The State of Texas, beautiful and God-blessed land led by the white conservative men Jesus always intended it to be led by, rewards people who go to premarital counseling. The prize? You get to waive your license fee and don’t have a three-day waiting period between obtaining the license and getting married.
I discovered this fun new law while checking out marriage licenses generally, and learned that as of March 1, 2011, Texans getting married can either pay an increased fee for a license or get their asses to a counselor for an eight-hour course that will allow them to waive it.
The program is called, barfily enough, Twogether in Texas. I figured hey, if we can waive the fee and get counseling, that might be kind of cool. Of course, it’ll have to be free counseling because otherwise, there’s no money saved in waiving the fee. And we’re sure not paying a stranger hundreds of dollars to tell us we love each other and agree on major life issues like children (not for us, thanks), money (let’s make a reasonable amount of it and share it with each other) and religion (we’ll pass). Duh. That’s why we’re getting married. Keep reading »
It sure doesn’t come as surprise to me that I’m getting married in a few weeks. After all, there was much to be done after we got drunk at the lake last Labor Day Weekend and decided to get married.
Patrick and I rented a venue, sent out save the dates and invitations, built a barfy-adorable “wed-site,” argued with our parents over the guest list, told grown-ass adults what kind of clothes to wear, created wedding registries and asked guests to donate to marriage equality organizations if they liked that instead, bought tablecloths, and arranged for a colleague to officiate the ceremony. I bought a dress, shoes, some really fun underpants and got my hair colored. All signs point to: wedding.
But I don’t think I realized I was actually getting married until I went with Patrick to get a custom shirt made for his wedding outfit. Why? Because that shirt cost more than my dress. Keep reading »
I think I just got away with telling my dad he won’t be giving me away at my wedding — and the world didn’t fall apart.
I’d been putting it off, the telling him, partly because I never know whether my dad is going to care. I know he cares a lot about high-quality French fries and Chevy sport utility vehicles that rolled off the line between 1996 and 1999 (must have tailgate and be black, red or white). But the emotional stuff is a total gamble.
There was the time he tried to keep one of my high school boyfriends from using our upstairs bathroom because “he might have VD,” which I now realize was code for “Andie, you are wasting your time on this guy.” He cried when I tried on my wedding dress for him, but not when he dropped me off at college halfway across the country.
So I had no idea how he would react if I told him that I don’t want to be given away on my wedding day. Maybe he would be fine with it. Or maybe it would genuinely hurt him. But there’s not much that hurts me more than being treated like a piece of property. Keep reading »
I wish people would talk more about the actual reasons they get married, when and why they do. The reasons beyond “I’m in love.”
Because of course I’m getting married because I love Patrick. But I’ve loved a few people in my life, and I didn’t want to marry all of them. And the one or two that I did want to marry, I obviously didn’t end up sealing the deal with.
I hope that people say to themselves and their partners, when they are deciding to get married, Why are we doing this now? What will our lives be like after we get married? Are there advantages to this besides new flatware?
But on the outside, all we ever seem to say is, “We’re in love.” Or “She’s the one, I just knew it.” Yes, you’re in love. Yes, your partner is the one. But what about all the other reasons under the sun? Keep reading »
Why did I get this huge chest tattoo right before my wedding?
This is the question I have asked myself twice now, awakening from wedding-themed nightmares in a cold sweat. In my first dream, the chest tattoo I got was some adorable phrase in scripty font that looked lovely when I glanced down at myself but was huge and disgusting when I looked at it in the mirror. The second was a full-torso tribute to the Insane Clown Posse. What. The? Keep reading »
“Grooms get in free!”
That’s the generous offer from Austin Monthly, my local glossy society rag, for its “Couture, Cakes and Cufflinks,” uh, “Bridal Bash.” There’s nothing particularly unusual about this kind of shill party, and that’s what makes it particularly offensive. It’s every disgusting wedding narrative rolled into one day-long event that women are actually expected to pay to attend.
There’s so much to hate about mainstream wedding culture — the consumerism, the gender policing, the fucking consumerism, the body-shaming, did I mention the consumerism? — but perhaps the wedding-related narrative that pisses me off more than any other is the idea that men are incapable of being interested in weddings and must be coddled and babied so that their delicate wedding-hating sensibilities are not offended. Keep reading »
I’ve been putting off making the trip to the county clerk’s office to see about getting Patrick and I common-law married. In order for me to be enrolled on his health insurance, Patrick’s employers need some kind of governmentally sanctioned proof that we’re not just total liars. The process in Texas for proving you’re not a total liar is pretty simple: you tell the government that you’re not a total liar, sign a piece of paper, and they believe you. Suddenly, marriage!
This one little trip that I can’t seem to make is probably one of the most important things I could be doing just about now. And yet here I sit in my lacy black silk pajamas (Fancy Lady Obsessed With “Downton Abbey” So She Bought Some Nice Underthings Alert!), drinking coffee and fending off keyboard-fascinated cats instead of achieving the twofer of making my relationship more legitimate in the eyes of the government and ensuring that I have proper health coverage.
Though to be fair, I also buy extra underwear so that I can go a month without hitting the laundromat, so know that I am a world-class procrastinator of some renown. It’s not that I have apprehensions about becoming a wife.
Right? Keep reading »
When Patrick and I got drunk at the lake and decided to get married, we announced it to our friends a couple days later like the classy, plugged-in media power couple we are: via mass text message. Exclamation points. That kind of thing.
The congratulations came flooding in. A couple folks even called. It made me feel like the most important person doing something totally boring and normal in the whole wide world.
But the response I was really worried about getting, and the response that kept me glancing at my phone for validation, was one from my best ladyfriend Susan. I didn’t know what to expect, because I knew Susan hated weddings and wedding-related culture and generally always has a shitty time at weddings. How would she react to me, her best friend, shoving her into the center of a swirling, twirling wedding maelstrom?
“Awwww!” she exclaimed. “Awwww!” Keep reading »
I took dance class for years as a kid. I loved being up on stage, dancing my ass off in front of an auditorium full of strangers. As an adult, I performed stand-up comedy. Loved it. Loved making a bunch of people I’d never met laugh.
But performing my latest dance routine in the living room in front of my parents? A circle of hell I didn’t like to think about, even as a kindergardener. Telling my parents about some jokes I’m working on for a stand-up show? A circle of hell that doesn’t actually exist, because it is so bad that the devil is, like, “No, seriously, Andrea, nothing you could ever do would cause you to deserve this.” Keep reading »
Put down the self-help books, singletons looking for love. Unsubscribe to Dear Abby. Tell Steve Harvey to slow his roll. I have all the relationship advice you’ll ever need. Go get a pen, and write this down: quit trying.
I don’t mean quit dating, or quit looking for people to spend your life with. I mean that once you bang someone or date them and it feels weird, or they do something that kind of irks you or they’re not treating you how you want to be treated, stop dating that person. If you think communicating with them is more awkward or intimidating than you’d like it to be, or they won’t give you what you reasonably like in bed, or if they make you think you need to look, act or dress differently, stop dating that person.
Stop dating that person immediately and move on to the next person. Keep reading »