Hitched, our weekly column about getting married, is back! This time around, we’ll be walking down the aisle (well, in spirit) with writer Emma Sarran, who will be sharing her thoughts on long engagements, the institution of matrimony and that godforsaken wedding industrial complex every Thursday.
I remember my engagement as if it was yesterday. But in reality, it was one year and one month ago. And we’re still not married. And we won’t be for another eight months. We didn’t go into wedding planning wanting a long engagement; it’s just how it happened. We got engaged in late October and started checking out venues in Chicago pretty soon after. By the time we started inquiring, most places were already booked up until November-ish of the following year and, since I hate the cold and have no interest in braving it in a wedding dress, we skipped ahead to July, figuring that would safely be in bearable-temperature-territory. (As I sit here, in November, with fingers almost too frozen to type, I feel confident in that decision.) Now that we’re “only” eight months out from our wedding day, I reflect on some of the pros and cons of a long engagement. Keep reading »
When you marry someone and sponsor him for immigration, you declare loud and clear for the government, your employers, and your loved ones all to hear that you have created a new family. You gain legal rights and spousal privileges. Your credit ratings affect each other. Your taxes change. You send thank you cards that you both sign. Both socially and on paper, you are a new family unit. Look at us — Kale and Jessie!
But that’s on paper. Words on paper don’t represent emotions. Couples who dated and even lived together for a long time probably already feel like they’re a family — and I would agree they are one. I don’t believe a family is “a family” only when it’s recognized by the government; I have friends with strained biological family relations who consider their real families made up of close friends a “family of choice.” The concept of family is really a mindset. So, when in a relationship or a new marriage like ours do you actually start to feel like a family? Keep reading »
The first man I ever fell in love with was eight years older than me. He was on probation for stealing a video game, and his fingertips smelled like cigarettes and shellfish, having spent most evenings washing dishes at a seafood restaurant. At one point, he kept going to work even though his boss had stopped paying him. “Why don’t you start looking for a new job?” I asked.
“Cuz it’s fun just chillin’ with the boys, smoking cigarettes in the back,” he told me.
Jeff wouldn’t find another job for nine months, mostly because his unemployment allowed him to sit in front his PlayStation all afternoon. At age 26, he still lived with his dad, but couldn’t be bothered to sleep in the spare bedroom because all of his crap — a graveyard of sporting equipment he lost interest in and old surf tees — was piled so high, he couldn’t find the bed.
Instead, he slept on a makeshift bed-couch in the living room. It was here, with his father bumbling in to ask, “What’s going on?” that I lost my virginity. Keep reading »
Make It Stop is a new weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — the blogger behind Shmitten Kitten and Shlooby Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.
First up, how to deal with an overly-friendly neighbor who just won’t shut up: Keep reading »
In March, Michael and I met up with my friend and her boyfriend for a double-date. I already knew that they’d gone to look at rings, but their big news that night was that he had gone ahead and bought it, and already talked to her mom and dad about proposing to her. I was thrilled for my friend: She is one of the coolest people I know, her boyfriend is a really good guy, they work well together, they’ve started building a life that suits what she wants, and now they’re making it official — things are working out really nicely for them.
When we left the bar and were safely out of anyone’s earshot, and asked Michael to stop. “I just want to be clear,” I told him, “I want to get married. That’s where I’m headed. I’d like to know if that’s what you want, too.”
“Yeah,” he said, and smiled. “Yeah what?” I asked, because I hate having things in uncertain terms. “Yeah, I want to marry you some day,” he replied. Keep reading »
My ex-husband was the most romantic person I’ve ever met. He also hit me on the day we got married, while I was wearing my wedding dress.
That’s why when I saw the footage of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I wasn’t surprised that she was now his wife. It isn’t — as many of the commenters on the original TMZ video have said — “all about the money,” or “she doesn’t care about taking a punch,” and it’s especially not that “she is telling all women it’s okay for your man to beat you.”
Domestic violence is so much more complicated than a lack of money, or not having self-respect, or feeling like it’s OK for your man to beat up on you. I’m not an expert on what makes women stay in abusive relationships or even marry their abuser. But I did both of these things and I can speak to my particular story. Keep reading »