The First Thanksgiving

Last week was Thanksgiving.  And thanks (no pun intended) to Facebook and my memory of my upcoming engagement anniversary, I sat in my fever-induced stupor and was able to enjoy the difference a year can make.  Last year this weekend was the one in which I got on a plane…again…and flew to the US to come home.  I had been gone for several months, working away (not much has changed, just the location in which the work being done).  I sat on a plane thinking how the past several years I hadn’t had Thanksgiving at home.  I had either been hosting a Friendsgiving – including a massive marshmallow incident which my homie was quick to remind me of this year, or being a vagabond and having friends’ parents take me in as a stray.  Last year was the closest I had come to having Thanksgiving with my parents as near to the holiday since 2008ish.  I remembering sitting on a plane, amped up to see my parentals, my puggie, Max, and wondering if my Mark was going to propose to me.  I kept telling myself that if this was the path we wanted to take then I wanted it to be a surprise, but a huge part of me grew disappointed fantasizing about the endings which had me getting on a plane coming back to Scotland with my ring finger being naked.  Last year, my mom cooked an amazing dinner, Mark came over, we gave thanks and enjoyed being around family.  This year, I sat in Mark’s aunt’s house in Austin, surrounded by his family.  My mom was at work, and my dad was probably watching history channel marathons surrounded by Charlie and Max.

Every year, or rather ever Thanksgiving, Mark and his parents venture north and go to his aunt’s house.  There were 12 people, including Mark and myself, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what my future Thanksgivings looked like.  Would we sojourn to the capital of Texas every November; would we take turns with Christmas between his parents and mine, what would happen when his sister became involved with someone.  For me, as an only child growing up, not really speaking to my father’s side of the family, and not knowing my mother’s side of the family, the holidays were always me with my parents and whatever pets we had at the time.  They were quiet, peaceful, filled with good food, love, and a time to be away from the hustle and bustle.  I can remember as a child vividly fantasizing – almost wishing for – a huge family to spend the holidays with, just like the ones I saw in the movies.  I enjoyed spending time with my parents during the holidays, but I always wondered what it was like with a huge family.  Now, the wondering is over.  I enjoyed meeting more of Mark’s family.  I really enjoy everyone I’ve met so far, they are all wonderful, fun, nice, people,…people I can get along with.  There aren’t any crazy aunts hiding in an attic (well, none that I found, anyways), we all sit around laugh, eat, play games, tease each other, it was fun.  Of course, true to human nature, now that I’ve seen the other side, I wonder if the grass on the other side was always the greenest.  I missed my parents, wondered if they were sad that I was at Mark’s family’s house.  For my parents, especially my mom, Christmas is the big holiday of the year.  This year, I will spend it with my family, and Mark will be with us.  In fact, I am ‘in charge’ of Christmas; I’ll be doing all of the cooking, putting the Christmas tree up, etc.  We will either see his parents and his sister before Christmas or right after, but we will spend Christmas day with my parents.

Of course, now that I think of Christmas, and the fact that December 1 is Tuesday, I’m remembering that Mark and I will be celebrating our one year engagement anniversary on December 7.  Last year we were at a friend’s wedding, I was standing in the center of the room waiting for the bouquet to be tossed, I noticed that Mark and the groom were laughing, sharing a moment, and Mark just waved at me.  Later I would find out that they were talking about me, that the groom was saying it didn’t really matter if I was going to catch the bouquet or not because I would be engaged soon.  Later that night, Mark and I would dance, I would ask him questions about being engaged, getting married, I was nervous, he was vague in his answers, but confident in his heart that he was ready to take the next step.  A whole hell of a lot can happen in a year.  Let’s see what happens in the coming one 🙂

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Shenanigans

This weekend I had my bachelorette party.  I chose to do some of the things for my wedding early because I don’t know what’s going to happen with my schooling next semester, I don’t know when the viva will happen, and I don’t know what kinds of corrections I’ll need to make; I didn’t want that to interfere with the wedding, and vice versa, so I had my bridal shower and bachelorette party this semester.  Last night, I put on a black lace dress, curled my hair, did my makeup extra special and was ready to put on my dancing shoes.  My friends and I played ice breakers at my friend’s house, then went for Tex-Mex, to a dueling piano bar, and to various clubs.  The bachelorette party is supposed to be full of kinds of debauchery, the kind of things no one other than the women present will ever know.  If anybody knows me at all, they know I say what’s on my mind, I always have a story ready-even if you aren’t, and the true debauchery happens when I open my mouth, not after taking tequila shots.  So the bachelorette party was a celebration of Mark and I getting married in less than 4 months, of me no longer being a single woman, and just having an awesome time hanging with some of my closest friends whom I absolutely adore and wish I emulated them in some form or fashion.  Someone last night said that I have very strong, intelligent, sexy, wonderful girl friends; and I do.  All of them are powerhouses, they are strong, beautiful, courageous, incredibly intelligent, and just fierce…in their presence, sometimes, I feel like I am just the goofy story-teller.  But I digress.  We were sitting at the dueling piano bar and I was mesmerized by this couple who were dancing close, elegant, and appeared as though they were in their own world.  They held each other and looked at each other in a way that showed a confident love, a love that encapsulated a certain timelessness.  It might have been the margarita, or perhaps the fact that I often find myself thinking about Mark; but I looked at them and became a bit misty-eyed.  I looked at them and thought of me and Mark.

He and I have a relationship in which, I think, we compliment each other.  We trust each other, we have fun with each other, we don’t have this constant need to be around each other, but when we do come together and we are with each other either in a hug or a gentle kiss, I forget everything around me.  I know this sounds like some dorky line from a Lifetime movie, and believe me, if you would have told me something like this 4 years ago, I would have looked at you like you had a banana growing out of your nose.  But, this isn’t cheesy, this is proof that you’ve found the one you are meant to be with.  When a couple finds contentment, happiness, calmness, assurance, and feels as though nothing around them exists when they are embraced by their partner, than that is a love that is boundless and timeless.  I found myself feeling rejuvenated that I was getting married, I wanted to rush home and give him a kiss, to run my fingers through his hair and tell him I love him, see his eyes sparkle, and feel my mouth cramp up as a huge smile spreads across my face.

I had fun with my girls, I think I should go out more often; I’m not sure, but I think I work too hard.  Those around me will say, ‘well duh’; but I always feel I could work harder, longer, strive for more, be better at something, and never stop evolving.  Going out last night was a blast, we all looked great, I tried drinks that probably should have been desserts, and I felt refreshed…laughter and adult beverages will do that apparently.  So, for now, I’m going to sleep, going to get up tomorrow and tackle the remainder of this thesis.

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Frustration

That is the only word that I can describe how I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks, and it’s just reached breaking point this week.  I think I understand that my frustration is rooted in stress.  I just spent 3 weeks working diligently on my theory chapter, I literally spent 5 hours in the library one day pouring over books and glaring at undergraduates who think that the library is a meeting place…I’m clearly too old and/or studious for such behavior-I like it quiet, particularly when I’m trying to understand Bourdieu.  I’ve written and re-written my chapter and tomorrow I will edit/re-write it again.  Working on my thesis is stressful, not because I don’t believe in my work, but because after a while you get so caught up in the giant ball of thoughts and data that you can no longer find an end or disentangle it.  I’m close to completing the thesis, putting a bow on it, and delivering it the university…and I still can’t give my 3 minute elevator speech about what it is.  Partially because I’m so enmeshed in my work I can’t decide which bits to emphasize and the other is because I am working with abstract, yet once discussed clear and practical, ideas-but in order to discuss one you have to explain the others…and that’s about 10 minutes right there.

I’m a bit anticipatory about the wedding.  Most everything is done, minor things are getting taken care of here and there; but right now I feel it’s the calm before the storm.  I’ve gotten stressed with trying to handle miscommunications and also field questions, track packages, and not think about all of the ideas that people keep throwing at me.  I know all in all people mean well, and people have better things to do than be caught up in the upcoming wedding…but it’s stressful trying to keep track of everybody and play mediator.  I’ve already instructed my matron of honor that her duty is to get me down the aisle as stress-free as possible; in doing this, she will bring a mudslide and a protein bar so that I may get nourished before the big moment.  I imagine what will happen once my father sees me for the first time in my wedding dress, I imagine how people will react when they see me and hear the bagpipes playing, I imagine Mark’s face-will he cry, will he laugh, will he be trying to run (I know he won’t, but still).  I imagine being at the alter, laughing, crying, making the signature cat face; when I think of these things, all the stress and drama that led up to the day melts away.  I need to hold this close.

I’m also frustrated because I’ve been benched due to an injury that hasn’t healed.  2 years a go I pulled my groin, and it never healed.  I have a severe strain and some minor tearing in my adductor muscle.  No dancing, no running, no doing ab work because it engages your hip flexors, nothing.  I understand the importance of taking care of myself, of letting an injury heal.  But lately, I’ve really let this get to me because I really wanted to look good for the wedding.  I want to walk out there and look so freaking hot that people’s mouths drop open.  A few years ago, I somehow managed to get down to 185 pounds from 315.  I ate well, worked out, did everything I was supposed to do.  Over the past 2ish years I’ve put on 30 pounds.  I manage to lose a little here and there, but it comes back.  I have a generally healthy diet, work out(when I can), but because of my PCOS and hypothyroidism I have to work sooooooo much harder than the average person.  And it just blows.  Mark and I took a health assessment a few months ago; my results were amazing.  On paper I look like an athlete, minus the waist size and weight…but in person, I feel like I look like fat Albert.  It became really bad recently when we received our engagement photos.  Elizabeth did an amazing job, the pictures were gorgeous, I could clearly remember every moment taking them; but when I saw myself, I thought oh my God, I look like these should be my maternity photos.  I cried to Mark about it last night, he said that I look fine, hot, and not to worry about it.  I went on about how I used to be 185, how I feel so huge now, how I’m tired of trying because whether I try or not I get the same results and how I’m upset that I won’t get to run the 5 mile turkey trot this year-I wanted to prove to myself and others that I was athletic.  He said to f*ck everyone else, I have nothing to prove.  He’s right, but I know people look at what I do, how I handle things.  And it chocks up to the old adage, those who can’t, teach.  I wouldn’t consider myself the best student, yet when I teach, I blow people’s minds, I encourage students, I get glowing reviews, I’ve had people change their major to sociology after taking one of my classes, I’ve even had students who thought that they would never go on to get a bachelors degree, that they would only get an associates, come up to me asking me to write a letter of recommendation because they felt empowered now and were applying to a university.  I’ve encourage people to lose weight, have given them my tips and hints, encouraged them, showed my struggles, yet they look absolutely amazing…and I’m stuck.  And what’s really infuriating is that I am letting my weight, the fact that I’m not turing in my thesis on my ridiculous timeline, and other nagging things, affect my accomplishments.  I’m getting married in 4 months to an amazing man-a man whom I could not live my life without, I’m getting a PhD., I have an awesome job that I’ll be starting next semester, I’ve continued to prove people wrong about my capabilities and abilities.  Yet, as always, I’m a tough critic…on myself.

Today’s lesson is to appreciate and be proud of what you have done, no one else did it, the way you did it, or when you did it.  This lesson is a hard one, and one that we will revisit throughout our lives; but it’s a good one.

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Editing…and more editing

I’m currently editing my theory chapter of my thesis…God help me, lol.  A few weeks ago I had a meeting with my supervisors, I had turned in a complete full first rough draft and thought ‘hey, they might like it so much that there won’t need to be a second one’…oh naive PhD candidate.  On a scale of 1 – I should just jump off a cliff and quick, it’s a 2.  So all in all, not that bad, just going through and re-reading stuff I’ve read and read, and read and…well we get the idea.  However, the theory chapter, well that’s the dreaded beast of the whole thesis.  I’m not a theorist, I understand that theory has a place, it’s just not my strong suit.  So I’m going through and reviewing works, but the one I dread the most is Pierre Bourdieu.  The man is considered a sociological genius, his theories are unique and showed us culture in a whole new light; but, his sentences are literally 7 pages long.  If you think I’m kidding, go peruse his work.

All in all the theory chapter won’t be so bad, I just need to buckle down and do it.  There is actually one aspect of my thesis which is way more difficult than writing a theory chapter, it’s actually something I struggle with when writing my blogs.  I’ll sit down after reviewing tons of literature or thinking quite deeply about my topic, I sit down, and it seems to escape out of my head quicker than a bird’s fart.  However, when I’m just not thinking about things and letting my mind wander…or I’m in the shower, then the genius thoughts come.  Thoughts that sound absolutely and fantastically brilliant, so much that I surprise myself.  So I’ve come up with a conclusion; I need to have my thesis defense in the shower.   I think the committee will applaud it’s unique approach and enjoy the ginger lily bath soap I use; it’s both calming and uplifting-just the thing you need for a successful defense.  And this is the thing that worries me mostly about my thesis-other than I want my community to feel as though they were represented accurately-is that I don’t sound like a numpty when I submit my thesis or when I give my defense.  My supervisors love my project, think it’s brilliant, applaud all of the things I’ve said and how I’ve contributed to the literature and challenged tropes about Appalachia…and all I can think is, ‘ are they talking about my project?’-impostor syndrome is a bitch people, I don’t care who you are or what field you are in, it is a nasty little bugger.

This is what I’m working on currently, and my reward for finishing my thesis-I know, your’e probably thinking, ‘shouldn’t be the fact that you are completing it be enough?’…well I was never one to settle, lol.  When I finish my thesis and submit that bad boy, I will begin lesson planning.  I will be teaching classes in the spring semester, and I am more than thrilled.  I love teaching, I love being in a classroom(no big surprise there), I love meeting new people, challenging students, challenging myself, being creative with lessons, I love it all…and I am so excited that it’s taking every bit of me to not go buy the text book right now and start lesson planning.

In other fun news, Mark and I took our engagement photos last week, some of them are on Facebook but more will be coming soon.  Elizabeth Fry, a friend and former sorority sister, is our photographer and I think she did an amazing job.  It is now officially November which means the holiday season has commenced-and might I just add a little blip about how it’s too bloody early to put up Christmas when it’s not even Halloween yet!  For Pete’s sake!  Ok, I’m done.  I love Halloween and Christmas…they are two separate holidays, not two consumer opportunities….ok, now I’m really done.  I will be spending Thanksgiving with Mark’s family in Austin.  I was supposed to run 5 miles in a turkey trot…however, an injury from two years ago that has never healed and literally causes me to drag my leg when I run, has benched me.  So now I’m in Physical Therapy and grumpy because I feel fat and inactive.  Yeah yeah, I know, you’re not fat…thank you…however, I am a health-conscious bride to be and had hopes (as do sooooo many brides) of losing weight and looking extra foxy for the big day.  I understand Mark likes me how I am, and that’s awesome, lol, however, I want people’s jaws to drop and maybe even someone yell a ‘hot damn!’ when the doors open.  Plus, I really wanted to start running again because I had these goals of running 5 miles then doing a 10 k.  They will have to wait while me and my little theraband get well acquainted.  For now, I’m going to sign off and read a bit of my Goosebumps book.  Yes, I am 30 and a PhD student, and yes, Goosebumps is meant for a 4th grader…but let’s face it people, when you’ve spent 8 hours reading Bourdieu and Simmel, Goosebumps is all your mind can handle.  Good night!

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Back

It’s been a looooong time since I’ve written a post…too long, in fact.  I wish I could say it’s because I haven’t had access to a computer in that time, but the truth is I’ve been very busy, traveling, and just plain tired.  I finished a full first rough draft of my phd thesis; I will be submitting at the end of the year, perhaps sooner, and then awaiting my viva.  Everything is in place for the wedding.  This is probably the thing that I am most excited about right now.  Don’t get me wrong, weddings, or rather wedding planning, can be stressful (they really shouldn’t be, but dealing with different personalities, calling tons of people, realizing you don’t have the money to buy a horse-drawn carriage or release doves just compounds something so simple).  The venue is booked, invitations are printed, and the dress is being made as we speak.  This past weekend, I had my first wedding shower.  It was thrown my two of my closest friends, Erin and Nicole.  They offered to throw me a shower last year (I actually forgot I got a shower…shows how much I pay attention).  My friends came out, we ate, drank, and listened to Jade-stories.  I really had a wonderful time because I feel like I don’t get to see many of my friends as much as I want to.

Weddings are such an interesting beast in and of themselves.  In September my sister from another mister, Stephanie, got married.  I was so happy to go visit her because I haven’t seen her in several years.  We met while were at school in New Jersey.  She went to California and I back to Texas.  Mark was their for the wedding; we turned it into a mini-vacation.  It wasn’t until Mark and I were in California that I really started to think of our wedding.  No, not about party favors or rehearsals, but rather that in a few short months, I would be walking down the aisle to Mark.  I imagined him laughing at me because I’ll probably be crying (that and I’m coming down the aisle to bagpipes), we will dance, smash cake in each other’s faces, and wake up the next day as husband and wife…no turning back 🙂 Now that I’ve been home for a while he and I have settled into life together a bit better and it’s a beautiful thing.  He makes me laugh, challenges me, loves me.  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him.  He supports me, protects me, and loves all the weird quicks that make me who I am…God love him, lol, because we know I’m not easy to love, I’m a bit of a handful.  So needless to say, I am counting down the time until he and I are married.

I’m also trying to finish up my PhD.  It’s tough, challenging, makes me question if I’m worthy of having this degree.  I can look at my work and go, did I really write that?  Writing a PhD. thesis is like having an academic out of body experience, you see the pages, touch the pages, but can’t really believe they’re there.  I have very minor corrections to make right now and that’s great; but I’m just tired and doubt everything I’ve ever done.  So, in a few months, we shall see what happens.

I was also trying to train for a 5 mile run and a 10K, but I have potentially torn a tendon in my leg and will not be able to do anything very soon.  I’ve been told I can’t do any lower body work, so no zumba, no dancing, no running….it’s like a smoker quitting cold turkey-dancing makes me happy, makes my soul feel alive, not being able to do that more than sucks.

Over the summer Mark and I traveled to Peru.  He lived there for a year when he taught English as a second language.  We were there for about 12 days; climbed over ruins, hiked, saw Machu Pichu, got photobombed by a llama, and ate cheese that squeaked (I don’t recommend it).  He was in his element showing me all the places he’d been, meeting his friends and host family, he looked, I imagine, as I did when I showed him Scotland.  Our trip was crazy, exciting, adventurous, and took me out of my comfort zone; but knowing that Mark as with me made it ok because I knew I was in good hands.  We had a blast, and are already planning future awesome adventures together.

I’m sure I’ve missed something, sorry.  I will try to write more; but for now, this gives you insight into some of the things I’ve been up to.  So, now I’m done traveling to Peru, California, Maine, all over, I’m close to finishing my thesis, ready to get hitched, and hopefully will be back and in better shape than before I found out about my leg.  Take care and good night!

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Thunder-Cat Thursday

I was trying to figure out a title that incorporated the two most stressful events from yesterday, and this is what I came up with…it’s not an homage to the Thundercats cartoon.  Anyways, yesterday just sucked.  It started out as any normal day, but in the evening it went downhill and weird quickly.  Moochie, our kitty, was diagnosed with a rare and very malignant type of cancer that we were told would mastitize rather quickly, and it did.  She was at least 8 years old, that’s how long we have had her, but she was definitely older than that.  We came to know Moochie right after hurricane Katrina.  One of our neighbors at the time went to Louisiana to help repair homes, Moochie jumped in his truck and hitched a ride to the great state of Texas.  She would then go around to all of the neighbors’ homes and ‘mooch’ for food.  Apparently, we had the best food, so she decided to stay with us-later the guy would claim that we stole his cat, but she just chose to stay with us, she adopted us.  I used to call her Moochalini-like Mucellini, because she would always pick on Max-our cairn terrier.  She used to butt heads to give love, and always waited outside of my door for me to feed her in the mornings.  She didn’t like to be held, and did her own thing.  In many ways, we never owned her, rather she rented a food bowl from us daily, she liked to roam the streets and bring us dead birds and mice.  She was a cat whose personality was fierce, but underneath her tough exterior she was a lover.  She loved kitty treats, cat nip, and a lap covered in a quilt.  She would cuddle up with me on the couch, tease Max, and always be one step ahead of Charlie.  I remember one Christmas I was in my room dancing and I heard a bunch of commotion coming from the living room.  Moochie had brought in a live mouse and placed it under the Christmas tree in the spot she liked to sleep in.  I laughed because she literally brought us a present and placed it under the tree.  She was a wiley cat, a cute cat, a cat with lots of untold stories.  We were told by the vet that she probably had at least one litter.  Maybe this accounts for her attitude, mama don’t play or put up with BS…I say this, because sometimes I swear should would give Charlie the stank eye whenever he was doing something silly.  She was a beautiful cat, a strong cat.  She came to us with 4 legs, but got caught in a fence a few years ago and was hanging by one leg, she had to have it amputated, my mom thought it would slow her down, rather, she ran faster.  I joked with the vet that the fourth leg was holding her back, he laughed…my mother did not.  Yesterday, Moochie’s health declined very rapidly, she refused to eat or drink, and looked very frail, the vet told us that when this happens it’s time to bring her in.  I told my parents I would take her in tomorrow, we even scheduled an appointment, but while I was on my way to Mark’s apartment, my mother noticed that she was in bad shape: vomiting blood, blown pupils, and other issues that suggested she would not make it through the night.  My mom called and said they were taking her in now, to say a prayer for her.  I cried as I cleaned the apartment, the last time I saw her was in the driveway, her favorite hang out place.  Mark came home, I was crying, he held me, and I opted to continue with our plans.

Our plan was to go to my high school stadium and run the bleachers.  We started doing this to help prepare for our trip to Peru since we are going to be doing a lot of hiking.  I ran the bleachers a few times, ran around the track, periodically cried because I was thinking about Moochie, this workout sucked.  The clouds were getting darker, the wind was picking up and I noticed lightening strike far off in to the distance.  Players were still practicing on the field, so it seemed ok but that we should probably end the workout session soon.  Mark said one more lap around the bleachers and we can go home, I said ok, didn’t think anything about it.  I was coming down the bleachers holding onto a metal handrail, Mark was already at the bottom, I saw a lightening bolt touch down on my left side, then I heard crackling, hissing, popping, and snapping coming down a tube, then before I could register what was happening I felt it go down the handrail and into my hand, a loud boom exploded, people ran, the scoreboard was fried and I ran down the bleachers like I just stole something.  Mark looked at me and I said, oh my God, I just got struck by lightening.  I then said I’m ready to go home.  He laughed and said yeah, it’s definitely time to go.  He was walking to the car, and I just doubled over and started crying, the shock of the lightening (which is a good song by the way), and the fact that my cat was now deceased was just too much with all the other stressors in my life, so I just lost it.  Mark ran towards me, asked if I was ok, I told him why I was crying, he held me, kissed my sweaty forehead, and we just stood there under the bleachers as I just totally lost my marbles.  I was shaking, sweaty, tired, scared, sad, it just sucked.  Then I did what every person does in the 21st (22nd?) century, I put it on Facebook.  My bad.  I didn’t get hit by a bolt of lightening but rather received an aftershock…still, at the time, that’s all that registered.  So I scared people, or encouraged them to buy lottery tickets.  I’m completely ok, no burns, no rapid or irregular heartbeat, no sweating, I’m good to go…I’m built Texas Tough.  I canceled dinner plans with my friend Tasha because I was just so shaky and didn’t feel very jovial, Mark took me to Jason’s Deli, and on the way I just started laughing hysterically….I apparently lost my marbles again.  I was laughing because everyone says ‘oh the chances of that happening are about the same as getting struck by lightening’ or whatever.  Then I quickly thought about all the major life moments that should never have happened, and then I realized that getting struck (or kinda struck) by lightening was just par for the course.  I was told I’d never get married, didn’t deserve my degrees and would never get a PhD, that I’d never beat diabetes, or a few other things…and what do I have to show for it?  An amazing fiancé, soon to be doctorate, beat diabetes, and didn’t fry myself on the football field…never say never people.  I went to the ER, told the staff there what happened, told them about what else was going on in my life, and they literally asked if I was superwoman and wanted to know how I could keep doing what I was doing.  I laughed and said I don’t know, I just keep on keepin’ on.  In the words of Dori, I just keep swimming.  That was my Thursday, my Friday is currently rather uneventful and I’m ok with that.  In closing, I’d like to toast some catnip to Moochie and thank God I survived another day.

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Building a Bridal Gown

This past Saturday I went downtown to go look at fabrics with my mom and seamstress.  I already decided long ago that I never wanted to buy a wedding gown, or at least a traditional wedding gown.  They’re big, puffy, white on white on white so much to the point that you can’t see any of the details…but guess what…you pay for those details.  I’ve heard countless stories of brides not being able to sit down, pee on their own, eat their cake, dance, or even take off their shoes because they are so confined in their dress.  Not me.  I’m already a big woman, why in sam’s hell would I make myself feel like the Goodyear blimp…so I can look like a princess on my big day…nope, not gonna happen.  That’s ok for other women to buy those dresses, they’re them and not me.  I’m not a princess bride, I’m not a princess anything.  I’m real, honest, blunt, unique, and resourceful and those are the things that I wanted reflected in my gown.  So, I found a dress makers mannequin template online and set about drafting my wedding dress.  I sketched, rather poorly, my idea of a dress, and detailed what I didn’t want.  On Saturday we set about to bring the drawing to life, to give it character, like the woman who was going to wear it.  The fabric store, High Fashion Fabrics, lived up to its name.  There were tons of fabrics, ornate, sparkly, variegated, all kinds of textures and prices, and it was like Crayola had started a fashion line.  I’m the kind of person that I might not always be able to articulate what I want, but I know what I don’t want-and have no problem vocalizing this.  I touched all the fabrics that were the templates for my dress.  When I found the ones that matched, the ones that actually gave me butterflies in my stomach, I said these are the ones.  My seamstress exclaimed, “are you saying yes to the fabric?!”  Yes, I said yes to the fabrics, then I did something that I never thought I would do, when I saw them layered as they would be for the dress on me, I started to cry.  I pride myself on being a ‘real woman’-whatever the hell that means, but I don’t consider myself girly.  I couldn’t give two craps about Jimmy Choo shoes or a Coach handbag.  My money, time, and avenues for making a statement about myself can be found in other more productive ways.  So, I was very shocked that I was crying over fabric, then my mom started crying, then seeing her cry made me cry…it was sad, and probably comical.  I also find it surprising that I would be crying over a dress…a dress!  But this isn’t any dress.  This is the fist dress that my husband will see me in, the dress that will announce the pairing of our lives, the dress that everyone will be looking at as I walk down the aisle facing my future, and leaving my past behind me, this is the dress that is supposed to embody my personality, my creativeness, and my appeal as a woman, this is the dress that my husband’s hands will rest on as we take our first dance, the dress that will twirl under the chandeliers as I dance the night away, the first night as a wife.  There is a lot riding on this dress.  I’m also reluctant to admit that when I got home I played with the fabric, danced around with it, and itched to tell somebody….I felt a bit vapid, but a lot of pretty and silly.  I’m sure people will begin asking about the dress, but I won’t tell.  I have only told one person about the dress, my maid of honor, but I won’t tell anyone else.  I won’t tell anyone what the design looks like, the colors, the details, nothing, nope, you can’t get it out of me.  I don’t know if I’ll look absolutely stunning, I don’t know if heads will turn, tears will fall, or mouths will gape, but I know I will feel pretty.  8 months to go, 8 months to the reveal, 8 months until I’m a Mrs. 🙂

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