Snowflakes in France

Reflections of a 20-something woman in publishing

Month: December, 2010

Bosom Buddies

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really
kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.  I’ve
dreamed of meeting her all my life.  I never really supposed
I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true
all at once that perhaps this one will, too.  Do you think
it’s possible?”

-Anne of Green Gables

Jennifer and I traded secrets in the plastic playhouse in her backyard when we were seven years old, banning our younger sisters as we drank imaginary tea and pinky swore that we would be bridesmaids at each others’ weddings.

Giggling back and forth between our houses on Davis Street, we watched as our moms both grew pregnant in 1993, we looked pretty together in our little white communion dresses, I wept when her dog died and we hugged tightly when she moved across town to a new house. I had had friends before her, but she was my first best friend.

And then I moved to Kentucky, about 7 hours away.

It’s easy to make new friends, and I did. But each of them always had an older friend, a friend who had been there years before me. That friend knew her when her parents were together, cut her bangs behind the house with scissors and cried when her first dog died. That friend had always been her best friend, she couldn’t be replaced.

Jenn just got married this year. I’ve looked at the wedding photos on Facebook and wonder if we still would have been friends. I think of the girls I’ve known in Kentucky, and how many of us have grown apart in just five or six years. Would Jenn and I have possibly survived 17?

But then again, my sisters and I have survived that long. Jenn’s bridesmaids were her two sisters and three other girls. A mirror of my own bridal party in April. I’ve trusted my secrets to my two sisters for their entire lives; they are my oldest friends. They’ll be standing up there with me, just as Jenn’s sisters were, just as Jenn and I promised that we would have if we were still friends.

Sisters

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Dear Martha

Dear Martha Stewart,

I’m starting to get the jitters about my wedding checklist. You see, I’ve been right on track, MORE than on track, up to now. I picked out our venues, our caterer, our photographer. I set up our wedding website, our registry, our budget. I sent out save-the-dates, booked a honeymoon in Switzerland, and helped my FH pick out tux rentals.

But now I have my invitations in hand. And I look down and see that I’m about to fly down a hill and run into that date. April 9. I really don’t want to crash into it. I’d really rather stroll. But the items on the list are just not so easy anymore. And with every month there are more and more.

Do I really need a pampering vendor? A florist? A transportation vendor? And must I pick out my bridesmaids accessories? I think they look pretty good when they pick out their own. And the DJ list…I have a first dance song, but a cake-cutting song? An anniversary dance? A last dance? I’m sorry to inform you Martha, but I don’t even have a cake!

Also, I’m pretty sure you have “Shop for undergarments” on the list twice. (Maybe that was a mistake?)

The thing is, your checklist isn’t what I’m worried about. It seems that you suddenly got me confused with someone else when you wrote out these last four months. I know there are important things to do, but is pre-wedding pampering really one of them? I feel like I’m missing something, but your list won’t tell me. So now I’m going to avoid it and try to write my own. From others’ experiences, with the help of my friends, my mom, and let’s not forget Jon.

Thanks for your help, but Martha we’re through. But don’t take offense, because our wedding wasn’t ever about you.

Paper goods sorted out

I had a minor freak-out moment yesterday when I heard that one of my friends thought he wasn’t invited to the wedding because he didn’t get a save-the-date. Like any good bride, I immediately whipped out my guest list and the file that I printed address labels from to confirm that I had not forgotten him. And then I blamed USPS. Because how sad is it that he did not get to see how adorable Jon and I look on this save-the-date?!

*Note, the date is NOT April 18. That's a template.

OK, that’s not the only reason I was upset. He was the fifth person I’d heard of who didn’t get this in the mail. Who knows how many other people didn’t get it. So I sent around an email as a catch-all (with the pic! yay!) and all is now right with the world.

(In the end, the rumors were wrong. He did get the save-the-date; it’s on his fridge — awww. But a few friends thanked me for the e-STD anyway because they had either lost or never received the paper one.)

In other paper news, I ordered my invites earlier this week. Initially, I was disappointed that my mom preferred something classic without too much of that pretty design that I see on all the wedding blog invites. But in the end I’m very happy with it.

Here’s a sneak peak:

It’s very elegant and some how managed to match the save-the-date. How very blog worthy of me! And for those who are squinting to see the script at the bottom, it’s my very favorite author’s very silly character Miss Bates, who once said,

“It is such happiness when good people get together — and they always do.”

Little Women Grown Up

Little Women is one of those universal stories that you can read and love as a 12-year-old little girl, and again as a 24-year-old woman. But perhaps I’m getting a bit more reality out of it now than I did 12 years ago.

When I picked it up two weeks ago, I thought of how disappointed I was when I watched the movie years ago because clearly Jo was supposed to marry Laurie. Wasn’t that implied in the book! How dare these scheming movie directors give him to pretty and perfect Amy!

I must have been looking for a love story formed in childhood, trying to validate whatever crush I had at the time, convincing myself that this boy was the ONE…even if we were still in elementary school. Because here I am, with only 100 pages to go, and it’s pretty clear that Jo and Laurie are not meant to be.

He proposed, she doesn’t love him and said no, and now he’s all fumy and rebellious off in Europe. And Marmee is right, they are too much alike in their temperaments and their sense of adventure. There’s no give in their relationship and their union would probably lead to utter disappointment.

So why did I think that Louisa May Alcott supported their inevitable marriage? Given Marmee’s savvy advice throughout the story, including her refreshingly modern counseling on Meg’s marriage, I’d say that she’s usually right when it comes to her girls.

Somewhere between preadolescence and my twenties, I’ve learned that women have a sense of wisdom that should be trusted. Because the first time I read this, I didn’t believe Jo when she told her Teddy that she didn’t love him. And I didn’t believe Marmee’s advice that they were too much alike. I didn’t believe my own mother’s advice that I had plenty of time to date and find the right guy or when she told me there was someone better than the schmuck I dated in high school and the unambitious boy in college. But now I see that they are right.

Hindsight can be a bitch. But it can also be a good lesson. The next time I watch the movie, I’ll judge it a little less. And as I enter into marriage, I’ll try to pay more heed to the women around me. Especially Marmee.

Update: So it turns out that when I was little I actually only read Part 1 of Little Women. Not Part 2, The Good Wives, which is where all the Amy & Laurie stuff comes in. Who knew? In any case, I’m glad I decided to re-read it and discover that!