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Dawn's Column Sparkly Shoes And Ham
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My fiancé and I recently hosted Easter dinner at his house for our families and have done this for the past few years, as his place is centrally located. We made the plan to drive to Stockton the day before Easter to pick up a Honeybaked Ham for the family gathering. He ordered the ham and I proposed that we arrive at the store early, before the line got too long.

Then my wheels began to turn.

I know what you're thinking: 'Uh oh. Her wheels are turning. That poor dude.'

I thought maybe we could take a little detour on our trip for the ham and I could check something off my wedding checklist.

A few days prior to all this, my matron of honor and I had gone to the mall in Pleasanton to shoe shop for the upcoming wedding. The shoes had to be just right: they needed sparkle and a wedge heel because it's a garden ceremony.

We were on a mission and hit every store there. We completely struck out, not finding at all what I was looking for. Oh, I saw lots of cute shoes, so many I wanted to make my own. Going to a department store with a great shoe selection is kind of like going to the pound when you're an animal lover - you want to take them all home. It's so hard to look away.

There were plenty shoes with bling - and stiletto heels, which are very good for sinking in the grass and making one appear as if they've never worn high heels before. And there were plenty with wedge heels - that were made of cork or jute rope, which doesn't really pair well with a wedding gown. None had the right combination of elements, so I abstained from buying and forced myself to walk away.

The only success my girlfriend and I had was finding good cocktails at a nearby dining establishment known for its cheesecake. After ordering a couple of very filling appetizers, a second round of drinks, and a single piece of cheesecake, she and I had managed to rack up a bill for $80.

Who knew those martinis were nearly $12 apiece?

With no shoes in hand and significantly less money in our pockets we returned home, defeated.

It's a top priority now to find the right shoes. My dress fitting happens in about two weeks, so shoe shopping is high on my to-do list.

But what does this have to do with an Easter ham?

As my fiancé and I prepared to make that drive to Stockton, it occurred to me that Lincoln Center, which has several great boutiques, was just across the street from the ham place.

With a sweet look and a smile I suggested to my honey that since we were going to be over there ANYWAY, I'd really like to hit the nearby boutiques to look for shoes, plus we could look in the center's jewelry stores for his wedding band.

I think I heard him groan inwardly.

My guy is such a good sport though, outwardly he said it would be okay. In my efforts to be efficient and helpful, I suggested that we take the ice chest in order to store the ham while I shopped.

Take an ice chest to store the ham in the car while I shoe shopped?!

Arghh, what has my life come to that I'm so consumed by wedding details that I have to shoe shop when the plan is to purchase a ham?

Well, that ham rested peacefully in its chilly enclosure in the trunk while I struck out again with shoes. The quest continues.

I'm really envious of the groom's role in all of this. The attire for the groom and groomsmen is so much easier. There's less fuss. They don't need to find the "right" shoes or jewelry, or worry about their hair and makeup. They don't care too much about how they're going to look in their suits, whether or not their arms are toned, or if they have tan lines.

At least I'm making progress on this wedding thing. The fact I've finally purchased a dress for it is good news, now I won't have to wear my nightgown. I just hope I don't have to wear my tennis shoes.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.