Saturday, August 21, 2010


I don't know if I've made this abundantly clear (it's hard when you're frequently gushing about how pretty flowers are and stuff) but I'm not very good at being a lady.  By that I mean polished and proper are not adjectives frequently found near my name.  I don't gussy very well.  I like clothes, very much.  I LOVES me some shoes, especially in the high-heeled variety and nail polish is a good friend of mine.  But my hair does exactly two styles when I'm in charge of it - air-dried and ponytail.  Though I like makeup I don't know how to use it very well and usually forget things like lipstick until I'm well out of the house.  I like dresses and skirts pretty well, but I veer more toward simple, clean lines than frilly and poofy.  Bows make me nervous.  On any day, at any given time, you are around 304 times more likely to find me in green, blue or gray than pink or purple.

This is all a very long-winded (sorry 'bout that) way of saying, I'm not very girly.

I'm bad at being a girl.


So anyway, this post is kind of about that, but not really.

A week after Steve and I got back from vacation (you know?  The one when we got engaged?) Steve's mom threw us an engagement party.  Now that is a lady who knows how to throw a party and make it look coordinated and elegant and lovely (also adjectives that are not commonly found near me.)  It was a beautiful party and a lot of fun.

And in the week leading up to it I kept thinking about my closet and ending on something like this: “ummm, I think I have an issue.”  See I have dresses that are appropriate for work and dresses that are appropriate for a wedding.  I have two prom dresses in my closet and a dress that I wore to a homecoming dance when I was a sophomore in high school (yeah....).  I have dresses that are appropriate to wear to the beach and dresses that really aren’t appropriate to wear anywhere at all.  Not a lot that says “I’m a lady, I’m an adult, it should make sense to you that I am engaged, I look like I belong at a garden/cocktail party.”  See there’s a little bit of this whole engagement thing that’s throwing me for loop.  Essentially that I think you kind of need to be a grown up to be engaged.  I’m no grown up.  I’m a very old teenager who’s just pretending to be a grown up because there are cooler shoes involved.

Here I’ll put it to you in math form (because everybody likes math, right?):
Classy /= Me.  Me = Klassy.  (See, math is fun!)

Sooo I bought a new dress.  I went out on my lunch break one day (there are advantages to working about 10 minutes away from one of the largest malls in the world – they are identical to the disadvantages, but still) and found almost exactly what I was looking for (and on sale!).  Thusly armed with a dress I felt would help me pretend to be lady for the day I really threw myself into the gussying process.  Makeup, grooming, etc.  I even, at that point, decided to just go ahead and rock the pearls with the ensemble because really, at that point, why not?

Oh hey, look at me.  I’ve been babbling for quite some time on this here “photo blog” with very little photographic evidence of anything.  The fully gussied Cait:

Steve clearly did whatever the man equivalent of gussying is.  What can I say?  The man can rock a vest like nobody's business.

I got so into this whole girly thing that I both blow-dried my hair and attempted a third hairstyle.  (Not a particularly hard style, but believe me there are points for effort in this arena.)  The party finally got started and I stopped stressing so much about the whole ladylike thing.  Steve and I returned (with 80% less crazy-eyes!) to our post-engagement googly-eyedness.

We had a lovely time.  The dress was a big hit – lots of compliments; which made me believe I was pulling off the ladylike look fairly well.  Which was reassuring and calming.  And embarrassing, but that’s a whole different psychosis I’ll bore you with another time. 

I spent much more of my time than normal (that is to say, any time at all) considering whether to cross my legs at the knee or the ankle; that was a little weird.  Especially because throughout the day I kept basing my opinion on Julie Andrews’ advice in the movie The Princess Diaries.  Though a few times ended up going with no cross at all.  Damn.

We got some other folks to share in our smileyness too.  Like Steve’s godparents:

And his grandparents:

Isn’t his grandpa the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life?  I love my grandpa to death and he’s quite the dapper man himself, but ever since the first time I met Steve’s grandpa I’ve been completely enamored by how completely adorable he is.

Our lovely hosts:

Many other people joined us for a little celebration.  Our friend Lyle even did his very best impression of American Gothic for every picture he was involved with. 

Though this may or may not have been intentional, I like to believe it was his tribute to my path of study and fully expect his impression of this next time:
(That was a little art history humor.  I’ll stop, I promise.)

It was really fun to celebrate with everyone and it was this really warm, loving atmosphere.

Oh yeah, did I mention the food?

Oh my God it was good.  Like I said, the lady knows how to throw a party and she sure knows how to put out a spread.

That reminds me – here’s a picture of what Steve and I look like when we smile with our mouths full.

There was champagne too!  (every time I think, say or type the word champagne I hear Zapp Brannigan in my head – “Sham-peg-en” – classic.)  Yes, I did photoshop that to make it look all weird; I like it that way.

And holy crap this cake was good.

No seriously.  It was not as good as it looks.  It was better.  (Wow, that was terrible.  Maybe I should go back to art history humor.  That was at least clever.)

See how that frosting looks both amazing and like marshmallow fluff?  Tasted that way too – marshmallowy and amazing.

Mmmmm, strawberries.

Don’t those just look good enough to… wait… that doesn’t work as well when you’re talking about food.  It better look good enough to eat.  How about this?  Don’t those look incredibly awesome?  Yes.  Yes they do.

I slipped once or twice in my ladylike veneer throughout the day but I’m pretty sure the only person around for them was Steve.  He’s pretty used to me being unladylike at this point, and he apparently wants to marry me anyway, so I guess that’s okay.  Someday I’ll pull off the lady thing for a full twelve hours or something and he’ll spend the rest of the week completely shocked.  That’ll be fun.

It was a great day and will be a precious memory for me for a very long time to come.  It was fun to dress up and be like Eliza at the races for a day (only without the totally awesome hat).  And I got rewarded with beer afterward.  Thank you to everyone who came, everyone who was there in spirit, and all our well wishers.

Now I’m going to go put on some sweatpants.


  1. Your dress is FABULOUS! You definitely pulled off the grown up look. By the way that feeling of being a teenager acting like a grown up never really goes away. I think I feel that feeling more now as a mom than ever before. :P Also, the party looked spectacular.

  2. Wish I could throw a party for you - although the one at the lake may be the very essence of us Seeling/Joneseseseses ( I never know when to stop with the plural). Glad you had the picture-book version as well. Love you and miss being there to bask in your post-engagement glow! Mom