Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Wedding Journal: Ring-a-Ding-Done

Good news! I now have my rings!

After all the mess with them earlier, I didn't expect them to be in today, but after lurking around the mall outside the store for the woman to get back from picking up things at the jeweler's - I finally got them! And they both fit!

Of course, I had to try on the band with the engagement ring a few times - just to see how it looks - but not in the car!

Before the Blog: Happy Birthday, Shrike!

First, let's start with a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Shrike, who turned the BIG 3-0 yesterday!

This message from Whozat, who's days at the BIG 3-0 are seriously numbered!)

Well, still working on the plan for Shrike to fly down and drive to BlueState with Whozat. Whozat's mom called a couple of days ago and offered to kick in $100 if it would help Shrike to fly all the way to Texas, so they could make the whole trip together - Would it ever!

Shrike talked to her new boss yesterday and got the OK to be off Memorial Day *and* to leave work a couple of hours early the Friday before. So, the latest plan is for her to fly to BigCityAbout2HoursFromWhozat on Friday evening May 28, and both of us to head for BlueState Saturday morning.

Since she's off Monday, we can do the trip in 3 days if we need to. We're hoping Whozat's brother, who lives in BigCity..., can give Shrike a ride from the airport that night, so Whozat can work on getting the truck loaded and have that done when she gets there.

Whozat tried to go book the flight this afternoon, but when she got to the travel agency they were closed. She's going to try again tomorrow.

So, with the change in plans and the passing of time the Shrike-and-Whozat-Can't-Stand-Being-Apart Countdown now stands at 30 days.

More good news on the wedding plans journal page.

Sunday, April 25, 1999

Wedding Journal: Shopping

Well, Shrike just left for BlueState, but you can read all about that elsewhere, so I'll save this space for better news.

We went out to the mall yesterday to pick up a few wedding things. We bought the toasting glasses - which are absolutely beautiful. We're waiting on the engraving, though, because we figure nothing will screw up the availability of the wedding date like engraving it on the glasses!

We went to the dollar store first, though, to pick up the bubbles for the reception. We've seen them packaged specifically for weddings several places, but they're like 24 for $6 and the $ store had packages of 6 for . . . a dollar.

So, of course, when we went to buy them they were out. Whozat went and asked the cashier about them and she was real damn helpful:

"Were they on the back wall?"


"Well, if they're not there, then we're out of them."

"Will you be getting some more in?"

"Who knows."

Gee thanks. Bitch.

We figured if they don't we're only going to spend about $5 more to buy them elsewhere - but it's the principal of the thing, you know? Oh well.

Before that, though, we went in this little boutique by the mall, just scouting out dresses. They didn't have anything we were interested in, and we couldn't have afforded anything there, anyway, but I knew that the owner is a lesbian so she wanted to at least take a look there.

So when Shrike asked if she had anything in white and she asked us "what kind of white are you looking for, what is this for?" What did we say?

NOTHING! We decided we're going to need a little more work on this if we can't even come out to another lesbian!

Before the Blog: The Count-Down Begins

Well, Shrike just left for BlueState and Whozat is doing the best she can. Which isn't very well. She's trying to distract herself by working on the website - it isn't working.

However, we did come up with a slightly improved plan for Whozat's move. That's planned for Memorial Day weekend and we were trying to find a way Shrike could fly down, or part way down and drive back with her.

We found a flight from BlueState to Birmingham, Alabama for under $200, so the plan is from Whozat to get the Ryder truck all packed up on Friday, May 28 (after probably working 1/2 day, but she *might* be able to get out of that) and leave early Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Shrike will get on a plane around noon and fly to Birmingham. She'll arrive around 4 pm, go check into the hotel and wait for Whozat and the kitties to get in. Whozat will drive til she gets there - it could be a long drive for one day, but we'll know better after Shrike makes the drive how long it will take.

We'll meet up there, spend the night in Birmingham and drive the rest of the way together. If Shrike is off work Monday, that would be great, but if not, we should be able to make it there in one long days drive, since there will be two of us.

Whozat is going tomorrow to buy Shrike's plane ticket. We know it only makes a couple of days difference in how soon we'll be together, but for now, it's helping a bit.

34 days to go.

Friday, April 23, 1999

Before the Blog: Moments Later . . .

Shrike is home, the rings fit and my college ring is back in my possession (it was a nice idea, but it's been bugging the hell out of me not having it on my finger!)

Wedding Journal: Ring-a-Ding-Ding

Well, after a series of phone calls to the jewelry store, and their promise that the rings would be in sometime after 4 pm today, we realized that Shrike would have to leave for work around 3 pm, so we wouldn't be able to pick them up until tomorrow.

However, I decided to surprise her by going to get them this evening. Of course, the very nice guy that we ordered them from wasn't working, so I had to ask the little old lady behind the counter for them.

I was a bit worried that since they were ordered in Shrike's name, I might have some trouble, but little did I know that was the least of my problems.

Of course, I was a bit worried about them fitting, so I decided I should check them first. I'm wearing a ring of Shrike's until the actual engagement rings come in (Shrike's wearing my college ring!) and, as luck would have it, Shrike had been wearing that ring on her "wedding finger," so I figured I could try Shrike's rings on my pinky (the only finger any of Shrike's rings fit on on me!) where I'm wearing the other one and if it fits there, it should fit Shrike. Right?

Sooooo.... LittleOldLady hands me two teeny-tiny ziplocks, each containing an engagment ring and a commitment band. I open one, look at the rings, and decide that since they're tiny, they must be Shrike's. I slips them on my pinky and they fit.

"Perfect! Now to check mine," I think.

I open the other bag, pull out those rings and they are -- ALSO TINY!

LittleOldLady checks and tells me that one set is a size 6 and the other a 6 1/2. Now, one of those (which?) is probably the size Shrike ordered but I ordered a 9 1/2!

Since there doesn't seem to be a record anywhere in the store of the original order, with the sizes listed, and I don't know which of the rings would fit Shrike, I give up on the surprise and call her at work to tell her the problem. Shrike says she thinks that she'd ordered the 6 1/2, but she isn't sure.

Meanwhile, LittleOldLady is re-checking the sizes and reports that they are *both* 6 1/4! So, the cat is out of the bag for nothing!

Thankful that it's my rings that are screwed up, not Shrike's (since Shrike will be leaving for BlueState on Sunday) I arrange to have one of them sent back to the jeweler to be enlarged - three sizes!

LittleOldLady swears that enlarging it that much won't make the band (which is already thin) noticably thinner. I will believe that when I see the finished ring next to Shrike's.

I'm supposed to "check back on Wednesday" to see if my rings are ready. I'll believe that when I see it, too.

Then LittleOldLady asks, "Are you going to pay that off today?"

Now, originally we were told that we had to put 20% down and we'd have a year to pay, and he told us how much it would be per month and no interest for 90 days, and so on and so on.

We ended up putting twice that amount down and I had set back some money to give them that much more in May, hoping to get it all paid off before the interest kicked in.

So, I tells LittleOldLady, "No, I'm just going to make a payment."

"Oh," says LOL, "then I can't let you have these," and takes back Shrike's rings!

Well, after all the trouble I'd been through with it so far - and considering that LittleOldLady, although she's being totally nonchalant about it all, is probably freaking out that these two women have ordered engagement rings and wedding bands - and because I'm just too embarrassed to argue with her, because what if we had misunderstood the whole arrangement in the first place? - I just said "Oh, okay!" and paid them off.

Not what I had planned to do with that money - I was thinking more along the lines of paying the phone and electric bills! But, it should work out okay, since by the time those are due, Shrike should have some money from her new job to send to me, but still!

But wait! It gets better!

After giving up on my trip to Wal-mart and on buying the $30 toasting glasses, thanks to the extra money that I just gave to LittleOldLady, I go to my car to leave.

Once in the car, I can't resist, I just have to have another look at Shrike's rings. I open the lid and Shrike's commitment band leaps out of the box and into the console between the seats.

Breathing a sigh of relief that it is safe, I reach to pick it up and it (showing amazing agility for a piece of gold) slides off the console and under the passenger's seat!

After trying to reach it from driver's seat (and almost getting trapped between the console and seat and scraping the hell out of my arm trying to extricate myself) I crawl into the back seat, practically stand on my head and looks under the seat.

There, looking as innocent as you please, is the ring, right under the middle of the seat. Finally, I manage to retrieve it and return it to the box.

Eventually, both the rings and I made it home safely and at the moment are waiting for Shrike to get in from work.

I will be mighty glad to get that ring on Shrike's finger and the commitment band into Shrike's jewelry box so they can be *her* responsibility to keep up with!

More news as it happens. . . .

Before the Blog: Ghosts of the Past

We enjoyed our day off together yesterday. While at my mom's the other night, I snagged some old family videos and made Shrike watch them - we even went back over and got some more last night. Shrike has seen my brother snd I in our 6th grade plays, mr on a TV quiz show from 6th grade and about 3 years of Christmas.

We really got a kick out of seeing exactly when my brother's voice changed and when he went from getting toys as gifts to getting clothes (sometime between Christmas 81 and Christmas 82).

I also had to call my dad at 11 pm (her mom's out of town, I'll have to talk to her later) to say, "I just called to apologize for being such a bitch when I was 13!"

As I told Shrike later, "I wish I'd seen this tape a few months ago - coming out to them would've been a lot easier - if they didn't kill me for talking to them like that back then -- being a dyke is nothing compared to that!"

All in all, it was pretty darn amusing - it was kind of cool to see everybody all young and skinny and sprightly!

Now Shrike is working on getting packed up to head for BlueState on Sunday. She's boxing up all the various parts of her computer, while I sit around saying, "Gee, honey, that looks kind of hard, you sure you don't want some help?"

Guess I wasn't too convincing with that offer to help, since she didn't take her up on it.

Wednesday, April 21, 1999

Before the Blog: Saying Good-Bye

Arrangements for Shrike's move to BlueState are progressing - and we're dealing with it the best we can.

Since her birthday (the BIG 3-0! - Of course, I got there last year, so I can't say too much about it - doesn't stop me, though!) is next week, we did some combination birthday celebration/good-bye visits last night.

Went over to my parents' house to get her gift from them, then out to dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. They had a birthday present and a going-away present (a Texas T-shirt) for her and I surprised her with a cute little birthday cake.

I'm taking a couple of days off work, Thursday and Friday, so we can spend some time together and maybe get some wedding stuff done before she goes. We're still waiting for our rings to come in; the guy at the store says he's told the jeweler who's making them that we have to have them by Friday - keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 15, 1999

Wedding Journal: Getting Started

We've been engaged for a month now and we've already made tons of plans.

We have the attendants and the music for the ceremony all picked out, the ceremony is more or less written, we've made up sample invitations and programs - which we'll be printing ourselves.

My mom has offered to let us do it at her house and we've got a good idea what we want in the way of decorations. Since the ceremony will be at Valentine's Day, we're going with the whole red hearts theme - we want red roses (which we'll probably be paying a fortune for!) for us and the attendants to carry and to sit around and look pretty. Our invitations and programs will be printed in red, with hearts on them, and we're hoping to get a heart shaped cake.

We've ordered our engagement rings and commitment bands. They are going to be our early birthday gifts to each other. The engagement rings have a heart with a diamond (Shrike's birthstone) in one half and an emerald (my birthstone) in the other.

The stones are tiny, but neither of us wanted anything too big and gaudy. The commitment bands will be pretty narrow, with a notch so they fit against the engagement rings. We're hoping those will come in with in the next week, so we can have them before Shrike leaves for BlueState.

We're also hoping to go check out some bakeries and florists next week, since we probably won't be in Texas together again until Christmas - and that will only be six weeks before the wedding!

Thursday, April 8, 1999

Before the Blog: We're Engaged!

Big news here! While in BlueState, Shrike popped The Question - and of course, I said "YES!"

We're planning the ceremony for February 12, 2000 - for more details check out our wedding page!

By the way, the big meeting with Shrike's family went really well -- her mom even hugged me good-bye when we left!

Other big news from our trip - we both went on lots of job interviews. I did six informal interviews in four days, at schools all over that end BlueState, but won't know about actual openings until June.

Shrike went on two interviews - and got two job offers! One of them offered her a good bit more money than she's making now, so that was impossible to turn down. The only bummer of it is that they want her to start May 3 - and I won't be finished with school until May 28.

So, she will be leaving for BlueState on April 25 :-( and staying with her sister until I get up there around the first of June. Needless to say, we're not looking forward to the month of May at all, but it will be nice for Shrike to already have a job when we get there.

Being a teacher, I have all summer to come up with a job, since she'll have paychecks coming in from her current job until August. We're planning to stay with our friends M & C (with whom we stayed during our visit last month) until I finds a job and we find a place to live.

We'll keep you posted on that, I'm sure.