Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Utterly in love...

It's no secret that I'm a difficult partner. I'm high-maintenance and pushy and stubborn and sometimes downright mean. But the upside to that is that I always take responsibility for my actions, and I apologize once I recognize that I was in the wrong for any bad behaviour. Now if I could just recognize how to NOT be mean before I actually am mean, so as to bypass any amends-making.

I'm very high-maintenance as well.  Jared and I were watching When Harry met Sally one day and there's a scene that Jared just loves to scream "THAT'S SO YOU!" when it's on:

Harry, to Sally, while watching Casablanca together: Oh Ingrid Bergman. Now she's low-maintenance.
Sally: Low -maintenance?
Harry: An LM, definitely.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You're the worst kind. You're high-maintenance but you think you're low-maintenance.

Jared loves to throw that one at me. But it's totally true. I love to think I'm laid back and easy going but I'm not. Something is always wrong, and I thrive on problems and drama, so starting fights is a common thing for me. But the thing is, now that I've had 3 years of consistent 12-step programming, I now recognize when I'm being ridiculous and fighting just to fight. And then I apologize. And Jared says it's ok that I'm like that because I always recognize my crazy and apologize for it, so that's why he doesn't fight back or give me the pleasure of the drama.

So right now we're in that relationship-state where we're not fighting, like, at all. Everything is blissful and enjoyable. And I like us like that. I like when nothing is wrong and when I am not trying to find things that are wrong. And if I am, he's very good about putting me in my place. Thank God for that, truly.

Right now, because of this state we're in, we're very lovey-dovey and cheesy with each other. Like we can't cuddle enough and we can't stop thinking of each other. And the random texts of "I LOVE YOUUUUUU" and immediate cuddling when getting home from work are amazing. And last night when I was suffering from a migraine and nausea and wanted to die, Jared was so sweet and just came and sat in the bathroom with me while I sat in a tub of cold water and moaned about dying. It's like we can't be away from each other for even two seconds because we then miss each other.

I've always wanted a relationship like Lily and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. In the episode where Ted is trying to figure out what to say in his best man speech at their wedding, he finally comes up with how they can't be apart for even one night. They decided to spend the last few days/weeks before their wedding sleeping apart and not seeing much of each other, but they were actually sneaking out to spend time together in a hotel. In one scene where they're spooning, Marshall says "Can I be the little spoon now?" and they switch sides and continue spooning. Jared and I are very much like that sometimes, especially lately. There's also another scene where they're cooking in the kitchen together and Lily says "Oh I need more eggs!" and Marshall says "Ok, I'll come with you" and they walk over to the refrigerator together while Ted rolls his eyes at their cheesiness. THAT is the relationship I have always wanted to have! And we've already got the karaoke duet under our belt.

Now, granted, it's TV and TV is fake, but Jared and I, I can tell, are on our way to that level, and I'm so excited about that. I love that we can't get enough of each other, and though I have major intimacy issues, his patience and overwhelming love for me are getting me through that, and even those "tender" moments are getting better and better.

So that's what I am excited about with our upcoming marriage: times like this that are guaranteed for the rest of our lives. I know we'll go through hard times, just like we sometimes do now, but I'm not scared of those, because I know what we have and what we can get back to. Wedding or not, I can't wait to be his wife one day. I absolutely can't wait.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hold it right there, tradition!

Damn. That's a hot-ass bride right thar
 I was just reading a thread on one of the many, many forums I go on (I have a bit of an addiction) about the upselling of bridal accessories such as veils at bridal shops. The poster said that the saleswoman was in disbelief that the bride wasn't going to wear a veil and still tried to coherce her into at least trying one on so the whole look will "come together."

Now, before I go on, I will admit that the first dress and veil combo I tried on did make me feel like a bride (swoon!) but I have a bit of a hatred (actually, a phobia is a better word for it) to all things stereotypical and traditional, so I was very much like "YEAH! Stick it to the man!" while reading this thread. Future bride: 1. Salesgirl on commission: 0.

She went on to ask if there are any other "tradition-stoppers" out there. And I piped in!

No! I will not be having my dad walk me down the aisle!
No! My fingernails will not be manicured in French-like ways!
No! A member of the clergy or government official will not be marrying us!
Yes! A big Southern homo is going to perform our wedding!
No! I am not wearing a veil!
No! There will not be one rose or one spot of pink in my wedding!
Yes! My fiance will be seeing me before the ceremony!
And YES I will sure as shit be walking down the aisle to a song from RENT instead of Canon in D!

Not to knock brides that do have their dads walk them down the aisle while their French-manicured fingers clutch red and/or white roses and Canon in D plays romantically in the background.

Oh, Angel. I'll cover youuuuu
It's just that Jonathan Larson's music and my big Southern, very very gay-bear officiant can do things the way I've always dreamed of!

Now, I'm not disregarding all tradition. I'm still doing the wedding as it is, so there's loads of tradition right there in one fell swoop. I'm having a nice white-ish dress and some sort of flower and a first dance (but to Barry White, mind you), but anything that screams "OH MY GOD THERE'S A BRIDE!" is what I'm sort of trying to avoid.

That's why when I see brides doing keg stands in their white dresses while their new husband holds their legs in the air, I get sort of happy, though I know I won't be getting to that point (did I mention that I don't drink, so there will be no engraved champagne flutes for me and my new husband sitting on our couples' table?). BUT it's women like that who change the look of the traditional brides out there. Ladies, set your roses aside! It's time to hold the funnel!

So, tradition be damned. I can do things my way because I CAN.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Money money money. It's a rich man's world.

Oh, one can dream, can't one?

Oh the money issue. It comes up in every relationship at some point, and it's bound to make or break a relationship.

Let me start by saying that I have no intention of being rich. To me, money doesn't equal happiness. I've never had a lot of money, I was never "privleged", and I know I'll never have a lot of money (my English degree tells me so). I find ways to be happy with little things and appreciate everything I have, no matter how small. And I sort of like that I am frugal in many ways. It's a sense of pride, actually.

I've always had the mentality that I'll "be ok" no matter what. As in, I'll never live under a bridge in a box and demand money for cleaning your windshield with a newspaper. Poverty doesn't scare me. I don't burden myself with the pressures of money. I rarely get stressed over it, even when I probably should stress over it. But this lax way of thinking has caused me problems before, for sure. I will pay my car payment, setting it up to take money out of my account on a certain day, and I just don't put the money in my account. Why? I don't know. Laziness? Apathy (there's that word again)? Pure, blinding optimism? Maybe a little of all 3. So after 27 years of not worrying about money and spending my money however the wind takes me, I've found that I really actually DON'T like paying overdraft fees. I don't like seeing my online banking's giant red font with a negative sign in front of money values that I wish had a positive sign.

 So I've made it a point to do better, keeping track of my income and what I spend. I write down EVERY dollar I spend and EVERY dollar I make. If I spend $2 on a scratch-off lottery ticket, I record Lottery Ticket, -$2. If I win a dollar from that same ticket, I write down Ticket, +$1. It's helpful so far. It's a pride thing for me to look back over and see that, oooh, I spent way too much on dining out this week. That hurts to look at. Better cut back.

So far, it's working.

Because I waitress (thanks, English degree!), I never know how much I will make. I just know I'll make money every day. Not exactly the security most people look for, but I enjoy my job immensely, and I'm grateful for every tip, good or bad, I get, b/c I have a job and many people don't. But still, it makes it hard to plan things. Will I be able to put money toward the cost of the food the week of the wedding? No idea. But I know we'll make it somehow and we'll "be ok" (there's THAT word again).

Jared, unlike me, has a stable full-time job. He makes about $500 more a month than I do, but he works nearly triple the hours I work. If you ask me, I say I'm pretty lucky to have that sort of job that doesn't take over my life like his does (who wants to work 15 hours on a Saturday? He doesn't, but he finds it necessary). He thinks in terms of the future. As in, months and years from now. Retirement and what not. I think in terms of tomorrow. It's still the future. That's how I justify it.

So we clash majorly with money so far. He's able to put money in savings AND have money left over for bills and to do fun things. I have money for bills and fun things. Savings, eh, not so much. He's on me to get a better job, to live up to my potential, to try to better myself. The way I see it, I am doing ok as it is. I may overdraft every once and a while, but I'm not broke. I have the things I want and get them when I want, when I can. He sees me as a college-educated waitress who is better than waiting tables. I don't want to live my life behind a desk or working for someone else. I like to be in control of my own income (and though I work for a restaurant I don't own, I still control the money I make by getting tips based on my service).

We're at a bit of a dilemma in terms of money. I know that money is the biggest cause of divorce (or actually, I don't actually know, but it's what I hear). So I kow I need to get my butt in gear and do better (and ultimately, I know Jared is right. He very much so is right. I can even admit it to him and tell him he's right, but I just don't do much to CHANGE the situation).

I should probably say the serenity prayer here.
 I accept that I can't change how detrimental money issues can really be to a marrige. I know I CAN change my financial situation by not living by the seat of my pants (is that the phrase?) and by realizing that Jared, God love him, has one of the biggest points he could ever probably make. But the courage? The wisdom? I need some of that. Because the real world scares me. Once I get comfortable with my surroundings, I have a difficult time changing. I don't want to put forth the effort of submitting resumes or looking for jobs in random places. I want to stay the same, always.

But I know my marriage won't last if I don't find that courage.

So I hope this will be a turning point for me. Help me, God, to find the courage to change my situation for the sake of my future with the most wonderful man I've ever known. 

Here's to saving money and actually having a future.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Hunt for a Wedding Dog

Me and my perfect girls.
Up until October of last year, I had a dog. She was a great dog. Perfect, actually. She did what I told her to do the second I told her to do it. Drink water, go potty, bring me a ball, stay, wait. She knew it all and did it all. I didn't have to leash her and I didn't have to worry about her. And then she got cancer and died and I haven't had a dog since. As a matter of fact, she died a week before I met Jared. So he never got to meet my most perfect, beautiful girl.

Now that I've gone through my mourning process (still going through, on some days), I'm ready for another one. And Jared has the same feeling of dogs as I do: they can complete your life. Where we live right now is a little tiny apartment. It's actually an old hotel room with a little kitchenette. Jared and I have no room for anything. We stare at the wall or TV or we stare at each other. There's nowhere to go if you want to leave the room. It's also on the 4th floor of a big building with elevators and carpet in the halls. So dogs just aren't allowed. I understand that.

But thankfully we're not in a lease and we can go whenever we're ready. We've been here since the middle of May, and really we moved in just because we wanted to live together. This small space has actually been very helpful in a lot of ways for us. It helped us realize taht we're compatiable enough to live together and we can handle being together for hours on end without killing each other. Still, though, our teeny, overcrowded one-room apartment still feels empty without a dog running around it.

So at the end of the month we're starting a new adventure together. We're getting a bigger place, one that actually allows dogs and one that has more than just one small room with a bed and a couch. We'll have a bedroom, an eat-in kitchen, and a living room. It'll be bliss!

We're on the hunt for a dog, but it's pretty much torturous going down to the Humane Society and looking at a dog when you can't take one home with you immediately. But we know we have to wait, and we know we need to find a dog that matches our personality and lifestyle and not just one that's cute.

My biggest thing is having a dog in the wedding. I always wanted Leeluu to be in my wedding. But now that she's gone, she can't be in it, and I hate that. I always pictured her in my wedding. She was a white boxer, so she would've blended in nicely.

They all look so happy.
I love when people have dogs in their weddings. It just tells me that they're easy-going and can appreciate the little things in life. I am not talking about the people who put a little wedding dress on their girl dog or a tux on their boy dog. I'm talking about people who decorate their dogs just so, and then they include them in their pictures, and the dog is essentially a wedding guest and part of the family.

I hope that Jared and I can find a dog that can be in our wedding. One that will be calm enough to sit still when needed but not be scared of all the people and the goings on. One that will be in a picture with both of us and it will be our first official "family" photo.

I know Leeluu would've been good at the wedding. She would've sat down during the wedding and just hung out, and she would've posed for pictures well (provided we had a tennis ball for her to look at). And she would've been just so pretty.

She'll still be at our wedding. We'll include her on the memory table and, as cheesy as it may sound to people who don't think of dogs in that way, she'll be there, wishing us well, in her own little way.
Leeluu Palin

I can't wait for us to start our own family, and I'm still sad that Leeluu isn't going to be there with us, but I'm thankful I had 7 great years with such a wonderful being, so I am trying to keep perspective. But I'm on the edge of my seat, ready to love on any dog that comes our way, but I am trying to be patient. Just a few more weeks...
About 2 weeks before she died. Pure perfection.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Groomal Baths

We all know the bride gets a shower. But what does the groom get?

These women are in for some shower fun!
The bridal shower is a chance for a bunch of women to gather around and play a couple of corny games (like not crossing your legs, or seeing how many pieces of gum the bride can chew to see how many children they'll have) and watch the bride-to-be open presents, all usually while putting all the bows on a little paper plate and making the bride wear it as a hat or carry it as a bouquet at the rehearsal. There's a lot of oohing and aahing at kitchenware and a couple of red faces as the bride opens up lingerie and has to show it, usually, to the groom's mom at some point. They also usually get a lot of things that can be used for the house (mostly kitchen things, b/c we all know that's where a woman belongs!).

Well, what do the guys get? Screwed, if you ask me! We want equality among genders, don't we? We women demanded bachelorette parties (which, though now mainstream, is still not recognized as a word by SpellCheck). We took the last night of freedom away from guys and demanded our own! We wanted a chance for penis cakes and feathered tiaras that say "Bride to be!" or "Bachelorette!" and go on scavenger hunts for a lock of a random man's hair or a picture of the maid of honor getting kissed by a bartender, all while the bride gets obliterated and throws up in a toilet all night. Makes for good Facebook pictures!

Those aren't MY boobies!
The guys, though entitled to the bachelor parties, usually get together with each other and drink. Maybe see some strippers (but insist that "nothing" happened with them), and the bride-to-be usually gets upset that he saw boobies that weren't her own.

The men are not coming out on top here.

So I'm making a point to attempt to change the face of etiquette as we know it. I present to you the idea of the Groomal Bath (and curse you, Google, for coming up with search terms to show that my fiance and I are NOT the creators of this new term).

Oh yes. Someone please do this.
Here's what will go down at a groomal bath. The men get together. They drink some beer. Play a couple of games (poker or something similar. Or even pin-the-boob-on-the-model, if there is such a invention? YES). Then the gifts! Yes, the men should have gifts. But they have to be as stereotypical and sexist as the gifts at a bridal shower. Wrap up a hammer or a fishing pole (out of the case, please, as to make it very obvious what it is. Just because that's funny) and give it to the groom-to-be. Let the men ooh and aah at that, but please, guys, keep the competition to a minimum (no telling the groom that your hammer is bigger than his). Eat some finger sandwiches (or better yet, a 6-foot-long sub) and be on your way.

I just changed humanity forever. Now we're all equal. Write it up, Emily Post.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love for STDs

So I spent way too many hours tonight designing our save-the-date cards. I'm actually really proud of them. I'm ordering some magnets to give to our parents and for us to put on the fridge. I like those...but they're expensive! They're not typical save-the-date magnets with a little strip on the back of the picture. These are LEGIT, bound magnets. They're "special." They're not so special that they should jack the cost of shipping up $15 though. That's stupid. Hey, zazzle! That's STUPID. Shipping little magnets shouldn't be more than the magnets. Just FYI.

Either way, they're a nice touch and I know our parents will like them. So I'll shut up about the cost. Sorry, zazzle.

We got some of our engagement pictures back today, hence the night of STD designing (hehe). My friend and his sister took lots and lots of photos that day (close to 800 I believe) and she sent me 36 of them. I need to get a few more, b/c I'd eventually like to create a whole Mehgan and Jared album. You know, because we're so hot that we need 3 coffee table books of us (engagement, wedding day, and trash the dress--more on the TTD later). I'm going with a theme here. It's called "We love ourselves a whole lot." It's catchy.

Anyway, the next step is to gather addresses of our guests while I wait on an email of coupon codes from zazzle before I order them all. Then to spend more money on stamps! I'll go talk to the Post Office about postcard weight stamps and see if I can save money there.

Geez, weddings are expensive. Who knew that having a one-day party for yourself would be so costly and time-consuming? This girl had a hunch but chose to be in denial.

Is it April 10th yet?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Registry

We registered today at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We had a lot of fun with it all. I let Jared handle the kitchen stuff, while he let me handle the bathroom stuff. I don't cook, I don't want to cook, and I don't care about cooking stuff, so he took the reigns on that. We found some great stuff today. I have no idea if we'll get it all, but hey, it'll be nice if we get anything. I'm always grateful for anything that comes my way.

We got into it some about the living room stuff. Because we don't know where we'll be living by then and because our apartment is already furnished (with stuff that's not ours), we don't know how we'll be decorating or what our furniture will look like. He didn't want to register for anything living room, but I snuck a few things in!

We registered for a vacuum cleaner, but then Jared noted we need a dog hair fighter. Oh that made me so happy. I can't wait to get another dog. I forget what it's like to clean up after one, so what better than to register for a vacuum with a pet hair fighter? We may not have a dog now, but we will. I hope by the wedding.

He wants to have an office one day, and since I plan to be self-employed again sometime in the future, I do want an office as well. He wants to make that his "surprise" to me when we get a bigger place. He wants to do the whole office himself, so we didn't register for anything like that.

At BBB, he went nuts on the kitchen stuff. Since our wedding colors are orange and green, he's going to use that as a theme for our kitchen. It's so cute...he kept scanning orange and green stuff. We totally registered for a green standing mixer. Yes we did.

Today was exciting. It felt like we got so much stuff done.

Our registeries, just for funsies :)
Bed, Bath, and Beyond