Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make ….

So last night Kennith asked me what was wrong.

He noticed I just was not “there” – and he wanted me to explain to him why I was feeling a bit down/low/removed.

I answered that I really do not know, but I might have lied.

It was not a hard lie, it was more of an untruth, as I had not allowed myself the time and space to really think about why I was feeling to “just not there.”

About two weeks ago Kennith and I had a conversation.  We really need to stop having conversations in the kitchen.  They just never go well.  When ever we have a conversation with a fluorescent light above our heads, it normally ends in my crying or me being really angry.

Kitchen = not great places if someone starts with “we need to talk…”

Without dragging it out, as only I can do, the short of it is that Kennith wants me to stop with any ideas/further motion that surround surrogacy/adoption/fourth child or anything that can be related to these issues – in a nutshell – as some would say.

I stood there and took congnisense of what he was saying and really nothing he said could be argued against with logic.

However that did not make me feel any better.

I immediately started to feel like an insolent six year old who was being told off by her father and being warned that behavior in this regard would not be further tolerated.

Kennith however was very calm – some may say calculated – and stated his facts cleanly and without emotion – some may say coldly.  His case was crystal clear “there is no benefit to us as a family unit, and the risks are too large” so cease and desist.  Okay, he did not actually say cease and desist, but you get the gist.

I was immediately angry/disappointed/crushed/emotionally bereft – in equal and immeasurable quantities – that what I wanted to do was being controlled/stopped by someone else when I felt totally different.  (listen we can labour the point of the family unit and how we are all one and all the crap later ….)

I realized that there was no point in making a further case for any of these issues, as Kennith had already made up his mind.  His were logical reasons while mine were purely emotional.

He had not made up his mind in a rash moment of anger, or because the day had been a bad one.  He had given it thought, and weighed the issues up and decided that he wanted to tell me how he felt – and decided that the kitchen was a good place and the timing was just right.

Unfortunately it was a bit (well very actually) too crushing for me and I was unable to respond in an effective or emotionally mature manner.

When I feel “attacked” or “under threat” I immediately start to “baton down my hatches,” so to speak – and retreat into myself.  I chose to say as little as possible, because I felt I was screaming inside and that never translates well in adult conversation.

I know that nothing will be gained by swearing and screaming and fighting against the decision.

I know that nothing will be gained by drafting a funky presentation using Photoshop and PowerPoint to dazzle him.

I know there is nothing to be gained by falling on the floor and begging and pleading whilst I hold on to his pant’s leg and cry in a loud whining voice.

There is nothing to be gained.

There is nothing to be gained no matter what I do.

There is nothing to be gained so I feel ineffective, useless and just a little bit (very) crushed.

There is nothing to be gained so I feel resentful and angry and hurt.

I realise that my reaction is probably not the most mature.

I realise that my reaction will only further alienate Kennith.

I realise that there is nothing to be gained from feeling like I do, and by not just getting over it.  But there is nothing to be gained.

I realise all of this, but I still feel like ..

I am just not ready to hear the no, when in actual fact it is resounding, I am not ready to give up, but I must or I will drive myself to distraction, and hate Kennith for it.  I am angry that I do not get to make this decision by myself (insert angry six year old girl stamping her foot here).  I am angry, I am hurt, I am disappointed, I am angry, I am so very very angry, I am so very very hurt…

Will I recover?  Of course, don’t we all recover eventually given enough time.

How long do I need?  Not sure, really not sure today, but tomorrow or next week is another day, but I am just one of those that do not bounce back quickly ….

The giving and the receiving …

Talk about a class-A stuff up.

Kennith and I finally sat on Monday night and opened our lovely wedding gifts.  We had snacks and wine and it was all a very genteel affair.  We opened cards, read them, smiled, I cried a little and then we opened the presents and jotted down the person’s name and the gift so I could send a thank you card/note/email/sms.

We gasped and gushed and said things like “Isn’t that lovely” “How thoughtful of so and so” “Wow, what a great gift.”

At the end of it all, there was a lone card lying on the floor which I picked up and read.  It was from my friend Judith and her husband Al.

Okay, here is where my eyebrow raised – if I am reading the card that clearly appears to be connected to a present, but there is no present, then either a present has gone missing or …. shit something has been swapped.  But that is fine, just need to ask Judith.

Note to self, phone Judith and ask in my most polite voice what they gifted us.  Awkward but will need to ask and then the issue will be resolved.

Tuesday night, a thought comes to me – strange I do not recall seeing Dave and Alice’s present.

Alice is a serial gift-giver and a very good giver, so it is odd that she did not gift us.

I was having an Emily Post moment of whether I should leave it or ask Alice, because clearly I am missing her damn gift.

The problem was that when the reception was over, Kennith and I were going to a guest house and with all the stuff already in the car, could not take anything.  We grabbed 4 sets of friends, gave them our presents, which they took home.  They in turn got them all dropped off at our house while we were away on honeymoon.

Wednesday night, I am on my way to bookclub with Alice.  I think, let me just ask her – so I did in the most polite-does-not-really-matter-if-you-did-not-buy-us-a-gift-but-by-the-way-did-you-buy-us-a-gift manner.  Alice is horrified – because she did buy us/me a gift.  And then goes on to explain what it was.

I recall it fondly as it was the first gift we opened, but on it was a card from Bernard and Julie, and I said all sorts of great things about the gift – so then clearly I am thinking well where is Bernard and Julie’s gift – and besides where, what is Bernard and Julie’s gift.

Shit, now we have a problem, because nothing NOTHING that I have listed as being from anyone is probably from them, and I am not sure about anything.

I thought of doing this two ways.  Sending out thank you cards next week saying “Thanks for the stuff/thing you chose for us – we love it – it is just want we wanted – we will treasure it forever!”

Or using my blog as a vehicle (thanks for the idea Joan) to dig myself out of this rather awkward moment.

So here’s the thing, if you were kind/generous/present enough to kindly bring us a wonderful gift on the 17 July 2010, is there anyway you can drop me a note and tell me what it was?

I really am struggling here as this is all beyond awkward.  I really want to avoid the awkwardness of saying “thank you” when I truly have no idea what I am saying thank you for.

Nine day count down ….

I know sometimes I appear a bit blasé about this entire “getting married” thing, but it is really a bit of a big deal for me.

Kennith and I have been together for so long.  Both of us were very anti-marriage in the beginning.  We tended to stand on our soap-box and preach how unnecessary it was and that we would not succumb to the bourgeois ways of the masses.

If I heard someone was getting married, I would ask them “but how you do you know you have found the right one … how do you really know…”  it would often lead to a rather frightened bride-to-be who just wanted to get as far from me as possible, in as short a time as possible.

As time marched on our relationship evolved.

Our kids joined us, our world shook and cracked a little/a lot.  We realized that sometimes “loving someone” is not the same as “liking someone” – and sometimes it is okay to want to kill them and bury their body in the backyard.

We went through several difficult years, that included screaming, shouting, not talking, couple counseling, more anti-depressants, and fairly destructive behaviour.

I am sure if we had been offered an easy escape clause, we both might have opted out and left –  it really was hard, and there were few good days, and no guarantee that going through all of this was going to make it any better at the end of the day.

I think Kennith and I do tend to move cautiously on certain issues and do not give up easily.   We sort of plod on, and believe that things will get better if we just give it some time (it’s a character thing.)  This might have been what kept us plodding on – though we were really walking two totally separate and lonely paths.

We did however manage to eventually reach the same place at about the same time, and made a decision that we could see ourselves walking the same road.

I do not want to try to paint a romantic picture of long-lost lovers and rekindled flames, and skipping through daisy fields.

There was none of that, there was more listening, being more attentive and maybe trying not to be so angry all the time.

Here is the key – it was not that one of us tried hard and the other went about their normal day. I think we both realized that we both needed to change, and find ways of finding each other again.  We had both made mistakes, were both to blame – in different ways – but we equally shared the carrying of the proverbial bucket.

We both made a conscious effort to give it a go (when I think we both thought this is really the last chance of chances as things did seem almost unfixable.)

It took a lot of work to reach this point.   Kennith and I are not naïve enough to think that now it is all going to be white wine and green olive/biltong days.

We still get annoyed with each other and find it very easy to flick into the “well fek you then” frame of mind.

And here is where I must give Kennith his due – Kennith is able to say sorry, where I struggle.  Kennith is always willing to extend the olive branch, where I hold resentment close to my heart.  Kennith is always willing to forgive and move on, where I struggle to bury the hatchet.  Kennith is definitely the sunny disposition to my rather dark self.

Yesterday I was chatting to someone who really is going through the darkest point of relationship hell.

If you are looking for advise and are hoping for platitudes, I strongly suggest you go somewhere else and not come to me.  I do not set out to say mean things and hurt someone, but I do tend to state things truthfully as I see them.  I will not volunteer my opinion, but if you ask, then I take it that you want the truth and not the sugar-coated version, then I do say what I think.

With relationships, we are led to believe we should hook-up, and stay together come what may – “for the children”.

The reality is that the father or the mother of your children, might not be your partner for life, life is just not that way.  Staying with someone when it is actually driving you inch-by-inch into the mouth of madness “for the sake of the children” is just not a feasible way to live your life.

I appreciate that when you bring children into the picture the stakes do get higher.

Suddenly there is more to lose, the fall out is so much more, and there are going to be casualties – in the form of little people.   At the same time, if you cannot look after yourself because your relationship is killing your soul, you really cannot look out for the good of your child or children, no matter how good your intentions are.

The problem with relationships that are in distress, is that we get so caught up in the craziness of the situation and literally get sucked into it.  It consumes us.  We are unable (or unwilling in some cases) to step back and really take a look at what is going on.  This distress might last a day or two, but in some cases it can stretch to years, and then we totally lose ourselves in “it”.

We cannot rationalize, or take the time to look at it with a clear mind, because we are dealing with the day to day fall-out of what is hell-on-earth.

I think, if you have ever been in a relationship that is sliding into the abyss, you will know what I am talking about.

We are not talking about a mild disagreement here, we are talking about a relationship that is starting to bleed your soul, and all you can think is “I have to get out … I have to get away…”

At some point – some where – somehow – one finds the energy to take a moment, take a breath and step back.

Usually at this moment, we can look at what is going on, and try not be so reactive and emotional.  We can also take the time to think “why should I stay in this relationship?” I think if the only reason you can muster is “because I love him” then maybe it is time to find a bag and start packing.

If you ask me why I stayed with Kennith when times got so dark?  Well, the truth be told, I was on my way out the door.  Things had hit the (very) bottom of where ever they could have gone.

I had taken that moment, that breath to think – and for me the thinking involved facing my biggest fear.

My biggest fear was not losing Kennith, he was all but lost anyway, my biggest fear was that I would have to leave without the kids.  That was what I had to face as my reality and the outcome when all was said and done.

I had spent weeks trying to work out how I could leave, and take the kids with me.  No matter how much I tried to do the math and tried to work out the logistics, it just was not financially or logistically possible,without causing chaos in their lives.

The moment I had that realization – that “what is the worst outcome” and accepted it, suddenly it made me free to make my decision – it was like coming out from under a wet, heavy blanket where I had been suffocating.

I am not trying to say that it was not painful.  I sobbed and cried, but when I worked through all the options, the best solution to be able to leave, was to let the kids remain with Kennith.

Once all the hair pulling and chest beating is done, and you accept that the worst outcome, the one you have been hiding from,  the one you know in your heart of hearts is the right answer, and you accept it with your soul and a brave face – suddenly you do reach a place of calm, and then can decide “well what now…?” in a rational more adult way.

As things went, Kennith and I did not go our separate ways.  Things did change – the changes were gradual and slow, they were hard, but our relationship did manage to survive.

But here we are.  We are 9 days away from making a public commitment to each other – how do I feel now?

I feel proud that Kennith and I have gone through what we have.  We have endured, we have walked through when most people faced with what we were faced with, would have walked away.

Our children are happy, seem to be well-adjusted (waiting for test results) and know they are in a loving family.

We are walking in to this marriage with our eyes wide open.  We are not being swept along by hormonal euphoria of how magical it is all going to be.  We have years of experience under our belt, and gained many battle scars of wisdom.

We know that when it is all done and dusted, and we get in to bed at night, my foot will always find his and we will drift off to sleep, knowing that no matter what happens our feet will always touch when we go to sleep at night.

In nine days time, we are ready to stand in front our of our closest friends and family, and say the words that we have been avoiding for sixteen years … “today I will marry you…”

Sometimes a policy of no photographs is better …

I figured I would post there horrible pictures before my now “so called” friends did.

It all started off so innocently, look how happy I am – attempting to read the menu and order wine …. I am happy and unaware of the horror of what will come … and that is just the Brazillian wax story …

I have my ring that flashes … what more could a girl want ….

I was given a great bride and groom that will now make it to the top of a cake – even if it is a cupcake

And then it goes horribly … horribly wrong … but my friends do not let this deter them from having a good time, and just move the party to the bathroom.

Ragna is doing a display of how her jacket is water resistant and procedures to splash water all over herself …that girl will find any opportunity to punt her brand ….

Then there was the group shots … er this is one of me ….notice how happy everyone is, except me really .. that is me sort of behind the door frame on the floor … next to the toilet … but let me not stand in the way of thier having a good time …

These are more group shots in the toilet – it appears I am not in any of these … for which I am truly thankful …

This is me with Alice finally packed in to the car … same car that had to stop several times on the way back home so I could dump further contents of my stomach in various locations …. a bit like a treasure hunt …

I have no idea what was going on in this picture, so nothing to say in my defense …. can I just plead drunkeness and fall on the mercy of the court?

(I did notice that Alice eventually ended up in the front seat, clearly she was aware of puke splatter and preferred to stay close by, but not that close by ….)

I guess if I do not laugh at myself … what else is there to do …. hope you all enjoyed my pain and misery …. I will return next week to see if I can retrieve my name I threw away ….

Of wine and toilet bowls …

So last night I went out for dinner with my mate Judith and Sue B – we get together about once a month for a chat and a laugh.

It seemed Judith had other plans, and it turned into a surprise almost-bride party with friends and too much alcohol.

I was dressed in the traditional veil and horns, the garter belt, and the customary learner bride sign – it’s what all the nearly-brides are wearing this season.

I also had a wand and a large ring with a flashing light on it – which has definitely become my favourite piece of bling – I think I might have promised to wear it on the 17th!!  I had a large while butterfly (not real) stuck on my head that was reminiscent of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s birds, but might also be joining my favourite accessory pile soon.

Wine was ordered for me, we had shooters – which Alice struggled to get into her mouth.  Shooters can sometimes be difficult for pretty girls.  Instead she opted to pour it randomly on her face and neck and hope that some was absorbed through osmosis.

I had some wine, followed by some wine, and then some more wine, you know how this all goes, and I was feeling great.

The girls were funny, the conversation took a few twists and turns and it was all quite jolly.

Alice was trying to convince me that a brazillian wax is just the sort of surprise Kennith would enjoy – really!  I thought.  He would enjoy knowing I lay spread eagled on a bed while a woman named Vera poured wax on me and then pulled it off really quickly to take the hair outta my bum crack?

How about he have the brazillian first, and then once he stops crying he can let me know how it goes and whether he would recommend it to for me.

Sue S then explained that she has committed to a brazillian but only got half way, then had to tell the wax lady to stop as it was too sore, so went home and just shaved the other side – I thought that was brilliant.

Alice insists I should have my bush waxed in the shape of a pink heart!

I really do not know why Alice is so fixated on my hairy nether regions.  I wonder if when Kennith is out with his friends they talk about grooming their twig and berries?

It really was a fun evening …. until well, it wasn’t.

I can’t quite recall the chain of events, but it ends with me, in the bathroom, literally hugging the toilet and well camping out there for the rest of the night.  I had friends taking turns rubbing my back and holding my hair – what good mates I have.

But I just could not stop retching – I do not recall drinking that much – bear in mind my body is a fine tuned wine-drinking machine.  I can look at least two bottles of wine in the eye without seeing double, so I have no idea what happened.

So as not to miss out on the action everyone then moved to the bathroom and stood around making conversation while I retched and cried in between – such good times.  What I was crying about I do not recall, it might be because I was on my hands and knees retching in a public place .. that could have been it.   There is little to beat the likes of a stylish soon-to-be-bride!

Someone was taking group photos, which I thought would make great mementos of the evening. Eventually they managed to frog march me to the car and drive me home.

I will confess to having to puke some more on the drive home  – so if you pass something on the N1 that looks vaguely unsanitary and has now splashed up on the side of your car, let me take this as an opportunity to sincerely apologise .

Eventually I got home and Kennith was waiting – bless his cotton socks.  He helped me get my jammies on, poured me a large cold glass of Oros, and made me a hot water bottle.

He is such a good egg, and I have such good mates for taking care of me as they did!

Bits and pieces of the rather insane conversations keep coming back to me, I seem to recall arrangements being made about going to a sokkie-jol after the wedding?   I might even have suggested it, oh heavens!

Reality sometimes requires you to wear your big girl panties …

The one benefit of knowing that Kennith has known me for nearly two decades, is that he knows what he is getting in to.  He really cannot throw his hands in the air, and deny that he knew what he was getting once all the circus make-up is wiped off and I have freed myself from the corseted dress.

He knows me with an acuteness that I can honestly say no one else does, or probably ever will.  He knows what makes me tick, he knows that makes me smile and he knows what makes me cry.  He sees into my soul.

I really do not have to try and market myself or sell myself as something I am not – he knows me too well to be fooled by a lick of mascara and a boob job.

I know Kennith and have no delusions about what life will be like post-17 July 2010.

We literally know each other’s warts, skin tacks, spiky unshaved legs and sometimes-we-forget-to-flush-the-toilet and wet towels being left on the bed – by now we know it all, but we still have decided that right now there is no other place we would rather be.

After the 17 July, we may have some gifts, we will definitely have some great photographs, but we will still be the same people we are now – that will not have changed.

The reason I am jotting this down today, is that today/right now I am feeling at a very low place.

It may be all the stress of planning the wedding, dreading the day on a certain level.  It might be the stress at work, it might be my ambivalence about getting married and what this will actually mean as we forge our road ahead.  It might be the after shock of the pre-nup and that process and all it conjured up in my head.

I am not sure.  My head is literally screaming with a dozen voices and I feel exhausted and want to just seek the darkness and the quiet of my duvet, and let it all just drift away.

The “big” issue we have – well it is big to me – I am sure for Kennith he may have other issues that are equally big – is the issue regarding a fourth child and/or looking at adoption.

I always take cognizance that this is my blog. I get to say things from my point of view, and express reality in my voice and from my perspective.  I never deem to speak on behalf of Kennith – I sometimes say what I think he thinks, but it really is from my perspective.  His real thoughts and his real motivations are left to him to put out there if he wants.

So that being said ….I am not sure if three children is enough for me – Kennith was pretty set that two children was enough for him.  He feels he went along with a third child more for me wanting a third child than him wanting a third child.  I had covered this issue under an earlier post, so I will not go into this again on this one.

In terms of considering a potential of a potential fourth child, I also felt that I really did not want to go through another pregnancy.

They were great, they had their moment, and I would recommend them to others who are keen to explore this alien-possession experience.  But I do not feel my body will make it through another pregnancy unscathed.  I am too old and too exhausted to survive another pregnancy – the last one was a strain of diabolic proportion, with too many “I think I am dying” moments.

I digress … back to my point … I feel strongly that I need/want/have to adopt a child – I can’t explain it in rational terms.  I will post a better explanation another day when maybe I am feeling a bit more composed and slightly more in control – today, not that day so much.

This urge in me is stronger (sorry I realized I sound like Luke Skywalker there) than the urge to pee or eat.  I think the “want to adopt” has always been there, in the back of my mind, and something happened – I don’t know what – that triggered this urge into over drive.

I discussed the idea with Kennith several months ago – by then it had already been feeding and growing in my mind.

Kennith initially thought the idea had merit.  He was not wild about it, but he was willing to let the idea be bounced around a bit – as just an idea.

I am sure he could sense I was “super keen” and probably did not want to come out and sound like the bad papa bear and say “no” straight out.  He probably figured we would talk about it, idea would maybe run out of steam and we would go out for dinner and that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately for me the “idea” became a burning passion and took on a life of it’s own – taking over my life in certain areas.

I spoke to several wonderful people who were either adopting, or had adopted a child, contacted agencies and social workers, and was well on my way in throwing myself into this process.  I was just running with all guns blazing!!

The problem (for me) is that Kennith has had more time to think about it, and he feels now is certain beyond any doubt that he does not want a fourth child.  Whether it be from his loins or through the adoption process.  He feels our life is chaotic enough, and the stress of another child might be more than we can manage, and more than I can manage, knowing how I already struggle … some days.

He has never led me along a false road of delusions and allusions.

He has always been very clear on his thoughts on the matter.  I however have chosen to hear only the “hope”, and have literally put my hands over my ears when ever I have sensed there might be a “no” coming.

I realise that this decision has to be made by both of us – we need to be equally invested and committed to adopting a child.  It cannot be a project that I take on whether he supports it or not – I realise that (I had been toying with just arriving with a child and going “Can Oscar stay..?” but realised that maybe that might not work out as well as it did in the advert I saw.)

I also realise the implications to our entire family of adopting a fourth child.  Kennith is possibly able to look at it’s impact with less emotion and possibly more “future projection” than I am able to – I realise that too.

I can think of twenty seven reasons of what the negatives will be, and such a short list of the positives of taking on a fourth child.   It does not make it any easier to accept, it does not make it any less painful to hear and to bear.

So this week, my “hopes” were dashed, and I am crushed to the bone, at the realization of what Kennith’s decision is on the topic of adopting a fourth child – it is an absolute no-you-cannot-put-your-hands-over-your-ears-and-humm-loudly “no!”

I can’t be angry with him as he never lied or lead me along the “garden path” but I can be devastated, and that is probably the only word I can use to describe how I am feeling right now, and of course I am disappointed with him … I can’t say I am all accepting and grace.

As much as I do want to put this post on my blog, I also do not think I can bear the platitudes of “trust in God and he will make it happen” and “if things are meant to be they will be” and so on,  I really really can’t right now …

And that is how I am this week … sad and a little bit very shattered …

Of days that are just too long …

So yesterday I go along to do the final fitting of the dress – it really is a “rok” so I do want to warn you.  Subtle and reserved is not a word one would use to describe this particular dress.

I am nervous now that I am drawing even more attention to myself … this entire wedding makes me feel very nervous, knowing people are going to be looking at me is a real issue … I appreciate the irony in it all, I really do.

I really do like the dress, but I did think yesterday that maybe I have gone a little overboard with this entire thing … it’s that post purchase dissidence thing that everyone talks about.

For a few moments I stood there and thought, can I just give all of this shite back, phone the marriage officer, tell him we were joking, cancel the flowers, phone the venue and say “listen about the seventeenth..” but could I keep the ring?  It suddenly feels all a bit exhausting and my excitement has waned.

I was standing there in big huge dress, silky shoes and some bling, and I am just thinking, maybe we should have kept this to a bring-and-braai wedding and scaled this all back a little bit.  Or maybe getting married is not that great an idea … run bride run ….

But here we are less than 17 days away, but I guess all grooms and brides get that moment where they think, you know, let’s just slow this bus down and think it over.  Like my friend Basil says, let’s all just calm the FEK down.

No doubt it will pass and I will be in the swing of it again, as I argue about the “right” cake and stress about the flower petals.

Earlier this week we went along to sign the pre-nup.  There really is something quite disturbing about the entire process.  It is all dealt with by lawyers and their minions and seems very pedestrian to them, while rather life changing to you.

They print out these pages that sort out issues about who will get granny’s silver service if you divorce, but it does not seem to discuss who will pay for the kid’s education and where they will live.

It also does not mention that I am in my full rights to stab Kennith in the groin with a blunt potato peeler if he has a mid-life crisis, buys a stupidly expensive bright small convertible car and suddenly had an enthusiastic interest in girls with names like Candy and Mindy, who have abnormally large breasts!

But possibly that was covered in the annexure, which I did not read as all the black print started to swim before my eyes.  I actually felt very overwhelmed by the entire experience, and did not enjoy it, no not one bit (thanks Cat in the Hat.)

We also made out our wills in the event that we get eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex while on honeymoon.

Equally disturbing, trying to decide who will get the toilet brush and have to endure Georgia’s Barbie stories, but there are decisions to be made, and sometimes, you need to sort of sit there act there like an adult (even if just remotely) and make decisions.

I really did not feel warm and fuzzy while signing and initialing all the forms.  To be honest I started to feel a little nauseous and well, less than excited by this entire thing.  Maybe I am just having a bad week and lawyers with abnormally large board room tables make me nervous.

My head really is not in a good place right now, and it has been a bit of an emotionally exhausting/draining week for several reasons – most of my own engineering.  The ante-nuptial paperwork crap did not help.

Standing there and seeing myself in the mirror in dress garb and thinking that maybe I do look a bit like a troll did not really help either.  Funny how one day you think you look like a fairy princess and the next you look like Billy Goat Gruff!!

On the up side, I thought yesterday was Monday – and while out with running guy realized it was Wednesday.  He reminded me that Steers has Wacky Wednesday, which would solve my “what to eat” problem.

He was right, I ran off there and ordered a Wacky Wednesday meal from Steers – fully kitted out in my sweaty running gear, and ate it totally guilt free.  I did order a Tab to balance it all out – the ying and yang and all that.

The cake, the cake, the damn cake ….

I am about at the end of my tether with this entire “find a wedding cake” business.  I could seriously walk in to a cake shop with a semi-automatic and just order a slice of cake and refuse to pay for it!!

Initially I thought cool, keep it simple get a wedding cake – a simple cake rather than a “koek”.  Then the more I thought about it, I really did not want to do the cake cutting thing, and putting cake in each other’s mouths and the ribbon tied around the knife.

If you did that at your wedding, I am glad that it rocked your world, but I really could not imagine trying to be happy cutting cake and shoving it in either my mouth or Kennith’s mouth.  I like to cut and eat my own food, and get quite aggressive when someone puts their hand near my plate, so I just felt this cake cutting and cake eating business probably would not work out well.

I thought great, try wedding cupcakes …those look nifty on their little stand … and then no one has to cut anything … that lasted for about 12 minutes … the idea, not the cupcakes.

I then thought, goody, I have it, we will do a “bridal couple treat/sweet jar.” Loads of jars filled with all the things we like.

Excellent idea, but will require me to shop around for jars and those metal scooper things.  Then I will need to fight with Kennith that we cannot have a jar with biltong and we definitely cannot have a jar with liquorice!  I projectile vomit at the mere whiff of liquorice.  Feel free to test the theory by bringing some near me some time.

I then started making contact with some places with week – one place wanted to charge me more than R3 000.00 for a cake – not a huge-I-am-the-biggest-whitest-cake-you-have-ever-seen cake, a normal cake-cake!!

Listen, I can talk Kennith in to many things by offering him sexual favours, but I think that getting him to agree to pay R3 000.00 for a cake might be pushing it past my available skill set.  (We would still need to pay extra for the brownies and the cup cakes …)

Here we are – less than three weeks, no cake, no cupcakes, and no frik’n (sorry Georgia) idea of what to do.

I got quite stressed (about cake, yes I do realise how totally ridiculous this sounds) and decided to discuss the difficulties I had with solving this problem and finding a cost-effective solution, and decided to approach my bridegroom-to-be as the person to discuss this and who may be able to find a viable solution to my dilemma which I have been grappling with for several weeks now.

Sidebar: My solution is actually to phone up Charlie’s Bakery and say “Let me have a huge chocolate cake, dripping with chocolate, big square, let me have say two dozen decadent brownies, and while you are there, throw in two dozen so-much-chocolate-I-am-going-to-puke cupcakes” … but Charlie’s aren’t known for their cheap prices and Kennith is not a big Charlie’s fan, so I am trying to make another plan taking him in to consideration.

I am standing in the kitchen explaining my problem to Kennith.  I am explaining the running around I have done, and that the first cup cake person is just not really making nice cupcakes. He disagrees and says they are “fine.”

I disagree and say I have now eaten three dozen of them, and they are nice, but not great and I do not want them at our wedding.

He goes on to remind me that people do not remember the details about a wedding, what is important is that he just have a good time.

He tried this test on me to prove his point “I bet you can’t describe the chairs we sat on at Steve and Kalinka’s wedding.” We were at their wedding about three years ago, it was a great wedding – huge amounts of fun, but Kalinka had the details down to a fine art – everything was just right – I noticed these things.  As a matter of fact I could describe the chairs – and then went and found a picture to prove that my description was pretty accurate.

Girls remember this shite, boys only remember if there were available single women and cold beer.  Our DNA’s are just designed differently when it comes to weddings.  I did not choose to be this way, it  just is!!

I mention Charlie’s – Kennith pipes up that they are too expensive and repeats he does not like them.  I acknowledge that I recognize this, hence the reason I am exploring dozens of other avenues.

He then pipes up: “Remember that chocolate cake we had with Anita that she used to buy – remember the one with the hole in the centre? That one was great, go and find who made that cake, that is the one we should get.”

Then he turns to continue making his sandwich/coffee/what ever as if he has solved my problem and all is well in suburbia.

Second sidebar:  Anita has not lived in Cape Town for more than 8 years, so though I know where she got the cake from, the place has long since closed.  The fact that Anita now lives in another country makes me deeply suspicious that, though she is fond of the cake with a hole in it, she is undoubtedly not going to have kept track of the maker of said cake.

At this point I lose the plot – like explode!  I start calling Kennith a variety of unsanitary names and I might have even made reference to his genitalia and what I think he should do with them.

I know I then said something along the lines of: “Do you think because I have a uterus and mammary glands that I know about F U K ‘ N (kids were sleeping, I can swear as much as I like) wedding cake than you do?  Do you actually think that?  How the F U K (I was feeling quite rev’d up at this point) am I meant to find a F U K ‘ N cake from 8 years ago with a hole in it?  I came to you so you can assist me, not offer a stupid F U K ‘ N  solution – what the hell is wrong with you, you idiot!!”

It was something along those lines, memory fails me right now.

Geez Louise I was annoyed – I mean really!  The boy has an MBA and this is how he helps me?  Honestly, how much stupid did he have for breakfast this morning?

I am not sure if I said anything more.  I might well have, the spittle was sort of pooling out of the corner of my mouth at this point, and there is a good chance I was gesturing wildly.

Aaaahhh wedding planning is such a happy time, and brings a couple so much closer together.

Kennith, realizing that things have gone too far, suggests we meet the next day to go to Charlie’s!  Shame, you know that boy really tries – even in the face of a totally psychotic lost-her-mind-long-ago-almost-bride, he tries to wave a white flag.

Bottom line, still no cake, still no idea, but I have some people to call tomorrow.  I am solving this by Friday – I am ticking this off my list.

If all else fails I am going to get my friends to bake me a stupid cake and cupcakes on the evening of the 16th!!  If you are a wedding guest and RSVP’d you are coming, do not make plans for the evening of the 16th, bring 6 eggs, a cup of sugar, 2 TBS of cocoa, I will sms you where we are going to meet, it’ll be fab.

Have dress … have prince … need chariot …

For some reason I have kept my “wedding related” stuff off my blog.

I just figured people really were not interested in my arranging to get a “rok” to bounce down the aisle, but it seems there are people who are actually interested.

Not sure why I felt it was appropriate to talk about me wanting to smother my kids and show you pictures of my va-jay-jay, but somehow inappropriate to talk wedding stuff, but there we go.  However I have decided to update those who care with bits and bobs, and I promise not to go on at length regarding the colour of just the right napkin.

Today I went to do the first fitting for my wedding dress, with the dress maker to do the nip and tucking.

I honestly thought I would be the last person to use the term “wedding dress” and “my” in a sentence, but well wonders never cease. I must confess I thought I looked not half bad (yes, I realise I need to slow down on the self praise) and really started to get very excited.  The alteration girl did have her hand up my dress at the time, and no doubt that also added to the whole festival atmospher

The one issue I have about “the wedding day” is I hate to be the center of attention.

I really get embarrassed and start acting terribly stupid when attention is focussed on me.  I am seriously doubting that wearing a large whitish dress is going to assist me to fade into the background in July, and I have concerns about everyone looking at me, which is probably why I wanted to go with a dress that was pretty low-key to being with.

But I truly love my dress, and feel very Princess Bride right now.  I might start singing tra-la-la-la and have little blue birds come and sit on my hand as I bounce around the forest with a large blue bow in my hair …. it is all so intoxicating.

Our friend put us in contact with a jewellery designer who assisted us in designing a ring.  She gave us a few catalogues and of the 7 thousand post-it notes I stuck all over the catalogues, on one I wrote “the perfect ring.”

I got myself in a tizz trying to make any further decisions about the ring.  I just could not decide on what to do and how to make a final decision on something that is so permanent.  Eventually I walked away from the “project” and asked/told/screamed at Kennith to just do it.  I just could not make a decision and time was a-passing and I still u’ming and ah’ing and time he was rushing by.

Friday a week ago Kennith got the ring and did not tell me.  He presented the ring while we were at a pub, drinking beer, watching Bafana Bafana – that boy is so romantic.  I swooned. I nearly lost control of my beer.  The ring is so absolutely divine, I can honestly say “I love it -I love it!”

Yesterday I went to collect the wedding band, and my knees went a little weak.

I was so sure that Kennith would choose something flat and plain- like a wedding band, but he chose this beautifully simple, but totally unique band with such great detail, I just wanted to give him a noddy badge right there and then.  I love the fact that he still suprises me, and makes the effort to try.

So I am really pleased with my dress, I look like a totally fairy princess which is nothing like the normal me.

I am so in love with my engagement ring and wedding band (which we put away) that I could cry.

You know I was the first one to say that getting married would not make a difference and really would not be a big deal, but you know it has made a difference and it is actually a big deal.  I am so excited about the wedding day I could actually just platz, but I am trying to act nonchalant and that it is all so ho-hum.

But inside I am going weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ……. can you feel it??

Star Crossed Lovers ….

Last Friday I went to try on a wedding dress.

If you had followed any of this wedding stuff, you may be raising your little hand about now, and posed the question “er did you not already buy a dress?” to which I would have to answer “Right you are!”

I would have to add in an almost embarrassed tone: “But it seems it was not THE dress, THE dress was waiting for me somewhere else.”

It really has just been all so pedestrian and predictable it is tragic.  I can’t even glam it up and tell you how I bought a dress, but there was a fire, and when the fireman ran in to save the women and children, he used my dress to cover the mouths of the babes, so they would not die from affixation, and then my dress was destroyed and see I had to go and get another one.

Nothing like that I am afraid. I just kept waking up and two in the morning, staring at the ceiling and going: “I like my dress, but I want a dress that I love!”

I toddled off to a wedding dress place – yes another one, no doubt they are starting to release mug shots now and keep them under their counters.  I asked the assistant to  drag out all the “sale” garments which I dutifully tried on.  But none of them really excited me.

Right at the end while I was standing in my knickers and no bra – not a good look in a drafty salon, I asked Ester to go and have a scratch through her regular priced merchandise and let me try on something there.  I knew that this was probably not going to end well, but fools and angels and treading and all that.

Esther pulled out this monstrosity and suggested I try it on.  I thought she was having me on for a bit of a laugh, I was standing there scantly clad and all so clearly she was the dominatrix in this role play we were doing.

I looked at this frock and figured I might as well put it on, and then send her back to grab another.  Well as all boy-meets-girl, girl-takes-an-immediate-dislike-to-boy stories go, mine it seems was no different.  Which is all the more depressing, as I sincerely hoped I was cut from a more original cloth.

Esther laced up this dress.  I walked to the dressing room with it’s wall sized mirror and stood on the pedestal – they actually have a pedestal – I should get one of those for home!

I stood on the pedestal and gazed at my reflection and thought to myself “wow, that is quite a frock.. not sure I really like it.”

Then as with all slow romances go, I looked at it again and thought “I sort of quite like the cut of your cloth…”

I walked around the room a little. I jiggled my skirts a bit, and then I looked at my reflection again and realized … I am truly in love.  Not that forced kind where you are a little drunk, and he is the last one at the bar, and you really do not want to go home alone again, that real kind where your eyes meet and you see yourselves wrapped around each other for eternity … in my case for about 8 hours.

I was smitten.  I pranced – yes I pranced – around the room a bit. I even tried on shoes, then I pranced some more.  Oh it was heavenly to be in love.

Then it was the awkward moment.  You are so in love but the logical side of you needs to ask the rather embarrassing question “so how much will it be for the good time?”

The answer did make me choke a little, but we were in love, what does the trifles of money matter to us?

I skipped out of there with a song in my chest and a Heidi-skip in my heels.  I then had an immediate attack of IBS and had to stop at the chemist for some medical relief.  Love they say can hurt, mine was making me bloat, cramp and sweat – and I had wave after wave of nausea.

That is the thing about initial love, when you are in each other’s arms, nothing matters.  But when you part company and the ugliness of the morning creeps in, and the terrible aftermath of the hangovers weighs on you one starts to doubt one’s feelings.

How was I going to pay to be with my new lover?

And what the hell was I going to do with the first dress?

I felt like I had betrayed her and was cheating on her with this larger more voluptuous model.  I really was, and though I felt some guilt, I wanted to be with my new shinier love as the original one no longer mattered to me.

After the weekend, I could not bear to be further parted.  I went back on Tuesday for another fitting, and then I knew we were meant to be – logical thought had stepped out.

So I paid the money and now she is mine – actually she is not mine.  A dress maker in the States will be making a replica of her for me, in my size and flying it over to me, and then she will be mine.  The dress not the dressmaker incase this analogy has got a bit confusing.

When I did the EFT I really felt a little light in my soul – it will be a nervous wait, and well a tad “cutting it a little fine” but my dress will arrive on the 12 July – the fact that the wedding is the 17 July does not escape me, but for now my infatuation has released me of worry.

My kingdom for a venue ….

This weekend we had made a shortlists of venues and had siked ourselves to that ticked and sorted.  The lack of venue was becoming a bit of an issue for me – I had a list and the first thing was “venue” on my list and I could not tick it off, so I was becoming very agitated.

There were a few clues that the weekend excursion might not go to plan.

A few of the key issues were that both Kennith and I had flu-like symptoms and were struggling to remain civil.  Isabelle was teething, and when she was not throwing up, she was crying.

Connor and Georgia huddled in the backseat of the car, were fighting and we had not even reversed out of our driveway.  The cards were stacked against us as we set off on our little adventure, but like pioneers off we went.

The plan was we were going to see three on Saturday.  So off to Paarl we go.  The first was not great.  But in its defense was lovely as an outside venue with a lavender field – I love lavender, but that is pretty much where the love stopped.  It had that “conference” centre feel to it, that no amount of alcohol would have been able to mask.

The proprietor’s repeated statement of “… then this is probably not the venue for you” when I asked if they could alter some of the rather “set” policies they had, did not really warm me to the place either.

We left that location as quickly as was polite to do so, with an effort not to kick up too much dust as we wheel skidded the hell out of there.

Off we go to Riebeek Kasteel – me in high-spirits – I really was sure that this venue was the one, was I was feeling rather smug about the whole thing as I think I have found the dream venue.

But there we were on our way to Riebeek Kasteel.  We follow the map and it really is deliverance country.  We were just looking for the kid on the banjo.

With 20/20 hindsight the place did refer to itself as a farm, not an estate, or a venue.  It did call itself a farm.  But you know how one is blind to these details as you stumble forward in the hope of finding the perfect venue.

We drove about 5km along a dust-road.  Kennith and I kept thinking “where the hell are we….no really”

We saw a sign clearly marked Farm.  Again the word did not really have much weight for me at the time.  As I passed moo cows, sheep and emus I started to get a feeling that there was something just a little off about this.

We drove right to the back of the farm and there was the venue.  We were surrounded by farm animals, but there was the venue.

It really was a really good illustration of why one should never believe photos – immediately I could see where the photos were taken from.  The power of photo cropping and good camera positioning became apparent.  (Note to self: Never buy a home from a photograph. Never marry a man based solely on his photograph on the internet.)

I was gutted – I really could not face having a wedding on a working farm, while I swatted the odd horse-fly away.

By the time Kennith and I got all our mucus-smeared, very techy children back in to the car, we were all feeling defeated, I think I might even have let out a little sob.

Because we are suckers for punishment we drove through Riebeek West and stopped at two other venues – on the outside chance I may just stumble on something.

The one was typically a venue built mid-1980.  I really could not see myself getting married in a hall with half wine-barrels dotted along the walls.  The final decision breaker, was where you had to step through one of the wine barrels to get into the bar area …. seriously who designed this?  The same crew who did make-up  for Knots Landing I’m guessing.

The last venue I saw  in Riebeek West looked very promising – don’t they all. Glanced over the venue details – venue fee R5 000.00 – not the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.  Draping and fairy lights – R2 500.00.  So I look at the venue which seems to have said drapery and fairy lights as a fixture –

So I say:  “But I want them, but I am not going to pay R2500.00 for them.”

He says: “Then we will take them down.”

Me says: “ But they are a fixture, the room is not worth the R5000.00 without them as the it is really big rectangular tiled room.”

He says: “Mmm, I see your point, but they do cost more.”

Me says: “You do understand how ridiculous this sounds.  If I do not pay R2 500.00 then you will get a crew in and send a man up a ladder to get something down that is already there…”

He says: “ Mmmm, we might be negotiable on that…”

I swear,  my humour had failed me – you know when you feel the overriding urge to say “Well, fek you and the horse you rode in on…” I also have no idea why that would feel appropriate at the time, it just did.

On Sunday we just stayed home – I was too angry to do anything other than wallow in misery.

On Sunday night, I googling a venue (for a change).

Monday morning after a hearty breakfast and several cups of tea set out to see said venue.  I  was pretty defeated, so I went along to this one sure that it would blow like the others – however on the upside it was not far from our home.

Initially our Gestapo-like co-ordinator put us off the venue – impressive to meet someone who struggles more with people skills than me, but there we were.  Just as we were on the verge of killing ourselves, things started to turn as she listened to what we wanted – stopped trying to sell us the earth, and considered that we wanted something that she wasn’t selling as standard in her gold foil and embossed folder.

45 minutes later we had a venue.  I wanted to hug Gestapo girl –  I did squeeze her arm affectionately but she recoiled from my touch – ah, she will grow to like me, you will see.

Kennith and I skipped around the estate.  We sat on a little wooden bench with lavender around us and held hands.

We however soon realized we were wasting valuable time and made our way to the wine tasting area.  There we were quaffing wines at the wine estate we were going to get married at.

My fiance bought me three bottles of wine – I could not have been happier!

I feel like the world has lifted off my shoulders and I can stop tormenting myself with venues.  I can tell all the venues sitting in my in-box to actually fek right off!  I really do want to say that to them, but I might taper it down to “thanks, but no thanks…”

The birds are singing, I am all giddy with excitement. Folks, we may just have a wedding!

Long Live Bridezilla …….

Yesterday was really not a good day in the world of wedding planning, or more importantly my wedding planning.  I had a real melt down and total humour failure. I think I actually screamed at my friend Joyce when she called me to offer me support and assistance, I was also having a little cry at my desk.  I know,  I should really stop crying at my desk at work and also not scream at Joyce.

I totally lost the plot yesterday, and was feeling a tad on the desperate side. I cannot believe that me – a nearly sane, very jaded, very rational individual seemed to have lost all sense related to confetti and wedding cake, but there we have it.

No doubt, this was the first of many subsequent break-downs, so do tune in for more.  I still have a script for Zoloft that I have not filled, so at least I can get some medication if things start really getting much worse.

I think the dress lady thinks I am going to pull a runaway bride move, so is trying to be supportive regarding my inability to commit to the dress – or any dress.  Bless her cotton socks.

So today, I am better than yesterday.  Still woke up at about 3am with a thousand things running through my mind, and lay there staring at the ceiling.

Kennith was very supportive, my friend Tanya wrote me a lovely email to offer her support and to try to give me some perspective on reality – which was great, I could just give her a big old kiss.

Loads of people have said some nice things, when they might have said “Come here so I can slap you, you stupid cow, now snap out of it!”  But they didn’t, which I am mighty grateful for.

I hope that Kennith and I go and see some venues this weekend and then commit to one and then I can tick that off and start worrying about the next thing on my list.

I still have not paid for the dress though …..

I don’t even think I am smiling inside …….

If you are hoping for an up-beat blog post, this is definitely not going to be the one for you.

I get to act like a spoilt eleven year old and have a bitch and a whine every now and then.  I don’t always have to wear my big girl panties.  This is one of those self-indulgent “poor me” moment  …

I am so over this entire wedding planning thing I really really could scream.

I am terribly frustrated and even more frustrated when I look at what I have done from the engagement date until now.  I have achieved absolute nothing.  However I feel like I have been running at 100km an hour for three weeks, only to find myself in the exact same location, but just more jaded and disillusioned.

On the upside I do have a dress … well sort of.

When I started the dress-hunt I was fine with anything – really that is what I thought.  I thought I would be fine with anything – who needs a wedding dress right?

I started on the lower end of plain.  Once I started trying on the dress, I realized that maybe there was a bit of princess inside me.  Maybe I did want the entire white huge dress, the tiara, the totally over the top dress – maybe I did, no matter what personality type I appear to be, and what people were used to be wearing.

I tried on one dress that was not too over the top, but was so purely princess fairytale, it did make my eyes water a little bit. I just wanted to leave it on and wear it forever – I think I might even have swooned a bit.

But with big dreams and big dresses, comes bigger price tags, so I scaled it down and did not make an emotional decision.  I stayed in my head-space and not in my heart-space, and decided on something that if I wore the right shoes I could wear it out for pizza afterwards.

The truth be told, I still do not actually have a dress – I have an option of a dress.  I do not have the dress, because something in my psyche is fighting against me actually paying for the dress.  Having the dress will mean that I am actually going to be part of this wedding, and there will be a wedding.  Right now I am not convinced, based on the lack of some basic fundamentals one needs to have a wedding.

I have the pay-for-your-dress-email sitting in my in-box flashing at me every time I look at it that I need to pay for my dress or else ….

The other reason the dress seems pretty unnecessary, is that we do not have a location.  So this might be one of those “all dressed up and no where to go” situations one reads about.  Venue is rather critical in a wedding.  You can’t do this like an underground rave party and just arrive and decide that this is where you are going to plug in the speakers, and there is where you will sell the ecstacy.  Weddings really do not work that way, pity, but they don’t.

I do not have a location as nothing that anyone appears to quote me on is within our budget.  I do not actually know what our budget is, other than less than I am able to get costings on.  I agree that a venue for 6 – 8 hours should not cost your than your monthly or yearly bond payment.  I really get that.  But there seems to be this impossible divide between what is available, and what we can afford.

And everywhere I look are these wonderful photos of these brides in beautiful dresses, cavorting around some divine venue, having wonderful photos taken – everyone is happy and shiny.

Then when I look at the costs of the venues I go back to re-look at the photos as I wonder how can that bride look so carefree and her bridegroom look so suave and happy when they are being charged R25 000.00 before they have even eaten food or drunk some wine?

As my pursuits of these things have discovered, R25 000.00 is not even the top end of the venue fees that are out there, but either way it is far out of our budget.

I cannot bear the thought of getting married somewhere sad and tragic just because it is affordable, rather than somewhere that is going to be romantic and heavenly.  I want it to be divine as I walk down the aisle even if it is unescorted.  I have fought against this for years, now that I have decided to give in, why can’t I be swept away instead of being dragged down by the costs of everything?

Why can’t I have parents who just say – this is your wedding, go and pick the dress you want, don’t worry, of course we will cover it.  Don’t worry about the venue cost, pick anything you like, we will cover it.

So I lament the lack of silver spoon I was born with, and feel angry that we have to pay for our own wedding when we are not exactly in the best financial position of our lives.

Being on maternity leave last year, which I like to affectionately call 4 months unemployment, can leave a less than desirable dent in your bank account and cash flow.

I want to look at the wedding photographs and sigh a little rather than cringe when I see the neon Spur sign in the background.

I am so over googling everything wedding related that I could scream – and scream and then scream some more.

I was so sure I would not buy into all this hype – I would be fine to whip on a pair of black pants a neat shirt and skip into the reception.

Well, Pandora has been released it would seem and there is a reluctant bride lurking in all of us.  I want the dress, the bos blomme, I want the professional makeup and hair person.

I want to prance around like a princess and feel absolute ridiculous for one day.  I want to relish this divine day that I have been waiting for … yes waiting for… for what feels like forever.

But the day approaches, and I am starting to feel as dark as foreboding as I can guarantee the weather will be on that day.

I am exhausted by it all, and I just want to climb off the bus, say thanks and go and enjoy a large glass of wine.

How can such a happy occasion be turning into something that just wants to make me cry and scream in frustration and anger?

As it stands, I have no dress, no ring, no venue, no patience, but I have a four meetings scheduled with a wedding officer I met in a parking lot, so right now it’s all pretty magic!

Toodles, I am off to play Bridge …….

This getting married thing seemed like such a good idea when I was young and naive – three weeks ago. Now I am feeling a bit jaded, a little very frustrated, and sadly a bit over the planning.

But I must plan, I must have a list, but I have few things that I can tick off that list right now.

On the upside, I seem to have a dress.  But start questioning myself that maybe I found the dress too early.  Maybe my REAL dress is waiting out there calling me.  I really need to get over my mental illness and pay the people for my dress, else my dress actually won’t be my dress and then I will be back to square one.

Wedding venues or the location of them, appears to be something that separates the resourceful from the clinically insane.  I appear to be in the second category, as I pop yet another Zoloft to ease the pain.

It has become apparent that if I booked an establishment and brought along 60 – 80 of my closest friends, an overhead projector and a laser pointer I would be charged one price.

The minute I use the word “wedding” in any of my discussions, suddenly I am hit with a  venue fee that makes me weep,  the food cost quadruples in value, and it seems the fine print at the bottom of all these offers gets finer and more detailed.  People keep using the phrase “your perfect wedding.”

Listen, my perfect wedding would be handing a wedding planning +R200 000.00, some basic ideas and then ask her to call me the day before the wedding to just tell myself and Kennith where to go.

I really do not want to get involved in where, how much it costs, whether there is a duck in a pond and whether my guests can drink in the chapel.

I am too pretty to be weighed down by this sort of detail.

We initially had the rather misguided idea that we were going to get married in the Hermanus or Stanford area.

At this stage the rather over-priced, not efficient and really not friendly people of that area have seriously put me off using the area as a  location – only because they won’t have me, not for lack of trying.  I have easily contacted a dozen places and have met with heart ache every time.

I am feeling a need to make a call to a help line that deals with abused and disheartened women, maybe ones that offer wine as a self-medicating route.

Right now – I have one outstanding query and it is sort of the place that appears the most workable.  The reason I say appears is because madam proprietor appears unable to email or call me and confirm anything.  I have emailed her twice and called her three times.

My best was yesterday.  I called – feeling really annoyed because I was still waiting.  Let’s call her Jenny – because that is her name -was out at Bridge could not deal with my query.  What she has been doing for the last week also escapes me a little, but I need to practice my “be patient” mantra as Jenny is out playing Bridge.

When I am old and less annoyed, I would like to go off and play Bridge, and not worry about the little things in life.

I have since realized that clearly the Overberg does not want to be party to our nuptials and it is time to put on my big girl panties and start looking in the Cape Town area.  I am still dealing with the venue fee +cost per head + ludicrous wine costs + and any other extras they decide to throw in.

My head hurts, my humour is failing me, and I am waking up at 3am lying in bed thinking about all this crap.

At this rate I am turning into a very angry, very frustrated nearly bride.

I will not be bridezilla …

Still saying the daily mantra – I will not be bridezilla, I will not be bridezilla.

So we went down to mangy brewery on the weekend, as we were out along the East Coast and it was not that far away from where we were.  We decided to go and have a look just so we could tick it off the list as being a very bad idea.

Surprisingly not as bad an idea as I had thought.  We can hire out the venue and they were very accommodating and said yes to pretty much everything we asked for, which also raises some concerns, but no doubt that is another issue.

Once we started looking around and took all the pub-people out – with my mind powers of course – it definitely had promise.  Listen after 2 – 3 glasses of wine anything can start to look promising.

We are pretty much guaranteed rain, hail, sleet and howling wind on the 17 July, so any chance of anything outside is going to be a far off dream.  They have a great outdoor ampitheatre that looks out over the valley and will be stunning on a good weather day – but we need to be realistic and realize that we are probably going to have our ceremony inside propped up against the bar if mother-nature has anything to do with it.

Fortunately the venue has these great medieval looking (circa 1995) black chandeliers which we can put great big candles on and two huge fireplaces.

So we are going to light the place up like Guy Fawkes day and have a really warm snug thing going on, as we battle to drink our wine against the elements.

If the weather is good, that is great, and it will change the dynamics slightly as we will be able to pull open all the fold away doors and have it spilling out onto the outside grass area, but we need to plan for bad weather and then be surprised if it is anything but.

I spoke to a guy this morning, and I actually heard him catch his breath when I said that we are planning a wedding in Cape Town in July …. you know when you get a sneaky sensation that you are doing something that is against your better judgement and the weather report, but you go along and do it anyway?

This may well be one of those moments ……

Strange days and stranger nights ….

Okay, today is a weird day.  Today I have a fiancé, yesterday I had a partner.

Trust me, if you are choking on your granola right now, you have no idea what I am doing.  It has been s.i.x.t.e.e.n.  years. Seriously – sixteen years leading up to this moment!  I am still in mild shock – it is all a bit surreal.

I had long resigned myself to the fact that this was not going to happen – ever.  Kennith was going to turn around to me – whilst in the midst of his midlife crisis – and casually tell me that he was now going to shack up with an 18 year old and start wearing leatherette pants.  Myself and the kids can get the hell out of Dodge!  You know, because we weren’t married and all, he could do that.

So, here we are at a rather strange little moment in our lives.

I did insist last night that Kennith go and change his status on Facebook – first. The strange things that become important when you when you are going through a bit of a shock ….   He called me this morning to ask me why I have not changed my relationship status, and accused me of “leaving him hanging!”

Kennith asked me this morning if I felt different.  I am the world’s biggest cynic about these things.  Anyone who can attest to meeting me will know that I have had many unattractive things to say about the entire matrimonial process, but strangely I did feel a bit different this morning.