fantastic that Washtenaw County is doing its part to help prevent the spread of HIV and STDs, the effort seems a bit mistimed: for most people, getting married is the end of having to worry about these diseases, not the beginning.

When I picked up the license yesterday, the same woman congratulated me, gave me a set of instructions to give to the officiator telling him where to sign (I presume he already knows how to do it, given that he is a judge), and instructions for me on how to change my name. So I guess we are all set. I did become a bit nervous, however, when I read at the bottom of the instruction form that the county of Washtenaw wishes me the best on my marriage. It almost felt like a challenge: "good luck, you'll need it."

Posted by eklanche at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2006

Baldness

Have I mentioned that I am in love with a bald man? No, I'm not cheating on David, I'm just referring to his lack of hair. When I first met him, I wondered if he was sick (cancer, AIDS, some other terminal illness...), but I soon learned that men of a certain age just lose their hair. Actually, I knew that part, I just didn't realize David was that age :) In any case, over the past five years, I have grown very fond of David's perfectly-round skull, and have come to see hair on men as just wrong. I never had a thing for baldness before I met David, but I did always admire men like Michael Stipe, who embrace their hair loss rather than fighting it. David, too, has fully accepted his baldness and, even though he has hair on the sides of his head, keeps his skull closely shaved.

Recently David signed up to work as a guinea pig for drug trials at Pfizer, our local pharmaceutical company. The first study he agreed to do was a trial for a cream to regrow hair. David figured he had nothing to lose -- after all, he is already bald, so it can't get any worse. But when he went in for the initial evaluation yesterday, despite the fact that he had refrained from shaving for the past two weeks, the scientists told David that he is too bald for their baldness study! I guess his hair is past the point of no return.

Posted by eklanche at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks

There is a joke in David's family that every Thanksgiving is "the best Thanksgiving ever." That is what David's grandmother Edith used to say, no matter how much of a disaster the meal was. These days, someone always says it in Edith's honor and memory. But this year, I think it really was true.

Maybe it's just because I wasn't cooking or cleaning up, but this was the most relaxed and least stressful Thanksgiving I have experienced in a long time. My dad drove up from Pittsburgh, and he and David and I arrived at David's mom's around 2:30; we ate when the food was ready, and spent the rest of the evening sitting around kibbitzing about sports, country music, and biodiesel fuel. My poor dad, who doesn't follow sports, listen to country music, or drive a diesel-powered vehicle, felt a bit out of place at first, especially when, on hearing that he lives in Pittsburgh, David's aunt, uncle, and cousin asked if he is a Joe Pa fan. Dad had no idea what they were talking about; his football team is the Steelers. But he reached deep within himself and rediscovered his teenage fandom for the Green Bay Packers and for the Dodgers (he spent his adolescence in Wisconsin, then moved to Los Angeles for high school), the appreciation of Willie Nelson shared by all decent human beings, and his concern for the environment. At that point, he fit right in.

In the midst of this lively conversation, we also had a fantastic meal. My vegetable dish was a hit (between the nine of us, we ate about two pounds of veggies!), the turkey was moist, and the rolls were burned, which is apparently a family tradition. The best part was when the burnt rolls took flight: Everyone had just about finished eating, when David's Uncle Bob commented that he hadn't had any rolls. David's mom, Chris, sitting at the opposite end of the table, tossed him a roll. Bob missed, so Chris threw another and another. Bob blocked the third one, which went flying back across the table and hit Chris! By the time we cleared the dishes, there were rolls strewn across the floor. I used to make fun of David's family for eating the same Thanksgiving foods year after year after year, but last night it occurred to me that, when you eat the same foods over and over, you develop memories and traditions surrounding them. In David's family, the most legendary Thanksgiving dish is the French Silk Pie from Baker's Square. As children, David, Mike, and their cousins always wanted some but weren't allowed to have it -- their parents told them it was a grown-up pie, and kept it for themselves! So now, when the FSP comes out, the younger generation teases the older generation about having hogged the pie in the past. Last night we had five desserts: three pies, a pumpkin cake, and a box of clementines for me. David and I left loaded down with yummy leftovers -- it will be Thanksgiving in our house for the next month at least!

Posted by eklanche at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2006

Love and Toothbrushes

I can chart my relationship with David in terms of oral hygiene. He first realized that I was beginning to feel comfortable with him when I began using his dental floss without asking first; I realized that he was serious about our relationship long before we began to talk about moving in together, when he gave me a toothbrush to use at his house (or maybe he just got tired of me using his). Yesterday, David went to Meijer to buy deodorant and laundry detergent, and came home with coordinating toothbrushes: a green one for himself and a purple one for me. We never buy toothbrushes for ourselves -- we each get two every year from our dentists and a few more from David's mom as stocking stuffers -- so his purchase had to mean something. This morning I began filling out the Washtenaw County marriage license application.

Posted by eklanche at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2006

Five Years

David and I are celebrating our five-year anniversary today. Five years ago, David helped me move into the coolest apartment in Ann Arbor, and then he kissed me on my new balcony. Four days later, we had our first date at The Blue Nile, where we drank Red Stripe beer and ate with our hands from the same plate -- a great way to build intimacy!

Over the past five years, we have moved in together, bought a house together, traveled together, and shared both joy and pain. We have grown as individuals and as a couple. I'm excited to see what the next five years will bring.

Posted by eklanche at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom

Yes, my mother has a Halloween birthday, and today she turns fifty-seven. As a child, I never let her have much of a birthday -- I always dragged her out trick-or-treating -- but it was certainly fun for me! After I went off to college and did my trick-or-treating there, Mom started having her own birthday parties. Her fiftieth was particularly fun; she was still living in the beach house then, which she decorated it with really classy Halloween stuff -- think orange candles encased in spider webs -- and she had all her friends over to read poetry. Now she lives with her boyfriend Ken, whose birthday is just a few days from hers (I can't remember whether it is before or after), so they celebrate together. This year, I was so excited about the gift I made for Mom (purple silk/cashmere hand-knit legwarmers) that I put it in the mail two weeks ago!

Halloween kind of snuck up on us here at the Ann Arbor homestead. As of this morning, we do not have any candy to give to hypothetical trick-or-treaters (I say hypothetical because we didn't get any visitors last year and poor David had to eat all the candy himself), but we hope to rectify the situation before the kids come out in force. On Saturday, my aunt reminded me that one traditionally carves a pumpkin for Halloween, so I picked one up and David carved it last night. We hadn't done it since 2002, but David hasn't lost any of his carving skills -- our pumpkin is adorable, even if the top is a bit rotten!

I like Halloween a lot because it is one of those low-stress, take-it-or-leave-it kinds of holidays. No cards or gifts required! I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was nineteen and found the costume to end all costumes. That year, I was a fairy: I wore a rather busty silver dress along with wings on my back and glitter on my face, and carried a wand. It was quite a fun costume, except for getting groped all night at the Harwood Halloween party. But Halloween is fun because one never outgrows it, one simply finds new ways to celebrate. I just got an email from my thirteen-year-old sister in Pittsburgh, who is debating whether or not to go trick-or-treating tonight. She wants the candy, but fears she may be too old. Sophie, you are never too old for candy. Dress up, go out, and have fun!

Posted by eklanche at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2006

The Sweetest Thing

I have the best boyfriend/lover/partner/companion/housemate/fiance in the entire world!

Awake at 3:30 this morning, with mind racing, it became clear to me that I would not get back to sleep, so I went downstairs to brew a pot of tea. When I turned on the kitchen light, I found a ceramic bowl on the counter (one of the few usable remnants of my ill-fated attempt at pottery), filled with water, a perfect pink rose floating in the center. Alongside it, a post-it note read "I love you, Emily Rose."

Thank you, David Floyd. I love you too. More than I can express in words right now.

Posted by eklanche at 04:11 AM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2006

Old, Me?

David, who is nine years my senior, recently accused me of being old because I use Friendster, which is blase, rather than Facebook, which is what all the cool kids are using now. My apologies for not keeping up with the times. According to my Friendster profile, I joined in July 2003, way before Facebook even existed. And it is what all my (23) friends use, which is the whole point! I guess that is the point, anyway. I've never been quite sure what Friendster is good for, though the birthday reminders have been quite handy. Sometimes it creeps me out, though. I recently approved a new friend, someone I went to high school with, which means that I am now second-degree friends with my most hated high school ex-boyfriend!

But David told me that I could register on Facebook as his fiancee, so I went ahead and did that. The problem is that you have to register as part of a network, and the three options are high school, college, or work. What about grad school? And there doesn't even seem to be a network for Pomona College! Maybe David is right: I am too old for Facebook.

Posted by eklanche at 09:55 AM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2006

Thank You, Grandpa

For making me laugh with your link to The Borowitz Report. Being a Sudoku hound, I'm glad to know that astronauts do it too, and that it is just as entertaining (in that oh-so-pointless way) in space as it is here on Earth!

Posted by eklanche at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2006

Romance

My fifty-six-year-old, twice-divorced, ultra-cynical dad is head-over-heels in love. It is super-cute! I can't wait to meet his new girlfriend.

Posted by eklanche at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2006

Terminological Troubles

Yesterday David saw my blog for the first time and objected to my referring to him as my boyfriend, insisting that he is much more than that. And I agreed that, yes, he is more than that; in fact, he is my everything. But everything is not very precise.

So what to call him?

There are many accurate options, but none are quite sufficient. Boyfriend sounds too casual, though he is a boy (actually, he is a man -- I'm not a pedophile) and he is my best friend; lover is too much information, though I won't say it isn't so; roommate is not enough information, though we have been living together almost four years; partner sounds like we are in business together, which I suppose we are, given that we jointly own our house; accomplice sounds like we are committing crimes together (I'm taking the fifth on that one); fiance is accurate -- we got engaged on January 1, 2004 -- but sounds pretentious and always begs the unanswerable question: "so what's the date?" (unanswerable because of the complicated mess that is at the intersection of my academic and financial life); mentor is true, as I often make my best decisions by asking myself what David would do, but I have other mentors as well; former co-worker is also true -- that is how we met -- but I also have many of those; finally, lifesaver has been true on more than one occasion. I guess he isn't quite my everything because he is not my parent or sibling (that would just be gross). He is not related to me in any way, but today he is my family.

So I guess the easiest thing is just to call him David.

Posted by eklanche at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)