Profile for Andrea Grimes

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Hitched: Saying Farewell

Marriage Pressure
She feels pressured to either get married or break up. Read More »
I Kept My "Maiden Name"
Andrea explains why she didn't take her new husband's last name. Read More »
I Took Her Last Name
Bucking tradition, this husband took his wife's last name. Read More »
Hitched

This week, my husband and I sat in a real estate agent’s office and put our first ever offer on an actual house on an actual piece of land that we would actually like to own.

“You guys are legally married, right?” the real estate agent asked. We said yes, we are.

“Do you have the same last name?” the real estate agent asked.

It’s a question I’ve become used to answering, and one of the first I tackled in the weeks after Patrick and I got drunk at the lake one hot September weekend and decided to get married. Keep reading »

Hitched: What To Say To Wedding Busybodies

Jerks Are Jerky
Things only jerks will complain about on at your wedding. Read More »
Wedding Week 2013
Wedding season is here once again! Read More »
Hitched

What’s the kindest thing you can do for someone who’s getting married? Keep your mouth shut. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. If you’re asked for advice? Give it, judiciously. If you’re not? Please, please, please for the love of cummerbunds, hold your tongue. That goes for anyone, whether we’re talking parents of the happy couple or third cousins or that drunk dude at the bar.

When Patrick and I planned our wedding, which I will always remember fondly as being one of the most stressful times in my life, we were blessed with hands-off families and beer-in-hand friends who took their roles as sounding boards very seriously. The strangers, really, were the ones who gave us the most grief — the guy at the pub who wanted to know when we were having kids, the florist who couldn’t imagine a world without corsages, the saleswoman who told me I wouldn’t feel like a princess in a tea-length wedding dress.

What I wish I’d had then, and what I’m giving y’all now, is a handy list of phrases to keep in your back pocket for those moments when you’re so floored by a suggestion or bit of (bad) advice that you’re tempted to take it just to shut someone up. They’re all wedding-focused, of course, but I like to think they’ll work for anyone on the receiving end of a busybody’s interest. Keep reading »

Hitched: The Awe-Inspiring Mundanity of True Love

I’m standing in the kitchen in my underwear, crying over a carton of fat-free half and half. I’m about to do one of those dramatic Lifetime movie moments where the emotionally exhausted woman has just had too much and she crashes to the floor with dramatic flourish and beats her fists on the ground. But I feel crusty cat food and coffee grounds stuck to my heels and I can’t remember the last time I mopped. In fact I can’t even name a single time I’ve mopped this particular kitchen floor, which prompts me to remember that the person who mops the kitchen floor in our house is my husband, Patrick. And then I cry some more. Keep reading »

Hitched: The Wedding Dress Body Project

hitched photo
What's In A Name?
hitched photo
Why there's no way in hell Andrea Grimes will change her name. Read More »

Andrea is taking a much needed week off from her Hitched column this week, after spending the last few days reporting live from the Texas State Legislature as they attempted to rid the state of nearly all its clinics that provide abortions. (Thanks to Senator Wendy Davis and the rest of the “feminist army,” they failed.) So this week, I’m rerunning one of Andrea’s first Hitched columns, originally published on November 2, 2011. 

Wedding dress shopping. Here’s what happens to me: I walk into a bridal salon and tell the nice maternal saleswoman that I want a tea-length gown with no flowery accents. I am ushered into a dressing room where I am told that they have one tea length gown, it is covered in flowers, and did I want to try on, say, this $1,500 satin gown with a 14-foot train? For funsies? Repeat nine times. Nine. Nine.

“This is your one chance to be a princess!” one saleswoman told me. When I explained to her that my “princess” vision actually, like, seriously really did include a tea-length dress and she was just going to have to see if she could manage to wrap her mind around that, this total stranger looked at me like I had just shot her kitten point-blank in the face in the middle of the dress shop.

So, I went to the custom dressmaker. I told her what I wanted. She said she could totally do that, but she wouldn’t start the dress until next year, even though we’re getting married in April. Why?

“So you have time to get your weight where you want it.” Keep reading »

Hitched: I’m So Glad I Didn’t Have An “Unplugged” Wedding

It’s in The New York Times, so I guess “unplugged” weddings are a thing, at least among the handsome and affluent people who see themselves in the Paper of Record’s style section.

In a column called “This Life” (imagine saying it the way you’d say “This guy! Can you believe this guy!?” and columns wondering whether families should “create a mission statement similar to ones many companies use to identify their core values” become a lot easier to stomach), writer Bruce Feiler tackles the issue of the “unplugged” wedding. That’s when people getting married are either so important and famous that selling a blurry cell phone shot from the back row of the ceremony might score guests a four-digit payment from Us Weekly, or when people getting married think that they are.

What happens: guests are told to surrender their smartphones, cameras, spy pens, sketch pads and uncommonly good photographic memories to an “attendant” before the ceremony, because they cannot be trusted to properly appreciate the gravity of the event with technology in-hand. Keep reading »

Hitched: My Dad At My Wedding

Walking Down The Aisle
I love my dad, but I don't want him to give me away. Read More »
Father's Day 2013
We heart you, dad! Read More »

My father didn’t walk me down the aisle on my wedding day, but he did help me up some very steep stairs. That’s not a metaphor for the next iteration of my life as a married lady: there were actual stairs, my high heels were ridiculous, and I didn’t want to fall over as I climbed to greet my very-soon-to-be husband on the stage where he was waiting for me.

I love that moment. I’d never envisioned being “given away” by my dad. I always loved the idea of walking solo, down the aisle, toward my future. But at the end of the “aisle” — a treacherous brick walkway — at our venue, was a set of precarious stairs. When I reached them, I put one foot on a step and reached with my left hand toward my dad, who helped me balance before taking my place in front of Patrick.

In both the figurative, and the most literal, sense, my dad helped me arrive on that stage, standing with the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was legitimately nervous I might fall down, but I also wanted that moment of connection with my dad during the ceremony, as a nod to what he and my mom and our family mean to me.

My dad? He was just legitimately nervous. Keep reading »

Hitched: You Don’t Have To Spend All The Money On Your Wedding, I Promise

Had Patrick and I enjoyed the luxury of a gigantor wedding budget, there are some things that we did not get to have at our wedding but which we would have liked to have had. For me: a photo booth, more chairs, a custom dress. For Patrick: a second photographer, a videographer, a soft serve ice cream machine, a llama.

Yes, like a real, live, breathing and huffing llama. But only at the reception — obviously it’d be a distraction to bring in a domesticated South American camelid for the ceremony.

“It speaks to things for people to do, many more things to make it fun for people,” Patrick explained, intent on convincing Hitched readers that he’s not secretly a third-grader. “Like a photo booth.”

But a llama rental probably would have doubled our $5,000 budget. So no llamas for us. And as it turns out, we managed to power through it and get married without one. Keep reading »

Wedding "Disasters"
worried bride
These things might happen -- but don't worry, you'll survive. Read More »

Hitched: Stop With The Female Breadwinning Trend Stories Already

'50s Men Desirable?
1950s man
Dubiously sourced study says women find '50s-era men desirable. Read More »
Financial Dependence
Michelle Duggar marriage tips
Duggars believe women should be financially dependent on men. Read More »

Here’s this article entitled, “The Flip Side Of Being A Female Breadwinner,” another one of those what-does-it-all-mean pieces (yes, there’s an evolutionary psychologist quoted, if you’re playing Navel-Gazey Trend Story Bingo back at home) that takes one person’s experience and blows it up in hopes of making a statement, vaguely tinged with some kind of shame about not doing things properly, about the way women and men live and work now and the way things should be, or ought to be.

The ultimate conclusion of these kinds of pieces? Life is complicated, and no you can’t have it all, and no, we have never heard of anyone who is not a white, middle-class woman because if we did we would have to approach this topic with actual thought and nuance and situate it in a socio-historical context that took long-term economic and political trends into account, and that would be harder than drawing simplistic conclusions about culture and gender roles according to a self-selected sample of friends and “experts.”

I don’t think there’s a “flip side” of being a female breadwinner because I don’t think there are exactly two ways to be a female breadwinner: a way in which everyone is happy in a world of gender roles gone topsy-turvy, and a way in which everyone is swimming miserably upstream. Women — particularly single mothers, particularly women of color- — have been “breadwinning” for years. Keep reading »

Hitched: You Don’t Have To Go To All The Weddings

One of my friends is going to a wedding this summer, and the bride and groom are asking their guests to buy them gold bars, since they already have literally every other thing two people in the world could possibly need. Besides gold bars.

Gold Bars. Gold. Bars. Gold bars at (I understand the price fluctuates, but) $1,421.99. Unless, you know, you want to buy in bulk. Then you can get them for a steal at $1,411.99.

I think now is as good a time as any to talk about weddings you can’t afford to attend. Keep reading »

I Hate Weddings
Here are a bunch of reasons why. Read More »
No Bachelorette Party
Why Andrea chose not to have a "real" bachelorette party. Read More »
Bridesmaid = Expensive
Being a bridesmaid drained this woman's bank account. Read More »

Hitched: Things Only Jerks Will Complain About At Your Wedding

Hitched: Who's Next?
Unless you're waiting to walk down the aisle, no one is "next" to get married. Read More »

If you’re planning a summer wedding, you may now be where I once was, just a few weeks before my nuptials: at the bar.

I was tired of making decisions. I was tired of caring about details. I was tired of answering questions. I was tired of worrying. Planning a big-ass event is hard. Planning one that’s supposed to be the Greatest Day Of Your Life Ever Or Else Your Existence As A Whole Is A Poorly Executed Sham And Everybody Knows It is especially hard, and you don’t have to have purchased stock in Wedding Industrial Complex, Inc. to be worried about it.

So I’m going to tell you a true thing that good people told me. Something I knew intellectually to be true, but something I found emotionally hard to wrap my mind around:

There are two kinds of people who seriously care about your wedding. One of those kinds of people is you and, ideally, the person you’re about to commit your forever life to. The other kind of person is an asshole. Keep reading »

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