Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What happens when you re-watch a favorite movie from your childhood

Brace yourselves.  Long rant coming up.

I would like to preface this post by saying that re-watching movies over and over is something I have done my whole life.  I have an obnoxious collection of DVDs.  I love the overwhelming nostalgia that washes over me when I watch a beloved movie from my early years.


Now that I am an adult, I realize that some of those cliches are true.  I do side with the parents over the children.  I do call out the ridiculous nature of less-than-realistic occurrences for the sake of entertainment.  And sometimes... I get angry.

An example: I get angry at Val (the son) in the Birdcage when he asks his father to hide his homosexuality in order to impress his conservative future father-in-law.  Oh yeah, and he's 20 and he wants to marry an 18-year-old.  Because that's appropriate.

I was watching Mrs. Doubtfire, another favorite in my collection of movies staring the late, great Robin Williams.  And I got angry.  Really angry.  At Sally Field.

I realize that she is supposed to be the villain in the movie.  We're not supposed to sympathize with her.  I'm not even sure we're supposed to like her.  But only as an adult (and perhaps through the lens of a teacher) do I realize how truly horrible her character is.  Let's jump down that rabbit hole and examine the evidence.

Our introduction to Miranda Hillard shows her walking into her house with a birthday cake for her son, and discovering that her husband, the actor (a profession the movie implies is less-than) has thrown their now 12-year-old son a sweet party, complete with pumping music and a petting zoo.

Granted, after a day at work - especially a soul-sucking corporate one like Miranda's, - the last thing I would want to come home to is a loud party.  But as a parent, I might consider holding in my disappointment until the guests have left, lest I ruin my little boy's day.  But this isn't what she does.  Instead, she throws a tantrum, and cuts the party short.

Later that evening, she and her husband are cleaning up after the party and she continues to gripe about how she's tired of cleaning up, and she's tired of being the disciplinarian parent, and basically continuing to tantrum about how her soul-sucking corporate life sucks and she doesn't get to have any fun.  All of which, she blames on her husband, who (perhaps a bit too enthusiastically) was only trying to treat his son to a great birthday surprise.  And oh by the way, all three kids are not-so-secretly listening to their parents have this argument from the staircase.

And then she drops the D-bomb.  In a yelling, screaming fit, she exclaims that after 14 years of being the un-fun one, "it's over."  She wants a divorce.  Again, I remind you, the kids are listening to this conversation.  And in case you forgot, it's still her son's birthday.  That's right.  Mom just said she wants to divorce Dad, on her son's birthday.  And he heard the whole thing.

Throughout the rest of the movie, her motives change.  No longer is she just angry at her ex-husband, but she has seemingly come to the conclusion that he is also an unfit father, and fights for SOLE CUSTODY.  When she comes to pick them up from his new apartment (an hour early, after dropping them off an hour late), she insults his dwelling, his choice of dinner, and his use of language around their children.  She calls them "her" children, as though they don't belong to him anymore.  And again, all of this lashing out happens in front of their children.  She also starts dating one of her clients almost immediately after she's asked for a divorce which is both unprofessional and a little questionable when you consider how quickly that relationship progresses.

I can tell you from personal experience that hearing your parents regularly fighting as a child is pretty damaging to your psyche when you reach adulthood.  While my parents never actually got divorced, it was a frequently dangled threat.  And when other parents would get divorced, I used to hear my mother repeat one critical piece of advice.  "Leave the kids out of it."

I'm not going to sit her and pretend that cross-dressing and posing as a nanny to spend time with your children is a viable, or even sane idea.  But I understand that act of insanity more than I understand trying to take your children away from their father because you were tired of being the bad guy.  I have news for you... you are still the bad guy.  You are the worst guy.

So in conclusion, both parents are wrong in this movie.  Miranda Hillard has some seriously confused anger and makes her ex's punishment far more extreme than his crime.  Daniel Hillard is borderline insane for using his acting skills and his brother's talent in the field of make-up to secretly spend more time with his children.  But at least I really believe him when he tells the social worker that he needs his children.  He doesn't dress up for malicious or retributive reasons.  He does it because he is a loving father who can't live without his children.  Miranda Hillard is rarely seen showing even the slightest affection for her children.  She is a controlling, corporate drone who cares only about appearances and status.  If you ask me, perhaps she is the unfit parent in this scenario.

But I still love this movie.  I still love Sally Field.  I still love Robin Williams.  I still love Pierce Brosnan.  And I won't stop watching just because it makes me angry.  Mrs. Doubtfire is a piece of my childhood, and I will cherish it forever.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pet Peeves

Just a few pet peeves of mine.

  • People who pronounce words incorrectly.  
    • This is a really big one for me, and therefore merits a larger explanation.  There is no X in "espresso" or in "escape."  And DAMMIT it's pronounced MA-SCAR-PONE-EH not MAR-SCA-PONE!  The R is placed correctly.  It's Italian.  Mascarpone.  Professional chefs get this wrong and it drives me NUTS.  Moving on...

  • People who talk out of their asses at length about subjects with which they are not familiar.
  • Unqualified people getting hired over qualified people.
  • Children who bite their string cheese instead of stringing it. *shudder*
  • GoGurt.
  • People who suck on pieces of chocolate.  WHY???
  • When cars are parallel parked far apart from each other, but not far enough to make another spot, and you know that if one car had pulled up another foot and a half there would be enough room.
  • Pedestrians.
  • When things are out of balance, or tilted and they should be straight.

There are more.  MANY more that would simply take too long to list.  What are YOUR pet peeves?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Anatomy of a Perfect Burrito...

Wonderers!  I hope this blog finds you well.  As always, it has been forever since my last post - this blog is really just a storage place for interesting thoughts that come to my little brain, and this entry will be no different.

Just yesterday, the boyfriend and I were out for a post-Valentine's, pre-movie breakfast burrito at my favorite burrito spot.  It was over these burritos (and perhaps the recent creating of rubrics I've done for school) that it suddenly dawned on me how simple it could be to determine a burrito's satisfaction quotient.
A thing of beauty.

To preface what follows, I, a self-proclaimed burrito snob, have not developed a rubric for creating the perfect burrito.  There are just too many variables, and too many different tastes/opinions to combat.  Instead, I have decided to call attention to a few simple factors that can make or break a burrito's performance on the tastebuds.

*It should be noted that this list applies to burritos of both standard, and breakfast varieties.  It absolutely does NOT apply to fast food garbage like Taco Bell.*

1.  The Tortilla

Let's start with the number one thing that makes a burrito, a burrito.  A burrito, by definition, is a selection of fillings wrapped in a tortilla.  Am I crazy, or does that mean maybe we should pay a little attention to the tortilla portion of a burrito?  The thing is, all tortillas are not created equally.  And they are not treated with the same care.  Having lived in San Diego (seemingly the burrito capital of California - some would argue the country) for a good six years, I had the chance to develop a taste for a really well made tortillas.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of tasting a freshly made tortilla, I can tell you that it tastes nothing like ANY tortilla you can find at your local grocery store.

In the best cases, a burrito is influenced by the flavors and the texture of its encasing - after all, that's why it's edible!  A tortilla should be just thick enough, and just dry enough to have a nice chew, were you to say, get a few layers in your mouth at a time - like you might at either end.  Too thin, or too moist and your burrito will break, not to mention it might have a softness that makes it stick to the roof of your mouth when you take a bite.  *Note: I find that the tortillas at Chipotle to be like this, too soft and mushy.  It should taste vaguely of salt and flour, with a gentle sweetness.  Just oily enough to wrap around the fillings, but not so oily that your hands get greasy while eating.  In fact, the tortilla should stiffen just slightly after it has been wrapped around the burrito fillings, as that is how the burrito keeps its shape.  It should look a lot like the first photo in this post.

2. The "Wrap Job"

Another frequently overlooked factor of a burrito's enjoyability is the way it was wrapped.  It is very important to note that many, many people on this earth do not understand the proper way to wrap a burrito.  Let's start with this; have you ever attempted to make a burrito, or even a wrap sandwich at home?  Then you probably realized that there's more to it than shoving some stuff in a tortilla and rolling it up.  *Note:  At home, I like to butter the tortilla and a pan or a griddle until the tortilla is just soft enough to be pliable without tearing.*

For starters, a burrito is meant to be portable.  You eat it with your hands - sometimes just with one, so the last thing you need is to have burrito guts spill all over you.  This means it needs to be closed ON ALL SIDES before you take your first bite.  To clarify, both ends should have a tight, inward fold.  Without enough slack to fold the edges inside, the ends are prone to open under the pressure of biting into the burrito, and in those cases, you have only the paper and/or foil it's wrapped in to save you.  Second, the overlapping edge should not have ingredients spilling out of it.  And absolutely NO corners!  If your burrito has a corner, it is a burst waiting to happen.  Let's look at some examples:

Granted, this one is served "wet" on a plate, but that is no excuse for the shoddy wrap job on this burrito.  Just because it must be eaten with a knife and fork does not mean it can forego the necessary wrapping that makes it a burrito.  Look at the end; it is practically spilling out with its weak fold.  It almost looks like someone just tried to re-stuff it with their fingers.  This is a classic case of a poor filling-to-tortilla ratio.  May as well open it up and serve it in a bowl...

 Take a look at these.  These are frozen burritos.  Do you see how the filling is spilling out the side?  That means it's also going to be spilling all over your fingers.  Worse yet, once the leak has been established, it makes the area slippery, meaning even more of the burrito filling can be squeezed out with very little pressure.  Lots of fillings on your hands, mouthfuls of empty tortilla.  No.

How about this one?  This burrito has a corner.  This means that not only are the filling ingredients distributed unevenly, leaving pockets of air throughout the burrito, but also that there is more than one weak spot in the structure of the burrito itself.  The corner will burst first, probably with just a small amount of pressure, say, the displacement of ingredients after a first bite. After that, it will probably collapse to one side, likely opposite the burst hole.  I don't think I need to tell you that this is basically burrito-geddon.  Fillings everywhere.  On you, on the table, on the floor... you get the picture.  There's a condom joke in here somewhere, but I'll leave it to your imaginations...

3. Proportions

There are two ways in which proportions affect a burrito.  One way is the proportion of ingredients to other ingredients.  The other, is the ratio of filling to the size of the tortilla.  We'll start there.  Once again, I am obliged to bring up Chipotle and their ginormous burritos.  Aside from the fact that their burritos are about twice the size they should be, and therefore at least two servings, they also have something to learn about the amount of filling they put inside that too-soft tortilla.  There is WAY too much filling inside a Chipotle burrito, which is probably why it is usually shaped short and fat, as opposed to long and more cylindrical (see first photo).  This, coupled especially with the soft tortilla, makes Chipotle's burrito susceptible to a burst about twice as easily as any other poorly made burrito.  (It's a simple fix, if you're listening, Chipotle. Use. Smaller. Spoons.) It also means that you will take bites of an overfilled burrito and end up with only fillings in your mouth.  As previously stated, the tortilla is part of the burrito experience, and you should have both tortilla and fillings in every bite you take.

Be aware that this situation can also happen in reverse, where not enough fillings have made it into the tortilla, and the result is a dry, chewy, wrapped tortilla that may as well be eaten flat like a quesadilla.

The other ratio that is important to recognize is that of the different ingredients together.  Burritos come in many flavors, however, an imbalance in ingredients is not pleasurable.  Too many beans, not enough salsa; too much rice, not enough meat; too much cheese, not enough beans... the possibilities are endless.  You should be able to taste ALL of the ingredients in the burrito, that's why they're in there.  Also, NO burrito should ever suffer from THIS kind of misunderstood nonsense.

And for those burrito joints outside of San Diego that have started offering the genius that is the California burrito... the french fries are INSTEAD OF the rice.  There is no rice in a California burrito.  Don't make me ask you to take it off.  And put some fresh avocado or guacamole on it.  California is where avocados grow.


Those are the big three factors to pay attention to the next time you are out looking for a burrito.  The tortilla, the wrap job, and two kinds of proportions.  

I would mention that the combination of ingredients should taste good together, and not be crazy for the sake of innovation, but I understand that people's palates are different, and "tasting good" is sort of implied in a list like this.

It is also good to keep in mind that a burrito should be complemented with a good hot sauce.  That's right, hot sauce, NOT salsa.  They are different.  

My favorite hot sauces are usually rich in texture, more like a thin purée, not watery, and not chunky.  Depending on my chosen burrito, I like green, tomatillo-based hot sauces because they tend to be milder, and slightly vinegary... which can cut through the richness of beans and cheese.  I also like hot sauces that have roasted ingredients in them, because they provide a depth of flavor.  However, there is nothing worse to me, than a hot sauce whose flavor is simply "hot."  These usually have visible seeds from the peppers that were used, or a visibly noticeable ratio that is dominated by pieces of the peppers themselves.

I have friends who choose to use these ultra-hot sauces for reasons I don't really understand, other than maybe to prove something - no better than a pissing contest.  But the reason I don't like HOT hot sauces is that any other flavor I might have tasted is then compromised, because the only flavor I can taste is hot.  My tastebuds go numb, and water or soda only spreads the heat around my mouth.  It's not worth it.  So if you ever tell me that your favorite kind of hot sauce is the really, really hot kind... I'm just going to assume you don't actually like the flavors of the food you're about to put it on.

That's it.  A few simple items to help you on your way to discovering your own, favorite, perfect burrito.  Ándale!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Forcing the Negative Out, One Day at a Time

Friends.  Wonderers.  Internet trolls.  I write to you today about a resolution of sorts.  Something I think is long overdue for me.  I am writing to you about trying to force negative energy out of my life.

This is not an epiphany I had during a yoga session.  It's not an idea born out of literature I've been reading.  It's not even something I saw on a Pinterest board.  Nope.  This resolution came right out of my own brain after a particularly rough month of July.  I need a change.  And this is the first step.

My relationship has been something of a mess lately, and FAB and I have been having a lot of heavy conversations about what we can do to make it better.  I take a lot of responsibility for the issues we've been having, as I am arguably the most bitchy and selfish version of myself I have been since my teenage years.  How I manage to keep him around at all, I couldn't tell you.  He's amazing like that.

Anyway, something that came up in one of our discussions is my negative energy, brought on by how negative my family is.  As hard as this is to hear, I have absolutely no defense against it.  It's 100% true.  Always has been.  As a kid, my house was always booming with loud arguments.  There are also series of judgmental family members, and gripes about who didn't do what when it was asked of them, or why this person is making poor life choices.  The most bizarre thing about this, is that one of the worst offenders of these crimes was my mother.  And my mother was also the glue that held everyone together; vibrantly happy, even in her last, more depressive years.  Now that she isn't around to be the sunshine in the family, I seem to be facing an endless expanse of storm clouds.

Just this morning, I was having a conversation with my Facebook-abusing aunt (well, finishing a conversation from yesterday) about my cousin being covered in tattoos.  Finding out that my young cousin has 11 tattoos on her body somehow signaled to my aunt that my cousins life is in shambles and she was headed for all kinds of trouble.  I'm not saying I agree or support all the decisions my cousin is making right now, but her 11 tattoos are the least of my worries.  She continued to tell me that she feels bad for, but loves my cousin anyway.  And then she told me she doesn't consider my cousins brothers her family.  That's quite the jump, isn't it?

I understand that she is feeling neglected by these particular family members.  Promises were made, and not kept, and they don't make an effort to stay in touch.  But that is no reason to disown them!  She explained to me that she "can't care about someone who doesn't care about her."  Okay, that's fair.  Then why waste your energy thinking about how much you disapprove of their choices?  If they aren't worth your time, they aren't worth your time.  Period.  She even mentioned a few more of my cousins who do make the effort to see her and my grandmother.  Okay.  Great.  They don't really make an effort to see me or my dad, but instead of being angry about it, I'm just gonna not think about them.  My time is too precious to waste judging my family for the things they don't do.

So, I am trying to keep my chin up through it all.  Forcing out the bad, and searching for the good.  It's exhausting, but it's better than the alternative.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wedding OBSESSED...

Okay.  Maybe it's the age I'm at.  Maybe it's because not only is my best friend engaged, but in my cohort of classmates, there were 4 brides-to-be (out of a total of 10 people).  Maybe it's because I have dreamed of the day I would don that big white dress and pledge my love to my forever partner since as long as I can remember.  Maybe it's because Pinterest makes everything so damn accessible.

Whatever the case, I have noticed that in the last few weeks, I have been brazenly, unabashedly, unforgivingly obsessed with planning a wedding that would take lottery winnings to afford.  Seriously, my wedding board has more pins on it than any other board in my profile.  And that includes THREE separate food boards.

Honestly, as previously stated, I've dreamed of my I-Do-Day as long as I can remember.  Once upon a time, I even considered planning weddings as a career, so perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised by my recent antics.  Even my wonderful boyfriend has expressed that he is feeling pressure from me to… *ahem* put a ring on it.  Though I always try to remind him that I am the first to admit we're not ready for that commitment, I certainly understand his feelings based on the images he sees on the iPad in the lap next to him on the couch.

A glimpse at my "secret" wedding board, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
I have tried to pass off much of this recent obsession by attempting to be the best bridesmaid I can be for my bestie.  She has recently discovered a venue (after much searching) and now I can really begin to use my imagination.  It's true what I say, about doing most of my pinning for my friend's sake… I really am looking for ideas to inspire her wedding.  She lives in another city, and so getting together to even talk about dreamy, girly things like flowers and place settings is difficult.  Pinterest is (at the moment) really my best way to help her out, and let her know I'm here for her.  And okay, maybe I feel really bad about being upset that she's getting married first.  Maybe I'm trying to be supportive in the only way I'm able right now.  I am happy for her, I am happy for her, I am happy for her.  I AM.

Photo by a future in-law of the bride
But maybe… just maybe, I just really like looking at wedding stuff.  Do I find inspiration for my own future wedding?  All the time.  Do I pin helpful tips about etiquette, and timelines, and questions to ask?  Of course.  I send them to my friend first… but as Cher Horowitz would say, "there's no harm in looking for myself also."

I've been spending time with a recently married friend lately, and she mentioned to me that even after her big day, she is still on Pinterest, pinning wedding stuff for the wedding her future daughter might have.  This was extremely comforting to me, because it occurred to me that maybe I am just one of those women who really enjoys wedding stuff.  As I said before, I am completely aware that I am not ready to get married yet.  I am totally ready to throw the biggest party ever while wearing the most beautiful dress I can imagine, but I am level-headed enough to know the difference between the readiness for a wedding and the readiness for a marriage.  And I am NOT ready for marriage.

So as much as I don't want to pressure my wonderful partner to make a commitment before he is ready, I am hoping that one day, when I have a real reason to be looking at wedding inspiration, he will be thankful that I've done some research ahead of time.  And maybe I'll try harder to wait to look at all the shiny, pretty things, when he's not there to notice.

Monday, June 2, 2014

We Need to Bring Childhood Back to Our Children...

Greetings from limbo, Wonderers!  I know I've been gone a lot (which, actually, should not surprise anyone, given my posting habits) but I have something to share.  Very wordy, as always.

As I sit through the last days of my second student teaching placement (middle school has and always will be an awful place), doing my homework for grad school in the back of the classroom while students watch movies, period after dreadful period, it occurs to me that there is a sad trend happening to today's youth.  They are not being given a childhood.

There will be many, many people, I'm sure, to argue against my opinion.  But hear me out.

A student walked into the classroom earlier today wearing a classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt.  The totally tubular turtles from the 90s, not the radical warriors they are today.  Let me show you a couple images to bring this home to you:

90s TMNT:  Happy faces, welcoming round eyes, just a bunch of bros who like eating pizza and fighting crime.

TMNT Now:  Slitted eyes, angry expressions, definitely mid-combat.  These guys are mad.  And they're coming for YOU.  Excuse me, but, what the hell?

It pleased me to see that the legacy of the original Turtles lives on.  I have no idea where she came across the shirt, whether she bought it or if it was a real, (dare I say) vintage t-shirt, passed down to her from the best uncle ever.  Either way, I appreciated the throwback to what was, in my humble opinion, a better time for kids.

How about the evolution of My Little Pony?

These are the original ponies.  Notice, the happy little scene the've put together here.  Look at their sweet, friendly faces.  Filled with innocence.  A rainbow, a flowering tree, a spacious meadow, and ponies that actually somewhat resemble ponies.

Then the ponies looked like this.  They still look like ponies.  A little more three-dimensional, a little bit shiny, but taken out of context.  Where's the grass?  And also, is it me, or did they get… sexier?  They're definitely flirting...

This is what they look like now.  Japanimation is very present as an influence for this animator.  And what exactly are they supposed to look like? Because from where I'm standing, they look like CatPigPonies.  And, a dragon?

Don't even get me started on Barbie's new body, or Ken with real hair.  I get that Mattel was trying to send a more positive message about body image to young girls, but with the media being what it is, and the Kardashians splashed on every magazine cover, what difference is one doll really making?  Not to mention that every Disney princess in the history of ever had a rack so round and perky it would make plastic surgeons drool, and nobody ever says "boo" about that...

Kids today are inundated with technology, and hyper-sexualized cartoons and video games.  I once got into a debate with an aide at my current student teaching placement about kindergarteners with cell phones.  Yes, I still call it a cell phone.  Why, oh why, does a five-year-old need a phone with them at all times?  The aide's argument was that the parent could have a change of plans, and maybe someone else would come to pick the child up from school, and with a phone, they can notify the child directly.  Or they can have the child explain the situation to the friend's parent picking them up from school.  I'm sorry, but I wouldn't trust a kindergartener as far as I could throw her if she up and told me that I was picking her up from school because her mommy said so.  Why would you ask such a small child to be accountable for his or her own schedule?  Why would you let them dictate their own schedule?  Whatever happened to letting the office know the situation and having someone inform the child?  Or the other parent?  Need I remind you, these children are FIVE YEARS OLD!?  Why would you expect them to have the same grip on life that you, a well-adjusted adult have spent so many years cultivating?

Even music today is less about love, happiness, and helping one another.  Now we have songs about humping, killing, booties, and "popping tags" at the thrift store.  Macklemore, really?  You wrote a song about STEALING CLOTHES FROM A THRIFT SHOP?  Most things in there don't cost more than $5 anyway!

School is harder.  Tests are harder.  Expectations are higher, and punishments are more severe in the long run.  My former second grade teacher once said (right when I first started my credentialing program) that her current kindergarten students are learning things I wouldn't have learned until at least first grade.  Did children just start getting born smarter?  I don't think so.  And now that there are so many ways to qualify for special education, those students that need help are getting left even further in the dust.

So let's band together and get the old narrative back.  Parents, listen up.  I get that you want your kids to like you, and be your friends.  But you're not supposed to be their friend.  You're supposed to be their parent.  So take the responsibility and let your kid be a kid.  Children deserve to have real childhoods.  Ones where they play outside on a jungle gym, instead of watching a Sim character play on one on their computer.  Playing board games instead of video games.  Using their imaginations to turn a cardboard box into the BEST toy they've ever had the pleasure of calling their own.  Kids don't have that anymore.  And they need it more than ever.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Best Friend Is Having My Pinterest Wedding…

…and I'm having a LOT of issues with it.

I wasn't sure if I should write this post or not.  It leaves me open to a lot of judgmental comments from people about one thing or another… most likely about how I probably could use an attitude adjustment. To any of you who feel the inclination… we don't judge here, so get out.  I should preface this whole post by saying this:

I am fully aware that I am not currently ready to get married.  I am in a relationship with the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with, but at this juncture in our lives, we are not in a position where marriage is something we realistically talk about.  We'd like to have a bit more stability in all areas of our lives before we make the big, legal commitment.  And I am 100% okay with that.

That being said, there must be something in the water because more people than I've ever known at one time are all getting engaged right now.  I mean, seriously, it's like once a week.  I have started hiding them from my Facebook news feed.  And while I know my day will come, impatient as I may grow, I am starting to feel a little left out because I don't have the latest shiny accessory all the "cool girls" are wearing.

Let's start at the beginning…

Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of getting married.  Yes.  I'm that girl.  I have been planning various iterations of my future wedding since I figured out it was a thing that some people did.  I dreamed of Edwardian princess style dresses, tiaras, flowers, cakes, you name it!  Over the years, my tastes have changed, and thus, my hypothetical weddings have too.  For example, I can proudly state that at 28 years old, I no longer want a bubblegum pink wedding, a tiara in my hair, or a giant ball gown with puffy sleeves that is not only white, but also pink, purple, and blue.  My seven-year-old self was ever so much more eccentric than I am.


Since the birth of Pinterest (and no thanks to my cousin who first showed it to me), I have found a few more… realistic ideas about how I'd like my wedding to look.  Initially, I had promised myself that I would not plan another one of my future weddings until I had a reason to do so.  And then I got a boyfriend, and Pinterest introduced secret boards.  So that promise went to hell.  In a really fast car.

My secret wedding board on Pinterest is filled with images of cakes, and dresses, and rings.  With lace, and pearls, and twinkle lights.  With a definite bias toward a Parisian theme in colors of mint green, peach, and gray.  There are entirely too many pins on this board for any reasonably healthy 20-something who is not engaged.  Yet.

Moving on…

Roommate (remember her?) has recently found herself betrothed, and has enlisted me as a bridesmaid.  We won't go into detail about how I also have issues with her getting married before me for a number of reasons.  I have made peace with that issue and it isn't worth revisiting.  When she first got engaged, I found myself imagining her wedding.  What it would look like, and without question, how different it would be from my own.  I pictured her colors as blush pink, pale yellow, and, okay, gray.  It would be kind of rustic, in a cute, shabby chic kind of way.

"So, what kind of colors are you looking at?"

"I'm thinking mint, blush, and gray."  *picture me with steam coming out of my ears*

"Any venues you like?"

"I didn't expect to like it, but we're looking at this New Orleans style French courtyard downtown."

We went dress shopping this weekend.  The bride, her mother, myself, and one other bridesmaid.  She came out in a dress I would have chosen myself.  Strapless lace bodice with a drop waist, seamless A-line, full length dress, two layers of organza sprinkled with pieces of lace.  Put on her mother's veil, a necklace from the case, and the sales woman handed her a "faux-quet."  She looked beautiful.  Perfect. She cried.  I cried.  Things were emotional.  I felt all the feels.

My tears shifted internally to the realization that one day, I will be engaged, trying on dresses with my bridesmaids around me, but there will be no mother's veil.  There will be no mother at all.  It would have been the one moment in my life when I wouldn't have had to put up a fight to take her shopping with me, the moment my mom and I could bond like two squealing teenagers, the moment she'd cry when she saw me in "the dress."  And all of that is gone.  She won't be there to tell me how beautiful I look.  She won't be there to gasp with excitement as only she can.  She won't wear Diane Keaton's dress from Father of the Bride.

I never expected that this wedding would be this hard for me.

So go ahead.  Judge.  Tell me I'm a terrible, selfish bitch because I'm having issues with my best friend, getting married before me.  Tell me I'm a bad person because I'm horrifically jealous that my best friend is having my dream wedding.  Tell me I insult you because I'm upset that she gets to share this milestone with her mom, and I won't have that luxury.  Give it a shot.  I'm not listening anyway.  I'm too busy planning a whole NEW Pinterest wedding for myself.

In the end, of course her wedding would be my Pinterest dream wedding.  Of course we have similar tastes in wedding gowns.  Of course she would want her wedding in a French courtyard with twisty, rot-iron gates.  This is why we're best friends.  And I will stand up beside her on her wedding day, jealous out of my mind, feeling all the love in the world for her.  I will keep her from crying, I will give her the pep talks, I will hold her dress while she's peeing.  She is my best friend, and no wedding will change that.  Not even if it was mine first.


Roommate's wedding plans are well underway, and I can comfortably say they no longer look like plans I had envisioned for myself.  The process is becoming more fun by the minute, and I am coming to terms with the whole ordeal.  This really will be a fun day.  I can breathe easy.