Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thoughts on Marriage and Weddings

Saturday, April 22, 2006 7:53am (Collin's House in Milton)

Collin is finally my fiance. Fiance. It's yet another one of those things I thought was silly until it applied to me. I hated the way people said it. "Oh, my *fiance* and I were at the grocery store." It's as if the person suddenly lost there name and simply assumed a generic title. I'm sure it was just the excitement of being engaged, but for me it was salt in the wound of my singleness. I was resentful. I was bitter. Anyway, Collin is still Collin, and I promise not to replace his name with a title until we have kids and he becomes "Dad."

The wedding. Meh. Maybe the wedding I want doesn't exist. Maybe it's one of my hippie dreams that will inevitably be crushed by tradition, culture, and society. I definitely don't want the "fairy tale" wedding. I guess at some point I did. I used to want to get married at Disney World, but you grow up and you see behind the facade of manufactured dreams. You also see the world and realize that there are things out there that are a lot more genuine. Ireland is the happiest place on earth for me. It's beautiful and magical without trying. Crap. I'm on a tangent about Disney World. Okay, back to the point. At first I was really exited about planning the wedding, slightly nervous, but excited. I thought I could balance what I wanted with the expectations of tradition. There are some traditions I embrace: the garter, the bouquet, the cake, the first dance. Although, when you consider that the cake costs hundreds of dollars, it's easy to not like that tradition. And that's what it comes down to, doesn't it? A wedding is commerce. It's the product of a Hallmark culture. How many expensive material needs can we fullfil with the production of one event. Eventually, they'll start charging admission. Okay, I'm digressing again. So there was the initial excitement. When we started talking about getting married in a month, there was an initial disappointment. That initial disappointment was soon replaced with a more level-headed calm. It was very similar to what happened when I found out Val had eloped. At first I was sad and disappointed. I felt like I had been cheated out of being the maid of honor. It took me about an hour to figure out this meant I didn't have to coordinate a million wedding plans or plan silly parties or spend a couple hundred dollars on a dress that I will never wear again. And in the end I realized that I was being selfish. This wasn't about me; it was about Valerie and Jehremie.

I guess it's really hard for me to understand why people that care about us would want us to be apart. I fear that at this stage in our relationship, six months apart would actually decrease our understanding of each other. The things we need to learn about each other need to be learned in person. There are some things that can't be conveyed through telephones and emails. There's also a fair amount of resentment on my side that he would be on the west coast and I would be stuck on the east coast. I don't think I can take another six months in Panama City. My plan was to be out of there in July, and even with my new-found happiness, I think six more months in Panama City would see me on the other side of a mental breakdown. I guess I could go back to my original plan. Move to Tally. Hang out with my friends over there. But it seems silly to live like a college student when you are ready and able to live like a wife. It's not something that happened over night. I've been preparing for this my whole life; God has been preparing me for this my whole life.

I wish Granny was here...for so many reasons. I want her to meet Collin. She would love him. He is exactly the kind of man she would have picked out for me. Meeting him is probably the delayed result of twenty years of her praying for me. I'm not sure what she would tell me if she were here. No doubt it would be similar to my own conclusions. Her and Grandaddy were yet another of those hasty marriages that lasted until the day he died. I think they got married in '37. Almost fifty years of marriage.

I have so many fears. I know where fear comes from; I know it's not from God. I know it's Satan's strongest tool against me. It's that little voice in the back of my head.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Strange Things

Yeah, not much has changed...not Panama City or my opinion of it.


February 8, 2005

V says that I must continue to keep my blog because I'm ever so entertaining (Although not always intentional). Now I'm pretty sure she's actually talking about things like my earlier performance of Back that Ass Up where I bumped myself downstairs, but today we're going to focus on occurrences that I truly have no control over. Mainly, other people.

A couple of days ago, I'm sitting at Starbucks with my mom, pondering the cultural study that Starbucks is. Here's the thing. I was always seduced by Starbucks before, but I became completely addicted in London. I lived with seven other people including two very stinky boys and two slightly loud girls. If the smell didn't run me out, then the fact that I had the fifth year of Harry Potter (Just released Bloomsbury edition, thank you very much.) that HAD TO BE READ. I couldn't do that with the smell and the noise and the yuck. Luckily, that whole thing about there being two Starbucks on every corner is actually true in London. So everyday I'd grab by humongoid, brightly colored HP book and head down the block, past the beloved Apple Store to my favorite Starbucks. Upon entering, I immediately forgot that I lived in a flat that smelled like a big poot (except for my corner which consistently smelled of cotton blossom, lavender, and marshmallow) as the wonderful aroma of COFFEE hit me. Sweet, sultry, sensual, crisp, foamy, wonderful coffee. I grabbed my tall nonfat caramel macchiato and the absolutely heavenly double chocolate muffin and headed up the stairs to where I could sit and watch the second floor passengers of double decker buses float by the window. But here's the thing...the people. A normal mix of normal people - Teenagers, twenty-somethings, middle aged, businessmen, tourists.

Now flash forward to Tallahassee. I swore I wasn't going to cheat on Aristotle's. I'm all about small business. I'm all about unique. But something had happened to my favorite coffee garage while I was gone. The hippies, normal people, and grad students had been replaced by Greeks. No, not the kind from the awesome independent movie that became a blockbuster about a big, fat wedding but the kind know what I'm not even going to try to describe them...they're not worth that much mental energy on my part. Let's just say I spent 3/4 of my college career studying them for Student Publications and they reek of BS. So now my cool alternative music was drowned out by the steady loop of giggles and "Oh My God"s that follow around carbon-copied sorority girls. But worse than that, even the bar staff changed. The music began to change. So all this coupled with Starbucks withdrawals led me to the new Starbucks that just happened to be only a couple of blocks from my apartment. Oh, beautiful world. This Starbucks was filled with the same kind of people: businessmen, students, wedding planners and brides, families - Normal people (By my standards, of course).

So what's the point? Well, I could complain about how half the barristas in Panama City think a Caramel Macchiato is a Caramel Latte (Yes, there is a difference. I'll discuss that later.) But for this study, we're going to focus on the people. I've found that if you go in the PC Starbucks during the day you actually do get a glimpse of business people. But after 2pm, it becomes overwhelmingly two social groups: high schoolers and red necks. So the entire point of this entry. I'm looking at the group of car-clubbers outside, the table of teenagers to my left, and the "Missing Teeth" family directly in front of me and I say to my mom, "You know you can build the same building, decorate it the same, fill it with the same product, and yet in Panama City it becomes something completely different." The words are still hanging over the lemon cake sitting between us when they are cut by a glass bottle. A glass bottle that flies through my words, over the cake, past my face, and crashes into the wall behind me leaving a pile of glass at my feet. Yes, people, I almost lost my head at the Panama City Starbucks, literally. Only me. Only I could go to Starbucks and have a glass bottle thrown at my head. Well, me and the guy sitting next to me. But all's well that end's well, right. :0)