You know what the problem is with having too many hobbies?
There’s not enough time in the day to accomplish them all.
This has been my life for the past few months and can explain why I’ve ducked out of here a bit. Actually, most of the fault can be blamed on the routine I’ve put myself into since I started my whole fitness and healthier living regime back in January. There is a strict set of time I follow that means I get home from work, work out for about an hour, shower and do my nightly routine, make and eat dinner and by that point my brain is so dead that all it wants to do is sit on the couch and read stupid things on the Internet or go to sleep. At times like those, the idea of composing a blog post happens to fly right out the window.
However, I had to pop in to document one of the biggest moments that have happened to me in awhile before I forgot all of the details and then look back years from now and become sad because I didn’t even bother to write it down. See, there are unwritten rules in the blogging world, at least the world I come from (read: old school before most of y’all knew what blogging was). And the number one rule is that ‘Thou shalt not skip over blogging about some of the biggest events of thou’s life because then thou will want to look back and remember and will have nothing’.
And Facebook doesn’t count because have you seen the new Timeline? I can’t find shit on there that happened a week ago!
Anywho, this happened …
What is this, you ask? Did we go to prom? Are we all dressed up for Easter? This is just a lovely Spring day in Charleston, right?
Nope, guess again! Because for starters, I am wearing a dress and I never wear dresses because I am just not a dress person and just looking that dress makes me want to throw on my pajama jeans and roll around on the couch under my blanket.
Also, this is the first picture taken of Steve and I as husband and wife.
Yes, I said it. This is a marriage picture. Or what those of you who have followed the traditional route like to refer to as a wedding picture.
No, I am no pregnant, though the way I am standing (and also the reason for doing all that fitness) might lead you to believe otherwise.
Steve and I have been together twelve years. TWELVE YEARS! In that time, we have moved to an entirely different state, bought a house, adopted two puppies, traveled all over the Eastern seaboard, seen each other through some of the lowest and highest points of our lives and still managed to not kill each other or end up sleeping in separate beds. In all sense of the words, we were pretty much already married.
I didn’t talk much about why we weren’t married earlier on this blog because, well, I never got around to it and it wasn’t that big of a deal to me. Steve always had this stance that he didn’t want to get married, that everything would change, that he didn’t believe in marriage, that it was just a piece of paper. I didn’t want to be married to anybody else but him which to me translated into the idea that if he didn’t want to be married than I was ok with that. And I absolutely and truly was and have been for almost every single day of this entire relationship. Parts of me, deep down, the ones that as a female are ingrained in you, always kind of hoped it would happen because that’s what supposed to happen, right? But I just figured I was happy with the way things were and truthfully, it could only go uphill from there.
So there I was content in the idea of not being married but still getting the luxury of sharing my life with my best friend.
I came home after a night out with my mother on March 31st and after a few beers, found myself laying in bed when I noticed the date had changed to April 1st. I gasped loudly and turned to Steve and said, “Let’s change our Facebook status to engaged as April Fool’s Day joke”.
We had never done this in the entire time we’d been dating so it seemed like an almost perfect ploy. We both updated our status and went to bed only to wake up to a barrage of messages ranging from “Congratulations!” to people put us on blast and saying that it had to be a joke. We vowed to go through the entire day without saying anything and we joked that we were going to leave it up afterwards to mess with the people who were so sure that we were joking.
We’d had plans to go to the drag races that day with a married couple friend of ours so while the boys raced, I sat in the stands with L* and we joked and chatted about everything under the sun, including what we were thinking was a brilliantly planned joke on mine and Steve’s part. I even made the joke that wouldn’t it be weird if this all started as a joke but we ended up being really engaged because we were just too lazy to change our Facebook status back.
At some point in the day, the boys sat with us for awhile and we were still talking about the joke which segued into weddings and how they’re so expensive and how it would be impractical for us to have a wedding when we have a house or better things to spend that kind of money on.
And both of us agreed we wanted the marriage over the wedding anyway.
We stopped for dinner and continued to joke and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. At some point, we were busting on Steve about the engagement and L* and I were laughing so hard, I almost choked on my steak to which Steve responded that he was just going to do it, he was going to propose to me in the Applebee’s in small town South Carolina so that I had a story to tell. And he asked me if I wanted to marry him and I’m still choking on my steak while I say “Sure!” (you know, just in case he was serious) and joked about whether he wanted to go across the street to Wal-Mart to get my ring.
Then he made me pay for dinner. And we all left and said our goodbyes and chalked it up to another day of messing with Steve for not wanting to get married.
But on the way home, he surprised me by asking if I really wanted to do it and asking if I believed that he was serious. I didn’t, couldn’t believe because what the hell? But of course, said sure, why not because you know, god forbid he wasn’t joking. And then he said some of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard that I really will just to keep to myself because some things that are only for me.
And I guess we went to bed engaged that night.
Except I still didn’t believe him because I woke up the next morning and asked if he still wanted to get married. He said absolutely.
It wasn’t when we decided that made me believe. It wasn’t all the talking about it. It wasn’t even going to get the marriage license (because part of me still felt like he’d walk up to the courthouse and say “Sike!”). I pretty much wasn’t going to be convinced until we were actually married.
And here’s the thing. Like I said above, we weren’t looking for a wedding. We’ve been together long enough that it would have felt silly to us. And he’s not very comfortable being the center of attention so the idea of having to get up and do the traditional wedding things just absolutely turned him. Both of us agreed that we wanted the marriage and the marriage could be obtained by getting the marriage license, waiting the 24 hour waiting period and then signing the papers that solidified the idea that we were husband and wife.
We decided on Good Friday (April 6) just because it was closest to when we decided to get married and we could take the day off and get a three-day weekend. We applied for the marriage license on Wednesday. And we told no one except for the respective people at our jobs who kind of needed to know.
On Friday, we woke up and spent some leisure time with the pups and then started getting ready. It ended up being much colder than I had anticipated so I was slightly upset that I wouldn’t be able to wear the dress because I felt like I needed to wear a dress of some sort. But I made do and wore a jacket over top. Our appointment was at 2pm about twenty minutes away, in the town we lived in when we moved here.
We were early, of course, as we are too everything.
Thankfully, the lady we were meeting took us early. She showed us into a conference room where all the paperwork was setup. I handed her the copy of the marriage license. We chatted for a few minutes then she got to notarizing away. Within twenty minutes we were married. And she very kindly took quite a few more pictures than we anticipated which was awesome of her because now we have something to remember it by.
Afterwards, we both wanted Dairy Queen so we decided to go to the mall (only place to get it around here) and figured we could look at wedding bands while we were there. We instead decided on Sbarro’s for lunch because we haven’t had that since we lived in PA. So our first meal as husband and wife was baked ziti and bread sticks and it was damn delicious!
Wedding bands were soon acquired, both from local mall jewelers. I refused to let him spend a fortune on me and just picked out a simple but pretty pave setting band with 3/8 ct weight of diamonds, twelve in all (the number of years we’ve been together, natch!) and it’s all I need. He choose a simple titanium band that was way less than my ring which makes me feel uber-guilty. We women do have it lucky.
After the mall, it was time to go home and brace ourselves to tell everyone. We had invited our parents over for dinner that night so that we could be assured they would be told in person and they would be the first to know. Steve’s parents were in town visiting his brother and couldn’t make it but mine came over as scheduled. And they were thinking we were all getting together and since my mom arrived first, I had to tell her I didn’t know when his parents would be getting there. Of course, I am awful with secrets so pretty much as soon as my dad walked in the door, I let them know his parents weren’t coming but that we didn’t tell them because we still wanted them to come so we could let them know we had gotten married.
My parents were overjoyed and it was so very awesome because I thought they would be upset. I mean, they were upset that they weren’t there and they were within in their right to be but once they said it, they moved past that and celebrated with us. My mom sent my dad to the store to get some cake and champagne and Steve and I started making phone calls to the people that we felt it was important find out in person and not over Facebook.
And you know what, for someone who didn’t want to get married he sure was excited to let everyone know and I had to literally stop him from telling Facebook so I could make some final calls. When it finally did go up on Facebook, we spent the evening with my parents eating pizza, drinking champagne, calling and texting with people and fielding Facebook pings.
It was awesome. So much more awesome than I anticipated and I can’t thank my parents enough for giving us such a great celebration.
It was exactly how we wanted things and nothing in the world could convince us to do it any other way.
After that, we continued on about our normal daily lives just as a married couple. We went to a BBQ at a friends the next day and they surprised us with a cake and champagne too. A time like this, when you go against the norm and do things that people don’t expect or don’t want you to do, really shows you who is truly there for you as a family and as friends because they’re the ones who accept your decisions and share in your joy, not contribute to your sorrow.
There were a few who were upset with us and continue to be upset with us and again, Steve and I were fully aware this would happen and that those people are well within in their rights to be upset. However, the one thing I need to put out there for them is this: you have every right to feel the way you do but you have absolutely no right to make us feel bad for that. This is a decision made between two grown adults in a relationship that has lasted longer than quite a few people’s marriages. This is our decision and we made it the way we did to accommodate our life and our wants and needs. We did not sit down and think about doing this purposely because it would hurt other people. As a matter of fact, other people didn’t even really enter our mind when we were discussing how to enter into a marriage that would last us our entire life. And we made a specific point to take other people’s feelings into consideration according to how we delivered the news to those people. It was never our intent to hurt anyone, purposefully or accidentally.
And while we know people are “happy” for us we just really, really wish they would stop adding the “but’s” to it. As in, we’re happy but why did you do it that way? Because that does nothing but sow the seeds of discontent and it is absolutely not fair to anyone for you to not move on and be happy for us.
*Stepping off my soap box for now*
So that is it, in a nutshell. I went from long-term relationship to fake engaged to real engaged to married in the course of the week. And yes, there are plans to have some prettier pictures taken down the line by a professional and possibly have a party to celebrate but as of now, we are simply husband and wife. We had a marriage day, I wore a marriage dress, we had a marriage lunch at Sbarro’s and we are happy with how everything with our marriage turned out.
Besides, weddings are for chumps anyway! I’ve got a roof to pay for! 🙂