Random Saturdays – Weddings

On the way to work, I tend to flip around between the different radio morning shows.  Everyone kept talking about weddings and I couldn’t figure out why.  Finally, one of the shows mentioned that this is June, which is apparently right smack dab in the middle of Wedding Season.  Why anyone would want to get married during the hottest part of the year baffles me.  If you’re a teacher and you want to get married when you have some time off, I get it.  Otherwise, I don’t.

Then again, I don’t really like weddings anyway.  They seem like a really expensive way to turn you and all the people around you into stressed out jerks.  I expressed this sentiment to Ben and told him that I’d rather invite my friends and family to all jump in our cars and drive through traffic together because we’d get the same results without all the fuss.  Most of the conversations on the morning shows have been about people’s bad experiences at weddings or while planning their own weddings.  People are too cheap to pay for something that a guest wants or the guests are being too demanding about something.  Future in-laws fight.  Lifelong friends stab each other in the back over the choice of dresses.  Bridezillas.  It’s really a terrible thing.

I’ve been watching Friends reruns here and there over the past few weeks, and they’ve had episodes of all of the different Friends weddings.  As funny as they all are on tv, those weddings would all be completely miserable experiences in real life.  They were all also very expensive and time consuming.  I have never understood why people put themselves through so much stress.  Why not spend that money on a down payment on a house?  Pay off student loan debt?  At the very least, go on a nice honeymoon?  Actually, people seem to like to start their lives together with lots of stress and lots of debt.  The American Plan is supposed to be that we go to college, graduate with ungodly amounts of debt, get into more debt by planning a huge wedding that nobody enjoys, go on an expensive honeymoon, and then come back and get into more debt by buying a house that you can’t afford while driving multiple cars that you can’t afford.

Right now, Ben and I are both paying on our student loans.  I graduated with $32,000 of student loan debt in 2012 and I now owe $36,000 even though I have made every one of my payments on time for the past two years.  I can’t afford to pay more on them than I’m already paying, though.  We are also saving up for the down payment on a house.  Since he has three kids and rebuilds cars, we need a house with alot of space.  As it is, Ben crams himself into a tiny garage to work on the Mustang, or he makes the three-hour trip back and forth between our house and his parents’ farm to use the trailer and/or work on the Jeep.  It would really save us time, money, energy, and stress, if we just invested into a home where he could do all of that without making the long drive.  Looking into the cost of homes, we could buy one similar to the one we’re renting right now for close to the same price as buying one that will allow him to enjoy his hobbies at home.  Thinking about adding more debt to my name frightens me, but it’s also necessary (just like it was for my degree).

So, when I think about people spending the amount of money on a wedding that I spent on college, I feel a a bit nauseous and a bit violent.  Why put yourself through that for something so stupid?!  You can celebrate the day with your friends and family without all the muss and fuss.  Eliminate unnecessary costs and stress because there will be no shortage of either of those in your life.  Have a small ceremony, gather your closest friends and family around for a nice meal, and enjoy your time together as a new family.  As far as I’m concerned, the only things about weddings that really matter is the promise that you are making to your husband/wife and, of course, the wedding cake.  All of that other mess can go somewhere.

Random Saturdays – Shoes

Man, I have got some crazy Asian monkey feet.  I mean, it’s ridiculous.  I see other women just buy whatever shoes they like as long as they fit.  I see people complain about how hard it is to buy shoes, but then they buy a new pair of shoes at least once a month or so.  Once I find shoes that fit and are affordable and/or fit other criteria on my list, I immediately start searching for more because by the time I find another pair, the pair I just bought will be worn out completely.

I have shoes for work, house shoes, and non-work shoes.  I have one main pair of each and usually additional pairs that hurt my feet and/or were ruined, but I can’t get rid of because I feel guilty for not wearing them until they have holes and are completely unwearable.  Between November 2013 and March 2014, I had switched from warm weather work shoes to cold weather work shoes and back again.  Apparently, my feet changed during the winter so that the comfy warm weather shoes that I found for work last year after looking for new shoes for a year, felt like a torture chamber on my feet in March.  I wore the $12 Converse One Stars that I got from Target in 2013 to Paris in December 2013.  They got very wet in the rain and, apparently, changed their shape, causing my feet much pain.

So, in March, I started looking for shoes.  I found some work shoes right away and was very excited.  After a couple of weeks, the strap on one shoe broke and the strap on the other shoe threatened to snap off at any moment.  I returned them and got some Sketchers for around $35.  I’ve seen old ladies wearing them, but I’m no fashionista;  I don’t care if I dress like an old lady if my feet feel good.  I also got a pair of Dr. Scholl’s shoes for $15, thinking they would be a good pair of work shoes.  They were comfy until I wore them for a few hours and they started scraping the back of my ankles.  I still wear them, but I have to put bandages on my ankles.  Because they leave my ankles tender, I have to wear bandages when I wear other flats as well.  It’s fun.

In less than two months, the Sketchers fell apart.

I was very sad.  I started looking for shoes that day, but had no luck and got a bit upset over my ugly feet and being poor and stuff.  The next day, I went to TJ Maxx on my lunch hour to look for shoes and lucked into a pair of cushiony sandals with no back and adjustable top straps and a pair of Jeep shoes. (Yeah, they make shoes. Who knew?)  The total cost – $70 with tax.  For me, that’s alot of money to spend on shoes, but I figured that I was lucky to find two pairs of shoes in one day.  If I end up not needing to take either of them back, the money was well spent.  If I do need to take one, or both, pairs back, then, well, at least I’ll have a refund or store credit.  Plus, if those shoes keep me from having to walk around a bunch of stores on my bandaged crazy Asian monkey feet looking for new shoes for a year, then it will have been worth like, five or ten dollars more.

Random Saturdays – Amanda and Angela’s Snow Day

When it snows in the DFW metroplex, everything basically shuts down because we don’t get light, powdery, fluffy snow.  No, in North Texas, we get icy snow that turns even icier on the roads.  Luckily, my friend, Amanda, and I had already planned to take the day off to visit a museum.  By the time we got going, the snow had stopped, the roads had dried up, and everyone had made their two-hour commutes to work.  I met her at her place and we celebrated by making snowballs in her apartment parking lot and throwing them at the outside wall of her apartment building.  We weren’t worried about disturbing anyone because the only thing more pitiful than our snowballs were our throwing abilities.

We set off for lunch at Legal Grounds, a local cafe started by a lawyer that, as Amanda says, “needed the money.”  On the way there, we passed an old Jeep Cherokee and started talking about how we always liked Jeeps when we were growing up, but we don’t really like them now because they look like every other SUV  and not like Jeeps at all.  At Legal Grounds, we drank our coffee, ate our Prom Cakes (banana oatmeal pancakes topped with fresh vanilla granola and caramel apple syrup), and started talking about the art in the place, which had changed since we were last there in fall.  One of the paintings was of a lion, which made me think of how majestic, beautiful, and damnhellass scary lions are.  That made me wonder how I would react if a lion attacked me, which made me think about how I don’t like guns, which made me think about how Amanda and I have been saying for years that gang fights in the 80s were cooler than gang fights nowadays because knives are cooler than guns.  Our motto is, “Bring Back Stabbing.”  So I told Amanda that I wanted to get a tattoo of a lion with a tattoo of a knife on my fist.  She said we should get a Jeep Cherokee from the 80s and put a picture of a lion with a tattoo of a knife on it on the Jeep so that nobody would try to steal it.

My dream and worst fear combined

My dream and worst fear combined

From there, we went to the Perot Museum, which was even cooler than I thought it would be, even though the space exhibit was a bit blah.  We also ran into Gabriel there!  I hadn’t seen him in over a year, so that was exciting.  Afterwards, we went across the street to eat at El Fenix.  Theoretically, this should have been easy, but every time I told Amanda, “I think you turn left here,” she’d turn right, and vice versa.  So it took awhile to get there, but it was funny giving directions to her on Opposite Day.

Part of my belated Christmas gift to Amanda (thanks to Groupon) was taking her to see The Hobbit at the Studio Movie Grill. We had time to kill between dinner and the movie, so we decided to make a Starbucks stop because Amanda had been craving it for a week.  I thought there was a Starbucks closer than the one we were heading to, but I couldn’t remember where it was.  While we were driving, I saw it and pointed it out, so Amanda turned into the parking lot, parked right in front of it, and said, “I don’t see it.”  We laughed.  I thought she was joking, but then she asked, “Why did you tell me to go to the bird store?”  At this point, I realized that while I was looking at Starbucks, she was looking at the bird store beside it.  I pointed out Starbucks to her and we laughed, and then we sat in the car with the headlights on and the engine running for another minute.  I asked, “Are we gonna do this or what?”  We laughed again and finally made our way towards coffee.

Afterwards, we made a couple of quick stops at a nearby shopping center to look for clearance coats, but we didn’t have any luck.  How can you charge over $200 for a coat that was made in China?  Has the cost of child labor gone up?  What are your overheads?  We gave up and headed for the movies.  This specific theater used to be a different movie theater, but has been completely redone. It now has crazy young people music with lots of computer-based instruments, giant couches and chairs that are hard to get out of once you sit down, and a huge bar stocked with booze.  There are flat screen TVs all over the place (anyone else think TVs in a movie theater is strange?) advertising specials or playing sports shows of some sort.  Studio Movie Grill theaters are normally just a bunch of chairs with a bunch of tables, but this one had stadium seating, which is great for moviegoers who don’t want to watch the waitstaff run back and forth all night.  I still don’t understand how the waitstaff carries all that food up and down stairs all day and night , but by golly, they do.  We had already eaten, so we didn’t get 2nd dinner, but we did get sodas as part of the Groupon deal.  I also ordered cookies because it was Snow Day dammit and we were watching The Hobbit dammit so I wanted to be a 12-year-old fatass and eat cookies and drink soda while I watched my movie.  The movie was good, and I didn’t get a headache until about two hours in, so that was nice.

After the movie, we headed to our separate abodes, filled with the sense of exhaustion that comes with Snow Days when you’re not 12.  Amanda and I have had many exciting Snow Days over the year, but this is going to be one of the few that I actually remember because I doubled up on ginkgo biloba that day.