A journey through my mind. Which is sometimes fabulous. Often not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Countdown: less than ONE month..!

I'm afraid to actually know how many days are left. I think I'll just say less than a month. Then it's not so scary!

It's my day off today and I have actually a lot of errands to run. I was planning on picking up the candy order, but there's a huge accident on the freeway where I need to be. And then in the afternoon I'm taking my mom out to see the church, the hotel, and the reception site. So that will be fun. Oh, and if we can make it back in time for dinner with my sister, we're going to try to do that too.

But the real reason why I'm posting today is because it's time for another... no, not another to-do list, but another post similar to this one, a list of qualities about Ricklet that I love that really make us who we are. Sometimes we have it so good that we don't really realize that there are others (singles and couples) who don't have it as easy as we do, who have to work harder on their relationship, and sometimes who just aren't really compatible or have very different personalities that each partner must "put up with". Perhaps for some, that's as good as it gets, so the bickering and miscommunication is accepted, standard, and normal. For me, because I have Rick, that kind of situation is totally unacceptable.

I can see the question mark over your head. What in world is she talking about?? So let me explain. A few months ago someone from my past life found me on a social networking site and tried to add me to his friend list. I let the request sit for a long time before finding out that there can be different settings for different friends. So I set up a restricted list, accepted his friend request, and added him to this list. I guess the reason why I went through all the trouble is that 1) we're adults now, I shouldn't avoid my past in fear; 2) I was curious about how we'd reconnect; 3) I had others to add to this restricted list anyways; and 4) I didn't want him all up in my stuff on my page if I added him to my regular friend list. Privacy is important to me, and what comes in and goes out on my page isn't something I want the whole world to see let alone someone whom I've known and with whom I'd had a falling out. You never know who's going to turn out to be your next stalker.

So I accepted the request; I didn't say hello right away, I waited a few weeks. Finally, for some reason, of which I'm still unsure, I decided to post a hello. He wrote back and commented on my engagement photos. Those I'd purposefully left up while filtering more private life pictures of Bella and events we've participated in. I wrote back: thanks, we took new ones, and how are you? I'm fine, work is tiring, etc. He wrote back: saw your new pictures, they look nice, is that your baby, I listen to news radio. I wrote: sure, that's my baby, I don't like listening to news radio on my morning commute, I'd rather hear trivial gossip. And he responded: You haven't changed a bit, enjoying celebrity gossip. Your baby is cute, she sure is chubby.

I reacted. And I reacted badly. I haven't changed a bit since I was 12? Really. And he would know this from two short messages? How arrogantly assumptive. And because I choose not to listen to the news during my morning commute, I happily seek out and "enjoy" shallow and meaningless chitchat? Oh was I offended. I was mostly annoyed that he was nostalgically self-indulgent, patting himself on the back with the "you haven't changed a bit" feeling, like he intimately knew and still knows me. The truth is, he never knew me at all; he saw only what he wanted to see, and in my darkest hours, he had absolutely no idea what I was going through, and I couldn't handle a lollygagging puppet tagging along at my heels who was more annoying than harmful.

I know we were really young when we were together, but this behavior was exactly the reason why I broke it off with him back then. The unequal status between us irked the heck out of me; he fawned over me and in doing so, lessened himself. Within the idolotry was the perception that I was an angel who floated when I walked and had no thoughts of substance within my cute little brain. Of course, he didn't see this as offensive and there are worse perceptions of women than this; he probably treated all women he liked as little cuddly and sweet things, and is refreshed by their innocence and naivete, and therefore promotes it. I know that plenty of women would consider this guy a catch because he would adore her, put her up on a pedestal, and treat her like a princess, do anything to make and keep her happy. I, on the other hand, wanted to vomit on my keyboard. Some people just don't realize that when someone's put up on a pedestal and held high in esteem, the one who's up there is very lonely and maintaining that image by herself is tiresome. The fall from the top can be quite far, and if she falls, she will loathe herself and will want someone to speak the truth and sit on the ground with her for awhile. He will simply dust her off and try to help her get up on the pedestal again, assure her of his undying devotion and of her perfection, when she'll realize she doesn't want an admirer from afar. So she'll run off to join the rest of the village people, on solid ground, and she'll find a playmate with whom she can share her opinions and sit in the sandbox together for hours. He, abruptly abandoned, broken and purposeless, will curse her for all his best efforts to love her were not enough to keep her. She hopes that one day he eventually learns that one-sided adoration only leads to disappointment.

I've never really been a feminist, nor do I believe that we should set social roles that differentiate between men and women. I suppose I'm simply an equalist, an equalist with certain exceptions, of course. ;) And most importantly, this is about attitude. One may think, for example, that men should make more money than women, and that's fine as a personal opinion; but I have a few select words for the one who thinks that women CANNOT make as much or more money than men. The thought of limitation is what makes my blood boil. I hate being limited, told that I can or cannot do something. But most of the time, it usually has nothing to do with the issue/task at hand, but the intangible, indescribable perception of my abilities or capabilities.

So back to the story. After I virtually vomited on my keyboard, I shut down the computer and went to bed. I couldn't sleep and thought about all the nasty things I could write back. Of course, this was hardly mature, and if he was baiting me, I'd be giving him exaclty what he wanted: more chances to think he knows me and knows what I'd say. I could be honest with him and tell him that actually I've changed quite a bit; but that would be justifying myself to him, and I don't believe I owe him any explanation or insight to who I really am. Just these few messages over the internet sent me reeling, and I thought, Geez that relationship never would have worked out. Imagine all the fights we'd have and how many times I'd be offended by his condescending adoration. Then I thought about the traditional Christian wedding vows: the woman promises to obey the man, the man promises to love the woman as Jesus Christ loved the church. I've never had problems obeying Rick, but that's because he's never been a demanding tyrant or sacrificing martyr. He is willfully independent and has a strong sense of self, and doesn't idolize or fawn over me; it is easy to follow someone who knows what he's doing and is doing it for the right reasons (not doing it all for me). I turned over in bed and snuggled close to Rick. And all my feelings of love for him flooded me, and I held him tighter.

Rick has:
* never treated me like an unequal, or assumed I can't do something
* nver treated me like a princess (although he calls me HIS princess), meaning his position is never as my servant, and he'd never do everything I say just because I say so
* never rolled-eyes-edly said, "yes, dear" to anything and everything I want
* never coddled any of my bad behavior in efforts to keep me happy
* never gone down without a fight, especially when I'm wrong
* never been fake with me
* never participated in the group bashings of women or marriage that are so disrespectful that I loathe to even hear bits of
* always talked to me like an equal, never being above me or below me (certain touchy subjects are an exception)
* talked to me like we're both knights (in keeping with the royal metaphors) fighting together for our king (whatever goals we make) against our enemies (whatever obstacles we need to overcome)
* put me in my place too many times to count
* allowed me to take control of whatever I want, but will honestly tell me when I'm doing something "wrong" (heehe)
* happily gone shopping with me, not to please me, but because he wanted to
* has shown me and others his chivalry by opening doors, but not every time, and for men and women alike

Despite what this sounds like, we are not a platonic or same-sex couple!! The balance we achieve by being a team and respecting each other is what makes us super strong. Even if I tried, Rick would not take well to having his spirit and freedom roped in. I believe in personal accountability and choices, and have very little desire to control Rick and tell him what to do. And we do share similar he-said, she-said sort of behavioral quirks that are inherent in hetero relationships. But Rick is different in that he doesn't talk to me the way other guys who have "liked" me have. Very early on in our relationship, he didn't let me get away with something that would have been easy to pass through with other guys, and I thought, WHAT? NO ONE talks to me like that!! Not that he called me names or was abusive, but he drew his boundary lines. And in that instant, he earned my respect. And as time went on, I learned I could trust him with the deepest parts of my inner self, parts that even my mother or sister haven't seen. I feel like I truly have a partner, not a servant or a caretaker.

Coincidentally, as I was working on our table names for the reception, I stumbled across an old song from the musical that Rick and I worked on together, when we first met. My White Knight, from The Music Man, is sung by the stodgy librarian (ironic, isn't it?) who falls in love with a con artist. The lyrics, which are appropriate for this post, go like this:

"My white knight, not a Lancelot, nor an angel with wings
Just someone to love me, who is not ashamed of a few nice things.
My white knight, who knew what my heart would say if it only knew how.
Please, dear Venus, show me now.

All I want is a plain man
All I want is a modest man
A quiet man, a gentle man
A straightforward and honest man
To sit with me in a cottage somewhere in the state of Iowa.

And I would like him to be more interested in me than he is in himself.
And more interested in us than in me."

Meredith Willson was a genius.

They say after you get married, you have to start putting the other person first before yourself; I say that will just cause resentment, especially if the sacrifice is not appreciated. I say that you should have already started thinking about doing what's best for the both of you, and not to lose yourself in the process. I am, after all, whom Rick fell in love with in the first place; for him and for us, I can't afford to lose myself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Countdown: 38 days

This week, I'm holding it all together. I'm not sure if it's the sickness that's hit me over the head that has made me realize (again) that the wedding will not be perfect and that I can't control everything, so I should just relax and go with the flow. That, and/or the fact that we've gotten lots of things crossed of the list, so I can relax just a bit. Here's what's left of last time's list:

DONE * details appointment
DONE * engagement photo shoot (they came out awesome!)
* finish Snoopy's tux
DONE* buy rhinestone pins for bouquets
* wash scoops and tongs, tie ribbons
* IKEA for tea lights and candleholders
DONE * order gift cards for bridesmaids
* NASCAR cars (Target)
DONE * baptismal certificate
DONE * marriage license (that's a whole 'nother dramatic story)
CROSS OFF * embroider hankies for bridesmaid bouquets
* order candy and arrange for pickup
* fill restrooms baskets (trip to Walmart)
* kids' packs (Walmart, Michaels, OTC...)
* buy flower girl's dress and Bella's dress
* find picture of me and mom, rick and his family
* scan/color copies of photos for photo montage. make photo montage!
DONE * order personalized informals, buy generic Thank You cards for use until then
PSEUDO DONE * reserve rooms for attendants
* not to mention all the paper details: programs, escort cards, menu cards, signs, instructions, etc.

And to add to the list:
* finalize music for ceremony (gotta call Patrick! GUH!)
* confirm and finalize reception centerpieces and payment (gotta call Sheri! GUH!)
* order more cardstock for the programs
* consultation with the DJ
* buy letter charms for the bouquets
* buy veil

Today I'm going in for my trial hair and makeup. Was supposed to do it last Tuesday but I was sick as a dog and wasn't feeling the least bit sexy or pretty. So now that I'm on antibiotics and can kind of function now that the bugs are being killed off along with everything else in my body, I can continue on the daily track of getting things done. Or just thought about. Heee.

This morning Ricklet and I were discussing certain wedding things, and he kept saying, "Stop worrying about that." I said, "I'm not worrying, I'm just talking about it. Because it needs to be decided upon and then carried out. Someone's gotta think about it, make the decision and then follow through so that it does get done. Who's worrying? Not me." But of course, the Ricklet says, "but when you go into so much extremes and details you sound like you're stressing about it." It's been so long that I've been planning the wedding (planning, by the way, means thinking and weighing options and deciding, not just the actual physical courses of action) that I don't even know what it means to BE stressed. Every day is like this, I sleep and breathe thoughts about silk flowers and paper and when to start making things, think about reminding myself to buy this or that, or call so-and-so by this date... all these very minor little things add up so it's one big great stressball.

Just you wait, I'll one day soon blow up and cry about a misplaced scoop for the candy buffet. Just you wait and see.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello, March!

I recently received an RSVP to the wedding whose subject line was: "RSVP to 54 days and counting!"

It pretty much freaked me out. There is still so much to do and although I'm ahead in some tasks, I feel behind in others. I mean, I haven't even spoken with the DJ yet! And I still don't know how much left I owe on our flowers! All these phone calls... really, that's what's been keeping me up at night.

It's difficult finding time to do anything anymore. At work, I can't concentrate on work. I keep thinking about what's up ahead for the weekend, what else I need to buy, what I need to finish crafting, etc. And although I have lists, I have many of them in different spots with unsynchronized information on them. Rick just reminded me that we still have to buy NASCARs for the cake! It had totally slipped my mind! And then tealights and candleholders from IKEA! I forgot about that too!

So now it's already March, and I finally bit the bullet and contacted a makeup artist for a trial run. I don't know what keeps me from doing these things in a timely manner... inability to commit??? I think so.

We ended up deciding to do fake flowers after all. (I know, I know, *GASP*). I spent so much $ on floral stems at Michaels to make the pomander ball, but I had so much fun doing it. I thought it looked beautiful and real. Then as I did a bit more research into making our personal flowers, I discovered a website that got a lot of good reviews for their fake stems. And they had green cymbidium orchids too!! So I ordered a sample, and liked most of what I got. They looked so much better than the ones I got at Michaels, so now I can tell the pomander ball looks really artificial. Oh well. So I put in the whole order for all of our bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. It probably came out to about $200 for everything, but I'm returning some stuff and buying some extra stems. I don't know what the heck I'm doing as I'm crafting these bouquets and stuff, but I think they're coming out pretty good!! Here's what I've done so far:

Bridesmaid bouquets: green confetti rose, green cymbidium orchid, onion grass, and rose leaves.

Groomsmen bouts: mini green cymbidium orchid, rosemary, and onion grass.

Grandmother corsages: open antique rose and pink beauty bud, onion grass and rose leaves.

I started the matron of honor bouquet that is similar to the bridesmaids' bouquets but includes calla lilies, the mini green cymbidium orchids, and white open roses that will be used in my bouquet as well.

Things to do to add to the List(s):
* finish Snoopy's tux
* buy rhinestone pins for bouquets
* wash scoops and tongs, tie ribbons
* IKEA for tea lights and candleholders
* order gift cards for bridesmaids
* NASCAR cars (Target)
* baptismal certificate (gotta go downtown)
* marriage license
* embroider hankies for bridesmaid bouquets
* order candy and arrange for pickup
* fill restrooms baskets (trip to Walmart)
* kids' packs (Walmart, Michaels, OTC...)
* buy flower girl's dress and Bella's dress
* find picture of me and mom, rick and his family
* scan/color copies of photos for photo montage. make photo montage!
* order personalized informals, buy generic Thank You cards for use until then
* reserve rooms for attendants
* not to mention all the paper details: programs, escort cards, menu cards, signs, instructions, etc.

March 10: Trial makeup/hair appt

March 13: Details appointment at reception site!

March 28: Bella's bday party!

April 4: Bachelor/Bachelorette parties

So... lots to do.. this weekend we'll be visiting my paternal grandmother and giving her the invitation in person. I just hope no one's beat us to the punch since all the invitations went out.. and she thinks we're not inviting her or something. Well. Just two more days... then we can get that taken care of.

And then start the workweek all over again.... when wedding plans have to be put on hold all day..