You’ll understand when you’re…

UGH! That phrase! It seems like you hear it your entire life!

“You’ll understand when you’re older” “You’ll understand when you have a job””You’ll understand when you have bills to pay, get married, HAVE KIDS”

And no one likes to use that phrase more than mothers: yours, someone else’s, your mom friends.  As someone who is having their first kid, I’m sort of in between the mom world and the child-free world. But I see both sides so clearly these days. And I gotta be honest, in the words of Tina Fey..”There’s been some girl on girl crime here.”

So I came up with a few do’s and don’ts for moms and their child free friends that can help us all get a long better and neither party feels shitty about the other.

  • Mothers have used “you’ll understand when you’re a mom” on their child-free friends for decades and it is shitty as hell. First, you are assuming that the child-free friend WANTS a child and second, you are assuming they can have a child.  Also, it’s patronizing, these aren’t little kids, these are your friends. If you dont feel like they are seeing things from your perspective….use your words and tell them just that. Of course there are certain things you don’t get unless you experience it. For example, I will never be President, so I don’t know the stresses that go along with it. That’s why you see ex-POTUS’s hanging out with each other, no matter what their party affiliation. They just get what it’s like to deal with foreign leaders and the press and whatever else Presidents do from day to day.
  • Child free ladies, can you stop turning up your nose at invites you get that may involve your mom friend’s kids? They are trying, okay? They want to see you but the babysitter cancelled/dad has to work/ locked themselves out of the house. I think moms more than anything NEED that shred of their “old life”. They want to talk about your life and fashion and movies they can’t see and shows they watch on Hulu while breast pumping at 3am.  So please, be patient and be ready to talk about “Empire”. In addition, please don’t stop asking your mom friends to do stuff! They want to be a part of everything, they just can’t all the time.
  • Moms, stop telling your child free friends that they “don’t know real love” because they do not have kids. That’s bullshit. It is a completely different kind of love that you experience, but it’s definitely not the only real kind of love out there. The idea that someone can’t experience love because they don’t care for a child is ridiculous!
  • Both moms and their CF friends, don’t throw your life choices in the other’s face. Moms, you get to snuggle little ones and CF’s you get to travel, party, shop for yourself guilt free and …..okay, I clearly haven’t yet embraced motherhood. But you see what I mean. You don’t have to keep reminding me about your disposable income and I won’t tell you about the acid reflux that wakes me up at 2 a.m. (I really need to start getting used to this mom thing).
  • Moms have to stop assuming that every woman wants what you have or that something is wrong with women who don’t. And CF’s…that goes for you too. Women who want kids aren’t crazy or trapped in the patriarchal machine, they just want something that you don’t. Do you judge your friend who wants a salad for lunch when you want a burger (of course you do, that was a bad example) But you get my drift.

We are all in this together, ladies. So let’s just cut each other some slack.

The Thin Pink Line

I wrote this about 2 days after finding out I was pregnant, I’m 13 weeks now. Over the next few days I’ll post some of the things I wrote before we let the cat out of the bag this weekend. This whole thing is a process and I think it is important that women can read something besides blogs about how blessed and amazing they feel with gross titles like “The Day I Become a Whole Person”, “The Best Thing That Has or Will Ever Happen To You” or “AREN’T YOU SO EXCITED YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY?! IT IS MAGICAL”, especially in the early months when they are still adjusting to the idea. 

 

“Oh shit”, is all I could say as I sat in the bathroom of a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and read the pregnancy test I had just taken. But the second line was faint not a dark pink, like the single “no” line. It was light pink, dare I say, baby pink? It’s a fluke, was my first thought. Then I wondered if I had peed wrong? Or did I hold the stick wrong?

I took to Google, as you do in times of scientific quandary. And the overwhelming verdict was “a line is a line is a line, faint or not. Becky, you pregnant, girl”.

This was not planned. At all.

After the hill incident this summer I was forced to go off the pill and given some of my other medical history (I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome back in 2002), we did not think that an “oops” pregnancy was really in the cards for us.

WE WERE WRONG.

I started freaking out the way a teenager might freak out…okay, maybe a little less, seeing as telling my mom and dad resulted in tears of joy, not tears of anger.

I know a lot of women who know they want to be mothers. Some have always known, others get that feeling as they get older and/or meet the person they want to spend their life with.  But not me. I was nor am I one of those kinds of women.

Since this summer, I have seen lots of doctors and I had to inform them first that I was pregnant. They all sounded so happy and so excited!

“Congratulations!”, they would squeal. I had one OBGYN nurse hug me.

And all I could do was smile back weakly.

“Are you excited?!”, the OBGYN nurse chirped.

“Oh, yeah….I guess it hasn’t all sunk in yet,” I would manage to choke out.

But I’m not even sure that’s the case at all. If I’m being 100% honest with you, when I saw the first sonogram and the doctor and that freakin’ nurse where cooing over “that’s your baby” as I looked a screen with a sort of bean on it, I felt zero feelings. I simply turned to them and said “cool, can you print a picture for my husband? I have to get to the office.”

It’s probably not the kind of thing you are supposed to say when you are 35, happily married and pregnant for the first time. I imagine what you are SUPPOSED to say is “We are so excited! We have prayed for this! We can’t wait to be parents!” But for me, I am terrified. I am so worried about becoming a “Mom”. See, things haven’t really gone as planned in my career, I’m not even close to where I want to be professionally and to be quite honest, I’m not even sure where I want to be anymore which makes the prospect of motherhood even scarier.

I’m not stay at home mom material. Some women are and that is so awesome for them and I am happy they get to live the life they want. But for me, I need to work and be creative and be a part of something bigger than my now 3 person family. I fear though because of this lack of a career stronghold, it’s exactly what I’ll become. And then I will resent the kid and my husband and myself. And oh God, what if I try to live vicariously through whatever my kid wants to do or WORSE what if I crush their dreams because I feel mine were crushed? How do I stay social? How do I stay healthy mentally and physically? How do I keep my marriage happy and healthy?

HOW?!

I imagine that these are questions that women face everyday of their lives before and after the birth of their child. And I know I’m not alone. At least I think that logically. But in the blogosphere and all over social media are perfect, happy, smiling moms who joke about their kids but seem to be have happy lives. They are making it work. And I guess that’s what I have to do to a certain extent. But I can’t fight the overwhelming urge to do EVERYTHING I have wanted to do and cram it into the next 6 months before it is too late. I have to write every screenplay idea I have, every TV pilot, I have to go on every audition, film every sketch and edit every reel. I need to learn to ski and climb a mountain. I need to become a French chef, get into shape (somehow), organize my closet, label EVERYTHING, cook meals for the next year that I can freeze.

But I’m EXHAUSTED!  And I’m nauseous. I’m reading all these damn books about eating right and stuff and all I want to eat is a carbs and sugar. But more than anything I feel, I feel nothing.

I don’t feel like this is actually happening I feel like I am floating above myself, watching this play out and being like an obnoxious moviegoer in a horror movie. “BECKY! DO NOT GO IN THERE! RUN!”. I feel like my body doesn’t belong to me anymore and it occurs to me that this is the first of many many things that don’t belong to me anymore.  My body, my life, my time, my space, my heart.

It’s all a bit too much for me  So you will have to excuse me, OBGYN Nurse if I am less than stoked about this thing sucking everything from me.

That Damn Hill

When I hear the word newlyweds, I think of two blissfully naive youngsters kissing and holding each other in a cozy restaurant booth or that classic image of the man carrying the woman over the threshold. So when people call us newlyweds (while it is technically true), I always shake my head. We haven’t had the kind of newlywed year that most people have. Not that it was unhappy, no, it was blissfully happy, when it wasn’t terrifying and stressful. But that wasn’t our fault.

That was the fault of a dirt road on a steep hill.

I was walking from a make-shift parking lot on the set of the show I’m working on and the walk down to the set is a treacherous dirt road on a rocky hill. I remember I had an audition that had gone pretty well earlier that morning, I slipped and fell, my ankle buckling under me.  I had fractured my ankle, an innocuous injury it seemed. After a week of waiting for worker’s comp insurance to assign me an orthopedist (another blog post entirely), my calf became swollen and sore, and me not being a person who calls a doctor about ANYTHING, I figured it was the boot irritating my leg or something. Luckily, my husband is the opposite of me and when the doctor called about a follow up visit and I tried to cancel it, my husband insisted that we go.

I should mention here that I broke my right ankle and was unable to drive thus I had to go wherever he would take me. And I’m glad because when the doctor saw my calf, he immediately sent us to the ER, I had a blood clot, he was certain.

He was right — a blood clot had formed from the injured ankle to the knee and there were a few clots that made it to my lungs. I had made it to the hospital just in time apparently. The blood clot was due to the week of immobility, the trauma of the fracture, and birth control pills. Once they said I needed to be admitted to the hospital,  my husband and I went into practical mode, calling a friend to come get our dog, calling bosses and emailing people to cover meetings and shifts. He went home to get me clothes and toiletries and by the end of the first night, they found him a bed so that he could stay in the hospital with me.

So there we were, stuck in this room together, me, practically immobile and him trying not to yell at every nurse that passed by wondering where the doctor was and what was going on.  And it was like that for 4 days until (thank God) my mom came to relieve him.

I learned more in those four days about my husband than other newlyweds learn in the first two years. I learned what a strong person he is, how he handles stress (real stress) and how we respond together as a unit in times of crisis. I saw what breaks both of us and what I can do to prevent that in the future. I learned what I need to work on in our relationship and in life in general. But mostly, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would react if the situation was reversed. Would I be as forceful and proactive as my husband? It is not in my nature, so I know if I found myself in a hospital with my sick husband I would have to push outside my comfort zone and advocate for him the way that he did for me. And I find myself having to do that now in all my follow-up visits with doctors.

We also learned A LOT about how hospitals work. Mainly that there seems to be a lack of communication and that their answer to everything is painkillers. And while the latter may sound fun, it usually isn’t the answer you are looking for when you have been diagnosed with a blood clot and are suddenly feeling a tightness in your chest again.

Also, time does not exist in hospitals. Much like casinos, hospitals are constantly moving and people are in and out at all hours. I had many a nurse wake me up from a sound sleep at 3 a.m. to ask me questions that honestly, they could have read on my chart. Or to tell me things I already knew. And for some reason my twice daily blood drawing was scheduled for 4AM and 4 PM.  I am sure there are perfectly good reasons for all of this, but since no one in a hospital really tells you much of anything, I was never clued in to such things.

I always imagined the first time my husband and I would have to be in a hospital together would be the birth of a child or when we were very old, holding hands in our hospital beds ala “The Notebook”.  But what this first year of marriage has taught me the most about is throwing away all preconceived notions of what marriage and life is going to be like. I’ve learned you both have to be good at rolling with the punches because you never know what is going to come from simply walking down a dirt road.

My sister is gonna hate this…

I realized that last year, wedding year, I wrote posts about my mom and dad on their respective days. But it being siblings day, I can tell you a little about my sister – my matron of honor (if we are keeping the wedding theme going). First of all, she will hate this because feelings are not her thing. But buckle up, sis, I’m bringing all the feelings.

So there I was, sitting for the toasts at the reception and the best man finishes a really beautiful speech. I expect my dad to start or my maid of honor to go up. My sister hates being the center of attention (yes, we are opposites) and had decided not to give a matron of honor toast. But as I looked around for my dad, my sister appears at the front of the hall with the microphone in hand. She tells the story of our complicated childhood of her constant torments (she tried to sell me outside a grocery store when I was a baby for 5 cents) and she talks about how totally different we are. Then she says we are the best of friends now. And I was a puddle. She of course ended the speech by tormenting me one more time. But that’s my sister. She’s surprising and complicated.

Actually, she’s simple and complicated. She’s simple in that she says exactly what she thinks. There is no guessing on subtext or implications. My sister is the most honest, straightforward human I have ever known. Sometimes to a fault. I’m the opposite. I’m not a liar, my sister would have never put up with that crap. No, I’m a diplomat — younger siblings often are the mediators and the family– I say only what needs to be said or I say the things that you don’t want to hear in a way that you might be okay hearing them. Not my sister, if that dress is ugly, you will KNOW that dress is ugly. And she isn’t trying to hurt your feelings, that’s what you have to know about my sister. In fact, she’s trying to help you. She wants you to look good. This was something I had to remind myself while we were wedding dress shopping. She wants me to look good, she wants me to be gorgeous on my wedding day. That is why she said that the strapless number with the ruffles I loved made me look like a marshmallow. My sister would never do something out of malice…she is far too kind for that.

And THAT is where she is so complicated. You see this honest, doesn’t give a fuck exterior and you think she’s tough, she’s hard, she doesn’t care about what you think or anything. That is where you don’t know my sister like I do. She is incredibly kind. She is so amazingly unselfish and giving. She’s generous…to a fault. And she’s so funny. My sister makes me laugh more than most people. She’s got this great brand of self deprecating humor that comes directly from my grandmother. My Mimi. When Mimi passed away, for a while, the only person that I wanted to talk to was my sister. Because she made me laugh, she let me cry and then she made me stop…because all those pesky feelings.

But here is her secret: she’s got more feelings than any of us. Underneath it all, she’s sensitive. I don’t think she cried during my wedding ceremony, but at the end of the father/daughter dance, I snuck a peek at her wiping her eyes and sniffling.

My sister has taught me how to not take shit which I am still working on.  My sister has taught me not to care what other people think of me.  My sister has taught me to step outside my comfort zone. She’s taught me about honesty, about expectations, about life…

I’m so lucky that she is my big sister. She was my first friend, my first enemy and my first teacher.

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All The Feelings

I’m writing this post-wedding and post honeymoon, so this won’t be as emotionally charged as it would have been say….the day after the wedding. When all the feelings happened.

First, let’s talk wedding weekend. It was amazing. A friend told me that she would have told everyone she knows to elope while she was planning her wedding, until she actually experienced the wedding weekend. I felt the exact same way. We had a blast! For a while before the wedding I started to second guess everything I planned, I thought I compromised things I shouldn’t have, I started to be afraid that I would regret this and that, your regular panic attack inducing thought spirals….but it was all amazing. Thanks to our designer, caterer, photographer, BAND (AMAZING), cake baker, coordinator, our friends, and our families. Notice I did not say anything about our shuttle service provider…’nuff said.

If you are planning a wedding right now and want to throw up your hands and run to Vegas, read this and know — it is worth it. As long as you let go of everything on the morning before your wedding. Everything is in motion by then and all you need to do is be the bride. All the planning and all the stressing, it is worth it.

There were hitches, of course (see above shuttle service comment), but for the most part, it was the exact wedding I planned.

Then the morning after happened. We had a lovely brunch at the hotel where we were all staying and as I said goodbye to some guests that afternoon it started to dawn on me…. this is over. The planning is over. The anticipation is over. All those reasons to get together with friends and family this past year…over.

I am very close with my friends, to the point that someone remarked that they were surprised my friends weren’t coming on my honeymoon. When you move away from home and live in a big city your friends become your family. And since moving to LA, I missed my second family. But having a wedding, bridal showers, and a bachelorette party gave so many reasons to see them. And planning the wedding in my hometown gave me extra reasons to see my real family.

Plus, I wasn’t a bride anymore, I would never be a bride again. I know it sounds bratty, but it’s fun to be the bride! A couple of friends are getting married next year and I found myself being jealous of them. Jealous of the whole journey they are about to take. The way I’m jealous of people that have just started watching “The Wire” for the first time. It’s exciting and scary and everyone walks away with their own take on it. When I told my husband (eep!) that, he was like “have you forgotten the last year?!”. I guess so, I guess it’s a little like a mother forgetting how childbirth feels once she’s holding her baby.

On top of all that, I was exhausted. I didn’t sleep for the last few days before the wedding from all the stress and excitement. I was this raw, tired, premenstrual (oh yeah) nerve.

But I was also beyond happy and relieved. We had pulled this thing off! And I had married this incredible person who I couldn’t imagine loving more yet find myself falling more and more in love. I am now someone’s wife.

I feel bad for the amount of crying I did on my first full day of marriage. But because my husband and I have been together for a while now, he got it. Thank God for the honeymoon where I didn’t cry at all (until we left because it was perfect and I didn’t want to come home).

And now we are married…. I have lots of feelings about that.

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5 Movies to Watch the Week of Your Wedding

Amidst all the craziness and, if you are like me, puking from a stomach flu, of the week leading up to your wedding, you think you won’t have time to watch 5 movies or any movies (or write a blog about movies). But you will, at 4 a.m., when you wake up worried about whether or not you remembered to write a note for a gift or being just plain excited as hell. The wedding week is filled with insomnia, whatever the reason may be. So after you’ve caught up on “Scandal”, here are five films about weddings that that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe help you get back to sleep for a few hours (you need your beauty sleep!).

#1 “Bridesmaids”

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How could this not be the first movie you watch before your wedding? Not only does it contain one of the funniest scenes ever to take place on an airplane (“I am Mrs. Iglesias”) but it is a great movie about friendship. And it is a reminder about how important it is to maintain those friendships during the whole process (especially in the week before, because y’all I would have died without my maid of honor) and how sane your friends will keep you and sometimes how insane they will drive you. It’s also a great way to make you feel better about an hiccup you’ve had in any of your wedding events. Sure your dress might have been hiked up inside your underwear during your bridal shower, but did your maid of honor have an epic meltdown and try to crush a giant cookie? Bonus eye candy in the adorable Chris O’Dowd (Yes, you are getting married but as my mother says “Just because I’m not hungry doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu.”)

#2 “Father Of The Bride”

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Just the first one because the second one is about a baby, and we aren’t there yet (or maybe ever). This is a great movie about the family side of it. It is a sweet, funny reminder about what some of your family (especially dad) might be feeling about this big day. Steve Martin reminds me a bit of my own father in this movie, especially in the grocery store scene, ripping hot dog buns out of packaging because “George Banks is not going to take it any more”.  It puts a lot of those budget arguments in perspective too.

#3 “Steel Magnolias”

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I feel like this is probably mandatory viewing in the South before your wedding. There is no Southern girl that cannot recite at least the first scene by heart (“My reception! My reception! Ferns, dancing, tons of people! Every pink flower west of the Mississippi. Wedding cake in the dining room and the groom’s cake… Hidden in the carport?”). The movie only begins with a wedding, almost to remind you that there is a life after your wedding, as Shelby says to Clairee, “there are still good times to be had!”. But the wedding is the catalyst for everything else that happens afterwards to a certain degree, all the happy and the sad. This classic is also a good look at the mother and daughter relationship that often gets strained during the stressful planning process. Obviously Shelby and M’Lynn don’t agree on too much with her wedding…except the groom’s cake (“It’s awful!”), or her life choices, but that’s life. Also, if you’re worried about any of the choices you made fashion or decor wise you can take solace that your ceremony venue probably doesn’t look “like it’s been hosed down in Pepto Bismol”. Unless that’s your thing….

#4 “Four Weddings and A Funeral”

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A rom com told a bit from the guests’ point of view, you can almost get a whole different perspective of your wedding. Sure, this might be the most significant day of the your life, but for some people, even though they love you dearly (or maybe in secret), this is just another wedding they will go to in their life. Your guests are people with problems, lives, loves, and jobs. Remember they have taken this time and spent money to come and be with you and your spouse to be…not that this should make you feel pressure, just that you should remember how amazing it is that all these people want to celebrate the beginning of your lives together when they might be dealing with tons of other bullshit. Bonus eye candy with 90’s floppy haired Hugh Grant bumbling his way into Andie MacDowell’s heart….and our’s.

#5 “The Wedding Singer”

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Another movie full of fashion do’s and don’ts (mostly don’ts), this fun rom com has a great soundtrack and the adorable Barrymore/Sandler pairing. The wedding from the staff’s point of view almost, the movie shows Adam Sandler in various states of sanity singing at weddings (and falling in love with Drew Barrymore).  If nothing else, this movie might make you happy that you chose a DJ.

Bonus: “Inglorious Basterds”

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Full disclosure: this is what I watched when I was sick this week. It’s long so you can doze off and still wake up knowing what is happening. No wedding related reasoning behind it, it’s just, who doesn’t love Brad Pitt killing Nazis?

Not too much longer

 

I’m not one to count down days because my dad once said “don’t wish your life away” and my best friend once said “don’t be that girl.” But it is a mere 9 days until my wedding.

And I’m scared. I’m scared that I will not be the greatest wife in the world like the T-shirt I bought myself says I will. I’m scared that I will trip going down the aisle. I’m scared that nothing will go right and no one will be where they need to be on time. I’m scared people won’t have fun.

But my biggest fear isn’t what will happen on November 15th. It’s what will happen on the 16th and beyond. We’ve been saying “we’ll do it in January” a lot –to people we want to hang out with, to each other about big projects, to the world. January is when it all goes to normal. And that is sooner than you think! They are already playing Christmas music at Macy’s!!! MACY’S, the store KNOWN for celebrating Thanksgiving when all other stores ignore it. Thanksgiving is a Macy’s tradition! But that is a rant for another time and another blog.

Anyway, being out of a job has been frustrating but it has afforded me the luxury of time that not a lot of brides get as they plan their wedding. So in that regard, I’ve been fortunate. But that also means that I’ve been planning a wedding and the wedding took over my life in a way that, to be honest, I’m a little ashamed of. I did some other stuff too. I got a website, I took some classes, I wrote (not as much as I should have), and I tried to jump start a dormant acting career.

But honestly, wedding planning has been the answer for all life’s questions for the last 6 months at least.

“Becky, you seem upset?”
“Oh, I’m just mad about this small detail of my wedding that I’m clearly blowing out of proportion but that right now seems to be the only thing that will make the wedding work.”

“Why are you stressed, Becky?”
“Trying to make everything work for the wedding, because I have this notion that I can control it all when I can’t.”

“Becky,  why do you have no time for all these important career boosting events?”
“Ugh, you know how wedding planning is…”

“Becky, why are you so tired?”
“I’m just lying awake thinking about the wedding and all those things I can’t control.”

I’m going to miss that excuse, I’m going to have to come up with new one’s now.

“Becky, you seem upset.”
“Oh, you know I have no idea what I’m doing with my life now that the wedding is over and I’m constantly terrified.”

“Why are you so stressed Becky?”
“Because I haven’t worked in my industry in over 6 months and I’m afraid no one will hire me and if I do get hired it might wreck the little momentum I have in the acting arena.”

“Becky, you’ve got no time for all these important career boosting events.”
“Ugh, you know how lazy I am.”

“Becky, you seem tired”
“I’m staying up until 1am watching ‘Nashville’ to distract myself from my life.” (BTW, how good is that show, how did I JUST start watching it?! Can we talk about my conflicting feelings about Rayna and Deacon?)

I think a lot of brides put off thinking about the after part of the wedding. Maybe because most brides have a job they know they are going back to and a career trajectory they know. Maybe they know whether they want to have kids or not and when that will happen. Maybe most brides have their lives figured out and the wedding only made them temporarily insane.

But to me the day after your wedding seems like the biggest day after Christmas feeling ever. But like the after Christmas feeling looks to New Year’s as a boost, we have our honeymoon right after! And then we have the holidays right after that!

So I guess maybe I’m not so much worried about November 16th as I am about January 2nd.

 

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Envelopes and Bumpers

I think it started with the invitations, but it was probably going on under the surface for a while….the unraveling of my sanity.

I mean, first came the car incident. I call it an incident and not an accident because accident implies a certain amount of seriousness that this incident did not have. I hit a parked car going 5 mph, not a big deal but I did mess up my bumper pretty good.  And I was driving for a riding sharing program at the time.

Maybe it goes back to that. To when I had to start driving for the ride sharing program because with so many conflicts I had for wedding related activities, I wasn’t able to find sustainable work in my field. So waking up at 6am to drive people to work was probably when the threads of my sanity started to fray. And the constant concern that I wasn’t pulling my weight. Once the incident occurred, insurance was no help with the damaged bumper, in fact, insurance was the opposite of helpful.

Then… there were the invitations. Let me just say that I am pleased with how they turned out, the design is exactly what I wanted and blah blah blah. But it was envelope drama that got me. I’ll spare you the details because that shit is boring, but suffice to say I spent way more time at paper stores talking about paper than I ever have or ever plan to in my whole life..which paper held ink best and which wouldn’t make my custom rubber stamp smudge as the originally purchased envelopes had. And I was running on a deadline.

I work well under deadlines usually, but this time was different and as I shouted at my fiance that THIS WILL NEVER WORK!! It hit both of us that the last two months was starting to take a toll on me.

Then today as I sat in my car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot crying about not having a good enough dress for my rehearsal dinner and angrily texting that at it HAD TO BE IVORY, I thought that maybe I’m missing the point of this whole thing.

The tough thing about planning a wedding is seeing passed the details and looking at the big picture. I think that’s true for planning any big event whether it’s a party or a TV show. Sometimes getting it just right, the way you have it in your head, gets to be more important than the actual thing you are planning. I need to constantly remind myself that whether or not we have the correct number of gift bags that at the end of the weekend, I won’t just be the bride, I will be someone’s wife.

It’s scary and exhilarating to think about being able to say to the world, “This is my husband, I am his wife” . So in a way, it’s easier to be the bride and obsess over dresses and invitations than it is to be the wife and deal with wrecked cars and stalled careers.

And soon enough, I won’t have envelopes to freak out over or cakes to pick out and I’ll have to get my bumper fixed, and that’s probably the most terrifying thought of all.

A Different Kind of Love Story

As a recovering romantic comedy addict, I am obsessed with “meet cutes”. The meet cute is the way that your leading man and leading lady meet in the movie. It’s usually something adorable like bumping into each other in the hallway and dropping all their stuff. Or meeting at a party, hating each other and then falling in love. I love asking people how they met their significant other. It’s always such a great story.

Mine is not that great. It is one sentence. “We met online”. There are cute stories that go along with our relationship, but our meet cute is not so cute. That always really bugged me. Having seen some of the best meet cutes Hollywood has to offer (Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Notting Hill…I could go on forever), I have always been disappointed that our story wasn’t Hollywood material. I always thought that when I met that special someone, that it would be cinema worthy. I tried and tried and failed and failed. I tried to make my romantic life like something Nora Ephron would have written so much that I wrote a show about it. Then I just went online.

But love is strange and comes in many forms. And your meet cute doesn’t always happen on the first date or the first moment. Sometimes you get a meet cute almost 4 years in.

About 2 weeks ago, I was in Memphis, visiting my family and running wedding related errands. Three days before my return to Los Angeles, I get a text from my fiance, “Call me ASAP”. He’s not an ASAP kind of person, he doesn’t throw that acronym around like most people do. This was serious. This was either a very good or a very bad thing. It could be “I’ve been given a raise and we need to move to Australia next week” or it could mean “The house burned down.” So, a little nervous, I call him back.

“What’s happening?!”

“Well, I was moving my car from the driveway….and there was a four-legged creature underneath and now he’s run into the garage.”

Now I knew there were raccoons around our house, I had recently had a hostile encounter with a very courageous and stubborn guy in our driveway. After he tells me this, I immediately think he’s been bitten and has rabies and the raccoon has decided that he lives in our house now. He says that it is not a raccoon. It’s a canine. And looks to be a puppy. With no collar or tags.

My campaign for a dog has been going on since before we moved to Los Angeles. I kicked it up to 11 when we moved into a house that not only had a backyard, but a neighbor with a friendly and loveable boxer who clearly needed a friend. We talked about possible dog names the way other couples discuss baby names. We decided that Carl was a distinguished and hilarious name and after watching that episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, we decided that Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks should be our dogs’ names. As far as breed, I wanted a poodle, he wanted a lab…so a big labradoodle it was. I was ready to go to a breeder yesterday. But because my fiance is a practical person, he convinced me that we should get a puppy until after we got married and went on our honeymoon.

“Well, what are you going to do with him?”

“I’m going to take him to the vet to see if he’s chipped or has any diseases…don’t get excited. I’ll call you when I get back.”

I waited those hours with bated breathe and excitement. A puppy! In our house! I imagined all the fun we’d have and snuggling we would do! I thought about hours of fetch in the park and having puppy play dates at the beach! When he called back, he spoke with restrained joy.

“Well, no microchip. No parvo. But he has worms and fleas.”

“So that means….”

“He doesn’t officially belong to anyone. I will post some ads online, but….the vet thinks he was abandoned so…”

“So…..”

“So….we have a puppy.”

“What kind of puppy?”

I could hear my fiance wrinkle his nose a little. “He’s small…..probably a Chihuahua….”

But it didn’t matter to be because I have A PUPPY! I HAVE A PUPPY!!! The last three days in Memphis went by so slowly. And finally I arrived home, late at night ready to run into the arms of a joyful pup!

He barked and growled and ran from me terrified and hid behind the dryer. I was devastated. It was not the love at first sight situation I had imagined.

For the next two days, I was on the floor with treats begging, pleading, cooing, and at one point crying to get him to be my friend. I fed him and walked him. I had fleeting moments of his tenderness but nothing that trumped his undying love for my fiance. And my fiance was loving it. And the dog. He was obsessed with their little boys’ club and I could see how in love he was with the dog. It was very sweet and endearing to see him doting on this tiny dog. But I wanted my cuddle time. I was getting sad and irritated, and to be honest, I kind of hated the puppy. Why didn’t he love me?! One morning, after a particularly hard night full of whining and pooping, he woke up, saw me, and wagged his tail. I was in! After that, it’s been love. It’s classic Hollywood. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl. Boy meets dog, boy loves dog. Girl meets dog….they hate each other. Then fall in love.

carl1

Meet Carl.

 

 

 

An Open Letter To Buy Buy Baby

Dear Buy Buy Baby,

My fiance and I registered for our wedding at Bed Bath and Beyond and within 36 hours of doing so, I began receiving emails from you for baby products. Now I’m no idiot, I understand how cross promotion works….but really? After registering for a wedding? What about a wedding in November makes you, Buy Buy Baby, think that I’m going to have a baby?! Immediately I felt violated and insulted.

Then I thought, maybe I’m crazy for feeling this way. I’m over-reacting, they’re just emails from a spambot in Denver somewhere. Then Shutterfly accidentally sent out thousands of marketing emails for new mothers and fathers….to people who are not new mothers and fathers. In fact, they aren’t mothers and fathers AT ALL. And people kind of lost it, as well they should. I didn’t feel so alone anymore in my outrage towards you, Buy Buy Baby.

First and foremost, what’s with the assumptions? You, like most of the world, are assuming that because I’m getting married I will be having children one day. Well you, and most of the world can chill the f**k out. Now I’m not saying that I don’t want kids….I might. But don’t rush me Buy Buy Baby. Maybe I just want to enjoy being married for a few years. Travel. Have a dog. Buy a house. Get further along in my career. Or maybe….just maybe, I don’t want kids at all. And that is okay. Would it be so terrible if it was just the two of us forever? And if you answered yes, then maybe you need to be questioning yourself Buy Buy Baby, not me.

And it isn’t just you, Buy Buy Baby. It’s everyone you meet. Strangers ask about babies when you tell them you are engaged. Friends, relatives, friends of relatives, they all ask “so are you going to have kids?”. Look, I know its a social nicety. They are making conversation and what do you ask a couple who you just found out is getting married? Why, you ask them an extremely personal and private question about a HUGE life decision, of course. But that sort of intrusiveness starts when you first start dating someone. You get people saying “when do you think you’ll get engaged?”. Then once that happens they want to know about kids, then they tell you how to raise those kids. It’s odd because when you get a new job, no one asks, “When do you think you’ll get promoted?”. Because that is rude and no one’s business. Yet somehow your reproductive plan is totally their business.

Second of all, getting baby registry emails from you Buy Buy Baby seems to be a comment on what society expects of women. It’s just not sending the right message, it’s saying  that we haven’t gotten any further than kindergarten: first comes love, then comes marriage, than comes someone in a baby carriage. What about revising this for the 21st century: first comes love, then comes a thoughtful cohabitation then comes marriage, then comes a period of learning more about each other as a couple and developing your career, getting a dog, then MAYBE a thoughtful and conscious decision to put someone in a baby carriage. Sure, it isn’t as catchy as the other, but it certainly makes more sense. I raise this point especially for ladies who know for sure that they don’t want kids.s. Lay off them Buy Buy Baby. Stop sending them passive aggressive emails about onesies and nipple guards. Women have plenty of other corporations trying to tell us how and when to make a baby. We really don’t need your ill-timed promotions for breast pumps and baby monitors.

Look Buy Buy Baby, I don’t want to come off harsh. You have a place in this world. People have babies every 2 seconds or something crazy like that and they need your 12-packs of adorable tiny socks and those cute towels that have hoods for after bath time. I have purchased items from you for many of my friends and I was overjoyed to do so. My friends are awesome and we need more awesome people in the world. All I’m asking Buy Buy Baby is for you to think before you send an email to a newly engaged woman. She is going to face loads of pressure in the time she’s engaged and then even more pressure once she’s a newlywed to have babies. Her mother, her grandmother, her coworkers and friends are all going to ask about her plans for the future, meanwhile she’s just trying to plan a wedding without killing her husband-to-be because he refuses to write a thank you note for an engagement present they got 6 months ago!

Just give me/her a minute! Let me get a plant first and see if I can keep it alive. Then a dog. Then maybe…MAYBE….we can talk about that stroller that is on sale for $99.99.

Best,

Becky