Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Do You Mean, I Have to Put a Wedding Together?!

Just when I feared I had nothing of interest left to blog about, along comes a proposal that turns everything upside down, and, voila! This blog becomes, as of right now, the receptacle of all my anxiety as I launch into wedding preparations, because this, this is going to be one interesting experience.

Before I launch into the reasons for my wedding anxiety, I have to say that we have mulled quite a few times just going to the courthouse and throwing a backyard bash at a later date (and who knows, if this process drives me insane enough, we might do just that), but we've decided to do a simple ceremony and reception with close family and friends. I am not at all someone who needs or wants a full-blown wedding, but we both feel that our union is a cause for celebration. I chafe at the notion that a second wedding should be done in as quiet and non-event way as possible, because hey, you already had one. I don't want or need anything big or fancy or anything like that, but that we found each other and fell so deeply in love and have built something that is fulfilling and good is a miracle in itself, and we want to celebrate it. We also want to have something special to mark for Max the day we officially become a family. He has an idea what weddings are and what they mean, and I want him to celebrate, too.

So, I've been trying to hone in on some of this anxiety, and I guess it boils down to a few things. First of all, I just want to get to the part where we're husband and wife. Sure, I want to get there in a fun, sweet way, but it's the marriage itself I'm most excited about. I can't believe I feel this way, but I do. I don't fantasize about the party or me in a beautiful dress, I fantasize about all that lies ahead and the ways in which we'll grow and face things together and grow closer and live day-to-day. But we did decide on that small wedding, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about putting together something special for us.

This brings me to the second thing: while I want a simple, unique, fun wedding for us, there's a whole lot about weddings that I don't like, and it's hard to reconcile these two things. Seriously, I have a considerable list of everything I don't like, and it's making it hard for me to plan this event when I keep running into people trying to shove these things in my face. Everything that is "tradition," that "everyone does," I just instinctually reject. And while right now my wedding is in my cross-hairs, I'm like this about everything. I can't stand it when people do things just because it's what's expected or what everyone does and they don't even bother to question it or ponder if that's what they really want for themselves. 

So here I am, facing all these "expected" things and pushing them away. Let me clarify - I don't feel like this about every single aspect of a wedding, but it's enough that I'm feeling a little batty right now. I don't want engagement pictures; I will in no way wear a garter; I don't want a white dress (though I doubt I'll stray too far from ivory or champagne); I don't want a cake; I don't give a crap about what color my napkins are. It's those kinds of things, and it's all insignificant stuff that has nothing to do with what a wedding is to me, and I'm feeling a bit miffed at the way these things are suddenly supposed to carry some significance for me or otherwise I risk ruining my magical day. My eyes couldn't possibly roll any farther back into my head right now.

(And none of that is a commentary or judgment on anyone else who's into it. To each his/her own, it's just not for me.)

And third, it turns out that even "simple" carries one hell of a price tag, so I've learned very quickly that if  I want to do this on our terms and within our budget, we have to be assertive hard asses. Fair enough, it's just exhausting. I'm amused that vendors think I want this so badly that I'd blow my budget or not ask 10,000 questions and specify every single detail and fight what I feel needs fighting. They don't understand that I'm more prone to walk out the door or end the conversation without giving them my business than anything else. I don't cave, vendors! I can't be swayed by talk about how I must have or do this or that or my day just won't be the same!

Whew. So there's all that. We need to settle on some big things before I can relax and enjoy this. Because that's a big part of this for me - I want to enjoy this process and be creative and have a celebration that is not at all cookie-cutter and is instead very "us" and also so much fun and so sweet that everyone will cry with joy. 

And after all that's done and over with, the real fun will start.


Posted by Tere @ 4/24/2012   | | | links to this post

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The One Where My Heart Explodes

I've started this post like 100 times now, only to promptly delete the first couple of paragraphs, stare at the blank screen for a few minutes, and then start all over again.

I don't know how to write this. Guess that's what I should conclude after all these attempts. My brain is having a total aside moment now, amused at how you can consider yourself a writer, or be someone who needs to write just to function or who writes every single day (and I do, though lately not online), and still not be able to write for crap when your emotions are all over the place and you don't know how to say what you want to say.

I should just say it. I should be as blunt as I tend to be in person and just drop the six words and be done with it. I know right at this moment that that's exactly what I'm going to do in just a few seconds, but first I'm compelled to explain that I really wanted a cute or moving or funny preamble to this, but look, I failed. I'm just a rambling mess. Oh well. Best to just get to it.


Now I'm grinning like a fool and I want to say it another way.


Oh wow, I could do this for a while. But I won't.

O.k., one more time.


People, I am beside myself with joy. My heart cannot contain the intensity of my happiness. I'm so happy, I'm terrified. I've been growing more and more used to this sweet, fulfilling, great life he and I have been building together, I've been learning to believe that all this is real and mine and been working on surrendering to it - but the overwhelming tide of emotions that have hit me this last week have almost been too much. I'm not wholly used to this - this kind of relationship that's so full of mutual respect, commitment and belief in each other.

I can't express how blessed I feel. Three-and-a-half years ago, I couldn't have imagined any of this. Not him, not the way we would click, not how deeply I would fall in love or how completely he would change my life. We've been through so much these two-plus years we've been together - a lot of it difficult and challenging and downright scary. Opening your heart and truly committing to someone else and the relationship you build with them - especially after divorce - is frightening. It takes a boatload of faith in the other and their intentions; it takes a huge willingness to be vulnerable and trusting, even those moments when you really don't think you have it in you. And with Jevo, it's been a repeated experience in going through this and it always turning out o.k. - better than o.k. He doesn't play with my head or heart and makes sure I know - even in the middle of a fight - that he loves me and wants what's best for the relationship. And he - for reasons that I don't always understand but am infinitely grateful for - he sees me how no one's ever seen me. He can cut through my b.s. and see whatever's good about me. I've never known this. I don't always know how to react to it. But it's everything I've ever needed and wanted.


Max has been pretty vocal about his desire for us to get married, so we decided to tell him together. His immediate response: "GREAT! Now I get my brother or sister!!" (who needs a biological clock when you have a six-year-old who constantly asks where his baby brother/sister is?). We had to explain that would still take some time, but he remained excited. When Jevo told him, "we'll officially be family," he gave him a quizzical look and told him, "but you're already my family." And this - to have my boy so excited, to know how much he adores Jevo (or "Catholic dad," as he calls him) - is the thing that moves me to pieces. It's not just all I've written about us - it can't be in my situation. I've seen them develop their own relationship, one that is constantly evolving, and how the three of us have formed our own unit. If I feared allowing myself to love again, I feared how that could affect my son even more. And here, there is nothing to fear. Jevo's commitment is to us both, and Max senses this. After we gave him the news, when he and I were alone, snuggling, I asked him how he felt about it all. "I've wanted him to be my step-dad since I met him," he told me. "This is the best thing ever."

And there goes my heart, exploding with joy.

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Posted by Tere @ 4/22/2012   | | | links to this post

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh Look, I'm on Gourmet.com!

I'm beyond giddy because some restaurant recommendations I made for a BlogHer and Gourmet collaboration published yesterday on the Gourmet Live blog. For real! Looky here!

My food obsession is intense (it's obscene how many hours a day I spend thinking about food, planning meals, and dining outings and discussing favorite dishes and memorable meals), and when I was offered the chance to recommend restaurants in Miami, I could not pass it up. I decided to recommend Cuban joints that are not touristy or over-priced, where real, regular Cubans eat, and my one Italian restaurant standout. I won't tell what they are here, you'll have to go see for yourself.

This was a fun experience, mainly because it's a topic I'm passionate about and know enough about to make recommendations without sounding like an ass (because that is all too common, I can assure you). Plus, Gourmet! They took my recommendations! They put them on their website! It's like I'm legitimate now!

The piece has brought a lot of new visitors here, and if you're one of them, please make yourself at home and enjoy. I'm currently a bit nutty trying to wrap up projects for the semester (I'm a grad student), so posting here is slow right now, but the archives are lengthy and new stuff is around the corner. I'm nearing the bend on my school work and am very much in need of writing. Hope you stick around for that!

Otherwise, go read my recommendations!

Posted by Tere @ 4/12/2012   | | | links to this post

Saturday, April 07, 2012

One Day I Will Write Here Again...

... specifically, when this semester is over. I'm so nuts over this final project I have to complete this next week (I started about two-and-a-half weeks ago) that I can't see straight. The last couple of months have been stressful on a few fronts, and while I'm so so so grateful that Jevo and I have handled everything very well (you know, working together, supporting each other - all that special love stuff), I'm at a breaking point. Glum, if you will. It's been stress, stress, stress and frankly, I've got nothing to look forward to as a way to keep my eyes on the prize. I suppose I get simply the break from school for the summer, which I need, but that's it. And that, while nice, isn't particularly exciting. Sigh.

Posted by Tere @ 4/07/2012   | | | links to this post