Friday, October 31, 2008

Jobless but not idle

Two months of unemployment has made me insecure and scared. But on the up side, it does give me time to go looking through other people's trash for things like old blankets and then make them into clothes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've been reading about the difference between "entertaining" (focused on impressing people with your house, your fancy food, etc.) and "hospitality (focused on other people, not yourself).

I'm finding this especially relevant to planning the wedding. The wedding industrial complex is extraordinarily good at getting people to spend lots of money on goofy stuff they don't need.

I keep trying to remind myself: in ten years none of these people will remember what kind of flowers I had on the table, or if there were flowers at all. They won't care what my colors were or whether the plates matched. (Although since this mania is marketed peculiarly towards women, I do know any displeasure my aunts feel about the arrangements will be directed at me and not Jeff). This is not about me showing off. It's about people enjoying themselves and each other, yes, but that shouldn't center on how the cake was decorated. It should be about hospitality.

When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. Luke 14:12-14

I'm not sure about maimed or blind, but we are at least inviting a lot of college students . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This week I got my first phone call for "Mrs. Kaufman". I warily told the voice on the other end that there was no one here by that name, and she said she actually wanted Jeffrey Kaufman. Of course! A woman answering the phone at Jeffrey Kaufman's house must be Mrs. Kaufman. Actually, the people living in the house are currently two Mr. Kaufmans, one Ms. Thomforde, one Ms. Wise, one Mr. Aderer, and sometimes two Ms. Kaufmans but definitely no Mrs. Kaufmans. The last person to bear that name was Jeff's grandmother, who is long dead.

I have doubts about adding another variable to this mishmash by keeping my name, but it seems simpler than making the transition to Julia Kaufman. Also, there would be something weird about being Mrs. Kaufman when Jeff's mother isn't. I don't feel strongly about it as a feminist issue - I'm keeping the name of my father and his father and his father, none of whom are people I particularly want to be named after. In fact, I originally wanted to change my name and Jeff was one of the people who talked me out of it.

I just wish he would stop answering the phone with "Thomforde, Kaufman, and Wise", which makes us sound like a law firm.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The other option was "the gravid uterus"

The fun thing about living with a midwife is that the reused paper in the printer has such interesting things on the back of it. Yesterday I turned over a draft of the wedding invitations to find a diagram of "THE NORMAL UTERUS" on the reverse. Probably we shouldn't send the final versions out like that.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I suddenly went into Advent drive. Advent is the ecclesiastical season of preparing for Christmas, but for anyone who makes Advent calendars there's also a preparation for the preparation. Fourteen years after I told my mother I didn't believe in Jesus anymore, the cycle of the liturgical year is still pretty strongly in my system.

At some point I looked out the window and realized why I suddenly had the need to sketch out Advent calendars. It was a cloudy day, so at four in the afternoon it was dark outside. It's not really winter yet. I'm just like one of those birds that gets bamboozled into migrating at the wrong time by a shift in daylight. If scientists wanted to, they could probably trick me into starting in July by covering up my windows with dark sheets every afternoon.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Going retro

Lately I find myself using history to justify all kinds of things. "Well, historically it's totally normal to live with your in-laws. Most people around the world and through time have lived in much smaller spaces with more people." "There's nothing weird about a potluck wedding. Caterers have only been common for about a century."

The problem is that I've now reached the stage of wedding planning where I start thinking things like, "Why should we pay 26 cents per fork for 150 people? All those people own forks of their own. We could all just bring our own cutlery, like people used to do in the middle ages." No, Julia. No.