Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “being engaged

Going Down The Aisle And Back Again

Divorce and marriage are swirling all around me now. The husband and I are just fine. We’re better than fine actually. No the divorce and the marriage have nothing to do with us. It’s just all the people around us.

If I’m counting right, I currently know of three separations/divorces in process. And I know of, as of last Saturday, five engaged couples. The reason this stands out to me is that all eight couples were at my wedding, and only one of the couples had their current status at that time.

Engaged Couple #1: Dr. & Dr. They came to our wedding as an engaged couple. They met while in medical school. The guy went to college with me and my best friend/my best man. They have an interesting relation that causes mixed opinions amongst those who knew him before they got together. Their wedding is later this year, and it will be a lot of fun since it’s down in Hotlanta. I’m mostly just waiting to see if I’ll get an invite. I got a save the date-ish, so we’ll see.

Engaged Couple #2: Heading for an Island. On a double date we went on once, they discussed wanting to move to Hawaii, which is where the woman’s family is from. She’s an artist, and an amazing one at that. She designed our wedding invitations and the husband’s CD cover. He’s a teacher and jazz musician. I’m quite sure their kids will be gorgeous, and part of me is already plotting on marrying off one of my kids to one of theirs.

Engaged Couple #3: Might As Well Get Married. I met this couple during my ill-fated years in med school. He was in law school and she was getting some sort of Master’s degree. They ended up breaking up and they ended up back together. Again, mixed opinions. But they seem really happy at the thought marrying each other. And their wedding is also will be a blast.

Engaged Couple #4: Actually Getting Married For Real. The guy was one of my best friends for years. He was one of my bridesmen at my wedding. He and his girl have been off an on since college, and they have been going strong for years now. She has mellowed him in a way it took me a while to get used to. They seem so happy together. And if anyone was going to get him down the aisle, it’s her. They’ll probably get married on an island, which will definitely be fun.

Engaged Couple #5: The Just Right Marriage. The guy was the husband’s best man. They’ve been friends since they were young. They were in a band together in high school and that band has since had reunion concerts. I can’t think of anything clever or snarky to say about it because honestly I just enjoy their music, so someone please crack a joke about it on my behalf. His girl is amazing. Their kids will be gorgeous and she loves him to death. Plus, I think he just really wants to have a wife. How lucky that when he decided he wanted to marry, he had the perfect girl in front of him?

Now on to the divorcing couples. I’ve actually decided to only write about two of them. The third is something that isn’t common knowledge I have no idea if certain people I know read this blog, so I’m not even going there.

Divorce #1: The Joyous End. The man is one of my close friends who I’ve known since we were kids. He was also my other bridesman. That’s right, I had three men standing up with me. His soon-to-be-ex-wife is this chick he met at a party a handful of years back. She was everything he’d always wanted, she just also happened to possess some extra qualities he didn’t want. Things really went downhill after their wedding in April 2012. Yup, their wedding was in early 2012. The only thing all his friends agree on is that since they’ve separated, it’s like getting our friend back. The change was so gradual, we kind of forgot all that happened that took him so far from the person he was. Perhaps he bounced back so quickly because they weren’t married long.

Divorce #2: Why’d You Even Get Married? This couple wed in August 2012. I make a habit of not going to weddings of marriages I can’t in good faith support. I let myself get convinced to go to this one because of the travel time between the ceremony and reception. That meant one thing: party bus. Since it was a cash bar reception, the drinks we bought did supply most everyone in our range at the reception. Good times. But back to this divorce. This man is a walking party, and his bride is so not. There was some cheating, some lack of bill paying, and a thought towards a My Best Friend’s Wedding type intervention in the days before the wedding. Either way, they ended up getting married. She ended up regretting it. I ended up going back to my assertion that I really shouldn’t go to the weddings of the people I don’t think should get married.

It’s weird when we think about all these weddings we may potentially have to go to in the next year. Only one of them is for someone who is one of my close friends. And their wedding will likely take place somewhere the husband and I can’t even afford to travel to. The rest of the people are friends of the husband or the best friend.

But it’s really the divorces that are getting to me. These people all had their weddings the same year I did. There were a bunch of weddings at my church during 2012, so the track record really isn’t all that bad. It still gets to me though.

As a newlywed, I can’t imagine ending my marriage. The husband and I have had some serious ups and downs since we’ve been together. As angry and hurt as I was when it happened, I still can’t imagine separating. If anything, all the strife has only confirmed we’re supposed to stay together. I likely would’ve divorced, maimed, and/or ruined any other man had we gone through the same things.

What makes a marriage fall apart that quickly? I just can’t wrap my head around it. If you suspect your guy is cheating, why still get married? I think one’s parents would prefer losing a deposit and dealing with that over paying out the full $25,000 to pay for a wedding and then having nothing to show for it but a divorced daughter a few months later.

The other thing I’m also thinking of is the fact that none of my girls are getting married. Sure, one of my close guy friends is getting married, but that’s different. I want to plan a bachelorette party and a bridal shower. I want to pass on the bridezilla sash they made me. Statistics swear that black men aren’t getting married. I know five who are getting married. We just haven’t found any to marry my friends yet. They’re working on it though. Kudos to them for not settling because then they’d end up like Divorce #2.


Having Crazy Dreams

In the weeks leading up to my wedding, I started having nightmares. Back then I was blogging about my wedding on Weddingbee, so I’d heard of pre-wedding nightmares. They usually consisted of missing dresses, missing grooms, missing guests, etc. My nightmares were nothing like that. Mine included hundreds of unfamiliar eyes, staring at me unrelentingly, and ruining the intimacy of my whole day.

The nightmares got worse the closer the wedding was. I think I freaked out the husband (then fiancé) by asking if we could not get married as planned. But once I assured him that I definitely wanted to get married, just not as planned, he fixed it. We got married early with 20 people in attendance, including us, the ministers, and the musician. It was amazing and intimate and everything I wanted, and my nightmares immediately ended. I slept great the next three nights leading up to the big ass wedding we had with 300+ people in attendance.

Since then, I haven’t had many nightmares. I’ve always been an either happy dreamer or prescient dreamer. Crazy unhappy dreams aren’t really my thing. So when the bad dreams started again, I was frustrated to find the husband couldn’t quickly fix it for me. Well, I didn’t have to even “find” it out. I already knew because the dreams are work related, and obviously the husband can’t fix work-related anxiety manifesting itself through crappy ass dreams.

This most recent dream involved me showing up to work after a week off only to find that three younger siblings of an ex had been hired. They were hired to replace three people who got promoted to fill supervisor positions. Two of the three people promoted to supervisor were a couple, making their dual promotion all the more unlikely.

I’ve been hinting toward this for weeks without directly talking about it, but this dream likely makes it clear  to you, my dear readers, that I’m currently waiting to hear about a possible promotion at work. Armed with that additional knowledge, perhaps you can imagine how harrowing this dream was. To have my co-workers replaced by siblings of an ex is bad enough. The detail of why the rest is so bad isn’t even important because it’s the siblings of an ex!!

Oh how I wish the husband could fix this for me. The higher ups at my office will decide soon enough though. If I get the promotion, great. And if I don’t, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll be fine. It’s really the not knowing that is the problem. I hate feeling this anxiety. Considering it’s only happened to me twice in the last year, I should be grateful. There are a lot of people who experience far worse anxiety, some in my own family.

I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that they decide soon. I really don’t want to see who will pop up in my dreams the next couple of days if this remains unsettled.


Thoughts On A Move To NYC

I love Chicago. I was born and raised here, and except for college, have not spent more than 15 days in a row anywhere else. But I also am enthralled by the excitement and adventure that comes from grabbing life by the balls and stepping into the unknown.

I am blessed to be married to someone who feels very similar to me in that respect. The husband want to move to New York City at some point. I took it one step further and decided that once we were through with NYC, we’d go to Europe. Because I work in organ & tissue donation and he is a musician, we can both work almost anywhere on the planet. That type of mobility leaves me feeling hopeful for our future globetrotting.

One thing that takes my hope and douses it with ice water is a current issue facing New York. No, it’s not the de-criminalizing of marijuana or the ordinance against large drinks chock full of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the stop-and-frisk policy that the NYPD unfortunately still follows.

I’ve been reading several articles over the last several weeks, and they always get me down. I will admit I’ve had a sort of, “it’s not really my issue yet” reaction to the situation. But something about this latest article really gets into my head.

Personal accounts from young black and Latino men really drive home how fucked up this whole policy is.

“The husband and I will be living in NYC. His father is from Honduras and his mother is an African-American. The husband is a young man who will be all over NYC because of his music at all hours of every day and night.”

These horrifying thoughts went through my head. There have been a couple of situations in Chicago in which the husband was stopped by the police and it left a bad taste in his mouth. He’s never carrying drugs, weapons, or open alcohol. He never has anything stolen in his possession. He seldom even resembles someone enough to “fit the description.”

Once we’re in NYC though, it won’t matter. The husband will be stopped and frisked, and if he’s  lucky, he’ll get a wallet sized card with an apology from NYPD saying they “regret any inconvenience.”

That thought has me on a complete What-The-Fuck loop. I can’t believe we’re going to a city where this shit is okay. The New York Times and several other media outlets and public figures are drawing attention to the situation. If 88% of the stops result in nothing except spreading ill will amongst  the minority citizens, why does it continue?!

I can only pray that this mess gets sorted out before we change our address. I’m gonna be on some civil disobedience shit for real if I end up living in a New York City that condones having so many of its people treated this way.


Post-Wedding Apathy

Since I love blogging, and I love the husband, I figured blogging about my wedding would be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for me. I was woefully and regrettably wrong wrong wrong.

I have my reasons, you may not agree with them. I’m prepared for lack of agreement, but just know I feel quite strongly about this. Here goes.

Reason #1: My wedding is being f-ing photocopied! Whoever said the highest form of flattery is imitation is an asshole. There is a wedding happening this summer that is my wedding on rinse and repeat. My flowers: orchids, gardenias, roses. This wedding: ditto. My baker, my florist, my freaking dress consultant are all making appearances at this wedding. Even her bridal shower at the end of the month has the same theme. I’ve been told not to blame the bride because her wedding has been hijacked by people with stronger opinions. I’ve been told I should be flattered. I’ve been told that it could all be a coincidence.

All I know is that I’m not flattered. There have been so many weddings held my members of my church in the last three years, and many have been unique and tasteful. So why is mine being carbon copied? We put a lot of thought into our choices and I don’t appreciate someone just jocking my style. Half our wedding vendors aren’t even easy to find. They aren’t located in the city or aren’t big on the internet, which means that the planners of this wedding bypassed the easier finds to go to my vendors. I’ve been having a WTF moment concerning this wedding for like the last 4 months. Oh, did I mention that the bridesmaid dresses look like mine, just slightly darker plus rhinestones?

Reason #2: I’ve lost my love for blogging about my wedding. I can’t bring myself to blog about my wedding. I have several posts written, but I stopped right at the bachelor/bachelorette party. All I have to do is add in pictures from our photographer. I specifically requested the more expensive package so I could have the rights to all these photos and now I’m not even using them. I just don’t feel like it. I don’t know how normal that is, but I just don’t wanna.

Reason #3: There are still items on my to-do list. I still haven’t submitted the photos for our professional album. I still haven’t mailed thank you cards. I just hate that there are still to-do items. We don’t even have on file the addresses for the last minute invitees. The drive to Staples to buy labels to print out and put on already completed thank you notes just feels like too big of a task. I wish someone else would do it.

Reason #4: Thinking about my wedding makes me feel less married. I was so excited once the wedding was over. The husband and I haven’t been together for long, so I felt like the majority of our relationship was consumed by wedding planning. Now that we’re not wedding planning anymore, we’re just us. We’ve had four blissful non-wedding planning months and even thinking about anything wedding related makes me feel like I’m regressing. I suppose that’s why we didn’t even watch our wedding video until our mothers made us on Mother’s Day.

I’m not at all apathetic about my marriage, just my wedding. It was a beautiful day that was this great big party. Everyone had an amazing time and I’m so grateful for what my parents (both sets) made possible for the husband and me. I just don’t want to think about it right now. Or at all for the next 6 months.

Do I suck completely for feeling this way? I imagine couples who’ve been together for years don’t go through this. I don’t want to be ungrateful, I just want to be married and leave my wedding in the past. I remember the tasty food, the endless dancing, the amazing music, and my gorgeous bouquet. All the rest can go poof. For now.


The Trust Tree

I wrote a previous post about planting a seed of trust. I must say, I’m loving this metaphor.

The fiancé and I have been nurturing the seed into a little sapling and now it’s starting to look like a tree.

It was important to me to make real strides in regaining our trust before the wedding. And we’ve done that.

For his part, the fiancé has done an amazing job of pointing out when his behavior is noticeably different.

He’ll say, “I totally would’ve done it this way three weeks ago, but today I’ve done it this other, more trustworthy way. Aren’t you happy?”

Each time he does that, it’s like pouring water or sunlight or whatever onto the sapling. After the big blowup, I didn’t want to trust him, and that was a problem. But now, I want to trust him.
With each moment that my trust grows stronger, so does the love. All of those feelings I had pushed away in an effort to be less hurt in case things fell apart were still there. I just had to access them again.

I thought the trust tree was just about trust. But our foundation has three parts and all three really are very connected.

I can already see improvements in our communication too. We have fewer confusing moments, and we more quickly settle the ones that do arise.

I’m so glad the fiancé is on board with this ridiculous metaphor. It helps me to think of it in this way. Being able to visualize our relationship getting stronger is a real help to me.

He also didn’t rush me to immediately feel better. Even with the impending nuptials, he gave me space and time to work through my shit. And he was there working through it with me.

I can now confidently say we are out of the woods and our relationship is strong again. I can marry him with no doubts in my mind. The last couple weeks have shown me that I can rely on him and we can get through anything. So, really shortly, I’ll be referring to “the husband”, instead of the fiancé. Exciting, right?


We Are Built On… Communication

Love.

Trust.

And now communication. Communication is the third of our three relationship foundation principles. The fiancé is the one who first brought this up as important to the core of a relationship back in August 2010. After he explained it, it began to make sense.

In a relationship, being able to talk about all the important stuff is a must. You can’t have things you can’t discuss. In theory, your partner should be your best friend. The fiancé and I have always been able to talk about everything, so we were open and we thought we had that big first step accomplished.

But we’ve learned since then that there’s so much more to communication. He and I communicate in different ways. Of the five love languages, we each have two, and none of them overlap. He thinks emotionally, and I think logically. He hardly finishes his thoughts or sentences, and I provide too many details sometimes.

It’s taken us quite a while to sort through all of our language barriers. We have made progress, and that’s something to be proud of. I still have to remind him to slow down and finish his sentences. He still has to remind me that he can’t be expected to remember every nuance and detail in my long-ass stories.

We never stop working towards our goal of understanding each other. It helps that we know each other better than anyone else has ever known us. We work hard to maintain our new vulnerability and intimacy. It keeps us on the same page and that always makes communication better.

We’re not perfect and we never will be, but we try to keep sight of our biggest pitfalls. When he omits things, it wears down both trust and communication. When we forget to communicate our feelings, it wears down both love and trust. And when I deflect his feelings, it wears down communication and love.

Trying to be aware of both my flaws and his isn’t an easy task. It’s way easier to point the finger away from myself, but I can’t do that. I have to be cognizant of things we both do that could weaken the foundations of our relationship. 

I’ve learned that communication can make the love and trust stronger. Love can make the communication and trust more resilient. And trust makes communication and love easier. The fiancé always calls me wise, but he’s the one who set the foundation for our relationship. Since the beginning, he’s truly been the head of our relationship and forged the path we followed. For a relationship-traditional girl like me, that makes me very happy.

At first, it was just a theory that had to be worked on. Renewing our foundation will be a life-long task, but I’m looking forward to the task. I think we’re up to it, and I know we’ll succeed.


We Are Built On… Trust

Love.

And now trust. The fiancé and I see trust as one of the three foundations of our relationship. I’m writing a three-part series about it. I’ve been writing in the past couple weeks about how our trust has taken a big hit. We’ve been working hard to come back from that.

We learned that no matter what is said or done (so far), we can’t be broken beyond repair. I trust his strength and he trusts me to do what I say I’m going to do, and that right there is the foundation of our trust.

Trust is one of those vague terms that people throw around without ever really being sure they’re talking about the same thing. The fiancé and I discussed trust to make sure we were on the same page.

He thinks of trust as knowing someone is one your side and has got your back. He’s thinking loyalty and fidelity. I think of trust as knowing I can count on what you say and do. I’m thinking honesty and reliability. Those things aren’t far apart at all, but it explains why he never really got it before when I said I couldn’t trust him.

The fiancé was thinking he could be trusted because he always had my back, ready to defend. He was on my side always. But for me, trust is about staying true to what you said and your words and actions matching all the time.

Once we realized the gap in our definitions, that sparked a discussion of how to meet in the middle. We both just evolved our defitions of trust to include it all. So now we define trust as loyalty, fidelity, honesty, and reliability. Now he knows when I say trust I’m referring to if he’s telling the truth, if he’s on my side, and if he does what he said he was going to do.

I’ve been taking care of the trust seed I planted and I’m looking forward to watching it grow. Even as I write this post, I can honestly say I trust the fiancé way more than I did just a couple days ago. Each day it’s growing more and more.

I earned his trust a while ago, but I didn’t know at first how long it took him to trust me. The fact that I was just so honest right out of the gate is something the fiancé didn’t believe at first. He wasn’t raised to take people at face value. When he finally realized that with me, what he saw was exactly what he was getting, he was elated. That trust in me only made his love deeper.

He knows he can count on me and that I’m being honest with him. I’m starting to have that knowledge about him too and I appreciate it more than words can say.  I feel confident that our trust will end up right where it’s supposed to be even though we took two completely different paths to get there.

He is naturally mistrustful of new people and it took time and experience for him to know I was trustworthy. I’m take things for face value and got my trust broken, and now I’m re-building from scratch to a trust that’s stronger than ever.


The Final Wedding Straw

Logical normal me is excited about my upcoming wedding. I’m marrying a man who I love more than I ever thought possible. I will be wearing a beautiful dress and will be surrounded by hundreds of people that love me and the fiancé.

But I am not logical normal me right now. I’m apathetic bitter me. And apathetic bitter me is not looking forward to this wedding. Every fucking time I turn around, someone else gets added to the guest list. I wanted 75 people at this wedding. There will be 288. Three days ago it was 286, but now it’s 288.

The fiancé and I had a long talk the other day where I finally got out all my frustration about this guest list and his complicity in it. The last week or so has been an exercise in people asking my opinion about things I don’t care about and then telling me                                                                              my opinion on things I do care about doesn’t matter.

I can’t take this shit no mo!

At the height of my frustration, my mother tells me the last two people to get added to the guest list are the pastor and first lady of the church at which my brother is the youth pastor.

A couple things about that: 1) This man invited himself to my wedding. 2) I’ve never met him or seen a picture of him and wouldn’t know him if I saw him in the street. 3) My brother and I are not close or even distant. We have no relationship to speak of so this guy coming to support my brother for me is a stretch by any means. 4) My mother is a pushover (only when it comes to this wedding) and this is how the last 20 out of 30 people got added to this list.

So now when my father says that I’m so lucky that so many people love me and the fiancé and want to be there to share our big day, I say bullshit. There are people coming I don’t even fucking know.

My nightmare about my wedding is going to be my actual wedding. Hundreds of people eye-balling me expectantly, me searching the crowd, trying to find even one face I know well and can look to for comfort.

But, it’s going to be okay. The fiancé came up with a plan. He got me to calm down and stop freaking out. Think Runaway Bride, and maybe you’ll figure out his suggestion to me. I need to mull over it for a couple more days, but I think it will work.

Aside from that rant, I’ve been feeling considerably better about this wedding since his suggestion. I no longer feel like he’s the enemy (along with my parents), now I kind of feel like he’s my hero.

There wasn’t much I knew I wanted my wedding to be as a little girl. I knew I didn’t want to wear white. I knew I wanted it relatively small (no more than 100). And I knew I wanted lots of flowers everywhere. I thought those were simple requests that would be easy to fulfill. Silly me.


We Are Built On… Love

I’ve mentioned once or twice that the fiancé and I consider the foundation of our relationship to be love, trust, and communication. Since blogging has become a way for me to process my thoughts and emotions, I thought I’d do a three-part series on each one of these foundations instead of always lumping them in together.

Love has taken an odd path through our relationship. Since we were both dating other people when we met and began hanging out, both the fiancé and I were resistant to the idea of falling in love. But I’d never met anybody like him. No one had ever been so emotionally doting or so physically affectionate in a way that didn’t creep me out.

I thought that perhaps if he was so open emotionally that maybe I should give it a shot. Almost the second I did, I fell deeply and passionately in love with a man who, unbeknownst to me, had trust issues, sincerity issues, and self-awareness issues.

I’ll be telling this whole story in the “my story” posts, but I’ll sum it up here. After I fell in love, I kept it to myself, but I’m quite sure it was obvious. It took him dating someone else, losing me, and fighting to get me back to realize he loved me. Our love still wasn’t on the same level. He hadn’t truly begun to understand what it means to love someone, and I was busy trying to lock away the love I felt for him so I couldn’t get hurt so bad if he changed his mind about wanting to be with me again.

Our relationship still grew and blossomed. We began to come to a mutual decision on all love entailed. We grew closer and deeper in love. He started feeling the passionate and unbelievably strong love I had felt for him. But by this point, our relationship had taken a couple hits and I was in self-preservation mode.

I didn’t even realize I was in that mode until confronted with having to decide whether I could really walk away from a relationship founded partly on trust that had lost all it’s trust. When I decided to stay, the fiancé and I had a real deep discussion of our love.

When he described his love for me, it sounded exactly like what I would’ve said had I vocalized what I’d been feeling back then. It took him over a year to get to that feeling, but he was so comfortable there and never wanted to leave. At that moment, I realized I didn’t share those feelings. I did, but I didn’t feel it. I felt more numb.

I remember vividly how I used to feel. It was a love so deep my whole body shook when I thought about it. But I had pushed those feelings away for so long that I’d forgotten how to access them. I felt like I was standing at the entrance to my attic looking at a box way in the back marked “Love”. I’d have to crawl over dozens of other boxes and risk falling through the ceiling to get to it.

I began to understand that if we were going to have this firm foundation on love, I’d have to make the effort to dig out the old love box. I couldn’t just get by on my muted love. The fiancé deserved for me to access those feelings that were on par with what he was feeling. He never felt me lacking in love for him, not through my actions or words.

When I described for him the last day I truly let myself feel that deep over-powering love, he knew the day well. It was the last day we spent in Chicago before I went to St. Louis and he told me he’d picked the other chick. When he compared that to everyday since, he truly understood the difference in how I’d been feeling.

Now that these two versions of my love for him were out in the open, it was clear what had to happen. I had to be able to open myself back up to feel that love. But my self-preservation has been in tact for so long, I’m honestly not sure how to do it.

The best plan I have so far is to work on our trust. When I made the decision to try and be open before, I was going on blind trust, taking things at face value. I don’t have that luxury anymore, but what I do have now is experience and eventually I’ll have real trust.

Then I won’t be afraid to open up my heart again. I’ve always said I wanted a marriage that was filled with love and passion. I love the fiancé so much and I feel so passionate about and towards him. To know that can grow ever deeper if I open myself back up again makes me yearn for feeling safe enough to go there.

I think I can get to that point. We’re both committed to having our love be as deep as possible. And it’s there, I just have to let it back in.


Planting A Seed of Trust

There’s this metaphor I came up with on Sunday. I think of re-building the trust is my relationship as planting a seed and watching it grow into a tree.

The fiancé and I discussed how hard it is for me to just magically start trusting him again. My new natural instinct had been to question everything he said, if not aloud then at least in my mind. I couldn’t think of anything that he’d said in the preceding several days that I just believed.

I’m not a cynical or distrustful person by nature, so I was feeling very uncomfortable in this new stage of my relationship and not sure how to move forward. Then, the fiancé said, “you trusted my strength, and you believed me when I said I pick you over lying.”

I had a powerful paradigm shift right at the moment. I realized he was right. When we discussed how his strenght pulled us through that rough patch, I never doubted it. I believed him when he said he’d be strong for the both of us. I knew he was telling the truth and I knew I could count on him.

Out of all this tumult, we emerged feeling closer and more intimate than ever. We are able freely discuss all our emotions, which is totally new for me. Being emotionally vulnerable all the time, never having to put on a strong front has done magnificent things for our mental, emotional, and spiritual connection as a couple.

I realized that the trust I have in him to be strong for both of us was a starting point. It was a metaphorical seed I could plant and nurture into a strong tree. I felt immensely better almost immediately. Knowing I had something he’d said and done that I just instinctively believed and trusted gave me a feeling of peace.

I stopped worrying about how long it would take to heal our rift. I knew it would take time, but I knew we could do it. All I needed was a starting point to go from, and I had that!

The foundation of our relationship is love, trust, and communication. We talk about those three a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever really focused on one at a time in my own time to think about it. Writing things out in this blog has become a way for me to process and sort through my logic, emotions, etc., so I think I’m going to do blog posts about it.

Back to this seed. I think sunlight, water, and plant food ought to do the trick. Metaphorically I think that’s keeping up our emotional connection, keeping up our mental connection, and taking specific note of new situations that build trust.


After The Mushroom Cloud

Alternate Post Title: And we still together. (If you don’t get that reference to In Living Color, don’t ever say you are a fan of the 1990s)

I wrote a post last week about a big blow-up I attributed to pre-wedding jitters. When I look back on that moment, I just feel tired.

Having not yet regained my will to fight, the fiancé seems to sense this and he is working over time to make sure nothing goes wrong. I know life doesn’t work that way. Stuff goes wrong. Disagreements happen. Problems arise.

But I feel like I’m recovering from being stabbed in the stomach. So it’s nice to have some time where I sit back and just heal without being on the lookout for something that may make my stitches pop.

We’ve had some serious heart-to-hearts since that happened. I feel closer to him than ever. The fiancé and I know each other better than anyone else has ever known us, and I think that (and the love) will get us through. Understanding why we do the things we do helps the other person be understanding and helps each of us control our bad habits.

One thing that surprisingly helps me cope with all of this is talking about the future. Not the wedding, but our married lives together. Talking about travelling and grad school and who’s going to pay what bill is really soothing for me.

I’m a planner and a supporter by nature, so plotting our what year we’ll move where as well as giving him encouragement for his dreams keeps me focused on what’s really important. Our lives together and what we’ve built is what’s most important.

If I’m honest with myself, re-building the trust in our relationship is going to be hard. I feel like we’re broken and I don’t know how to fix it. I know the steps to take. 1) Read the bible and pray about it. 2) Have discussions where we’re open and honest and get all skeletons, feelings, and thoughts out into the open. 3) Devise a plan to move forward. 4) Honestly accept what has happened, completely forgive, and take each day as it comes, making better decisions.

I’m a logical person, so I know what has to be done. And we’re doing most of that, just not necessarily in that healthy step-wise fashion. I just don’t yet have the strength to do the work. The fiancé is being strong for both of us. He’s constantly reminding me that he will make sure he’s worthy of my trust, he will keep the lines of communication open, and he never lets me forget how much we love each other.

And when all else fails, we talk about the future. Our future, as discussed recently, is actually a topic for another blog post.


Pre-Wedding Jitters

I thought I was immune to the cold-feet stereotype that you see in movies and television for almost-weds. Turns out I am not.

For me, the pre-wedding jitters has manifested itself in the most horrible way possible. I said the words to the fiancé that I never thought I would say: “I don’t think I can do this.”

Looking back, I still can’t believe those words came out my mouth. I’ll tell you what happened so I’m not sounding increasingly vague and oddly mysterious.

It started with a lie. the fiancé lied to me about something concerning his ex. There was an omission, a misleading statement, and an outright lie. I completely lost it. There was yelling and arguing. Ultimately I told him I couldn’t marry him if he was a liar.

We’d been working on our trust and communication since we’ve been dating (an issue I’m sure I’ll explain eventually in one the “My Story” posts). It’s hard for me to trust him because he doesn’t always tell the truth up front. He always tells the truth eventually, but that “eventually” part was starting to wear on me.

Also, I’ve got anger issues. Things don’t make me angry right away. But if I get a little angry about something, the next time it happens, I get twice as angry. So imagine how angry (and probably scary) I can get the 17th time I’m angry about something. For you math folks, that’s [angry *2^n].

So between his eventual truth, my exponentially increasing anger (linearly?), and our occasional breakdown of communication, it’s obvious where this was heading. The argument about the ex ended with him promising never to willingly lie to me again. That’s a big promise, but he made it.

Less than 36 hours later, we had a miscommunication about the guest list and the role the fiancé has been playing in wedding planning. The argument escalated because I thought he lied about something. He didn’t explain himself well at all, likely because I barely let him get a word in because I was so angry.

Then…

I said, “I don’t think I can do this. I can’t marry you. I don’t trust you and we don’t communicate well. I can’t rely on you. I can’t do this.”

I’ve never seen him look so hurt. I meant it when I said it, and there was no reasoning with me at first. He kept pushing me to talk about it. I had to get ready to leave for work (stupid night shifts), and I wasn’t ready to talk yet. We usually have a rule that he gives me space to think things through we have a disagreement, but this was an extenuating circumstance.

He kept calling and texting me for the whole hour drive to work and for the first 5 hours I was at work. We sorted through our confusions and got on the same page about the issues. But I still felt so weary. When I thought about leaving him, it seemed so hard.

Pragmatically, the hassle of one of us moving out of the apartment, calling of a wedding that cost tens of thousands of dollars only 26 days out, etc., just seemed like too much. But emotionally, the thought of having that same fight over and over again for the rest of my life just made me feel dejected and sad and weary and listless. I felt like I didn’t have any fight left in me for this particular topic.

 But the fiancé stayed strong. He expressed that he hated feeling like he was the only one fighting for our relationship. I told him I’d lost my energy to fight. I told him I could love him and miss him and never love anyone else as much ever again and still be without him because there are some non-negotiables I just can’t get down with (constant lying, any kind of abuse towards me, any kind of substance abuse, suddenly turning Atheist). He doesn’t have all of those, but he’s struggled with the first one.

But the fiancé stayed strong. He told me he couldn’t be without me and that I wouldn’t have to live the rest of my life living with one of my non-negotiables. I told him if the situation were reversed, I’d be doing what he was doing. I’d be fighting for our relationship, even if I felt like I was fighting by myself.

It’s nice to think every couple fights just as hard together all the time for their relationship, but that’s not realistic. Sometimes one person has to be strong for the other. That’s what the fiancé did for me. He was strong when I couldn’t be strong.

He talked me back from the ledge. I still feel weary and dread the thought of what’s going to happen then next time we have a miscommunication or heaven forbid he lies about something. But I’m done talking about not marrying him.

I’m almost 100% sure I would have had a different response had we not been less than 30 days from the wedding. I think the urgency of the situation, feeling somehow like all of our major issues had to be worked out prior to the wedding was pulling me towards behaving in a very crazy way.

If I’m being realistic, I would realize that since the time that we decided to get married, we’ve been all in. I just didn’t realize how my emotions would change in the days leading up to the wedding.

We argued about one of our big issues and I know it’s not the last conversation we’ll have about it, but I know now reactions were more about the timeframe of the wedding than the topic of the argument.

I’m glad the fiancé was strong when I couldn’t be. I hope I’m never in his position, but if I am, I’ll be strong like he was. For right now, we’re working on my anger, his consistency, and forgiveness. I’m going to forgive him for misleading me yet again, and he’s going to forgive me for not being strong and letting my pre-wedding jitters get the best of me.


Wedding Worries/Espousement Excitement

Just like with Christmas, I’ll be posting a whole crapload about my wedding in the weeks leading up to it. I have worries and excitement. Mostly, I can’t wait to be a Mrs. and I just wish the day would hurry up and get here!

Worries

1) Most of the wedding party will be staying in Joliet the night before the wedding. But some rebels will be staying in Chicago. I can see overnight snowfall, oversleeping, or any other manner of evil making them late or even miss the wedding.

2) I wont get all my DIY projects and paper products (i.e. menu, program, etc.) done by the wedding.

3) I won’t be able to fit into my dress. I’ll look like stuffed sausage and be too uncomfortable to dance, eat, or breathe.

Excitement

1) I’m marrying the fiancé, who is the goodest person I know. (I truly mean goodest, and not best).

2) There are a lot of little details to this wedding that are near and dear to my heart and I can’t wait to see them all come together.

3) A huge party with almost everyone I love and cherish there will likely be one of the best days of my life.

Weddings are awesome and nerve-wracking and amazing all at once. I am just trying to hold onto the excitement building up to it. For me, the buildup is what adds even more good to an already great event (first day of school anyone? Nerds? Prom queens? Anyone?) and makes it that much better when it finally arrives.

Do you have anything you’re looking forward to in the near future?


Midnight Snacks Are The Best

In an effort to keep up with my new year’s resolutions, I started cooking more for the fiancé.. Because of our busy schedules, we don’t have a set dinner time or even a guarantee that we’ll see each other throughout a given day.

Last week, we got a bunch of unexpected time together. The fiancé used to sick days from work and he was home. He went to the doctor and ended up seeing the eye doctor about getting a new prescription for his contacts. His bad headaches almost immediately went away.

This post isn’t about the fiancé’s health, however. It’s about midnight snacks. When I think of midnight snacks, I think cereal, grilled cheese, leftover Chinese food, etc. I have stepped up traditional midnight snack food and made it something delectable.

On the days the fiancé didn’t go to school, we were both up pretty late. At around 1 am one day and 3 am the other day, we got hungry. I had been promising to make him fettucine since new year’s, so I got to it.

I made a roux with butter, olive oil, and flour. I added half and half and let it thicken. I melted in Parmesan cheese (not grated) and then added milk until it was the right consistency. Then I added in a jar of store bough alfredo sauce. Some seasoning rounded it out and it was great. I made some noodles. I also steamed some broccoli and tossed them in garlic, butter, olive oil, and black pepper.

We feasted on a great midnight snack. We didn’t eat that much because it was so late, but it was sooooo delicious.

Another night I made chicken with 5 different seasonings. I folded up aluminum foil and made five small trays that all fit onto one cookie sheet. I sliced three chicken breasts and split them amongst the five. I’ll describe each one because it was amazing.

1) Lemon Pepper: I had black pepper, white pepper, and fresh lemon juice, along with a lemon slice on the top. I finished it with fresh grated lemon zest.

2) Honey glazed: I just poured honey over the chicken three different times during the baking, and it made a nice glaze all on it’s own.

3) Spicy: I had black pepper, white pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. It really packed a punch, but wasn’t too spicy. All those different peppers play on different parts of the tongue, so it just tastes well seasoned. It’s becoming my specialty to make spicy food that folks who don’t like hot food can eat (That and strong drinks that folks who can’t drink strong drinks because of the taste can drink!).

4) Traditional: I used garlic powder, salt, black pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning. Traditional chicken seasoning, very delicious.

5) Italian: I used garlic powder, oregano, and italian dressing. Soooo good.

For each one, I also put a bit of chicken stock at the bottom of each individual tray (even the honey glazed). I did this to add an extra kick of flavor so I didn’t need a bunch of seasoning (bonus for the spicy) and so I didn’t need a bunch of salt (bonus for the honey glazed).

If you ever have time on your hands and can’t choose what seasonings to use, use them all!


Getting Married, Really Freaking Soon

Ever since we first discussed getting married during the Super Bowl in 2011, the fiancé and I have pretty much been moving towards our wedding, which is the second weekend of next month.

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten married in a wedding ceremony that was way more extravagant and large than you’d prefer, but I’m kind of freaking out. If I had my way, we would have gotten married in a tiny tiny ceremony at my church on a Wednesday afternoon.

The only wedding accoutrement would be a really pretty dress for me, and flowers, lots of flowers. Then we’d throw a big party a week or so later and invite all the friends and family to join us in merriment. I knew this would never happen, but I can dream.

When we renew our vows in 10-15 years, we’ll do it that way.

But that’s not my reality. In my reality, my wedding is less than a month away. It’s less than 4 weeks away. I still have a ton to do.

I just want to bury my head in the sand and emerge married to a man who’s perfect for me. Why can’t that be the case.

I will be a big girl. I will wear a beautiful dress I love with all my heart that I may not fit into. I will march down the aisle at my non-church wedding venue, with hundreds of eyes staring at me.

Ugh, I try not to think about the eyes. I still have war flashbacks from entering both my engagement party and bridal shower late to the expectant stares of all the guests. I guess it was good practice for the wedding.

They’ll all be staring, but at least at the wedding, they only expect me to walk. At the other events, I felt as if I should’ve prepared a song and dance…

The only thing I’m not freaking out about is becoming a Mrs. I can’t wait to change my name. I can’t wait to wear my non-traditional wedding band. I can’t wait to use the word husband.

And I really can’t wait to wake up the day after the wedding to find that nothing at all has changed in our relationship. Fiancé, you’re the one thing about all of this I’m not freaking out about. And you can comment on this post if you like, I swear it’s not lame. It would be sweet.


“I Know Who I Am”

After many months of procrastinating, the fiancé finally called Comcast and got us some internet. We debated whether or not we were going to get cable as well, but ultimately decided against it. I really wanted a land line, so we got that too.

The day the Comcast guy comes to set up the internet and phone line was a morning after I had to work. I have the only laptop between the two of us which is the only computer in the apartment. They needed me to get home from work so the internet could be properly set up.

There was only one problem. I got a flat tire three blocks from my job, which is 30 miles from my apartment. When I called the fiancé, he didn’t answer the phone. I can change my own tire, but it was freezing cold and the tire jack broke. So I called my daddy who came to the rescue.

Turns out, the fiancé dropped his phone in the toilet. I wrote a post back in mid December that had this quote:

I feel I should take the moment to say, “baby, I’m not buying you a iPhone. Buy your own damn iPhone.”

I now feel very wise. Had I purchased a new iPhone to replace the one he’d broken three different ways, that one would also be ruined be being dropped into a toilet. A toilet he had to have been peeing it at the time it dropped in. I’m just saying, I would be feeling some kind of way if he accidentally peed on my Christmas gift.

He could still accidentally pee on my Christmas gift now that I think about it. Baby, please don’t use the gift I bought you near the toilet!

So back to what I was talking about before. I was late getting home because it took an hour to get my tire changed. When I got there, I handed them the laptop and got in the bed. When I awoke several hours later, the computer was hooked up to an ethernet cord and the phone was coming out from behind the living room TV. After having a WTF moment about the ethernet cord, I turned my attention on the phone.

I was so confused as to why the phone was behind the TV. The fiancé said the Comcast guy had no choice because that was the only phone jack. For him and anyone else who may not know, buildings are not built with all the phone jacks they’ll ever have. Especially not buildings that were built before there were phones in every home. They can add new phone jacks on other walls.

Also, Comcast is mailing us a wireless router so we don’t have to have the laptop tethered to the wall like it’s 1999. Side note: doesn’t that Prince song take on totally new meaning now that it’s 13 years past 1999?

The fiancé doesn’t mind the phone being behind the tv because it’s a very bright pink color. He said he’d rather replace it with some old phone from his parents’ house. I told him there was no need for that because I had a cordless phone with caller ID and an answering machine we could replace it with.

Well, I didn’t tell him that at first. First, I ridiculed him for being against the phone simply because it’s pink. That’s a little too “I’m-6-year-old-and-girls-are-stupid” for my tastes. But then the fiancé realized he was a grown man and said, “I know who I am. It’s fine if we have a pink phone.”

I chuckled at him for needing to remind himself that he was a man and therefore need not be threatened by a pink phone. Then I finally told him about the cordless phone, which happened to be black and grey. I also told him that this day would turn into a blog post because it made quite a ridiculous story.

Also, it just occurred to me that I didn’t ever say what I actually got the fiancé for Christmas. Just know that it was electrical, useful for his career, portable, in a manly color of dark grey, and able to be ruined by being peed on. Please don’t pee on my gift!

 


When Did I Become A Naggy Bitch?

I’m not entirely sure when it happened. But I woke up one day and I was a nag. A terrible, annoying nag.

I don’t question if the garbage has been taken out recently, but I cover so many other subjects. I bother the fiancé about his driving, his eating, his (lack of) exercise, his music, his friendships, his (lack of) listening, hell even his bowel movements.

Each single thing can be justified. I swear it can. From conversations I’ve had with the fiancé where he asks for help on a specific thing or we get into a discussion of what’s the “proper” way to do it, there’s always a good reason.

But in the sum total of a day, there’s like over 100 things I fuss or nag about. Who wants to live with that crap? I certainly wouldn’t.

I’m not entirely sure why the fiancé hasn’t cursed me out and dared me to nag about another thing. Probably because he’s a much nicer person than I am. Which, by the way, is another thing I nag about. He’s so nice that he always says the nice thing even if he ends up doing something not so nice. I think it’s better to be honest and not mislead people to think you’re going to be doing something nice when that’s not the final result.

I’m thinking I have to find a way to accept that he just does things differently than how I do. It’s like I feel like I have to get all these behavioral changes in by the wedding, which is only 36 days away now.

I’ve always said that if you go into any long-term relationship thinking that it’s long-term success is based on the other person changing, you’re destined to fail. I just have to wrap my head around the thought that it’s okay if he still goes through an entire bottle of Pine sol in only 6 months. We will just buy more, you know?

I figured if I told on myself on the internet, perhaps I could shame myself into better behavior. I want my man to like me and like being around me. I don’t want him to have to feel like he’s walking on eggshells because I’m watching everything he does, looking for something to be wrong.

Do you have any tips to help me stop being such a nag?


An Unexpected Night

After a night of working, I only got a small amount of sleep. I had to wake up so the fiancé and I could go have our mini photo shoot with our wedding photographer to get our guest book taken care of (hint: it’s a photo that people sign).

After the shoot, we were supposed to hang out doing his music thing. Because of our opposite schedules, it had been a while since we’d done that, so I was down.

A weird turkey patty, some Dr. Seuss rhymes, and a freezing cold club later, and I was over supporting the music.

To be fair, it wasn’t the fiancé’s music. But it was a group he regularly plays with that was adding live music to a hip hop show. The sound check was at 4:30. We didn’t get there til almost 6 and there were only 2 other people there. We were hungry so we went to a bar and grill up the street where I ordered the worst turkey burger I’d ever tasted.
I’m used to real burgers. They start with ground meat, form a patty, and throw it on the grill. It’s a bar and GRILL, why wouldn’t they do that? Instead they had these pre-made things that had the consistency of children’s chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.

After that harrowing experience (I take my food seriously), a trip to Burger King to get a Hershey’s chocolate cream pie made me feel better and slightly less hungry. Back to the club we went.

The show was supposed to start at 8. Fast forward to 9:45 pm. There were finally more than 10 people there and we were ready to start. The opening emcee was the

 

one with the Dr. Seuss rhymes. He did get better as he was going, but it didn’t start well. I was just ready for the actual rapper who’s show it was. I like his songs.

He opened for Talib Kweli at his show at the Shrine earlier this year. This same group the fiancé plays with did the live music. Moments like that make moments like this almost bearable.

Even thought the music got better (except the singer who used the phrase “on tonight”, ugh), the club was too cold and it never got better cause there were 11.5 people there and not enough body heat. Sometimes things aren’t quite ideal, but there’s always a silver lining. In the almost 2 hrs the show was delayed, the fiancé kept me warm. He sat there with his arms wrapped around me instead of networking. So sweet!

 


Happy New Year!!

I don’t know how you brought in the New Year, but I hope it was fantastic! Whether you watched the ball drop in your PJs, took in a comedy show, or danced the night away with someone you kissed at midnight, I hope your holiday was amazing.

Since I’m writing this post in advance, I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure I enjoyed this holiday.

I imagine the kiss I shared with the fiancé at midnight was as magical and thrilling as the first kiss we shared in July 2010.

I know the New Year’s Day meal we’ll have with my family later will really be spectacular. We have a seafood feast on new year’s and I can’t wait.

I hope this holiday season has been great for you. I hope you have great resolutions going into the new year. And I really really really hope you finish all the egg nog in your refrigerator before it expires.

Hello 2012!


Worried About My Christmas

So, I re-read my post from about a week ago about fights. The fiancé and I seem to be increasingly better at working through issues that come up. But there’s one problem that hasn’t been settled yet that really worries me.

It worries me because Christmas is right around the corner and I’m worried he’s going to ruin it. And if not Christmas, he’ll be ruining New Year’s Eve. You see, the fiancé doesn’t love holidays like I do. In fact, last year I was convinced he hated Christmas. I’m sort of convinced now that I was mistaken. Sort of.

I’m worried he’ll ruin one of these ever-so-important holidays because when it comes time for big things, he tends to mess them up and then make up for it later. I had to have a birthday re-do in October. Our Thanksgiving was 4 hours behind last month. We missed my great-aunt’s funeral last week.

It seems like every month, something I’m depending on him for goes horribly awry. I feel like I have only two options:

1) Stop depending on him and risk losing that faith in our relationship that we can rely on each other.

2) Expect that he’ll disappoint me and resign myself to that fact.

Perhaps I’d feel better if he were one of those guys who just didn’t care and never pretended that he could or would do better. But the fiancé isn’t like that. He says he cares all the time, he just constantly does careless things.

I know he didn’t mean to make me miss my great aunt’s funeral, but that doesn’t make me feel better. And I know he doesn’t care as much about Thanksgiving as I do, so being four hours late didn’t bother him, but that doesn’t make me feel worse.

I’m just worried about how he will ruin Christmas. I know it won’t be on purpose, but there are a number of ways it can go wrong.

1) I work nights and I have to work Christmas night. I care way more about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so this isn’t so terrible. But if we get a late start on our day, which is very very possible, that will throw off my whole schedule and ruin my day.

2) He took a gig on Christmas Eve. I knew when I decided to marry a musician there were certain sacrifices I’d have to make. He spent last Christmas in Europe on tour, so I want to be with him. I just don’t want to be with him on a gig. In Indiana. On Christmas Eve. But that is my life now as a professional groupie, I guess.

3) He will suggest some sort of house hopping like what we did on Thanksgiving. That was fun, but with me having to work that night, it could be a total disaster.

Christmas is usually my favorite time of year. That just hasn’t been the case since I’ve been with the fiancé. I’m trying to reconcile that. It’s just hard because it’s been this fear of mine that I would end up with someone who undervalues birthdays and holidays. And it happened.

I just need to figure out how to adjust. It’s not fair of me to put all my expectations on him. I’ll be constantly disappointed, and he’ll feel like I’m putting too much on him. It’s just so frustrating!


I Love My Job, I Love My Job, I Love My Job

I have to repeat that to myself sometimes. I really do enjoy my job most days. I save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. I’ve drunk the company kool-aid. I’ve even added more sugar and a splash of vodka to help others enjoy it more. But sometimes it’s easy to forget.

1) Asshole doctors. I understand that everyone doesn’t support donation. But as dispassionate as most doctors I’ve met are, how the hell do you pick your one time to be passionate as when it comes to keeping your patients from even considering saving someone else’s life after theirs is over? Seriously, WTF?!

2) Working nights. I’m a night owl by nature. But having to live my work life during the night (and I don’t even get tips or get to wear ridiculously high heels) and my personal life during the day is taking it’s toll. I’m sleepy most of the time and unless I have 3+ days off in a row, I feel off. That means I have more days of feeling off than on. I wish there was something I could do about that.

3) I miss the fiancé. We’re both looking forward to these next two weeks he has off. No matter what day of the week I work, I’ll see him when I get home from work. We’ll be able to spend much more time together. Well, that depends on what time his gigs are, but it will still be more than it is now.

When I work three days in a row during weekdays, I don’t see the fiancé for 2-3 days. That sucks so much. I don’ t think I’ll ever get used to it. It’s just a fact of life. We make the most of our time together. Trying to make sure no parts of our relationship fall by the wayside has been quite the task.

The physical aspect just gets in where it fits in. We both love love sleep, but we’ll sacrifice it if we have to. The spiritual aspect sees us church hopping between his church and mine on my weekends off and praying each morning over the phone while I’m driving home from work. We talk on the phone as if we’re in high school, but we’re maintaining our communication and friendship.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint what we do to nurture our emotional relationship. He pays more attention to emotions than I do, but if we’re not doing anything, we’ve got to work on that. We’re far too young as a couple (we just met July 2, 2010) to settle into a rut this soon.

So for now, I’m trying to maintain building my relationship and career. And I’m telling myself, “I love my job, I love my job. I love my job.”


Getting Out Of The Shower Unscathed

Last Saturday was my bridal shower. One of 438 pre-wedding parties organized for my wedding. The fiancé and I were painfully late to our engagement party, so I wanted to be on time. In an effort to make that happen, we got a hotel room nearby my job since I had to work Friday night.

The plan was for the fiancé to pick me up from work at 7:30 am, drive right back to the hotel up the street, and get right into bed to get a couple hours of sleep before getting up at 10:30 to get ready to head to the shower I was supposed to be at by 11:30. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

We didn’t go right to sleep. The mornings is one of the only times we really get to spend together consistently. He’s a narcolept at night and I’m only awake in the morning when I haven’t been to sleep yet, so it’s the perfect storm for us to chat etc. I ended up with about 1 hr and 40 min of sleep. And then we were dragging ass when we finally got up to shower.

Long story short, I got to the shower right around 12:30 pm. For shame. And just like my engagement party, I walked into a room full of people staring expectantly at me. I’m going to have to start being on time for things or I will develop a complex and not be able to get down the aisle on my wedding day. I don’t mind being the center of attention, but not when the expectations are that palpable. It’s unnerving.

The shower’s theme was cute and creative. The guests (there were around 50) were split into 7 groups representing different times. The invitations, decorations, and gifts were all supposed to coordinate with the theme. I’ve got a ton of pictures, but I won’t bore you with them. The times were: Breakfast Time, Lunch Time, Dinner Time, Cocktail Time, Bath Time, Exercise Time, Bedtime.

The idea was for the women to get creative with the gifts so I would get a variety that would cover all the times. I do love to cook and eat, so the three meal times made sense. I’m getting married so bath time and bedtime are obvious. And no week is complete without a nice cocktail hour. But the gifts were… less than creative.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved almost all my gifts. They just didn’t fit their themes.

Apparently, I should be wearing lingerie as I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also while in the bath. And at bedtime and during exercise, I should have the least comfortable lingerie of them all. Maybe I’d have been married sooner had I known that!

With the exception of my mother, it seems the closer the family members got in terms of the family tree, the raunchier and more blush-inducing the gifts were. Here are some of my favorites:

1) The lace-waistband pearl G-string. It was a gift from one of my church members, I won’t say which one. As soon as I pulled it out of the bag, I knew what it was and fondly recalled a hilarious episode of Sex and the City. I learned a lot about the guests at the shower based on who knew what it was the way I was holding it and who needed me to completely open it up to figure out what it was.

2) The edible everything. Bra, g-string, c*@k ring, and various anatomy-shaped suckers. It was a gift from my aunt and cousin. I didn’t even know they made edible– you know what, never mind. I wouldn’t even show everything in that bag to the whole room. I just showed the edible bra and g-string, and called it “edible bra & panties”. Somehow, that felt better.

3) A leopard print bag that housed a garter belt, garters, stockings, and a very skimpy, very sexy, very lacy set of lingerie. It was a gift from the fiancé’s sisters. I almost don’t want him to know what they bought cause I figured it might freak him out.

4) My mom’s gift was the best. She got me a gift for each time of the theme, and no lingerie. I’ve got enough to last for years, so I didn’t need anymore. But she got me a gag gift. She wrote a poem that covered each time. When it got to cocktail hour, the poem implied she’d bought me a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (“a pair of red bottoms”), but it was just a Christmas ornament. It was a great gag gift and got a laugh from everyone there.

This shower had good food, good drinks, laughter, dancing, awesome gifts for me (and for everyone else too between game prizes, time gifts, and door prizes), and merriment galore.

There are still a bajillion more pre-wedding events to go, but at least that’s one more that’s behind us.


Long Term Borrowing

I know what some of you are thinking. You took one look at that title and figure I’m going to talk about grown-up stuff an engaged person such as myself might discuss. Possibly a mortgage, possibly student loans, possibly one last cash infusion from the parents (other than the wedding of course).

You’d be wrong. I’m talking about taking something that’s not yours with the intention of giving it back… eventually. The fiancé brought me dinner to work about a week and a half ago. He brought me food from a restaurant at a hotel we had for the night. It was the night before my bridal shower and it just made sense to sleep nearby for a few hours before heading to my shower. It maximized the time I’d have to sleep. And this hotel’s restaurant supposedly had really good food.

I requested a salad, salmon, and a drink. This drink was from their non-alcohol menu, so I didn’t worry about ordering it during a work shift. When the fiancé brought me the food, he handed me a bag with two styrofoam to-go containers in it. Then he reaches in the backseat and pulls out–

This glass definitely screams, "I had alcohol in me".

a glass. Not a styrofoam to-go cup. An actual glass that I’m sure the hotel never intended to leave the premises. Since he didn’t help with the registry besides picking our fancy china (the most important part!), he doens’t have any idea how much glasses cost these days.

But apparently I’m the Bonnie to his Clyde because I took that glass, only threw him one judgemental look, and happily took it back into the office to enjoy with my dinner. Of course my co-workers were confused as to where I just got a glass that was full of some sort of fruity drink.

That picture above is of the actual glass that I took with my Blackberry while writing this post. That hotel where we’re staying is pretty nice. It’s the perfect place to get away for a weekend, so I imagine we’ll be going back there at some point when I don’t have to work.

So eventually, we’ll take the glass back. Probably…


Getting Through A Fight

I’m not a yeller. At least I used to not be a yeller. My relationship with the fiancé is unique for a number of reasons, but this post is about fights, so I’ll focus on that. We have these arguments that seem so bad and so extreme.

I’ve never argued with anyone else I’ve dated like that. It used to be pretty disconcerting, but I’m actually kind of getting used to it. I don’t know whether that’s good or bad, but I prefer not to even get into that part of it. I want to talk about how these fights go.

Usually, he’ll do something or not do something that is a problem for me. I bring it up. He expresses his desire to not talk about it or makes excuses gives an explanation. I refuse to not talk about it. We start arguing about a tangent instead of the actual point of contention. One of us raises our voice.

We’ve only gotten into a screaming match once that I can think of, and that was by far the worst argument we’ve ever had. Usually there’s just one person with the raised voice and the other is looking at them like, “really? You’re yelling? We don’t yell.”

So I’m trying to get adjusted to this new life where occasionally I do yell. It seems like he never understands how upset I am unless I yell. I cringe at how much like a chick I sound for even saying that last sentence, but those are his words, not mine.

I’ve got to learn to stay on topic when we argue, he’s got to learn to stop bullshitting me. The fiancé said he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it until I repeat back to him what he just said. That’s crazy, right?

Actually, I’m the crazy one. I’m mean and crazy. And he’s illogical and a liar. Those are terrible traits to possess. But at least we’re aware of our worst flaws and so we can make moves to fix them.

Which leads me to our other flaws. He’s prone to grand declarations with no plan of action, and I don’t have enough patience.

But somehow, no matter how bad our fights get, we manage to work them out. No matter what the fight is about or what is said, we both know neither of us is going anywhere. It’s just not an option (and that’s not about the expensive ass wedding we’re having in 3 months). We’re in it for the long haul, and we have no doubt about that.

I think knowing we’re stuck together (by choice!) gives us the incentive to work through our issues. Part of the reason I never argued with anyone else is my preferred plan of action used to be to ignore problems until it becomes necessary to end the relationship. The fiancé forces me to face my feelings and discuss them all the time, and we’re experiencing some growing pains.

Growing pains is a good way to explain the occasional rough days where I’m frustrated with his aversion to the whole truth and he’s frustrated with my aversion to honest emotions. We’re getting there though.

How do you deal with getting through fights?

One way to settle fights.

Eh, I’ll keep thinking of solutions that aren’t completely insane.