December 18, 2000
Making Conversation/Making Lists


"You know, you're going to have to carry the weight of some of the conversation tonight," David warned me, as we drove into downtown San Francisco on Saturday night.holy crap! i was really FAT in December 2000, wasn't i?

I said yeah, I know ... I was planning to contribute a monosyllable at dinner, here and there. "I tell you what," I offered. "I'll handle all of the Internet journaling conversation, and you can talk about everything else."

(I don't know if other couples divide up conversational assignments this way, but David and I do. That's mainly because one of us sucks at making conversation, while the other one of us is almost too good at it and tends to monopolize the *conversational flow* if he isn't careful. It can make for a very lopsided evening if we don't plan ahead.)

The truth is I was excited as hell about this dinner. Sunny of "Sunshyn's Daydreams" has always been tops on my list of *Journalers I Would Like To Meet Face-to-Face* ... not only because she's funny and honest and sassy, and because she lives here in Northern California, and because she writes about stuff I'm interested in -- recovery issues, admin issues, love-at-forty-something issues --  but because we discovered, early on, that our lives run eerily parallel a lot of the time.

(If you don't believe me, go read her for yourself.)

As it turns out, we had a buttload of fun on Saturday night. She is absolutely gorgeous in person, both inside and out: petite, blonde, pretty, self-effacing, smart, funny. (If I didn't already love her, I would have to hate her.) Her Significant Other -- the infamous Tiewok -- is a doll. And even though I found myself sitting at a table with people who were eating disgusting stuff like raw eel and fish eggs and tofu (while I demurely nibbled on my fully-cooked teriyaki chicken), it was a wonderful dinner.

My only gripe? We didn't get to talk about journaling nearly enough. She is far more plugged-in to this whole 'Internet Journaling Community' stuff than I am, and I had a bazillion questions I wanted to ask her: Site Meter or Extreme Tracking? Diary-L or ScribeTribe? Pseudonyms or 'If-You-Know-Me-Go-Away-Right-Now-I Mean-It' disclaimers? Where and when do you write your entries? Morning or evening? At work or at home? FrontPage or Notepad? Do you ever go back and edit yourself? Do you ever regret anything you've posted? Do you track your visitors? Do old boyfriends (or their wives) ever visit your site? Do you ever get those bizarre hits from the Russian Central 2 Time Zone? Do you ever get hate mail? Do you ever write hate mail? Do you ever *telegraph* secret messages to people in your journal entries ... even to people who aren't actually still reading you? (Or who aren't actually still BREATHING, in some cases?)

Whut the fudk 'blogging,' anyway?

But our time together was too brief: dinner, photos in front of the Union Square Christmas tree, a quick tour of the department stores in downtown SF. Plus we were accompanied by two Testosterone Units who couldn't care less about journaling, journalers, journaler conventions, journaler e-mail lists, journaler awards or shameless journaler gossip. There just wasn't enough time or opportunity to talk about the really important stuff.

Guess that'll have to wait until the next visit ... huh, Sunny?

     *     *     *     *     *     *

And now for some *Engagement Updates* ...

David wasted no time jumping online on Friday night, after we got home from the birthday/engagement dinner, so he could spread the word of our *impending nuptials* to our AOL pals.

His message board post says:

Well, others may not want to talk about sex outside o' marriage, but I'm here to spread the holiday joy around:

SecraTerri & DRaftervoi are getting hitched!

I asked her tonight at her birthday dinner, and she consented to be my bride! After 'thinking about it' for a minute.

Yup. Me. In domestic bliss and all that!

Now, we go and have the sex!

Hurray for everything!

Юåf+êrvÕ¡: no further comment

I was slightly more circumspect, at least where AOL is concerned: I simply changed my profile from "Member Name: Secra, but you can call me 'The Internet Girlfriend' " to "Member Name: Secra, but you can call me 'The Internet Fiancee.'"

We broke the news to our families and friends a little bit at a time, over the course of the weekend ... a phone call here, an e-mail there ... an attached .jpg of the engagement ring to anyone who would sit still long enough for the download. By Sunday night most of the people we care about were in the loop, including parents, children and assorted siblings. The rest of them will follow shortly.

(The consensus? That's wonderful news! ... immediately followed by What took you so long?)

I had consciously decided not to say anything at work about being engaged until I get my ring back from the jewelers. I felt that making an announcement like that,  without the proper finger-hardware to back it up, would be a little bit like bragging about your Academy Award without having the actual Oscar statuette in your hand. So of course the instant I walked into the office this morning, I blurted it out to the first person I saw. And of course the 'first person I saw' was THE singularly most-gabby/least-trustworthy person in the entire Totem Pole organization. So everyone in the office knew by 9 a.m., basically.

(Guess I won't have to put it in the Totem Pole newsletter now, will I?)

     *     *     *     *     *     *

  • No, we haven't set a date yet.

  • Next summer probably.

  • Yes, I'm already making lists.

  • No, we haven't decided yet whether we'll have the wedding in TicTac or in California ...

  • ... although we hear Japan is nice.

  • No, we're not planning on anything fancy. Tiaras will probably be optional: at least, for the men.

  • Yes, I'm going to use his last name. ("Terri Ю僱êrvØ¡." It has a nice *ring* to it, doesn't it?)

  • No, EdmundKaz, you can't be a bridesmaid.

  • Yes, we're going to write our own vows. In HTML, probably. ("I, bold-Secra-end-bold, take you bold-Ю僱êrvØ¡-end-bold, to be my italics-lawfully wedded husband-end-italics paragraph.")

  • No, I'm not going to wear white: it makes me look as big as a fudking FRIDGIDAIRE, forcryingoutloud.


  • Yes, I'm going to quit eating ice cream immediately. (See: "White makes me look as big as a fudking Frigidaire, forcryingoutloud.")

  • No, we're not planning on starting a *family.* We've already got one of those, thanks. (Although we are thinking about adopting a Chia Pet, maybe.)

  • Yes, David is going to play his guitar at the reception. He just doesn't know it yet.

  • No, we're not inviting Tone-Deaf Karaoke Neighbor Guy to the reception. He just doesn't know it yet.

  • Yes, I'm going to register us with one of those fancy-pants online wedding gift registry things, where our loyal readers can go and click on a link and instantly send us all of the Happy Panda Toasters their little hearts desire.

  • No, we don't need a fondue set.

  • Yes, we're hoping to take a honeymoon. We've been rehearsing for it for two years now.

  • No, we can't really afford to do this. But you know what? We can't really afford not to do this, either. And like a friend of ours from the Boom Room said to us, not long ago: there is never a perfect time to get married.

  • Yes, you're all going to be subjected to relentless updates and bulletins and *Special Wedding Edition* entries between now and next summer. I'm going to try not to be too annoying about it, but I can't guarantee anything. (And if you think that's way more icky-poo Secra-and-Ю僱êr prenuptial bliss than you can stomach ... just wait'll we install the HoneymoonCam!)

repaying a little more of that karmic debt

two years ago: vicariousness

throw a rock