“A woman in love can’t be reasonable, or she probably wouldn’t be in love.”
I never thought love made you stupid. Oh boy…read on.
So…sometimes I can overreact just a little (Shut up! Stop sniggering at me! This means you!) but in my defense it usually takes quite a combination of things to tip me over the edge. Yesterday, after a long staff meeting, no food, and a lunch break spent getting told that my computer was worth more as scrap metal than getting fixed, my dad iced the irritation cake by sending me a book the subject of which is “marital relations: why it’s good to have them, and don’t feel bad because God approves” without any warning. Wow…really not your business, Dad, but thanks for the…support? Goodwill? What is this exactly?!
I worked myself into a completely pointless rage, sent of a snappish email to my father which I instantly felt bad about (but it took Guilt and his hired guns Remorse and Self-Loathing another six hours to find me, work me over, and force me into apologizing), gnawed all my fabulous long nails off, and was moody the rest of the day. Which only gave me a tension headache, so I don’t know why I did it.
I wasn’t nearly this much of a girl before I started dating J. Really. I promise. Stop sniggering at me! Anyway, maybe love has a weird effect on me, it doesn’t make me stupid so much as irritable; a fact that J. finds hilarious. Which irritates me more. Vicious cycle.
“I’m not bride-y, I’m just a planner. I don’t care so much as having things done a certain way so much as a I care about having them done.”
-C. to Venice
My mother would be poleaxed to discover what a (relatively) organized adult I am. I can’t begin to count the fights we got into over the state of my bedroom floor as a teenager. Looking back I think I battled cleaning and organization mostly because she told me to clean and organize, logically flawed now but made perfect sense to my adolescent mind at the time I’m sure.
Now, having to organize a wedding, to say nothing of the far more important stuff that comes after like housing, insurance, banks, furniture, etc, I can be glad that I grew into such a planner. The little things like keeping my bedroom 100% neat and tidy may forever escape me, but the big crisis sort of stuff I’ve found I can rise to spectacularly. My goal for this week was to have the dates all locked in for the actual wedding and reception. Happy to report as of 4:30 pm yesterday, all is secure. Date is July 1, marriage place set, reception center booked. Want to talk about providence? The day before and after were both taken but the day we wanted everything was clear, I may or may not have heard a faint rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus in my head somewhere.
J. was a good sport coming along to make sure the place was one his mom would like (because keeping one’s potential MIL happy is vitally important, the women in my family have a history of marrying into families that disapprove, I’m trying awfully hard to break that particularly vicious cycle!). When asked if he had any strong opinions on the stuff we were looking at he, very correctly, responded, “Whatever makes you happy.” Right answer, but I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of strong opinions either. I’m still trying to formulate a plan of attack in my head. Right now the only sort of goal I can articulate is, “Classy.” I should probably solidify that idea at some point…
“Another brother?! I already have two!”
-Snickers, my 11 year old sister
J. asked, I said yes. And ever since then I’ve had a perma-grin plastered all over my face. Plus a Miles-ian litany of “I’m getting married. To this man. Isn’t he handsome? And smart and funny? Mine, mine, all mine!” running through my head on a non-stop basis.
Since J. and I have tended to be rather closed mouths about the whole thing (see Fig. 1), here’s a few useless facts : we’ve been dating almost 11 months, known each other for 3 years, have about 50 mutual friends, have 7 siblings combined, and have a foot height difference between the two of us. There, now you know us.
J.’s family was quietly happy when he broke the news, mine shrieked the roof down. J.’s the youngest in his family with three married older siblings, so this sort of occasion is more or less family business as usual…I’m the oldest child, oldest grandchild on both sides, the oldest female cousin, and the only one legally old enough to get married. I have no idea what I’m doing throwing a wedding together and my family is on another continent, unable to be press ganged into service.
Now, your millions of questions:
1) The ring is fabulous! It’s an EMERALD solitaire (for all of you who didn’t know, I don’t like diamonds)
2) Date is tentatively July 1st
3) Yes, I know what the dress is going to look like (don’t you wish you did!)
4) I have no idea what I’m doing but have determined to fake it charmingly!
5) No, I don’t know what “our colors” are going to be, nor do I much care. Stop asking.
6) Mine, mine, all mine!
“So, I was going to ask, you’ve been dating your boy about as long as I’ve been with J., do you have any ideas of what to get him for Valentine’s Day?”
“Oh no! I was going to ask you!”
-C. and Hennessy
Oops. J. and I sort of revealed we’d nearly gotten the same things for each other for V Day. Now I know and can rectify the situation, but what now?! I managed to get him a fabulous birthday present but I have now discovered the danger of setting the bar too high. And next month is our 1 year whatever (I have an aversion to the word “anniversary.” Since neither one of us had ever dated anyone that long, when we hit 6 months J. suggested we should call it a “milestone” instead) and what am I supposed to do THEN? I’ve never had one before! Is it in bad taste to break up with him for about a day or so?
Kidding. Seriously, kidding!
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day Gift Buying Despair, I humbly offer up the following Demotivators:
“Intimacy is a four syllable word for, ‘Here’s my heart and soul, please grind them into hamburger, and enjoy.'”
-Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy
Some people are naturally good at relationships: they buy presents constantly, have cutesy nicknames for each other, and count and celebrate every single week/month/whatever of their duality. They wander around in a fond fog until, 9 times out of 10, it crashes spectacularly around them. Then they take some time, recover, and bounce right on to the next lover with varying degrees of trepidation but probably with that butterfly-in-stomach feeling still intact.
I am not one of these people. I suck at relationships. My communications skills are nil and I have an overdeveloped Fight or Flight response. In fact I tended to avoid emotional commitment for most of my life and never dated anyone I actually liked enough to upset my equilibrium. Fairy puts it’s kindly by saying I’m “emotionally stunted.”
Unfortunately relationships don’t get easier with practice (sometimes I think I’m getting worse even after 10 months of practice with J.) and you can’t buy into all the mumbo-jumbo that magazines, prime-time television, and well-intentioned friends try to soothe you with: we’re all clueless. Just as soon as you figure out the rules, the ground shifts under your feet. Luckily I’ve gotten to the point where this sort of freefalling doesn’t scare me as much, mostly I’m left muttering under my breath, “Good grief, what now?” while I plummet. My problem when this occurs isn’t so much that I’m falling, but that I can’t get my bearings until I hit the ground again, at which point I try to reorient while recovering from the impact.
I can’t be alone here; I know my 203 VIPS at least have a few good stories on the romantic end, Venice is a newlywed learning to deal, and Tink just had a baby and is heading towards being a SAHM. My London girls AbFab, Red, and Marie are all going through travel, romantic, and medical drama. Anyone else feel like they’re constantly playing catchup with life?!