D’s Old Lady

It was dark out when I opened my eyes this morning, it was early still. My feet were throbbing and I felt light-headed, like I might just float away. I could hear D, sound asleep, breathing softly beside me. Prickles of emotion expanding in my chest. I smiled widely, all through my soul. A rogue tear streaked its way across my face and splashed down on the pillow. It really happened; no I wasn’t dreaming. I have a husband now. We are wed.

I savoured that moment, my first waking moment as someone’s wife. Lying there in the dark, listening to my love slumber and running through the memories of the night before, I realized how truly magical my life is. And I vowed to myself in that moment that I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to keep our marriage and our lives magical, every day. We’re gunna do this thing right, I know it in my bones.

Yesterday was so surreal. The months leading up to the wedding were fraught with stress and discord. But I see now why people are willing to go to such lengths. This is your chance to show everyone the fullness of your coupled hearts and how powerful they can be when dialled to maximum amplification. And we know now that ours can bring down the motherfucking house if we want ’em to.

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I never wanted perfection. I just wanted something real. And I have that with D.

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Everything I Want

I know what I want and I don’t fuck around when it comes to decision-making. And I’m stating that as simply and sweetly as I possibly can. I’ve never been one of those waffling and indecisive individuals, I’m too impatient for that. I just follow my heart and the decisions come easy. Some people have a hard time following their heart, which makes sense if your heart is a total wiener. But mine isn’t. My heart is open and passionate and fierce. It never lies, its chambers pump honesty through my arteries and into my veins all day long. It’s easy to follow and it never disappoints.

There are an absurd number of decisions to be made when you’re planning a wedding. It can be exhausting, sure. But if you’ve got a bold heart to follow, like I do, then it’s pretty fucking easy. You just have to endure, that’s the trick. Drown out all of the unnecessary babble around you and endure. And don’t put too much weight on the little things, save your energy for more trying decisions.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around the planning of my wedding. I always knew exactly what I wanted, deep in my heart, I just didn’t want to tackle all of those decisions immediately. But when I was finally ready to commence planning, the decisions starting coming fast and easy. Venue, food, colour scheme, music, guests, it all just starts falling perfectly into place.

Stepping back, and looking over the work we’ve done so far, I can safely say that I’m kicking the fucking shit out of wedding planning, you guys. Like, seriously. Kicking the fucking shit out of it.

We’ve got an amazing venue:

Cardinal Golf Course

Our gorgeous golf course venue is going to look stunning all covered in snow

 

A delicious menu picked out:

4 oz. chicken breast and 4 oz. tenderloin

The meat: 4 oz. chicken breast and 4 oz. tenderloin. That’s right, each guest gets both!

roasted red pepper mash and steamed asparagus bundles

The veggies: roasted red pepper mash and steamed asparagus bundles

The dessert: banana chocolate chip cheesecake

The dessert: banana chocolate chip cheesecake

Exciting Do-It-Yourself invitations:

yep, we're gunna print them ourselves!

yep, we’re gunna print them ourselves!

The perfect pair of shoes to carry me down the aisle:

Sparkly golden disco shoes, fuck yeah

Sparkly golden disco shoes, fuck yeah

Our territorial, er I mean ceremonial, rings:

Our wedding bands

Wedding bands

And another majorly huge decision was made this weekend. Probably the biggest decision of the whole entire wedding.

The dress.

Wanting to be different, I originally intended to buy something online. Buying online meant that I wouldn’t have had to order it so far in advance, and I could carry on living my life without stressing too much about my figure. But if you go through a bridal shop, ordering eight months out from the date can potentially be cutting it too close. I was still feeling like I had tons of time, that the wedding was still a good stretch away, like in the distant future. So I had a little bit of a panic attack when I realized that eight months is kind of the unofficial cutoff for choosing the dress. If I left that all-important wedding dress decision unmade for too much longer, then it would be too late for me to backtrack and order something from an actual bridal shop. If the online search went tits up, then I’d be royally fucked.

So I texted my maid of honour, Joce-force, in a bit of a panic. She encouraged me to book some appointments and said that we’d ditch our boyfriends for the day to go shopping until we found something awesome. And we did. We did it, you guys. We got up early on Saturday morning, did a little bit of light day drinking while en route to bridal shops across the city, and we found the perfect fucking dress. I’m so excited about it.

And I’m so happy that Joce was there to help, I needed her. She doesn’t pull her punches, especially not with the pushy sales people and designers. I’m decisive yes, but I’m shy about telling people who I don’t know that I think something is shit. I only had to look at Joce and she knew what I was thinking. She’d tell people when I thought a dress was crap with no qualms whatsoever. Joce kept a steady stream of secret purse drinks flowing, she made inappropriate and hilarious jokes all day to keep us laughing, and she even haggled with snooty salespeople for me.

We knew we had the perfect dress when a dreamy, disbelieving look stole across my face as I looked at myself in the mirror. A happy, heart’s desires fulfilled kind of look.

It only took one day to find my wedding dress. Because I know what I want, and I don’t fuck around. And because I have an awesome friend who can turn even the most daunting of tasks into hilarious adventures.

Sexy tigres forever!

Sexy t-rex hands never fail.

Another decision masterfully conquered, and many more still to come. I’ll just keep following my heart and it’ll make sure that I get everything I want. It always does.

Setting The Date

In the very first moments when your brain begins processing the fact that you are going to have to start planning a wedding, there’s this powerful wave of denial that crashes into the forefront of your mind. You just got engaged, so the wedding is miles away. You’re just going to soak up all the excitement of the engagement for now, enjoying a nice open-ended engagement that could last forever and a day if you wanted it to. The wedding isn’t going to happen overnight, so you’re not going to worry about it right away.

That works, for a little while. An impossibly short little while. The people in your life are thrilled for you, really, they couldn’t be happier. But they’ve also got questions. So many questions. When is it? Will it be a destination wedding? In a church? How many people? Will it be open bar? And accompanying those questions is an assortment of suggestions. You should have wine on the tables. You better get a good photographer. Start getting in shape now. According to wedding etiquette you have to do this, and this, and this, and this. Asking for cash is tacky. Photo-booths are so last year.

And on and on it goes.

At first, you dance around all of that blabbering with ease. Your standard response to all of the noise around you has become a noncommittal shrug as you bust an awe-inspiring Running Man on the packed dance floor in your mind. It feels good, for a while, keeping everyone else at an arm’s length while you plumb the depths of your heart, trying to figure out what it is you really want. But that stops working eventually. People keep bringing it up when they see you, because surely by now you’ve started to put something tangible together, no? At some point, it stops feeling like conversation and starts feeling like pressure. That once awesome dance floor in your mind is suddenly too crowded, too noisy. They’re playing shit music. And an obnoxious cluster of sweaty, creepy dudes keep trying to get their pelvises all up in your business where you don’t want them. You’re looking for your friends, a lifeline, anything, but there isn’t a one to be found. Evacuate that dance floor, man. The unknown officially stopped being easy and started getting scary.

You realize that you have to start planning this damn thing. Right now. You can’t take another second of your own ifs and buts, only your own decisiveness can save you now.

Ideas start to materialize. Options present themselves. And when you take that first tentative step forward, articulating one of your ideas to someone else, searching for validation that your ideas are in fact good and wonderful, then the planning has begun. But beware! Some ears are not as receptive as they appear. Sometimes you’ll share something dear to you with the wrong person and instead of shelling out the support you so desire, you’ll find cruel derision laying in wait for you. Such a thing happened to me, and I’ve since learned not to share with certain individuals. Only that which is positive is allowed in the secret wedding planning place within my heart. Thoughtful suggestions born of helpfulness are always welcome, but the petulant threats of non-attendance and scornful snorts of judgement need not apply.

It took a long time for it to sink in, this realization that I’m going to have a wedding. The idea of D has been comfortable for years now, it’s old hat. He’s my man, and that’s just how it is. But the idea of planning some momentous occasion to make official whatever this thing we have together is, was a whole other beast. Some may relish the task, but I didn’t. I never dreamed about a wedding day in any specific terms. A waterproof robot buddy that you could have excellent water park adventures with, sure. But never a wedding.

D and I started talking about what we might want to do. Where we would have it, who we would invite. We waffled about a couple of places. I got a few quotes and D had a big crazy excel file crammed with venue comparisons that I’m sure gave him a few tingles of excitement in his wiener. Because he’s a weirdo like that, and he loves to look before he leaps. But none of it seemed to be going anywhere, and I was content to idle. Then I woke up one day with a feeling in my gut that we had to set a date and book something right goddamned now. We had to do it now, or I was going to idle forever.

So we did. We found a place that fits the budget, and it’s going to be awesome. We saw it last weekend and booked it on the spot; we set the date. We’re getting married, it’s really happening you guys. I’m out of denial and well into acceptance now.

Smash n D

January 31st, 2015. It’s a date, a good date even. Our date.

All Wrapped Up

It’s no secret that I love opening presents. I’ve mentioned it before. A few seconds spent feverishly shredding the paper off of a neatly wrapped gift is a divine high that I’ve treasured for as long as I can remember. It’s especially good if I’m opening a gift earlier than I’m supposed to!

I know that I’m a maniac when it comes to presents. But I’m not a total monster. I thoroughly enjoy the pleasures of gift giving as well. So it’s okay if I lose my head every now and then because every gift given in return absolves me of this egregious misdeed.

I’m good at putting thought into my gifts. Finding something that just fits the recipient so well, something worthy of genuine gratitude. I bought The Magpie a purse for Christmas last year, which doesn’t sound remarkable, I know. But everything about it was so on point for what she would like. The pattern, the size, and the style all perfectly complimented her unique personality while catering to her purse needs. And that made me truly happy. Choosing the gifts isn’t an issue, it’s the wrapping that can be a real bitch.

I’ve stumbled at wrapping on many occasions. If something doesn’t come in a nice square package, I’m fucked. And I won’t go out of my way to buy boxes for things to fit into. I just can’t bring myself to do that. It’d be like paying for a soda at the movies. Why should I have to do that when anything I could ever want to drink can be purchased at a reasonable price elsewhere and then smuggled in with ease? Plus, I don’t want to miss out on the fun of smuggling! There are so few opportunities in life for a good harmless smuggle. You know I’m taking every one I get.

So if a seemingly decent box isn’t lying around for me to use, then I’ll just try my luck at wrapping whatever it is freestyle. I’m capable, right? I can figure this shit out. It’s not like we’re trying to crack the Da Vinci Code. We’re just trying to get some paper taped nicely around some weirdly shaped thing. All jutting angles and strange bends disguised to my satisfaction. Try though I might, the mental blueprint I’m following isn’t always translated so well.

A couple of the more noteworthy examples would be wedding gifts. Wedding gifts cause the most grief because the registry is usually a plethora of oddly shaped housewares. And sometimes that shit doesn’t come in a box, sometimes it’s just there, loose on the shelves. Loose housewares, the bane of gift wrapping. Another part of the problem is that I’m a very arrogant eye-baller. I always tackle the challenge thinking that my superior skills of eye-balling out the amount of paper needed will get me through this. Only to realize afterwards that I probably should have tried at measuring. A handle, an arm, a surface area, anything actually measured might have helped. But by the time I’ve rounded up the gifts, the wrapping paper, the scissors, and the tape, I’ve no energy left to search for some measly implement of measuring!

These are the gifts I wrapped for the last two weddings I went to:

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A badass new frying pan for The Magpie

Cheese knives for my beloved sister

Cheese knives for my beloved sister

Damn you metal flap!

Damn you metal flap!

It’s total garbage. And I don’t even have kids to blame it on! I can’t be like, “Oh, little blah blah really wanted to do the wrapping so we let it.”

All the bits wind up getting covered up eventually. But unfortunately for me, you can’t cover up shame. The only thing you can do now is attack the open bar with a vengeance and hope that people go easy on you; blaming your constantly drunk and disorderly behaviour for that shitty looking wrap job instead.

My cousin’s wedding is coming up soon and there’s a bridal shower for her this weekend, which means more attempts at wedding gift wrapping for me. Looking back over past transgressions though, I realize that I shouldn’t just do the same half-assed job I always do. She deserves better. Everyone deserves better than this, but unfortunately I’m only coming to this realization now. I apologize profusely to any gift recipients I’ve wronged in the past. You deserved better too. I was just too cocky to think about it from your perspective, and I know that was wrong.

This time around, I actually paid for it. I bought the gifts online and then worked up the humility to put a tick in that little box for “gift wrapping”. I paid for someone else to do something for me. It felt dirty and wrong, going against every one of my gift giving instincts that way. But when I went to pick up the gifts and saw how they looked, I was actually glad that I did. For once in my life I’m going to roll into a wedding like a goddamned champion because I’ve got a thoroughbred gift in tow.

Much better!

Much better!

Look at that gorgeous mofo. Hells yeah bitches, that gift is with me! All of the weirdly shaped items I bought have been neatly packaged into boxes that fit and have been covered in wrapping paper so hearty it can withstand a nuclear blast.

And it’s big! It’s a honking huge gift. I also love rolling into a wedding with the largest possible gift I could get. When I look over a registry, I always look for the biggest items. Because then people are more excited about opening them. It’s not some boring little doodad. All other gifts on the table orbit around my gift because it’s so large it’s got gravitational pull. It’s a fucking planet. Congratulations on your nuptials, I bought you guys a planet of your very own!

I love giving gifts, and I love tackling challenges with gusto. But I’ve been to this rodeo enough times now to know that sometimes I need help. I’ve done enough atrocious wrapping jobs to know when I’ve been bested. And nobody should have to suffer my misguided intentions on their wedding day. They already have to foot my bar bill, and trust me, that’s painful enough.

No 3rd Degree

This is a very important landmark for me. I may just be erring on the optimistic side here, but I think I’m finally getting through to people. Let me explain…

This past Sunday was my sister’s bridal shower. My older sister is getting married this summer, my younger sister got married last summer, and my cousin is getting married next fall. So for the past two years I have been hounded CONSTANTLY with questions about when am I going to be getting married. And I’m not gunna lie, it’s been driving me fucking crazy!

With a couple of family weddings still on the horizon I really didn’t know how much more of it I could take. At every family function and every wedding related event for the past 2 years when the topic of a marriage comes up I brace myself for the inevitable line of questioning thrown my way:

“When are you getting married?” “It might be your time soon!” “Ooo can’t wait for your wedding!” “Have you thought about it?” “Is marriage in your future?” “Will you be keeping Darren around?” “Is he the one?” and blah blah blah on and on it goes.

Not only have the incessant questions been driving me nuts, but the fact that the only thing people are capable of talking about is these goddamn weddings! For fucksake, it’s one day of the year! Why do we spend hours upon hours and days upon days yammering on about one fucking thing?!?!

So you can see how this has begun to get to me… just a little.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m perfectly happy for my sisters and cousins. But let’s just keep the focus on the people who have decided to get married instead of piling heaps of pressure on the innocent bystanders. There are plenty of other awesome things in my life that you can discuss with me if you care to. We don’t have to map out my entire future right this minute just so you  can feel comforted because you’ve finally figured me out, or whatever.

Also, I do like weddings. Getting dressed up, the open bar, ripping it up on the d-floor… count me in! The bitching, the crying, the drama, the agonizing over the most minute detail, that’s what puts me in a frantic scramble for the emergency exit on the crazy train.

The other thing that really burns me is that of our respective relationships, I’ve been with my boyfriend way longer than either of my sisters have been with theirs. Not that this means my relationship is better by any means, but I’ve worked hard to cultivate a meaningful and loving relationship with my dude D over the years. We’re a pretty rad little duo. Apparently, it doesn’t seem to mean a damn thing unless you get married. In fact, it seems to make things even worse because people don’t understand why you aren’t getting married. You’re not breaking up anytime soon, so why aren’t you getting married?

Just the other week I heard all this theorizing from my co-workers about the dreaded “7-year mark”. If a couple is together for 7 years and don’t plan on tying the knot anytime soon then they’re doomed to fail. It’s ridiculous. D and I will be rounding the 6 year mark in a month and we couldn’t be happier. So other than sinking tons of money we don’t have into a wedding, what is getting married going to accomplish for us as a couple? What critical difference will it make?

I think that marriage is in your head and in your heart, it’s not a piece of paper that you’ve signed. Marriage is the maturity, growth, trust, and respect that you develop as a couple over time. We already have that, and we’re always working to make it stronger.

Is marriage supposed to be a reason to have kids? Does being married make them any more “human” than if they are conceived out of wedlock? It’s not the dark ages anymore people. I think we’ve reached the point where we can procreate without judgement and societal pressure about our lifestyle choices. We are no longer living in a time where everyone has to have the same life path trajectory. So let’s just chill the fuck out with all the goddamn pressure, okay?

I’m neither for or against marriage in any particular way. I’m for whatever works for you. There’s a pro and a con to everything, right? And it’s up to you to decide what’s right for your life. But I guess I’m just at that time in my life when family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. are all rushing for the altar. And as excruciating as it is to endure, I suppose it could be worse, right?

Although, maybe it couldn’t. I’m not sure. Is it worse to be single when all of your friends are getting married or in a long term relationship that’s committed to staying long term but not yet determined to make it legal? Which is worse people? The pressure to find someone or lock down the someone you’ve got?

All I know right now is that I’ve finally caught a break. For the first time ever since all this marriage stuff started, I went to a bridal shower for my older sister and not one single person there asked me about when I’m getting married. And I was so wired for guarding against it, that I didn’t even notice I’d escaped the shower unscathed until my sister pointed it out!

People actually talked to me about my job and the travelling I’ve done! They asked me about my new apartment and how I enjoy living in the city. It was so friggen refreshing!

Like I said, I may be erring on the optimistic side here in thinking that I’ve finally gotten through to people. But fuck it, I’ll take what I can get.