Friday, October 30, 2009

Still getting hitched...

Photosource: unknown

I consider myself a practical woman when it comes to shopping.
I have limits to the amount of money I’m willing to spend on a certain item and I make the effort to not purchase more than what I need.
This doesn’t go to mean that every now and again I don’t pamper myself with some or other expense that doesn’t fall under the “Needed” list, but generally these treats are still controlled by my budget and what I can afford.
I’m not stingy with my earnings but I do my best to save as much as I can and I do this by always looking for the best bargain. I take quality into consideration but ultimately the price has the final say.
When undecided between any two investments, my golden rule is to opt for the cheapest option.
So far, my philosophy has worked well for me… that is, until the wedding plans.

Anyone who ever planned a wedding will tell you how many details there is to organise and how much each of them cost.
My better half and I decided in which details we’d be spending more and in which we’d be spending less…
The honeymoon for instance, is one of the details we both agreed to splurge on which will compensate for the cut in costs of the nuptial evening.

I find it useful to hear other people’s opinions and perspectives on the subject. Mostly they vary between the two extremes. Some of my friends are of the opinion that no cost should be an issue to invest in that one day of your life that little girls start dreaming of early in life. Whilst others shrug it off as an expensive event that should be budgeted wherever possible. A friend of mine, who is also planning a wedding, has managed to reduce costs to the point where the dress will be ordered at a low cost off the internet and the wedding favours made by hand. I’m all of the opinion that creative people have their chance to shine at these moments but considering that bricolage was never one of my strong points, I can’t imagine anything by my hand that I’d want to give to my guests. I also decided that I wanted my gift to be useful, practical – something I’d want to receive rather than some silly decoration that will be packed away in a drawer.

At first the wedding represented to me the day when I have all my family and friends together in one roof. I didn’t care if I was dressed in rags and the cake was made of cotton candy – nothing is more important to me than the presence of the people I care about. But as time and preparations have unfolded… I’ve discovered that the whole day is more important to me that I initially decided.
It all started when I put on “the” dress – I didn’t know it was the “one” until I put it on and saw myself in the mirror and thought “wow”.
I couldn’t believe the emotion I felt from looking at my reflection, I’d tried on other dresses but none had made me feel this way.
I didn’t feel like a girl in a white dress, I felt like a genuine bride and I could picture myself letting go of my daddy’s arm to join my man at the end of a red carpet.
Surreal! Even more so for being something more than a movie my mind made up… soon, it’s going to happen!
The thought alone made me feel faint and panic stricken although I can’t for the life of me explain why.
Maybe the corset was too tight or the heating was too high…
I definitely hadn’t counted on ever wearing one of these dresses.
Perhaps deep down I didn’t think I was good enough for one, or that I deserved it.
My dress wasn’t the most expensive of the store although it isn’t nearly as cheap as the dress my friend’s bride will be getting off the internet – but even if I wanted to, there’s simply no way I’d settle for any other dress regardless the price.
I wouldn’t have been able to pick out of a catalogue; in fact, it only came to life when I tried it on. I’m pleased that it was the cheapest of those that I’d seen but quite honestly, once I tried it on – price was no longer an issue.
Alright – I’ll admit, if it cost double of what I paid, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. Price as I already said – is always an issue and I have to consider that no matter how much I love the dress, it is an investment for only one day…

I wish I could tell the same story about the shoes…
My limit on how much I’m willing to spend on a pair of shoes is €25… €30 on boots. I’d already decided that I was going to leave buying the shoes for the wedding at a later date but on a day that I had time to spend, I decided to look around every shoe store in Baixa-Chiado and surprise surprise…
In winter you can’t find shoes of white or any other shade of white, unless you order off a catalogue of course which will bring up the price to what you would pay at a bridal store… so I decided to look in bridal stores.
And then I found them! These amazing shoes that I just fell head over heals for!
They fit and felt great!... Until I saw the price tag!
Luckily, my prudence lead me to the store where I bought my dress in hopes that they could arrange the same kind of shoes and hopefully cheaper.
To my utmost glee – the shoes had already been ordered and they were in fact cheaper.
However I’m still going to pay €85 for these beauties!
€85?!! I must be crazy! I don’t think I’ve ever bought a pair of shoes this expensive!
So why am I going to?
I could argue with you about the lack of options in conventional shoe stores and that they weren’t the most expensive ones I’d seen… blah… blah… blah….
But ultimately – they were sold the minute I slipped them one and saw myself in the mirror.

When I initially began planning for my wedding, the slogan was “good and cheap” but as time goes past, I realise more and more how this one day has suddenly taken up such significance to me. And reasonable prices, I should invest in making it a memorable day. The story of one of my colleagues is what helped me reach this conclusion.
At the time she got married, she resembled me in the sense that she liked things simple and so – her whole wedding was organised as simply as possible with a few guests, a simple gown and reception. As she described it to me I could see the emotion on her face as she told me that if she had the chance to do it all again, she would’ve done it differently.

My life’s philosophy on economics won’t change. I’m going to stay wise with my decisions and expenses – but I won’t deny myself any small joy or detail that I know is going to make my special day memorable.
It’s the day I get to share with all the people I care about, the commitment that already exists between me and my man.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Bold and the Valiant

Photo Source: Unknown
Often people have the misconception that the brave are out there fighting their way through and standing up for what they believe in.
It seems that to be a warrior, one must be seen always with their sword in their hand.
Let they never be caught off guard!

What bollocks!
Courage isn’t always about the fight!
Courage is what it takes to try and make things work without having to fight.
The hero isn’t the guy that went off defending his virtues… to me the hero is the guy used diplomacy and patience to avoid the conflict.
Just because I know what I want doesn’t mean that I don’t seek out opinions.
It is not a sign of weakness when you let other people have their way.
It’s called patience, tolerance and often an intelligent tactic of someone who lets the little things slide so as to have more power to the larger issues.
Why do we assume that champions always know what they want and where they’re going?
Better to patiently wait for the fog to pass before choosing the road you want to follow than to blindly go the wrong way.
Courage is not the absence of fear.
Fear is a sign of the maturity one has when considering the consequences of his or her decisions and the responsibility one will have to take.
Courage is what makes us decide despite the doubts and hesitation.
Sometimes giving up is the biggest proof of courage there is – the hardest lesson I ever learnt in life was knowing when to let go.

I’ve been called the rock of Gibraltar… a woman with fibre… the tough nut to crack.
But I’m human.
I have a right to my frustrations and moments of weakness.
They don’t mean I’ve become weaker – I’m stronger because of them.
Don’t for a minute underestimate my survival instincts.
Just because I’m not always in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean I’m not in control.

The size of a person’s mind and courage once broadened never returns to the original size… don’t make the mistake of underestimating a person’s courage and character just because they don’t react they way you expect them to.