The Art of Falling Apart

June 23, 2010 § 5 Comments

I haven’t dreamt of my wedding since I was a young girl.  Most of my time was spent obsessing over trying to get a boy to be interested in me.  Turns out, that could have been rectified by spending more time figuring out how to get away from bifocals, perms and cheese danishes.  Back then, I would have settled for a kiss…imagining a boy ever wanting to get close enough for me to kiss him was far-fetched enough so the thought of one wanting to marry me…well, that thought could have possibly caused my head to explode.

It has taken me a while to get used to this whole, “getting married” business.  I’m not a gusher, so when people ask, “How is the wedding planning going?” My first inclination isn’t to rattle off the colors of the wedding, the designer of my dress and all the details of our choreographed first dance together.  My response is always, “fine”, which is apparently not the standard response since this is typically followed by dead silence and an awkward stare.  People must think I’m not happy about getting married because I don’t brain dump every last detail of my impending nuptials for them to devour.  But for me, it feels strange to talk about it.  I’m still getting used to the idea myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t spent many afternoons trying to figure out my new signature, or thinking about a suitable song to walk down the aisle to.  I just haven’t had enough time to really sit in the idea of being a bride, planning a wedding or getting married.

The wedding planning process has, in many ways been dampened by family drama and emergencies, and more recently by Paul being laid off.  You know those people who have been shot in the face or mauled by a gorilla or stricken with an incurable disease, and Oprah or Ellen are interviewing their family and friends and their friends and family are all, “Joe is such a man of strength.  He has no lower jaw or eyes, or a nose, or teeth but he has never spent a moment feeling sorry for himself or asking, “why me”.”  Apparently this is the exact opposite of the kind of person I am.  When I first heard Paul lost his job I felt strong… “This is a chance for something better.  “This is happening for a reason”.  And then, the next morning I figured out what the reason was-to drive me to the brink of insanity and punish me for living my previous life, as what could only be reasonably determined to be a murdered of puppies and small cute well-behaved children- because, why else would such terrible things be happening to me?  And so, I spent the next two weeks asking, in every language I know how to speak, “Why me?”  I said it in the bathroom with the water running so Paul couldn’t hear me.  I said it in the car on the way to work.  I said it in my office with the door closed…and open.  I said it to friends, to my mom, to co-workers and quite possibly, to a handful of strangers.

I could see Paul trying his best to be strong for me.  And I did my best to be strong for him.  I told him I didn’t need a wedding.  Heck, I hadn’t even thought I would ever have a wedding until 6 months ago when he proposed.  It wasn’t like I was a girly girl who dreamed of her wedding from the moment she could form the words, “Gimmie!”.  I wasn’t the girl who swooned over bridal magazines and tulle.  I would be fine without the wedding.  “It’s a big ole’ waste of money anyhow”….right?  But when I told Paul this, he looked at me and said, “But you deserve a wedding” that is when I realized…I already had what I deserved-A guy who respects me, one who didn’t spend the beginning of our relationship playing games.  One that didn’t leave me waiting by the phone, willing it to ring.  I deserved a guy who made me want to put his happiness before my own-an idea that was like telling me to breathe underwater.  I deserved someone who put my happiness before their own-someone who believed in me and knew that I dreamed of opening a bakery and supported the idea…even though they knew the profits at bakeries were the kind that meant many Ramen dinners.  I deserved someone who could talk me off the ledge when I was worried about money, or people not liking me, or not being good enough.  And I had all of that and more in the person I was marrying.  Suddenly, the wedding became more important than anything.  Not the flower part of the wedding, not the cake, not the decorations, not the limo we would take from the hotel to the ceremony and back to the hotel again.  What became important was the wedding itself.  The idea of having everyone I loved more than anything on the planet (and some distant relatives that we never see but have to invite anyway because our parents tell us we need to) there to witness me marrying the guy I love more than anything on the planet-the guy I never thought I would find.  The wedding isn’t about the food, or the cake or the flowers it’s about the journey.  The trauma surrounding Paul and I has brought us closer together.  The turmoil has shown us that in crisis, we are good together and in times of calm, we are even better.  Had Paul of not lost his job, I may have never  known that my love for him wasn’t based on the fact that he was stable and could pay for nice dinners and pointless Valentine’s Day gifts.  Had there been no drama surrounding my family, I may of never known that Paul wouldn’t judge me for one very dysfunctional family member.  The struggle has made me realize, something I already had faith in…I am marrying the perfect person for me.  The person who makes all the trouble so very worth it.

Even though our wedding journey has been plagued by potholes, pitfalls and self-pity I am now onto a new horizon.  And to be honest, some days are easier than others…but it wouldn’t be a journey if it were easy.  Paul is still jobless, I am still 10 lbs. heavier than I would like…but if you want to hear about my wedding I am ready to gush…because it is going to be the best wedding you have ever laid your eyes on!

A Love Story

May 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

I spent the better part of this weekend in a coma on the couch.  The week had reduced me to a useless blob and instead of joining the productive class of society, I decided to watch movies.  Which, for me is a very rare occasion.  Paul can partake in marathons worth of couch time.  Even on the sunniest Saturday he is fine with pulling the blinds and watching whatever old movie marathons TNT decides to play that weekend.  As for me, just the thought of spending a weekend indoors on the couch is too EMO. But, in a lapse of good judgement I watched depressing love story movies.  Which, from experience I should know better than to do.  Rewind to a few years ago, when I spent Sunday watching Annie Hall with the guy I was dating.  Now, if you have seen the movie it is focused around a love story between two people who just can’t seem to stay in love.  Plagued by bad timing they seem to always cross paths but never stay lovers.  By the time he left I had a pit in my stomach and it took every ounce of restraint for me not to grab onto his leg and beg him to never ever leave my side ever.  But he did leave that day, and a few months later he left for good.

This weekend, I watched Dear John, a tale about two young people who fall in love.  He goes off to war, leaves her behind, she marries another and he re-enlists.  The better part of this movie is spent focusing on how their love is so parallel yet their timing is so off.  It made me think about how love has a lot to do with timing. In high school, I dated someone for 5 years. He was cute, two years ahead of me and my first love. Like most high schoolers do, we broke up every week, fought constantly – but were undeniably in love with one another.   Our love was torrid, dramatic and filled with emotion.  I broke up with him my junior year and in that two weeks he joined the Army.  And so began our long distance love story.  We would write passionate and naive love letters to one another, I would wait by the phone for him to call when he could and we savored the weekends he was home on leave. But there was that troublesome timing.  I was 14 when we started dating, terrified of the thought of marriage but mostly terrified I didn’t know myself well enough to be someone else’s “everything”.  So, we broke up. Years later he got married and had children and I was still bouncing from one relationship to the next, and sometimes I would convince myself my inability to find “the one” was the penance I paid for breaking his heart.

After our relationship ended, I became a serial monogomist.  So much so, that one Thanksgiving the place card at the table just read, “boyfriend”.  I dated co-workers, friends of friends, a guy in a band. The only thing they all had in common was that each of them had nothing in common.  There was one thing however, that was constant…deep down I knew each of them wasn’t the one.  Sure, I talked marriage with some of them.  Sure, I played along when people asked me if I thought “he was it”.  I was good at playing the part.  It was easy to convince myself I was with someone I could see myself spending forever with, because there were no impending proposals on the horizon so I was able to play the part with no fear of consequences. But, when things became too intense, like the time an ex-boyfriend moved back home from New Jersey to give our relationship another shot, it didn’t take long before his hugs began to feel like a vice around my lungs.  In my mind, I was convinced him moving back to California meant my search for love was over but reality caught up to my movie ending and in the end I left him.

And then, after all these years of broken hearts and hopeless moments, time was finally on my side.  I found a love that is simple, one I know will stand the test of time.  I found the first person whom I accept wholly for all his faults and flaws because to me, he is still perfect.  I don’t care that he prefers Mountain Dew to water.  I can overlook the fact that he leaves coffee cups and empty soda bottles out.  I don’t even mind that sometimes on sunny weekends, he prefers to pull the blinds and veg on the couch.  I don’t mind these things because of the way I feel when he holds my hand.  Because he knows I sneeze three times in a row.  Because he flew my best friend out from St. Louis to surprise me.  Because he loves his family and because his family is amazing.  Because he makes me laugh.  Because he never judges me. Because he goes to the store to get me a Diet Coke late at night when I can think of nothing else but a Diet Coke.  Because he is honest and good. Because I respect him and believe in him. Because he understand me and supports me.  Because he believes in me and all my silly dreams.  Because he is my best friend. And even though he kept me up most of last night with his snoring, I am still undeniably in love him, which is good because it is about fricking time!

Moving On Up!

January 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Starting Saturday I will be living in sin.  Which is really not a huge deal since I have lived in sin on and off for the past ten years, give or take.  But this time I will be living in sin with the promise of a favorable outcome.  This time I’m going to live in sin with my husband to be so I figure that as long as God isn’t a stickler on timing, he/she/it will be just fine with the 10-month discrepancy.

Yes, Paul and I are combining forces and will leave our crappy small and dark apartments for a lovely two-story, two-car garage fancy townhouse complete with marble countertops.  That’s right people, no more of that linoleum and grout B.S. we are going all out!  Collectively we now pay about $3,000 a month in rent.  We did the math and figured for the same price as living in an apartment that has walls so thin that I can hear my upstairs neighbor take a pee every morning and his studio apartment that is the size of a Hyndai, we could be living the good life in an actual adult feeling home.

Because really, we’re getting married soon and it is probably as good of time as any to decide who is going to make the coffee in the morning and who is going to take the trash out (in my opinion I think he would be amazing at both of these things.)

I’m excited, despite the fact that Paul wants to decorate the downstairs guest room/office with movie posters and Batman action figures.  I figure that once I figure out how to harness his enthusiasm for movies and plastic toys, we may be able to create a respectable guest room that my mom will be okay staying in when she visits.

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