Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding & the Meaning of Things

From the moment I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. Because you see, both of my parents are what we like to affectionately refer to as "pack rats" -- growing up, our house was always filled with lots of stuff. Boxes of old magazines, books, clothing, and other clutter packed every room and hallway, even interfering with simple things like eating meals together at a table or bringing other kids over to play.

But compared to some of the hoarding cases detailed in this book, our house was absolutely tidy... and I'm still not sure whether I should feel reassured or terrified by that.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Five Stages of Wedding Planning

So my wedding is coming up in less than a month. I'm happy to say that I am engaged to the most awesome person in the entire world, and that I haven't the slightest doubts about our future marital bliss. But let me tell you, this wedding planning thing is hard, stressful work.

Granted, part of this may stem from the fact that we're having a do-it-yourself backyard wedding on the smallest budget we can... but after careful observation, I've come to believe that there are certain patterns to the wedding planning process that nearly all soon-to-be-newlyweds can relate to.

And so, inspired by the infamous Five Stages of Grief, I present to you the five stages of wedding planning:
  1. Enthusiasm. The wedding is still a long way off -- so long off, in fact, that it doesn't seem like a real thing yet. You look through wedding magazines and wedding websites daydreaming about the perfect wedding, picking out colors, outfits, and decorations.

  2. Fatigue. You've sent out the invitations and now you're working out the nitty-gritty details of your big day -- making phone calls to caterers, finding a photographer, coordinating with your wedding party -- and you begin to feel worn out as you come to realize just how much there is to do.

  3. Fear. The big day is approaching fast -- too fast -- and a slight panic starts to set in. This includes both practical worries about running out of time (Did I wait too long to place that online order?) as well as more general anxieties (What if I trip midway down the aisle and fall on my face?)

  4. Denial. By now you just want to curl up into a ball and hide. You question your sanity for having decided to put on a wedding in the first place, and you find yourself fantasizing about eloping for a quickie Fat Elvis wedding in Vegas. You spend unhealthy amounts of time on activities unrelated to wedding planning, such as blogging.

  5. Relief. Everything magically works itself out somehow, the wedding goes off without a hitch, and everybody has fun. Then you head off on your honeymoon, frame your pretty wedding pictures, and live happily ever after with your shiny new spouse.
Some speculation is involved on the latter parts of this list... But overall, I'm pretty sure this is how it works.