emotional

An open letter to my best friend on her wedding week

Posted on April 18, 2010. Filed under: emotional |

Hi, Sweets —

With five days to go until your big day, I wanted to take a moment to share my love, give you whatever advice I can think of, and tell you what it’s like from this side of the aisle, so to speak.

First, let’s talk about this “big day” thing.  Your wedding day is all at once a Very Big Day and Just The Beginning – we know this.  Despite my, ahem, previous experience, I found that my wedding day was both much more and much less than I expected: I was much, much, MUCH more overwhelmed by the love of my people and much less stressed or panicked or freaked about the stuff.  Sure, I had to take a few moments to gather myself, but that’s just me.  Our wedding day was wonderful, but looking back from my almost-anniversary, I can say with complete honesty: it was just the beginning.

The next year will be one of the most exhilarating and frustrating of your life, rife with questioning, cursing, and thanking the universe for this choice you made.  In a year, you’ll look back and see your wedding day as a fantastic bon voyage, and that’s the way it should be.

You know I love you.  You know I’ve found in you a soul-mate (and yes, I’m using that silly word because it’s appropriate here in a way I never thought it appropriate to describe my relationship with my husband).  We’re so different, you and I, yet so deeply connected that it doesn’t matter that we have very little history in common.  We don’t need it.  I value your feedback over almost anyone else’s, a shocking revelation when you consider I’ve known everyone else whom I trust for most of my life, and you only three years.

But this isn’t supposed to be about me.  It’s about you (and I could not love you anymore than I do, but this face makes me reconsider the idea – I love this face).

So I’ll say the thing I always say when I have to describe how much you mean to me: until I met you, I didn’t realize the power and necessity of female friendship.  You have a way of making people feel safe and understood; the ability to be honest and upfront yet supportive; a willingness to lay it all out – to anyone on anything – that continues to inspire those of us lucky enough to be your friend.  You inspire me just by being yourself.  I love you.

And I love you who you are with him.  I love the way you fit — even in maddening ways that drive each of you nuts.  I love that you balance his freneticness while he gives you focus.  I love that you each push each other to be committed, to grow, to be just a little bit more yourselves but in the context of a partnership.  He makes you laugh; you make him settled.  Through the craziness of your relationship, I have never really doubted that you would end up together, and I’m so glad my intuition played out.

Of course, given how similar your husband and I are, it’s a bit self-serving to tell you you’re perfect together. (But I will!)

My advice for this week: feel every moment, wonderful or otherwise.  When someone says something that makes you want to throw something, think, “This is my life!”  When you’re surprised or overwhelmed or so happy you can’t smile any wider, think, “This is my life.”  When you take that man’s hand and declare your loyalty and commitment in front of your people, think, “THIS IS MY LIFE.”

It’s strange to be on this side of the whole getting married thing.  A year ago I was frantic with stress over all the little things I didn’t do.  You calmed me down and helped me get through.  Our wedding day was fantastic because my #1 coping mechanism was to send people to you, in fact.  I knew without a doubt that you would take care of me.  So this time, when it’s your wedding day, remember to lean on your people.  Remember that we all want to help because you’ve helped all of us, at some point, some time.  Let us take care of you, if only for a day, mkay? {And congrats on creating a shindig that is so you two, it’s awesome!}

Enjoy yourself, laugh, and take every moment for what they create: the beginning of this next part of your life.

My wish for you is this: may you find – in him and your marriage – the calm you’ve been seeking without the boundaries you’ve feared.  May you never take for granted the fantasticness of new beginnings or wonderfulness of old understandings.  May you find in each other the reason to be better at being yourselves.  And may you love each other — even when you don’t like each other.

With all my love,

Me

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I should be doing something productive right now

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

That’s how I feel all the time.  With just over 10 days to go, the proverbial shit is hitting the fan.  Our house is trashed, owing to trying to get things done without stopping to breathe.  Paint this, clean that, run to Hell Depot for the nineteenth time.

But it’s okay.  Really.  It’ll all turn out okay.  I’m sitting on a chair under a tree blogging working in a slight breeze and brilliant sunshine on the green, green lawn.  Even the dogs are cooperating, having taken a break from wrestling to lay in the sun.  I’m taking nice deep breaths and starting to believe that it’ll all be just fine.

Last night, though, was a rough one.  I was bone tired.  Instead of taking a 30 minute nap like a smart girl should, I dragged myself around with a coffee cup in hand, going and going and going until I realized I was on the verge of tears for no good reason.  And then suddenly I was on the verge no more, tears streaming down my face and “I just wanna give uuuuuppppp” in my head.  This whole wedding thing can do that to the laziest most balanced of souls.

Take my advice: suggest to your man that when you hit this Suddenly I’m Crying For No Good Reason stage, telling you that Nothing Is That Important Or Worth All of This is not the way to go.  While he’ll mean well, it just feels like Nobody Cares But Me And It’s Supposed To Be OUR Wedding And I’m The Only One Doing Anything (this might be true if “doing anything” = “freaking out”).  Suggest instead that they take your hand, tell you they’ll marry you even if ___ isn’t finished, and ask for your to-do list.  Much more effective.  Mr. Cheese tried the former and then (thankfully for everyone) opted for the latter.
Thank goodness men (most men? some men? or maybe just my man?) don’t take these things personally.

In fact, if you’re more than two weeks from your wedding — and especially if you have months to go — take a moment to think about what someone else can do to calm you down and reassure you when you’re overtired, overstimulated and overcommitted.  Right now, make that list, then send it to your fiance and your best friend.  Tell them to open the attachment (or read the email or whatever) and file the information away for later use, just in case you find yourself with a paint brush in hand and tears running down your face while proclaiming the necessity of some cool but unnecessary DIY project.  You’ll all thank me later.

Now I’d better run.  My conference call is over so I have no excuse to sit in front of my laptop and blog.

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Woo, hoo!

Posted on May 11, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

I’ll be honest, I’m beat, needing a weekend to recover from the weekend, so this post might be a bit lacking in style.  However, I have decided to post as often as possible in the few weeks leading up to our wedding, be those posts good or bad, up or down, exhausted or giddy.

Here’s why: lately I feel everything more than usual.  I go from excited and enthusiastic to exhausted and emotional in the blink of an eye.  I alternate between looking forward to the party to that butterfly thing that makes my hands tremble slightly.  And I’m betting that every bride feels this way with two weeks left to go.  Heck, I’m betting that any woman hosting 50 of her closest peeps feels this way.

And yet, we sometimes act as if the only acceptable non-Bridezilla emotions are calm zen and excited joy.  I have high hopes for overwhelming happiness on our wedding day but realistic expectations of everything else between now and then. I feel less alone when I know I’m not alone, but bridal blogs are often lacking in emotional detail in the days leading up to the big day because brides are getting stuff done.  So I will blog about them all, and I’ll limit editing.  Or so I tell myself.

We had a crazy-busy weekend packed with painting (what else?), hanging with the FIL’s, bench-building, and other stuff I can’t remember right now.  What I do remember was a beautiful moment between my guy and I: driving back from his parents’ house, he said, “You know, I really feel married now.  I didn’t before, but lately I do.”

“Does that freak you out?” I asked.

“No, it just feels normal,” he replied.

That, folks, is the point of our engagement.  Because lately, I feel married too.  Woo hoo!

I went on a research extravaganza when we were first engaged, trying to get a handle on how long an engagement should be (yea, yea, go ahead and laugh, I’m a dork), and one of the gems of wisdom I found was that you shouldn’t be married until you felt married.  Yea, yea, and you get what you want when you don’t want it zen bullsh*t, blah, blah, I thought.

Nine months later, I get it.  All of this wedding planning hasn’t really been about planning a wedding, it’s been a ritual teaching us to be a team, make decisions jointly, spend money together, be a family. Oh, the skills I’ve gained, the things I’ve learned — that’s a post for another day.

“I’m glad you’re my team,” he remarked, relieved at my dog-wrangling skills.  “Thank goodness I have him,” I thought, thrilled to not have to knock on neighbor’s doors myself.

I’m suddenly caring less about our lack of color coordination and the prospect of rain.  How are you feeling at this point in your engagement?

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Nervous? Hell yes. But nervous isn’t panic.

Posted on May 7, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

I am officially nervous.  Completely nervous.  Nervous to the tips of my fingers nervous.  Fluttering freaking butterflies have moved into my tummy nervous.  Can’t believe it’s happening but afraid to get any closer nervous. I feel like I’ve had three cups of coffee — all the time.  When I think about OUR WEDDING (ohmygodohmygodohshit), my heart races and my hands feel weak and my stomach churns.

I talked to J for a long time last night about being nervous and it helped (can you hear the angels singing?  This is a big deal). I wasn’t nervous the first time I got married.  People would ask and I kind of didn’t get it.  Why would I be nervous? I already lived with him.  I loved him.  He loved me.  What was there to be nervous about?

At 21, I didn’t have much to give up in exchange for a lifelong partner.  At 29, I do.  I have lived alone and done pretty well.  I can build shit if I have to; I can deal with life alone; I can move furniture out of an apartment and into a moving van all by myself.  I suppose you can say that I’ve earned the right to be nervous about giving up some autonomy.  The point, at least, is that my lack of nervousness the first time wasn’t about age, it was about understanding my choice.

So many event details, walls to paint, rooms to clean, linens to purchase.  So many things still undone because that’s how we roll.  I have very little hope that we won’t be up until four in the morning trying to paint the bathroom and clean the darned kitchen at some point.  I know it.  We’ll get through it.

For the first time since our first six months together, we’re laughing and playing around.  Things are really, really good – often enough that the not-so-good are okay.  I can do this.  This life is really, really good.  Really.  We live on this blessed property surrounded by the greenest greenery and beautiful trees.  We have plenty of room for everything we might want to do now and in the future.  I mean really, how great is that?  When we have kids, the grandparents can come stay and have their own apartment.  We have multiple offices and living areas.  I can think of like nine places I’d like to sit and read a book… and the woods are a little kid’s dream.

I love J.  He’s really amazing.  He tries hard and works hard and really cares about making us happy.  He’s responsible and grown-up… and super duper silly and fun, too.  I love him.  And even when I want to yell in frustration, I know that he’s the perfect match for me, and I for him.

But I’m very, very nervous.  I hope that this fluttery feeling stays, and that I rise to the occasion with grace and craziness — the good kind.  I think I can.  I’m looking forward to our wedding.  Well, I’m seeing that I will soon look forward to it. :) In the meantime, there’s painting to do.

Are you nervous?

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You make me so/ Very happy/ I’m so glad you/

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: emotional |

… came into my life (recognize the song?)

Dear Mr. Cheese –

I can’t count the number of times that you’ve said to me, “I just want to make you happy,” or asked me, “Does it make you happy?” You’re a very sweet man.

And me, I’m often hard to understand and I know this.  So, while this list may seem rather arrogant at first blush, it’s intended to be helpful and give you some insight into how I work.  Think of it as insider information.

I love you,
Your Cheesy chick

Twenty things you can do that make me happy

  1. Write me a note.  I love it when you write me a note.  I can keep it, reread it, and when I’m feeling lonely or unloved, prove myself wrong.
  2. Give me a hug.  I love your hugs.  When you hug me, I feel warm and safe and protected, and your body fits with mine just perfectly.
  3. Tell me your opinion. I like to hear the thoughts in your head.  Bonus points for offering opinions on things that matter more to me than to you (ya know, not cars or engines or ponds).
  4. Share your plan.  I always want to know what the plan is, and I love, love, love to be able to sit back and follow your lead… which I really am capable of doing if you tell me what’s next.
  5. Smile at me.  When you’re being mischievous or silly, you smile a certain way, and I can’t help but smile with you.
  6. Sing and dance.  You know what I’m talking about.
  7. Be enthusiastic.  One of my favorite memories involves you bringing the vehicle to a full stop to get out and give me a kiss because I offered my opinion.  Respond to something I say or suggest with enthusiasm, and I’m in heaven.
  8. Give me a smoochie.  And look at me while you do it!
  9. Ask me for a smoochie.
  10. Hold my hand.  Bonus points for reaching for it while we’re walking.
  11. Rest your hand on my back when we’re standing still for some reason.  Bonus points for rubbing.
  12. Touch my face… but not my mouth.  Sorry, but your fingers on my mouth will always make me flinch, but I love it when you rub my face.
  13. Look into my eyes.  And don’t make fun of me or be silly.  Just move on.
  14. Tell me you love me out of the blue.  *swoon*
  15. Dance with me.  I remember the first time we slow danced… in the shower!
  16. Get mushy with a cat.  I love that you love my cats.
  17. Hug a dog.  I’m a sucker for a man who climbs into the crate just to hug a dog!
  18. Write me a note.  Oh, did I mention that already?  I love notes.
  19. Say “we” to other people.  Yes, I know you do this, but you should know that I love it every time.
  20. Ask for my opinion.  Then respond with yours.  Then listen to my response… all without getting annoyed.  I like discussion.
  21. Bonus: Talk about the future… with me in it, or better yet, say “we” while you do it.  I first realized I was in love with you when you talked about an island and I could see myself there with you.
  22. Bonus 2: When I’m angry or sad and hurt or disappointed, rub my hair and give me a hug and ask me to tell you all about it.  Talking helps.
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Ceremony bookmarks

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: emotional, inspiration | Tags: |

With less than three months to go until we get married, I’ve decided it’s time to start working on the part of the whole thing that I look forward to the most: the ceremony.

I was a bit uncomfortable about writing it; if I know every word, every passage, every sentiment, will I feel as engaged (no pun intended) during our ceremony?

But after much web surfing and some shower time (don’t you do your best thinking in the shower?), I’m very excited.  I figure it’s much like live music: I may know every word and every note, but there’s just something special about hearing a song sung live.

So, as I get started (Wheeee! I’m excited!), I thought I’d share all of my ceremony links from Weddingbee.  You can recreate my search by reading through every post tagged “ceremony” — or you can just use the list below.

Mrs. Ant’s “The Purpose of Marriage”

Mrs. Emerald’s first draft of vows

Mrs. Tomato’s Love and Joy quotes

Mrs. Corn’s unusual and very touching reading

Mrs. Penguin’s ceremony script

Mrs. Lovebug’s group blessing (Have I mentioned my crush on Mrs. Lovebug?)

Mrs. Cookie’s readings

And a couple of posts by yours truly with quotes that I love

I can’t leave out the fabulous DIY Bride’s very comprehensive ceremony download section, even though it’s not from WB (and I’m working from a theme here, people).  You have to register to download files, but it’s really worth it.

I may have missed a few, so as I continue in this (exciting!) process, I’ll update you.  Also, while we’re on the subject of marriage, have you seen the Simple Marriage blog?  Happy reading.

What inspiration sources are you using to craft your ceremony?  Have I mentioned how excited I am?

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Book Recommendation: Emotionally Engaged by Allison Moir-Smith

Posted on December 12, 2008. Filed under: emotional | Tags: |

source

I’ve promised this book recommendation to a handful of readers who mentioned being disappointed with their engagement experience so far or surprised that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I’ve been there, too, let me tell ya, and this book helped get me back from the brink of meltdown.

Mr. Cheese and I had a very rough couple of months after we got engaged and I found this book on a desperate trip to the Barnes & Noble self-help aisles. I swear, angels sang and the sun began to shine as I started reading, because it’s not just platitudes. She clearly explains WHY you might be feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and offers exercises at the end of each chapter to help guide you through the rite of passage that is engagement.

The author is a psychotherapist who was taken aback by her feelings during her engagement. With her expertise and experience, she knew that the only way to start her marriage with a clean and happy slate was to deal with the emotions that came up, leading to a book to help guide other brides through an often stressful process.

The biggest takeaway for me was that OF COURSE I was feeling different now that we were engaged. OF COURSE I was not as easygoing as before.  I was now viewing our relationship through the lens of forever.  Suddenly, his “cute” inability to discipline the dog wasn’t so cute.  “You mean I have to deal with this for decades?  And what does it mean for us when we have kids? Argh!”

The book also helped clarify for me the point of an engagement.  I’ve blogged about it before, but I didn’t really understand that the engagement period is a rite of passage guiding you from single life into coupledom.  Viewed from that perspective, everything on my to-do list took on new meaning, and suddenly it was all very exciting.

So, if you’re newly engaged and feeling a little lost — emotionally or otherwise — or if you’ve been engaged and it’s not feeling like you thought it would, buy the book. And if you find a good deal, let me know.  I can’t seem to find mine, and I’ve been looking for it for weeks!  Once I replace it, I’ll do a more in-depth review.

Unless anyone objects, I’ll be posting more book reviews over the course of my Weddingbee blogging, covering topics relevant to couples, from finance to relationships to (of course) weddings.  I’ve bought a whole shelf-ful (hi, I’m a nerd), some of which were more worth the bucks than others.

Do you have any recommendations for me or other brides?  Have you read this one?  How do you feel about book reviews?

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Closing the lid… gently

Posted on December 4, 2008. Filed under: emotional | Tags: |

source

I’ve been trying to write a post about “stuff” for a while but I haven’t managed to get it finished. What do you do with the artifacts from your previous relationships as you start a new family in marriage?  I have wedding pictures from my first wedding, mementos from vacations taken with my ex-husband, photos of people that aren’t in my life anymore, not to mention the saucepans that were a wedding gift (the last wedding gift that I still have).  I don’t want to keep them, but I can’t manage to get rid of them.

I realized today that it’s a metaphor for a bigger issue, so as hard and painful as writing this will be, it’s important enough that I will find a way.

My fiance found me in a closet last night, rifling through a stack of photographs I found while on a hunt for Velcro to finish a sewing project (more on that later).  “Look, honey, here’s a picture of me with long hair!”  We laughed and moved into the dining room to continue the fun.  I narrated each picture as I handed it over, carefully skipping pictures of my ex-husband or my first wedding.  I showed him pictures of my first dog, of cats that I’ve loved, of my college roommate before we stopped speaking, of my ex-nephew.  We had a great time.  He was mesmerized by a picture of me in my college cheerleading uniform (men!); I was happy to remember funny stories.

Then suddenly, I was crying.  Those cats and that dog? I loved them, promised them a home with me forever, and yet, they’re not here with me now.  My college roommate and I stopped speaking over a disagreement involving a dry cleaning bill.  Seriously.  That nephew?  I loved him more than I knew I could love anyone.  He was my favorite kid and I was his “person,” the adult he could count on to back him up when being a kid got overwhelming.  I lost him in the divorce, out of deference to his family and my unwillingness to make him feel like he had to choose between us.  The ex-husband?  I promised my life, my heart, and my love to him.  He was a good guy who made a great husband, and I was a terrible wife.  Blame it on immaturity, selfishness, and mostly ignorance* (I do), but I couldn’t live up, and I broke my promises.  And my grandparents, so happy and young and alive, posing and dancing at our wedding.  I’ve lost all three of the grandparents I’d ever known in the years since my ex and I separated.

I have been given an amazing opportunity for a re-do.  I’m thankful every day for this life I get to live, the one with another good man who loves me and will be a great husband, with friends that stick with me and love me even when I screw up, with cats and a puppy who will be part of my family as long as they live.  Growing up has been very hard.  I’ve left a path of mistakes and regrets and failed relationships in my wake, and for that reason, I’m determined to live up to the promises I’ve made to the people (and animals) with whom I share my life today.  I don’t know of any other way to honor my mistakes than to prove that I have learned my lessons.  I will be a wonderful wife, will love and provide for my family, will get past petty disagreements and selfishness with friends… but it’s very sad that the people benefitting from this grown up me aren’t the ones that got me here.

I keep looking for a way to find some peace with my past, and in the end, it all seems to be tied up in my stuff.  So, I’m going to refill my coffee, put on my beloved’s sweatshirt, and go through my boxes one last time (and because I’ve learned my lessons well, I’m going to ask for help from a good friend who loves me).  Stuff that tells the story of my people**, is part of my public history*** or is just plain fun gets to be displayed in an album or on a shelf.  Stuff that is my story, my past, my own personal trove of life lessons… that stuff will go in a box, with a lid gently closed with a little prayer of thanks.  When I need a reminder that vows matter, that family comes first, that pride and selfishness and personal comfort should not, can not, will not come before love and loyalty and commitment in my life, I’ll take out the box and I’ll remember.

Some stuff you can’t get rid of because it’s a metaphor for your growth and maturity, and you can’t move on without being willing to remember how you got here.  So, you keep the stuff — not because you want to go back, but because you need to go forward.

What did you do with your “stuff”?

*I use the word “ignorance” carefully because it’s often misused.  “The lack of knowledge or education” is very appropriate here.  For various reasons, I just didn’t know what being married meant in day-to-day terms.  I didn’t know what “marriage takes work” MEANT. I know now that it means holding my tongue when I’d rather let loose, supporting my guy when I disagree, choosing my battles, and being confident and independent enough not to be hurt right away. It’s giving him the benefit of the doubt and doing the uncomfortable thing because it’s best for us (not just me). It’s sucking it up and going to couples counseling. It’s being willing to change to make our lives better. Being in a good relationship is a skill as much as it is an intent, and I lacked those skills the first time around. I’d always heard, “marriage is work” but I had no idea what that actually meant.

**I use the phrase “my people” often, adapted from Ruth 1:16 (“…and your people will be my people…”), one of my favorite descriptions of a marriage.

***I have a public history and a private one.  The public history is the narrative I share with most people – grew up in New Mexico, came to Knoxville via New York City and Chicago, am a lover of puppies and cats.  The private history includes the details that I hold closer – I was divorced, my ex-husband was a chef, I once dated a coworker and it was a huge mistake.  It’s not that I’m not willing to acknowledge my past, only that sharing too much can be awkward for other people.  Displaying photos or mementos that would be tough to explain without an ommision or fib is a no-no (I don’t lie, and I can’t stand awkwardness).

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Patience is a virtue?

Posted on November 16, 2008. Filed under: emotional, please |

Okay, lovely ladies of the hive, it’s time for another one of the posts where you share your expertise and knowledge, and I bow at your feet for helping me understand.  Fun, right? {Again, I’ll remind you how fabulous and helpful you were when I asked for advice on bras, and dresses, and hair, and gardens… you can’t abandon me now!!}

You know my history with my future hubby, the mess I tend to make of things, and the problems we struggle with.  In looking back, though, I’m always amazed at how patient he’s been as I’ve made peace with my past and figured out this commitment thing.  My brain was at war with my heart; my instincts for self-protection were battling it out with my desire to be settled and trusting. When I was melting down about the pressure of signing a mortgage, he trusted that it wasn’t about him at all, it was about me (who wants to hear, “It’s not you, it’s me”).  I’m in awe of and incredibly grateful that he gave me the time and space to get to this point.

I wonder, though, how much would have been too much?  We all know women who are patient, loving, and supportive with a man who can’t make a commitment.  I suppose that I’m lucky enough to be the messy one in our relationship, in that respect.

Have you been there?  Were you in Mr. Cheese’s position, patiently waiting out the growing pains of a skittish commitment-shy person that loved you?  How did you get through it?  How did you not feel that you were waiting in vain?  How did you know that they’d come through, in the end?

If the situation had been reversed, and Mr. Cheese had been struggling with the enormity of the commitment to marriage, what advice would you have given me?

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Division of Labor

Posted on November 10, 2008. Filed under: emotional |

mandjgraphic

In our relationship, I’m the planner and Mr. Cheese is the doer.  I have hundreds (thousands?) of web and magazine clippings of furniture, colors, and ideas that we might use as we get our house ready.  He has a to-do list a mile long.  I often start conversations with, “Honey, come look at this picture of a {insert virtually anything here} that I love!”  He starts them with, “Babe, I’m about to rip out the bathroom floor.  What do you think?”

I had this idea that wedding planning would be a collaborative process where we’d lay in bed on Sunday mornings with our cup of coffee (yes, we share one cup *pukealittlebitinyourmouthatthesweetness* but we are the Cheese’s after all) dreaming of the day and brainstorming ideas together.  “What if we just had our fave Mexican food catered?  You know, casual and like a normal party except with our favorite foods and we’d be all dressed up?”  “Oh, yea, and then we could have Chick-Fil-A on the side!  Or an ice cream bar!” “Oooh, exactly!  Here, let me show you a picture….”

In real life, I do have those conversations (with myself), then later trip over my tongue when I try to summarize them for him, at which point he replies with some form of, “Sure, honey, whatever you’d like” and I growl my frustration.  So much for my expectations.

On the other hand, we are collaborating, just not in the way I’d imagined.  While I dream up fabulous (and, um, crazy) ideas, he and his chainsaw are clearing our property of undergrowth and fallen trees so that we can make it to our ceremony location without broken bones.  While I’m waffling on whether or not waffle fries* will still be yummy a couple of hours after we pick them up, he’s making plans to rip out ugly bathroom fixtures and rip up three (three!) layers of stick-on linoleum tiles.  While it’s not my dream collaboration, at least we’re getting things done.  If we did it my way, we’d have a thousand ideas and not much accomplished.

But I still get grumpy that our wedding discussions are more “so what do you want me to do next” and less “that’s exactly the type of day we’d envisioned!”  I still feel like I’m making decisions alone rather than choosing them together.  I’m still annoyed that he doesn’t really care about the details as long as I’m happy.  I read wedding blogs that say things like, “we knew from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us as a couple, from the invites to the favors,” and I wonder if the writer is using the royal “we” out of politeness or if the couple really had a discussion that culminated in that statement.

I read somewhere that getting married as a rite of passage holds more significance for women than for men; a similarly significant rite of passage for men is the birth of their first child**.  I remind myself of this when I’m feeling poopy about it all.  I remind myself that he’s a different person with different interests than I am.  I remind myself that if we were more similar, nothing would ever get done.  Then I drink wine.  Guess what helps the most?!?***

I suppose I should just accept that the details will be decided by me with my trusty and delightfully opinionated girls by my side, and that my favorite guy will be there to make sure that the big stuff gets done.  I suppose that I should be content (nee, thrilled) with having my dream collaborations with you guys and my mom (seriously, will waffle fries be edible after a few hours?) and leave only the big relevant questions to my future husband and I (chocolate or coconut cake, new or old James Bond look for the men?).  I’m trying.  Really.   But I struggle to involve my “people” who live across the country and have been through this with me once, and I can’t shake the feeling that it should be he and I, not me and others, making the calls on color palettes.  {Him: “Color palettes?  Now we have to MATCH?”}

Do you agree?  Have you discovered that wedding planning was different than you expected?  Be honest — are you doing most of the researching and choosing (and maybe even some of the deciding) on your own?  Are you okay with that?

*Yes, that was intended to be cheesy.

**Maybe in this book?  I can’t find my copy under the rubble that’s accumulated from ripping apart our main bathroom, sorry.

***I’m mostly kidding.  Please don’t think I’m advocating booze-as-stress-reduction… for you, anyway.

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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