With less than a month to go until the wedding, things seem to be in a strange state where they’re both ramping up and winding down. All of the decisions are pretty much made, it’s just a matter of executing the various projects and crossing them off my various, very detailed lists. The pieces of my wedding dress are carefully laid out in the office waiting to be assembled. I have an elaborate post-it constellation on the hallway wall, there are stacks of washi tape all over the kitchen table, a huge roll of kraft paper sits in the middle of the living room floor, tripping us both up at least once a day. My mother-in-law’s basement is full of boxes of mason jars I rescued from my dad’s attic and the beautiful lanterns she’s making. I have a shopping list in progress that contains the entry “4 lbs. butter (more? — figure out).” When I started all of the fun detail planning, I had been trying to avoid certain tropes of the modern eclectic wedding, but have since given in to it and have started describing the aesthetic as “if Etsy and Pinterest had a baby and then that baby exploded all over everything.” I really love the way everything is coming together. It feels personal and warm and somehow both fancy and unfussy.
I decided to wait until after the wedding to show any pictures of these projects publicly though—I’m not superstitious, except when I am—but what I will share is a wedding-adjacent discovery: my new favorite supremely affordable yet awesome pen. I got my kickass diamond-patterned one at PaperSource, but don’t see it on their website or anywhere else online. Writing with a nib feels great, but the pen cost less than $4 and I don’t have to deal with ink. It is the greatest of all widely available disposable pens. I know a lot of fountain pen enthusiasts and I see the appeal of going that route, I totally do. I just don’t want to go down that rabbit hole at this point.
In news of other things I recommend wholeheartedly, I loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette? I had gone out of my way to avoid this book for more than a year; I thought a story about a woman who abandoned her family and found fulfillment while her daughter searched for her sounded, frankly, both trite and dreary. I was imagining scenes of her being filled with wonder at getting to drink a whole latte by herself or getting to listen to the music she wanted to listen to in the car, then seeing a baby or something and realizing how much she missed her daughter. I was mystified by the awards and good press it got everywhere and only got around to reading it after a friend whose tastes line up with mine almost exactly said it was one of her favorite books she’d read this year. It turned out to be nothing like what I thought it was (though in my defense, the cover copy and cartoony cover are misleading). Bernadette is an ascerbic, brilliant, hilarious, difficult, loving, heavily medicated architect who moved to Seattle for her husband’s job and hates it. Her 15-year-old daughter is going to be going to boarding school on the East Coast, and Bernadette’s only friend is her virtual assistant, who lives in India. After a series of altercations with neighbors and other parents at her daughter, Bee’s, school, Bernadette takes off and Bee pieces together her recent and past histories by means of letters, emails, transcripts of conversations, and the occasional police report in order to figure out what set her off and where to go to find her. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. My only regret is that I didn’t save it to read on the beach or in a hammock somewhere. It’s pure fun.