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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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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.