Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Invention of Lying...(and my Convention of Geschrei-ing)

For those of you who don't know, in Yiddish, a geschrei is a bellow or scream.

So here I am, complaining in a loud voice. As per use...
I am not intending to turn this blog into purely pop-culture commentary, but allow me to view a few things through the feminist wedding goggles. The fiance and I went to see The Invention of Lying, and interesting conversations ensued. Both of us are huge Ricky Gervais fans, and I truly believe that he is one of the great undiscovered acting talents of our time...everybody loves his comedy, but my man can actually act. Most great comedians can, but again, not widely recognized.

We really liked the movie, and it totally spoke to the moral atheist in both of us, as in "while I might not believe in god, I believe in the potential of people to be good and connected to something larger than themselves." So hooray.


(as always I have a big but)

It must be at least noted that even in this world where short, pug-nosed, fatties manage to get the girl despite a scathing honesty that would have most of us curled in the fetal position for the duration of our lives, the fact remains that short, fat, pug-nosed ladies not only DON'T get to win, but they in fact DON'T EVEN EXIST.

Ricky Gervais and Louis C.K. and (for god's sake, really?) Jonah Freakin' Hill manage to find meaning in life, despite their slovenly appearances and dimwitted natures. And by the way, shame on you for your unwarranted sighs and dirty looks aimed at the chubby guys on the elevator (The whole movie reeked of "Well, you are thinking it, even if you're saying it. And really, isn't that just as bad?"). But look around this alternate truth telling Hollywood world; fat ugly chicks are nowhere to be found.

Imagine this movie with Rosie O'Donnel as the lead? Never happen. Even our funny ladies are the Cameron Diaz's and Jennifer Aniston's of the world. Its seems that unless you win the DNA lottery, YOU CAN'T TELL YOUR STORY. Not even as the funny girl. With the exception of Hairspray (1988), you never see the fat girl get the guy in a movie. And the only movie since Hairspray that went out on such a limb? The remake of Hairspray (2007). Think about it. Can you name another one? ONE MORE?! (OK, I can name one more: Babycakes, 1989, but I don't really count it because it was hardly a huge hit, and it was Ricki Lake again, and she is not the only fat girl in the world!)

There are exceptions, but let's face it, for the most part, average women are relegated to the cashiers and nurses and the occasional sidekick. It's not a cake walk for average men, but its not even close to what women face.

Maybe the Invention of Lying people were making an even larger statement that the odds are so stacked against the less "attractive" females, that in a world with no pleasantries or falsities, the less appealing of the gender would have died off generations ago. Somehow, I doubt it. I am sure upon a second viewing I would find some less-than-gorgeous-by-Hollywood-standards women in the background, filling up the bit parts. But my point is the same.

And consider this: for the overweight and/or far less than perfect women of the world, (and the truth is, most of us have been one at some point in our lives) we don't have to imagine an openly hostile world where people's disgust is, if not verbally expressed, than apparent on their face; we live there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Julie and Julia- Enraging for reasons I can't quite exlplain

I think it is safe to say that I am a pretty terrible blogger. Not that my writing is bad, but I have no staying power...I am so not used this format of writing. So bear with me anyone out there actually reading. In the meantime, may I reccomend A Mouse Bouche? Here are two ladies who are good bloggers; consistent, funny, and delish...at least what they are writing about is delish. So check them out when I am being terribly delinquent, which I promise will never happen again! (Its soooo happening again...)

Meanwhile, I have some terrible excuses for why I have been absent for so long, and I will not waste your time on them. However, I have just gone to see Julie & Julia, a movie about another terrific food blogger, and it inspired me to post again. But not for the reasons you might expect.

So if you haven't see the movie, you might want to stop reading, because I am about the divulge the only conflict there is. OK, everyone with me either already seen it, or don't care? Good.

Here's the deal; Julie Powell is like, so totally bummed about life and her career and stuff, so she takes it upon herself to start a blog and cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She has set herself up with quite the challenge, wanting to complete 524 recipes in 365 days. Its a cute concept and I am sure the blog and subsequent book were adorable, blah, blah, blah, but it is a movie and so they had to insert some conflict. Enter the somewhat schmucky husband. The movie begins with a much resisted move (on her part) to a dump in Queens, which he sort of reminds her they decided to do for the space, and she sort of reminds him in return that it was mostly so he could be closer to work. So, right off the bat, not loving him. Then, he encourages her to start this blog, and sort of rolls with the punches as she gets more and more absorbed in the task at hand. Then I guess, hubby-wubby is feeling a bit neglected and (BIG F-ING SURPISE) feels that he isn't getting laid enough (read: Hollywood short hand for neglected in his relationship.) So when Julie is finally feeling like she is accomplishing something with her life for the first time in years, I guess he just can't handle her new found self-absorption, and chooses the night of her biggest dissapointment to berate her for how she is all about herself, and only cares about her blog, and he's like really, really mad, dammit! (Did I mention he's not getting any at this point?) He storms out like a junior high cheerleader, and Julie embarks on a shame spiral of how terrible she is, and how she is so mean to her husband. There was even a scene when her and a friend discuss how she is really a bitch, that was so unfounded in anything we had previously seen, I was floored.

Anyway, he comes back and without so much as a "told you so" generously forgives her and sees her through the end of her project, although she is presumably, much easier to live with post-big fight.

Am I taking this Hollywood schlock a little too personally? Maybe. But what was interesting was the conversation I had with the man I went to see it with after it was over. (Not my fiance, by the way, but close...his brother.) The difference was, while I felt, yes her character was self-absorbed and maybe a bit of a drama queen, this was a timed project with an end in sight, and he could have sucked it up for a bit longer, or at least not chosen to dress her down on the night of her huge dissapointment. He felt that the husband had been a good sport up until that point, and that she had pushed it too far, and that this guy was a good guy and has the right to be angry because she was being so self-involved.

Which leads me to my final point, which is based on a gross generalization I am happy to make. Women get a bad rap for being self absorbed a lot of the time. Especially in the case of these characters, who I think are a good representation of many couples out there. She finally finds something she enjoys, that she might have a future in, she finally focuses on something outside of him and their relationship for for like five minutes, and he throws a hissy fit because she's being self-absorbed. Is it possible that some men don't realize that they themselves are self-absorbed, that they themselves think in terms of "I" before "we" because their mothers, and girlfriends and wives and society have made their life the priority? Because we buy lipstick and talk on the phone a lot we are self absorbed, but the entire culture is formed around football season, and they aren't? I don't know, I have just dealt with enough guys in my life who don't even realize that earning a living and taking out the garbage doesn't automatically make them a team player. Future husband not included in that group, of course.

Am I crazy? Over sensitive? Not articulating this fully? Totally full of shit?

Would love to hear the thoughts of the feminists and pro-feminists among you.

(PS. I have no idea if the same conflict appeared in the blog or the book, but either way, its weak in the movie.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happily Ever After

Emerging from Fringe world to write this post...apologies to anyone who is looking at the blog and asking, "WTF?"

So I had this very weird experience at the gym yesterday. I was on the elliptical, listening to my iPod and watching the little TV with closed captioning (this is my way, and I am very particular about it!) Since American Justice, Fashion Files, Seinfeld or any other of my standards were not on I was flipping and came across the last ten minutes of 'Dirty Dancing'.

Did you just gasp? So did I. (If you are a woman born between 1970 and 1980, you probably did.) I haven't seen it a long time, and I was thrilled to see Johnny declare to Jerry Orbach 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner,' and sweep an adorable, pre-plastic surgery Jennifer Grey onto the dance floor. And making the lift? Forget it, I was welling up right in the middle of the downtown Y.

And here's the thing I realized, watching the end of this movie again, they sort of end up together. Like, there they are dancing, in the middle of the floor, making out a bit, gazing into each others eyes, and...credits roll. So its a happy ending...a Hollywood Happily Ever After if you will.

Did you know that was how the movie ended? Because I sure didn't. I must have seen it twenty times before the 80's were over, and yet, I always "understood" that in the end, although Johnny is absolved as not the "one who got Penny in trouble" and Baby is redeemed to her father after "looking wonderful up there", in the end they part good friends. I just knew that after the credits, Baby goes off to college, realizes all that the world really has to offer a young woman with her brains and means, and she goes on to meet someone in law school, or medical school, or some other nice Jewish profession. Johnny, with a new sense of self, goes back to school, or maybe enrolls in learning a trade, and makes a respectable living for himself. He probably met a nice lady, more in his economic class, closer to his age, but never forgot what Baby did for him.

And there I am, sweating my patootie off on the elliptical at the gym going, "Hold up, wait minute," realizing for the first time that that is not how the movie ends at all. At the end of the movie, we are led to believe they may in fact live happily ever after.

How did I get so confused? I was only 9 when the movie came out, it's unlikely I came up with the whole "Baby-goes-off-to-college" alternative ending myself. It all clicked suddenly. My mother must have put the idea in my head. There I was romanticizing the idea of Johnny in his leather jacket and dancing pants, and she stepped in and put an end to that right away. And sent Baby off to college, no less. A nice touch.

Sure. She was no fool. She didn't want me growing up and looking at the Johnnys of the world in spite of the Neils. She didn't want me to fetishize the shcutzim (non-Jewish men) and end up with some poor, artistic good looking guy just out of LOVE.

OK, so that last part may have backfired on her. And no, its not that my mom didn't want me to find love, it's just that she didn't see love and financial stability and mutually exclusive. And she wasn't wrong. In fact, she was pretty smart, because she had me fooled until this past weekend that the end of Dirty Dancing is a bitter sweet goodbye where everything works out for the best.

And her little white lie had a secondary outcome, one she could not have foreseen, but that may have been the most valuable part of all. Imagining that Baby and Johnny didn't end up together, that she went on to college and that he was just the first of a lifetime of experiences and lovers, sort of gave me the freedom to imagine that getting the guy, and ending up hitched isn't the sum of a lifetime. And that relationships are worth having even if they are not forever; there is always something to be learned, to be cherished. In the end, it was really quite a feminist ideal. Happily ever after doesn't always depend on finding the right man, it depends on you, and making you own Hollywood ending.

So thanks Mom. But I wonder what else she was lying about?

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Feminist Wedding has gone global

Check it out!

Recently I had a long chat with a Houston Chronicle reporter about feminist weddings. Lo and behold she decided to being the article with the very loaded statement:

"Alix Sobler is getting married."

No joke. That is how it begins. The very first sentence.

Holy shit!

The article goes on to talk to many interesting women, self-designated feminists, (and non) about their experience getting married and planning a feminist wedding. I thought the article was great, but because of space requirements and other interest interviews there were many points I had made to the reporter that were not included. I think I will make some of them now.

*One of the most "feminist" things about my wedding, is that in a way, it came after my marriage. Jason and I have been together 7 (!) years. We arrived at the decision to have a wedding after we lived together, after our finances were combined, after we had all the big talks regarding family and religion, after we had shared equity, after we adopted two children of the feline persuasion...neither of us felt pressured by the other one to hurry up and commit. We truly had a marriage before a wedding, and that made the decision an easy one.

*In some ways our wedding will seem very traditional on the surface. White dress, walks down the aisle, etc. There are many hard core feminist couples who got married in hiking boots on the top of the mountain that scoff at the very notion of me calling my very Jewy, somewhat traditional wedding feminist at all. But here's the thing: In an effort NOT to make this day all about my (read: the bride's) experience, to include family and friends and relatives to whom this is an important event, (not to mention the groom,) I have had to make some concessions as well. (I was forbidden, FORBIDDEN to have an outside wedding, even with a tent by some senior members of my family. Could I have gone ahead and done it? Probably, but because this is not THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF MY LIFE as a woman, I realized that we should take other people's feelings into consideration. Within reason.)

* The bottom line in this. A lot of hard core feminists believe that marriage is an outdated, patriarchal institution that has no place for feminists. If that is true, then why not just say, "F it, I am already engaging in an anti-feminist ideal, why not go all the way with the veil and the doves and the whole shebang?" And I have struggled with this. But I think there needs to be room to reassign the meaning of marriage. In my experience my marriage has already been one of equality and mutual respect. We share everything from money and housekeeping to our frustrations and hopes. There is nothing "inherently patriarchal" about my marriage, and maybe that is a new option within in the last 100 years, but its true. So if we can reassign the meaning of marriage, maybe its not such a stretch to reassign the meaning behind weddings. And here is my first reassignment:

THE WHITE DRESS: For generations it has symbolized the virginity and therefore value of the bride. I love a white dress, but it was not enough for me to say, "Well, it makes me stand out." So here is my new meaning, at least partially. On the day of my wedding, my partner and I start a new. The white of my dress will signify a clean slate, a blank page, a new chance for us to write our story. Its not that all that has come before is forgotten, but lets say we are getting our chance for another fresh start, the next chapter, this time as an officially married couple.

Who's with me?

Check out the full article in The Houston Chronicle.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Very Long Engagement

Its true, in some ways, Jason and I getting married is redundant. We share a home, custody of two cats, a bank account...our blood and money is mixed, so to speak, and as far as the government is concerned we've been married for ages. After seven years, and at my age (early 30's) I have to admit there is a part of me that feels ridiculous shopping around for white dresses, and posing for engagement shots. The whole thing feels a bit not me, and if me, then perhaps a decade over due.

And then there is the fact that from the time we got engaged (or more accurately, decided to just do it already,) to the time we actually have our wedding, a year and a half will have passed, adding even more time to our already established life together. I keep thinking, "Is it silly to be bothering with all of this now? Shouldn't have we done this when we were 23, and still infatuated with each other and just dying to be together every second? Isn't a wedding something that is supposed to make you count down the seconds? I see young brides who can't wait six months to get married. I was like,'If we can't get that wedding band I want, I am willing to wait another six years.'" Considering all my issues with how this whole thing reflects on me as a feminist anyway, why are we doing it at all?

Not to make it look like I am just doing things because my man tells me to, I did get some good sound reasoning from Jason as to why it makes sense for us. (He's my best friend, of course I am going to look to him for advice). The truth is, a wedding like this one, a chance to get together all of our friends and family and declare our love for each other is a nice kick in the pants after seven years. We are examining our love for each other, we are looking at our future together, and reaffirming, "yeah, this thing is forever. At least that is the plan."

Ditto on the engagement. For the next year, we have the luxury of little positive shocks to the nervous system of our relationship. We are planning this big milestone together. Whenever we find ourselves falling into the same old routine there is some decision to be made or thing to plan related to our wedding that brings us together. And instead of rushing through it, we're milking it for all its worth.

In a way we are doing it backwards. I don't think of us as 'getting married' because in my mind we are already married. We are having a wedding, and whether its to make it official to everyone else, or to celebrate that milestone to remind ourselves, I think it is only fitting to stop and question the whole thing every once in a while. Especially for a feminist.

Monday, April 27, 2009

White Wedding? Um...

Sorry I've been away so long friends! Off in radioland...

OK, so I am getting ready for a trip home to NY, and while there I will go on my first sojourn into wedding dress territory. I know I want to keep it cheap, I am leaning towards a JCrew dress (haven't you heard, JCrew does wedding dresses now...), and I am thinking very simple...no lace, no sparklies, and no veil.

But there is one traditional thing I just can't seem to let go of...I really want to wear white. Doesn't have to be pure white, very comfortable with ivory, or even champagne coloured, but I can't seem to get away from the standard image of "bridal".

And I am not even sure why. I am a total slob and will probably have wine down the front of my dress within the first 20 minutes. Also, have I earned the white in the 'traditional sense'..um, no. But I can't picture it any other way, now that I am allowing myself picture it, and I am not sure why. I have been going with the excuse of "when else do you get to wear a white dress?" But I am not sure that is really why. Is it totally hypocritical to stick with that weird standard?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making a list, checking it twice

It's more than a year away and this wedding is already taking up a huge chunk of my time. And the drama has already begun. Granted, its a slight drama, more at a "very special episode of a sitcom" level of drama than say, an "Ibsen" or "Chekhov" level of drama, but it is all just right around the corner. I can feel it.

Who to invite? This is the question. Do we invite 150 people assuming only 100 will come (since its a big trip for about half the potential guests), or do we invite 100 people, and end up with 75? Or can we do a second round of invitations once we get the initial RSVPs based on room? Or is that totally rude? And how many of our parents friends/cousins we barely know are we really obliged to invite?

This is not really a feminist dilemma, I am just consumed with thinking about this at the moment, and had to share.

Also, (and this is a tiny bit more along the lines of feminist issues) are we allowed to tell our friends to leave their kids at home? There will be some children there who are family members, and some infants who can't be away from moms, and some out-of-towners who will have a harder time finding a sitter in Winnipeg. But what about our local friends who think its cool to just bring their kids everywhere with them (and some of them are not the most under control kids, or the most hands on parents)? How do you say to some one, "you're invited, but leave little Johnny at home please?"

Sunday, April 5, 2009


There is an interesting challenge, planning a "Jewish style" wedding in a city where I only know gentiles. I use the term "Jewish style" modeled after the term "Kosher style" in that we are taking the facades and cultural representations of the Jewish Wedding, without the Rabbi, prayers, and, well...without the religion I guess.

I don't even know how this is going to play out when it comes to the ceremony, right now I am trying to navigate through the plans for the reception. And I am wondering if other people know more about it this. Is it only Jews that dance through the whole wedding? All of the Jewish weddings I have been to, you dance right away after the ceremony and cocktail hour, and then the dance in punctuated by the meal. At the non-Jewish weddings I have been too, there is the ceremony, then the whole dinner, speeches, and only after dessert is served do people get up to dance. That seems to be the norm here in Winnipeg, and it is making it hard to plan my Jewish style wedding, especially without any other Jews around. I am not a gal who has been imagining her wedding day since she was a kid. Not even close. And there is nothing wrong with what I perceive as the "gentile style" (ooh, that has a nice ring to it), but when I think about the wedding I want to have, the one that we should have and represents us, the dancing the night away thing seems pretty important.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Recession?

Good god, if I didn't know any better I would think it was the gay 90's again...

Apparently, Wedding masters The Knot are launching 75 new wedding websites " to offer the most robust local resources available for today's couples tying the knot. "

According to their announcement:

"At a time when the economy is pinching all advertising budgets, The Knot is focused on adding value for our local advertisers by maximizing their exposure online," said David Liu, CEO of The Knot Inc.

I checked the list, and naturally, Winnipeg is not on it. (sigh.)

I guess the idea is to help people keep their budgets down by giving more detailed, local oriented feedback and planning, but I have been looking at wedding photos online for 3 months now, and the more pictures I look at, the more directions I feel pulled in. Now The Knot is adding more than 1,700 real wedding photos, and I shudder to think how long it will take me to look through them, and how many new ideas will crop up in the process!

I feel like I went from not-even-interested-in-getting-married to bridezilla in under a minute. This vortex has a strong pull. Feminists, beware.

Monday, March 30, 2009

If I could marry my cat...I would think about it

You know that ridiculous argument against same sex marriage, that if we allow people of the same sex to marry each other, then the next step is bestiality? Well, sometimes I look at my big orange fella blinking at me lazily through eye buggers, and I think, "Hell yeah!"

OK, not really. (But sort of). But I use this jovial opening to introduce an issue that is a thorn in the side of my wedding. Same sex marriage, and the lack of legality. Now, I live in Canada, and same sex marriage is legal here, so it is honestly less of an issue. But I have guilt about living in Canada and what I am getting in general (free health care, regulated banks, etc.) and as an American, I do still care about the rights of my fellow Americans.

Even in Canada, the thrilling victory of Obama was dampened by the Prop 8 debacle in California, and there was this exasperated sense of "Come the hell on, America! Get with the program." In Canada same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, and guess what? People are still getting married (HELLO?), people are still having babies, families are staying together, and guess what else? We have had an influx of wonderful homosexuals wanting to get married and live in a country that fully accepts them and extends them all the rights that they deserve. So suck on that Dobson and co!

There has been a lot of talk in New York, my home state, of legalizing same-sex marriage but the fact remains that in most of the United States, there are people who are not legally allowed to marry the people they choose. I have issues getting married knowing that the same rights are not available to other people. I have come to terms with the fact that there are other many compelling reasons to get married, but that is definitely a hang up that I have.

We have decided to create a special wedding book for our guests that highlights both the reasons we are getting married, and some of the reasons we hesitated before making that decision (I know, incredibly romantic, but more on that later.) We are definitely including the limited legality of same-sex marriage in the world as one of the reasons we hesitated.

And as far as my cat is concerned...there is no need to worry. He let me know that he really likes me as a friend, but turns out I'm not really his type.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Belle You Can't Un-ring

Don't hate me for my blog title! I know its terrible, but I happen to be working on a play about diamond rings right now that I have been desperately trying to come up with a title. I needed a place to deposit at least one of the hilarious rejects, hence the title of this blog "A Belle You Can't Un-ring".

So here it is, my first post about the dreaded engagement ring. I say "dreaded" ironically, not to be ironic. I did dread this post, and in some ways, the whole "ring question" because I really struggle with this issue on a lot of levels. I am interested to hear responses from other women and men on what they think. I expect this will be an ongoing discussion.

Full disclosure, I wear an engagement ring. I would like to say I wear ring on my left ring finger that is full of other meanings, but to the world, it's an engagement ring like any other, so let's call a spade a spade (or in this case, a diamond.) Here's what happened. I had come to terms with the fact that although I really like diamonds as jewellery, I was not going to get an engagement ring. My partner and I just didn't believe in them for several reasons:

  1. Buying a new diamond is difficult if you are trying to avoid blood diamonds. It can certainly be done, but it's harder.

  2. They're expensive! Duh. OK, so maybe you don't wear a diamond, but you can have another kind of engagement ring. Yes but...

  3. Why should he buy me something and not vice-versa. And OK, let say I get him something really nice too, like an expensive watch. Its still not the same. No one is looking at his watch and saying, "Nice watch, you must be engaged to a real nice lady." (Plus it just so happens my partner won't wear a watch, so my options are so limited)

  4. I don't want to feel like I am wearing a symbol of ownership.

There are more reasons, but you get the idea, and maybe you have your own. It's certainly not uncommon anymore to go sans ring. When we got engaged we had just planned a big trip to Belize. We kind of said that we were spending the money some couples spend on engagement rings on this big trip together that we can both enjoy and that can mark the new stage in our relationship.

But like I said, I am wearing an engagement ring. So here's how it happened.

My mother died five years ago from cancer. I will admit that her absence may have delayed my willingness to get married. I inherited her jewellery after she died, but I didn't really pay any attention until recently. When I came across her engagement ring, I really got choked up. My mother wore it every day of her life, she was never without that ring. It was somewhat unusual shape and cut for nowadays, and it was so uniquely her, I was just so drawn to it. Also, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that inheriting a ring takes away half the problem; I don't have to spend any money, and I don't have to worry about contributing to the bloodshed.

But the symbol of sexism still remains, and that is what I struggle with now. I wear it because it is a way of remembering my mother, involving her in my wedding and life in a way. But if I am being honest, I also just love the look of it at this point. I don't like being instantly recognized as "an engaged person" but the ring itself is beautiful and carries so much meaning.

I know the truth; I didn't spend an exorbitant amount on an engagement ring, nobody got on his knee with a jewellery box to pop the question. I came about my ring in the most painful of ways, and I would give it back in a second if it meant my mother would be alive. But she's not, and I carry this little piece of her with me in this way. But I now face an age old question, does the truth matter, when it appears to the world differently? I can know the truth until the cows come home, but what kind of a feminist am I if I am perpetuating an image that sets us back decades?

Look forward to your thoughts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coming soon to a Feminist Wedding near you

Jason and I were thinking about doing a fake movie poster for our save the date, and I came across this cute thing on the interwebs.

Would love to hear suggestions for possible movies that would be recognizable to our "audience". So far all I've gotten was "Dumb and Dumber."

Thursday, March 19, 2009


OK, I just couldn't help it. I had to post this. Here is just a sampling. Check out the link above for more.

Officially officiating

We have picked a date and place for our wedding. Exciting!

We knew we wanted to have the ceremony and party in the same place, and we wanted a "Jewish-style" wedding where the dancing and dinner happen simultaneously (I have been to a few where you eat, have speeches etc. and then dance afterwards, and its not for me) so we chose the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (Oh, yeah, and we are getting married in Winnipeg, which is limiting in itself.) So big thanks in advance to my dear family and friends who are schlepping their generous asses from NY to the 'Peg just to watch me marry a guy I've been living with for five years.

So, we have our non-religious location and date chosen (its more than a year away, so there will be lots of posting between now and then, I am sure.)

So, the next step was to figure out who is actually going to marry us. We are both non- religious people (and very consciously non-religious, not just lazy) so we knew we weren't going to have any clergy. We also knew we wanted a friend to perform the wedding, someone who knew us as people and as a couple. But choosing a friend is not easy, it has to be someone who speaks well, writes well, knows us well...

Actually for us it was easy. The right person came to mind immediately. Not only was he a great friend and a great mind, he has done it before, and he knows what it means to make this kind of commitment. He is married to one of the smartest, loveliest, people I know. They themselves have a wonderful relationship and great senses of humor and...wait a sec...

I have never been to a wedding where a couple performs the ceremony, and my partner loved the idea when I suggested it. Technically only one person can sign the papers, and we haven't discussed which one of them will actually be the legal officiator, but we don't care. Who ever does not can serve as a witness. As far as we are concerned we are being married by a couple, a man and a woman, which in our case, reflects our commitment to an equal partnership, friendship and love.

Feminist wedding victory #1!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The F list

Look, its Sunday night, and if you can believe it I worked all day (yes in my pajamas, yes lying in bed, yes with the t.v. on mute intermittently, but it was work dammit!) so maybe now is not the time to be posting at all, but I have been thinking all day (between work and Law & Order reruns) about the many issues I want to discuss here, and rather than just pick one at a time, I decided I need to have a list going forward of the main things I want to address so I don't forget. So here are some of the things I am either sure about/struggling with/clueless about with regards to my wedding. Meanings behind things, whether I can reassign them meanings, or whether that is total bullshit anyway. OK, the list, then bed, brain cells preserved for more writing tomorrow.

1) Engagement rings (blech) - I hate even thinking about what a hypocrite I am (might be)
2) White wedding dress (laugh, then sigh. I totally want to wear one.)
3) Being walked down the aisle
4) writing our own vows
5) wedding cake? and then cutting the wedding cake?
6) invitations addressed from parents (no, on so many levels, but still want to talk about it)
7) Engagement parties
8) Flowers? In our global warming, diminishing resources world?
9) Religious elements in the service...yikes. I'm a Jew. He's a Mennonite. That's going to be a long post. Or several long posts.
10) Band or DJ (OK that is less of a feminist question, but seriously band or DJ?)

I can't think of any more tonight. These should be enough to get us started. Open to your suggestions to peeps.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Maiden voyage

Initial thoughts.

OK, I am a writer, but I have never blogged before. The whole enterprise intimidates me, as I am on the tail end of a generation whose worst nightmare was having their diary read by anyone. I know, I know, this is a not a diary, and these days, my worst nightmare is not that my diary might be read, but how boring people would find it. But, I procrastinate.

This is a blog about my impending (ahem), upcoming nuptials. My wedding is planned for a little over a year from now, and the stress has begun.

Here's the thing, it is not the bridezilla-stress made iconic by shows like, uh, lets see Bridezillas, for starters. Its not the idea of a perfect wedding, or a perfect space like in Bride Wars, and it is certainly not a worry about the guy and whether he's the one for me, like in the...oh god, there is not enough time in the day.

No for me the stress is getting behind the idea of a wedding in a way that is not a total compromise of my feminist ideals. My partner and I are adults who been together for 7 years, lived together for four, and we are entering into a legal and romantic contract with our eyes open, our expectations realistic, and despite this clinical explanation, we are very, very in love.

He wanted to get married. And so did I, in a way. But we put it off. And off. And off. There were lots of reasons, I could fill 10 more blogs. But one of the reasons is the fear of becoming part of the consumer wedding machine, of losing my identity and, perhaps worst of all, compromising my feminist ideals in pursuit of some fairy tale wedding, which I don't really believe in, and I know will have no bearing on my actual marriage. (Marriage? What does that have to do with a wedding.)

I gotta tell you, I am don't see myself tripping down that particular rabbit hole, at least, not consciously. But I have decided to keep this blog as a way of tracking my research (yeah, I'm doing research about it) and share my pro-feminist wedding plans with anyone who is interested.

And also as practice with this whole "blog" thing. I figure I should give it a try. Since it really seems to be catching on.