reality

The First Couple on (Their) Marriage

Posted on October 31, 2009. Filed under: inspiration, reality |

Hey, y’all!  Have you read this article in the New York Times Magazine?

The Obamas’ Marriage

If you haven’t read it, go now.  Seriously.  Right now.  It’s mind-blowingly honest and real.  Regardless of your political persuasion, we need more honesty and reality around marriages.  They talk about ups and downs, decisions and families and figuring out how to to make a marriage work with what might be the world’s toughest external factors.

Oh, where to begin to blog about how this story resonated with me? 

A smart, accomplished, ambitious woman figuring out how her husband’s life and desires fit with hers… and being honest about it:

Unlike the wife who smiles tightly and insists everything is fine, Michelle sent a clear series of distress signals not only to her husband but to everyone around her. “Barack and I, we’re doing a lot of talking,” she would say when asked how she was holding up.

A couple with an admittedly happy marriage talking honestly about how hard marriage can be:

Two months later in the Oval Office, I asked the Obamas just how severe their strains had been. “This was sort of the eye-opener to me, that marriage is hard,” the first lady said with a little laugh. “But going into it, no one ever tells you that. They just tell you, ‘Do you love him?’ ‘What’s the dress look like?’ ”

A man worried that if his wife agrees to what he wants, she won’t be happy.  When my husband and I disagree, his biggest worry is that I’m not happy (hello, of COURSE I’m not happy, we’re yelling at each other, buddy!), so this strikes a chord in me:

The first lady looked solemnly at the president. He said: “You know, I mean, I think that it was important for us to work this through. . . . There was no point where I was fearful for our marriage. There were points in time where I was fearful that Michelle just really didn’t — that she would be unhappy.”

This, THIS, this right here is why I blog about all the things that aren’t rainbows and butterflies:

“If my ups and downs, our ups and downs in our marriage can help young couples sort of realize that good marriages take work. . . .” Michelle Obama said a few minutes later in the interview. The image of a flawless relationship is “the last thing that we want to project,” she said. “It’s unfair to the institution of marriage, and it’s unfair for young people who are trying to build something, to project this perfection that doesn’t exist.”

And my favorite, the quote that out of an article filled with oh-my-God-we-ARE-normal-thank-God moments, stuck in my head and settled into my heart with a whoosh of peace:

Michelle Obama accepted that she was not going to have a conventional marriage, that her husband would be away much of the time. “That was me, wanting a certain type of model, and our lives didn’t fit that model,” she told me in an Iowa lunchroom in the summer of 2007. “I just needed the support. It didn’t have to be Barack.”

Tell me honestly (since “honest” seems to be a popular word in this post!), did you love the article as much as I did?  Why?

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Adventures in Name Changing, parte dos

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: reality |

No, I haven’t yet straightened out the DMV situation.  That’s a story for another day, hopefully when it’s actually straightened out (I just love a happy ending, ya know?).

No, this post is about how name changing affects your life in much more insidious and PITA ways: email accounts and blogs.  I posted a while back that I reserved a new Gmail account in my new name.  Seemed like the right thing to do, since my current personal email account includes my maiden name.

I HAD NO IDEA HOW MANY PLACES THAT PESKY LITTLE EMAIL ACCOUNT WAS USED.  Seriously.  Bank logins, insurance accounts, benefits websites, online magazines… and blogs.  Oh, the blogs.

See, you can’t switch the primary email address on a Google account.  Say what?  Yes, let me repeat: you cannot change the primary email address on a Google account if that email address is a Gmail address.

Editing Your Account: Username

You can’t change the email address on your account to an existing Gmail address, but we invite you to add a new Gmail address to your Google Account.

If you use Gmail with your Google Account, it’s not currently possible to change your Gmail username after you’ve registered. You can, however, create another Google Account with a different Gmail username.

If you don’t use Gmail with your Google Account, you can change your account username to another email address at any time. Your username is the full email address you used to create your account.

So, bummer.  And I have yet to figure out how to make all of my blogs and such associate with the new email address.  In the meantime, I’m going to get a drink.  We’re bringing back cocktail hour in the Cheese household, at least until this whole name-changing situation is under control.

Oh, one more warning: when you change your name at the DMV in most states, they take away your old license. So until you get your name changed at your bank and get a new check card, etc, you might run into problems when you try to use your old card.  Ugg.  Grab some cash or get a temporary ATM card, okay?

{On the bright side, saying “my husband” a thousand times while doing all of this is kinda nice.}

Has anyone out there done this whole email switch from one Gmail account to another successfully?

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Adventures in Name Changing, part I

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: reality, screw-ups |

{Tell me you loved the movie, “Adventures in Babysitting” as much as I did.  Yes, the one back in the 80’s with Elizabeth Shue.  When I moved to Chicago, I suddenly understood the whole drive-into-the-scary-city premise.  Anyhoo….}

So, armed with my newly-married force field (ya know, the one keeping away normal frustration, at least until the word “husband” doesn’t seem so mind-blowing), I headed happily off to the Social Security Administration and DMV, armload of paperwork in hand.

Sidenote 1: I keep all “important documents” in a little zippy waterproof folder.  When I need to do something official, I grab the whole zippy folder.  Didn’t make it clear I needed an original birth certificate, Miss Snooty Government Gatekeeper?  Well, here you go!  Think I don’t have a copy of my very first voter registration card?  HA!  Proved you wrong!  Yea, I’m a dork.

Sidenote 2: I didn’t head off to change my name as happily as I might have suggested.  I’m still slightly ambivalentBut I want my kids to have the same last name as my husband and I, so I’m going with the Bandaid Theory on this one (rip it off before you have time to dread it).  On the plane home from our fabulously lazy honeymoon, I asked Mr. Cheese to indulge me by outwardly and overtly acting like this was the best darned thing I could do to show my love for him.  He obliged, offering to take me out for drinks to celebrate (though we instead broke out the new blender and made our very first batch of pina coladas).

Armed with the second Twilight book, I waltzed into the Social Security Administration.  In my state, you start there, and the receipt from your transaction is a requirement at the DMV.  No problem.  45 minutes and a friendly chat with the helpful name-changer later, I had the slip of paper declaring my new identity:

Marisa MiddleName MaidenName NewLastName.

Yea.  Mouthful.  I couldn’t bear to lose my middle name this time around; I’m named after a super fantastic aunt.  Nor was I willing to drop my maiden name.  That name welcomed me back with open arms after the first time I shoved it to the middle slot, so I’m sticking with it.  So I asked if I could keep them all, and she obliged.  Score!

Off I went to the DMV, driving across town to the location staffed with the most unusually friendly people.  Seriously.  When I went to get my motorcycle endorsement, they took my picture eight times.  Eight!  I’m an eye-closer, and the woman couldn’t bear to let me go with such a bad picture on my ID.  What’s an extra 15 minutes of driving for service like that?

I filled out the paperwork, felt a small tinge of pride when I was asked to produce the correct paperwork (yea, yea, teacher’s pet even at 29), and figured I’d be done in an hour.  Then he asked if I knew my license was suspended.

Um, what?

Yea.  So, one of the unfortunate side effects of moving five times in two years is that mail doesn’t always get to you.  Important mail.  Mail that tells you that your license is suspended.  Or, to be more correct, WAS suspended almost six months ago!

Grrr.  And Argh.  And GRRRR.

I left with a picture ID and a big honking hole through my driver’s license, irrationally afraid of what my parents would say (yea, at 29).  My mom wasn’t fazed (she is my mom, after all), but my new hubby was horrified.  Then laughed and laughed.

So today I go through the whole shebang all over again, except this time I have to start at the courthouse where I’ll pay my hefty fine before heading back to the DMV.  With the third Twilight book, because I finished the second one last night.

Anyone else have, um, challenges to getting the name change thing done?

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Why I get the corner office

Posted on April 14, 2009. Filed under: reality |

I like to think of myself as our little family’s CFO (that’s Chief Financial Officer).  Giving myself a title frees me to be detailed and business-like about our finances, helps put me in the right frame of mind to update my guy, and makes me a little less grumpy about the time I spend paying bills, calling the stupid cable company because they’ve screwed up my bill yet again, and keeping track of mountains of paperwork.

And I even have an office with a view (oh, and it IS in the corner of the house!).  Now if only I was cool enough for an assistant….

Anyway, I see my role as the family CFO as extremely important.  Not only do I handle the tactical stuff (paying bills, checking balances, filing records), I help frame and recommend strategic decisions.  Do we want to take a yearly vacation?  What’s more important to us, eating out or keeping the Home Depot stock afloat?  Should we rent or sell our extra house?

Today, for example, I will update our net worth spreadsheet (which feels like a facetious title right now, but won’t always be that way!), look at our list of projects and wants to see what will fit into the budget, and then meet my guy for lunch to do a quick review.  If anything weird shows up on our statements, our balances hit a fun target (we watch our mortgage closely), or I pay something big off, I’m sure to share.

See, I’ve always done this – well, at least since early in our relationship.  But during one of our arguments, it was mentioned that one of us did everything around the house and the other did not.  I realized, he had no idea that I put a couple of hours into our family’s budget every couple of weeks because I’m on my laptop, and he assumes I’m either web surfing, blogging, or working.  It was a silent contribution, and I was getting no credit!

Showing him our current situation and future goals also helps in discussions about new projects.  Before, he’d suggest some big project (well, to me it was big; to him everything “shouldn’t be that hard”) and I’d start running numbers in my head and trying to figure out how to fund it.  Now, he’ll suggest a project, we’ll talk about a few details, and then he’ll ask me to put it on the list.  Relief!

Plus, financial experts tell us over and over that one partner should never be in the dark about the family’s finances, even if they’re not the partner dealing with it every day.  I’ve gone so far as to print a list of every account, username, password, and account number we have.  If I’m suddenly unable to deal with stuff — for whatever reason — he’ll at least have a starting point.  At his request, I deleted the electronic copy for security reasons.

Our work environments are very, very different.  Mine is very business-like while his is very, very casual.  Presenting to him — even in such a casual way — gives him a little peek into my skills, which makes me feel good, and helps him understand our situation.  In turn, that allows me to listen to his ideas without freaking out about the money.

It works.  (And no, I don’t do a Powerpoint, but I have been known to bring out my laptop.  Most of the time, I give a verbal update and then show him the documents because he likes to look at them.)

Who will be your family’s CFO?

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On apologizing

Posted on April 10, 2009. Filed under: reality |

One of my friends and her husband asked each other, “Will you forgive me?”  instead of saying, “I’m sorry.”  In looking back at the lead-in to the battles between my guy and I, I’ve notice that the escalation often begins with the first “I’m sorry.”

I’m not gonna lie, I’m the one that gets all worked up over a bad apology.  “I’m sorry that you are so upset” doesn’t cut it in my book.  Neither does, “I’m sorry but you really ticked me off when…” or “I”m sorry I have a bad temper.”  Apologizing that we’re fighting isn’t what I’m looking for, ya know?

You sweethearts will likely point me to “The Five Languages of Apology” by the author of “The Five Love Languages,” and you’ll be absolutely right that it’s a super fantastic book.  My guy, however, doesn’t learn particularly well from reading.  {I know, weird, right?}  He’s an experiential learner, which means that until he experiences something — or can find an experience in his past that relates in some way — he doesn’t really “get it.”

I have a cat that beats up dogs… well, he’ll try.  Yup, 12 pound cat will go after an 85 pound dog.  I told the mister about this a hundred times.  I told him about taking Frank (the cat) to Central Park on a harness and how he was super sweet to kids but would growl at passing dogs.  I told him that my sweet greyhound was rehomed because her soft personality couldn’t handle the psychological pressure of living with Frank.  I told him and told him and told him.

One weekend we kept my bff’s dog and a few days later Mr. Cheese remarked IN FRONT OF ME, “She told me that her cat would go after dogs, but I was completely surprised when her cat went after the dog!”  Sigh.

We had an argument a few nights ago about how we handle the other’s stressors; it’s a recurring argument.  What catapulted it into a fight, though, was his apology: “I’m sorry… but you’re making way too big a deal out of this and you should stop overreacting.”  Yes, that’s paraphrased.

And then the claws came out.

I’m a terrible apologizer too, always wanting to explain why I screwed up because that’s what I’d want to hear.  If you know why you did it, then you can come up with a way to avoid it in the future, right?  For him, not so much.  He just wants the whole thing to be over.  Poof.  Apology given, accepted, back to normal.  I, unfortunately, nurse my hurts until I’ve talked it all out.

Have you caught the problem?  He really wants to just go back to normal and I really want to analyze and understand it all.  Uh, oh.  If I do it his way, I stew and dwell and feel hopelessly lonely.  If he does it my way, the escalation never ends because he will say or do just about anything (within reason, whatever that means during a fight) to end it.

By this morning, we’re over it.  I hated every. single. second. of it, but he kept to himself most of the evening yesterday, then invited me to join him in watching the sunset.  Silently. (Shoot me, please.)  But whatever, it was a peace offering. I have a bunch of theories and solutions and suggestions, but talking through them isn’t going to work with this man, so instead, we’re going to experience the changes.

I think I’ll start by asking, “Will you forgive me?”

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The Art of War

Posted on April 9, 2009. Filed under: reality |

source

This is, by far, the most difficult relationship I’ve ever been in.  I’m okay with that.  I’ve failed at relationships because I didn’t try hard enough, so I accept that getting along with someone — especially when you have my strong personality and he’s no doormat — is sometimes going to be frustrating and exhausting.

But boy, I didn’t realize it would be this hard.  Nor did I realize that fighting well is definitely a skill, one in which I am still a struggling amateur.  After a small thing turned into a very large blow-up last night, I had time to myself — alone in bed with the company of two dogs and a cat — to think about my fighting style.

I fight defensively, like a cat.  Ooh, boy, when I’m hurt, I’m like one of my cats backed into a corner, all claws and very little strategy.  As Calvin once noted about Hobbes, the cat: “I keep forgetting, five of his six ends are pointy….”

My guy fights like our puppy: lots of advancing and retreating, time outs to lick wounds and plan the next engagement, and every so often, a play bite that breaks the skin*.

In the aftermath, I tend to feel like my way is wrong and his way is right, but the reality is that we just do it differently.    When I try to fight his way, I end up even more frustrated and upset.  His withdrawals feel like abandonment to me; his unintended nicks stay with me for a long time.  Unfortunately, he can’t come over to my side either.  My style feels too confrontational, too wordy, too overwhelming to him.

At best, I aim to be able to insert conscious thought between the hurt and the reaction (though I have yet to figure out what that thought should be, exactly) and to be more accepting of silence and withdrawal as part of the disagreement dance.  Fighting is a lot less satisfying that way, but I’m willing to compromise.  Or at least try.  🙂

You get points for effort in this relationship thing, right?

Do you and your guy have different fighting styles?  Have you reconciled them, or are you “under construction” like we are?

*Note for clarity: the puppy plays with other dogs like this, not with humans (no, no, absolutely not).  And my analogy is strictly an analogy.  Our fights aren’t physical; my point is that a comment can sometimes hurt more than was anticipated.

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DIY makeup tips…

Posted on April 1, 2009. Filed under: reality |

I’ve had a few(!) makeup trials, mostly at department store makeup counters.  Here’s some of what I’ve learned/ suggest to those of you considering DIY bridal makeup:

  • Contrary to popular opinion, I’d recommend putting on your own makeup before heading to a makeup consultation or trial. Laura may disagree, but I’ve found it helpful to be able to say, “I was thinking about doing my makeup like this.  What do you think?”  Plus, if you’re looking for one specific product, you can see how it fits in with everything else.  The woman helping me with concealer noted that I needed more eyeliner; the sweet girl helping me at Sephora pointed out that I needed more blush.
  • Wear white. Seriously.  You will look different than when wearing a color, and if you change into white from turquoise, you will discover that maybe you need more color.
  • Ask for advice. “What do you think about my eyeshadow?  Should I put it here or here?”  People are always willing to offer advice.
  • Have the consultant do one eye/ cheek/ half of your face, and ask to do the other yourself. How many times have I gotten home and loved it, then failed at recreating it myself?  Many.  It’s like homework – you don’t know what you don’t know until you try it yourself.
  • Meet a friend after to get an opinion, but don’t tell them in advance. If you get a “Whoa, you look GREAT!” you’re on the right track.  If you hear, “Hi!  What’s with the makeup?” then maybe not on the right track… or it could be that they’re used to seeing you bare-faced in sweats.
  • Don’t tell your fiance what’s going on, and gauge their reaction. When I used a peachy powder blush, my guy remarked on how pretty I looked… out of the blue.  I’ll be holding on to that blush.
  • Check the store’s return policy on cosmetics — even if you thought you knew it — each time. I am in the habit of grabbing whatever newfangled cosmetic I’m curious about at Walmart because historically you could return it if you didn’t like it.  After buying like $40 worth of random cosmetics and not liking any of them, I discovered they’d just changed their return policy.  ARGH.
  • Sephora is awesome. Liberal return policy, a plethora of options, and pretty experienced consultants — and they don’t work on commission or quota, so no need to feel bad if you decide not to purchase.

Any other tips you’d offer?

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Operation Perspective continues…

Posted on March 31, 2009. Filed under: reality |

I just had to share this advice I got from a reader, Jen, who left neither a blog link nor email, but to whom I am indebted.

Due to factors beyond our control, my husband and I had only about two months to plan our wedding — the whole thing! This meant that my dreams — both for a few expensive splurges and for DIY-simple (which can often require more planning/time than the ready-made store-bought things) — all had to bow to The Possible.

What budget-friendly reception venues were still un-booked at this point? I took the first one that offered the time-slot I wanted. What dress under $300 did I fit into without needing alterations? I bought it, although the style wasn’t “perfect”…

This was annoying and upsetting during the planning phase… but ultimately freeing. On the wedding day, I knew I’d done the best I could with the time & money I’d had… and that freed me (usually a such control freak) to let go.

As a result, my personal advice to all my soon-to-be-married friends is: don’t just budget your money… budget the time you let yourself plan. Even if it’s something “cheap” or a “minor detail” giving it too much time will make it expand until it feels like a “big deal.” Save yourself the emotional explosion.

****

Also, I wanted to address the part about smiling… because, you see, I don’t beam and glow. Ever. In fact, I usually have a deep-in-though expression that others usually interpret as annoyance.

Before the wedding, then, I felt required to practice a nice, glowing smile. It was weird. And it looked phony. And it was depressing. So I finally resolved that my wedding was the one time I would defy the American Smile Standard (which has a three-letter abbreviation to express my feelings about it exactly). Whatever expression happened to be on my face, I would leave it there.

The result? For the first time ever, I saw *me* in a picture! Me with the slightly-serious expression that both my husband and I know is “my look” for peaceful. And thanks to that, anytime I look at a wedding picture I re-capture the feelings I really felt — the happiness, the nervousness, the peace, the stress… all of it — because it’s all still right there on my face.

I treasure my wedding pictures in a way I know I couldn’t if I’d “played the actor” and pasted on a grin.

Sorry so long & hope that helps!

It helped.

I love this response. The reality is that, hard as I try, my mouth will be open in raucous laughter in all of the candids, my eyes will be closed in most of the posed shots, and up until recently, I could have cared less about photos, believing that life is to be lived rather than captured.

Originally, I wanted to get married within three months, knowing myself well enough to know that the more time I had, the more stress I’d invite. In terms of actual wedding planning, I haven’t really exceeded that. Hell, in terms of actual wedding planning, I could have done it all in a month. But, I needed the extra time to be ready emotionally, to be ready to do this joyously.

And what “joyous” looks like in my world — as you reminded me — is not at all what “joyous” looks like in someone else’s. Serene, collected, glowing I am not. Ecstatic, excited, crazy-happy I am.

I love this engagement picture because it captures us perfectly.  He’s sporting some kind of crazy happy excited expression; I’m laughing with my whole body (you can’t see it, but my left leg is cocked and sticking out!).  That’s the point of the photography, after all.  To capture a moment so that you’re reminded — in your soul — when you see it.

Thanks, Jen!  Anyone else getting great advice on keeping your perspective (or have any to offer)?

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On finding perspective

Posted on March 27, 2009. Filed under: reality |

[Note: this is from a few weeks ago.  I did not lose my sh!t twice in two days, though I seem to be careening crazily in that direction.]

I had one of those moments today, moments when you step back from yourself in stunned surprise at the path of your thoughts.  I was standing in front of a smorgasboard of makeup options, trying to decide if I needed a ten-palette eyeshadow or if three was enough, thinking that maybe I should just give in and order that “bridal palette” I saw advertised in a magazine.

What is it about a wedding that suckers you into doing (and thinking!) things that are totally out of character?  Don’t get me wrong, I once owned 90% of the eyeshadow colors sold by Aveda.  I like pretty fancy shimmery pretties just as much as the next girl.  But since those days, I’ve found that I’m just as happy with drugstore products when I bother to wear them.  Case in point: I stopped at Walgreens on the way to our engagement photo shoot and grabbed the first dark brown eyeshadow palette that was on sale, and I was quite happy with it.

For me, the sucker factor is that it’s a special day.  Evidently, spending more money confirms this specialness, if only because nobody wants to worry that they “cheaped out” on the one day they’ll be followed around by a photographer.  The entire wedding industry feeds on our fear of regret.

I’m willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a one-day makeup application, but find myself wondering if we really need a tent (um, yes, chairs in the street without a tent are just… sad).  Thing is, my budget consciousness has never really been about being unwilling to spend money; rather, I want us to spend our money in thoughtful ways.  My savings account is healthy, my parents are willing to contribute, and my future hubby’s credit is nearly perfect.  We pay out of pocket for home renovations on two houses, the care and feeding of seven animals, and my weakness for restaurants.  We could choose to spend close to the national average on our wedding, but while the temptation to do so is great, our determination to keep our perspective on our wedding — as a celebration, not an event — is greater.

As my guy sometimes has to remind me, our fun and enjoyment isn’t dependent on the state of our kitchen remodel (or lack thereof) or whether we spend more on appetizers.  We want our people to remember their joy and laughter and to be touched by our love and happiness.  Perfect centerpieces don’t necessarily contribute to that goal, though they do give me something to worry about other than how to handle having everyone’s eyes on us.

My biggest fear, as it turns out, is that I’ll not quite be ready to bask in the glow of the love of our people.  Have you looked at Mrs. Lovebug’s ceremony pictures lately?  Her smile lights up the planet.  Or how ’bout Mrs. Seabreeze?  Now that woman is H.A.P.P.Y. and it’s obvious.  What if instead of feeling happy, I fidget nervously under the weight of people’s eyes?  What if I take comfort in stress and panic rather than remembering to breathe and enjoy?

I found the pictures from my first wedding this morning, and everyone looked so happy.  It’s been nine years and I’ve lost all three of my grandparents since then, so I was struck by how young they looked.  I remembered them dancing, laughing, enjoying themselves. I’d completely forgotten that all the men wore tuxedos, or that I hated my makeup, or that I wore a sparkly veil and tiara (shut it, it was practically still the 90’s, ok?).

So I’m embarking on Operation Perspective, because it seems that I’ve lost mine.  I’m going to wear my own makeup but find someone to do my hair, stop worrying about the invitations, and let my guy decide on the men’s attire.  As much as I’d like to prove that self-catering can be done, I’m going to bring in a good friend who’s also a caterer.  Thoughtful touches like a cutesy drink menu and silly stories about us don’t cost much.  And I’m going to focus on two projects that I’m simultaneously dreading and excited about: a family tree and our ceremony.

First, though, I’m taking a deep breath, sending my guy a sweet text message, and hugging a dog.  Have you lost (and found) your perspective?

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Are blogs (sometimes) bad?

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: reality |

Now, you all know that I think you’re fabulous, you who have given me inspiration, support, friendship, and the knowledge that I am not alone in my Crazy, wedding-related or otherwise.  But I am finding myself losing my sh!t way too often lately, and with two months to go, my guy staged a bit of an intervention.

Background: It’s Wedding Wednesday, and we’ve just finished going through a checklist of “stuff.”  Invites, check.  Guest list, check. RSVP options, check.  I ask if he’s thought about first dance songs, and off we go down the YouTube rabbit hole.  90 minutes later, we have a long list of fun and happy songs for our playlist… and two romantic songs, one of which is totally cheesy.

[sh!t-losing]

We’re in bed, in the dark, and I’m sniffling because we’re not romantic, I know, but I thought that for this one day, at least… and on and on.  He’s great, he really is, and the bright side to these “sessions” is that I’m reminded how supportive and sweet he is.  And also that he’ll only be sweet and supportive for so long before he gets annoyed and basically asks me to buck up.

[/sh!t-losing]

And then, as kindly as he can manage, he suggests that Blogs are Bad.  That I am getting caught up in exactly the kind of stuff I used to scoff at, and that it’s becoming a detriment to our (somewhat precarious*) happiness.  This isn’t the first time he’s said it, but it is the first time I’ve really heard him.  I agree to think about it.

I’m a girl who revels in possibility.  I love to dream, to imagine, to consider the options and opportunities.  Wedding blogs have filled in the gaps, helped me imagine pretty things, and provided me with more than a few ideas for which I get full credit (ha).  I’m also a girl who gets overwhelmed when it’s time to choose something, to commit to one of the many options and then forge confidently ahead.  I melt down.  I know this, and so does everyone who’s ever had to hear me obsess about paint colors or invite designs or the pants I just paid full price for.

The hardest part of wedding planning, for me, is finding a balance between everything I wish I was and everything I can’t help but being.  I wish — oh, how I wish — that I was crafty and had one single shred of design sense (in wedding terms) in my body.  I do not.  I do, however, have an abundance of nerve (hello, tent in the street), creativity and furniture.  And the ability (nee, need) to prioritize.

So, I unsubscribed to every wedding inspiration blog in my reader.  With sixty days to go, it’s time to say adios to inspiration and hola to getting things done.  If I haven’t heard of it, pictured it, or imagined it, it’s no longer a possibility.  I will limit my visual inspiration to the pictures I’ve already saved off to my pc.  Wedding information will be on an as-needed basis, and any and all “pushed” communication is cut off.

As with every project, it’s a little bit sad to realize that everything you’ve dreamed of won’t happen.  The family tree I’d planned probably won’t happen (too much dependence on other people’s willingness to hunt down old pictures for me).  The lovey dovey conversations dreaming about our wedding day definitely won’t happen (we’re just not that kind of couple).  My mental photograph of a bride in a vintage lace dress (I’m too busty for vintage) and a bunch of dressed up people grilling steaks in the late afternoon (too difficult to pull off) won’t happen.

But in a few months, I’ll marry a guy that makes me smile, makes me laugh, and makes me believe that this whole marriage thing is worth the risk and rollercoaster.  If he thinks that my Crazy is being exacerbated by the bazillion blog entries I read in a day, I will trust that he is trying to look out for me.  And I will unsubscribe.

Um, except for Weddingbee and A Practical Wedding.  I’m feeling totally justified because those are about the experience of planning a wedding, not the details of said wedding.  Or so I’m telling myself.

Your turn.  Have you hit a Blogs Are Bad point in your wedding planning?

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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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