The Special Occasion Countdown

Foster Care & Family, Travel & Leisure

I’m wondering if you can relate to this scenario in some form or fashion. I’m talking about the Special Occasion Countdown. How it should go vs. How it really happens.

So, this is how it should go, for women, anyway…

Up to 1 Week Prior
* Select or Buy your dress in the size that you hope to be on the day of the event! 

1-Week Prior
* Get your roots touched up
* Start eating as little as possible!
* Exfoliate!
* Make sure you have the right shoes, handbag, accessories, or BUY THEM!
* Make sure your husband’s clothes are ready and persuade him to get his hair cut NOW!

Day Before
* Mani. Pedi.
* Buy the card.

Day Of
*Wash, Shave, Tweeze, and Moisturize…like EVERYWHERE!
* Husband should: Shave, Have gas in the car; CASH on hand, maybe even a quick car wash if necessary.
* Set or curl hair. Style.
* Apply Makeup.
* Get dressed. Add accessories, deodorant, lipstick, and perfume.
* Grab the card, put your necessities in your bag.
* Use the extra time to capture a few photo memories of your hard work!

Am I forgetting anything? This is how it should happen, right?

And, this is what really happens.

I’ll use this past weekend as an example. Scott and I had a wedding in New York. It was a Sunday afternoon wedding. An outdoor ceremony overlooking the Hudson River, and an indoor reception; Cocktail attire. The bride was a girl I nannied in college. I remained very close to the whole family, and so this was a very exciting event. We would drive up and check into a hotel one day prior so that we could spend time with my college friends on Saturday evening and get to the wedding by 11am on Sunday morning.

Ok, so here we go…

Several weeks prior – I book the hotel. Scott and I go shopping for a dress. (Remember, I am one size bigger than the clothes that I have in my closet!) We find a few that we like, but I decide to wait to purchase. One, I am hopeful that I will be at least 5 pounds leaner by the wedding. Two, we are house poor. And, I’m thinking, New dress? Or, new lamp?

A week before – I happen to pass a sidewalk sale with a lovely, simple dress for FIVE DOLLARS. It was a size six. I can get into a size six, but these days it is uncomfortable. I think, what the heck. It’s five bucks. I have nothing to lose. I buy the dress.

I go home that night and ask Scott to help me zip it up. Ok, I just can’t even put that scenario into words. I was laughing and crying at the same time, but we got it zippered.

“Hey, it looks cute on you, Rach!”

Success! I am feeling very proud of myself. And, wouldn’t you know, I had shoes, handbag, and accessories to match! (I think this was the first time I didn’t have to buy anything, over five bucks anyway, for a wedding.)

I decide from that day through the day of the event I would really cut back on the calories. No problemo.

A few days prior – Scott and I go shopping for pants that would match his brown tweed sports coat, as he did not have anything that matched. We head over to Nordstrom Rack and we not only find pants that Scott likes, but also we have them hemmed right then and there. Another success. His outfit is ready to go. We are doing great!

Later that evening, at home, I specifically remember telling Scott to GOOGLE whether or not he should wear a tie for a daytime cocktail attire event. I figured that was something he could do for himself prior to the wedding.

The next day, I get a haircut and root touch up.

1 Day Before – (We actually did this 2 days before since we were traveling and checking into a hotel.)

I pack. I fix the clasp at the top of the zipper on my dress. I iron the belt. I get all of my makeup and hair accessories ready. (It’s very risky getting ready at a hotel. You never know what you’ll need from home!) I make a list and try to remember everything I may need…even scissors. (Don’t we always need them at some point?) I’m feeling pretty organized.

Afternoon Manicure & Pedicure.

I lay out Scott’s wardrobe. No tie. That’s for him to figure out.

Next Day (Travel Day) – 1pm  – We stop in the town where the hotel is located for a quick stroll and lunch. “Oh my gosh. Gyros! We need to eat Gyros!” They were so good! I think it was at this point that I forgot the whole eat very little until the wedding thing…

BEST Gyros at Lefteris Gyros in Tarrytown, NY
BEST Gyros at Lefteris Gyros in Tarrytown, NY

3pm – “Ice cream! We need to get a little ice cream!”

4pm – We check into the hotel. By the way, I am dealing with a head cold and menstrual cramps because everyone knows that my period will fall on the day of a special event~no matter what day of the month it is held!

“Let’s relax before dinner, babe, and take advantage of this beautiful room!”

“Zzzzzzz” Nothing like sleeping after a big meal. This would be the first Saturday that Scott and I nap since we bought The House on High Street! It was just heavenly.

6pm“Wake up, babe!” We get ready to meet my friends from college for dinner, in town. We are 15 minutes late.

We have a GREAT TIME reuniting with old friends! Cocktails. Dinner. Desserts. We even run into the bride and groom out with their families! It was such a great night.

Dinner at Prohibition River in Nyack.
Dinner at Prohibition River in Nyack.
Desserts at The Hudson House in Nyack, New York. BEST DESSERTS EVER!
Desserts at The Hudson House in Nyack, New York. BEST DESSERTS EVER!

11:30pm – We are back at the hotel, getting ready for bed.

Morning Of – 7:45am – Knock. Knock. “Room Service” (I ordered a pot of coffee just to help inspire me to get up before rushing to get ready.) It tastes like watered down tea. Scott makes the coffee in the room, and I call Room Service to let them know the coffee was awful so they would deduct it from our bill.

We make a plan to be in the car between 10:00-10:15am. It was about 17 minutes away, and we wanted to get there before the ceremony began at 11:00am.

8:30am – I get in the shower. Scott goes down to the hotel pool to give me some space to get ready. Here is when I like to play my music and hog the entire counter and mirror. I actually enjoy getting dolled up, since it doesn’t happen very often.

9:00am – I begin making curls with my fat curling iron. My hair is curling beautifully. Of course, I never know what I’m going to do with it. I just start with curls and then I tease it a bit and pull it back in some way…or stick a hair accessory in there, somehow. I have a LOT OF HAIR. It takes a long time to do my hair.

Next thing I know. Scott comes back. It is already 9:40am! “Oh, crap!”

9:45am – Scott gets in the shower. I move on to my make-up. Thankfully, I can do this in record time. Scott gets dressed. Now, I am trying to pull my hair back in a way that looks soft and pretty. “What the? Why is that piece going that way? Scott, can you help me?”

Scott proceeds to help me tie my hair back. Of course, I forgot a mirror, so I could check the back of my head. I realize that it looks kind of…flat. I am preoccupied with the clock, and I’m starting to perspire.

“Is the air condition on?”

I try to make more curls to liven it up, but it turns out that my hair was foretelling the weather – which turned out very hot and humid. It’s as if it knew that it would end up flat and sticky no matter how much effort I put into it.

“It’s 9:58, babe.”

“I KNOW!” “Can you start packing everything up, please?”  (Since when does Scott care about being on time?)

I go to get dressed. “DAMN IT! I didn’t bring my Spanx!” This is a necessity when you barely fit into a dress, especially after a day out, eating!

The next few minutes were a blur. Somehow, we make it to the car at exactly the time we had planned (with enough time to get there a good 10 minutes before the ceremony). I am not happy with my hair at all. But, my make up is fine. The dress miraculously zipped up. I didn’t forget the card. And we would be on time. I tried to breathe a sigh of relief, but I couldn’t exhale fully in that dress.

En Route to Event

After the first few minutes in the car, I finally look at Scott. His hair is wolfing! “What on earth did you do to your hair?”

Ladies, do you feel me here? Am I the only one that doesn’t even check on my husband until we are in the car?

“What’s wrong with it? Give it a minute. It has to relax!”
(Big sigh.) “Ok, whatever. Do I look ok?”

“You look beautiful.” (Aw, I love him!)

“Babe, I’m hungry. I need to stop to get something to eat, first. 

“WHAAAAAT???” (Ok, now I hate him!)

“I have to eat! I can’t wait until the end of the ceremony!”

“And you couldn’t have eaten all that time I was getting ready at the hotel? You could have given me that extra 10 minutes to fix this (point to my hair) and you could have gotten something to eat. But NO! You rush me…so you can drive somewhere to eat?”

We stop to get something. A tuna fish hoagie (of course) at 10:30am. I know better than to refuse my husband a meal and go somewhere on his empty stomach. Not fun. He is worse than a pregnant woman.

Somehow, we make it to the location a good 10 minutes prior. Or maybe it started a little late, but we made it!

Within minutes, I can feel my hair becoming heavier and heavier. It lost every single curl before we even took our seats. Thankfully, I wasn’t feeling uncomfortable in the dress.  Not yet, anyway.

That’s when I look around and notice how everyone else is dressed. I feel that I was dressed appropriately. Then, I look at Scott. He did not wear a tie. He was the only guy there without one…sporting a 1970’s Bee Gees look with a lot of chest hair exposed!

I’m whispering while trying not to move my lips, “Babe, didn’t I tell you to Google whether or not you should have worn a tie?” “I don’t think it’s a big deal, Rach.”

Who knows? Maybe he’s right. Scott does have great chest hair, so maybe it worked? Besides, he looked really handsome, and I can never stay mad at him. From that point forward, I decided to enjoy the beautiful occasion and focus on the BRIDE and GROOM.

The ceremony was beautiful. The bride was so beautiful! (I babysat this girl when she was two years old and I was eighteen.) I had become like a big sister and member of the family. The entire event was just so extraordinary to experience. (Wardrobe and hair malfunctions aside.) It really was breathtaking.

Oh dear. My hair is a stringy mess. Scott is working the no-tie look!
Oh dear. My hair is a stringy mess. Scott is working the no-tie look! This was after I made him button up and cover the Andy Gib chest hair!
My hair doesn't even look like I curled it!
How cute are we?
This was taken in the garden moments before my hair went completely flat. Do you like the dress?
This was taken in the garden. Do you like my Five Dollar dress?

The venue was lovely. We had a lot of fun eating, socializing, and dancing. The food was delicious. Maybe too good. Because by the end of the reception I was looking 4 months pregnant. As people were starting to leave I said to Scott, “Babe, I think we need to say our goodbyes before I bust out of this dress.”

Jumbo Shrimp served as an appetizer.
Jumbo Shrimp served as an appetizer.
Delicious Chocolate Cream Pies with Vanilla Ice Cream. This was served before the Wedding Cake!
Delicious Chocolate Cream Pies with Vanilla Ice Cream. This was served before the Wedding Cake.

It was sad leaving. I only see these friends maybe once or twice a year. But, boy did it feel good to get in that car and unzip that dress! It also felt so good to have a food fest the next day to celebrate my victory in pulling off a Size Six dress for FIVE BUCKS!

It’s kind of funny reflecting on the special occasion countdown. Can you relate at all? I don’t think I’m alone here, but whether we spend five dollars on a dress or two hours on our hair, the most important thing is having the opportunity to celebrate with those you love!

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

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