Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Sensing a Theme, Here

Like most kids, my answer to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" changed about a million times (and, if I'm perfectly honest, it's still changing).  A dream career I've continued to revert back to over the years is teaching.  My current iteration of "when I grow up" is a high school math teacher...but that's another story entirely.

Somewhere around middle school, I was pretty certain I'd become an English teacher- specifically, a creative writing teacher.  The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I went to a geek camp called Center for Talented Youth (CTY) run by Johns Hopkins at various universities throughout the country.  That summer, I went to St. Mary's College of Maryland and took a college-level writing class, Crafting the Essay.

Daddy Geek took this picture of Mom Geek and me as we explored campus just before my 3 week taste of college began.  Incidentally, it's my favorite picture of my mom and me ever taken.
Why am I telling you all of this?

Oh, right.  This post is about choosing our wedding theme.

Before we picked colors, before we assembled a guest list, before I started Googling wedding dresses (okay fine, I've been Googling wedding dresses since my family first got dial-up internet), before we even thought about a budget, we needed a theme.  Ogres have layers, and weddings have themes.

I actually find this movie quite annoying. (via)
Mr. Geek and I sat down with my newly-purchased wedding binder full of tabbed dividers separating blank sheets of college-ruled paper, a folder awaiting receipts for wedding-related purchases, and a notebook  that looked too pretty to pass up, and I warned him that we were about to launch into what would probably feel like a creative writing exercise.

Bless his heart, he agreed to play along.

I gave us each a blank sheet of notebook paper and a pen, wrote his name on the top of my sheet and had him write my name on the top of his.  To start this exercise, I had to set some very important ground rules:

1.Empty your mind of all things wedding-related.  For the next 1/2 hour or so, we are not talking about a wedding, we're just talking about each other.
2. Write down the first things that come to mind, as they come to mind.  Don't second guess your initial thoughts.
3. No peeking at the other person's paper :D

For the first portion of the exercise, I gave us 60 seconds to list as many adjectives to describe the other person as we could possibly think of.  (See?  Should've been a creative writing teacher.)  Here's what we came up with:

Mr. Geek:                                                                              Miss Geek:
silly                                                                                         and she said all that really fast
fun                                                                                          pretty
smart                                                                                      exciting
adorable                                                                                 intelligent
loving                                                                                     funny
geeky                                                                                      compatible
old-fashioned                                                                         organized
southern                                                                                 silly

It would take forever to explain exactly what we mean by a lot of our answers to these prompts (especially in those that follow), but I will explain a few.  The first bullet Mr. Geek listed is obviously a phrase and not an adjective, but the general idea was to list descriptions of the other person.  Other than her physical description (bushy hair, big front teeth, already changed into her school robes) this is the first thing Harry notices about Hermione when they meet on the Hogwarts Express in the first Harry Potter novel- she talks a lot, and very quickly.  This is not the only thing Miss Granger and I have in common.

Yeah, this was my Hallowe'en costume this year.  Which I wore to work.  I'm 23.  Problem?
After adjectives/descriptions, I gave us 60 seconds to jot down objects that remind us of the other person.  This is where things start to get a little...philosophical?  You know how, when you're really close to someone, random things in your everyday life remind you of them?  Shoes remind me of Daddy Geek's sister, because she's a manager at a shoe store.  Large tote bags and purses remind me of Mom Geek because for my entire life, I've never seen her without one.  (She got a new one for Christmas one year, and when she was opening it, my baby sister enthusiastically exclaimed, "Oh, it's a new suitcase!")  Random everyday objects have a tendency to make you think about certain people.

Mr. Geek:                                                                                                  Miss Geek:
textbooks                                                                                                   slippers
calculators                                                                                                 cats
HP/LotR books                                                                                         books
electronics                                                                                                 computers
food                                                                                                           engineering
rats                                                                                                            cookware
pens                                                                                                           fashionable clothes
love letters

Aw, how adorable- Mr. Geek thinks I'm fashionable :D

Next, we went with places: these could be real places or imaginary places, places we've been together or places we'd like to visit together.

Mr. Geek:                                                                                                Miss Geek:
Chicago                                                                                                   Blacksburg
Little Rock                                                                                              Virginia
Japan                                                                                                        Roanoke
DC                                                                                                           Herndon
Middle Earth                                                                                           Chicago
Hogwarts                                                                                                 Ruston
the Shire                                                                                                   Kentucky
Hogsmeade                                                                                              Alabama
Disney World                                                                                          Mobile
New Orleans                                                                                            Home
Godric's Hollow

I love that both of us, as the 60 seconds were winding down, jotted down the word "home"- me in all caps, him capitalized like a proper name.  We were both thinking the same thing- being together, wherever we may be, feels like home, and the concept of this place called "home" is visualized most fully in each other.

 Woah, that was disgustingly sappy.  *Cough*  Sorry 'bout that.  I guess this is a wedding blog, though, so what do you expect?

Anyhoo, the next 60 second period was spent listing people that remind us of the other person- fictional characters, celebrities, or real people who either in appearance, personality, or associated memories call to mind the other person.

Mr. Geek                                                                                        Miss Geek
Ron                                                                                                 Mrs. Weasley
Bilbo                                                                                               MuteMath
Anthony Kiedis
Andy Bernard
Fr. "Andy Bernard" 

It's not that I was enjoying this exercise more than he was, it's just that I write a lot more than he does.  Also it was my idea, so I came prepared with ideas in my head...and I write a lot faster (and messier) than he does.  Also I'd like to explain what I mean by dad- Mr. Geek looks a lot like his dad, shares some personality traits with my dad, and, in general, will be a very, very good dad himself, when the time comes.

Almost done!  The next 60 seconds were spent jotting down colors that remind us of the other person.  It was a little difficult to follow Rule #1 here and separate this exercise from the concept of wedding planning, but it was important that we really concentrate only on colors that we felt were representative of the other person, either because they tend to wear that color or because their personality exudes that color.  (I sound like a hippie or something.  I'm not, I promise.)

Mr. Geek                                                                                    Miss Geek
blue                                                                                             red
red                                                                                               yellow
grey                                                                                             blue

Mr. Geek is a bright, clear blue, like the ocean on a calm summer's day or a cloudless sky just before the pink of sunset creeps in.  He's a deep, crimson red like a full-bodied glass of wine or the brave banner upon which Gryffindor's gold lion stands proud.  He's a calm, soothing grey like the clouds of a spring rain shower that make the day perfect for wrapping up in a soft blanket with a good book.

According to Mr. Geek, I'm a bright, bold, fire engine red like the lipstick I reserve for only the sauciest occasions (which is then unceremoniously imprinted on his cheek or nose or forehead).  Yellow is my favorite color because it's bright and sunny and obnoxious and, well, so is my personality- in high school I was briefly attracted to the music and especially the fashion of some of the school's goth kids but, well, I'm just too happy for that kind of thing.  He listed blue because most of the time, my eyes are blue.  (Sometimes they decide to be green.)  Finally, I'm orange, because of the whole bright obnoxious thing and also because I'm a Hokie through and through.

Finally, the last part of the brainstorming exercise was to write the word US at the top of the back of the page and spend 90 seconds listing as many words as possible that comes to mind when we think of us as a couple.  That...was a lot of words.  I could show you both lists, but this post is much too long as it is, and there's not enough pictures, and let's be honest here- no one actually reads blog posts, they just look at the pretty pictures.

Pretty!  Courtesy of Emile Frey

Where exactly am I going with all this?  What does any of this have to do with a wedding theme?  WHY ARE WE SO DISGUSTINGLY CUTE?

You'll just have to wait for the next blog post to find out!

Much Love,
The Geeks

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