Monthly Archives: June 2011

4 months

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On Friday the wedding planning and my anxiety and stress over it all came to a head. Saturday I wrote a very bitchy blog post that I might delete. Sunday everything changed. Lets start with Friday.

Friday afternoon, my mom said her mommy chain was tugging at her so she came to see me at work and brought her dog. I didn’t know she was coming, she just showed up. About 30 seconds later she asked me what was wrong and after half a sentence of trying to fake it, I crumbled. I told her everything that was bothering me and how every time I try to make a wedding plan, I’m squashed like a bug. It’s too hard, it’s too frustrating, it’s not justifiable… it’s just not working. To top it off, my Xanax supply has taken a big hit over the last two weeks because of it. She calmed me down and said to call her after work. I did.

Yes, when we first got engaged I leaped into the whole thing and I was gung ho to make it work. I was excited after the first talk about everything with the committee… and then reality hit. Every single thing I looked at was squashed because of our budget and even after I cut everything to the bare minimum, it was still $6,600. And then I realized that I forgot the fucking wedding rings. Now we’re up to $8,000 to $10,000. Fuck me running. Impossible. If we REALLY busted ass, we could come up with the $6600, but 8? 10? And what about our other dreams? What about moving to a bigger home? What about paying down our debt? WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?

Suffice to say, mom kicked into high gear about budget weddings and all this really cheap talk and I told her “its not me you have to convince!” After I got the hard part out, she brought me down from the ledge, talked some sense into me, and started talking about reality budgets and her two tiny weddings and why am I taking this money away from my true dream of a baby?

Well the conversation left me with a LOT to think about and Dean knows when my head is spinning and if I keep ANYTHING from him (obvious hiding) he gets very angry with me. I should have listened to my mother. Dean and I spoke on the phone on his way home, had an argument (AGAIN!) about unrelated shit, and cut each other off in silence. He apparently called my mom and I went into psycho cleaning mode to get everything out of my system.

I am not good at conveying how I feel to him without it bursting out like an explosion so when I try to contain it and keep my head in line, it comes out stunted and disjointed. See why we argue? He came home to me scrubbing the sweet blue fuck out of the stove and silence. He started vacuuming and we cleaned together in silence. When I let go of my frustration, I walked to him, kissed him, and then we finished cleaning. We went to the store, got some dinner, and let it go. This is a HUGE evolutionary change in our arguing style.

Well after I vented to mom, cleaned, slept on it, took 3 Xanax in 24 hours (keep in mind that’s safe, but my norm is like 1-2 a week) vented through my blog, and had a day apart, things changed. Day apart because Dean works Saturdays and he also sometimes bartends as a side job here and there. He left at 6am and I saw himn again at 11:30pm. Thus, a day apart.

Anyway, through textign and brief phone calls, mom told us she wanted to talk to us in person on Sunday. Dean assumed it was because he told her I was frustrating him with my constant changes to the wedding nonsense and that he wanted to hurt me (not really, but he was angry and talking to her about me). I assumed it was going to be the final blow to the wedding coffin and she’d tell us she has no money and we’re on our own.

I was partly right, so was he.

Today, after helping my dad get the last of his stuff from his soon to be ex wife’s house, we went to mom’s house. She and my stepdad sat us down and started talking. No, they don’t have the money. No, they can’t do more than maybe $1000 at the most. They explained the joys of home ownership and how you can go from “yay we’re a few payments away from no debt!” to “fuck, we’re 20 grand in the hole” in a matter of a month. Their furnace died, AC unit died, had a few other house hold issues and kapow! She was also hating how much Dean and I were fighting over this and saw glimpses now of a future of stress and we needed to be happier now. So how can mom (and stepdad) help her baby and future son-in-law? Well…

My parents offered to help us pay for the wedding by asking us if we’d like to move in with them. “we can’t help you with money, but we can help you by giving you a place to stay so you can save your own money.” We’d pay a small rent, but it would be a third of our current rent and utilities monthly cost. We’d cut other costs, Dean wouldn’t have as long of a commute, and we’d have the cash to do a few things together. Of course the saving at least $1000 a month thing is also a huge factor in this. We discussed everything we could think of, asked a lot of questions, and then Dean and I said we’d think about it and make the decision together. If it were up to me, we’d move next month. DONE! But that’s not quite reality and the earliest we could leave is October. We’d still have to pay rent through November, but we could move out long before that and cut utilities off early.

And then the big offer came out…

3 weeks ago, Dean offered this same kind of thing, but I didn’t hear it. I heard a courthouse wedding now with certain people that MUST be there, and then another ceremony and shebang exactly one year later. I didn’t want to do this twice so I said no. Today that offer was re-issued and clarified. I said yes. The end result? We’re going to get me a cheap ring (to be replaced by 10-27-12), get him his ring that he really wants, get a dress (mom will pay) and suit, have a very small ceremony that my mom will write, we have an officiant who will do it for free, and do it where ever we want locally.

A year from that date, we will have a well planned, well budgeted, party to celebrate it and invite all of our friends and family to join us. If we have the ceremony where I want, I’ve said yes to having the reception in the Elks Lodge his mom helps run and decorate it to the nines with a penny budget. We will also have my final ring and if Dean decides he hates the Titanium, we’ll get him the right ring.

It’s a fuck ton of things to think about, a lot to process, a lot to plan for, and an extremely generous offer. And while I was writing this, Dean decided yes! Yes we’re moving in with my parents! In 4 months we’ll be married and moving into my parents house for 6-8 months.

For the first time in 3 weeks, I feel amazing!

wedding planning is hell

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I fucking HATE this wedding planning shit. I really do. I hate the bullshit pressure society puts on it. I hate that the average cost of a wedding in this country is $28,000! I hate that I’m being mocked left and right for saying our budget is $5,000. I hate that the harder I look, the less I find within our budget. I hate that I am under so much pressure to find a venue NOW because shit books up more than a year in advance.

I also hate doing this alone. I hate that I’ve asked four times for a list of what he wants and he hasn’t even started it. I hate that we’re snapping at each other over everything. I hate that every time I think I’ve found something, I’ve squashed by the price.

The cold hard reality is that $5000 does NOT include rings. It does NOT include a honeymoon. It does not give us any room to breathe. When I realistically priced it all out, I came up with $6700. I have no fucking clue where that money is going to come from. Maybe, MAYBE we’ll both get bonuses in December and January. MAYBE I’ll get my annual raise in July. MAYBE my tax return will be $2000 next year. The odds are in our favor of this happening, but nothing is guaranteed.

And our families won’t contribute shit because they can’t. My mom and stepdad have nothing till they sell their house in 2.5 years when the Metro finishes and opens up. My dad is currently homeless so he’s camping for a few weeks. Dean’s parents? Not much better off than mine. I think the only advantage over mine is that they both have homes. Woohoo!

What he wants is a traditional wedding with a lot of people and a party without giving much thought to how to pay for it all. What I want is a tiny tiny tiny wedding, a honeymoon, and the rest of the money set aside for fertility treatments.

The cold hard fact of reality is that we have a very small chance of conceiving a child on our own. We need help in some way shape or form from a clinic. If that wasn’t the issue, I swear I would give in to this wedding in a heartbeat. But it IS an issue and the problem I have with a wedding is justifying the expense. There is NOTHING that justifies spending that money on a wedding that I believe firmly in my heart should be going towards a baby. It feels 100% WRONG.

Thus, we are at a standstill at the moment. I’ve hot the point where until he gives me a list of what he wants in a wedding, I will go no further. I DID find a small place that we could use that fits the bill on many levels. I’ve priced it realistically and I can do it for $3000 but that doesn’t include rings.

And I’m standing firm on this baby thing. We were planning this baby long before we got engaged and now it’s all ass backwards.

He gave me the court house offer with conditions and I didn’t take it. Now I wish I had and I think I’m putting it back on the table.

And if he doesn’t go for any other options then I’m done with all of this and he’s going to have to plan this fucking wedding himself!

superficial

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I feel so superficial talking about wedding stuff sometimes. I feel superficial when I read my own blog sometimes. I feel like I used to just pour my soul out onto this little box and wait for the feedback and now I just shut it all off and process it in myhead first. By the time I’m done with everything, I have nothing left to say on here. It’s prevented a LOT of arguments that way, but the content quality has shifted.

Then again, I also expended my content into two other places. One for baby stuff and one for sexy time stuff (because really, that stuff HAS to come out of me or I’ll explode) but still with anonymity.

This blog is more the daily bullshit. Like right now I’m abotu to leave work but I feel the urge to write and yet I have nothing of worth to say. But does that matter?

Okay here… remember the insane food budget plan? Well we made it until today without repeating a single dish. Through trial and error and a lot of frustration with someone’s lack of help, I slumped and stopped caring. Between my stomach being sick half the day, going to the gym after work, and it being hotter than the devil’s ass crack lately, I have been lacking in the food department. I get a little sick of “what’s for dinner tonight?” too and I have not been shy about it. But we DID make it over 2 months without repeating anything and I still have stuff on the list yet to cook.

Money has continued to be an issue, but at one point Dean and I sat down and realized the current struggles are only temporary. A wedding for a friend is not going to be every year since all our friends are mostly married off. Friends having babies? Not a lot any time soon since we’ve got one coming into the world tomorrow but the rest of our friends being on a sort of pause means none after that for the rest of this year. I won’t have car payments in a few more months. And on and on.

My life is plenty complicated and there’s always some sort of storm to contend with, but I just stopped writing about it all. I’m tring to be positive about my life and everything in it. My faith skyrocketted this year, my life DID get better, and I don’t like wallowing in the negative. I could easily get bogged down in how things in this country bother me or I could go politcal or I could take a stand on things, but I realize that it’s just not in my nature to be that way. Not even the majority of my family knows how I feel politically, but they know how I make a meatloaf! They know I work in construction, but have zero clue of what I actually do. They know I vote and have strong opinons, but no clue what those opinons are of. Dean is kind of the same way and it’s something I love about him. We don’t need that to fill our lives up.

I’m sure down the road I’ll care more about the latest political scandal or who showed what body part to what intern, but for now my life DOES revolve around making a home, becoming a wife, strengthening my faith in God and other spiritual beliefs, and planning my future out. So I guess even though I feel superficial some times, I know deep down that I’m not. It’s my choice to show whatever side of me to the world that I want to and well? I’m okay with having more than one side to me and I’m more than okay with this being the primary side.

anti-wedding?

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I work fast. I always have. I HATE having things unresolved. I like, nay, NEED solutions and options.

I want to be married, but I don’t want a wedding. I never have. Grow up without a lot of money, realize one day you’ll be taking care of your parents AND your future spouse’s parents, have no money now, have no degree and no future plan, and you too will be overwhelmed with the prospect of spending a dime on anything that does not have a long term purpose.

I have had a hard enough time buying dresses I will only wear once for other people’s weddings and now I’m supposed to do this for myself? And spend a LOT more on it? Seriously? I’m supposed to invite people I don’t particularly like to an event that effects the rest of my life? I’m supposed to pay for these people to eat and drink and probably get nothing back from? Seriously, what the fuck?

It baffles me the amount of money people spend on ONE DAY of their lives and all the planning that goes into it, but they spend nothing on their retirement, planning the actual marriage, or planning their future. Suffice to say, I’m bitter about weddings in general and always have been. I’ve never made this a secret. I’ve always talked about a tiny Justice of the Peace wedding, a courthouse wedding, and eloping. ALWAYS.

You can imagine how shocking it became to everyone around me that within 24 hours of being engaged, I had an account set up on theknot.com. Within 48 hours a theme. Within 72 hours a date was set. The next day a guest list for each that Dean made on a spreadsheet for me. (He knows me so well!) And today? Well today I have an entire binder made up to keep me organized with check lists, print outs of dresses and decorations, photographers contacted, pages of notes with thoughts and ideas, and a few venues already virtually scouted with inquiries sent.

In less than a week, I went from anti-wedding to a binder full of ideas and a wedding envisioned in my head. My logic was simple: if we’re having a wedding, I’m not going into it unwillingly. If I can force myself to like the idea then I’ll embrace it. If I embrace it, maybe I’ll even enjoy this planning thing. And maybe then, after all that other stuff, I won’t even mind forking out hard earned money to let distant family enjoy it as well.

I am nothing if not a determined individual.

And then Dean and my mom talked, decided they’d created a monster, and Dean proposed a new idea. Suddenly I had the option of the courthouse/JOTP option. There were conditions on it and there would still be a ceremony next year, but I was willing to go with all of this. And I did almost go for it. I was inches away from saying yes until I realized that this was Dean giving up his dream and it was just to make me happy and I felt like a jerk. He’s always wanted a ceremony and I’ve only ever wanted to get married ONCE. Two marriage moments would defeat this.

I did what everyone told me to do: I made a list of what I really truly wanted in a wedding, my short term goals, and my long term goals. I thought long and hard and by the time I was done with the lists, my mind was made up. I decided that we’d have a wedding and I vetoed the option of getting married this year, but I had my own conditions.

The reason? Because this day isn’t about me. It’s about US. Dean wants a wedding and I want him to be happy just as much as he wants me to be happy. I also know that deep down if I don’t do SOMETHING as far as a wedding, I’ll regret it later. So I presented this all to mom, stepdad, and Dean last night with the binder in hand and the lists out for everyone to read. We came to a big enough agreement that everyone was happy.

The compromise between the two of us (big wedding versus non-existent) is to have a wedding, but not necessarily all the traditional procedures. Working out the details will be part of the fun. The wedding is 15 months away. I am spending the next 3 months organizing my binder and thoughts and will present my research to the committee (mom, Dean, and the paternal units) and we’ll make some decisions. This also helps me from losing my mind. If I have the vision on paper, I can come up with a budget figure. If I have both of those things then I can plan a savings schedule and we can plan out when we have to make decisions. Thanks to websites and friends, I will do this at a steady pace, not get overwhelmed, and I will enjoy this process.

I went from anti-wedding to planning my dream wedding in less than a week… and Dean is thrilled.

ENGAGED!

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So yeah, I’m engaged.

Friday Dean whisked me (and our dog) off to central Virginia to The Natural Bridge and an unknown weekend event. After Natural Bridge we had a wet dog sacked out in the car and I had no idea where we were going. Soon enough we pulled up on a gorgeous cabin in the mountains and my parents there! And they decorated! HUZZAH! Happy 30th to me!

And then it got better. When I was making dinner, all of a sudden my brother and his girlfriend showed up!!!! Holy fuck! This is my gift, right? A weekend with my family! Nope. We all enjoyed dinner and then it was cake and presents time. Oh, there are gifts too! Mom and stepdad got me tickets to “Play” which is where the National Symphony Orchestra plays video game music to scenes of the games. We’re seeing that at Wolftrap (outdoor venue where you can have a picnic and booze). They also got me tickets to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center in DC. HOLY SHIT!!!!! And then I open yet another bag and wow, there’s a really pretty berry colored purse! (Total brand x cheap purse but thats my style and I love it.)

Oh and then there was this other little gift from Dean. Dear God, really? I’ve already gotten a day trip, a cabin rental, and my family for the weekend. You mean there’s more?? Yup. In that bag were diamond earrings. Oh my God! Suffice to say I was speechless and elated and couldn’t believe what a wonderful birthday I was having.

And then Saturday showed up and everyone had breakfast together. No real plans to do anything but socialize and enjoy each other’s company, play some games, and eat good food. There I was making lunch for everyone (turkey burgers) when Dean came up behind me, said “let me ask you a question”, wrapped his arms around me, and put a ring in front of me. I barely heard the “will you marry me?” before I whirled around saying “YES! YES! A million times yes!!!!” tears pouring out of my eyes, mascara running, hands shaking, kissing the love of my life. Yes yes yes!

The ring didn’t fit my finger so I made sure it went on a chain around my neck. We’ll be getting it re-sized after my birthday party on the 12th (yup, there’s more!) so I don’t want it going anywhere.

WE’RE ENGAGED! WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!