Day 27 – We Did It

I should go back and read my last blog post to see what I wrote about so I don’t repeat myself or forget to fill in the blanks. But I’m lazy. So I’m not going to.

The days leading up to the wedding had me last-minute planning like a crazy person. I built a 4-page, minute-by-minute breakdown of the big weekend and a list of 100+ items that needed to be packed by various people. I then lost multiple friends by emailing said lists out to all of the important parties involved with the wedding, which is to say everyone. And not everyone appreciated these overwhelmingly detailed lists the way I did. I would like it if someone out there would hire me to coordinate their wedding, because I’ve got this shit on lock. If you do hire me though, I can promise three things: I will eat cake, I will get a little drunk and I will dance my ass off (assuming there are no pressing emergencies). And these three things mean I would charge an incredibly low rate. So, holla atcha gurl.

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an idea of what that looked like

The Thursday before the wedding I left work at 1pm, ran around the city trying to tidy up last-minute loose ends, met a brand new baby and picked up my wedding dress (finally). The people of David’s Bridal have seen me cry more times than I care t0 count. With the money I spent on alterations, I could have bought an entirely separate dress. I remind myself of this every time I think I want to treat myself to a slice of cake or coffee that doesn’t come from the office keurig. Booze doesn’t count. Because that’s just rude.

Friday was spent waking up early and scouting out potential photography locations. One of which was a brewery–we know where our priorities lie. I got my nails done for the first time in forever and for the actual first time, got gel polish. And you know what, that stuff is nuts! Literally 4 weeks later and it is still on my nails. 4 WEEKS! It also sucks. Because 4 weeks later this stuff is still on my nails because you need special stuff to remove it. Which means I would neeIMG_8544.JPGd to go into a salon. Which means I would need to convince Steph that we have enough money to get our nails done because I don’t like running errands alone (this was in my vows. literally.). And we don’t have enough money so I shall simply wait until they finish growing out. After my pampering escapade, friends and family started rolling in to help us spend 5 hours decorating and setting up. It was windy as hell so everything that got done was taken down to keep from blowing away and I think we all felt a little defeated. I prepared for every weather scenario except for wind. We contemplated renting panels for the tent until Steph reminded me that it would be another $500 so I laughed and thought, “decorations are for chumps. I much prefer an environment that looks sad and sparse in which I, as a bride, will stand out more than I already do.” We lucked out though because it was not nearly as windy the next day. Just cold as fuck (sorry to everyone that came and didn’t dress appropriately and also didn’t dance). We had Lowcountry Boil for our rehearsal dinner and an armadilla cake for dessert, the butt of which I made sure to hand-feed to everyone in close proximity, because, “there’s nothin’ like a good piece of ass” (Steel Magnolias. seriously. watch it). Stephanie and I parted ways and while I’m fairly certain she had a classy, quiet night with all of her maids, I played Boom aka Slap Cup and took my traditional Bride’s Bath (I know you all want me to elaborate on this but I’m not going to…I will tell you though that I slipped while sitting, which is a real skill).

And then on October 22, 2016, Stephanie Ann and I got married. I cried a little, she cried a lot. She danced a little, I danced a lot. It was pretty neat. The End.

Just Kidding!

I woke up at 5am on Saturday freaking out about everything that needed to be done still. And like the asshat I am, I texted my soon-to-be wife with a list of things to do. No, I did not say, “Good Morning”or even a simple, “I love you.” I am a literal piece of trash. Luckily she still had time to change her mind. And she didn’t. So I consider this to be a good sign. I finally fell back asleep after a few hours of panic and at 9:30 I assembled the troops to dole out their jobs. This took forever to get through because my friends cannot take anything, especially me, seriously. The next two hours were spent dealing with the 10 pounds of hair I have (had). I wish I could update you on what Steph was doing but really I have no clue, other than being perfect (still trying to make up for that shitty text, guys. And the shitty other thing I did–or didn’t do–on our wedding day. Aka I didn’t write my wife a note. And I didn’t read the one she wrote me. I suck). She also drank Gin Gimlets like the classy little fuck she is (my Lord Chamberlain said I was allowed to say this). I drank Andre out of the bottle and a beer that now publicly supports Trump, so…ya know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter that, some other stuff happened: pictures, first look, kissing, gross, being cold, blah blah blah. We returned to the farm to prepare for the big part and boy oh boy did I start to panic. I had a ten minute mental debate trying to decide if I should take a pill and risk falling asleep during the reception. I opted out because the fear of missing one of my favorite songs was too great.

And just so you know, I was not getting cold feet. I was just getting extreme stage fright. I insisted on having a bottle of water up at the front just in case I got too thirsty or locked my knees and felt like I might pass out. I am a damn fish these days and I’m also addicted to my water bottle. This sounds hyperbolic but I truly cannot go

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caught having a real-life panic attack

anywhere without it. And I remembered immediately not to lock my knees. I even whispered to Steph to remind her not to because I got anxious that she might forget and pass out and leave me standing there alone. Needless to say, I did not need the water. A fact of which I am very proud. The only thing I feel like sharing about the ceremony itself, because I think it’s cute as hell, is that Stephanie and I wrote our own vows and did not share them prior to the ceremony, not even a little bit! AND WE BOTH SAID THE SAME LAST SENTENCE. Shit. That is beyond cute, I don’t care what you think.

Image result for I like you and I love you gif

The reception happened and it was miserably cold unless you were me and never ever left the dance floor and wore long socks under your wedding dress in which case it felt really quite lovely out. I had the best night ever, and I could not have img_0537been happier with the way things turned out. I only wish the night could have been longer, or it could have been a full day event. I don’t know. There’s so much I wanted to do. And so many people I wanted to spend time with (something I actually kind of sucked at because I mean it when I said I never left the dance floor).

The Monday after the wedding we headed to Highlands, NC for our honeymoon. This probably deserves its own post because I think I’m tapped out. These pictures are making me wish that I could go back and do it all again. And again.

I’m married…I’m a new woman…and I have given up on my usual signoff. And that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

P.S. Not to worry. The rest of the pictures will come, in due time. Steph and I have a casual 1,500 to sift through.

and in case you’re a lazy fuck like me…

Will Someone Do the Math?

It’s been a long time since I’ve done this but it feels like time. We’re 29 days away from the wedding and things are getting so real. I remember when we were a full nine months away and not even talking about plans and honestly that feels like yesterday. The big day is right around the corner and so much has happened since my last post.

August (literally the entire month)

August was the month of Pawley’s Island and wedding dress alterations. (holy shit it has been so long since I’ve written.) I think August gives some insight into why I have been MIA. It all started around the time of my birthday (end of July, for those that forgot the most important day of the year. shame on you by the way). I have dealt with anxiety most of my life. When I was around 11 or 12, I would have panic attacks nightly and couldn’t sleep alone. I wound up on my parents floor almost every night. I’ve never had great coping mechanisms and have struggled with quite a few unhealthy outlets. But college and the time after found many years of calm. I was really only feeling panicked in small spaces, and I mean, who doesn’t? I was also always able to calm myself down. Until this summer. The panic attacks found their way back into my life and this time I was not able to pin point what exactly was causing them. Things I never had issue with were suddenly causing me to flip out. On the drive up the mountains for my birthday I threw up (I never get car sick). During the hike we took the next day I started to panic at the top (I have always loved hiking). On the drive back I found myself sobbing, too scared to drive for fear that I would get sick again. I wasn’t sleeping through the night, ever. I would wake up constantly with thoughts that something was wrong with my heart. The chest pain was unbearable. And I couldn’t talk myself down. I called eleven psychiatrists before I found someone who could take me, and the first available appointment was a month and a half from when I called. If you want to get me on a soap box, get me going about mental health. Shiiiiiittttt. I could talk all day. But anyways, I decide to call my primary doc. She and I are basically besties at this point because for a year and a half she saw me every two months for my thyroid. This is not totally relevant to the story but I do want to share my rage with you all. I made that appointment with her on a Friday. ON A FRIDAY I TELL YOU! I put it in my phone calendar, wrote it on my desk calendar, texted it to Steph…I was so fucking confident about this stupid Friday appointment. Well I drag my ass out of bed, so excited to be given magic pills so I can get my life back in order, and I get there and they tell me my appointment was Wednesday. The Wednesday before! The Wednesday I was out of town on a beach trip! WEDNESDAY!!?! So I did what anyone would do and I cried in the waiting room and sassed the staff for screwing up my appointment because there’s no way I would have scheduled an appointment on a day when I knew I would be out of town. So she rescheduled me for the following Monday and I went and treated myself to a sad bagel. The following Sunday was my dress alterations appointment. At this point it has been about six months since I’ve put that bad boy on and I am so freakin’ excited. And nervous, as it turns out. Because I was awake until 5 am throwing up and flipping out about my chest pains. So if you’re wondering if the alterations went well, let me tell you it did not. The dress was too tight, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was too dizzy, I’m sure I was locking my knees…anyways, I made them get me out of the dress and I left, unfinished, in tears. That was a rough weekend. So I made an appointment to try again the following Sunday. And that next day, Monday, I got my happy pills. I made it through the appointment! (And I looked like a muhfucking boss…sorry for the explicit expletives, but trust me when I say it was necessary. You’ll see in a few weeks.) I also happen to be picking up the finished product today so that’s hella exciting. And to update you, I have now been on the meds for 5 weeks and I’m doing considerably better. We’ve still hit some bumps (i.e. my bachelorette weekend…I threw up a ton and no, not from alcohol) but I’m not waking up with severe chest pain anymore so I see that as a win.

Labor Day Weekend

We took Lena-in-law (I just like the alliteration. Her name is Lena…well actually it’s Lori..and she’s Stephanie’s aunt) to Salisbury to check out the lay of the land and get a feel for what the set up would look like. Lena and her Tami-in-law are helping us out immensely with decorations. Immensely. (I said it again and then bolded it to really get my point across.) They are like tiny, sparkly, spray-painted angels and I cannot wait to see everything come together.

The Weekend after Labor Day

We traveled to Greenville, SC wayyyy too early in the morning, dressed up and everything, so that as soon as we stepped out of the three-hour car trip we could be at the wonderful shower that Lena and Janice threw us. The theme was recipes so everyone shared a family recipe or two and a kitchen item to go with it. Which means I was sitting there like a very happy future wife thinking about all the cooking I will have done for me. Yes you read that right, I am just as sexist as every other husband out there in that I fully expect my wife to cook for me….because I don’t know how. P.S. did you all know that a “ricer” is for potatoes? What idiot named it a ricer?!

Last Weekend

Last weekend Steph and I had our respective bachelorette parties: she stayed on the beach, I stayed in a cottage at the county park. All of our best friends were in town and although I didn’t see most of what she did, I know I can speak for us both when I say we had a bangin’ time. And my Mistress of the Robes threw us the most brilliant Harry Potter themed bridal shower I have ever seen. She is like sunshine and I am so incredibly impressed by her. Of course that’s really all I can say about that weekend because it was a bit like Vegas.

Now

The other day we met with our officiant to start planning out the ceremony. It’s beautiful and represents us so well and I’m going to ugly cry in front of 100 people and it will be perfect. We nixed our original guest gift idea (sorry, not sorry) and now need to order plastic wine cups. Although I really wish we could hand out those individual mini wine boxes. Like big kid juice boxes. Can you picture it? So cute. I created a “Casual Wedding Attire” pinterest board so that I can stop explaining with words what people should wear. Because I don’t really know if “a fall version of a sun dress” translates the way I mean it to. Steph has also said she does not wish to see anyone’s toes. Which is awkward because I will most certainly be wearing toe baring sandals. And there is no guarantee that my toes will be recently shaved as I often tend to forget (was that too much? Oh well, too late).

Random Bullet Points (just to change-up the format for funsies)

  • I got our table linens fo free. Because I’m awesome
  • We booked our minimoon! More on that later but the important part is that it’s officially official.
  • We have decided to nix the hay bales. Everyone will be carrying a chair. Everyone except me and my beautiful bride. Muahahaha.
  • We have a bus to transport guests from one of the hotels to the farm. It used to be that there was only one time to ride it to and from. But noowwwww we have it all night and you can hop on more or less whenever you want.
  • We ordered our bridal bouquets off Etsy. Stephy paid for them and everything. And then the damn shop closed down and this woman is MIA and the money is just floating in space. So we’re dealing with that chargeback and I am working on procuring new flowers.
  • My Grandad’s tumor has spread through his brain. If the current treatment doesn’t work he’s expected to make it to the end of October or possibly November.  (I’m just gonna wedge this in right here so we can gloss over it)
  • I booked the port-a-potties! Get excited wedding guests. You’re going to have a shit ton of fun (I don’t usually make bathroom jokes, I don’t care for them, but this just seemed too perfect)
  • Tatiana Maslany won an Emmy. And if you don’t know who she is, watch Orphan Black, right now.
  • Steph and I have become obsessed with a podcast titled My Favorite Murder. If you hate sleep, you should totally listen, because you won’t ever again. You’ll also never hitch hike. For the first time or again. I am also obsessed with Jon Benet and am watching the CBS special. Feel free to reach out to me if you are too.
  • Steph and I fly to Ohio in a week for a wedding she’s in. Cleveland here we come!

I think that’s enough to lay down for now. The next few weeks will be a whirlwind. Fingers crossed it’s not another two months before I write again.

Miss you lots, apple sauce!

 

Day 159 – Warm beer is the best beer

I am going to be totally and completely honest and tell you that if you’re thinking about having a backyard wedding for 90 people, you should strongly reconsider. However, if you happen to have a disposable income, you should absolutely go for it. Remember when we thought we could do this on $6,000? That was a joke. We couldn’t. The only way we could have made it work would be cutting the guest list in half and then some. I would much rather invite 100 people to a park with no intention of feeding them or serving them alcohol (BYOB though, of course) than figure out which 40-45 people get to attend. Luckily though we have some amazing family members who want to help make this an amazing day and helped us out a bit in the financial department. They are saints and we could not have made it this far without them. Literally. The wedding would have been postponed. But as it is the show must go on.

One of the big stressors we have run into is the topic of ice. How the fuck do we keep everything cold in an efficient, easy and cost-effective manner? The answer: I have no idea. We can’t pick up the ice on Friday because we don’t have any way to keep it all frozen, and melted ice is in fact not useful and is otherwise known as water. So it must be collected Saturday. Something I have to regularly remind myself is that I am one of the brides and can therefore not pick up the ice. I try not to think about this too much. So many people have been assigned jobs and they have no idea they even volunteered (feel free to reconsider your RSVP now). So somehow the ice must be picked up in the morning/afternoon and there has to be enough for the keg, the bottles and cans and the tea and water (I’m probably forgetting things). It would also be nice if we could not spend a million dollars on multiple bags of ice. I read somewhere on the interweb that we need one 25lb of ice for every 12 people, so that’s about 8 or 9 bags of ice. I did find one of those ice vending machines about 40 minutes away, but that still hasn’t answered the question of who will pick it up and when. And where are we getting all these coolers to store said ice? I got on the google and found two ice distributors that will work events. One place told me that the venue is too far, the other I have not heard from (although my guess is that it’s probably too expensive to have someone deliver ice). Basically my question is, is everyone cool with warm beer?

We also opted out of having the cake delivered from Statesville, another 40 minute drive, to save money. I’ll have to check my list to see who we signed up for this one without their knowledge or consent. Whoever you are, you get first dibs on cupcakes. In fact, you can have two cupcakes. Lucky you.

On a positive note, whilst searching for these elusive ice people, I simultaneously sought out farms in the Salisbury area. I contacted four or five places asking if they loan hay bales. You’ve seen pinterest, yes? The rustic farm wedding is so in right now. Our plan was to have hay bales as seating for the ceremony and real chairs (read: no straw) for the reception. Having very minimal farm knowledge, neither of us really knew how to procure said bales, but I could imagine that they would be at least $3 a piece to rent. And we need at least 45 bales. That shit adds up. Before researching, the backup plan was to have an interactive wedding, the kind where you drag your chair from the ceremony to the reception. Luckily the ceremony and reception are about a roll in the hay away from each other (this is not a real idiom, I made it up, but it’s rather apropos, is it not?). I received a call one evening informing me of a Nursery in the area (not for babies, mind you) that loans out bales of hay. Steph gave them a call and they have agreed to give us 40 or 50 hay bales…fo free! Consider these bales your new best friend, treat them well, look out for them; because if any of these suckers busts we owe the Nursery $6. Each. Here’s where I took the “Exciting Moment” bubble and popped the shit out of it. I started googling fabric. We can’t not cover the bales, because everyone will hate us. Hay/straw is itchy and pokey as fuck. Ideally, the bales would be covered in thick quilts, but again, we are not millionaires. Burlap seems like the cheapest material that also happens to be slightly thick (it also keeps with that whole rustic vibe the kids are really into these days). But we need 45-50 yards of it. And while cheap, it still costs almost $100. So there’s a chance everyone may still be hauling chairs from one side of the field to the other. Consider it your weightlifting workout.

I’m so panicked about our finances I have considered cancelling the DJ, losing the deposit and spending the next few months building massive playlists on Spotify to play on the iPad through the Simpson’s chargeable speaker. Still mulling this one over. The wedding coordinator situation is also an issue. I think we absolutely need one because there are so many various things to coordinate on the day of (that supposedly neither I nor Steph will have time to handle) but finding room in the budget to make that happen feels incredibly difficult. Maybe between now and then we can figure out how to add more hours to the day. Can you tell my anxiety is amped up right now? I had a dream the other night that it was the day before the wedding and we were exactly where we are now in the planning process. Nothing had been decorated, glow sticks had not been purchased, we had no money set aside to tip vendors…when I woke up I legitimately thought it was the day of the wedding and almost barfed. Soooo after our 4th of July trip to Salisbury I am to take a 7 day hiatus from the planning. This will be difficult as it is always in the back of my mind but I am going to do my best to relax, step away and have what the south likes to call a “come to Jesus moment” with myself. [Note: I have no idea if the come-to-Jesus adage is southern. I tried to google the etymology to no avail. I shall continue to assume it has deep southern roots.]

Alright. That is enough crazy for today. Have to save something for next time.

 

tata for now, baby cow!
(because veal doesn’t rhyme…)

 

 

this is not music, but do not be disappointed. this is a glimpse into what I will be like when I grow a human and I’m full of hormones.

 

Day 156 – The One With All the Movie Titles

These posts are so few and far between right now that it takes some serious counting to figure out what day I’m on. Thank goodness for giant desk calendars.

Things have happened:

  1. We started playing soccer again. Stephie likes to say that the heat is oppressive. When she says this I imagine a giant flame person (think Hades in Disney’s Hercules but red instead of blue. same amount of sarcasm) http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/disney/images/c/cf/Hercules-disneyscreencaps.com-6022.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140909155939standing high above us and shouting at us to move faster in building the pyramids (a la The Prince of Egypt). I’m not sure why my mind goes there but it does. Every time.
  2. We went to a Spoleto performance titled Havana Rakatan. It was like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights without dialogue. I was loving it. Cuban choreography and music really do it for me. My Grandad, who I am not biologically related to, is of some sort of Spanish descent (don’t get on your high horse and chastise me for not listening to the old man…he literally doesn’t remember where he’s from). I often wonder if his deeply suppressed Hispanic culture seeped into me when I was an infant. I would suggest that perhaps my biological father comes from some sort of ethnic background but have you seen me? This is very unlikely. What I imagine is most likely to be true is that in a former life I danced flamenco in an Andalucian cave with my fellow gypsies. I think my next life will be as a rock climber.
  3. My grandad’s cancer spread to his brain.
  4. John, or LC as I like to call him (Lord Chamberlain is a mouthful. Also this is probably news to him), came to town earlier in the month. We went to the only vineyard in the area (mmm Muscadine wine) and drank wine slushies and did the Electric Slide and played Settlers of Catan and on the taxi ride home I definitely did not puke on the side of the road…except that I definitely did.
  5. Steph and I traveled to Greenville this past weekend to celebrate a few birthdays and, with the help of some very devoted family members, made 60 bucks eating an entire watermelon in an hour. Guaranteed the pictures from this event will come back to haunt me regularly. But we did it for the money! (and yes, there is a literal Mason Jar of change). And Steph, who absolutely detests the fruit, was a fucking champ. We spent at least 20 minutes later that night googling adverse side effects from too much watermelon. Nothing long-lasting as far as I could tell. Will keep you posted.

 

Wedding things that have happened:

  1. See #5 above
  2. Rentals, such as tables and chairs, have officially been booked! Contain your excitement though, because all of this means that I will no longer be building a tent or a dance floor. But I see many project ideas on pinterest with pallets, so hammering shit together may not be completely out of the realm of possibilities.
  3. As of right now we are only renting two porta potties but I’m considering a third simply so that the signs will read “Men”, “Women” and “Unicorns.” Unicorns is my way of saying unisex. Because even if NC won’t allow it, it sure as hell won’t stop me! The jury is still out on this one but I think I can bring her around on the idea.
  4. How much glitter is too much? Is there even a too much? Does Bath & Body Works still make those roll on glitter sticks, or did those get left behind after Y2K?
  5. We are soon traveling to Salisbury, aka the site of the future wedding, aka the birthplace of LC, aka the home of my future family that I’m not actually marrying into but it feels like I am and can I please come on the next family vacation aka the town that gave us Cheerwine aka the Simpson Farm. When we’re not busy celebrating America we will be busy with the tiny wedding details. Especially lighting. Apparently when it gets dark we have to make it so that people can see…I don’t understand why everyone can’t simply pack their night vision goggles but I mean whatever. Who am I to tell you how to live your life. I have set up an appointment to get my hairs did so fingers crossed that goes well. Steph and I have tried to keep our day of look from each other, from the dress down to the jewelry. But because I refuse to wear a sack over my head for the entire day, she is inevitably going to see my hair. Who knows though, maybe I’ll show up on our wedding day bald, just to throw her off. The last thing on the list for the weekend, and the one I am MOST excited about, is our cake tasting. Have you ever seen The Wedding Singer? Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore? It has that iconic scene where they’re on a plane and Adam tells Drew via song that he wants to grow old with her? Anyways, there’s this wonderful montage with cake tasting and Hall and Oates’ You Make My Dreams and obviously I want to recreate all of it. I informed Steph last night that we will be screening the film prior to our departure. (Ah yes, and now I have the title for today’s post…)

 

#5 leads me into my next point. When we booked this cake tasting, we did it the way we did most everything else, blindly. We read a few reviews, got annoyed with all the over thinking, and ultimately decided to go for it. I of course immediately thought of that lesbian couple in Oregon who sued the bakery that denied them a cake upon learning of their sexual orientation. I shared with Steph via text that I hope when the baker realizes we’re two ladies (insert Cabaret song here) that he doesn’t shove us out the door. With a quick followup that went something like, “or maybe I hope he does because then we can sue him for a ton of money and pay for our wedding AND honeymoon AND exploit the plight of gay people everywhere.” She laughed at my wildly inappropriate joke. She did not laugh at the idea of being discriminated against and ultimately embarrassed and shamed. So she immediately called the baker to tell him that we are luvahs. He replied like the lovely gay he is and informed her that he is absolutely bi sexual. (ah. kindred spirits).  I laughed when Steph told me that she called him. I thought it was absurd because I was obviously joking and there was no way that would happen to us. But then Orlando happened.

I of course recognize that discrimination is everywhere and in every state. But I have never been afraid to be gay and I have never thought twice about showing affection in public. I also know that this is not true for almost every other gay in this world (I made up this statisitc, please do not cite me). I’m not positive why this is but my guess is that it has something to do with age. Most of my fellow gays knew well before the age of 21, or at least suspected, that their sexual preference was different from the norm. There are also quite a few out there who were raised in oppressive environments (family, church, town, etc.) and were taught to live in fear. Despite the fact that I spent the majority of my life in the Catholic school system, once I “realized” my true self, I was pretty out and proud. I was never explicity told that being gay is bad, or at least, I don’t remember if I was. And because I’m still sort of a newb, there hasn’t been enough time for scary things to happen to or around me. I read the story of these two women and the cake and even though I recognized that I could easily be them, I equally thought it couldn’t happen to me. It sounds like I’m saying Orlando happened to me. I promise I’m not, because it absolutely did not. I was not directly affected by it in any way. I wasn’t there. No one I knew was there. Nothing has happened to me because of it. But suddenly I am aware.

Pride in Charleston is very late, it’s in August (more of that oppressive heat). I love the parade (because I love all parades) and many of the events leading up to it. But of course family vacation falls that week. I will not be staying the whole time and am therefore able to attend a few things including the parade. Steph, however, will be driving back sometime after the parade. I had it in my head that I would try to go to things solo, be adventurous and adult-like and also friend-less. But after Orlando I’m too scared to go by myself (here’s your chance to volunteer to visit and join me, gay or not). Maybe this will change in a few months and I’ll let my guard down again and forget about my fear. But I think something in me has permanently shifted. I’m not saying I’m going to reconsider holding Steph’s hand in public, or that I’ll stop encouraging good ole’ fashioned make out seshes in the park, I’m just saying I think I’m going to be more cognizant of what the people around us are doing. And that makes me sad. Because the only person I should be focused on is my person.

My heart aches for the families and friends and neighbors of the victims. They suffered a devastating loss that I cannot even begin to comprehend. My love and empathy stretch to those too whose eyes were woken, who felt the shift. And I hurt for all the youth, but especially in the LGBT community, who lost a piece of their innocence. And above all the victims, who left this world far too soon.

I hold Steph extra tight these days and I feel thankful that I am alive and that I am loved. I know this one ends on a bit of a somber note, but I felt strongly about writing at least a little something on this topic. I should stop apologizing for the sad posts…sometimes shit happens.

 

See you later, sweet potater

P.S. I just looked at my calendar, happy first day of Summer!

 

because I can’t find the cake montage anywhere

 

 

 

Day 139 – 3rd Planet

I prefer my funny posts, the ones peppered with humorous statements, where I imagine all twelve of you chuckling audibly whilst silently thinking, “Michelle is really witty and oh so hysterical.” Yes, I much prefer those over these. These where I imagine you think, “I’ve mentally committed myself to reading this blog and keeping up with Michelle’s awful wedding ideas so I feel as though it would be cheating if I didn’t read to the end but I really don’t want to keep reading. I haven’t laughed once.” That’s how it happens, isn’t it?

I just had a momentary lapse where I thought I was at a cute new coffee shop made to feel just like one’s own living room; inviting and comfortable and littered with dog hair. (I’ve always been pretty good at grammar and yet the semi colon has continuously alluded me. Did I use that one correctly?) Anyways, I thought about ordering an iced coffee and quickly remembered Max is the only one in the house and Max doesn’t have thumbs. So I would have to prepare said coffee myself. And really, that just sounds like a lot of work.

I caved. I added humor. You’re welcome. Diving right in here…so there’s this feeling I’ve had for a while that I don’t think I’ve done a great job of explaining. I’m not sure why this is important to me. It’s probably the depression talking. Or the need for people to ask me how I’m doing. Either way, I find it necessary that the people who are interested in this wedding and everything surrounding it, understand why I’m such a whiny bitch all the time. I haven’t written in a month so you don’t really get to experience it but I promise it’s mostly true. “Mostly” because I don’t actually think I’m a bitch. I just think I have more “moments” than the average human. Also I went home for memorial day weekend, so as you can probably imagine, that stirred up some unwanted feelings.

My life sort of centers around wedding planning right now. This is a sentiment that we as a society seem to readily understand and accept. I know because I haven’t had a conversation since the engagement that doesn’t somehow involve the big day. It sounds like I’m complaining but I promise I’m not. Hell, im writing a blog. I clearly love talking about it. So it’s a bit jarring when I spend a weekend with a room full of people I haven’t seen in almost 6 months and not a single person asks about the wedding. Or even my fiancée for that matter. I’m not dying to talk about it with them, I’m just dying for them to care enough to ask questions. God that sounds dramatic. But entirely true. Feign interest, even that would suffice! I recognize that I could lead the conversation in a direction I prefer, in fact that was my goal this weekend, to show off my ring that no one has bothered to ask about. But I chickened out. Ultimately, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or start any fights. Because any of that could be used against me come October. The situation is already not in my favor though. My Grandad, who celebrated his 90th birthday this past weekend, was recently diagnosed with cancer. And often, when you’re 90 and you have such an aggressive disease, there’s not much you can do. So now my mother takes care of him when she’s not at work, in addition to my brother, his children, and one of my uncles. (There’s a whole lot I can talk about there but that’s a story for another day. Or year.) So you can probably imagine that after this weekend, I don’t have high hopes that my mother will be in attendance. And with everything that’s going on, it would be awfully hard for my dad to up and leave everything on her. I recognize that all of this sounds incredibly pessimistic but I am honestly just trying to be realistic. And not get my hopes up unnecessarily.

All of this leads into the part that I don’t think I have explained well, why it means so much that my parents (or mom) don’t come. Beyond the obvious fact that I have dreamt about this since I was twelve, and the sadness that comes along with the realization and acceptance that my mom and I will not be planning everything together excitedly, there is the aftermath. If you still have parents (or parent) that play an important role in your life, imagine for a moment that they do not like your significant other, for whatever reason, be it religion, race, sexual orientation, sheer personality… Despite how happy that person makes you. Despite how well they take care of you. Despite the fact that they put all of your needs and wants before their own. Imagine that your biggest support system, the people who have been behind you the longest, some of (and possibly the only, depending where you are in your life) the people who love you unconditionally, essentially do not support your future. How do you continue relationships with those people? What happens after the wedding, on holidays, birthdays, family vacations? What happens when you have kids who want to meet grandma and grandpa? How do you explain the shortcomings of an adult to a child? And how do you accept choosing one family over the other? Because that’s what I’m doing essentially, isn’t it? I will forever love and appreciate my parents, and I want nothing but happiness for them, but honestly speaking, it seems incredibly difficult to have the parent/child relationship we’ve always had, when the biggest part of my life is something they want nothing to do with. There will always be an elephant in the room. Even if they learn to come to terms with this, there will always be, deep down, the resentment that they didn’t show up when I needed them most. Reading it, it sounds harsh. But I also think it sounds human. Becoming a parent comes with certain expectations and standards. I will happily be the first to admit I know nothing about parenting, as I have no children of my own. But I do know what it means to be a child and to be an adult child. We still expect that our parents put aside their own differences for the sake and happiness of the child. Maybe one day I’ll come to see that this is easier said than done. I do, however, have insight that many do not. And that is to be an adopted child.

In the past few years I have started basic research (read: Google searches) on the psychology and mentality of an adopted kid. I was told by a friend of mine that as a child she used to attend twin conventions, and another who attended premie conventions. Certainly there must be a similar support group for adopted children, right? Every support group I have ever found is for the parent. I can only speak for myself on this, I can’t even speak for a friend because I’ve never been friends with anyone else who is adopted, but we need extra. I think as a parent it doesn’t really matter how hard you love in the beginning, there will always be an ingrained feeling of not being enough. (Still love your kids extra hard anyways though, I hear that’s good). We will doubt. And we will take all forms of rejection too personally, it comes with the territory. When I was younger, I used to think my questions would go away as I got older. I have found that my questions have simply morphed into something new. Where I would once ask, “Why didn’t she want me?” I now ask, “Would she have still taken me if she knew I was gay?” “Was one more too much?” has now turned into, “Am I enough?” My focus has shifted away from the circumstances of my adoption and towards my current position in life. This is getting heavy, I know. But maybe one of you is thinking about adopting, or already has, and you’ll take all of this to heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re kid is 5 or 25, if you give them a reason they’ll start questioning their place in life. Steph and I have plans to adopt one day, and I know I never want my children to have thoughts like mine, even for a second.

So really the point of all of this, otherwise known in Internet lingo as TL;DR, is that while I am planning for what’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life, I am simultaneously having a crisis of faith in my family. And as the days pass and October gets closer and closer, I find that the good days are harder and harder to come by. It’s so easy to bogged down by the uncertainty of the future. Ok. I need to be done with this post now. It’s getting way too existential for my comfort.

 

Until next time, little lime.

 

This week’s song.

Day 115 – I thought I wanted to be a centurion

To me, the DJ is the most important part of the wedding. It is also the scariest. Steph and I don’t have the time or money to go to Charlotte (the closest metropolis to Salisbury) for the weekend to meet with potential vendors. We have to make these decisions blindly. For some reason finding a caterer was easy. Honestly I think I may have been a little haste in my decision making but I found an affordable option and tacos represent Steph and I well (for all of the reasons you may be thinking) so I just went with it. Plus I read somewhere that they’re the number one food truck in the area. I of all people should know not to trust that though. A couple years ago I was in search of a new dentist so I sought out the City Paper winner for Best Dentist. I have had the same dentist and hygienist for most of my life and have never had any real fears or concerns with teeth cleaning. In fact, when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I was wide awake. (I needed an IV of Valium to slow my heart rate but that’s neither here nor there). I was a tad nervous for someone new but the office was very nice and the ceilings had clouds painted on so I was feeling at ease. Until my hygienist told me she didn’t feel comfortable cleaning teeth unless her patients are getting a steady supply of nitrous oxide aka laughing gas. I’ve mentioned I’m an anxious person, right? I don’t like when masks like that are put on my face. The first time I ever had surgery they put me under via mask and as I was going down I thought the anesthesiologist was trying to suffocate me so I swung my tiny ineffectual 5th grade fists in his direction. He gently pushed me down and 2 hours later I woke up in hysterics. Obviously this all went through my head as this woman hovered above me insisting I needed it, that it would help me “relax.” Fuck you bitch. After that cleaning I had to sit in my car for an hour and a half before driving to work and you know what? I don’t even remember driving to work. I’ve always had a healthy fear of drugs. I think I can thank Corpus Christi DARE week and my brother for that. Of course I hit my rebellious years and discovered I could handle some light experimentation. And then somewhere in college my anxiety hit full force and now I am terrified of everything again. The girl who once played ten rounds of flip cup with Firefly Vodka is now even slightly afraid of having too much to drink. (By the way, I don’t recommend doing that. Ever.) Maybe that’s what growing up is. Hmm. I’ll have to take some time and a few glasses of wine to reflect on that. Now, where the heck was I because that was the longest tangent of my life… Oh yes! Booking a DJ. I mentioned previously my frustration with trying to find someone so I won’t get into that again. But I should mention for a second that the part of our wedding I find to be most important (second only to our love and happiness and all that other stuff), is the part I put off most. I started reading reviews and there were so many horror stories and situations that I had never even thought about it. Committing to this felt too difficult. And when I finally got back into the searching process (I emailed at least 20 DJs) so many of potential favorites were booked for our date which left me feeling incredibly discouraged. But I kept at it. I stalked these websites like it was my job. And created the most anal spreadsheet. It’s scary to put all of your trust in some email correspondence and reviews from strangers. But that’s what I did. And I booked us a DJ. Literally an hour ago. So the next big to-do is reserving our event rentals (tables, chairs, and that notorious tent) and I’m leaving that to Steph because I am checking out.

There’s no fluid segue here so I’m just going to say Beyonce and that will do it for me. We went to the concert and we sat in the nosebleeds and it was magical as hell. imageHonestly, I would like to compare the energy in the stadium to what I imagine a Spice Girls concert would have been like — so much girl power. It was beautiful and empowering and so fucking badass. I know there’s a lot of hype around Beyonce right now and since Lemonade, she’s all anyone is talking about. But I am in awe of her despite any media attention that may be swirling around her. I definitely consider myself an avid concert goer and I know Stephanie agrees. I don’t attend nearly as many as I’d like because my wallet really doesn’t allow it. Steph is the opposite however. She doesn’t care much for concerts unless Brandi Carlile is the one performing (look her up if you don’t know her) and she certainly doesn’t understand standing throughout the experience. I could be incorrect in saying this, she’ll have to let me know, but I think Bey gave her a whole new appreciation for the concert experience. She was floored by the whole thing and it was so fun to watch. She was on her feet the entire time and dancing and singing her little heart out. We agreed that for the next tour, we’re getting floor seats. Side note: I have to take a moment to mention that she ended the show by dancing in a literal pool of water and I cried because the imagery was so incredibly powerful and she and her dancers kicked ass.

Moving on to Mother’s Day. We traveled to Pawley’s Island for the weekend, a beach slightly south of Myrtle where Steph’s family has a condo. We had a nice time and Steph is now a brown coconut and I’m horribly jealous. So much so I told her she cannot go to the beach anymore until I get as much color as she has. I think this is exceptionally fair. During the car ride home she was feeling a tad ill which gave me time to muse over a few things from the previous two days, specifically a few moments where I was feeling catty and bitchy and all over annoyed by everyone and everything. I think I’m pretty good about checking in with myself and taking time to figure out where my inner negativity and hostility stems from. I don’t always fix it very well but identifying it is half the battle, amirite? My therapist may disagree with this. Anyways, on the long stretch of nothing that is Highway 17, I came to the realization that I am jealous of Steph and, without realizing it, that jealousy affects me in a multitude of ways. Because of the proximity of her family, we see them often. Obviously the topic of our nuptials comes up regularly. Because unlike my family, hers is incredibly supportive and helpful. You would think discussing the details of our big day would excite me, but I often find myself in a terrible mood at the end of the conversations and discussions. I know for a fact I lash out at Steph, I become distant and agitated and she is left in the dark about my sudden shift in emotion. She is, of course, a saint. And she puts up with all of my tantrums, god only knows why. The other day though, I was finally able to express to her (although I’m still not sure she fully understood) that there is a constant internal struggle going on where half of me is delighted that we have this huge and wonderful support system and the other half is irate that I don’t have my own people in my corner that are constantly checking in, offering assistance and fawning over me. But this, of course, is not true. I do have these people, I just have to remind myself when I start spiraling into my deep dark pit of despair (many of my friends labeled me as “emo” in my younger days, despite my “princess pink” bedroom) that I have an awesome group of friends that are behind me 100%. Not only that, but her family is about to become MY family. This is so exciting. Not to mention incredibly humbling that this group of beautiful people welcome me in so wholly. It’s easy to forget on the bad days, and Mother’s Day is probably one of those difficult times. To my new people, I am ever so grateful to have you in my life. And to my angel of a fiancée, this is a formal apology for my bratty tendencies. They’re also probably never going away entirely so I would take these next few months to make sure you really want that for the next 75 years (I say 75 because I am absolutely living to be a centenarian which is basically the human form of a unicorn. It is also, by the way, different from a centurion–where would I be without google). I work on bettering myself every chance I get and I hope the people around me continue to hold me accountable for my shit.

 

Don’t be fickle, my sweet dill pickle
(this one might be cheating. I’m not sure it’s actually a sign off)

 
P.s. if you know a wedding vendor (or you yourself happen to be one), please tell them to make their website more LGBT friendly and stop assuming I have a groom. It’s 2016. The gays are alive and well.

what I’m listening to now

 

Day 88 – What baby?

A lot has been going on in the past 21 days (none of which was wedding related) and yet it feels like nothing has happened since my last post that feels worthy of writing about. Our soccer team, the Goal Diggers, made it to playoffs and came in second. We just barely missed out on the Mint t-shirts and instead got this weird shade of lavender.image We play for the merchandise, obviously. If you know me from yore then you will probably see the humor that lies in the thought of me on a soccer field. I can be aggressive as fuck though and slide tackle with the best of them. Disregard the fact that I am usually slipping and sliding into someone gracefully when this does happen. [Side note: literally as I type these sentences about soccer, Chipotle texts me a BOGO offer in support of Youth Soccer. Thank god we’re friends.] We also went to our first RiverDogs game of the season. And for those not from Charleston, that would be the minor league baseball team here, owned by the illustrious Bill Murray himself, and formerly known as The Rainbows (in all their gay glory).

There is one thing worth mentioning though: April Fool’s Day. I love holidays, most all of them, always have. And for a few very simple reasons: 1. I love parties 2. I love dressing up 3. I love decorations 4. I love a common theme shared by many. Growing up, Christmas was always my favorite. Between the snow and the presents and the classic films, it felt so magical. But now I’m 25 and lot of that magic is gone, no matter how hard I’ve tried to hang on. It’s difficult to mentally prepare for the season in 70 degree weather. And gift giving can be stressful on a non profit salary (honestly, on any salary). So I have gravitated towards some of the “smaller” holidays. St. Patrick’s Day is obviously a front-runner, I loved walking around downtown and seeing so many strangers all dressed in green. And I’ll never say no to a good ole Irish Car Bomb. Mardi Gras, as I have mentioned before, is also a favorite. Cinco de Mayo! (Even though I think as Americans we have totally ruined the holiday, but hey, I’m not one to deny any excuse to wear a sombrero and drink margaritas). Now I realize that April Fool’s Day is wildly different than everything I have mentioned, but it does hold #4 to be true and honestly could have #1-3 depending on what you cook up. There’s also a competitive spirit to it that I crave. It has been many, many years since I have participated though. To give you an idea, I was big on exploding gum, money glued to the ground, soap filled with ink that will dye your skin, saran wrapping the toilet seat…very low key pranks I could pull on my parents. But now we live in the age of the internet and facebook! While I would have loved to pull an office prank, A. I wasn’t prepared and B. I wasn’t totally sure that anyone would actually find it funny…and I really need paychecks. So I took to the world wide web. I texted Steph in the afternoon and told her all the stupid stunts I would try to pull as a wee lass, I really laid it on thick so she would know how much I miss participating. I offered a proposition, “What if we tell everyone it’s a shotgun wedding?” She seemed in favor of the idea but it was through text so who can ever tell these things for sure. I told her that if we were going to do this, her mother would need to be in on it, because it’s way too soon for me to be despised (and it’s never a good idea to toy with a Mimi’s emotions). I head home that night to find my lovely fiancee slaving away over a hot stove and I burst out, “are we going to do this?!” She agrees and I promptly call Mama Haney and lay out my plan. I have to tell you honestly, I really did not think people would fall for this. Maybe one or two old high school friends or friends of friends, but definitely no one close to me. I was hella wrong. Now, I did try to make this story super believable. We decided that Steph was already 3 1/2, maybe four months along (many people also assumed that because I was posting, I was preggers) which would put the

image
the post in question

fetus arriving in late September, early October. Which would mean we would have a baby at the wedding. If you recall from your Biology class or Human Sciences many years ago, Steph and I can’t make a baby all that easily. So this hypothetical situation would have been planned and not so accidental. Who plans for a baby just weeks before a wedding?!? Which is why I figured no one would think it was real. And yet way too many people did. I’m a terrible human being and I had so much fucking with everyone. Steph, on the other hand, hid in the bathroom and wept silently out of sheer guilt. I promise though, the next time we post about a mini Miller, it will be real. It will also be in 5-10 years.

 

 

As for the wedding, I have realized over the past few weeks that this large party that I’m so excited to throw isn’t for another whole half of a year. So the shininess of planning has sort of faded and I’m a bit bored with it all. It will come back soon enough though. For now, I’d much rather focus my energy on what to wear to Bey in a few weeks. Anyone want to pick out a new necklace under $15 for me?

Catch ya later, sweet tomater’!

 

this is important to watch