Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Damn You, Greg Beherendt

Greg Beherendt took the feminine world by storm. Apparently, being one of the only male writers on a show like "Sex and the City" makes people notice you... His work on the show led to a book called "He's Just Not That Into You..." It's given him some great perks, among them, his own daytime talk show.

Now, I read his first book because I thought he had a novel approach. Even though he co-wrote with a woman named Liz Tucillo, he got most - if not all - of the accolades. Wether that's because he broke some ancient boy-code by revealing the secrets of the male mind, or was just metrosexual enough to talk about it, I don't know. What I do know is that I was kind of perplexed that it seems to have taken a man to teach women what they should have gleaned through observation. (DISCLAIMER: I'm not getting all feminazi on y'all... I'm just taking a common sense approach to what I believe should be true)

I mean, Women observe all kinds of things. They know what the male wore on their first date (Dave wore his banjo jacket - and it was not nearly warm enough for the frigid temperatures of that November). Women know how her man likes his coffee (Dave likes his with just cream or milk). Women remember minute details of days men would rather forget (Like the night Dave asked permission to kiss me *on the lips*). Women, however, don't seem to know when a man is into us... They need Greg Behrendt to tell us.

So, Damn you, Greg Behrendt.

As a woman with a day job, I'll admit that until recently, I haven't seen more than a promo for the Greg Behrendt Show.... and wasn't really that interested in seeing a man pontificate to women about how we should conduct our relationships... In fact, I've been living my life Greg-free - until the other day, when Pennsylvania experienced a nasty, late-season winter storm... one that actually closed my office two hours early. After the grueling twenty minutes it took me to drive the two miles home (sheesh), I decided to sit on the couch and watch daytime TV.

With a click of the remote, I found Greg. He stood in front of an audience of all women. I thought "well, let's see what the hype is about." His guests were a young engaged couple. The woman wanted a grandiose wedding. Her fiance wanted as little fanfare as possible. The messy-haired Greg turned to his audience. In his smug, preacher-teacher-slash-motivational-speaker voice, he inquired, "How many of you think that a wedding is about the couple?"

The majority of the women in the studio audience raised their hands.

"Wrong," he said, "Weddings are a big dinner party for your friends and family. If you want the wedding to be about you, go to an island, and get married on the beach."

The audience gasped. I don't know why. If most women thought about the moment they lost control of their own weddings, they'd've slapped their observant foreheads and exclaimed, "By jove! My wedding was all about my mother... Or Mother-in-law... Or my ex-best friend the bridesmaid... or my father, who needed a party that his co-workers would be jealous of..."

My own sisters may have recalled their very own weddings - when Jill's mother-in-law overshadowed the entire reception by yelling "Where are the peanuts?!!!" at various intervals. I swear, that memory is the most vivid of the day. That woman had the most penetrating yowl in the history of sound.

My other sister often complained that HER mother-in-law simply HAD to have things she had no intention of doing at HER wedding - but caved to keep the family peace.

I cannot tell you how many times, in my 14 years of photographing weddings, how many family members took over - the mothers who were obnoxious - the fathers who tugged at me all night saying, "Take this photo..." "Take them right there." - How many bridesmaids failed at their duties - the friends who saved the day by taking charge - the temper tantrums, drunken relatives, and nervous children stole the spotlight from the couple. It's not always bad (especially when a ring bearer steals the flower girl's basket - because throwing petals on the ground sounds very much like a boy thing to do)... It's just the nature of weddings... And somehow, that audience needed Greggy to point this out to them.


In barely unrelated news, I'm getting married!

I've been engaged for a few months - but have been keeping it quiet because I had this nice little picture in my head of surprising the guests at my housewarming party with a spontaneous wedding. I liked the idea because... I have a few reasons:

1) After attending hundreds of weddings, the magic of the ceremony is utterly lost on me.
2) I'm a low-key girl. I don't like the spotlight (you'll just have to take my word for this)
3) My desire for a solid marriage overshadowed my dreams of a fantasy wedding.
4) I just bought a house. I don't have the will to allocate funds to a single day... I just don't...

A note to all of you brides out there - I would never tell a bride not to have the kind of wedding she (or her family) wanted. Honest. This is just for me. I don't really care to have a big wedding.

Ok. I also knew that if I sprung a surprise wedding on my family, they'd be so angry, I'd never be able to show my face at Christmas ever again. So I told them.

And then they freaked out anyway.

One by one, several of them called, asking for certain wedding elements I was neither thinking of nor planning on... One wanted a procession. One wanted to know who my bridesmaids were going to be. One wanted flowers. One told me I couldn't wear black...

My Dad was actually cute in his request. He said, "So if a Father is supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle, and a best man is supposed to stand next to the groom, then where do I stand?" I didn't have the heart to tell him that I wasn't really thinking in a linear aisle mode... My mom needed to know a date right away - so she could buy a dress. My sis-in-law told me she heard a rumor that I was getting married at the Justice of the Peace, and that wasn't very special - so could she do something for me? Then my sister told me I had to register for a shower... (Good heavens - I have no time to register for a shower right now!!! I'm packing my life away, I'm swamped at work, and trying to answer all of my family's questions.)

I don't want you to think I hate my family - I don't. I love them for wanting good things for me - I'm just feeling that - by wanting something very simple and non-complicated that I'm disappointing them.... in a major, catastrophic way.

So I gave up my surprise wedding plans.

Dave and I talked about it, and we're having a family-only ceremony in the new house. I have given in to the following familial demands:

- I'll bundle up some lilacs for a bouquet.
- I'll march down the rug runner in the living room and ask Dave's brother to play something wedding-ish.
- I'll have my friends Glenn and Pam perform the ceremony in a traditional way.
- I'll buy wedding bands (don't tell my family I purchased them on E-bay).
- I will serve a catered dinner, complete with cheesecake (that regardless of the fact I've already told my Mom I wanted one chocolate cheesecake for my sis-in-law and one raspberry chambord cheesecake, she's suggested the eclair cheesecake, so I will let her have the eclair cheesecake.)
- I will march through the living room with my Dad - who can then stand by Dave.
- I will give flowers to all the ladies.
- I will attend the shower (although I've made one concession - and asked my sister for a gift-card shower so I don't have to take the time this week to register) She may even do it the way I've asked.

I will do this for my family because I love them, respect them, and don't want to see them hurt. I will do this - because I understand - more now than ever - that weddings are about families. At the end of the day, I will do this because it's quite possible I have no other options...

I will then expect in return, that my family be as good to Dave as he's been to them - and to me (I know they will).

And then, after the wedding, when everyone's gone home, I will pour myself a glass of something alcoholic, and give a little, quiet toast: "To Greg Behrendt... because, dammit, he's right. He just is."

My Tee Hee for the Day

I got an e-mail from someone who works in investigation. It read, "Kelly, is this you?" It made me giggle.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


What color should I paint my new living room? NOTE: this is not my stuff. My stuff consists of an eggplant purple couch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is Groovy

Monday, March 12, 2007

Polar Ends of the Gene Pool

My sister and had a conversation the other day - regarding clothing at my upcoming house warming party. it went something like this:

Gwen: What are you wearing?

Kelly: I was kind of planning on maybe just wearing jeans.

Gwen: WHAT? YOU CAN'T!!!! YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN'T. If you DO wear jeans, you need to at least make sure they're fabulous jeans - and wear them with cute pointy shoes and a great shirt. Can we go shopping for these thing?

Kelly: Gwen, you might have to forgive me if this isn't the soiree of the year that's in your head. I just want people to come together and have a good time...

Gwen: You're very calm. I admire that you're so calm. I wish I was calm. I think I get my nervousness from Mom. Do you think I get that from Mom? I mean, I don't want to be like this - but I'm always like this...

Kelly: All I have to say to you is this: Once, when you lived in that apartment over the camera store, I came over... I found you running around the house like a crazy woman. When I asked what was wrong, you yelled, "I'm TWENTY-FIVE years old and I've never made SOUP!!!!!!"

Gwen: I said that?

Kelly: Yep.

I'm not saying I'm never a Supersized Bowl of Freakitude... But regarding issues of wardrobe... I'm just not. Regardless, I will let my sister take me shopping for fabulous jeans, pointy shoes, and a great shirt. Who am I to spoil my party for her?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Glamourous Existence in Warmer Weather

I used to try to vacate every February. You know - get out of town - be somewhere warm, but not sunny enough to char my whiter-than-pale-near-albino-complexion... This year, I haven't been able to go anywhere - Buying a house makes me fully believe there's no money left in any corner of my universe... So I kind of jumped at the chance to take a business trip to North Carolina.

Home: 8 Degrees
NC: 60 Degrees
Kelly: Happy to be outside. Really happy.

I was also glad to skip town, because my friend Leigh lives here. I met her while we both worked for a TV station in PA. She's a meteorologist. She confided to me that she never handed out her business cards in Pennsylvania - because whoever designed them spelled her title "Meterologist" or something like that. Being the polite woman she is - she decided to simply not say anything about it.

Anyway, for a weather girl, she hated the cold, nutty climate of Eastern PA, and has since returned to her North-Carolina-born-and-bred-NC-State-Tarheel-alum existence here.

The thing that never changed from her job in PA to NC - is the weird phenomenon that makes people believe that local TV personalities are as famous as (gasp) Keanu Reeves.

Whenever Leigh and I went out, we were constantly interrupted by "Hey, aren't you the weather girl?" "Hey! You're on TV! I can't believe it's you!" and my favorite, "I just have to tell you that you have the nicest hands."

So last night, I was so excited to have dinner with her - we hadn't seen each other in ages... She arrived at dinner a little before I did. She was standing in the restaurant lobby with a man I assumed worked for the restaurant. He greeted me warmly, told me his name, shook my hand and said, "We've been waiting for you!!! Have a wonderful dinner!"

Now, I know those in the south are a lot friendlier than us Northerners... but he was really nice... Then it dawned on me - after he walked away, I looked at Leigh, "Fan?" She nodded as we headed to our table.

So nothing has changed. Leigh is every bit as popular as she was in PA (I used to tease her - She worked the morning news - and I'd remind her of how many men woke up to her each day...) I used to make a fuss about those who interrupted us when we were out... Why should she be the only famous one? Didn't anyone realize how famous I was?

As I'm sure you'll remember - for awhile, I did local Voiceover work... Yes. I was the one, who when you turned on the weather channel, would gleefully exclaim, "Kal Kan! Two for one - with Coupon!" I'd say to Leigh, "How come no one ever comes up to me and says, "Hey - aren't you the voice of Pooch and Kitty?"

For awhile, I'd be introduced that way - No one seemed to care, and I remain internationally anonymous.

So I'll take you back to the restaurant - where Leigh wasn't the least bit anonymous - Our waiter approached the table, "Hey - Don't you do the weather on TV?" (NOTE: The only difference between Leigh and her CBS-Sister, Katie Couric is the fact that no one seems to know her name. The difference is clear: To Leigh: "Hey, aren't you that nameless face on TV?" vs To Katie: "Hey, has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Katie Couric?") Leigh admitted that indeed - she worked on-air. I thought she looked just a little bit sad that someone couldn't just leave her to her menu.

The waiter began his sililoquy: "I know I shouldn't bother you but I've been wanting to get into production... I mean that's what I went to school for... Well, I really have a degree in theater and film - but I would love to break into production. I've done a few local independent films, but the trouble is getting funding. I've actually tried to get funding for a few projects, but it's really hard around here, so I thought if I could just get my foot in the door somewhere, it'd be great. So I know I shouldn't bother you when you and your friend are trying to have dinner, but I was wondering if you'd give me a little advice."

I tried to be helpful, bail her out, and answer this guy's burning question: "Don't work in TV News." I stated.


"Listen, if you're a creative type - and it seems you are, then the last thing you want to be doing is hefting a video camera in the rain with the hopes to glorify some convicted murderer on tape."

"But I'm willing to do anything."

"Are you really?" I asked (I know. I hate dashing the hopes of America's Youth - but as evidenced that the world of production is *so*very*glamourous*, I felt it was my responsibility to steer him in a clearer direction.)

"Well, yeah." He then turned to Leigh, "So can you help me?"

At this point, Leigh gave him the name of the hiring manager at her station. I grinned.

"Would you guys mind if I sent you some of the projects I've worked on?"

"Sure." I handed him a card - in hopes it would encourage him to retrieve my dinner. Miraculously, it did.

Leigh and I were then free at last - to discuss houses, bad dates, and Leigh's chihuahua, Skippy John.

There's a funny thing that happens to local TV personalities. Because they're known in the community, people assume they're *reeeeeeely famous*. I've come to realize that Television is just as much of a job - sometimes a grind, sometimes sort of fun - sometimes meaningful - but always hard work - as any other job (including video production, and even making a movie).

I guarantee you that the waiter - as well as the greeter went home that night - and told *everyone* that they'd met the meteorologist on TV... and that she looked every bit as lovely in person... and that she was really nice to them... And that she had really great hands... Just as great as Katie Couric's...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Waiting For The Next Big Thing

This post is for all of you Victory Valley Alums - You know who you are.

Here are some photos from Donna's "Um-I-Don't-Know-What-To-Call-This-Event" Party... Donna is leaving the summer camp I attended, worked at, and eventually lived for awhile. Her first full-time summer at camp was my first summer as a camper. I've known Donna for just about all of my life. She's become a good friend - and someone I look forward to spending time with - even when she knocks on my door at 6:45 AM looking for somewhere to hang out between dropping her child off at work and teaching her CPR class in Allentown. (In fact, that happened just a few months ago. Even though she'd never stopped in that early without calling, I openly assumed it was Donna. Who else could it be?)

I have to say, the event was bizarre. It was half reunion, half goodbye party - and mostly for me something that marked the end of an era. Even though I'm not directly involved at the Valley right now, I loved being able to return - to visit, to volunteer, to reconnect with old friends... Whatever.

Today, I'm not particularly fond of the remaining management... I don't know the director personally, but I've read some things he's written - and can't help but find him quite self-aggrandizing and more than a little happy to be him... And because I feel such a tie to the place, I'm very unsettled at Donna's exit (even though I know she's been wanting to go for some time). It's not that I'm upset about programs changing... It's just that as far as personalities go, I'd rather leave a place I love in the hands of someone I respect... Someone I believe is relational, and someone whose agenda is solely focused on giving kids an amazing summer camp experience. I don't want to be rude, but I'm simply not impressed.

But for now - I have to tell you that Donna's party was a crazy compendium of people... Old people, new people - all attached in some way to the camp we all grew up at. I ran into people I haven't seen in 20 years... I reconnected with people I only EVER see when I go back... And am sort of feeling lately like a salmon with no birthplace to return to.

Here's me and Donna:

Here's the old crowd:

If nothing more, it was nice to see great support for my friend - and to see everyone again... I'm just so sad though. It's the end of an era, and here I sit - Waiting for the next Big thing - for Donna - and maybe for me.