Saturday, July 23, 2011

Making It Work

Megan calls me on my cell phone before I went to work—
“Mom, one of our grooms from 2004 called and needs to talk to you right away. He said that he and his wife are having some problems, and he would like to bring her here where they got married and dance with her to their first dance song.”
“Awwwwh!  That is so sweet!  Megan we have to do this!  When does he want to come?”
“Tomorrow afternoon.”
“We don’t have anything on the calendar tomorrow, do we?”
“No, I think it’s clear”
“Oh Megan, we have to do this!” I’m already choked up over the whole idea.
“Yes, I agree, we have to!”  Megan is a little on the teary side too.
“So did you pull their file?”  (Oh yes, we have files in our basement from every wedding we have ever done, all boxed and filed away by date—it’s amazing how often we refer to them)
“Yes, I have it here in front of me”
“What did they have for their dinner?”
“It was cranberry chicken, pesto smashed potatoes, and California medley.”
“Hmmmmmmm.  We are serving cranberry chicken Thursday for the golf outing, aren’t we?”
“Yes, we are.”
“Ok, let me call Patti and see if I can make this happen!”
“Ok, bye!”
So I dial up Patti, our chef,
“Patti, one of our former grooms called, and he wants to dance with his wife and re-propose to her on the dance floor where they originally had their reception.  Have you ever heard anything so romantic? 
“Oh my gosh, that’s awesome!”
“I know, so here’s what I’m thinking.  We’ll set a little table on the dance floor and serve them the dinner they had for their reception.”
“Oh that would be sooooo cool!  I think we can do that.”
“You’re amazing!  Thanks!”
So I go to work, and as soon as I get to my office, I call Kevin (not his real name of course) ---
“Hi Kevin!  Megan told me about what you want to do, I think that’s about the sweetest thing I’ve heard in years, and we would like to make it extra special for you by serving you your wedding dinner as well!”
“Really?  That would be terrific!  How much would that cost?  I would love that!”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s on us, we’re all just so impressed with how romantic this is, we really want to make it special for you.  Can you be here at 5:30?”
We go on to discuss all the finer details, what their first song was, how he will play it and the timing of the whole thing.  Then we hang up.
Our kitchen staff comes in to do prep for our Thursday event, and while they are there, they prepare two plates of wedding fare for our guests.  Patti leaves them in the cooler for me with explicit instructions on how to finish the chicken, separately from the plate, in the oven so that it is crisp and nice, exactly how long to leave it in, etc. etc.   I read all my “marching orders” and figure the times out so that I can put the plates on the table at exactly 5:25, under plate covers, so that Kevin and Lauren will have the place to themselves. 
5 PM
Everyone has left for the day.  I go to the kitchen and turn the oven on, fill the water glasses, pour the wine, light the candles on the table, and reread my instructions.  All the doors to the building are locked except for the main doors in the front. 
At 5:20 I hear someone in the lobby so I walk out to see if someone has come in.  My biggest worry is that someone else will come in and “blow the moment”!
Just as I get to the door I see Kevin, looking very spiffy in a suit and tie--
“Where’s Lauren?”
“She’s in the car, blindfolded, she doesn’t know where I’m taking her!  Can I bring her in?”
“Sure!  I just need about 5 minutes to finish your dinners, but you can come sit down and I’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s ready.”
5:25 PM
I plate up their dinners, put the orchids on them, and the plate covers, and take them out to the table. 
“She already cried!” Kevin says with a laugh and a big smile.
“It’s just so…..” Lauren says with a tremble in her voice “It’s like being back at our wedding all over… that’s where we sat, and it’s just so….” She can’t go on, I can hear the tears in her voice.
“Well I’ll leave you two alone, enjoy!” I say, and I leave.
I go to the kitchen to straighten up, and after 20 minutes or so, I hear Tony Bennett singing “The Way You Look Tonight”.  Kevin had mentioned that this was the song for their first dance.  It’s slow and sultry, husky, as only Tony can sing it, with a simple piano accompaniment. 
In my mind I see them on the dance floor, under the spotlights, swaying slowly in unison, as I have seen so many couples over the last 12 years.  But this time it’s different—this time it’s only for them. 
The song ends and I hold my breath, knowing that he is dropping to his knee and asking her to marry him all over again.  What will she say?  My mind races with all the possible outcomes. 
I listen at the door of the kitchen, and all I hear is the music playing on the ipod. I don’t hear any voices, have they left already? I go out to check on them, and there they are, big smiles on both of their faces. 
“She said yes!” Kevin tells me, the excitement and joy in his voice nearly has me running for the Kleenex box!
I give them both a big hug.
“That’s wonderful!  You know, we marry people for keeps here!”  I say with a laugh, “You guys take your time.  Would you like a little more wine?”

I hope things work out for them.  I hope that they once again find the love that they had the day they were married.
 Sometimes it isn’t easy being married. 
Sometimes you just need a fresh start; a new beginning. 
Sometimes you just need to dance again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Growing Pains!!!

So I have a new computer.  Yaaaay! Right?  Well kinda.  It's nice to have a new computer that is really really fast, and it's nice to be able to see the letters on the keys (even though I don't look at the keys when I type, honest I don't--Miss Hedrick--my 10th grade typing teacher! :) but I had used my old computer so much that I wore the letters right off the keys!)
Here's the problem with a new computer, my old computer was like an old oversized sweater that you wear on weekends to watch movies and eat popcorn.  It was SOOOOOOO comfortable!  I knew all of its ins and outs, we were a team.  Now here is this newcomer, this stranger, that's like a new pair of four inch heels!!!!  Ouch!  It hurts!!
I had been using Windows XP 2003, (I jumped right over the Vista years, yay!)  Now, all of a sudden I have to deal with Windows 2010!  I also have Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer, and Office 2010 instead of Office 2003!!!  My head hurts!  I feel like I've never touched a computer before!  I'm sitting here thinking that I want my old comfy sweater back, but time marches on, and my old sweater was thread bare and falling apart, time for new.  So I guess I'll just have to grit my teeth and plow through this.
My kids used to tease me because I had a brick of a cell phone that was about 5 years out of date, but I wouldn't get a new one, because I just didn't have the time to learn how to use it!  The learning curve nowadays with all the new technology that is constantly bombarding us, is astounding! We used to have a TV with an on/off switch and a dial to find our choice of about 4 or 5 channels.  Our phone plugged into the wall, and had a rotary dial, and all you did was pick it up to talk and put it down to hang up.  We didn't have computers, cell phones, VCR's, TIVO, or any of these electronic wonders.  It makes my head hurt to think of all the things we have had to figure out how to work over the last 20 years--even my stove and microwave require studying the manual to figure out how to use them.  About the only thing left that doesn't require a Master's Degree in electronics is my freezer.  I love my freezer.  It's easy.
I know, my age is showing.  All of you that are 30 and under take all of this in stride because you've never known anything different.  Those of us that grew up in a simpler time keep trying to adapt, and for the most part, do a pretty good job of it, but boy, something like this really makes my head spin!
So if you don't get a speedy reply to your email in the next couple days, it's probably because I haven't found the "reply" button yet!  Thank goodness we still have the qwerty keyboard!  Brandon tells me that the new MS Word 2010 is going to make me crazy for the first couple weeks till I get used to it.  Oh, I am looking forward to THAT!  I had just finally made friends with 2003, and now I have to change again.  Sigh.

On another note, but also related to technology, I listened to my parents' wedding yesterday morning from 1949!  My father, ever the early adapter that he was, had set up a reel to reel tape recorder in the front of the church to record their wedding ceremony.  Wow.  They were both 19 years old, pink cheeked and wet behind the ears.  I heard my grandpa answer "her mother and I do" when the minister asked who gives this woman.  My dad and my grandfather both passed away in 1982, my mother in 1992.  How precious to hear their voices again--younger, and not what I remembered, but definitely them.  We also had an 8mm movie (in COLOR which was the newest thing in 1949!!) of my parents' wedding.  I haven't seen that in a long time, but it was always the hit of the home movie nights.  The finale was always the wedding movie.  I would love to see that again.  I think my brother has it.  Hopefully he has had it converted to a DVD.

Precious.  These things are so precious.  I guess the bottom line of this post is that you have to keep up with the technology.  Old VCR tapes need to be converted to DVD before all the converters are gone along with the players (how many of you still have a VCR player? Hmmmm?)  And in the future, something will come along to replace the DVD's and we will need to convert our DVD's to the new technology so that we can still use them.  So that hopefully, 62 years from now in 2073, you, or your children, or even your grandchildren, will be able to watch YOUR wedding video and see what you were like so many years ago!

Now, I need to go learn the ABC's of all this new stuff on my computer.  Argh!