I have written so many posts in my head over the last bazillion or so years, but somehow sitting down in front of a screen and keyboard to make them come to life for you has just not happened. I have so many excuses, but the one that seems to stand out as the strongest was a vignette I saw on one of the Castle DVDs from season 1 — short version, that what often creates writer’s block is the fear that what you put down on paper won’t be perfect.
It’s a feeling I can understand all too well. When I’m at work, I’m not afraid to write — I know that whatever I put down will be vetted and reviewed by many different sets of eyes, so if it’s not perfect, someone along the way will catch it and change it. And I have no ego attached to that — I’m completely fine with it. Admittedly, there I’m not writing for myself and putting my thoughts and feelings out there, so it in some ways carries much less risk, but at the same time, it’s my career and there is a great deal of risk associated with being a constant screw-up. Fortunately for me, I’m not one (at least not at work), so there you go.
Anyhow — I thought about sitting down at the keyboard on January 1st to make some big poignant retrospective and make it somehow more meaningful, and as you can see, that didn’t happen. So here we are.
I know it’s common for people to write their looking-back pieces, so I thought I might do the same.
The year 2010 brought for me marriage and turning 30 — in that order, thankfully. Maybe just barely, but it still counts.
The wedding day went well, with only minor hiccups — one of the DH’s uncles made our cake, and he got lost on the way to the venue, so he only just finished setting up as I was about to walk down the aisle, and therefore he missed the ceremony (as he had to return to the hotel to get his wife and daughter and also change). The hotel gave away our photographer’s room, so noises were made and great concessions were received. A few people’s comments about the lack of cleanliness of their rooms got back to me, but just as third- or fourth-hand comments — not as problems to fix. One of the DH’s second-cousins heckled my dad during his speech, but it would appear someone told him to shut up, as he calmed down. My mom stepped on my bustle before my first dance, but my maid of honour and my bride’s man’s girlfriend helped do a repair. The groomsmen didn’t put the wedding favours on the tables, but the DH and I were able to use the handing out of the favours as our excuse to circulate amongst the tables and thank everyone for coming.
On the whole? Problem free. I spent more time socializing and less time dancing than I thought, but that wasn’t exactly a bad thing. I was able to time the changing of the daughters during the father-daughter dance well — fortunately I didn’t wait for the keychange as I had considered, as that happened right towards the end of the song and wouldn’t have had the same impact.
All in all, it was a great and yet weird day. The DH and I both said that it felt as though we were at someone else’s wedding, but for the fact that we were the ones wearing the fancy get-up. My dress was a huge hit with everyone. It did get somewhat uncomfortable towards the end of the night, and I loved that first big breath I got to take after I removed it — and the even bigger one after the damn strapless bra came off.
Weird things about wedding get-up? Spanx (or at least the set I bought and didn’t wear) aren’t meant to be worn with underwear, as there is simply an opening that you pull aside to do your business. Yours truly was not comfortable with that idea, and so ended up wearing a different pair of stocking-shorts that she had in stock. Oddly enough, my mom was fine with the idea of me going commando on my wedding day, but didn’t like the idea that I might be braless — it was her that insisted we go shopping for a “proper” bra. Since I don’t have any strapless bras from this millennium, that wasn’t a huge problem, though I’m pretty sure the damn thing had more padding than me in there. I was able to stash the hotel key in the bra and some kleenex in between, though, so that was convenient. I offered the kleenex to the DH during a tender moment in the ceremony, which changed his tears to laughter.
I had another moment I had in mind to mention, but it’s passed now. I feel I’m racing against a clock, as my computer wants to do an automatic update that it won’t allow me to postpone, and it’s past my bedtime. Of course, as I’ve been sleeping from 2 or 3 until 11 the last many days, I doubt I’ll be asleep anytime soon.
Lots of people have asked me if I feel any different post-marriage, or how married life is compared to pre-married life. I think I’ve probably asked my friends that same question, as it’s an ice-breaker of sorts, and the truth is, I feel no different, grand-scale. I think it’s probably because I’m short and chunky and the DH, while taller than me and definitely not chunky, is still shorter-ish for a guy, and so in my head I think we’re both still kids — so many of my married friends are tall and seem grown-up, and I’m pretty sure I’m still a 16-year poser.
In truth, I do question some more of my behaviours than I did before, which tells me I have some preconceptions about what it means to be married. I’ve read that where many marriages fail is where couples have expectations that things will change once they’re married — that the husband will no longer have poker nights with his buddies, or that the wife won’t take girls-only overnight trips, or things of that nature. I asked the DH before we married if he had any of those expectations, and he said no, and I felt the same way — and we both happen to like the evenings where the other is out, so it’s not as though either of us would suddenly expect those activities to change. If anything, he tries to get me to leave the house more often than I do.
But behaviours — I do sometimes question whether I should be cuddling with this friend that I’ve cuddled with for the last 7 or 8 years, or whether I should stop flirting with that friend that I’ve flirted with for the last 10 years, or whatever. Even some of the things that I talk about or have talked about — should that suddenly stop now that a second ring is on my finger? The truth is, I only think they need to stop if they’re creating problems in my relationship with the DH, and until he tells me they are, I see no real reason to change.
Other peoples’ thoughts be damned. And I’m lucky that my friends are, on the whole, fairly open and understanding (well, the ones I’m closer to, for sure). We cuddle, we flirt, we understand one another — and those in open relationships have their own boundaries, and don’t expect those in closed relationships to change their own boundaries just because. Though all of that’s another matter that came up a little while ago. Separate post for another day.
So yes, I do sometimes look at the lines I’m approaching and try to decide for myself and my marriage if they’re being overstepped or are too far, but I think that’s a constant negotiation, and that’s not a bad thing.
Otherwise? I’m still the same person I was this time last year. Even the last name hasn’t changed, despite what other people might want or how they might try to address me. While Mrs. DH isn’t my legal name, I will generally respond to it — it’s not exactly something I feel the need to make a federal case over. But I’m still Jen X, and that’s just fine with the DH — as well as the kitties, not that they’ve noticed any change either.
I’ll try to edit this tomorrow with a photo or two — I just don’t have them on this computer, and I have less than a minute left on the Windows timer (not to mention it’s long enough — and not entirely what I originally meant to cover).