Eric’s Blog Episode 8: Calling All Caterers!

(image credit: A.T. The Black & White)

Remember how Faye and I were going with the “it takes a village” approach to feeding the guests at our wedding? Let’s just say that Mistress Reality stopped by to pay a visit.

The thought of spending the days leading up to our ceremony (and likely even the day of) baking and broiling and grilling and chopping for 130 people seemed suddenly ludicrous. While we think of ourselves as able cooks, the most people we have ever hosted is three, and the stress – never mind the salmon tacos – almost killed us.

How were we possibly going to “be in the moment” on our wedding day if we were worried whether we had enough mango salsa and passed shrimp skewers?

Mistress Reality also informed me that we would be clearing and cleaning all of those dishes after our wedding, and then I just got sad.

I recently tuned into an episode of a “watch people freak out at their wedding” show on cable, and at the end the bride was bawling, still in her wedding dress, picking up beer-cans off the grass and depositing them into a lawn-and-leaf bag. She sobbed, over and over again, “I just weren’t thinking it was gunna be like this.” This could be Faye.

We needed a caterer. The decision would more than double our entire budget, but it theoretically would cut our stress levels in half.

Since we were in NYC and the caterers were in MA, we had to do all of our research over the phone. A job that fell to me because Faye works in an office all day and my office is our living room.

While I love talking (shock!), I HATE the phone. I have an actual, clinical phobia about it, according to the internet. It’s an extreme fear that I am going to embarrass myself. After all, in my humble opinion, I often do. When I call people I end up babbling – talking in complete circles or even at the same time as the person on the other end of the line. I pray for the person I am calling not to answer their phone, and then I leave a message. Then I press # and listen to the message I just left. Then I re-record my message. Three times.

Faye decided that instead of mocking my disability, she would help me. She made me a special, printed-out worksheet with questions for the caterers. There were little spaces where I could fill in all of the information I gathered. She wrote the name and phone numbers of each place of business and then put them next to my laptop.

How did it go? Just read the beginning of Faye’s email to her parents:

“Big news –

Eric called EmW today! He is very proud and Phil the caterer was proud of him too. Eric told him he was outside of his comfort zone but that he had written questions to use so sorry if he sounded like he was reading and Phil said he did a great job at the end :)”

While I come off sounding a wee bit pathetic, I think Faye’s worksheet helped.

I am starting to realize that whatever irrational needs or wacky phobias might arise for Faye and I between now and the wedding, if we can continue to turn to each other for help or support, if it can stay a team effort – then we are going survive this. And maybe we are even building the foundations for a successful marriage. Or I am drunk on red wine. All of these things are possible.

P.S. If you too have a phone phobia, or simply don’t know what to ask your caterer, then let me know if you would like me to email you Faye’s Fabulous Caterer Questionnaire. Come on – don’t be shy. You know you want it.
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