Countdown to Bridzillerie! 1-3

With a fortnight to go, Adella begins to chronicle the march away from March and towards the nuptial blisstastic circus of April! Join me, won't you?


...16......Countdown to Bridzillery Commences... My dearest boyfrianceband,+Andrew Wright, and I are getting married on April 6th. Of this year. See, when we used to say April 6th, there was a gaping yawning maw of a year between us and the nuptial date. Which gave us plenty of time to mix wild speculation about the insanely hilarious things we would do for our wedding (rhinos, pyrotechnics, light shows...) and otherwise ignoring it to focus on more pressing issues like school and work and buying groceries and who got eliminated on Top Chef and what not.

So yeah, there's a wedding thing coming up. It may say something about my approach that I promptly lost the remainder of my invitations and have thus been asking Andrew for extras when I need to give them to the people I've forgotten. Mostly, I think, it says that I'm kind of a flake (or, as I have no patented in my own head, a Bridzilladitz!). But also that I am pointedly embracing my pre-proclaimed casual attitude about this. Not to say there isn't that little cortisol roil in the pit of my gut set to a mild simmer pretty much of the time. It's a lot of people and things to juggle in a couple of days, particularly for a highly sensitive introvert such as myself. I am happy to report that - despite being the kind of person who needs battery operated slippers to keep her feet warm - I have absolutely NO cold feet about marrying my bloke, but there are definite moment of gelid toesies about doing so in a public display with guests pouring in from around the country ALL LOOKING AT US!!! Remember, I am the sort of enigma who can perform on a stage in front of a thousand people, fall on my ass and ham it up so well that nobody knows the difference including myself, BUT can't be in a restaurant of ten people talking at once without earplugs and some serious breathing techniques... highly sensitive introverts are complicated. 

 Of course there was also a bit of a conceptual chasm post-April 6th. Andrew didn't know where he'd get a job, we didn't know where we'd be living, thus I didn't know where I'd be working (if I'd be able to be working), and so on and so forth. This has blessedly coalesced within the last week. Andrew has a job! We can make it work living in Bellingham. I can stay at my job. I can continue my usual dance commitments. Life, as I know it, will be a lot closer to normal than I'd anticipated. Andrew's life... well. He was amazingly thoughtful when we discussed the where-are-we-gonna-live bit, and really brought home why I am marrying him in the first place (his cute toosh, obviously, but that aside, he's also sweet): He acknowledged that it will be a longer commute to his work in Mukilteo than he'd like, but that he'd thought about it and understood that Bellingham was my community very strongly, that he had no particularly strong geographical attachment, and that couples who both commute just both end up being miserable and never seeing each other. So we will be looking for a place near the freeway and figuring out every way to make his commute easier and possibly cheaper. He, meanwhile, will be planning the week night escapes to Marymoore to race his track bike and hit his favorite trails down south. And since he's being such a peach in going along with living in Bellingham, we'll probably be doing a lot more of that "skiing Mt. Baker" (since I've never been, actually, to the shock of locals everywhere) and other Bellingham active-like things.

Since Mr. (W)right is done with his school and doesn't start work until April 15th, he's on the job with those other pittances like getting married and moving. Or at least taking some lead on that while I help, and helping with the actual wedding planning nonsense which has admittedly been on hiatus. First things to tackle: the slow treacle of moving things and throwing the rest out. It's been one of those "I should do that" sort of agenda items for the past six months to go through and get rid of a large swath of the detritus in his possession, to make that move thing easier when the time is right. Since his roommate are a bunch of early-twenties animals (in the least favorable sense of that word), I believe he's quite happy to have finally taken the step to move his swank red chair far from their questionable purview. And, my it looks awfully nice in my current apartment! If only we'd known sooner! I could have had a comfy fancy chair all this time!! I told him there's plenty of storage area up here for his bigger items if he wants to clear them out. I also am now the happy owner of a track bike. 

...15... The couple that grooves together, stays together (long enough to hit the gym!) - 

As promised, last night was my danceastravaganza first-dance lessons with Nate and both my favorite fellas. My Dad and I initially had the lesson set up  to go over our first dance, but since Andrew is done with school, I suggested he come along and crash it! Fortunately, although he is often quite the literal guy (setting us up for many fascinating interlocutory larks, particularly in the early morning when I am sassiest and he is most literal), he did not literally crash into our lesson. He did, however, arrive at our lesson and helped out in parts with the transition from father-daughter-to-couples-first-dance. 

Both my menfolk were late to the lesson. Andrew hit the gnarly hairball of traffic that is Everett and my Dad seemed to think that talking to Comcast customer service about an issue he was having with his cable would somehow be a good idea for this issue (yes, insanity does run in the family). By the time he was supposed to head out the door, he was still on hold and knew that his gauntlet of holds and calls would be forever lost if he simply hung up the phone at that point. It appears that he managed to get through to somebody briefly after that (to what avail, I could not report), and arrived about ten minutes late. For any other individual, this would be "on time," but my father is quite like me in that if he is not there at least two minutes early, you might want to get out the phone and check the local hospitals. Chronic earliness, like insanity, is most certainly a strong hereditary trait in our family. Andrew arrived about twenty minutes late, which for him is just barely within the window of on time. I think he's one of the second people to see our father-daughter dance ... one can only assume that he was hiding a covert camera and taking fastidious notes, so that he could report back to his side of the family on the necessary adjustments to be made to the mother-son dance. I'm guessing it will involve live tigers and at least a few sparklers. Neither Andrew nor Lisa do anything halfway, let me tell ya!

Today, the fella and I are taking the next big step in our relationship, one so dramatic that it dwarves the wedding entirely: we are getting a couples membership at the YMCA together! Oh yes, you read that right. Talk about commitment. I learned on Tuesday that the Y actually - contrary to my benighted belief - does not automatically bill my credit card, and my membership had thus expired. Needless to say I never go to the YMCA with my wallet, so I was not able to rectify the situation at the time. With the residual illness and multiple schedule interventions, fate appeared dead-set against letting me work out with Azita. But as my plucky friends are wont to do, she battled back the hounds of idleness and gave me one of her guest cards. Still, I need a new membership and couples get quite a deal. So I floated it by Andrew. My initial hope was to do the annual membership all in one big chunk and thus avoid future stops and starts due to inevitable carelessness, but since Andrew will be in Mukilteo much of the week, he was reluctant to buy a membership here. I promised we could go together every Sunday, but it certainly would be more of a financial deal if he could make use of it during the week. So we're giving it a trial at a couple's monthly membership. It turns out to be nearly as good of a deal. 

Yes, this means that my crazy masochistic hard core fiance will be joining me and Azita - giggling gym foxes - at the gym today. We may, in fact, do different machines. In fact, he will not do machines. He will be in the free weight section with the terrifying grunting seventy year old men whose bodies appear carved from a gnarled and slightly rotten wood and who actually still may be wearing those wrestling suit onesies one sees in old photos of body builders. He will also probably not join us in the ladies changing room, although we had not discussed this aspect yet.  GENDER EQUALITY!! Or something.

Still, he wants to warm up with us on the rowing machines. This is going to be... entertaining.

...A Blue Blue Tango and Bonus Baby Socks - 

Despite my ongoing ague (oh em gee, my temperature was actually all the way up to 99.1 today, which is apparently an "orange" by my thermometer's standards), I dutifully followed through on my promises to be there and not the least bit square at our final tango practica at +Blue Moon Ballroom (scheduled for official plug-pulling and many memorials at the end of this month). 

Fate rewarded my dogged persistence by giving me not just an encounter with +Marcus Tasanasanta(still teaching zumba there), but with +Molly Tasanasanta's entire brood (Marcus, her,  voguely-besocked-snoozing Emma, and future second husband Dylan!) This alone made the evening worth any subsequent rasps and headaches. Dylan, twelve now, is now officially as tall as I am, although I suspect that I may still outweigh him (which is saying something, because I am fairly on the scrawny side). Glad to report that he is still shy of sullen teenage snark and was full of that same old sweet elan, with just enough frivolous flapdoodle to ensure that he is related to his mother, and a great conversational partner for me. Also glad to report, he still appears to think I'm kinda cool and I don't think I even got a chance to talk to Molly, he had so much to say to me! I believe we are now going to a BBQ at their new house after I sell him a baby from my trunk. 

M&M absconded with husband-number-two and baby-socks as the tangueros ushered themselves in (can you blame them, we are a terrifying lot). Dylan attempted half-heartedly to stay, but I think it was understood that they would leave as a family unit.  Alas, but I'll have plenty of time to catch him up on tango once Andrew has ridden himself off a steep mountain during some midlife-crisis related extreme sport and I am in the market for my own midlife-mid-mourning consolations.  

The theme for the practica was a cute: A Few of My Favorite Things (with appropriate theme music interjected). This meant all of the female teachers in town were invited to give quick demos and/or explanations of their favorite embellishments/adornos. My name - despite infrequent appearances - remains aligned with embellishments in this community - so I kind of knew I was on the hook this evening. Since I could barely speak, of course, I had the option of bowing out  and almost did, but...

A quick catch me up for the non-tango lot: embellishments are exactly what they sound like. They are stylizations of steps or additional movements that typically have no impact upon the actual step, connection, or move, but which add a personal flair and expression for the embellisher (usually the follower). One could - and I certainly do - take an embellishment far enough to change the pacing or flavor of a move,  but all definitions were made with exceptions, and rules made to be broken. There are several named patterns that aspiring embellishers can study and practice individually. 

It was an interesting thing to contemplate for me, because I don't think of myself as "doing embellishments" all that much. I had to dance with an open ear to my own impulses to really recognize that I adorn almost each step. I deeply enjoy adding my "voice" to the music, by accenting the up-beat with a quick tap or three, and otherwise layering my percussive understanding of the pulse of music. I enjoy quickly touching my partner's foot when we close our feet, or kicking quickly between his legs when they are open. I flick up my toe during ochos and draw little circles on the ground before a slower forward step. Sometimes I use my hips or shoulders to add a sass, all with the requirement that this not interfere with the connection. I squeeze my partner's shoulder or raise my arm at certain moments in the dance. And, if I'm dancing with Mr. Wright, I may occasionally bite his ear or kiss his cheek. These are all mostly spontaneous expressions of how the music and the connection runs through me, and some of these would conventionally be considered embellishments. 

The teaching was limited for me, given my voice was near to shot by the time all the ladies had done their thing. So I just danced. I didn't know what the music would be or what my partner was doing, and I can't say it was very focused, but apparently there were many embellishments involved. The most touching moment of the evening came when I as about to leave - a woman came up to me almost giddily and with a cute grin on her face, introduced herself (Diana - the goddess of the hunt, which is how I'll remember her in the future in my quest to ever remember names), and told me that I was such a gorgeous dancer and she hoped to dance like me some day... I was a floored. I'd felt a bit wobbly, sloppy and out of shape, in addition to generally dead. Of course, never quite knowing how to respond, I managed to effuse a few thank yous and promise myself I'd remember her name. I wonder if she was drawn to my style because she is also quite tall (another way I'll remember she is Diana goddess of the hunt), and most of the iconic dancers are more compact. I think there's a great potential for elegance in tall dancers, but a much steeper initial awkwardness curve, one that I still sometimes require a sherpa to surmount. Seeing a a tall dancing buck the awkwardness and reach that divine elegance (even for glimpses) is so inspiring to me, I know. 

Regardless of the reason, it was a very nice way to say goodbye to a studio with a rich history of fostering my tango aspirations. When The Blue Moon first opened, I taught group lessons there, and hosted a weekly practica and monthly milonga. They never quite turned a profit, so Molly sagely phased them out after I left, but it will always be especially relevant to me when I think of tango.

Doug, my co-organizer, also gave all of the demonstrators roses (and Andrew a rose stock that looked mostly like a scallion), and then spent his time doling out secret sips of wine to certain selected individuals. I told him that hanging out with him makes me feel like I'm one of the "bad kids" in an '80's  high school movie.  

Andrew, for his part, was thoroughly spent from looking so darned sexy in his orange training shirt at our gym excursion earlier, that he was quite dead by then. With his other free time, he rode his bike all around Southern Bellingham checking the exteriors of apartments he found on Craigslist! We already have an appointment to look at a seemingly fabulous house. Knock on wood. 

Today is also the day for finalizing some ponderously pending wedding things, like ordering our portion of the food and having one of those Adella-trademarked check ins about the vows we've written and how we feel they reflect our relationship and our hopes and aspirations for being murried stiffs (I have done this to the fella since about six months into our relationship, occasionally coming out with agendas and post-discussion minutes for the record ... because I am a lawyer and a mediator and my training will not die!!)
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