And We’re Married!

So after a total of seven years together, about a year and nine months of which we spent engaged, we are married. The words “husband” and “wife” are really fucking weird, and I expected to keep saying “fiancé” instead then correcting myself for at least a solid two weeks. And one day, when I’m really tired or just not quite with it, I’ll regress back to “boyfriend,” and if I’m really fucked, maybe even “that guy I’ve been talking to.”

I’m glad I took off from work from Wednesday on last week, because it was a little chaotic. Simple tasks, but lots of them, and they were some little things I’d meant to do but forgot about–I meant to buy a case of Angry Orchard or something for myself and other fruity-drink lovers to have since two kegs were devoted to manly beers and forgot, I forgot to clean my engagement ring to spruce it up before the wedding, and when I packed for my overnight stay at my parents’ house the night before the wedding, I forgot that I’d also need to pack for the actual wedding night and following day. So I was all prettied up Saturday but wore the same clothes Sunday that I wore Friday.

But those days were dedicated to wrapping up loose ends, buying alcohol and mixers, and rehearsal. We carted liquor up into the apartment Thursday and then back down Friday to take it to the venue, and between that and the mixers, our apartment was even worse than normal. We had a tiny path to walk through, and now it’s back that way with anything left over plus gifts and any other little things we or other family had dropped off that needed to come back. Fortunately, we weren’t inundated with a bunch of things we don’t need, and everything we got was really pretty. Some of it might sit in my parents’ basement due to lack of space until we get a house or bigger apartment. But if this place catches on fire or something leaks again, we’re fucked.

Rehearsal was, well, rehearsal. Terra, newly licensed with a new car, has never actually come out here to Washington and got really fucked on traffic and was late, but it wasn’t a huge deal. I was concerned about forgetting everything they told us to do/not do, but the priest was pretty good with reminders mid-ceremony, and in the end, it kind of doesn’t matter because no one really cares.

If I wasn’t keeping busy Friday, I was really nervous, and the only thing making me nervous was that for maybe a week or so leading up to the wedding, I kept picturing the big doors in the back opening before I walked down the aisle, and the thought of everyone watching me combined with how big the church is and how long the aisle is made me nervous. It’s dumb because on your wedding day walking down the aisle, that’s kind of the point, but that was the most anxiety-inducing thing for me. Nothing else mattered–I wasn’t nervous about the ceremony itself, no cold feet, not worrying about everything being perfect at the reception, nothing–just that single moment walking down the aisle. So after a nice dinner and some time hanging out with everyone and having to go back into my apartment three times for things I forgot, I went home with my parents, was nervous there, and slept for about four hours.

I was nervous Saturday morning, but like Friday, not when I was busy. Getting hair and makeup done was fine, and then we left and I got nervous again. We hung out for about an hour, then picked up the dresses since we had no good place to store them otherwise, and I happened to run into a high-school classmate at the store who was wedding-dress shopping with her sister.  Small world.

I managed to forget that I’d told the photographer we’d do pictures of me getting dressed, but that’s okay. I wasn’t super set on photos of that specifically, and what happened was we were so focused on getting the thing on that we just did it without thinking. But she still got some good ones. And Aunt Gina brought my grandma’s garter. My mom was concerned about me actually wearing it because the elastic is so old, so we found a good spot on the lining of my dress underneath layers of lace to pin it. It was a nice little sentimental touch for me personally, of course, but for probably the whole side of the family to know I had it. Paul’s family was late, so I have no idea if we actually started on time, but one minute I’m writing checks for the remainder of people who needed paid and the next Terra’s rushing to grab her flowers because we were totally not ready when they came to get us.

And strangely, I wasn’t nervous anymore–a little bit when I could hear people coming in and when I heard the music playing that we picked for before the ceremony, but that whole moment I’d built up in my head was totally fine. I looked around at people a little bit and it was a long walk, but I was pretty calm. And then since the rest of it was just kneeling with our backs to everyone almost the entire time, I didn’t really care anymore. The priest had a nice homily, despite saying we picked tough, non-cliche readings, and he was funny but good.

You know how they say something will go wrong? Paul forgot the rings. He had this “oh, shit” look on his face that I’m honestly surprised no one seemed to notice and said he forgot them, and because we screw with each other all the time, I wasn’t convinced until the time came to actually exchange them. The priest said we’d fake it and Jacob didn’t have them, so yep, they weren’t fucking with me. But by all accounts, you couldn’t actually tell–the photographer and the first like two rows of pews, which was Terra and the parents, thought something was up, but everyone else I told this to said they had no idea. Our backs were turned just enough that faking it was actually really effective, and since we live next to the church, I told Paul when we processed out to just go out the door to the car and get them, so we had them for pictures and the reception and Father was able to bless them for real. I wasn’t thrilled, of course, but also not as mad as I think Paul expected me to be, and everyone–older married couples and the priests in particular brushed it off as a good story we’ll have to tell. Paul’s parents’ wedding story is that he passed out during the ceremony.

And then there was an issue with the shuttle we were supposed to have between the hotel and reception. There was some confusion where initially, we heard there wasn’t one, and it turned out people just needed to request it–because another wedding was in the same hotel with 35 rooms book and they reserved the shuttle, an option I didn’t know we had. And then they lost Terra’s reservation, so Paul got on the phone and was the bitchiest I’ve ever heard him, making sure they got her in a room for the reduced rate. It’s worth noting that what I considered level 10 of pissed-off Paul sounds like a 2 to everyone else.

Julie ended up stuck at the reception taking care of things, but I think she took on more than she needed. She got there early to drop stuff off and kind of panicked when things weren’t set up yet, but it was just that she was a little too early, and not much needed done. And while I appreciate the fact that she felt the need to make sure things were okay and didn’t want to bother us with things, I do wish she or someone would’ve told one of us, because we could’ve told her it was fine and that she didn’t need to stay. She ended up missing the ceremony, so I feel bad about that.

But other than that, things went well and were fine. The cake didn’t turn out quite like I expected but tasted really good, and I wish the DJ would’ve played more of our song requests, but I knew we had more songs than we had time. But dinner was really good, and the Polish family seemed pleased by a traditional Polish hunter’s stew–Uncle Del in particular, who joked that with a vegetarian bride having a wedding at a botanic garden surely meant everyone would be eating grass, but nope. Bigos, shrimp pasta, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, and salad. But of course, I wasn’t very hungry, so I ended with a small plate of small servings of food, and I’m annoyed that I couldn’t fully appreciate the good food. Normally, I’d have loaded up and hit it hard. Most annoying was the fact that I was pretty hungry in the morning, when I was at peak nervousness, but had no appetite when the nerves died down. We also barely touched the cookies I’d made sure to have out because I wanted to get to enjoy those, too, but at least we could box those up.

Jacob gave a nice toast, his dad gave a nice blessing, and we had a successful first dance to David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Like everything else, you spend all this time and money and it’s over like that, and I felt like the dance was a little rushed and sloppy, yet looking at the video of it, it looks fine. I’m sure we didn’t quite nail everything we’d talked about in our classes, but it was prettier than I expected and I think we did good.

And then we partied. I danced some and mingled some. My mom and Brandon had arranged with the DJ to do a little something to “The Bird” by Morris Day and The Time, and I feel like only the three of us and my dad even knew what the hell that song was, but we liked it. We played the shoe game, where we sit back to back with one of each of our shoes and answer questions to show how well we know each other by holding up the shoes, and since I didn’t have a bridal shower, I thought something like that would be a fun thing to do. We did the bridal dance, and after going through that line at so many weddings over the years, it’s weird to be on the other end of it. Terra said she could tell the families apart because mine was a little bit rowdier.

Everyone seemed to have a good time. Friends got drunk, some of my cousins had to be drunk, my Uncle Vince surprised everyone and danced so we think he was probably drunk, and two people who are known to hate weddings even had fun. Everyone always says it’s a blur, and it’s true. Everything came together and we pulled off the most important event of our lives, and we even came in a few thousand dollars under budget.

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Friday 5: Five of Whatever

  1. How tidy are your kitchen cabinets? Woof. I mean, sometimes we try to to organize them a bit better, but it’s generally half-assed and not very effective. Part of the problem is that I’m a foot shorter than my fiancé, so in the higher cabinets, I just shove things where I can reach, which means if I’ve been in the cabinet, there’s a high concentration of items near the front.
  2. What’s an art project you did in school that you remember fondly? I was never really good at art–drawing and things like that just never came naturally to me, so I remember most art projects either frustrating me or not interesting me. But I loved photography in high school. Yes, it’s not as simple as just pointing and shooting, but it was so much easier than trying to draw something.
  3. What’s the best thing you ate on your most recent trip? My last trip was out into the forest for a weekend, where I didn’t eat anything spectacular, so going back to the trip before that, we went to Erie to spend Memorial Day with my soon-to-be sisters-in-law. Best thing was probably what his sister Julie made us for dinner.
  4. What’s the dumbest non-political thing you’ve seen lately? I don’t know. The end of Taylor Swift’s new video, maybe?
  5. What’s something in your home that’s lasted longer than you expected? My couches are from my parents’ first apartment, and we were still living there when I was a toddler, so they’re at least a solid 25 years old.

Booking Through Thursday: New Things

Everybody needs a change now and again, so what new topics or authors are you interested in these days? Or what new kinds of books do you wish you had time for?

I’m interested in current events because it’s not something I typically read, and I’m interested in any author I haven’t read before. This kind of question is perfect for someone with a new library card, though–I’m the kind of person who buys lots of books and takes forever to get around to reading them, and when I went to take out my first library book, I went to the new/bestseller section first. It’s a nice, easy way to find something to read, especially if I want to read something more relevant to things happening today, and because it’s due back on a certain day, I make an effort to start it quickly and read more at a time than I normally might, rather than let it sit on a shelf.

Obviously, basically all my time the past couple weeks has been wedding-related–a few other things here and there, sure, but it’s been dance lessons and talking to vendors and final payments and details like picking readings and deciding who’s doing them.

We did get a night out with a Cheap Trick/Foreigner concert, exactly two weeks before the wedding, and the funny thing is when we bough them, I can remember talking about how it would be two weeks away from the wedding and my mom said it would be like a bachelor/bachelorette party. Terra said the same thing about camp and neither was really like that, but that’s more than okay. I wasn’t really into the whole bachelor/bachelorette thing anyway. It’s kind of stupid when you’ve been together for seven years and living together for two. They say everything changes when you get married, but I feel like we already are, so I expect to get back to our regular lives Sunday/Monday and have it be like usual, just with legal documents involved.

But I digress.

The concert was a good, fun night out. I swear that Cheap Trick was the best band on the bill, for one, and still fantastic live and a vastly underrated rock band. I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. I mean, I’ve seen bands have their age phone in live shows, and then there’s Cheap Trick, slaying it.

We had our last dance class during the week, and our instructor had us perform it for everyone else in the studio, which was kind of nerve-wracking, but I’m glad we got a small taste of what it’s gonna be like in front of people. We’re used to just the two of us, our instructor, and whoever else is around that’s usually not even paying attention. It was good practice.

Otherwise, it’s been work and wedding prep. I’ve been trying to juggle wedding stuff with other shit that needs done, too, and I actually managed to tackle a good few things off the to-do list the last couple days. I spent part of the weekend baking, wanting to round out the cookie table, so I picked some simple Pinterest recipes and went at it. Paul did his usual chocolate-chip cookies, too, and when I’m off Wednesday through the rest of the week, I plan to try some more.

My original plan was to take off for the whole week, but even with a lot of little things to wrap up, a week was a bit too much–the closer we got to this point, the more it looked like it would be a waste of vacation days, where I’d be sitting around doing very little. So I’m taking off from Wednesday on instead, plus next Monday to give us both some time to actually relax and recover. The more I thought about it, the more I thought Sunday’s going to either leave us still very busy or very tired or both, with no actual downtime. So Monday off it is. We’re talking about a trip up to the mountains, but we’ll see how exhausted we are. I wouldn’t be surprised if we decide to skip it and sleep.

Once again, like we do every summer, we ran off to the woods for Terra’s birthday.

The past few weeks, it’s been getting difficult to really do much other than wedding stuff. All our plans are squeezed in around things like dress fittings and meetings with vendors. I needed more dress fittings than I thought, mostly because it’s small in the boobs and too long, and I ended up needing to schedule one for the weekend of camp. Originally, I thought this was gonna mean missing camp altogether, but it worked out–Terra and her boyfriend went up Friday night and had a night alone, which was probably good for them, and I had my dress fitting Saturday. Paul and I made it up by the afternoon.

There are places up there that Terra used to visit as a kid but we’ve never gone to, and Farmers Inn is one of them. We pass it on the way in since it’s right down the road from their property, we just never go. But Terra had a great time with their goats before we got there, so she insisted we go. And that’s how we spent a lot of time feeding goats. The great thing about my apartment laundry no longer requiring quarters is I got to spend them all on handfuls of corn for the goats, and we went so far as to save some quarters so we could come back and do it again the next day.

We also got in a visit to Beartown Rocks for a bit, then went back, had a light dinner and alcohol around a campfire, and went to bed.

Normally, we all sleep in the trailer, but that thing is turning into a mess. It smelled really musty, which means it was probably not the best place to be sleeping, so we slept in tents outside. I wasn’t expecting that or I would’ve brought more blankets–the ground underneath was pretty uncomfortable, plus it got pretty cold at night, although it wouldn’t have been much warmer in the trailer. Somehow, most years we’ve gone up, we’ve ended up with cool weather and not a nice, hot summer night that would make for ideal outdoor sleeping. Plus it’s been too cold to go down to the river. I think we did it once last year, but that’s probably it.

With wedding stuff still needing done and my unwillingness to put any writing on hold for the last few weeks–when I 100% probably should have–I wanted to get back with at least a few hours left in my evening, so we aimed to leave by noon Sunday. The running joke is that Terra and I essentially manage to go shopping in the woods, which is totally true. There’s a string of gift shops we like to hit every year, and we come back with jewelry and blankets. This year, I even found homemade bath bombs. Camp shopping is awesome.

It was a nice getaway, but I think because we didn’t spend the whole weekend up there like we normally do, we didn’t get the full impact and mental reset we normally do. We really enjoyed it, of course, we just didn’t come back feeling as refreshed as we normally do. And maybe that’s the wedding–it’s not as though we’re not looking forward to it, but from about the one-month mark on, it’s felt more like the day is looming like a deadline than anything. It’s like we have all these little things that need done and we’re running out of time, and I think it was hard to totally relax when we were both thinking of the to-do list we had to tackle when we got home.

When we did get home, we at least treated ourselves to dinner out before we focused on what needed done.

Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Saturday 9: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
… because Joy recommended it

1) The Beatles recorded this after they had taken a three-month hiatus from working together as a band. Do you find you’re sharp after taking time off? Or does it take you a while to get back into the swing of things in your day-to-day life? I don’t know if I’m sharper, but I’m more motivated. And maybe that’s just as important and helpful.

2) During those three months off, John Lennon made a movie called How I Won the War. What’s the last movie you watched? Did you view it at a theater, on TV, or from a device like a computer or tablet? Uh…I’m not sure. We’ve been watching more shows than movies lately. I think it was Kubo and the Two Strings, and it was a DVD from the library.

3) Paul McCartney and George Harrison both used their time off to make new and different music. Paul composed instrumentals for a movie soundtrack while George studied sitar with Ravi Shankar. Ringo Starr spent those three months with his wife and their two little boys. If you had three months to spend doing anything you wanted, and money was no object, would you try something new (like Paul and George) or just kick back and relax (like Ringo)? Maybe split it and do half of each. Take some time to just chill, but also maybe take on some of the writing projects that have been brewing in my mind. There’s at least two websites I’ve dabbled with starting once my wedding is over, and whether or not I do it depends on whether or not I’m right about there being gaps of sorts in the subjects I’m considering.

4) Paul recalls what fun it was to dress up in Edwardian-era costumes for the album cover. When did you last attend a costume party? What did you wear? I think it’s been a while! Technically, my cousin’s housewarming party was themed, but I was coming from wedding hair trials and didn’t go with it. Other than that, the last one might’ve been years ago when my friends and I used to have themed parties, but I can’t remember what the last actual theme was.
5) Paul says he came up with the name “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” when Beatle friend Mal Evans told him about this great San Francisco band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul hadn’t heard their music yet, but he loved the sound of their six-word band name. Soon everyone would hear of Big Brother. Do you know who Big Brother’s famous lead singer was? I didn’t, but I Googled it!

6) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band appeared on the Billboard charts for 175 weeks. Is this album in your collection? It is. In fact, I own the box set of remasters that was put out a few years ago.

7) The Beatles are among the top-selling artists of all time in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Would you like to visit Africa? Yeah. I’d like to visit just about anywhere, really, and the only place I’d say no to are places that are unsafe.

8) 50 years ago, when Sgt. Pepper was first released, the average price for gas was 33¢/gallon. When did you last fill up your gas tank? Do you remember how much it cost? It was the other day, maybe Wednesday or Thursday, and it was somewhere around $2.60 a gallon and my total was like $25 or something. Which is pretty great, considering there was a point a couple years ago where I was sure it was gonna hit $4 and it was costing me like 40 bucks to fill my tank. And I was making a good bit less money then–like a solid $5 an hour less than I’m making now–so 40 bucks on gas every other week was a lot. Now it’s almost half that, and my car’s so good on gas that as long as I don’t drive, say, an hour back to my parents’ place, I can go almost three weeks without needing gas.

9) Random question: Are most of your married friends happily married? I think so! I mean, I don’t have a lot of friends that are actually married–a lot are engaged or have been with someone for years but just aren’t married–but for the most part, everyone seems to be doing well. The one exception is my best friend, who’s in the middle of divorcing. Turns out her husband wasn’t quite ready to actually get married but felt it’s “the next step,” so then he ended up being unhappy and was a huge dick about it and essentially, rather than address the issue, basically just trashed the marriage. The good news is she’s moved on with a new guy, despite having been fighting with him the last couple days.

Friday 5: Homecoming

  1. What’s the crime like in your neighborhood? The biggest problem is drugs. Other than that, it’s mostly petty crime. We’ll have a few bigger things happen on occasion, but I’ve never had a problem and the people who make it out to be some godawful crime-infested place don’t really know what they’re talking about.
  2. If you could have attended one of those high schools with a specific academic focus, such as performing arts, studio arts, sustainability, science and technology, international languages and diplomacy, or some option you thought of yourself, which would you have chosen when you were thirteen? Probably writing. I knew then.
  3. What was memorable about a party you remember from high school? I never really went to parties in high school. Wasn’t until college that I started doing that more.
  4. Which of your older relatives is (or was) the handsomest or prettiest? I don’t know! But I do love looking at pictures of my mom’s aunts when they were younger. It’s so neat to see how much everyone has changed. I think Aunt Barbara and Aunt Shirley are my favorites. I’m a big fan of my grandparents’ wedding pictures, though.
  5. What was homecoming like at your high school? How did you feel about it? I went to a small Catholic school, so we celebrated homecoming but it wasn’t necessarily a huge thing. We did do a parade, which was fun, and at least my freshman year I went to help with our parade float. I don’t really remember doing it after that year, and at some point, they did away with the floats altogether. I just can’t remember if that was why I didn’t do it anymore or I just stopped caring. Other than that, I was kind of on the fence about homecoming. I never was one of those kids who was super involved in school activities, but I didn’t hate it, either.

As always, from Friday 5.