Father of the Bride

I couldn’t really decide the best way to pay tribute to my dad, so this is sort of two blogs in one.

“FORCE FIELD”

My sister got married when I was 19. I remember dancing with him at her wedding and promising that I wouldn’t get married for a long time and it wouldn’t be a big affair…..I kept one of those promises.

Honestly? I’ve got a bone to pick with my dad. I don’t think it would have been so difficult for me to find the right guy if he hadn’t been such an outstanding model of what a man should be. Not just a man in a marriage and a man as a father, but a man as a human being. Because of my father, I expected the man I marry to be strong, stable, reliable, funny, intelligent and giving.

Believe it or not, it was a lot to ask of all the myriad of jerks and hipsters that I dated in my 20’s. In fact, I probably went out of my way to avoid guys like my dad in an attempt to not be like my mother (see Mother’s Day post). But in the back of my mind I knew it was inevitable. Like my sister, a mini version of my grandmother, married a not so mini version of my grandfather (my brother-in-law clocks in at 6’5), my eventual marriage would be Jackie and Dave part two.

My dad always made me feel safe. I looked for my mom’s approval first in a lot of things I did in my life. But I looked to my dad for the final nod. Not because of some patriarchal thing in my family. If anything our family was a matriarchy, with my mother and grandmother as very strong forces in my sister and I’s life. No, I looked to my dad because not only was he able to look at everything logically and unemotionally (unlike my mother and I) but because he just has this air about him that makes everything feel like whatever he said to do was the right thing, the best thing. Even the unsafe things I chose to do. (The unsafe things I chose to TELL him about at least).

There is this great quote that I post every Father’s Day on Facebook, where he is thankfully not a member, in his honor that is the perfect tribute to everything he did for me.

“There’s a look little girls have who are adored by their fathers,’ Bea said. ‘It’s that facial expression of being totally impervious to the badness of the world. If they can keep that look into their twenties, they’re pretty much okay, they’ve got a force field around them.”

—Maile Meloy, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

 

“WILLIE, MICKEY, AND THE DUKE”

Every relationship has a language and my dad and I speak baseball. My father loves America’s past time with such a passion. And my sister and my mother never really loved it. But I fell in love at some point when I was 7 or 8. My father would take us to ball games on every family vacation and he and I would sit and keep score while my mother and sister would sit bored eating hot dogs. My sister was the athlete of the family but I played softball. My dad coached me until I was 13 until coaching teenage girls became too much. But I kept playing until I graduated high school. After high school when I went away to London my dad and I would talk, not about what I was doing or what was going on at home, but we would talk about baseball. When I was so lonely in my first year in New York I would call my dad on Sunday mornings when I knew my mother wasn’t home to ask all her questions about my life (I’m still broke, sad and tired) but we would talk about baseball. When I first started dating my fiance…..my dad and I talked baseball instead. But when it really mattered, when I was faced with some pretty big decision in my life, I could always call on a Sunday morning and talk it out, and then talk baseball. It’s kind of appropriate that Father’s Day is on a Sunday.

When I was a kid, my dad had this cassette that I played until it broke, “Baseball’s Greatest Hits”. It had Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” and songs about baseball greats like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and my dad’s favorite, Say Hey Willie Mays. It had a few general songs about baseball and one song called “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”. As a Cub fan it hits home “to the home of the brave, the land of the free and the door mat of the National League”. And to my father, it was a hilarious song. We listened to it all the time.  My sister and my mom thought it was weird and morbid how much we loved this song. So when I told him I was getting married, the first decision we made was to dance to that song at my wedding. Before I booked a band, caterer, found a dress, found a venue or anything, we had the song…..now we just have to get the band to play it.

 

 

Becky and Dad 1990

(Side note: My mother is the photographer here and while she is a multi-talented…photography is not one of them)

Weight a Minute

With almost 5 months until the big day, I’ve had a lot on my mind. A lot of my hips, thighs and butt to be exact. And to be honest, I’m freaking the f**k out about it.

The mania to lose weight before your wedding is insane. I’ve always been overweight, but at no point in my life have people just said out loud TO MY FACE “So you are going to lose weight. right?” Like….what?! But when you get engaged, among a lot of stupid things people say to you, the weight loss question gets brought up the most. And I’ve seen it happen to brides much skinnier than me. I mean, no one ever says to the groom “I bet you are going to get rid of that gut before the wedding”.   But somehow the idea of brides on juice fasts is just another part of the wedding industry machine.

Guys, I really thought I had this part of wedding planning covered. I’m old pro at dieting. Food has been my best frenemy since middle school. Years of therapy helped me pinpoint the triggers to unhealthy eating and dieting habits. And a HUGE event deadline? Well let’s just say that  I thank God every day for therapy because without that, I’d be an even bigger mess about wedding weight loss than I am today.

For those of you fortunate enough to never have to go through this, let me lay it out for you. You’re going along fine, eating whatever you want, then you get yourself on a diet. You measure your Greek yogurt, you put your fruit in Tupperware and when everyone is having cake for Helen in accounting’s birthday, you politely decline and have a carrot. You’re so proud of yourself and the weight is coming off. Then something happens….you stop losing, you have a really bad day,  or you’re too tired one night to make your baked chicken and steamed spinach for dinner, so you order a pizza. Then you figure, well I had pizza, might as well get some ice cream. And then you remember how much better pizza and ice cream is than baked chicken. And it’s over. There’s tons of self loathing, which leads to more eating. And now you are back to where you started, plus 5 pounds.

THAT is one of the many reasons why going on some crazy diet or meal plan is not something I am interested in. Because while I haven’t lost much weight, I haven’t gained it either. And as they said back in my Weight Watchers days, sometimes no gain is a loss.

But if I’m totally honest with you the whole weight loss issue boils down to one thing: pictures.  Pictures that last for the rest of your life, that you hang in your house as a reminder of that special day, that your grand kids will look at one day and say “Gee Grammy, you were so pretty!” or “Oh wow Grammy, you look exactly the same!”.  I don’t want to be going through my wedding photos and nixing gorgeous shots because I think my arm looks fat or I have a double chin.

Part of me feels like this is an unavoidable thing since most women whether they’re thin, average, overweight or professional models all think they look terrible in pictures. I have one friend with not an ounce of fat on her, that thinks her smile is weird. I have another gorgeous friend who hates her arms ( I can relate), and another who works hard at avoiding a double chin in photos so much that she contorts herself in ways unimaginable before taking a photo. Women are so hard on themselves.

I go to spin class and inevitably in almost every class there is a bride-to-be working her ass off and an instructor yelling “YOU WANT TO LOOK GOOD IN THAT DRESS!”. It’s upsetting and disturbing. But you better believe I start pushing harder too. I certainly don’t want to look back on wedding photos and be embarrassed at the big fat girl stuffing her face with cake.

I know that tons of you out there will be helpful and say, “I know a great diet!”. And let me say in advance, thanks but no thanks. It is dieting that messed me up so much in the first place, so I’m good without the 30 Day All Pineapple plan or the 22 week Protein Solution or whatever. And you are probably saying to yourself, “it’s only 5 months, get over it”. And part of me agrees with you. But its the principle here.

As a lifelong dieter, I’m sick of it. Sick of counting fat, calories, carbs, sodium or whatever we are supposed to be counting these days. I swear, if I have to measure one more cup of Greek yogurt I’m going to scream! And plain steamed broccoli?! No one really wants to eat that, if they say they do, they are lying!  I want to eat delicious things! As an adult, I’ve learned that delicious doesn’t mean fattening…. all the time. But I want to want fruits and vegetables because they are fresh and taste good, not because they are zero points on Weight Watchers. I want to want to workout not because some trainer is shouting at me about dress sizes, but because I want to run faster and be stronger.

This is a rough conclusion to come to at this moment in my life. This moment where enthusiasm for steamed broccoli and Greek yogurt needs to be at an all time high and desire for  donuts needs to be eliminated. Especially because if I do want to lose weight I’ve found that counting is the best way to do it.

This post took me 2 weeks to write because this is such a loaded topic, not just for me and not just for brides-to-be but for lots of women. I have no real solution. No real answer that will both let me eat pizza and ice cream and lose weight. Or eat Greek yogurt and steam spinach and feel satisfied.

All I know is I’m wearing a wedding dress in 5 months…and I hate my arms.

 

 

 

Mother of The Bride

On Facebook for Mother’s Day tons of my friends are posting pictures of them and their moms from their wedding day. And for the first time in this whole process, I got really excited.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to get married. But when you get engaged a year and a half out from your wedding, it can be hard to maintain excitement all the time. To be honest, I was starting to worry that I was a weird bride….until I logged into Facebook this morning and saw all those young brides and their happy mama’s posed in various states of wedding day bliss.

I started to tear up, imagining what that moment was like for each girl. The one in just her veil with jeans and a button down shirt (don’t want to mess up the hair) holding glasses of champagne. Were they nervous?  The picture of the girl and her mom as she is about to walk down the aisle. What was her mom whispering to her? The party shot of mom and daughter dancing. What song was playing? Was it their song?

I imagine that on the day of my wedding, my mom will be the rock she has always been for me. She will be the person that keeps us all smiling if the hair and makeup people are running late or the limo to the church breaks down. Because that is what she does. When things are bad, she smiles, and she finds reasons to be happy. And she encourages me to do the same.

I’m lucky that I’m basically a carbon copy of my mother. I used to not think this was a good thing. I think we all try to rebel against the inevitability of being our parents. But I’m lucky that I had such an amazing role model.  I think I have a little less of her Pollyanna outlook than she would like me to have, but that’s just my father’s pragmatism kicking in as I get older. But I have her patience, I have her can do attitude (most of the time), and I can only hope that I have half as much of her compassion and kindness.

When my fiance and I were picking a verse for our wedding, we went through all the obvious choices including, of course, 1 Corinthians. To be honest, while it is a beautiful verse about love and what love is, we were looking for something that meant a lot to us. We ended up with the same verse my parents had at their wedding, Ruth 1:16.

But in re-visiting 1 Corinthians, it seems more appropriate for Mother’s Day than for any other occasion. Read it again and think about the time you vomited on your mom’s favorite blouse, think about all the terrible school plays she smiled during, the ballgame’s in the scorching heat that she enthusiastically cheered through, the tears and snot she wiped with her other favorite blouse, the money she spent on your braces and not on buying a new favorite blouse…..your teenage years….

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Mom and Young Becky Easter

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

 

The Employment Chasm

One of the great things about being with someone is when you stop believing in yourself, you have someone right next to you that still believes in you, even when you are sitting in your sweatpants watching “Seinfeld” re-runs and crying about how you will never amount to anything in life.

It’s annoying.

My fiance solves problems for a living. His title at work is “Solutions Director”.  He’s the Olivia Pope of technology. My best friend is a problem solver extraordinaire. Seriously, I don’t think there is a problem she can’t solve in some way and…moping is not allowed in her presence. My mom is like that too…..sense a pattern here?

The thing is, I am not a solver, I’m a listener. I want to hear all about your problems and how they make you feel. I really like feelings…..clearly.

So when I stop believing in myself and want to sink into my couch and hide, I don’t want to hear about all my options for getting off the couch, I want to talk about WHY I’m on the couch.  This is not productive and logically, I know that. But it’s part of my process for getting through issues.

And this one’s a doozy. I’ve been unemployed for a while. Being unemployed sucks. Being unemployed in your 30’s sucks even more because in your mind, you’re supposed to have it all figured out. I know I work in an industry that is mercurial. It’s essential to hop from one job to another, but the hope is that the hop is just that, a short jump between job to job like hopping across stones.  What you dread and what is happening to me now, is the leap, a giant leap across a chasm of employment, and there is a net, sure, but the net gets thinner and thinner as the leap becomes longer and longer. And at some point, the net disappears entirely.

What was once “a week or two to catch up on house work and writing” becomes “those months where I baked a cake everyday and then ate the whole thing.”

When I was single, I thought that it would feel different when I was in a relationship. That the employment chasm wouldn’t make me feel so desparate. But that’s a misconception. I almost feel worse. Now I have someone counting on me.  But worse than that, I have this person that is cheering me on, who believes that I can be everything I can be.  And while that sounds like paradise to single me (and believe me, I’m very lucky to have that), it adds the stress.

If this person thinks I can do it. If this person has faith in me to be the best producer, writer and actress I can be, then I HAVE to do it. For me and for them. I have to be the most successful person in my field because this person is rooting for me. I end up putting tons of pressure on myself which sinks me deeper into my couch and paralyzes me. But I know this is not what my fiance intends to happen. He just wants me to try my best.

It’s kind of like being a Cubs fan. I’m a life long fan of the Chicago Cubs. They never win, I know that. But the reason that fans keep believing that they can win, the reason that the city of Chicago hasn’t bulldozed Wrigley Field is because they try. The team doesn’t go out on the field and try to lose (although sometimes it seems like that…how can the team be THAT bad?!). But they try to win. They don’t forfeit games because they don’t feel like playing or give up because they have a shitty bullpen and maybe 2 guys who can hit the ball. They play. They play with the team they have as best they can.

And that is what gets me off the couch and out into the world again.

 

But seriously, how are the Cubs that bad?

 

“Me” Time, Part II

So after I posted the last blog, my fiance read it.

Actually he read it before I posted it because he proofs my spelling and grammar.

Anyway, it spawned a discussion of selfishness that left me feeling, well, less than stellar about my abilities to be a good human in a life long relationship.

And not due to anything he said, well, yes due to something he said, but not in the way that you think.

So he read it and laughed at the appropriate places. Then when he was done I asked if he thought I was selfish and he said, “Yes….but so am I.”

He went on to explain that it isn’t so much a selfishness issue as it is a control issue. I like to control time and he likes to be in charge of resources. Which (as the title indicates) is pretty spot on. I don’t think he is controlling about money, he just likes to be the one that knows where everything is going and appropriates it accordingly. But I am definitely controlling with time…..especially my own time.

I am constantly making plans without telling him, or not telling anyone for that matter, and then I just expect him to do what I need him to do. This is a pretty typical conversation on a Saturday morning at our house:

Me: So first to the gym, then Target, then brunch with so and so, then tonight dinner with such and such.

Him: Am I going with you to all of this?

Me: Of course, now get your gym clothes on, we are already 10 minutes behind schedule.

Now if this conversation was to be reversed, he would ask me when I wanted to do all the things we needed to do. Which I would reply, “not now, I’m not ready”.

My time hoarding is especially evident when we are planning a trip or rather when I am telling him we are going on a trip. See, in my defense, I have been so used to picking up and going when someone says “Let’s go somewhere”. I didn’t have to take into a account another person. Let’s not even touch on the financial part of this, but I never had to worry about another person’s schedule. Work, life, family obligations. I know what I can do, and what I can do is go right now, so you should too.

Our talk that day ended with him saying “It’s something we both need to work on. And we will.” Because he is awesome.

That is when I spiraled. I thought to myself “But I like doing things the way that I do them now! I don’t want to work on it!”.

Then I thought, “but if I don’t work on it and he does, that is unfair and I will make him unhappy. And if I do work on it, I will be unhappy because I won’t be doing things the way I want to do them!”

Then, “And if I’m unhappy, he will be unhappy.”

At that point, I decided that I will be a terrible wife and I’m not fit to marry anyone, especially this wonderful guy. Luckily I was about to meet a friend (a new friend) and I ended up unloading on her (welcome to my life new friend!). She was really understanding and helped me see the normalcy of all that I was thinking and feeling. And that just for thinking all of this, I’m probably way more suitable for marriage than I thought.

I didn’t talk to him about this part….about the spiral. I was afraid of what he might think, about what my spiral might do to him. Besides, I wasn’t sure how to say to him “You know I’m going to be the worst wife, right?” without him thinking that I was joking. I wasn’t sure how to say “Are you sure you want to marry me?” in a way that didn’t sound like I was fishing for a compliment or reassurance.

But he’s going to check my spelling and grammar and find out all about it.

I just hope he laughs at the appropriate places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Me” Time , Part I

When I was a kid and my mom would hear me wake up from a nap, unless I cried, she would leave me alone for about 20 minutes. She said that I really needed that time to be awake and by myself. And that if I didn’t have that time, I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

When most people hear this anecdote, it doesn’t make sense because I’m a pretty social person. My best friend used to say it was like I was perpetually running for homecoming queen. But whenever I would call my mother from New York upset, grumpy or sad, she would, in her infinite wisdom, ask me when was the last time I was alone.

In New York, that isn’t a silly question because in New York, you are NEVER alone. You live with other people so you can afford to live there. You work with other people, you go to work with other people, you walk with other people, you are surrounded by other people. It is very hard to get some me time.

In Los Angeles, it is different. You are alone a lot more. In your car, there are a lot more jobs where you can work alone (editing, writing..etc.) and more people can afford to live alone. With my fiance’s travel schedule, I am alone more than I was in NYC and yet, it isn’t enough.

See it isn’t about “I’m alone, now it is me time”, it’s “I want me time NOW”. Sometimes “NOW” is not when you want it to be. Last night, I just wanted to zone out and binge on “Scandal” (I’m in the middle of the 2nd Season!!) but he came home from being away for a day and wanted to talk. It was sweet. And I have to say I felt guilty for wanting to punch him for not letting me zone out and forcing me to pay attention. I couldn’t yell at him or get mad. I turned off the TV and tried to make the conversation as short as possible (which is totally unlike me).

Then, as I was nodding and smiling about a podcast he listened to on the plane, I thought “Oh God, this is my life from now on”. Then I thought “I am a selfish person”. This last thought is the one that freaked me out the most. Yes, I know I have selfish tendencies, and I can also be self centered. But never has it revealed itself as much as it did in that moment. This gorgeous moment of him really wanting to connect and me being totally annoyed and thinking about how in the world Olivia Pope is gonna get out of this one!

It’s not as if he is always around. Or even that when he is around he is always demanding my attention. Which makes my reaction even worse!

Whenever I think of sacrifice in marriage, I think of the big stuff. Moving because of the others job, giving up something you love to better the life of your spouse, taking care of a sick spouse etc…
It never occurred to me that sacrifice is something that happens in small ways on a daily basis. Sacrifice is giving up something for the other person’s benefit, whether it is giving up your seat on the couch or having Chinese even thought you feel like Mexican.

As my exhausted fiance fell asleep last night, I had a terrible headache, and as I am wont to do late at night, I immediately began to think about all the horrible things it could be. My mind wandered to a conversation I had about the left brain vs. the right brain. And I just had to tell him.

And this bone tired man opened his eyes and started to have a conversation that eventually lulled me to sleep.

I am a monster.

We Are Family….

Now it’s just him and me. Imagine that rhymed better.

And didn’t make you cringe.

I don’t know if you are close with your family. But I am. I talk to either my mother or my sister at least once a day. When I’m not freelancing in an office, it can be upwards of 3 times a day. I bounce all my big decisions off them. I listen and care about what they think about everything from curtains to careers. They are the first to hear big news, good or bad.

Then there was a shift. I can’t really pinpoint the moment. I think something had happened to me at work. Something crappy. And the first person I called was my fiance, who was my boyfriend at the time. I remember thinking when that happened, that things were serious. And we should all get used to this new person taking priority.

Marriage takes it to the next level. My mom will always be my mom, my sister will always be my sister. But my soon-to-be husband, well he is my family now. The two of us (and our dog that we get) we are the family unit now. I think the misconception is that once you have kids, then you are a family. I think you and your husband are a family the moment you say “I do”. You have to start making choices that benefit the two of you. Where previously you made sacrifices for your mom, dad, sister, brother, etc…you now put that person in front of everyone else and their happiness and well being is the top priority.

This is one of the challenges of getting married when you are older. Your immediate family is so used to having you all to themselves, not sharing your time or loyalty, that sometimes, it is a hard shift to make. For all of you. Nowhere is this more apparent than when we talk about where to spend the holidays. I’ve actually never been to his family’s Christmas, but he has been to my family twice. I’ve always spent Thanksgiving with his family. And Easter. But now, to add to the complication of having families in two different places, we now live in a different place. Before, in New York, we could get to his family in New Jersey and Connecticut easily. Now it is hard to get either to New York or Memphis (where I’m from). In a way it sets the families on equal playing fields. But in some ways…no, in most ways….it is hardest on my family. My new family.

Him and Me.

When it was just me, I could fly to anywhere my family needed me to be. I slept on couches, blow up mattresses and shared beds with my niece. Now, I am a we and we need a bed. Logistics are harder and my decisions have become our decisions. I have to do what is best for us now. That’s a hard thing for me to do. I like making people happy, especially my family. I like doing what they want me to do. And for the most part, what is best for them is also best for me. But sometimes, it won’t be. Sometimes the best thing for him and me will not be what my family wants me to do.

That is a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. My not being single doesn’t just effect friendships and the way the outside world views me, but it impacts the dynamic of my immediate family, and not through numbers but through allegiances. On top of that, I have this whole OTHER family, his. And they are great, lovely people who have made me feel welcome from day one. But my presence in my fiance’s life directly effects their interactions as well. It’s complicated. And you certainly don’t want to feel like you are taking over or changing everyone’s lives so much.

But recently, my mom was pitching me the idea of a unity candle of the ceremony. Look, it isn’t my thing nor is that sand in the jar or whatever. Although it did get me thinking about my family. And his. And this new thing we are doing. This new family we are forming.

All this is not to say that I still don’t call my mom on a bad day. Or text my sister with terrific news. Now it’s just my second call or text, not the first.

Except for the day we got engaged….that day they were my first call.

Marriage, Mortality and a certain CBS sitcom

There are very few TV shows that my fiance and I must wait to watch together. Breaking Bad was one. Mad Men, House of Cards and….this final season of How I Met Your Mother.

I came to How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) late in the game. It is my fiance’s favorite show and he forced me to watch the first season that he had on DVD. And, as I predicted, I hated it. I hated what a wuss Ted was and how we knew RIGHT AWAY that Robin wasn’t the mother but we would waste 8 years on Ted’s love for her. I told my fiance that I’d given it a shot, but no thanks.

Then I went away for a month. One of my best friends and I drove cross country one summer. It was the greatest, most awesome trip I’ve ever gone on and one that was 10 years in the making. But somewhere around Amarillo, Texas, I started to miss my fiance…..so to feel closer to him, I started Season 2 of HIMYM …..and I was kind of curious what would happen to Lily and Marshall. By the season 8 premiere that fall, I was all caught up.

*Warning spoilers ahead*

With 4 episodes left in the series, last night’s episode turned the show on it’s ear. With certain well placed comments, glances and tears, it seems that we have met the mother only to have her taken from us….yea, she’s dying.

The episode has a middle aged Ted telling his middle aged wife about the day of Barney and Robin’s wedding. There were moments where the two got choked up and said things like “when moments are too heavy, you distract yourself with nothing”. And the wife urging Ted to not be the guy who lives in his stories “life moves forward”, she says with tears in her eyes.

By the end, I was a sobbing mess. Because she’s going to die. We have wanted Ted to find love for so long, he’s struggled and he found her and now she’s being taken away too soon.

And then I looked at my fiance. And I realized the thing that you know as a logical person but don’t really think about until you love someone so much….he is going to die. And so am I. (I know……this is not even close to a funny post about “first looks”).

And unless we die as I would like, together in our sleep at age 90….one of us will go before the other that though made me sob harder. What have I gotten myself into? I mean, we’ve been together 3 years and I know that  I would be destroyed…what will another 20 or 30 years of life with this man do to me?

Love is a tough thing. It is something that we all want and that we strive for, pray for and hope for, but ultimately, it causes the most pain somewhere along the line.

So why do we do it? Why do we seek love, find it and hitch ourselves to someone for 50 years only for the risk of them leaving or dying to be right there in the background, waiting in the shadows. Why not just keep everyone at arm’s length and live happy solitary lives?

I guess it is because the moments we have with the people we love are so much better because they are there; the highs are higher and the lows aren’t as low.

Don’t get me wrong. It ALL terrifies me. Loving someone so much that them being gone would ruin me. Depending on someone so much that their absence will leave a huge gaping hole in my heart and life. But the other side freaks me out too…never loving someone that much, never experiencing that and never having that person…being alone. It’s something that I struggled with every so often when I was single. Loving and losing or never loving at all? Back then it was such an abstract thought, simply an existential argument. But now there is a person attached to it, a face, hands, a heart, a smile, a laugh…and clearly I made a choice.

But even when it was a theoretical exercise…it wasn’t that hard of a choice for me. To quote Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias:

“I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special”.

Personally, I’d rather have a lifetime of wonderful…but when you are a diabetic Julia Roberts and want a baby these are apparently your only options.

Dreams

I’ve started to have the wedding dreams already.

In this dream, I woke up one morning and called my mom. I told her that I wanted to get married TODAY! The dream is snip its of me gathering the wedding party and getting them in makeshift outfits that we pick up along the way to the church as we rode through L.A. in a white limo.

We pick up my mom at some point and she had a wedding dress that she got for me because my actual dress that I picked out wasn’t ready yet. Next she tells me that the band and caterer that I originally booked can’t do the wedding that day. And that’s when I started to second guess this decision to get married in a hurry.

We get to the church, which looks a lot like the lobby of the Opryland hotel and I peer inside. There is my wedding party and maybe one third of the guests we invited (which is fine by me, but that’s another blog post). Everyone is scrambling around and no one knows what to do. It is at that moment that I KNOW this isn’t the right thing. This isn’t my wedding, this is something thrown together out of fear and/or impatience.

In the dream, I ask my mom what day it is and she informs me that it is April 1st. Relieved, I tell her to go in and inform the wedding party and guests, APRIL FOOLS no wedding today! And somehow this would be okay with everyone. I woke up from the dream like it was one of those you-have-to-cut-the-wires-on-a-bomb-to-disable-it dreams. The kind that you shoot out of bed from and have to calm down your breathing.

I’m not sure what this means. Maybe subconsciously I was wishing the whole process was over but then the other side of my brain intervened at the last minutes and was like  “No! No! Stop! You want a wedding and you’ve already done most of the work. Just wait it out”. I don’t know if this is a metaphor for my relationship or just the first in a series of wedding panic dreams.

I imagine it has something to do with my constant worry about the amount of change that has happened in the last 6 months. Or it could be that I’m just really excited to become a wife.

Or it could be the garlic bread I ate before bed.

Valentine’s Shmalentine’s

I was talking to a friend yesterday who was bemoaning her singledom. And it was one of those moments where I, as a person in a relationship, was looked at like I had it all figured out. That I just had always had boyfriends and I knew what I was doing with my romantic life and had never suffered the unbearableness of being single on Valentine’s Day. I confessed to her that before my fiance, I had spent every February 14th with my friends or completely alone. Then I went on to tell her about a very awkward, kind of sweet, first Valentine’s Day.

I was 30 years old and had never had a Valentine. I had been dumped on Valentine’s Day. I had been dumped a week before Valentine’s Day. I’d been stood up on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have a great history with the day of love.
For our first Valentine’s Day together my fiance and I decided to spend the weekend in Atlantic City. Both of us love gambling so he booked us a nice room at a hotel/casino. I should also mention that this was our first weekend getaway as well. No pressure or anything.

I had just finished grad school and was unemployed, so I didn’t have tons of money to spend on a gift. But I did know one thing…lingerie was a must. In all my dating time, I had never had a guy that I felt comfortable enough with to wear lingerie for. i had come close with a guy, had the fancy panties on and then I found out he actually had a girlfriend, but that’s another story.

So I thought, this guy was going to be the first to see me in scandalous underwear. I obsessively shopped. I went to every place imaginable. Everything was either too expensive, too slutty or both. Finally I found a simple, lace night gown at a small shop in Brooklyn. Lingerie accomplished.

The next step was the gift. Since I spent most of the money on the lingerie, I thought I would MAKE a gift. At the time I was on a baking kick and I knew that he loved cinnamon rolls. So with the help of my amazing sister, I found a doable recipe. I ended up throwing out the first batch because the dough didn’t rise.  But the second rose enough (or so I thought). They actually turned out to be very….. dense….to put it nicely. Frankly, they could have been used as bricks.

So that Saturday, we take the 2 hour ride up to AC. He gets me a card and chocolates (and the room in AC). We gamble up a storm. We drink. We have dinner. We have an awkward exchange with a drunk guy at a blackjack table that asked if we were in love— cool off guy, it’s only been 3 months!

Then, after we’d consumed enough champagne, we make our way up to the room. I was drunk, but still sober enough to be nervous about the lingerie. This was not going to be our first adult sleepover. Or the first time he would be near my naked body. But lingerie sets expectations. Lingerie says “hey, look at my body!” in a way that being naked doesn’t. When I went into the bathroom to change, I told him to not laugh at me. (In hindsight, why would a man laugh at a scantily clad woman? Unless she told him to laugh.)

I tiptoed out of the bathroom doubled over, trying to protect my exposed parts and dove under the covers to hide.

Anyway, no need to go into the rest. The nightie was a hit and the Valentine’s Day was a success (he went on a 45 minute run at the craps today that he still talks about to this day). Although I’m not sure either of us enjoyed those cinnamon rolls very much (he did make a valiant effort though).

Much later he revealed to me that yes, those cinnamon rolls sat like bricks of lead in his stomach for days, but he continued to eat them…because I had made them for him.

And that’s when he knew he was in trouble.