Tag Archives: about me

An Incredible But True Story

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary.  I’ve known my husband for five years and 29 days. (Quick, do the math!) Yup, that’s right, we got married after knowing each other for just over four weeks. As we said to the officiant who performed our marriage ceremony in Las Vegas, “This isn’t as poorly considered as it might seem!”  Read and decide for yourself.  Or just laugh. . . .

Five years ago, I was single and looking for love on match.com.  Well, not love.  Looking for a dining companion who was not horrible, drunken, toothless, crazy or married to someone else.  I had been exchanging emails with several different gentlemen, among them this guy named John.  He claimed that he had previously contacted me (I’d been single for a while) and I never wrote back.  In January 2005, he contacted me (again?) and we arranged to call and then meet for dinner on Tuesday, January 25.

On Sunday, January 23, a major blizzard hit the east coast.  The city was paralyzed.  School was canceled Monday and then Tuesday.  John didn’t cancel and so I braved the snow to meet him. I sat in a nearly deserted bar and waited for him.  As I sipped my second glass of wine and watched the news for further snow cancellations, I thought to myself, “I feel like I am waiting to meet my husband.”  Then, I finished that second glass and thought, “That is the single dumbest thing I have ever thought while waiting for a blind date.”

When he finally arrive 45 minutes late (he did call to apologize– remember, snow EVERYWHERE), I stood up and hugged him.  Why not– I was two glasses of wine into it at that point.

We had dinner. I told him, among other things, that I was committed to becoming a parent in the short-term and if that was an issue for him, that was fine and I wouldn’t hold it against him.  I’d been on a lot of first dates and I was tired of playing the game.  I figured, why not be exactly who I was.  If anyone was scared off, no more loss to me than if they didn’t like my eye color or my height or the fact that I always ordered dessert but rarely ate bread (one blind date did comment on that.)

The wait staff was clearly tired of waiting on just us, so John walked me back to the train and said that he’s like to see me again.  I said that it would be lovely and got on the subway, thinking, “He’s never going to call.”  I looked back and he was still looking.

We went on a second date the following Saturday. As we walked past a mirror, I thought, “We look right together.”

I know, it kind of makes me want to gag a little, too.

On our third date, Sunday, we watched a movie at my house.  The next day, we went and saw “A Streetcar Named Desire” and then had dinner. We gave the waiter our drink orders and I decided to lay it all on the table.

“I have this theory.”

John nodded.

“I figure, if you can successfully have dinner with someone four times, you might as well get married because that marriage has as much of a chance as any other, you know, since 50% of all marriage end up in divorce.  People get their expectations all out of control and don’t just leap and commit and try.”

At this critical juncture, the waiter brought our drinks.  John took a sip of his martini and said, “Have we had dinner four times yet?”

“No, just three, so you’re still safe.”

But he asked me out again, and again and we pretty much spent every evening together after that.

February break was coming up and I mentioned that we should go away somewhere. Jokingly, we talked about going to Vegas and getting married. At some point, it stopped being a joke.

I remember talking with my friend Lucy, asking how she knew that she would marry her husband.  I don’t remember exactly what she told me, but I knew at that point that I didn’t want to date John.  I just wanted to be married to him and start our life together.

Wow, this is kind of sappy, huh?

John and I flew to Vegas on a Tuesday, neither of us completely convinced that we were really going to do it. I did bring a dress– a barely off-white satin, tea length, spaghetti straps, sweetheart neckline with a lace-up back.  It was the dress that I had always pictured myself being married in, ever since I was a teenager.  I had found it on the sample rack when I was shopping with a friend for her wedding dress and bought it and let it hang in my closet for years.

We got up Wednesday morning, ate breakfast, got the license at the courthouse.  Advertised on a bus stop was the Little Chapel of the West, a historical landmark.  That pleased John.  We headed off to book the chapel and buy rings. We had a cocktail.  I said, “Are you sure?  It’s okay if you don’t want to.”  John said, “Let’s do it.”

So we did.  And then we called and told our friends and my parents.  My mom claims my father went to bed for three days.  John’s sister just happened to call him the next morning and when he told her that he was in Vegas, she laughed and said, “What are you doing– getting married?”

No one expected this would work.  And it hasn’t all been ice cream and flowers, but we leapt and believed and I have the life I have today because of John and I am grateful.

Happy Anniversary.

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What I Can Handle

“God doesn’t send me anything I can’t handle, but sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much.”  I’ve seen this quote widely attributed to Mother Teresa, which I don’t quite believe because it sounds so secular and I always expect saints to sound more, you know, saintly.  Whoever first said it, I find myself repeating it when I feel overwhelmed- which is often.  I am kind of hard on myself, always have been.  Apparently my second grade teacher first brought this to my parents’ attention and my mother likes to remind me, still, more than 30 years later.

But sometimes I do feel overwhelmed.  I keep going, because there really isn’t another option.  When I have the opportunity to reflect in kind of a detached way, I think maybe I feel overwhelmed with cause.  Here’s a list of all of the stuff on my plate:

  • Newborn daughter
  • Very busy 2.5 year old
  • Husband (who is in graduate school) (My husband is a general great guy and a fantastic, helpful and involved father so this item is in no way an indictment.  He’s also my only blog follower at this point.  Hi HOG! 🙂 )
  • Two dogs
  • A fish
  • A housemate (who I’m not responsible for per se, but it is someone else living in my house)
  • The house (cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, vacuuming, baking– some of this is my preference,so I could make my life a little easier by not baking, but that’s breaking one of my resolutions)
  • My career (I’m on maternity leave now, but normally I teach high school English in a large urban district.  Teaching is an overwhelming job and more so in our particular environment)
  • My professional development (I want to get my PhD at some point)
  • My grandmother who just moved into a retirement complex about 45 minutes from here
  • My sister-in-law who has breast cancer
  • Her husband who has prostate cancer
  • Their son and daughter who understandably are feeling some fear and stress
  • Our upcoming adoption
  • Church and spiritual life
  • Maintaining our church website (we do this as a team, so it’s not all me)
  • My brother who is looking for a job and is very concerned about it
  • Same brother is also trying to adopt a child
  • Trying to maintain my own friendships
  • “Me time” – HA!  No, seriously, I know it’s important, nay vital so that I can support all of these other people and things.  But guess what often gets short shrift?

There’s very little of this that I don’t want (with the obvious exceptions) and in the actual moment of living it, I don’t think about the volume of stuff.  But when I think about it or talk about it, I suppose it is a lot and I have to give myself credit for handling it fairly well. 

I recently had a postpartum “tune up” with a psychiatrist who just does acute and postpartum appointments, not ongoing therapy.  She was really pleasant and competent of course, but as I told her about everything in my life, she kept gasping.  I figure that when the shrink is shocked, maybe it is pretty overwhelming.

Which brings me back to Mother Teresa (or whoever the pundit was.)  I can handle it.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.

In other news. . .

In our quest to reduce monthly expenses by 10%, we just changed our phone plan and saved about $32 a month!  That’s almost half of our monthly home phone expense.

A group of my friends is on a New Year weight loss mission.  We worship Our Lady of the Clenched Ass (OLCA).  I’ve received a flurry of email detailing what everyone is eating and prayers to “Our Lady.”  I love these people!

Today’s recipe at thefrugalgirl– tortellini soup.  http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/  We’ll be having this next week.

And so we begin. . .

My main resolution for 2010 is to take action on the elaborate plans in my head.  One of those plans is this blog.  I have no idea if anyone will ever read this but me and potentially my husband.

Here’s my premise:  I am apparently a contradiction but I refuse to believe that I am wholly unique. 

Let me explain.  Several months ago, John and I had dinner with our friends Katie, Andy, Jenn and Christoph.  John was relating some story that including a reference to our regular church attendance.  Jenn gasped, “You can’t go to church!  You’re heathens!”

It seems that an affinity for alcoholic beverages and making snarky comments would classify one as a heathen.  Who knew?

Yup, we go to church just about every week.  We take our kids.  We believe in some higher power than ourselves and in regular reflection on what we are meant to do in this life.  We read scripture.  We sing in the choir.  We are full-bore church people.  And we still drink and use sarcasm.

The thing is that both John and I agree that when we go to church each week, it makes our problems seem much more manageable.  2009 was a tough year financially, but it didn’t consume us as it has in the past.  I feel as if we have more money when I give money to the church.  Makes no sense logically, but it’s true.

So part of this blog is to help me explore the connection between spirituality and calm and how that spreads throughout my life.  There will be more stuff too, but let’s not get carried away with the elaborate plan.