So I'm getting married in less than two weeks.
That's simultaneously thrilling and terrifying. And right now, I'm tending to flip-flop between the two worse than John Kerry at a Democratic rally.
There's lots of stuff to think about: flowers and dresses and favors and programs and music and cake tiers and shoes and gifts and thank-yous and transportation and maps and did I do this and did I do that and when can I talk to that person and what if something goes wrong and will the wax lady do it right when I tell her to make my eyebrows look natural.
So basically, when I'm in the "I'm so thrilled" stage and not thinking about the aforementioned puddle of chaos and disaster that is my planning life right now, I am majorly trying to destress. I'll tell you what's not helpful: reading about teenagers ripping each other to shreds in a "game". Though it was sickly enjoyable. No no, what I am here to tell you about tonight is my tips on how to relax, and what has been working for me recently or has worked in the past.
#1. Get yourself a fluff novel. This is not a time to pick up Dickens or Chaucer, this is a time to read a trashy romance novel or an equally mindless piece of nonsense in a genre of your choice. Though I beg of you, don't pick up Nora Roberts. If you're going to choose trashy romance novels, at least pick a real bodice-ripper. Hint on how to find the right one: It's got to have a girl in a low-cut, 19th century gown that's still way revealing and some guy in tight-fitting trousers with no shirt on, thereby exposing his twelve-pack. Okay, so this isn't really my bag. I have no lack of romance, even now, and if I do want trashy there's always my fiance's fabulous reenactment of a break-up between a Snooki look-a-like and a bro he overheard on campus the other day. You can't make this stuff up. So instead, I am trying Zorro by Isabel Allende. I give. I love Zorro. Let's hope this one is fluffy enough.
#2. Bath time. Ahhhhh, bath time is so perfect. I love bath time because when I was living with roommates, it was one of the only times when you had perfect solitude. Nobody wants to disturb you when you're in the bathtub. Unless there's a fire alarm. And that's just inconvenient. Anyhow, if your bath water's warm enough, too, you can stay in there for, like, an hour. With the bubbles, the candles, the music, and the book (and the occasional glass of wine) it's the perfect way to spend an evening. True, you may be a bit wrinkly when you get out, but they are mercifully the kind of wrinkles that go away.
#3. Extra-long out to dinner. Take your time, for god's sake. Enjoy the company and the conversation, eat what you want and don't hurry it. Order dessert. Bring your favorite person and just sit back and enjoy the show. I did this the other night with my favorite person, and instead of eating on the go or standing or something else stupid like that, we took an hour and a half out of our day, we didn't talk about anything stressful, we just laughed and talked and ate each other's food (okay, mostly me stealing his fries) and had a great time. It was like the coils of stress literally unwound from my spine.
#4. Work. I know this may sound stupid, but seriously, when your home life is stressing you out, just lose yourself in your work. In my job, I have a lot of stuff to do on a regular basis. There's not a whole lot of sitting around passively. Therefore, it's relatively easy to just focus on the task at hand and not think about anything else. If you are currently unemployed, have a boring job, or are younger than 18, try doing the dishes by hand. I swear it's a Zen thing. I do the dishes by hand, and I relax like no other. I just focus on each dish and doing a good job, maybe listen to some music, and I get into this almost trance-like state where my mind is miraculously free of thoughts. Yes, you can call me Siddhartha.
#5. Movies. If you're not much into reading, try movies instead. It's never so easy to forget your troubles as while watching Simon Pegg take out zombies with record albums in Shawn of the Dead. Don't worry, they only use the albums by crap bands. Personally, this is my plan: I am going to see Titanic. By myself. Yep, I'm going to sit in that dark theater and bawl my freaking eyes out of Rose and Jack and their poor doomed love. I am one of those girls who needs a good cry. I'm not really upset, it's just a fabulous stress reliever. So rather than melt down about a particularly bad traffic jam (of which there has been plenty recently), a particularly spectacular fall, or a particularly failed recipe, I am going to have a prescribed meltdown of my own choosing. A controlled cry. Then, when I get into that bad traffic altercation, I will be able to remember all of the soliloquy of Caius (a.k.a. The Earl of Kent in disguise). According to my Shakespeare professor, it is the best collection of insults and should be hurled at wrong-doers as frequently as possible. It goes something like this:
KENT: Fellow, I know thee.
OSWALD: What dost thou know me for?
KENT: A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.
Try that on for size the next time someone pulls out in front of you and then decides to go 10 miles below the speed limit.