False Deadlines

I’m back in St. Louis for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and wedding planning. I am sitting in my parents’ backyard enjoying real autumn, not that fake stuff the Bay Area has. I just crunched a pile of dry leaves beneath my feet. You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you San Francisco?

Taking off three days from work is a bit nerve-wracking, and, really, I should not even be thinking about work at all! I should talking to caterers and figuring out if we can afford a photographer! But, oh well. Theater is on my mind, so I might as well set the demon to rest before I go meet with the dude about the tent. Tent? Yes tent. Circus Wedding! High wire acts. Elephants . . . No. Not really.

I planned this “vacation” back in August when I was making the master calendar for the season because, on paper, this week is actually a pretty decent one to take off. We just sent off one program to the printer and we are not yet jamming up against the deadlines for our slot 4 show. Are we ahead? Hell no. But we are, as of this moment, where we need to be. Knock on cyberwood . . . wait that probably means something else . . .

Apparently last August, as I was figuring this trip out, I did something very clever. I gave us a false deadline for the program we just sent off on Friday, which actually needed to go to the printer today. False deadlines are great. It is manager’s equivalent to setting the clock in your car ten minutes fast. Of course, I completely forgot that the deadline was false. It was like that scene in Momento when Leonard—who is unable to create new short-term memories—purposefully writes down false information to fool himself. On the plus side, we beat our deadline by a weekend, allowing us and our publisher a more relaxed Thanksgiving week. On the down side, we certainly stressed ourselves out to last week more than we needed.

False deadlines won’t really work for wedding planning. It just all has to get done, and the sooner the better. And once you finish one small tasks–hotel rooms blocked –there are a hundred more little things to figure out. Not only have we never gotten married before, we also haven’t really planned a party before. We did have about 20 friends over for a surprise birthday party last month. We made pizza, an experience that squashed our belief that self-catering our reception would be feasible.

We are taking comfort in reading about the wedding experiences of similarly, budget-conscious, artsy folks, especially A Backyard Wedding and 2000 Dollar Wedding. The fact that they made it work gives us hope!

It could be worse . . .

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