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.

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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.