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I, by nature, am not a manipulative person. I don’t like imposing on people and I don’t find ways to get them to do what I want. I simply ask, tell or request and put up with the yes or no answer. Sure, I may be a bit slow in asking and nervous and anxious about it, but eventually, I get around to it.

This is part of the reason I am asking my boyfriend to marry me. I’m gonna ask, and hope for a happy answer. That’s it. Shit, or get off the pot. We’ve discussed marriage a bit, but in no concrete terms. I have not prodded or dropped hints, although we joke about these things all the time.

Me, observing: “Oh, god, look at those hideous ass pom-pom decorations on that wedding car”

Him: “Is that a hint?”

And so forth.

Today, the awesome Dodai at Jezebel alerted me to an article in the New York Post (that fine upstanding publication) with 5 dos and don’ts for “getting him to the altar”. It’s actually a list compiled by the Lori Uscher-Pines who wrote “The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk.” Coincidentally, this book comes out tomorrow.

The book includes tips on:

  • How to know if it’s really time to push for a ring
  • The difference between me excuses, you excuses and institution of marriage excuses
  • The “severity” scale of common male excuses, and the associated tactics for changing his mind
  • Behavior fouls not to make on the¬†quest for a proposal

Uh…”quest for a proposal”…?!

The don’ts: Don’t become your boyfriend’s therapist. Don’t have friends ask him about marriage and lobby for you. Don’t withhold things, like sex, to get the ring. Don’t go public with your anger at not being engaged. Don’t go crazy emotional at other people’s weddings because they have what you do not.

The dos: Do talk about your expectations and hopes for the future. Spend time with other happy couples.¬† Do break down barriers; he says he can’t afford the ring? Tell him you don’t need one. Create dependency. Do carry on with your life. (Okay, she actually says to initiate major life change, but I just read it as CARRYING ON WITH YOUR DAY TO DAY LIVING)

Now, this is angering on a lot of levels. I hate that it preys on women with little self confidence. I also question how come none of these options are on the list: be patient and wait, leave him or ask him yourself? Or, the most obvious: get pregnant. If we’re gonna play hardball here…

Joking aside, if it’s something that’s important to you, you should find someone who it is also important to. Not someone you have to set it all up for and show him the way to. Men aren’t dumb. They just sometimes aren’t that into it. No book or recipe for engagement chicken is going to change his opinion on things.

NYPost: Make Your Moove: Top 5 Dos and Don’ts to get him to the altar

Jezebel: Writer Suggests Manipulating Your Man into Marriage

The couples oak wood rings

The couple's oak wood rings

Perhaps you’ve heard of the 100 mile movement. Driven by a desire to decrease carbon footprints and gain understanding of where food and other everyday items are sourced, some people have begun to only consume items that come from a 100 mile radius of their home (aka being “locavore.”)

See the 100 Mile Diet, for example, a book created by British Columbians Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon.

The reasons on following the 100 Mile Diet? It boosts local economy, you know what you’re eating, you interact with your neighbours and community more, and you decrease the transport needed to bring in food from afar.

A couple in Calgary (arbourist Gerda Vester & James Edwards, a sustainability expert, coolest jobs ever) recently had a 100 mile wedding, using the same ideas behind the locavore movement. Their rings both came from an oak tree on their property, the food from farms around Calgary. They hosted 165 people at the homegrown affair, which featured local vendors, artisans and relied on neighbours and friends. It was ecological, environmentally friendly and probably pretty decent budget wise.

Some of the yummy dishes: potato-dill soup, rhubarb and berry crisps, lamb, chicken and beef roasts, as well as raw veggie trays and cheese platters, garnished with herbs and vegetables the couple grew themselves. Beverages included Alberta beer and vodka, and locally made fruit wines. As a fellow Albertan, I’m so proud to hear this. We’re a landlocked province and pretty far north, so we really rely on veggies and fruits shipped in for most of the year. I can’t even begin to comprehend how far in advance they had to plan what they wanted to serve and what crops were necessary.

Just such a wonderful wedding, with amazing sentiment and thought behind it. I’m sure it was a great party. Seems like something right up Sara of 2000 dollar wedding‘s alley.

Calgary Herald: The 100 Mile Wedding

Also: see the photo gallery of the event (hello red dress!!)

Itty bity news roundup…

Tiro marries a Korean couple in 2007. The groom helped create Tiro.

"Tiro" marries a Korean couple in 2007. The groom helped create Tiro.

  • Madonna’s wedding dresses (used in “Material Girl” and “Evita”) to be used as investments with other pop stars’ memorabilia. (Telegraph)
  • Mass wedding in India…for dogs. (Times of India)
  • “Wedding Week 2008”: The Washington Post has launched a microsite for a week long series on weddings and the wedding industry. It’s interactive, with daily updates and blogging, live discussions, photo galleries, videos, and polls. (Washington Post)
  • After a 20% drop in prices this year, it’s possible the price of gold may rise again shortly. The cause? Indian weddings, which traditionally involve a large amount of gold gifts and jewellery. According to JP Morgan, the price rises during the Indian wedding season from September to December every year. (Bloomberg)

This 10.04 carat Lussori engagement ring can be yours for a mere $495,000

This 10.04 carat Lussori engagement ring can be yours for a mere $495,000

I have to admit that before I considered proposing marriage, I didn’t know much about the wedding industry.

I had no idea that the average cost of a wedding is $17,300 in Canada (source: WeddingBells.ca survey; not sure on the science behind that) which blew my mind. I really didn’t know that many things I considered extras or special were considered standard by many in the wedding world (for example: videography, photobooths, having a band, a Saturday ceremony and reception).

Then, such is life, once I got the idea of a proposal in my head, I started to pay more attention to the words “wedding” or “marriage” in stories at work (I’m a photo editor, and see a lot of news stories and photos in a day.)

My personal favourites have been stories from American press that somehow tie the relevancy of the recession into everyday life, such as a woman’s wedding. It’s a reality many are dealing with, but I’m still surprised at how the writers choose to handle it at times.

For instance, the LA Times has a story today (in their biz section, no less) on how couples are cutting back in their wedding plans. Good story, right? However, after a closer read, I’ve chosen to digest the story as people are just making more sensible decisions and not going insane when they get a ring on their finger and hemorrhaging cash.

Instead of having a horse and carriage: save money for the down payment on the house they’re making together. Don’t want to spend NINE DOLLARS on a single invite set? I for one am shocked, but the story says that it might save some serious coin. You don’t say!

My favourite is this one, though:

Instead of hiring a DJ, “now we’re hearing of couples just throwing on their own mix tapes.” (says Rae Harrington, director of creative content at Here Comes The Guide, a wedding planning resource)

WTF. When’s the last time anyone made YOU a mix tape (besides tinymixtapes or the sorely missed muxtapes?) Is it just me, or is this source kind of out of touch? One of the best weddings I went to in the last year was one where an iPod played music for guests, and it wasn’t really cut save money, but a conscious decision stemming out of necessity since their wedding was in the mountains. And guess what: they’re notthe only coupledoing it so it kind of irritates me that the article makes it sound like cheaping out. It’s just a more frugal choice that is also a bit more sensible. Not for everyone, maybe, but still a viable choice.

I guess my main issue with the story is that these aren’t corners people are choosing to cut…they are conscious decisions people are making. Basically the tips revolve around not having a platinum wedding. I’m more interested in hearing about people like Megan Turner, who recently lost her job due to changes in the housing market. Her innovative approach to the money issue:

…Turner held a garage sale with proceeds going toward her wedding (…) “If it saves us money, then I’m all for it,” she said.

More tips like this please. Less pointing out the crazy brides who are all caught up in spending their savings or going into debt to ensure they get a candy buffet AND a dancing troupe of frogs as being the norm. An $8000 wedding is still nothing to sneeze at, and you can still have a damn good party for around the same price (ie, check out 2000 dollar wedding or $10000 only)

Argh. /end diatribe.

LA Times: Couples are finding ways to cut wedding costs

Jezebel had an interesting piece today on how so many men in the public eye have been revealed to be cheaters and adulterers, and how so often, the wife has been fingered in the matter somehow, usually in a negative manner.

Anyhow, they breakdown the women into five groups (Ball Buster, Doormat, Nag, Crone and Martyr), and how they have been maligned by the media in some form recently. It makes for a good read, especially if the topic of marital relations and adultery (especially as perceived by media) interest you, as they do me.

Jezebel: Wandering Willies: The Top Five Media Sterotypes of Betrayed Wives