2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-05 The One About Dresses

I’ve been awake since 6am and it’s 10 til 9 and I’m finally getting down to some serious thinking. Serious like cats milling about the living room deciding on the best place to nap. So, yeah, pretty serious.

The weekend went by like a bullet and I dodged a direct hit, for the most part. I had a lot of swell ups yesterday about this and that, but no time to stop and capture any of that with words. Any attempt today would probably be in vain, but what else have I got to work with? Just the same ole’ castle life musing so I might as well rewind the clock and replay Sunday in my mind.

The biggest swell came as I walked out of a dressing room wearing a wedding dress and stepped up on a low wooden pedestal and took my first look in the mirror. Seeing myself in that dress made the fact that I’m supposed to be getting married in 6 months really real. Naturally, I started to cry.

Those poor women at the little family owned store probably thought I was just so in love with the dress. They had no idea that it was actually a combination of angst, sadness, happiness, and sheer terror. How is that even possible?

My friend Sam was with me and she knows. She’s the one who suggested that we go. She’s been in my corner for years and a solid source of common sense and wonderful advice. We went to happy hour about 6 weeks ago and she asked how planning was going. My reply was something like “it still isn’t”. That was the truth.

Jim and I have been engaged since August of last year and all we had done was pick out a date. We didn’t even have a place to get married. I had done some work on “save the date” cards, because I was solid on that, but that’s it. At that time she urged that we needed to get started. She asked if we had talked about what we would be wearing. I had thought briefly about this too and left the thoughts alone in the back of my mind. I replied “not really”.

That’s when we set the date to go dress shopping and I made the commitment to have a place booked. Two weeks ago before we went to NYC, Z and I went and looked at a place. I told Jim it was just perfect for our needs and so we booked it. It was that easy. What else is there? Oh yeah, back to the dress.

I’ve never been wedding dress shopping before. The last time I got married it was 1993 and my future mother in law handed me a large black trash bag (literally) and inside was the dress she got married in. I took it home and tried it on. It fit. That was it.

That’s pretty much how all that wedding planning went. I was in the last semester of a two year associates degree program and taking like 16 credit hours and doing an internship at FDR. I didn’t have time to plan a wedding. My mother in law did, and it was really her thing and I just let all that happen. I didn’t care much about flowers and cake and decor and food. It would all just be forgotten anyway. That was my line of thinking.

Actually, my way of thinking about the topic hasn’t changed much. It’s not the wedding that’s important, it’s the marriage. The wedding is just a celebration of our love and lifelong commitment to each other, that commitment is where the gravity is. As such, it doesn’t really matter what we eat or if we have flowers or what we wear. Right?!!

Oh yeah, but back to the dress. I’m a dresses kind of girl. Short dresses, long dresses, fitted dresses and light flowing dresses. Black and white dresses and dresses with flowers, green dresses and cream colored ones too. I love to wear dresses and have always liked beautiful flowing skirts. Ones that waft up when you twirl around are the best. I also like ball gowns and princess dresses. I really enjoyed when my daughter went through the “Disney Princess” phase, and wanted to play dress up every day.

I thought I would just wear a simple party dress, but seeing all those beautiful wedding dresses kinda made me want one. Maybe I do want a special dress and have just not been able to admit it to myself. Then I saw my reflection in the mirror.

Maybe, just maybe, it WAS the dress I was crying about after all.

I proceeded to try on about 3 or 4 others that they had at that shop. What I found was the the more uncomfortable the dress was, the better it looked on me. Go figure.

We didn’t have an appointment. We didn’t even know you needed an appointment to try on wedding dresses. That shop let us try on because they didn’t have any other clients coming in that day. The second place we went didn’t have any open appointments so all we could do was look. I guess the wedding dress business is really serous. I also think that contributes to the fact that these dresses cost hundreds (even over a thousand) dollars. How can anyone justify spending a down payment for a car on a dress they are only going to wear once? Seriously.

Maybe that’s what I was really crying about. The cost of the dresses!! What a rip off!! It does make me quite torn.

Talking with Jim about it last night I said it was good for me to go see in-person what I might want and how it would look. I may do a little searching online for similar styles or something more reasonable. He joked and said he’s wearing shorts and a polo shirt so not to get too fancy. Point taken.

Of course it is not the first wedding for either of us so that’s a case for not doing all the traditional things. We could do something silly and fun instead. Whatever it is, we just need to start figuring it out.

But who has time for that anyway? I sure don’t.

There’s a lot of work that needs to get done here at the castle and what I really want is to find a nice spot to take a nap.

Everything else can wait. Including wedding planning. It is just Monday after all.

Exes and Ohhh’s, Yeses and No’s,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-02 Things that Can Happen When You Blink

And just like that, the majority of the summer is gone. I blinked and it came and went. It’s four days until school registration and 12 days from the start of it. It just doesn’t feel like we’ve had enough time. Sure, we’ve done some incredible things, but having some lazy, relaxing summer days just doesn’t seem like one of them. It’s always hurry up now, and onto the next thing.

Today is actually the first day in over three weeks that I’ve been able to wake up and enjoy my regular morning routine — chores, treadmill, writing, chilling with the cats. And what is it about never having time to pick up a book to read? I honestly thought when I quit my job, the reading would happen naturally. But my new gig is pretty demanding.

Yesterday I had all day, but ended up spending hours in the garden doing some much needed weeding and tending to my tomato’s that have become overgrown and were falling over. There went my afternoon. But it takes as long as it takes, you know.

I did get to ordering my books for the semester when I arrived back from our NYC adventure. They are now arriving on my doorstep daily and I’m craving to dive in, but I also have my first deadline this Sunday and so that’s a priority. It’s what I should be focusing on now instead of musing about my life. Still, getting back into my normal groove is important. I need to get this hour of walking in. I need to find my center of gravity. I need the music in my ears pointing me in some right direction.

Today I’m listening to Arcade Fire which was introduced to me by a new acquaintance from Res. Interesting guy.. and like so many people and experiences from Res, not enough time in life to explain them all. In any case, the color of this music has been shaping my thoughts for a couple of days.

It’s Friday today and that means the weekend is so near. This one is already shaping up to be a busy one which means that the summer slowdown I’ve been craving is nothing but a sweet daydream. The Summer office party for Jim’s work is on Saturday and then Sunday I have a date with my friend Sam to have lunch and go dress shopping. I’m trying not to think about that too much, or it will consume me.

Today is exactly 6 months from our wedding date.. which, as I am well aware, will also fly by in a blink. I’m far from prepared and feeling very different about the whole thing depending on the day of the week. On Tuesday I’m excited and by Saturday I’m downright terrified. This weekend will be a good time for me to talk with Jim about it, and I need to not chicken out (again).

Well, there you have it folks.. August 2nd, 2019 in a nutshell. Time to get moving and actually be productive doing something.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-17 The One About Marriage – Part 2

It’s Monday and the weekend went by too fast. We had a house full of teenagers again this go-round and it feels like I spent the entire weekend cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes. I don’t want this to turn into a rant but I just feel like I’ve gotta get it out. Every single time I walked through the kitchen, there was another mess waiting for me. I say “me” because clearly I’m the one with the lowest tolerance for mess.

In my head I’m all like “how hard is it to rinse your dirty dishes, wipe up spilled cheese or Ketchup, and not explode things in the microwave?” Apparently it’s pretty tough. And they seem fairly oblivious. It’s as if nobody has ever suggested they pick up after themselves before. Don’t even get me started on the lack of attention to recycling. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled empty soda cans and plastic cups out of the trash. I have to fight my own disgust but I do that because I hate to see recyclable materials go into the trash. But, again, I should not dwell here too long. Life is too short.

Among other things we did this past. weekend was the forward progress on wedding planning. I think it was Friday night when I finally breached the subject about my wedding angst with Jim. In truth, I put more weight on the wedding than the marriage, just like I did when I first opened the topic here in “Part 1”.

I began with the story about my first wedding and how it all just happened and I was a tangent in my own life. I never dreamed of a wedding growing up. I never had visions of what I wanted. I never even wanted to get married, as I grew up in a household in constant transition because of failed relationships.

When I was 19 and was unexpectedly proposed to, that set the wheels in motion and it was like a train on the tracks with no brakes. It was all sort of too much and there I was, outside myself and watching it happen. I was focused on finishing my associates degree and navigating a long distance relationship with my betrothed. All the while my future mother-in-law was planning our wedding.

Food, cake, flowers, balloons, centerpieces, bows for the end of the pews in the church, invitations, drinks, glasses to toast with, a knife to cut the cake, and some cute “precious moments” cake topper. No detail was too small and it was all just taken care of. I picked the color theme, midnight blue and black, but I guess midnight blue was tough to accommodate and we ended up with a bunch of stuff that was a lighter shade of blue – bridesmaid dresses, balloons, cummerbunds, and all the bows on everything. I picked the invitation, which was a black rose next to the text and that was the extent of my contribution.

The truth is that they probably asked me and I didn’t care. I was the anti-bridezilla. I didn’t even have my own dress. His mom gave me her dress and it fit and was good enough so I went with that. It was great because then I would not have to spend time dress shopping or spend any money on something I was only going to wear once. I digress.

On Friday night I told Jim I wasn’t sure about the whole wedding thing and that spending thousands of dollars just doesn’t seem justified. Let’s just say we rented a hall. That’s like $1000 right there. Catering will likely be $2500 and I have no idea how much decorations or all the little details will cost but I can easily see that the whole thing could cost $5000 or more. That’s enough for a really great vacation. Poof, gone.

We didn’t get very far with that conversation because there were other goings on and it just melted into the drama of other thoughts. He just said, “well just keep looking at the options and see how we feel”. We were seeing our first possible venue on Saturday so i agreed and so that was it.

On Saturday we went to check out two possible celebration locations and seeing those did nothing to sway my feelings. It didn’t make me excited and I had a hard time visualizing the event despite One of the spaces being decorated for a wedding reception already. The gal showing us the spaces was nice enough and provided a lot of detail for both. She even showed me pictures on her phone of different ideas.

All I kept thinking was that on top of everything else, the lions share of deciding how it should look is going to fall on me. Knowing what you want is sometimes the toughest part of any decision. How do you choose your job, your weekend plans, what to eat for dinner?. I’m so “go with the flow”, I don’t typically care. Perhaps it was good My now ex-MIL planned the last one.

I just did the math. That was 26 years ago. Good grief!!

One of the venues was ruled out completely because it was presumably too small for the amount of people we will likely invite. The other was large enough but I just didn’t get the right vibe. I could not tell if that was just me or because I didn’t like it. The best thing that came from the whole affair was the conversation that it spurred.

We talked about the guest list, what we both think about the entire weekend and what might be best in light of different dynamics involved. It was good for me to hear his thoughts. It makes it feel like more of a joint effort where both of us are involved. It makes me think that at the heart of my trepidation lies fear of divided and targeted roles and lines in the sand.

I don’t want to be the sole person responsible for always deciding things and always cleaning the kitchen. I’m looking past the wedding to the important part.. the marriage. It needs to be a partnership and a team and this whole wedding planning thing is a great litmus test. Though I have no idea what I would do if we fail.

By my latest estimate, we have about a month before the “save the date” postcards need to go out. That’s a thing now. I spent some time on Sunday going through hundreds of pics I’ve taken in the last year looking for good snaps we could use in the announcement. It was a nice reminder that the last year of my life has been pretty freaking great.

I know all of our years will not be like the first one we met, but if I hold the past year up as it’s own test, the marriage we are planning will be wonderful. I just need to keep that in mind. The wedding is just a blip in time, the marriage is what really matters.

I need to count myself among the fortunate ones. I’ve already figured out what I want and what I need and finally found that. So much of life is perspective and perception.

This “Part 2” is not the conclusion. There is more. I’m just peeling back the layers which will hopefully lead me to the answers I seek. It’s who I am. It’s why I’m here. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m no longer procrastinating thinking about it. Baby steps, you know?

The minutia of the day plays a part in all of it of course. And that will be fine as long as I don’t get stuck there in an endless “while” loop.. washing piles of dirty dishes and fishing soda cans out of the trash. Can I get a line of code with a conditional exit please? 😜

That’s all for today I suppose. T-minus 24 hours until I’m “on the move” again. Tomorrow’s agenda will be another change of scenery.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-06-07 The One About Marriage – Part 1

It’s been about 9 and a half months since my love proposed to me. It was a beautiful setting, the green space outside of the location we met for the first time. It was a warm day and though the sun was shining, there were isolated showers. He started giving what sounded like a speech and I just knew what was coming. In truth, I’d had suspicion that it was going to be soon and even told my daughter early in the day I was nervous about my date that night. It was my birthday and he insisted on taking me out, just the two of us, which isn’t particularly odd for a birthday dinner, but like I said, I just had a feeling.

He ended his little speech (which I don’t remember anything about because of my nerves) and got down on one knee and took the box out of his pocket and held it up to me and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said yes, it was the perfect moment. Then the sky opened up and it began to to pour. We hugged and kissed and I grabbed his hand so we could go inside for a celebratory glass of wine (our first meetup was at a wine bar).

It was sweet and simple and perfect. We were outside and there were not any people around. It was just us.

Since then we have talked about getting married about 10 times. That’s about once a month if one does the math. That’s not a lot.

The first time was when we drove to Minnesota last fall and that’s when we agreed we wanted to have a celebration with close friends and family and not a destination wedding. Our parents, except for my mom, don’t travel anymore and destination weddings are too expensive for the guests anyway.

The second and third time was mostly talking about the possible dates and the guest list. Neither one of us want a “big” wedding so we decided something smaller and more modest would be better. He suggested we get married on our one year anniversary and I sort of snorted what I was drinking out of my nose at the time and then proceeded to have an internal mini freak out. I calmly said “I think that’s too soon”.

Then we talked about summer and weather and a ceremony outside. Then I came up with the idea of getting married on February 2nd, 2020. That, folks, is a stellar day as it is a bonafied numeric palindrome – 02022020 (no matter what continent you are on)!! He said “I love it”. So that was it, the date was set.

And it was delightfully far enough in the future that I could forget all about it for a good little while. And so I did.

Every once and a while the subject came up and something else was more pressing. It was the holidays and then the move and then the sale of my house and then it was just work and kids and too much to do always. Now here it is, June and less than 8 months until that perfect date and I’m done with work and the kids are out of school and I’ve got no excuses not to start planning.

We talked briefly about it again and I cleaned out a few boxes in my closet and found an empty notebook to take notes in. I googled venues in Omaha and made a short list of a few places that looked nice.

I made a few calls and left awkward voicemails and also sent a few emails. We’re “Just checking availability” and not really doing any serious planning. That’s what I tell myself when I feel my pulse quicken thinking about all of it.

Now my calls and emails are being returned. A couple of the places are not available on that date and the next step will be to schedule tours of the rest. Oh gawd. “Tours”??!! That sounds so serious. Eeeek. I’m also looking at price breakdowns and that alone is enough for me to throw my hands up in surrender. It’s all just impossibly.. impossible.

Just this amount of “planning” has caused my eye to start twitching again. I want to celebrate this important time in our lives but I don’t want a grand, elaborate, expensive, look-at-us, sort of thing. He doesn’t either.

All of this and I haven’t even touched the actual subject of marriage. This is all just fluff, you know, next to the fact that on that day, the second day of February in the year 2020, I will be saying vows and committing the rest of my life to this one person. I mean, he’s amazing and all of that but the rest of my life is a long fucking time. I have a healthy amount of anxiety about the wedding but the idea of marriage literally terrifies me.

I’ve had almost 10 months to think about it and work through my issues and the reasons why I might be feeling this way, but I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve procrastinated thinking or writing or talking about it at any length with anyone, myself included. It’s probably about time I approach the conversation with him and let him help me through it. He’s been so great about so many different situations I’ve been challenged with or troubled by since like day-1, so why should this be any different??

Anyway, we have a (mostly) kid free weekend this weekend and it will be the perfect time for some good conversations. I can’t let myself repeat past mistakes and keep it all inside. Communication is key here. And, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the most important components in a successful marriage. I’d better make an effort to keep a good thing good now. It’s a long way till “death do us part”. Oh Gawd. Vows!!!!

Let’s call this little post part 1 of a series and if I can commit to that, I’m accountable to write part 2, which means I have to have the content to have something to write about.. right!?!!

Here Comes the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie