Making new girl friends is like asking people out on first dates

So I’m visiting Michigan for a few days, and I’m trying to make some friends, in preparation of my eventual move to the Midwest in November after our wedding.

I currently have 3 friends in Michigan. One is my cousin, 2nd one is my good girlfriend, but she’s in med school and is very busy, and 3rd is my fiance’s friend’s wife, who is currently in law school and lives 1 hour away.

I went with Brian to church this morning, and afterwards there was a farewell potluck for Brian’s small group member, who we are both very familiar with. Sadly, the friend’s girlfriend, who I’ve made friends with a few months back, is also moving away next month. I need to find friends here!

So I started chatting with many of the women in church, they were very nice, fun and pleasant. Not many of these girls are from crazy towns like NYC or LA, but I am learning so much from people who moved from Arkansas or South Carolina, etc etc. To me, Michigan has a much slower pace with mostly friendly human beings occupying this space than in comparison to the East Coast. Much to my surprise, South Carolina girl says that she finds Michigan to be too fast pace and often blunt and rude. !!! How interesting!

I met the ladies at the potluck, and I really like them all! I trade numbers with a few of them. And one girl told me her availability this week. I will be staying in Michigan till Thursday.

I come home and work on some stuff for work. I’m debating, “Should I ask her to hang out via text? Maybe I should facebook her. I wonder if she’s facebooked me yet?”

Finally, I take a break from work, and give her a call. She picks up and says my name! (Yes!! She saved me into her phone!! Score!) I ask her if she’s willing to come out to where I am, since I have no car (nor means of transportation) yet. She says of course. I’m overjoyed. We pick a date and a time. She says to text her our address.

Whew!! I did it! I invited her out, and I’m going to have a girls’ hang out this Tuesday!

I’m so excited and happy! I feel as though…………… I just asked someone out on a date, and they said YES!

Hahhaha, this is a very interesting feeling, considering that we’re both engaged/married women…. And it’s not a date, but maybe a play date? or a hang out?

I guess this is the process of making new friends! ūüôā

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To registry or not to registry (that Vitamix Blender!)

So my fiance and I have long completed our registry items, and many of our awesome guests have already started sending us gifts from these sites.

One day, I was at my friend’s house, and was using her blender, “This is an amazing blender~! Where did you get it?”

“Our wedding registry,” she answered, “You should put in onto yours, it’s a great blender. It’s by Vitamix.”

Prior to that moment in my life, I have never heard of Vitamix before. At first, I thought she said Vitamin, but then she spelled it out for me.

“That’s a great idea!” I say, “Do you know how much it is?” She shrugged, “can’t remember, just registered for it.”

So I go home, really excited to find this blender to add onto my registry. I go onto Bed Bath and Beyond’s site… search for Vitamix, and it auto-completes the term “Vitamix Professional Blender 5200 Series”. I’m overjoyed! They have this awesome blender that I can add onto my registry, and I love make smoothies and soups and juices, so I love blender power!

I look at the price.

I’m not sure how to respond.

Do you know HOW MUCH IT IS???

$500!!! (if you add Philadelphia tax… that’s an addition $40 in taxes…)

I can’t believe she didn’t remember the price of the blender!!! This would be a big ticket item! More than that iconic KitchenAid Mixer…

I’m not sure… I can’t, I can’t register for a $500 blender~ It’s slightly ridiculous. It costs more than our down comforter! It costs less than our couch and bed… but we’re comparing an appliance (blender) to a large daily furniture items (couch and bed).

I’m not sure… This is so tough.

I start looking up online. I google the line “Do I need a Vitamix” – and guess what? Many other people out there are asking the same question. They are also trying to justify a $500 blender… and if it’s really necessary.

I ask my girl friends, about this Vitamix blender. (It’s famous, they say, “Oh, that’s the Jamba Juice Blender!” another says, “That’s the Iron Chef Blender!”… the other 50% of them have no idea what it was… ahhh, just like me!)

They start reasoning with me why I SHOULD put it on my registry. “Well, if you use that Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon, it would only be $400 then! and then 4 people can buy it together, perfect! simple!” and also “It’s a really good item. You can do so much with it!” and then also “You can put it on, if people don’t get it, then whatever. Just cuz you put it on your registry doesn’t mean people HAVE TO buy it!”

So I think it over, watch some youtube and Vitamix videos about this magical blender… I’m still not sure… I’m quite torn…
I then research into the technology of it all, the rpm of the blades, the horsepower of the motor, the differences in the company’s various series and models…. the design of both heated and room temperature blending… Then I look up cooking tactics with this Vitamix blender: Smoothies, Juice, Frozen yogurt, sorbet, soup, nut butter (I didn’t know you could make these things…), emulsion (Also had no idea how to use that, but looked really good in one of the videos), all sorts of dips and guacamole, etc. Then it talks about time saving……………….. It all seems really cool… but… I still don’t know… $400 for ¬†a BLENDER??

My fiance asks me this question when I presented to him my dilemma, “If someone were to hand you $400, would you go buy that blender?”

The search for the right wedding band

As in… rings… not the musical bands. ūüôā

So my engagement ring is has a solitaire circle cut diamond, with¬†melee¬†diamonds around the band. So what would look good? Perhaps a similar melee diamond band? Or the E’toile band from Tiffany’s? Or maybe just a plain band? But what size? what band thickness?

So complicated~ ūüė¶

So I started staring at women’s left 4th finger… on the streets, on the bus, while shopping, at¬†Nine West (yes, I just bought two pairs of shoes… it was necessary!!!).

Seems like there are all types of matching that can happen. I started looking online. That didn’t help at all.

So I start asking friends. Most people look at my ring and say I should get a melee diamond band, to match the band I¬†have already. So I tried that. It looked… not right.

From afar, the two melee bands just merged together and it¬†looked as though it were one melee thick band. It didn’t at all look like I was married!

Then we tried a plain band at 2mm. Since my engagement ring had a 2mm melee band, I thought, “Well, of course! We’ll
get a plain platinum 2mm band!” Perfect, right?

FALSE.

It looked like my engagement ring was eating up my wedding band. Also… not really a good thing. ¬†In addition, since my engagement ring (let’s call it Ring A…) has melee diamonds on it, it makes the thickness (no, not the 2mm thickness, but the other dimension) thicker.

*Let’s see, if you were buying a table or couch, it gives height x witdth x length. So if length is the ring size diameter, like size 4 or 5 or 6.5, etc… then the height would actually be the band width (haha, internet pun) measuring 2mm or 3mm or 4mm + for usual men’s wedding bands. So then I guess the dimension I’m talking about would be “width”?? which is the distance from the flesh of your finger to the outermost circumference of the ring…. (outer radius – inner¬†radius)… why is this becoming such a nerdy post?

Anyhow, so now there is this other dimension, which is the “thickness” of the band, not¬†longitudinally, but radially.

So, I go to a store, shop online, learn about wedding bands (which I found to be greatly over-shadowed by the glamorous and famous engagement ring, which is ironic… since I think the wedding band has much more weight and significance in the grand scheme of … life?).

So apparently there are these “shapes” called: Comfort fits, and it reshapes the inner lining of the ring, so it’s comfortable for you. In addition, you can have different surfaces, it can be a flat surface or a curved surface.

So, to compensate for the engagement ring eating your wedding band, you can either:

1. Get it 1 size bigger, so the two outer circumferences line up.
2. Get the ring to have a curved surface so that the outermost point aligns with the engagement ring.
3. Get a wider band (as in forego the 2mm and get the 3mm).

So that’s what I did.

Done and done.


Midwest doesn’t like Obama… what?!?!

So a few more items that I found that may hinder my attempted subtle transition into the Midwest… I’m trying to be¬†inconspicuous, and fit right in… Looks like it’s going to be a lot harder.

First of all, people in Michigan speak with an accent. I am NOT joking. It’s very slight, but it’s most apparent in how they pronounce their “a”‘s, particularly the short “a” sounds…

Tangent.

Second of all, everyone (ok, fine, not everyone, many people….) is Christian and Republican. (obviously excluding places like Ann Arbor where there is high percentage of high education, research, teaching, education….) Apparently, it’s common for dinner table¬†conversations¬†to be bashing Obama and the¬†administration.
Now, obviously, as left as NYC and CA can be… people aren’t always 100% pro-Obama and think he’s God’s chosen one… However, we also know to be PC and polite and not be bashing a certain side of politics in mixed company. What makes you think everyone here is Republican?! And even if everyone is Republican, that doesn’t mean everyone agrees!

It just makes me really uncomfortable. When people start going on and on and on, and suddenly if they bring up religion + all these other things, then I am not sure. I should stand up for what I think, right? I shouldn’t feel like I’m being silenced. But it’s strange, we’re talking about a “free country” and a “free market” yet suddenly, I don’t feel like my speech is very free anymore… We don’t have to agree, but to be condemning and mean is just not okay (no matter what corner of the earth you’re from…)

And moreover, WHY ARE YOU STILL YELLING?? Is it really the policies? Or perhaps its the race that you’re bothered by, but since you can’t openly complain about that (against federal law of racism) then you displace your¬†dissatisfaction¬†and target his policies and parties. Look, I don’t necessarily agree with all of Obama’s decisions and policies either, but I don’t say horrific things and bash the leader of our country. I still try to give the man some basic respect, you know, the ones promised and mandated by the Constitution? Oh, and btw, I’m also Christian. So now what? Why are you telling me that the Democrats are the devil?

Obama is already in the 3rd year of his term, if anything, why don’t you focus on who’s running?¬†As opposed to, “Let me count the ways of his mistakes, and though I can’t do better, nor do I understand or know better, let me just complain, instead of using my complaints and energy in a positive way to influence the community, you know, in that same way that you think Obama isn’t doing well.”
Ohh, but of course, you’re Republican and Christian (?! I don’t see how this is relevant here…), and you think there should be a new development on ways to euthanize poor and sick people (oh, and don’t forget the immigrants) so that YOUR tax dollars don’t have to pay a cent.

Except, why do you have income today? Don’t say “because my own two hands got me here.” That’s never true. I went to some of the most expensive schools in this country, and I KNOW that I can’t ever say “by my own two hands,” because it’s just NOT true. It’s so untrue.

If I were born a different race, or a different family background, how about a different SES? Then what? I could work with my “own two hands” but I wouldn’t have the guidance “towards what should I work for”, “how should I work for”

ok, stepping back. This blog was never supposed to discuss politics.

Anyhow, I just found another obstacle in my transition to Michigan. Great…

I’m not saying I have to find friends that are pro-Obama, not at all. But I hope I’m not clamored with hoards of people/politics bashing company… Hopefully, we can have intelligent and cordial discussions, where we can talk about our thoughts and opinions. I always want to know what people think and why they think so, even if it’s worlds apart. But it shouldn’t become a battle, or attacks, or anything mean and¬†barbaric.

Anyhow, I guess I shouldn’t hang my Obama poster back in 2008 anywhere visible. I kept it, thinking it will be an awesome¬†memorabilia, since it really was our first black president ever. Thinking I’ll keep something to show my kids “I was there!”

But now… I guess some parts of the country think that it’s a disgrace, and want nothing more than to scrutinize and crucify his every move.

Good job, Midwest America. Finally overcoming 300 years of racism, and you just set us back to the 60s. Good job.

Let the Seating Charts Begin!

What do most people care most about weddings? Is it what dress the bride wears? Or how good the food is? What do you care about most? What makes or breaks the wedding for you?¬†Maybe it’s that open bar (or lack thereof). Or perhaps it’s the awesome DJ?

Think again.

People usually love the wedding or hate the wedding based on what table they’re sitting at. Don’t believe me? Think about it this way. What table you’re sitting at, also determines who you will be spending 2-3 hours with at the wedding. Unfortunately, you will not be spending all 2-3 hours right next to your buddies, the bride and groom. So are you going to dance till the last song? Or snatch your purse and leave the earliest you can? The people who you’re sitting next to will determine whether you’re doing shots together and dragging each other onto the dance floor, or making polite small talk with the 70 year old grandma next to you.

That being said, I now realize why the task is daunting… I, as the bride, am manipulating these names (post-it color coded tabs) to having a great night, lousy night, or even (singles’ table, anyone?) meeting the person of their dreams!

So I start with the easier ones: Family.
Should be straight forward, right? Not really. Do the cousins have their own table? And the aunts and uncles of the older generation get another? They are all speak different languages, so should I arrange them based on language? Most likely, the more Americanized families will communicate in English, and others will speak most comfortably in Chinese.

Ok, now the singles table:
Do I pre-filter based on age, demographics, careers, and personality? Or maybe I should do it geographically? (Don’t want to wish long-distance relationships on anyone… )

How about teenagers? I have some friends that have kids that are teenagers, should I group all the teenagers and give them a few teen tables? But what if the parents want the kids to sit next to them? Or if the teenagers don’t want to mingle (can they be mean to each other at a wedding?!). The wedding is also an open bar… would the parents be concerned? Though most of my teenagers are Christian kids… so maybe they’ll know better… especially if many of the attending guests are their church teachers and pastors…

I’m trying to sketch, sketch, and re-sketch different layouts for the tables, in fear that one or two tables will feel that they are the “unimportant people” if they feel that they are in the corner, or the back, or the farthest. Trying to play some geometry and figure out to make everyone somewhat equal distance… (only geometric shape would be a circle… but then it’s impractical to put the bride and groom in the center of the circle, which is where the dance floor needs to be… unless we move the table… but is that too much?! ahhhhhhhh~~)

Oh and no worries, definitely no long rectangular head table… that was way too 80s…. and also makes people feel disconnected~! (At least that’s my opinion, after going to a wedding with a massive head table… we couldn’t even see/hear what was going on~)

But I must admit, things are starting to get fun, especially the thought of seeing all my friends and family again, and having them meet each other. I can’t wait! ūüôā

I promise I’m not a Bridezilla….

I think…

So though I don’t know about dresses, nor do I really care about flowers… I am a nazi for schedules and contracts.

So awhile ago, a girl friend of mine (previous bride about a year ago), sat down with me after a happy hour, and we typed up a draft schedule, from the hair and makeup, all until the very end of the reception.

Then, a few days later, I decided to reorganize the notes and turn it into a powerpoint, so I can print handouts as well as present it to my Sales Manager, Banquet Captain, and my team of coordinators (starting from the Flower Coordinator, that talks to the florist, to the Head Usher, to the Cocktail Hour Coordinator, to the Music director, Sound System Coordinator, and last but not least, gift table coordinator).

I made each slide about a 10 min to 1 hour time slot, depending on the amount of details within each time frame. I documented everything, from when the strings pause, and start again. Who takes cues from who to close the door, stop the guests, hand out boutonnieres, usher the guests to the next location, etc etc.

Each slide was then further sectioned into location: Ceremony, Cocktail, Reception.

Then each person’s name appeared in the location they were supposed to be at during that time frame, and had bullet points that documented what they needed to do.

I don’t think I’m being a bridezilla. I’m just being organized.

Then, at the very end, there is a Personnel Directory, with the names, title, and phone numbers of every person on the team, and also a comment section which lists out the locations that person will need to go to on the day of.

After, I also handed out a packet of images and floor plan.

We did a preliminary walk through tour as we also went through the powerpoint schedule. I don’t think I’m too crazy, right?

I’m like organization, I love schedules, things that are black and white and definite…

Things that are tough are ones such as: flowers, decorations, colors, everything else…

My conversation with the florist, “So, what’s the price of each flower?”
“Depends,” she answers, “What style did you have in mind? What do you imagine your wedding to be like? What colors do you like? … What are you looking for?”
“Just a spreadsheet of all your flowers and the unit price for each individual item,” I say.
She just looks at me.