On Sunday, Patrick and I celebrated our six-month wedding anniversary by watching nearly seven hours of what Netflix claims are “Halloween favorites” and eating a delicious homemade caprese salad, as Patrick decided that six months is the “caprese anniversary.” No doubt he has some culinary deliciousness planned in six more months.
How has my life changed since April 21, 2012? In some ways, not at all. In other ways … not a lot. In still more ways? Not much. In fact, the manifestations of marriage in my day-to-day life are almost negligible, and perhaps because Patrick and I already lived together and wanted to be with each other forever before we decided to put a piece of paper on it. But also perhaps because, after you spend months planning the hoopla of a wedding — even a small one, even an inexpensive one, like ours was — almost anything would seem banal in comparison. Keep reading »
Your engagement story is supposed to make people swoon, not cringe. But these real people who really screwed up obviously didn’t get that memo…
1. Hot Air Balloon Fail: London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji concealed a $10,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon, thinking she’d pop the balloon — and he’d pop the question. But as he left the store where he purchased the balloon, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hands and far, far out of reach. Hajji then spent two hours in his car trying to chase and find the balloon, ultimately failing. His bride to be refused to speak to him until she got a new ring. Read more…
The few times I ever imagined my future wedding as I grew up in suburban north Texas, I imagined it taking place in the church I was raised in, the altar strewn with pretty flowers and the minister who baptized as a child me officiating. This vague idea of what my wedding might be like never quite left me, even as I left organized religion as a young adult. Weddings were a church thing. Churches have ministers. Ministers do weddings. Seemed pretty simple.
But as I attended more and more church weddings as an adult, the more I realized that there would be no way I could have one of my own: it’s not exactly fair to ask a Christian minister to, you know, leave all those Jesus-y parts out. They do tend to like to get in a bit of that where they can.
My husband, Patrick, was raised Catholic. I was a Methodist. While we both spent our youth as devout practitioners of our respective faiths, we don’t currently attend church and don’t have any plans to. We are happily lapsed, though we both look fondly back on our days as Bible-beating teenagers. I, for one, credit the church for giving me moral guidance and an amazing social circle when I was in school. I’d do it the same way all over again. But it’s not who I am or what I believe today. Keep reading »
Minutes before I walked down the aisle, one of my persons-of-distinction, Trenton, pulled a bunch of multi-colored plastic Tiki goblets from a sack, busted open a bottle of cheap champagne from a cooler, and measured out five healthy pours for the five of us in the little dressing room. Most of my pre-wedding moments are lost in a blur of being late to the venue, jumping into my dress and checking my makeup, but I remember that Tiki toast like it was yesterday.
That moment of support and solidarity is what I always imagined a wedding party is for — not to be put-upon recruits in the business of folding silverware (though our folks cheerfully took on this and many other tasks in turning a Dallas rock club into a wedding venue) but to be touchstones in a stressful and joyful and momentous time.
I had four party-persons stand with me on my wedding day, and looking back, I absolutely wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because of my mixed-gender group— Patrick’s side was similarly mixed — we deemed these (very good looking, if I may say so) folks our persons-of-honor-and-distinction, rather than bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are our favorite people. Keep reading »
I made sure to get the thin crust pizza, because I knew that once it was just me and a couch and Liam Neeson rescuing some people from some horrible shit and/or wolves, I was going to eat all that pizza, and I did not want the bread bloat. I was treating myself. I was worth it. I was alone.
For the past two and a half years, in the process of dating, moving in with and then marrying my husband, I haven’t been alone much. I’d almost forgotten how to do it. I’d almost forgotten how to do something I love to do, and something that I’m very, very good at doing. I don’t mean being single. I mean being solitary. By myself.
For most of my 20s, I was in long-distance relationships, make-up break-up relationships or deep into singledom. I had a lot of opportunities to cultivate my own favorite kinds of solitude: taking long afternoon drives out into the Texas Hill Country, getting a six pack of High Life tallboys, watching British comedies all night, going bonkers on multi-hour sewing project marathons that ended in inevitable disaster. Doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted to, and never having to wonder whether eating all this ranch dip at 3 p.m. is that going to mess up dinner plans. Because I didn’t have dinner plans. And I fucking loved it. Keep reading »
Although I certainly don’t believe every couple needs to take special photos celebrating their engagement, if you choose to do so, have fun with it. It’s easy to get swept away by all of the elaborate engagement photo shoots and save the date announcements circulating on the web, but the experience should be fun not stressful. Skip all the elaborate hype and consider the following before you begin. Keep reading »
Take it from me, cheap bridesmaids dresses do exist. How do I know? I purchased five bridesmaids dresses for under $50 each. Cheap bridesmaids dresses do exist. Do not let the bridal stores, magazines and Pinterest lead you astray. If your goal is to find affordable (or at least “reasonable,” depending on your perspective) dresses for your bridesmaids to wear, follow these steps to success. (Plus, check out 16 of my own picks above!) I guarantee your wedding party will love you for it. Keep reading »
I’ve been walking around with a sketch of a uterus and cervix in my reporter’s notebook for several weeks now, courtesy of my gynecologist. She drew it while explaining to me how an IUD works. I keep it around both because I like it as a conversation piece and because when you write about ladyparts as much as I do, it’s actually quite useful as a reference tool at the office or, you know, the bar. Wherever.
But what I like best about my little IUD sketch is that I don’t need it, because my husband is getting a vasectomy. When it comes to long-term contraception that isn’t sterilization, vasectomies are the bee’s infertile knees. The benefits are many: I don’t have to live with a foreign body inside me (either of biological origin or one made of copper), condom breakage isn’t a constant concern, and neither do I have to rely on hormones or head back to my doctor’s office regularly for a Depo shot. Keep reading »
Last Friday night, Patrick and I took a break from drinking beers and talking smack about Mitt Romney to befriend two couples who happened by our neighborhood bar. They needed a place to sit; we offered to share our table. And as many newly engaged couples are, all four of them were a little bit … glowy. It was incredibly fun to hear about their wedding plans — we even may have talked one pair into holding a karaoke reception. But it also got me thinking about what I wish I’d known when “We’re getting married!” suddenly became a thing that was happening to me. Keep reading »
I woke up last Sunday morning — well, I don’t know that I was truly awake, but at least I wasn’t in bed any more — and stumbled to the kitchen for a giant glass of water with which to defuzz my thoroughly whiskey-fied mouth. In my hangover haze, I glanced across the living room to the coffee table, which held two empty glasses and a piece of old mail with my late-night scrawl on the back. It was a playlist.
We’d started with Darius Rucker’s new single, “True Believers,” because Patrick and I are true believers in pop country music. Now we are, anyways — I used to have more than a little detached irony mixed in with my Kenny Chesney appreciation, but that’s long since disappeared over the years of my relationship with Patrick, whose genuine love for the genre is both charming and contagious.
It’s becoming something of a tradition for the two of us: we spend a Saturday evening hanging out at the bar with a group of Austin feminists and allies that meet monthly to shore up our belief in the world being a livable place, and then we come home, drink whiskey on the rocks and watch music videos for hours. We sing along. We dance with each other. We trade stories about where we were when this or that song was popular. We debate the musical merits of the Zack Brown Band as musical successor to Jimmy Buffet. Keep reading »