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Everyone Arrives a.k.a Mike's Bucks Night

April 6th:  Ok, plans are in motion.  I am on my way to my manicure and pedicure at 9 am.  Though it took forever to come up with a plan, I think it was wise to go by myself on Thursday morning for the manicure/pedicure.  It was some much needed time by myself before all the hustle bustle, and we were still far enough from the wedding I could actually relax - especially when she activated the massage on the pedicure chair!   Afterwards as I was leaving the salon, I just kept thinking - good grief I have had my manicure and pedicure.  This is how my hands would look when I got married - yes I know its a weird thought but that's what I was thinking!  Then it really hit me.  Plans were in motion.  Appointments were being kept. This was a major milestone on the pre-wedding countdown calendar and it had passed.  So far so good....

On the way back from the salon I see Victor up ahead of me in traffic.  He graciously allows me to cut him off in Davis Square where I stop to get a latte and wait to see if Black and Blues will open up by 11 so I can get some new sandals for Hawaii.  No such luck, but my latte was yummy.  By the time I get home, Mike and Victor are mopping the floors and cleaning the house!  I kid you not!  I can't tell you how happy I was that I didn't have to ruin my new manicure :-)  They were great and I really really appreciated this.  So I used this newfound time to make some last minute phone calls and confirm some things.  All was going well, got the balloons ordered, confirmed lunch tomorrow for the bridal luncheon, confirmed the tuxes were in, and then I called Yolanda's to confirm my dress pick up on Friday afternoon.  I gave the woman my name and said I was confirming my dress pick up, Friday at 2:00 pm.   She was like "Tomorrow?"  And I said "Yes" and she said "Hold on one minute" and put her hand over the receiver and yelled "Irina, Lisa Bustin is on the phone - didn't you say that dress was gone, the one you couldn't find?"  Muffled response.  She returns to the phone and says "Let me put you on hold dear."  And let me just say I went cold, then I started to sweat.  Then my stomach dropped.  It was the absolute worst feeling.  I had visions of running desperately to David's Bridal, calling my friend Pam who is a lawyer, of walking down the aisle in some foofoo outfit because Yolanda's lost my beautiful dress!  It was a very tense few moments let me tell you.  So then she returns and says "All set dear, we'll see you tomorrow at 2:00 p.m."  Still shocked and suspicious all I could squeak out was a "So everything is all set, the dress is there and it will be steamed and ready?"  And she just said "Of course."  My fears were still not assuaged and I told this story to anyone who would listen.  I just kept saying to myself -this is one of the best salons in Boston.  They did not lose your dress.  If they lost your dress you will sue them and demand to wear one of their $5000 gowns off the rack....  But there was much still to do so I pressed on. 

One very good thing though.  I had gone deep into our front closet to pull out an overnight bag and what was that I saw - a beautiful brown box that said COACH.  Hmmm...whatever could that be?  Then it dawned on me.  Michael was bad and got me a wedding present!  UGH - after we specifically said no presents, our present would be the trip to Hawaii.  And here I am having gotten him nothing.  I was starting to feel pretty bad and mad! So I confronted him of course.  So subtlety I asked, Michael did you get me a wedding present?  And he replied, no why?  So I kind of raised my eyebrows in the direction of the closet. He cursed himself under his breath for not finding a better hiding spot and grudgingly admitted he broke our no present pact!  But I don't really mind...the bag is gorgeous, their new collection, don't know what it's called but I'm loving it - in black of course.  Isn't it obvious why I chose to marry this wonderful man?  

Time continued to fly and next thing I knew Victor had returned with Mark and Liron!  It was so great to see them - they had flown from Australia for the wedding!  Mark was one of the groomsmen and was returning the favor as Mike had flown down there to be in his wedding almost 5 years ago now!  And it was really great to see the expressions on their faces when they came into the house because they hadn't seen it since last March when it was a bit of stripped wallpaper and brown carpets.  They were true troopers and had helped us get all the primer up on the walls before they left.  So to see their surprise at the house's new look with hardwood floors and very colorful walls was great.  Made me feel good about the hard work we had put into this crazy old house!  But then after some quick hugs, the men had to run off for their beautification at the barber and they took Liron with them to drop at the T as she was visiting some other friends.  So I had about 1 hour of peace to finish everything up because when the men returned we were going to pack everything up and haul it all to the Hyatt.  I had boxes of guest goody bags, boxes of champagne favors, boxes with the silver star placecard holders, boxes with the table cameras, kids bags for the kids table, menus, placecards, pictures of us when we were kids for the cake table, the guestbook vase (a la Martha Stewart) was quite a load of stuff and I could not wait to get it out of my dining room, bedroom and front hallway....and this didn't even include the stuff for the chapel...weddings involve a lot of stuff!

So the men are back, this time with Doug another beloved groomsmen in tow as well.  Somehow we manage to load all of this stuff into our car and Victor's car and we are off to the Hyatt.  Running oh just a little was almost 4 and we were supposed to be there at 3 to drop the stuff off, but I had called to warn Kristin our Coordinator we were of course, late.  My parents were due to arrive at the Hyatt and 4 as well so I was hoping to bump into them.  They were driving up from PA and we had to grab my Dad and brothers and run to the tux shop very soon... But first I run into the Hyatt to let Kristin know we're here and the men load all of our wedding paraphernalia onto a bell hop cart.  I also checked at the front desk and my parents and grandparents had arrived so I gave a quick call to say we're downstairs and I'd be up shortly but they better be ready for tuxing soon!  In the lobby I run into Michael's father Bruce and some of his friends, Roger, Philip and Bob, all up from Florida and all future attendees of tonight's Bachelor "Bucks" night.  So of course when the men bring the stuff in its mass chaos, hugs, handshakes, etc.  Then Kristin arrives and we go over some of the stuff I have brought, sign some stuff, and then we are all set!  I can't believe it!  I am starting to feel a little lighter to have dropped everything off, though I am still nervous I dropped someone from the placecard list...  Now that that is done I go up to see my family and drag the guys down to get their tuxes fitted.  And we're off, I think it was about 4:40, not too bad...we'll still make it...I guess I should explain that the mad rush is not so much to get to the tux shop (since its open until 9 pm) but because the Bachelor's party starts at 6:30 p.m. at Redbones in Davis Square.  So that is why the big rush.  And of course 4:45 in Boston and then on 93 North and 128 South to get to the Burlington Mall was not pretty.  We tried a short cut through Woburn but I think it backfired.... but we do eventually get to the mall.

Tux time.  I will admit before I go any further that this was my one very large mistake today.  I should never ever have gone with the guys.  Ever.  I went because I had heard many a horror story about mis-fitting outfits, returns, shirts with cigarette burns, etc.  And I wanted to check them out because as you may have picked up on by now, I am bridezilla the micromanaging bride.  But I should really have trusted the guys to notice stuff like that...  We got there and you could tell the store was mayhem.  There were guys walking around in tuxes trying to decide which one to get for the prom.  Fine I understand, its prom season.  But the store is tiny.  Teeny tiny.  Victor, Bob (my brother), Doug and Mark had gotten there first and had given their names and someone was sort of helping them.  But not really.  It was truly mayhem.  I can't even explain.  Lets just say there was pretty much 1 free fitting room because all the others were being occupied by prom boys walking around trying on every tux jacket in the store.  I picked out my wedding dress in less time.  And with every last nerve of mine frayed, lets just say I wasn't dealing well with the whole situation.  I hate incompetence.  Then the clerks kept messing everything up, charging for shoes when we didn't want shoes, not organized at all.  After what seems like a lifetime though we are about done.  And wouldn't you know it everything was fine.  The only small problem was my brother Brian's neck grew and his shirt tried to choke him but we just got him a bigger one and all was well.  But the tuxes looked great - a single button shawl for my dad with black cummerbund, 4 button notch collar for the groomsmen with a black vest with very very subtle purple weave to match the ladies, same tux for Michael but with a gold vest to pick up the gold in my dress - though I was not allowed to actually see the tux on Mike because I wouldn't let him see me in my dress so fair is fair.  Hmmph.  

So its already after 6 and we speed out of the mall and fly home.  Literally fly.  By this point between the stress of it all and Michael's driving I wasn't feeling so great.  Since everyone is a little late, Victor drops Doug, Mark and Bob off at Redbones and meets us back at our house to drop off his car.  Then the plan is that I'll drive my Dad, Mike and Victor to Redbones (which is a 5 minute drive from the house) and then come back and get Brian (who is unfortunately 16 and couldn't participate in the bachelor festivities and got stuck with his sister the evil bride for the night) and we'll go to the Hyatt for dinner with my mom and grandparents who are probably wondering where in the world we are right now!  So as we are heading to my car Victor comes out with a backpack and says he has something for Mike...its a blue bowling ball attached to a chain and on the ball is my name!  And Victor proceeds to attach this contraption to Mike's ankle!  Hmmph, that's me the ball and chain!  I can't even imagine what the rest of the night will be like for them!  Should be very interesting - its a multi-generational party with all of Mike's friends, Mike's dad, some of his friends and my dad!  Can't wait to hear the stories, or actually maybe I can!

So anyway, everyone gets where they are going, and I call my mom to tell her we are on the way and then Brian and I head for the Hyatt.  All I remember is for the whole ride I kept saying - Brian, do not drive like your sister - as I ran every yellow light in town!  UGH, brides really should not be driving this close to their wedding - too much stress just compounds the road aggression.  Going down Mem drive I just kept praying it would be nice on Saturday so the guests could enjoy the beautiful views and scenery in the area.  All the daffodils were blooming, the Charles river was sparkling, perfect!  So we get to the Hyatt and meet my Mom and grandparents for a what is now a late dinner - about 7:30.  The restaurant is pretty empty and we have to keep trying to find or waiter but other than that all was well!  I just was in shock and so happy that everything thus far had worked out and that my family made the trip safely and my grandparents made it and here we were having dinner!   Crazy!

After dinner I am just going to head home and relax for the rest of the night and pack my stuff for the B&B tomorrow night and for the Hyatt Saturday night.  My last night in my house as a single woman!  So we all say goodnight and my mom and brother walk me to my car in the parking garage.  By then its raining and kind of dreary and all I could think was YES!  Pour now, RAIN RAIN RAIN, get it out of the way tonight...

So I get home, pour myself a huge glass of red wine and start cleaning a little, packing, finish organizing stuff to take to the chapel tomorrow for the rehearsal, and wait for the 11 o'clock news so I can watch the WEATHER.  I am obsessed.  Finally its on.  Channel 7, NBC, waiting for Harvey Leonard the weatherman.  Come on Harvey - good news please!  Finally its time for the weather.  Rain through the night, Friday will be absolutely gorgeous, and then Saturday - SUNNY, WINDY, AND TROPICAL, HIGH's NEAR 70, RAIN LATE IN THE EVENING!  I burst into tears.  I just sat there and bawled I was so happy.  I knew it wasn't a guarantee, but it was hope, true hope.  I tried to write out thank you cards to go with our thank you gifts for the rehearsal dinner but I was just exhausted and they were so emotionally draining.  I hoped I'd find the time tomorrow...

And just FYI, Mike and Mark arrived home that night around 4:30 am, drunk and smelly.  Must have been some night!