Thursday, March 25, 2010

This might sound like a PSA, but please read anyway :)

Meet Clifton

Ben and I went to Publix tonight as one of many errands after work. I was in the mood for sushi, he had plans to make spaghetti at home, so we decided to go to Publix where I naturally trust fresh sushi more and Ben can stock up on food storage with BOGO items. He went one way and I went to the fish stand where I stood  and blankly looked at the available (and undesirable) sushi and fish slices.

Clifton, the lone seafood dept. worker, asked if he could help me. 

"Can I help you finsd anything?"
"I'm not really sure what I'm looking for..."
"I could help you find something else around the store if you'd like."
"No... I'd wanted sushi, but you don't have any made that I'm in the mood for. Fish would be nice, but I want something I don't have to cook."

Enter Ben. 
I explain to Ben that I'm feeling sort of BLAH and not really sure what I want. Ben and I discuss the pros and cons of getting a raw piece of fish. 

-Its light.
- I like fish

- Mom would never let me cook it at home
- I can't decide which of the two rubs or plain slices I want 

Clifton, who had been listening the whole time, chimes in:

"If you pick out which fish you'd like you can pick one of the seasonings I have here and I'll marinade it specially for you. And I can steam it here, too."

Ben and I both have our mouths hanging down. He's offering to prepare and cook my fish for me?! Who does that sort of nice thing ?!

"So how long have you been working at Publix?" -Ben
"Two years. One year in this department"- Clifton
"Are you a manager yet?" -Ben
"Not yet. We'll see if anyone has something to say about that in the future."- Clifton
"I have a friend who has worked at Publix for years because he thinks they would be a great corporation to work for and they only promote from within." - Susannah
"Yeah. I love it here. It feels like family. Everyone has the same morals I do." -Clifton

Once Clifton starts seasoning and steaming the fish:
"You know, he's just a good guy. I love that he was nice to you even after I showed up. He wasn't just flirting with you, he's really just being a nice guy."- Ben

Tonight Clifton went completely out of his way to be as accommodating as possible for no reason than to just please the customer. I wasn't in a bad mood, but I was feeling pretty out of it and Clifton brightened my day so much. 
It was so C.H.A.D. (Charitable Hands Are Divine). He didn't know we're preparing to get married in less than a week and I've had a really long day trying to get last-minute things done. Random acts of kindness, people. Do it. 

Here's to everyone who is just a nice person. It's noticed and appreciated. Thank you! 

See full size image

Where shopping is a pleasure!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Are we having a sealing....Or a CARNIVAL??

When we first got engaged Ben joked that we should have Deep-Fried Snickers Bars at the reception because this would be his family's first trip to South Carolina and it is a Southern tradition. I was so against the idea I even had the idea to call each of his family members to ask if they would really care if we had them or not, but my mom talked me out of it. Ben's brillliance was to mention the idea while my mom was around. 

"Suz, if that's what Ben wants, let him have it."
 "But this is a sealing celebration, not a carnival!"

Ben (and my family) soon figured out that I would cave on any point if I was told it's what Ben really wanted. He also got a cotton candy machine (I have to admit, I like that idea), but I did manage to talk him and my family out of a giant bouncy house (maybe for the family BBQ instead?), magician, and balloon artist. 

"Ben, who would do that for us?"
"Well, my dad could do the magic and I would make the balloon animals. I always had a job at my sibling's receptions."
"Your job is going to be GROOM!"

Here we go....

Ben experimenting on frying. They turned out to be really easy and really delicious! He was so excited :)

Ben teaching my nephew, Will, how to make them. Yeah... should we maybe keep the kids AWAY from the pot of hot oil?

Nope! He's a natural!

My sister, Megan, tries our first Deep-Fied Snickers Bar

And it gets a thumbs-up!

Well, we are at least having a little bit of a carnival. And I have say, I'm pretty excited. It will be one fun, memorable day. 

"Oh Aunt Suz... we're so glad you listened to Uncle Ben and will have deep-fried Snickers at the reception!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bratty Brides and Dress Drama

This week has been pretty trying, but Wednesday took the cake. 

I had an appointment for a dress fitting at David's Bridal. I made the appt. weeks ago and was really excited for it. I bought a dress that wasn't entirely modest, but had thick straps which sleeves could easily be attached to. 

The bodice of the dress is lace and after hours (literally) of discussions my mom finally convinced two managers and a seamstress to detach a thick run of lace from the train to make matching sleeves and bust insert from. I was pretty nervous about the lace detaching and sleeve attaching process (since the store was completely flabergasted that I would suggest such a thing. I don't think they've ever worked with an LDS bride.), so I was really eager for this dress fitting and hopeful that I would take it home to find matching hairdos, etc., afterward. 

My mom, the professor, had to teach a class that night and my sister, the wife/ teacher/ mother of 3 had an impromptu doctor's appt. with her husband who was diagnosed as extremely sick so she couldn't come, either (that was ok... he is the third member of her family to get sick. I am not touching that household with a 10-ft pole until they've all been well for at least 3-5 days. I'm getting married in 2 weeks. Precautions, people.), so at the last minute I invited my amazing and endowed friend, Eve, to come with me and make sure my back and all spots I can't see were modestly taken care of. 

Remember that extensive, labor-intensive work needed on my dress that I mentioned? None of it had even been started. I stood on the mirrored platform (30 mins. after my appt. was scheduled to begin) and was having extra pieces of fabric pinned into place on me that very night! And my reception is in TWO WEEKS! 

I wanted to stay calm, though, because another bride came in for a fitting while I was there and she was a total Bridezilla. First of all, her dress was... let's just say unlike anything I've ever seen... and she was having a royal meltdown because the hem appeared to be shorter on one side than the other. Her wedding isn't until May, but she "needs the dress immediately for a portrait session so now it's too late to fix the hem though [she'd] wanted to come in earlier but these people wouldn't let [her]!"  

The ever patient tailor, Dottie, ignored her tantrum and tears while working on me, and Eve and I (who both know sign language) started talking "in code." Not even about this bride-- we just like using sign language around each other-- but it certaintly didn't help the situation :) 

She was just so funny... and helped me realize that brides can be really, really bratty. I guess there is a reason for it, though. This is a highly emotional time and we are extra sensitive. A bride's life is changing drastically, and hundreds of people are watching it happen. There is a lot of pride, fear, excitement, nervousness, and a lifetime of dreams and desires all building up until that one day. Of course she wants everything to go well!  

Well, I didn't want to be like that one bride and cause Dottie to cry, so I kept it inside when I was really frustrated that the work hadn't been started on my dress and the extra pieces she pinned on didn't look very good reflected in the mirror. 

I came home that night and told my mom, "There's nothing to report. Nothing has been done." when she asked how the fitting had gone. She came into my room around midnight, sat on my bed, and calmly told me to call the store in the morning and cancel the alterations. Dottie had never attempted the work I was asking her to do, and with only two weeks left and a load of other brides for her to please, Mom was convinced the dress would end up rushed, experimented on, and look like a home ec project. I have to admit, her logic made sense. Besides, Dottie had figured a random amount to charge us for the alterations, which cost, added to the initial cost of the dress, made it a very expensive home ec project. And I wouldn't even feel beautiful on my day. 

Needless to say, there was no sleep that night! It was already midnight so the only person I thought to call and talk to about it was Ben, but his phone had broken earlier that night. So I did the next best thing: called his sister, Marie, who lives in Utah (a safe two-hour time difference).

"Marie, I am totally overwhelmed from this week and what happened today, and I'm really not sure what to do right now. I'm going to explain this situation to you, and you're going to tell me what to do."
"I don't know if I'll be able to do that....."
"You have to. I'm putting in the quarter, you give me the gumball."

Talking it out to Marie helped me realize that I really hate my dress. Don't get me wrong-- it is beautiful-- but has now compiled so much distress that I don't want it anywhere near me.  Even if it did end up looking halfway decent I would be thinking "this dress was so difficult" and not "I feel so beautiful" at our sealing celebration. And no bride should feel that way. 

So Thursday morning I calmly called David's Bridal and said I would take the dress as-is before any cutting or lace detaching had been done. They eagerly agreed (hadn't wanted to do the work in the first place) and refunded the alterations cost. Ben will try selling it on eBay (he would probably sell the carpet if he weren't renting), and I have two weeks to find a new wedding dress that fits my style, reception theme, and modesty standards. But hey, things go wrong for anyone planning a marriage, right?

As long as I need a new dress, anyway, I may as well get one that's unique and re-wearable! What do you think of this one?

"I could ask a friend of mine if you could wear her gown.... Actually, she might not loan it out.... Not because she's afraid it could get dirty.... Because it would be to you." 

Maybe I'll have better luck next week. 


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not just fiances, now we're co-signers on a marriage license :)

Ben chipped his tooth at work on Monday. Yay! Allow me to explain my excitement: He made his dentist appt. for 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon he called from work to ask if we could get to the probater office downtown to apply for our marriage license since he would have some free time before he met the dentist. It went something like this...

"You just need to bring your Social Security card and driver's license." -Ben
"Hmmm... Well, I don't have my SS card. I haven't had it for years. Can I use a passport?" -Suz
"No. You can use a W-2 form though."
"Nope, don't have one of those either."
"Are you sure you're a citizen?"
"Yeah... you sure you can't use a passport?"
"Too bad. I really wanted to marry you."
"You could move to India and sign up with one of those mail-order-bride things and I can order you."
"Yeah, but the visas are a hassle. "
"Well, it would have been nice."
"Yeah. We did all we could."

My house is a WRECK, but I found the Social Security Card.

Step 1: Go to the Richland County Probate Court

Step 2: Go through security and run past everyone else up to the 2nd floor office
Step 3: Back outside and back through the security gate (with steel-toe shoes on) because you didn't bring cash and the office doesn't take a credit card.

"Can I get started on our form information while he's outside?" -Suz
"No, I need both of you here for that. But you can wait here if you'd like." -Dianne
"No way!"
Suz to Ben: "That sounded way meaner than it was supposed to."

Step 4: Meet Dianne back at the marriage license application desk and smile a lot so she doesn't think you're rude

Step 5: Hand over appropriate ID

Step 6: Wait for Dianne to type info from SS card, DL, and W-2 into the computer

Step 7: Write down blog address so Dianne knows there is a reason you're taking pictures in a government building (Yeah, we may care what Dianne thinks too much.)

Step 8: Review personal info to make sure everything is ready to print

Step 9: Wait for Dianne to print the marriage license

Step 10: Sign your life away (try not to look too excited...)

"Do you want this public or private?" -Dianne
"Public!" -Ben and Susannah in unison
"Wait, what does that mean?"-Ben
"We post the public marriage license application names to the Richland county website."-Dianne
"We could post that to our blog!" -Ben

And I'm happy to say Ben's tooth looks just like normal again :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All That in One Day!

We had a great Saturday! And it's only 6:30! It was really fun to get
done so much and to squeeze in so many fun things. We really felt like
a married coue was great!
Here's a run down of the events of one of our productive Saturdays:
1. Replaced tires on my car (not a moment too soon)
2. Replaced Suz' brake pads (not a moment too soon)
3. Ate a delicious breakfast at a Mexican restaurant where we HAD to
bust out and dust off our spanish skills in order to get served.
4. Signed up for a bank account together
5. Went geocacheing
6. Suz learned to drive a stick...without even one stall!!
7. Had tons o fun at a craft fare.  A quick snapshot of how we are together: (@ a glass blowing booth) Suz was amazed and fascinated by the intricate designs of the different pieces while asking if they can make a cherry blossom tree.  I was nearby talking to the guy making the things about the boro-silicate glass and why its the best.
8. Picked up stuff to fix a broken rear-view mirror.
9. Designed and picked up for our next building project: night stands!

Here are some pics: