A Wedding Today: Part One.

posted in: Day In The Life, Luv 2
Kate n' Willy's wedding day. Photo: Wikipedia
The wedding I attended today was the opposite of this. Photo: Wikipedia

My mom had to go to the Winterset courthouse today to get something for her taxes. Our house is exactly two blocks from the courthouse; we’re as close as you can get to the town square without actually being on it. I was writing at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee when Mom came back.

“I got my documents,” Mom said, taking off her winter coat. “I was in the hall on the third floor and this guy — real tattooed, rough-looking guy — was lost. I asked, ‘Can I help you find something?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, I’m lookin’ for where you get married and where the bathrooms are at.'”

I coughed on my coffee. “He was getting married? Seriously? At the courthouse just now?”

“There was a whole wedding party,” Mom said. “The girl was very pregnant, dressed in this short, short white dress. The guys were all tough guys, tattoos. I think the mother of one of the couple was there. It was very interesting.” I shook my head. That was so awesome. A shotgun wedding at my very own courthouse. I was sorry I hadn’t seen it myself. I began to ask Mom every question I could think of because it would be a great story for this blog.

“Well, why don’t you just run over there right now? They’re probably still there; I only left two minutes ago.”

Incredibly, I was ready to run at that exact moment: my sweats and sneakers were still on from my morning workout. I scrambled out of my chair and took off, blazing down the alley, the courthouse dead in front of me. It’s a total beeline over there. I pushed through the heavy oak doors and zoomed up the two flights of stone stairs to the third floor. I looked this way and that, following hallways, peeking in doors. Come on, come on.

The girl working at the desk in the last office I peeked into turned out to be Tiffany, a girl from my high school. We recognized each other at once; it was a happy, if rushed reunion. I told her, breathlessly — I looked like a post-workout maniac — that my mom said there was a wedding and did she know where they do that stuff, the weddings at the courthouse? Tiffany did (she’s the office manager) and said it would probably be the courtroom. I followed her down the stairs and we were quickly right at the door to the courtroom. There was the wedding party, just as my mother had described them.

Tomorrow, the rest of the story, lovingly told, will include:

– how I was invited to stay for the ceremony and did
– a more detailed description of the bride and the groom
– musings on love (duh)
– how I cried like a dweeb (duh)

Until then, enjoy the canapes.



In Lieu of My Tirade Against Hollywood, Ladies + Gentlemen, Scrabble.

posted in: Family, Paean 3

For the past hour I have been working on the post I wanted to post this morning. It’s turning into quite a beast of an essay and it’s simply not ready for prime-time. It’s about Hollywood and how I can’t take it anymore.

Since I can’t post something half-baked but I hate missing a day — and because I’m bone-weary tired and need to introduce my head to a pillow for once in my life for heaven’s sake — I’ve decided to share a picture of Scrabble, my mother’s miniature Golden Doodle.

Scrabble is a dog that looks like a lamb, behaves like four-year-old child (curious, adorable, infuriating), and is named after a board game. She can fetch a quilt, shake hands, and has lots of work to do in the evenings: she has to run around the yard and bark for 20 minutes.

“Scrabble’s doing her barking work,” my mother will say, loading the dishwasher.

Scrabble loves me and I love Scrabble. This photo was taken at about six in the morning last month when I was home in Iowa filming TV. She sleeps downstairs, but when she wakes up in the morning, she’ll bolt all the way upstairs to my childhood bedroom and dive-bomb my head in order to cuddle me. She is not allowed to lick my face; she licks my face anyway.

Scrabble, if you were able to send emails for me or finish my blog post — or fact-check it at the very least, Scrabble! — you’d be even more precious to me than you already are. But I suppose your being a dog confers special qualities that cancel out your human shortcomings. So it’s a wash.

Goodnight, Miss Muddy Paws, wherever you are in the Iowa house tonight.

BONUS: I never do it, but you’ll see why this is worth an outside link. Watch Scrabble fetch her quilt for my Mom.

21 Reasons To Love Des Moines, Courtesy LIFE Magazine.

posted in: Day In The Life 1

I was going to write a list for you today.

I planned to title this post, “10 Reasons To Love Des Moines” and I was going to include things like, “The capitol building is pretty” and “The cost of living is low” and “Two words: BUTTER COW.” But when I searched for a vintage postcard-style picture of Des Moines online, I found a LIFE photojournalism piece featuring Des Moines teenagers in 1947. And my plan went out the window.

Because. Well.

That raaht thur's a kissin' party.
That ruht thur’s a kissin’ party.


I know them. They live in Wicker Park.
I know them. (They actually live in Wicker Park. Shh!)

And of course:

"Joyriding" = "Cruising" = "Rollin'" There is nothing new under the sun.
“Joyriding” = “Cruising” = “Rollin'” …There is nothing new under the sun.

My list was cut because nothing I could say about Des Moines could be better than looking at these photographs. There are twenty-one of them, and they depict the late 1940s, and they depict teenagers, and they communicate heterosexuality and good grooming, sure; they capture all these things and more.

They sure show Iowa. Des Moines. It does kinda look like that, like cars and boys and high schools and kissing parties; it looks like staring off into space, it looks like hiding something, it looks like black and white, sometimes, too. It stopped looking like home to me awhile ago, but it will always look familiar.

Visit scenic Des Moines, courtesy of LIFE, right here.