No. Not me. I am not getting married, but a friend of mine (Big Show) is and I voluntarily immersed myself in the sea of wedding stuff. It has been a conversation between Big Show and I for the past month and it has me thinking….is marriage all that bad?
Truth be told, my parents have been together for about 40 years and they are both relatively young (in an old person young kinda way), so they might have another 40 years to go. That’s 80 years with the same person….day in….day out. Their mud butts, their farts, their snores, their laughs, their illnesses, their boogers….80 years. The thought of that makes me sweat and break out into hives.
But the flip side is (and yes, I am officially acknowledging the actual flip side to marriage–ugh) love. My parents love one another. The two recent couples I witnessed jumping the broom clearly love one another. Marriage is complicated, no doubt about that, but if the bond is love….isn’t that enough?
Sifting through all of this wedding crap is fun in a girly kinda way, but in the end when everything is stripped away and it is just the bride and her groom that is where the fun begins. Thinking of it that way doesn’t make it so scary. Could I actually consider marriage again? Mmmmmmm……idunno. That 80 year thing kinda has me spooked. For now, though, I will leave the fluffy dresses and flowers to Big Show. I’ll giggle and sift through a bajillion bridal mags all the while pretending not to be breaking out into hives 😛
I am not one for a bunch of emotion. I think these past two years have been the most outwardly emotional I have been in quite some time (or maybe ever). I know what those look/feel like. I know what fear looks like; I know what joy feels like; I know what anger says….but as of late I am a walking cesspool of butterflies and smiles. WTF is that???
I caught myself smiling at the ceiling at work one morning–lost in thought. I found myself battling butterflies and squishy insides one afternoon. I called Brooklyn yesterday and literally screamed in her ear for no reason other than just to get whatever this crap is out. What is happening to me?
I left my car keys hanging in the car door. I left my office keys hanging in my desk drawer. I can barely string together a sentence or comprehend what people are saying because my brain is like scrambled eggs (gosh that sounds good right now…I’m starving…see what I mean…lost focus). My heart skips beats and I swear I blush about 50 times a day. I am a walking, barely talking skin bag full of squishiness and fog.
Even now I sit with butterflies in my belly, floating from one end to another. Do I have some sort of disease? Is it Shingles? I have had chicken pox, you know. Scarlet Fever? The Flu? It’s not crabs because my gentiles don’t itch. And, no, I am not with child–this uterus is on lock down. Perhaps the Zombie Virus is a real thing and my body is fighting it with a vengeance? Whatever is happening, it feels funky but it feels good. I feel like I am floating beyond Cloud 9.
I sat in a theater seat next to The Girl and watched wide eyed and hopeful as (Cinder)Ella found her true love. I can’t lie, I believed in that whole story book love until a few years ago. I believed in Prince Charmings and Love At First Sightings. I believed that love is everlasting and can heal all ails. I believed in big beautiful dresses and romantic moments. I believed the fairy tales spun for my enjoyment as a little girl and I carried the possibility of those tales with me for well over 30 years. Sitting there, watching ‘true love’ spill off of the screen left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Reality is far from that depiction of relationships. It saddened me a bit.
I remember the year I told the kids Santa wasn’t real. It changed Christmas forever. It just doesn’t feel the same. The magical bubble had been popped and now it feels like just another lazy t.v. watching day off from school and work. Watching Cinderella felt similar. The magical bubble of true love and fairy god-mothers and beautiful dresses and Prince Charmings had been popped. It felt just like another lazy movie watching day off from work and school.
At some point little girls began to believe in the picture Cinderella and her Prince painted. The ugly duckling, the diamond in the rough being polished by true love (which prevails all–even ugly stepmothers). The long suffering turned into happily ever after by the mere locking of eyes and the glitter of goodness. The happily ever after was left to the imagination of girls barely old enough to spell their names. They believed Cinderella and her Prince lived in a beautiful home with beautiful happy children and fortune always. Little did they know none of it was true.
The wedding with gowns and tuxes and grand parties and glasses clinking is a nod in Cinderella’s direction. The big houses filled with 2 kids (one of each gender), a dog and a cat are nods into Cinderella’s direction. But where is the debt or the sleepless nights? Where are the ‘i hate you’s’ or the ‘i’m leaving’s? Where are the dirty diapers and the lay offs? Where is the changing of the guard when the infamous ‘mid-life crisis’ hits? Where is the day when love just isn’t enough?
I sat next to The Girl a little sad for her. Relationship reality was found no where near Cinderella and her handsome (deliciously gorgeous) Prince, and should she choose to believe in the story unfolding on the silver screen it might come with a rude awakening someday. I stared at the screen hoping to naively believe in that again, but to no avail. It was no use. Relationship reality has set in and set up shop. Perhaps it is best–fairy tales belong in story books and on silver screens…not in homes filled with bills and dirty diapers.
Yup. I am a Valentine’s Day hater. When I was a youngin and didn’t quite know any better about the ways of the world and love, I was hopelessly in love with anything love related. Love stories. Valentine’s Day. Engagement. Soul Mates. Then there seemed to be something magical about the lot of love stuff….now? Well…
The Girl was buying a Valentine’s gift for a friend and she pulled me into the red/pink/white section of hearts, cards, and ‘I luv u’. Everything in the designated ‘BUY ME NOW! Or else your wife/gf will never let you live this down!’ section made me physically ill. Even the cards made my palms sweat. The scattered shoppers gave me odd looks out of the corner of their eye or snickered at my disgusted grunts and moans. I hate Valentine’s Day.
When The Girl popped her head around the corner of an adjacent isle, she shook her head and stepped out. “Mommy!” she said with a surprised yet enthused look on her face.
“What?” I answered picking up a heart laden gift bag like it was a dirty diaper.
“Do you have to make that face?! It’s not that bad.” She shook her head again and grabbed my hand and pulled me down another isle. “C’mon. I’m almost done.”
There she was, spending her own money on a gift to show someone she cared and there I was ruining the experience. I suppose when your eyes open and perhaps even when you get a little experience under your belt, certain things in the world just have a different feel. Valentine’s Day has a vomity, break out in hives kinda feel for me. But just because I am a VDay hater doesn’t mean I should ruin it for everyone else. I made an attempt to straighten my face and I even made myself buy a card for Young Gun (who also dislikes VDay), but after about 20 minutes of it riding in the car with me, I decided to take it back.
No matter how much you like/love someone friend or otherwise, making an over the top effort to gift on one particular day is asinine. I just can’t. And you know what? I am comfortable in acknowledging my Valentine’s Hatership. It is just a stupid day–what about the other 364? Just sayin’
Young Gun came in knowing I had children. He understood the dynamic of my family life. He knew my rules about coming to the house, and meeting the children. He was patient and kind with it all. Still is actually. The children understood I would date. They understood there would be phone conversations and dates on kid-free weekends. The children knew I would not bring anyone into their lives or their home with out careful consideration. Everyone understood that separation, for me, was paramount. Soooo why now does it seem like everyone is moving ahead and I am standing still?
When I left The He, I had a long list of rules. I would not date anyone right away. I would not sleep with anyone right away. No one was allowed in my home. No one was allowed to meet the children. (There are more, but I won’t dare bore you with the rest) I have stuck to every rule, except now, things are moving faster and they are changing.
One of the many bullet points in the parental job description is to protect. As a parent, my job is to shield the kids from as much harm as I can. Logically, I know I can’t protect them from life itself, but I can protect them from the mistakes I make. What if it doesn’t work? What if we end up hating each other? What if it’s too soon? What if the kids love him but he doesn’t like them? What if he gets too attached? What if we all get too attached? There is an intricate web being weaved here and I am desperately trying not to get the kids caught.
I suppose it is a mute point, right now anyway. No one is hanging out with anybody just yet. I still have to wrap my head around a few things as it is. When the time is right, when I am comfortable with it enough to consider letting both parties mingle, it will happen. Until then, I just need for the outside to slow down….just a little.
There. I said it. I have been keeping it close to the chest for a few days now, unsure of the reaction it would elicit (unsure of my own reaction).
It feels strange. Not that anything has changed per say, but just the fact that there is now another layer being added to our–uhh–The Us is an odd fit (saying the word ‘relationship’ when speaking of the romantic variety is hard to actually say…it gets stuck in my throat…it’s a work in progress).
For the past 5 months or so, Young Gun and I have been conversing on a friendly (but a little more than friendly) level. Butterflies, stolen flirty glances, and swift middle school kisses have floated in and out of our pretend relationship for a while. I made sure to keep all options open (as did he) and just simply enjoy the pretend. Funny thing about pretending–if you do it long enough, you are bound to start the real thing.
Quite honestly (despite the apparent inability to say the word ‘relationship’), I am happier. He does not expect me or want me to be anything other than myself. He totally digs my fro, prefers jeans, sneeks, and a naked face over 5″ heels and short skirts, and believes I can do whatever I put my mind to. When I told him about The Marathon, he didn’t double over in laughter for 10 minutes (yes…that actually happened to me before). When my hair is huge & ridiculously fro-ish, he gives me a high five and smiles. When he sees me in jeans and a tee shirt, it is like metal to a magnet. I can say weird stuff or laugh at terrible jokes or drag him to see awful chick flicks and he accepts it all. He constantly reminds me to not open the door for myself or carry things when he is around. He knows which weekends are my free weekends without me ever saying a word. He is respectful of my children and the space I require for them. I. Am. Happier.
I am still riding this ride one day at a time. I am still just having fun. I am still just keeping pace. I am still putting focus where it is needed. There is no pressure to be anything other than myself; no pressure to do anything other than what I do; no pressure to go where I don’t normally go. He is simple. This is simple. We are simple. And after the long journey I had before, simple (and slow) is just fine by me. Now…about those wedding dresses….(NOT!) 😛
Valentine’s Day. Completely and totally overrated if you ask me. It is basically men running around buying gifts trying to make up for 364 days of smelly farts, missed timing, and general ass clown guy stuff. Women stand at the ready waiting for said gifts and gushes of Hallmark provoked affection. I hate Valentine’s Day (Grinch style) which is why this year (technically next year since this is December), I plan on joining in the fray (gotta get passed what you abhor, right). What do they say? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? Yea. That. Only I plan on doing it better. I am celebrating alone.
When you go through a break up, the holidays are almost an automatic thought. What about Christmas? What about the New Year? What about….Valentine’s Day?! I will be all alone. No flowers (but he didn’t give them to you anyway), no cards (uh….ok), no presents (yea…another piece of jewelry you didn’t ask for), no dates (dinner and a movie…again)….just………loneliness (cue flat line for death by lonely). I cannot tell a lie, I totally had all of those thoughts, and when I verbalized them to a friend she told me she loved Valentine’s day. “I love on myself extra special that day. I don’t have to have someone else to love–loving me is enough.” Suddenly, finding Romeo didn’t seem so pressing….but I found him anyway.
This Valentine’s Day I will be spending a beautiful evening with Romeo…and Juliet….and a few hundred people. I will be at the ballet–alone and perfectly content with the company. For a couple of years now I have watched The Atlanta Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet production sell out because I didn’t want to go alone, but this go ’round I refused to be victim to stupidity.
Love is not (and should not) be reserved for February 14th. Duh. We know this. However, it generally is and, because I have entered into a new relationship with myself, I want to treat me the way I feel I should be treated. And a romantic evening, dressed up, enjoying an expensive dinner at a restaurant with cloth napkins to celebrate the commercially decided day of love seems like as good a place as any to start. Oh Romeo. Romeo. Where for art thou [my] Romeo? For starters, he will be on stage dancing in pastel tights purely for my enjoyment. Now after the tights come off…well…that’s a completely different story 😉