Friday, February 27, 2009


Yesterday I learned that Dr. Fiancé doesn’t mind the taste of lemon curd so much as the name of the stuff. “Unless you’re referring to the Kurdish people, I don’t like the word,” he explained. “So if we tell people our wedding cake contains layers of, say, lemon Iraqi, you’d go with that cake?” I mocked—unsuccessfully.

My mom is flying in today from Iowa for a weekend visit. We’re supposed to be doing wedding planning stuff while Dr. Fiancé’s out of town, but I confess I’m not in the mood.

Though I probably could be talked into shopping for shoes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Would Marie Antoinette Say?

A couple of smart, creative friends have gently suggested that Dr. Fiancé and I have a “groom’s cake” in addition to a wedding cake. I’m sorry, but what the fuck is a “groom’s cake?” Why would a wedding need two cakes? Are wedding cakes “bride cakes”? I’d always assumed that wedding cakes belonged to the couple—that’s why they slice off a piece and feed it to each other before anyone else can have any. If you have a groom’s cake, do you have to feed each other a piece of that, too? Which one do you eat first?

Isn’t having two cakes just a way of announcing: We’re so incapable of compromising that we couldn’t agree on something as simple as dessert? Or does it say: We’re so good at picking our battles that we won’t waste our time trying to come to consensus on something as trivial as dessert?

Call me old-fashioned, call me inflexible, call me a pain in the ass, but I just want one cake.

Is this the first step towards becoming a bridezilla?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Woman Knows

I’m pretty positive I’m not pregnant. The being hungry all the time thing passed—a momentary state of affairs perhaps born out of the fact that I generally don’t eat enough protein. Or vegetables. Or whole grains—whatever they are. (I like my bread the way I like my vodka-and-kahlua drinks and the way I like my wedding cake: white).

I’ve always figured that I’ll be the sort of woman who knows when she’s pregnant. How does she know? She just knows.

This is how I knew I’d broken my toe, how I knew each time I've had a UTI, how I knew it was the sausage in the spaghetti sauce that make me barf all night, not the zucchini.

Of course, sometimes I’m wrong.

Before Dr. Fiancé, there were any number of men I just knew I was going to marry—the Brazilian/Spanish geneticist, the Crow Indian poet, the guy from Idaho with whom I shared an amalgamated French-English language that his girlfriend could not understand, the creative writer I met on the first day of grad school who clarified to our peers that though I was in a relationship with a woman, I was definitely not a lesbian.

How did he know? He just knew.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And Eat It, Too

Fuck it, I want white cake at my wedding. Sans little brown flecks. Maybe Dr. Fiance will go for it if we replace the lemon curd with chocolate? Or maybe barbecue sauce? He's a really big fan of barbecue.

Have Your Cake

Dr. Fiancé and I tasted wedding cakes this evening: a coconut one that evoked the smell of suntan lotion, an almond one peppered with little brown flecks sullying the cake’s virginal whiteness, and the one with the rich delicious flavor accented with thin layers of lemon curd. Guess which was my favorite.

Dr. Fiancé preferred the coconut and almond options. He said the rich delicious cake was neither rich or delicious, even without the lemon curd. This from a man whose favorite birthday cake flavor is oh-so-culinarily-daring “yellow.”

As soon as we realized our taste buds were following different trails of crumbs down divergent paths, we just sort of stopped talking, returning our attention to Step-Brothers, a movie I'd specifically selected for its antidote-to-girly-things-like-tasting-wedding-cakes properties.

I could probably get excited about the almond cake. Maybe I’ll be able to come to regard the little brown flecks not as blemishes but as confetti—the confetti of compromise.


I guess I really wanted Dr. Fiancé to see the error of his ways and take a bite of the rich, delicious cake and be all, “Oh this is lemon curd? I love this stuff. I must have been confusing it with lemon Jell-O. Silly me. Yes, by all means, let’s serve this cake at our wedding. It’s perfect—just like you.” [Smackery sounds of kissing.]

Once again, felled by the power of my high expectations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One or Two or Three of My Favorite Things

I submitted my grant proposal online last night. It wasn’t due until Friday, so I’m feeling pretty grown-up about the whole thing.

If only I could translate some of that adult-level having-my-shit-together-ness into patience. It’s been 18 hours and already I have the urge to check the website to see if they’ve made their decision. June is going to be a very long time in coming.

Not to mention July 13. Can't we just do this wedding thing and move on with our lives?

Must we choose a cake flavor and style and menus for two dinners and two breakfasts and pick out shoes and jewelry and a photographer and a dress for my person of honor and music for the procession and the reception and flowers and more flowers and still more flowers and outfits for the boys and a dress for my mom and a sleeping arrangement for all the guests and a way of getting all the food and cake and flowers halfway up a mountain?

Was this wedding thing really my idea? Why on earth would a person for whom every tiny thing does matter—a person fond of saying that god is in the details (even though she’s an atheist) and who uses only high-quality wrapping paper and cloth ribbons on birthday and Christmas presents and keeps her art supplies in old Ball jars that she bought not in small part because they say Pat’d July 14, 1908 and she met her fiancé on July 14—how the hell could such a person take on planning a wedding and delude herself into thinking she could be low-key about it?

This morning the issue was lemon curd.

I myself am a fan. A big fan. I have a family recipe for the stuff and make it on special occasions—or, more accurately, when I make lemon curd the day becomes a special occasion. It’s smooth and creamy and tart and completely delicious.

When Dr. Fiancé put me in charge of “artistics,” I of course assumed the cake fell under my purview.

I did some web research and visited my favorite Seattle bakery and tried a slice of “European style cake, ivory in color with a rich delicious flavor that is accented with thin layers of homemade lemon curd and fresh raspberry preserves.” The flavor was indeed delicious—rich and buttery but not too heavy, thanks in part to the light, refreshing zip provided by the zesty lemon curd accent—and my work was done. So simple. So easy.

Too easy.

This morning on our daily walk Dr. Fiancé said something about how next weekend when he’s in Vegas with his boy friends and my mom’s in town from Iowa, she and I can do fun wedding-planning stuff “like choosing a cake.”

“I already chose the cake.”

“The one with the lemon curd?”

Uh. Yeah. The one with the lemon curd.

It turns out Dr. Fiancé, who has eaten my insanely tasty lemon curd on numerous occasions and declared it to be quite tasty doesn’t like lemon curd.

A crabby exchange ensued, the kind I’m sure our neighbors appreciate us having within earshot of their homes. “Is the cake one of your two things?” Dr. Fiancé asked in a tone that can only be described as pointed.

Oooh. Guilty. I’ve tried cashing in my “TBD” on the style of Dr. Fiancé’s tux, the number of attendants, the decorations at the inn and in the church and on our persons. And now, the cake.

Dr. Fiancé says he doesn’t care about the cake one way or the other—the lemon curd one is fine if it means he doesn’t have to add “taste cakes” to his to-do list. I, however, am not wild about the idea of feeding my chosen mate, the love of my life, the father of my future children a sugary morsel of desert symbolizing the sweetness of our union only to have him make a face and spit it out or fake a smile as he gags on one of my favorite things.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love Like a Red, Red Beet

Tonight Dr. Fiancé made a belated Valentine’s Day dinner with a theme: steak, red wine, red chard with bacon, slices of blood orange, and—the best part—beets hand-carved into heart shapes.

Am I an asshole for wanting a card, too?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Very Hungry Fiancée

No matter how much I eat, I cannot seem to get full. Granola, toast, homemade blueberry muffins, leftover Valentine’s Day dinner Thai food, a ginger cookie, some caramel-covered chocolate macadamia nuts—and still hungry!

Also, I’m the teeniest bit queasy.

And am having to pee all the time.

But that’s only a sign of late pregnancy, right? Not a brand-new one?

“I hope I’m not pregnant,” I said to Dr. Fiancé as I poured Jack Daniels into my second Coke of the evening, a chaser for the pasta-and-chicken-and-spinach dinner my dear chef-of-a-fiancé whipped up for dinner—and a non-prescription attempt to keep myself from blowing up at my dear travel-agent-of-a-fiancé after he revealed that my six hours of research for an upcoming trip to Miami were for naught because the trip wasn’t meant to be a “sit around by the pool” sort of a deal but “an adventure,” a phrase I have learned means “we’re not spending more than $100 a night for lodging so we can save up money to take more trips on which we won’t spend more than $100 a night on lodging.”

“You want to be pregnant,” he reminded me, not glancing up from the newspaper.

“Not yet. Not quite. Not if it means being super-hungry and feeling like I have a UTI for nine months and not fitting into my wedding dress.” I shook my head vigorously, no. “Do they even allow pregnant people on South Beach or in the fancy hotels we’re going to sneak into to use their pools?”

Dr. Fiancé, who has known me for a while now kept his eyes trained on the paper, not saying a word.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selective Advertising

What is it with people who talk your ear off on airplanes? I don’t mind a tiny bit of light banter—just enough to make it less awkward when your knees knock together while you reach up for your bag of salmonella peanuts or when you have to climb over their lap to make it to the bathroom. I just don’t understand how people can be oblivious to such “I don’t want to chat” social cues as holding a book in front of your face or turning your entire body sideways to look out the darkened window or closing your eyes and lightly snoring.

My companion today seemed to know he was being annoying, making comments like, “I should let you read” quickly followed by, “Look at this valentine my youngest made me before I left this morning saying Daddy Daddy wait I have something to give you she’s normally a better artist than this but she was in a hurry such a creative kid too smart for public school my wife home-schools our four kids the oldest is fourteen and starting college I write software for flight simulators my wife has a master’s in psychology would have been a PhD but her advisor wanted her to cut up rat brains what do you write about?”

What do I write about.

I’ve never been good at summary—if I were I probably wouldn’t be an essayist and certainly wouldn’t have to write an entire blog to sort out my life. What do I write about? “My life... You know... stuff that happens.”

Clearly I need to work on my pitch.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Logic of Love

Dr. Fiancé came up with a division of wedding labor to help us stay off each others’ toes, thereby keeping bickering to a minimum. Or perhaps to a medium. He’s in charge of logistics and I’m in charge of “artistics.” This after I had failed yet again to call the woman at the inn to book the cabins for our guests.

“So you’ll call the lady, then?”

Dr. Fiancé got that impish Tom Sawyer look in his eye and explained that people are more “art” than “logic,” so interacting with humanity falls to me.

Where did I find this guy?