Thursday, September 29, 2011

Offbeat Bride

If any of you are unfamiliar with this website, check it out: Even if you are not planning a wedding, it is great fun. I have visited almost daily to read the articles and check out what they call "wedding porn"--pictures of all kinds of stuff, from shoes to veils to cakes to dogs to, of course, dresses and decorations and flowers. There is almost always something that I love, something that makes me laugh, and something to ponder. It's an all-inclusive site, that really suffers no squares--rounded corners seem to be required.

I just applied to become a part of the "Tribe," which is their community of completely un-like-minded thinkers. The application started me thinking about a lot of the stuff that I've planned already for our wedding. And I really, really think that it is going to be an amazing, fun day! The list of stuff I have to do seems only to grow every day, but the closer it gets, the less I stress about it. What gets done, gets done, and what doesn't, well, between the crazy pinwheels to Extreme Bocce, to what will surely be some epic Scrabble playing, our wedding is going to be hilarious. I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9 months... and counting...

I have several "wedding planning checklists" that arrive in my email inbox every month, and they are demanding little things! Apparently, in the timeline of wedding arrangements, I have a LOT to do this month. But, the things I "have to get done" are mostly things that I have already considered, and have decided that they are either not worth dealing with until the winter freeze sets in and I have to stay indoors, or things that I'm not interested in at all.

With so many of our outdoor household projects needing attention before next spring, I am in a frenzy of digging, and rock moving, and building repair, and all kinds of other jobs that occupy the majority of my available daylight hours. I must admit, though, that having so many of these projects underway has calmed me down a bit. Each individual job is taking a bit longer than I had at first anticipated, but the fact that each is begun makes me more confident in the completion of all the necessary tasks.

I have realized the house might not get painted before the wedding, I won't have time to build the chicken coop, the outbuildings probably will not get their lovely windows and trim, which means no window boxes with flowers, and the vegetable garden may have to wait ANOTHER year.  But we have a lovely, large patio, the step out of the mudroom will be replaced with something much more sturdy, and the deck surround is shaping up to be very nice. I have made some planting decisions that just require execution before the first frost, and some of those I may relegate to FP --particularly the seeding of the lawn. I will dig rocks. He can run the seed broadcaster thingy.

I do suppose that I cannot continue to put off the dress shopping thing that I am so dreading, and some of my Bridesfolks are making sure I don't forget that little detail. The Save-the-Dates have to go out yesterday, but now we have a solid plan and, really, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to execute.

The other things on that dreaded 9-months-to-go-list will just have to wait.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weather Wary

It is hot today. I mean it is really, REALLY hot. As you know from my grumpy previous post this week, I have a retaining wall to put in, but it's just too darn hot to be out there digging and moving rocks today. It really was on my agenda for this afternoon, but sometimes weather is uncooperative.

This put me in a weather wary mood. According to the Old Farmers Almanac, "April and May will be cooler and rainier than normal, on average. Summer will be cooler and drier than normal, with the hottest periods in early to mid-June and early July." Um... So, I should plan for a cool, wet day for our early June nuptuals? Or is it a hot, dry day? We are planning to host this shin-dig outside. We have a plan for several small-ish tents scattered about the yard, and, of course, I would prefer they be used for shade than for rain shelter, but there is no way to accurately predict what the weather will do. This is distressing, but I'm actually not stressing about it..

Here is a quirk of mine: if I think I can control something, I MUST be in control of it. If I know I cannot control a thing, I am largely unphased by it. It is part of my contrary nature, I suppose. Weather is something to be planned for, but not to stress about.

My dad is a weather watcher. He knows what the weather is in any place where he knows someone. My grandmother is near Tampa, therefore, he keeps an eye on the Gulf Coast. My youngest sister is in Orlando, so he is sure of what is precipitating over Mickey Mouse. My eldest sister is in Cleveland, so Dad watches that lake effect snow come in. Dad is as good as a meteorologist --better, if, like me, you don't care what is happening in the rest of the tristate area.

I am unlike him. I have no idea what the weather will be. If it is sunny when I leave my house, I wear sandals, but I always keep an umbrella in my car in case it begins to rain. See? It's something to be planned for, but not stressed over. It is too hot today to work, but eventually it will cool down enough for me to do what needs to be done. FP might grumble because the patio is completely covered in flagstones for a few extra days, but it will get done when the clouds are favourable.

And if it rains on our wedding day? We strip down to our underwear and get hitched anyway.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 again....

It really was not intentional that this just happens to be the next post, but I'm over it again. I have too many other things that I'd rather be doing, my yard looks like crap, and there is no way in hell I am going to be able to get it ready to host a huge party in 276 days. What there is of landscaping looks like crap, and the stupid dogs keep digging up the ONE garden bed that actually looks like something. The front lawn needs seeded and then watered twice a day for the next three months, but it needs leveled first, and that requires buying, spreading, and leveling several cubic yards of dirt. But-- I have to put in the retaining wall first, which requres digging, leveling, and building a FREAKING RETAINING WALL!
Screw it. I'm taking my ball and going home.

Friday, August 19, 2011

...on again...

I have a love-hate relationship with my wedding. It is one of those high school on-again, off-again relationships that makes everyone one the outside roll their eyes and say, "Here we go again."

Lately, we have been in the on-again phase-- holding hands and making google eyes at each other.  The caterer is booked, the favors are purchased and only require a little amendment, some decisions about decor have been made, and are we looking for bands again. These are all good things.

Our wedding is gonna be the coolest, funnest, most original, geeky, and eclectic day ever. :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Happy Post--just to shake things up.

I have noticed that there is always an edge of the grump to my posts, so I thought I'd just change things up a bit and mention that my life really is fantastic, and a lot of that is due to my relationship with FP.

He makes me happy. Even when he is driving me absolutely bonkers, I love him best of all things in the world. I love him more than ice cream. I love him more than cookies. I love him more than Pepsi in a glass bottle with real sugar! If I had to choose between keeping FP and never having a Chipotle burrito ever again, I'd cry, but I'd still pick FP every time. If I were to be sent to a desert island and had to chose between the Oxford English Dictionary and FP. I'd take FP. He knows lots of words that I don't, so I'd gladly give up the OED in order to keep him. Plus, he'd find a way to make music, and that'd be nice on a desert island.

I know that I drive him almost as crazy as he drives me, but I also know that he'd pick me out of all other worldly possessions to take to that desert island. He thinks that I am smart and talented, and even when I doubt myself, he has confidence in my abilities, and loves me enough to call me on my shortcomings. I love that about him, too, even when it makes me mad.

FP has improved my life in ways that I haven't found words to quantify yet. No matter how frustrated I am with the planning of the event, I find that every day, I am still excited to marry him. We are going to have a hilarious, crazy, grumpy, curmudgeonly life together til the day one of us smothers the other with a pillow.

Which, of course, will be because we love each other enough to do that, too.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quitting planning.

I sent an email this week to all my bridesfolks letting them know that planning was just too annoying and I quit. What a lovely idea to just give all this up and go back to focusing on the day-to-day things that I used to think about. But, clearly, given that planning is not really FP's strong suit, I can't actually quit if we are going to get married. And he wants to get married. And I love him best of all. So I persevere... sortof.

Overachievers Anonymous

Sometimes I get overwhelmed. Not for any other reason than suddenly it all seems like too much. I've had this problem a lot the last couple months. There has been too much to do, too much to decide, too much to think about. This blog has been one of those things that I have felt was just one thing too many.

Because I am an overacheiver, I have felt each time I post, that my post must say something that matters, something that helps make a decision, or explains a decision that has been made. I also have felt that a brief paragraph or two was not sufficient as a full-fledged blogpost. Now, I know that many, many blogs are made up of very short observations, but remember, I am an overacheiver. I have seldom been satisfied with what is "good enough," preferring, rather, to live up to my own standard, however ridiculous or overblown.

I have decided, in the interest of not shutting down "The Unanticipated Bride," that I will call some posts (if only to myself) "bloglettes," and accept that they needn't be essays. That way, I may post more often without the feeling of having failed at this task that I had intended to be an outlet for frustrations, not an additional one. So, forgive me if some subsequent posts are short. Forgive me if some posts resemble more the rantings of a lunatic rather than the cohesive thoughts of an intelligent human being. Forgive me if I don't always double-check for typos and misspellings. I will do my best to post at least a weekly bloglette, but somtimes I will forget, or run out of time, or just plain not feel like it. And I have decided that that's OK, too.

I have just re-read this post and realized that if you were to substitute the wedding planning for the blog-posting, the above all applies to that, too. My problems are clearly universal. I have got to chill out.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A List to Catch Up

I love lists, and I feel sadly behind in blog posting, so here is an annotated list of what has occurred since my last real post.

--Mom and Dad came for a visit, and we bought a bunch of plants.
     - Those plants took a really long time to plant, and some of them are still waiting for their homes. It rained so much in April that there was no opportunity to plant them.
 - The plants that did get planted required me to relay a retaining wall, but that's done:

 --I went on a vacation to visit my little sister in Florida.

- She took me to a Bridal salon, where I tried on what felt like a gazillion dresses. We narrowed them down to two, but then neither of those was really exactly right, so we left without actually buying anything.


   - Her husband and I discussed and planned about the new patio.

     - She showed me how to make bows, which sucks, and how to make rosettes, which I like, and have continued to make:

     - We hung out, visited Grandma, and had a very nice time.

--When I got home, I went with FP to Louisville for a day, and we discussed and decided to have a geothermal heating and air system installed.
     - We also had a brief talk about the budget for the wedding. This is a subject that will need revisited between us.

-- I spent a week running a jackhammer and tearing out the ugly old raised slab in anticipation of the new patio:

     - This is really, really hot, sweaty work, but excellent exercise. My shoulders got really strong.

-- I went with my bridesdude/wedding planner to Hobby Lobby to buy paper for the pinwheels, and bought what, hopefully, will be most of what we need for those, and talked through how to do the save-the-dates, and some other stuff that right at the moment I cannot recall, but I'm sure was very important.

-- I hauled a crap-ton of concrete away from the house, with the help of FP, in order to shore up the hill behind our shed.
     - This is also really heavy work, and puts big holes in gardening gloves, but is serious core-strenghtening stuff.
     - Dad helped move a bunch of the chunks to the correct location, so I have less of that to do this week or next.

-- My little sister and her family came to visit me, and her husband and I, with some help from my dad and his brother put in a kick-ass new concrete patio and steps.
     - When I did the math, I found that I had lifted more than 15 TONS of concrete. Yeah, that's a lot.

     - I am now of a mind that this will be where we hold the actual ceremony part of the wedding, because it's flat, and nice, and big, and the top of the steps is an area that everybody will be able to see, and if everyone in the universe doesn't see my handywork, I will be very sad.

     - I will be spending the next several weeks putting in retaining walls and landscaping so that it is pretty for the above-mentioned use.

-- While we were working on the patio, the geothermal company began their installation process, which, I hope, will be completed tomorrow. Our house will have serious climate control. This is awesome.
     - While they were digging big holes in our yard they uncovered a bunch of nice, big flagstones that I am hoping to use in the retaining walls, and new deck-surround: Of course, I have to get up early in the morning to retrieve said flagstones before the workers show up and bulldoze them back under the sod...

-- FP and I spent today wandering around retail stores trying to decide where, and on what, it made sense to register. I will blog more about this, because it was a very strange experience that should be discussed in more detail.

Now that I've typed it out, it doesn't seem like a lot to have done in two months, but I assure you that it has felt like a very busy, heavy, active couple of months. All-in-all, though, it has been fun. I do love having a project, and I love being able to say, "Look what I did."

When life gets in the way...


I logged on today to realize that it has been nearly a month since I posted anything for those of you waiting on tenderhooks to hear how it's going in the land of UN-anticipation. Frankly, it hasn't. I had several real-time projects on my plate, and couldn't be bothered with wedding plans for a few weeks. But, now that those projects are all completed, I'm wading back into it.

I met with our potential photographer on Monday. She is delightful. We chatted about religion and politics for several hours, and actually spoke very little about the wedding. But I've seen representative samplings of her work, and I have no doubt that she will be great for us. And she won't drive me crazy, which was really the primary criteria.


I began that blog more than a month ago; all about how life gets in the way, and today found that life, again, prevented me from finishing that one, or any subsequent blogs. Bear with me, and I will be better about posting in more reasonable time. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Having been led by example...

My parents have been married for 48 years today. They fight sometimes. I know that they drive each other completely crazy as often as not. They each have a few habits that make the other want to commit acts of violence. But, not once in my life have I doubted that they each married their best friend. They have made it through extremely difficult times, and times that seemed easy. They have lived apart for years at a time, not because they wanted to, but because the situation demanded it, and come through it on the other side, a little rough for the wear, but no less loving. They raised 6 kids, each of whom has become successful in his or her own way.

I hadn't really though much of wedding vows til recently. They seemed just rote phrases that every couple spewed on their nuptial day. But Mom and Dad have proved them. They have loved, honored, and cherished for richer and poorer, through sickness and health, for all the days of their lives. I don't know if these are the exact vows my parents took when they eloped nearly half a century ago, but they have spend all the time since living them.

I hope that my marriage will live up to the high standard that my parents have set. I have chosen a partner who is my favourite person and my best friend. I know that we won't always see eye to eye. I know we will drive each other crazy. But I believe that there are no insurmountable difficulties ahead for us. Mom and Dad have proved that, together, all things are possible.

I cannot thank them enough.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sticks and stones may break my bones...

I have begun to struggle with my name. Well, not MY name, but my name as it might become. If you have been reading up to this point, you are aware that I pride myself on my independence. Part of that independence came with my name. I was not one of four girls in my twenty-four-person second grade class named Jennifer. I am not one of the many Sarahs with whom I graduated. I have been and still am the only Helen in each of my social circles. I am named for my mom, so at our house, I am "Helen A" or "Little Helen" for the sake of differentiation, but mine is not a common name. My last name, too, is perfect for me.  I am not a Smith or Jones, certainly, but I have a last name that everyone can pronounce and spell correctly, and that suits me just fine. I recognize that my given name will not change, but my last name is part of my name, part of who I am. Some of my friends use my first and last name together--something like a nickname. The idea of becoming someone else freaks me out. A lot.

I know, you will argue that I don't BECOME someone else by virtue of having a different name, but I think that names speak volumes about personality. Our name is the first thing someone knows about us. Before you are asked to a job interview, a potential employer looks over your resume, which has your name in bold print right at the top. If you join a book group, the first thing you do is put your name on the list a the front of the room. Your name identifies you. Changing it is a big deal. A massive deal. I would argue that the name question is the biggest decision that has to be made between now and the day I get hitched.

I thought I had made a decision. If I change my name to his, I loose part of myself, my initals become HAG, and my name sounds like a shrivelled old lady name. If I keep my maiden name alone, I would feel like I didn't enter into this thing for real. But, if I tack on my future husband's family name with a hyphen, then badabing, I have honored him, and kept myself intact. Being a creature of immediate gratification, I was satisfied, and didn't think about it further until I went to mark a new book.

I have a monogram that I use on all my personal property: Books and CDs, dishware that gets loaned out, even all my hand tools are monogrammed with my special little mark. It probably seems trivial, but I love that little mark. When I discovered it in high school, it delighted me, and I wrote it and reworked it til I had it just right.

When I realized that my simple little monogram would have to change if I add to my name, I called my sister, who is an excellent artist, and really good at visual puzzles. I asked her to try to find a way to incorporate the "G" that would be my new initial into the monogram in a way that didn't mess with its simplicity. This led to a conversation about the impression given by a hyphenated name.

I hadn't thought of the initial impression given by a hyphenated name, partly because I have a niece and nephew whose names have been hyphenated from birth, and partly because I don't know many women who chose to hyphenate. I know several women who kept their maiden names, many who took their husbands' names, and even one who reverted back to her maiden name after her second marriage (which seemed to me to be a really cool work-around). I can't remember having been presented with a hyphenated name before meeting the person to whom it is attached.

However, when my sister and I began to discuss it, she told me that the minute she sees a hyphenated name on a woman's paperwork, she assumes that woman is a bitch who was unwilling to immerse herself completely in her marriage. I tried to argue, but if that's the impression she gets, then that's the impression she gets, and surely she's not the only one who thinks that. So, I called another sister to get an opposing view. I just asked "What do you think when you see a married woman's hyphenated name?" Her first impression is "that woman is a feminist" (it shifted to femi-nazi later in the conversation). This was NOT the way I had hoped the conversation would go. We talked about it further, and she admitted that her impression of other women's hyphenated names is part of the reason that she didn't hyphenate hers. She also has a friend who initially opted to hyphenate, but for the sake of simplicity, has since dropped her maiden name entirely. CRAP. Of course I turned to other friends to ask, each with his or her own opinions about name changes. And I read articles on wedding websites and blogs; some of which added the entirely new choice of changing both our names entirely to something that doesn't belong to either of us. HA! All this did was get me even more fired up.

I would like to state here that I am not a feminist. I am a confident, selfish woman, who wants everything to be the way I want it. The more I read, and the more I talked, the more irritated I got that I have to be the one to make this choice while my husband-to-be just gets to stay who he is, and noone questions why HE didn't decide to change his identity, why HE isn't having babies, why isn't HE wearing white, why HE isn't ordering flowers, why HE... I digress, but you catch my drift. I feel like Favourite Person has virtually no decisions put on him, while I have the motherload. I'm the one who didn't care to get married in the first place, remember?

It all comes to this: I know the choice of name is a decision only I can make. I know that everyone is going to have an opinion one way or another, and that I have to take into account or disregard those opinions as I see fit. I don't know what I'm going to do. I have a year to decide, and it will probably take all of that year, and I'm sure that whatever I decide it will be the right choice for me. I hope.

...but names will never hurt me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Note on Perspective

I have been engaged to be married for exactly one month today. I have been alternately stressed and excited about the prospects of all the things that need to be accomplished over the next fifteen months. I have been deliberating over things like what color paper to use for invitations, whether I really need to buy a specific "wedding planner," whether flowers are really necessary to having a wedding, what is the exact protocol for a rehearsal dinner, and is it really necessary? And on and on the list goes. And while each of these things matters in its own insignificant way, ultimately, none of these things matters much after the wedding day is over.

I will continue to plan, and, no doubt, stress over these details. It's in my nature to fret over details. But occasionally the Universe has a way of dropping reminders to concentrate on the things that are really important: family, friends, home, health, and way of life; being happy with the things that are, and not borrowing trouble from things that may or may not be. I hope that I am able to remember this lesson when next I am confronted with the simple choices of table settings and caterers. Otherwise, I'm afraid the universe will drop more reminders, and, honestly, a tablecloth is just not worth that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One down. Ninety-nine to go.

My apologies for the mental vomit that occurred in yesterday's post. I had too many things in the caucus race going on in my brain, and if I didn't purge, I was going to lose it. (Apologies, again, for the mixed metaphor). Since those of you who are following this blog seem interested in the thought process, I thought I'd enlighten you. Surprisingly, that haphazard list actually seems to have helped. I am much more calm today than I was at this time yesterday.

At lunch (the time when I seem to always ambush him with wedding stuff), FP and I had a brief, but enlightening conversation about some of the issues of rentals, and how blasted expensive everything is! Those of you who might not know: it can cost $3 and more to rent a single chair for a single day. That seems preposterous to me. So I went back to an idea I had right at the very beginning of this adventure: to spend the next year collecting mismatched chairs and tables from anywhere I can find them for really, really cheap.

And, as seems to happen, once a decision has been made, it is either validated, or invalidated almost immediately. While on our way from school today, the boys and I spotted a perfectly servicable dining room chair sitting on the curb. Never one to take what doesn't belong to me, I went about some errand and returned. That chair was still waiting for me, now buried under some other stuff that was clearly set out for garbage. I unburied it, flipped it into my car, and have now officially begun the collection. This particular chair has a screw sticking out the bottom, and paint splotches of several colors on the back and the seat, but a little sandpaper, a can of spray paint, and an hour of time, and I've got a lovely chair that matches absolutely nothing. It's perfect.

One down, ninety-nine to go.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pinwheels, Rainbows, and Rings

Pinwheels, Flowers, Flagstones, Concrete, Steps, Kennels, Grey chiffon, Rainbows, Colorful spines, Shirtsleeves, Extreme Bocce, Pizza, Blue Hat, Flat shoes, Poker, Cheese tray, Lemonade, Rain delay, Parking, Chipotle, Beer, Wine, Booze, Dog poo, Picnics, Veggies, Chickens, Kitchen, Toilets, Paint, Shelves, Freezer, Pepsi, Bilbo Baggins, Rings, Tents, Favors, Bowing out, Music, Elves, Umbrellas, Tableclothes, Chairs, Fonts, Stamps, Sanding, Citronella, Chiggers, Mosquitos, Parents, Hotels, Honeymoon, Passports, Bonfire, S'mores, Hot dogs, Printers, Steps, Dancing, String bands, Mad-libs, Scrabble, Dishes, Officiant, Stain, Friends, Candy, Jam, Ring Bears, Programs, Flower girls, Help, Money, Marriage, Love, Life, Lists.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Being in Love with Love

Only... I'm not. In love with love, that is. Love is infuriating, and maddening, and totally insane. It makes one do things that in any other situation one would avoid. It causes a total breakdown of "life as we know it." It robs one of independence. It takes no interest in things like reason and logic. Like any good adversary, love is sneaky. It finds the weakest points in any fiercely independent woman's armor, and sits, waiting for the right time to strike. And when it does, it catches her completely off guard. Suddenly, she is standing in the shower, or having a slice of 'za, or falling asleep, and those words just fall out of her mouth before she can stop them, and there it is -- Love -- sitting there, all mushy and awkward, putting a puddle of sentimentality between this formerly solitary individual and the rest of the world. Dammit.

Those words come out, and, since they are now out in the universe, must be assessed. Enter the miles and months-long questionaire: Is this guy fun to be around? Does he get along with my family? How about my friends? Do we get along when we are alone? Does he make me want to rip out my hair? Does he make me want to rip off his clothes? Is he willing to watch the kind of movies I like, or at least leave me alone long enough to watch them? Do I like him? ...and on it goes. Of, course, it would be better to have done all of this assessment BEFORE those fateful words slipped out, but sometimes, since love is a sneaky little bastard, we haven't got around to it yet. Usually, no matter how one loves another, there is a fatal flaw; Perhaps the wrong answer to one of the questions listed above, or sometimes just a dawning realization that this is not the guy with whom you want to spend forever. Then comes the inevitable break-up, and sometimes the break-down that tags along.

Love is much like the lottery: it's a tax on people who can't do math. A vast majority of the time, the person with whom one falls in love is the wrong person, it's the wrong time, or there is some other insuperable barrier to the relationship working. But, very, very occasionally, the person with whom one falls in love is the right person, in the right time, and with just the right circumstances.

Being a creature of reason, it floors me to realize that I may have beaten the statistical odds and actually found "Mr. Right."
I have been with  "Mr. Appropriate," "Mr. Super-duper,"and "Mr. If-only-it-were-another-time," each of whom is wonderful in his own right, and some of whom are still dear friends to me. But, to have found the person who compliments me right now, in all ways, is astounding. It makes love--the ultimate impracticality--practical, logical, and perfectly reasonable. Woo-hoo! Go me!

................. I guess that's why I'm getting married .................

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The time has come...

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Nearly every day since Favourite Person popped the question, I have had this bit of poetry run through my mind. There are so many things that must be considered, discussed, and decided. I am a person who is generally capable of juggling tasks, and keeping things organized when necessary, and yet, I am daunted by the idea of throwing a wedding. I have attempted to think of it as just an overgrown party, but what party requires two fully prepared venues within a couple hours? So, then I pull out my stage manager hat, and attempt to view it as a giant theatrical production. But the stage manager gets to farm out most of the visual decision-making, and just get down to the making it happen, and a bride seems not to get that luxury. So, I have decided just to put on my big-girl panties and dig in, intimidation be damned.

FP thinks that because I never thought I'd get married, and so didn't have a "dream wedding" in mind, that it should be relatively simple to put an event together. I argue that because I haven't had a "dream wedding" in mind, I am starting from scratch, and that takes much more effort. Perhaps it is a boy-girl perception issue. I think that FP hears "I didn't have planned" as "I don't really care" which, of course, couldn't be farther from the truth. Since we are getting married, and elopement is off the table, I now plan to have a delightful, fun, and beautiful day to show off to my nearest and dearest. I just have to figure out how to make that happen.

Contrary to what seems like the norm, I am trying to incorporate as many of Favourite Person's ideas as possible. It is his day at least as much as mine, and maybe more, since he's been thinking about it longer. Because I don't have a picture already set in my head, when he throws out an idea, however unusual or crazy it may seem, it fills in some of the gaps. The image that is shaping up is turning out to be equal parts him and me, and since a wedding is supposed to be a ceremony of joining two people into one life, that seems appropriate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Unanticipated Bride

I never thought I'd get married. There, I said it. I never thought I'd get married. Not because I thought no one would want me, my self esteem is nowhere near that low, but rather, because I really don't understand marriage as a concept. My parents are happily married, and my grandparents were, as far as I know, happily married. All my sisters and my brother have been married at least once, most of my friends are married, but as an idea, I just don't get it.

It's like electricity. I can diagram how the circuit is completed, I can install a light fixture, I can even explain it to someone who doesn't understand it, but every time I flip a switch, it's still like magic. I understand it, but I just don't get it. Marriage is like that. I can explain what it is, but not why, not how, not the reason behind it. Like electricity, marriage is a beautiful thing when it works, and causes fiery destruction when it does not. Unlike electricity, though, I haven't figured out the practicality of getting hitched.

Practicality. Reason. Logic. None of these words applies to tying the knot. Sure, I suppose for some people it's a way to get a tax break, or a green card, or some health insurance. Generally, these are not the explanations people give, but these are reasons I understand. These are paper and pencil, pro and con list-able reasons. I get that. Getting married because one is in love I don't get. Can't one be in love without the ring and the vow? Sure. Of course. I am. Deeply, desperately, beautifully in love. And I am cool with that. I am devoted. I am committed. Being in it is logical, reasonable, and practical, all without the ring and the vow.

I never thought I'd get married. I don't understand marriage as a concept. I am already wonderfully happy in the relationship I have. But when my Favourite Person in the whole wide world said that he wanted to marry me,  I didn't think about it. I didn't reason it out, I made no pro-con lists. I said "Alright." Now I have to go about the task of figuring out what it means to be married, how to get through the actual wedding part, and what happens after that.

I am the unanticipated bride.

Here we go...