Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ode to My Paper Trimmer

I just need to give a shout-out to my self-sharpening paper trimmer. Man, this thing has been with me for eight years, through thick and thin (heh). In the last 36 hours, Alissa and I made 90 wedding invitations for her upcoming marriage to Todd. Ninety invitations, five pieces of paper per invite, all of which were cut from larger 12 x 12 or 8.5 x 11 pieces of scrapbooking paper.

That's, like, more than 600 swipes of the paper trimmer. RAH!

We took turns trimming and printing and making itty bitty flowers (Okay, Liss made all the flowers; I did the lion's share of the trimming.) For a little while there, my left hand turned into "The Claw," but it's loosening up now. I'm so proud of how these invitations turned out. Alissa did all the brainstorming and research, including driving up here three times: once for idea-gathering, once for layout, and once for execution. Woot!

The days are counting down, and it's all becoming more real for both of us.

One thing, though? I can never get over the new, different and rude ways that affianced couples (NOT Alissa and Todd, NEITHER Joel and I) find to ask for cold, hard cash. I personally find the Dollar Dance distasteful, unless it's couple observing the Polish custom of the apron dance, in which the bride and groom have to keep dancing the polka as long as their guests keep tossing money into an apron made out of a tablecloth wrapped around the maid of honor. That's different. Similarly, red envelopes of "lucky money" given at Chinese weddings, dollar bills tossed at Greek weddings during the syrtaki... okay. Also, a lot of Italian-American families traditionally give envelopes of money to the couple as they go table to table, and it's considered polite for the bride to gather a small purse during the "visiting time" since it's more tasteful to tuck them away than it is to have a fistful of envelopes. That's culture; it's guests' choice. Whatever.

That's not what I'm talking about.

This afternoon, Alissa and I were designing various cards and labels for hospitality bathroom baskets, etc. We were trying to find a simple way to explain how guests can contribute to Alissa and Todd's alternative guest book (NOT A MONEY-RELATED PROJECT), and I found a wedding website with "cute" poems couples wrote to ask their guests for cash. Um... What? It isn't less tacky if you say it in a poem... That said, some of this poetry was TERRIBLE. Ugh.

We were particularly dumbfounded by the ones where the couples admit- IN THE POEM- that what they're doing is rude.

Their home is quite complete,
as they've been together so long
So please consider our request,
but do not take it wrong.

A gilded cage will be on display
at the reception hall
To deposit your wishes
for the couple with love from all.
An envelope will be provided
for those who have room
To bestow a gift upon the bride & groom.

This delicate request,
we hope you understand
Please ponder over this,
to give their married life a hand.

Um, eep? I found this one kind of funny, though.

Because at first we lived in sin
We've got the sheets and a rubbish bin!
A gift from you would be swell
But we'd prefer a donation
to our Wishing Well!

I'm a fan of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," which Joel has never read, because he is wrong, and therefore he didn't get why this was funny. Anyway, the books also describe Vogon poetry as "the third worst in the Universe."

Douglas Adams writes: Vogon poetry is widely accepted as the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, but the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. The absolute worst poetry was written by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex.

I don't know, man. These Wishing Well poems might give the Vogons, and even Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings a run for their money. *rimshot*


cindy w said...

I never read the book either, just saw the movie. I think I'm one of the few people who thought it was really funny.

I like the poem about admitting they lived in sin. Which is totally true, and I hated putting together a registry because we didn't really *need* anything so it all felt excessive and unnecessary. But man, if I had admitted to living with Dave before we got married? I have a couple of great aunts who would've keeled over on the spot. That was a pretty widely-kept secret in my family. My parents knew, but thought it was "too shameful" to tell anyone else. I went along with it, even though I thought they were ridiculous.

Oh, but back to the subject: yes, asking flat-out for money is rude. I don't think there's any poem in the world you can slap on it that would get Miss Manners' approval.

Alissa said...

I count 6 pieces of paper (the center panel and 5 in the side pocket). All of which (I think) I made the original cuts for, and you trimmed, so I know the claw pain, believe me. Also, all of the center panels and a bunch of the side pieces were cut two weeks ago, too, before we realized a variety of mistakes, necessitating a complete re-do, so add all of that into your grand total for number of cuts! I wouldn't blame your paper cutter if it jumped up on little legs and ran to hide under the couch for a couple of weeks.

You're the best! My invitations are be-oo-tiful. Let's see if I can manage to not muck them up too much when I attach the center panel. :)

Alissa said...

hrm. I just re-read my last comment and realized that it could be taken in a way I did not mean. I did not intend to say I did more work than you, if that's how anyone read it. That is not at all what I meant. I just meant to convey that I know and share the discomfort of the claw-hand and that we (both) actually did more work than you originally stated. Because we are ridiculous and perfectionistic and.... ridiculous. Please let us never again decide to make our own invitations to anything. Ever. Again.

I think I would rather inappropriately ask for money through a terribly-written poem than hand-make 90 invitations with little pieces of paper and teeny tiny embellishments. I wish the word "embellishments" wasn't even in my vocabulary.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

No, I knew what you meant. We were equally sweating, swearing and muttering obscenities. I feel so normal now.

Michelle said...

What does the fact that I don't know (exactly) what a paper trimmer is say about me?

Carl said...

What ever happened to writing lousy poetry just for the sake of sharing lousy poetry? Lousy poetry is tainted by the touch of money.

Please offer my encouragement to Joel to never read HHGG. I haven't read it either but I did watch the original two-volume movie on VHS. It was wretched. To this day, I don't understand how I sat through the whole, horrible thing. It's even worse than the old Dr. Who episodes. By, like, 100,000%.