Category Archives: family ties

‘Tis the Season to Be Crazy

Now that my event season at work is “over” (and won’t ramp up again until, oh, January) things should be more relaxed. Less crazy. Less stressful.

And then you realize that you’re eighteen days away from Christmas and the next weekend you’ll have to yourselves is in mid-January. Until then it’s bells and merriment, carols and cocktails, and family, family, family.

This weekend Long Board’s family comes together once again for his sister’s graduation. (Another post for another day). Friday, his Dad and step Mom will arrive and stay with us through the weekend. In our home. With one bathroom and squeaky floors. To say I’m nervous would be an understatement. Saturday we’ll see the whole gang: Mom, Grandma, the other grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.

Let the overwhelming begin!

I’m still trying to find a way to feel like I fit in with his family….so far, I’m failing. I tried over Thanksgiving at the grandparents, but I just felt so out of place. Like no one talks to me. I swear I spent half the weekend curled up on the couch reading while no one noticed I existed. I halfway rather enjoyed that outcome – at least I could relax. But it halfway pissed me off…(I’m telling you, sometimes they just can’t win with me…I’m horrible that way. At least I know it!)

So this weekend I get another crack at it!

Will I freak LB’s Mom out as I tell her that I’m fascinated by Alcatraz? Will she subsequently give me the third degree about why and how I could possibly be interested in something like that?

Will I do something to highlight how I’m a total “city girl” – which is code for flighty and not serious. (LB’s grandmother still claims that she didn’t have high hopes for her son’s marriage to LB’s Mom based on the fact that Mom grew up in the city and didn’t know how to build her own irrigation system. A sure sign that she wasn’t serious).

Will I get caught in a VERY competitive board game in which there are no friends, only enemies?

Will I go hide in a hallway while someone engages in awkward and inappropriate family confrontations about (a) money, (b) weight loss, or (c) bad habits?

(PS all of these things have happened at least once)

Or will it all go completely smoothly and comfortably?

Who wants to bet I wish that I just got to read all weekend???

 

 

 

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Filed under blah, brutal honesty, family ties, life with long board

The Kind of Right I Never Want to Be

Two or three days before our wedding, we found out that Long Board’s big brother was going to be a Daddy. His wife was pregnant and they couldn’t be happier. Though Long Board and I hadn’t quite started trying to have a baby ourselves, I think we got prematurely excited about our kids having a cousin close in age. You know, our child that we’re not having yet either. But we figured if we got pregnant next year, the kids would be about a year apart.Very cool.

Of course, I had limited time to think about this too much. You know, since I was about to get married and all. I admit that I made Long Board call his brother back and find out if they had already told the family or if they were going to make the announcement during, oh, say, our wedding rehearsal. Frankly, it just wouldn’t have surprised me if that was the plan. But no, they were making the calls and all the parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. would know prior to our big day.

(This was probably one of my more Bride-zilla moments).

Once I knew that our wedding was still about our wedding, and not their baby, I was back on the celebration train. LB’s brother lives out of state, but pretty close to two of my brothers – one of which had a week old son at the time, and another brother that is expecting a son in January. Excited to visit three babies, I started planning a trip North to visit – we just had to wait until LB’s new niece or nephew made an appearance. I asked the obvious question then: When is she due?!? Mid-June.

Some quick math made me realize that this was real cutting edge news….and all of a sudden, I felt uneasy. Mid June was still eight and a half months away, and, I don’t know…..

I’ve read too many blogs to get too excited. I’ve known too many women who saw the pink lines and didn’t leave a hospital with a beautiful baby nine months later. I’ve known how cruel this part of life can be.

Long Board saw my face change and questioned it. I said it was nothing. I said I shouldn’t say anything. But he pressed on. “It’s just….I don’t know….I just don’t plan on telling anyone that early when I’m pregnant.” It took him a minute to understand, but when he did, he looked at me accusingly. “Everything is going to be fine, she’s young and healthy – I mean, she’s only 26!” “I know, I know, I shouldn’t have said anything….I just know that it can be a really delicate thing, that’s all. I’m sure everything will be fine.”

So convinced, we did plan that trip in June. We even got one of my local brothers on board who wanted in on the trip, suggesting we rent an RV and make it a road trip. We were all set.

And then yesterday I got the news that I never wanted to receive. I was the kind of “right” that I never wanted to be. I found out that our sister-in-law lost the baby. I can’t help but feel…….and I know this is crazy…….but….guilty. I know I didn’t do anything, but I don’t know why I said anything in the first place. I mean, I didn’t say it to them and I NEVER would have.

And now, here we are.

I’m at a loss…

They’ve experienced a loss….

And I really don’t know what to say or do or anything…we’re not terribly close. I’ve never called my brother or sister-in-law on the phone. I’ve never emailed them. They don’t Facebook. And they live hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

Having said that, it’s not about me. It’s not about me doing something to feel better. It’s not about me not feeling that crazy guilt that I feel…

But I just hate that they’re hurting right now.

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Not Technically Mrs. Long Board After All….

I didn’t really think about it, but I suppose I didn’t welcome myself back as Mrs. Long Board because I’m not Mrs. Long Board. I’m still just good ol’ TGM.

On the night that we finally sat down and filled out our marriage license I paused. I stalled. I freaked? I don’t think I went that far, but I was far enough that LB put his foot down and said that I’m not changing my name. So for now, for all legal purposes, I’m just Mrs.TGM. Who knows what the future will hold – probably a name change, but for now, we’ll stick with the status quo.

I tried to keep this change under wraps. I planned on responding to Mrs. LB, accepting mail sent to Mrs. LB, and not really making any kind of a public declaration that we were Mr. LB and Mrs. TGM. I’d go with the flow. Which worked great until I realized that every person I knew/met/bumped into on the street would ask me if I was going to change my name. I suppose that I thought not changing my name was so uncommon that it wouldn’t occur to people to ask. Oh, but they did.

My Dad was overjoyed – but without showing it. That meant a lot I suppose, and in a strange way it meant a lot to LB. My sister was a little horrified, if only because she had bought me a shirt for wedding day prep festivities that said “Future Mrs. LB.” I said, “Hey, one day I might be – you know, in the future, so it works!” 🙂 (See? Not throwing fits here!) LB’s family, well….I can’t get a read on them. That and the vast majority of them don’t know. His Mom knows because she asked and he wasn’t going to lie to her. I think she let it go at first, but asked more questions later. He answered with a brief, “It’s a personal decision that we made,” and cut off all further inquiries to the matter.

I’m fairly concerned for the day that both Grandma and Sister find out. They are the more….opinionated members of his family.

But I think there was a part of me that was concerned for the day that Cupcake would find out. God forbid we lose touch, I don’t want to be the only one that knows all the contact info. Sure, I could just give Dee my new last name, but my email has my current last name. I’m traceable. And it’s a connection to who I was when I had Cupcake. There was something about getting married that felt like shedding some of that person anyway….I think the name change felt a little bit like the final nail in that coffin.

Maybe I need to make a full transition from who I was to who I’m becoming….but something just wasn’t ready in me. My public answer is that I’ll probably change my name when we have kids. Of course, I’ll want to have the same name as my kids.

But even if I change it to Long Board, I’ll never have the same last name as all of my kids. Perhaps there’s a part of me that feels like if I didn’t give Cupcake my last name, why should I give that to her siblings? There’s some crazy part of me that wants to already keep things even. And I just have to accept that it will never be “even.”

Wow, the theme of this post sure evolved as I typed! Such is blogging! Now to ponder some more….

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Filed under a little bit adoption, deep thoughts with TG, family ties, life with long board

A Birthday and a Beach House

Today is Long Board’s birthday. (Yay!) My favorite part about his birthday? He’ll be the same age as me again. There are three  and a half glorious months of the year where we’re the same age. It’s my favorite time of the year, haha! Not coincidentally, we will be getting married during this stretch. To get specific – it’s three months from today!

Yowsa.

I’m torn between being completely stressed out and completely excited.

But there’s three months for that. So today. Today I go to work. And then I come home, get our things together, and get in the car to drive up to LB’s family’s beach house. It sounds lovely. But there’s always a “but.” As I’ve mentioned before, I just don’t get along that great with LB’s family. And they’ll be there. His grandparents, sister and her husband. And us. (And Thomàs).

I’m just so….apprehensive. I mean, I would like to go into this with a “hope for the best” mentality, but I just….can’t. I don’t know. I’ve probably got the wrong attitude about this.

And that’s not fair.

Part of it is also that we were supposed to have a relaxing weekend coming up at the cabin. I just found out that our “relaxing cabin weekend” will also be attended by the grandparents, the sister and her husband, an uncle and his two very outrageous children. LB claims it will still be relaxing, I say we need to adjust our expectations for the weekend.

I wish I was as good as LB is. I wish I could just blend into his family. The mean part of me wants to believe that he blends into my family so well not just because he’s a good guy, but because my family is so wonderfully awesome and normal. (LORD knows we are not normal). That same mean part wants me to not have to take responsibility for the ways that I don’t fit into his family. It’s not me being resistant! It’s them!

Who knows how true any of that is?

But true or not, I feel apprehensive about today. Less than thrilled. And I want to put on a happy face and be up to celebrating. I just don’t know….

 

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Filed under adoption free friday, blah, brutal honesty, family ties, life with long board

Wedding Wednesday: Keep Calm

Last week I had a crisis. I had too many wedding things to do and they were all swirling around in my head without one dedicated place for them to land. Yes, I had my ginormo portfolio of all things wedding, but I don’t have that in my purse when I’m in line at T@rget buying air fresheners to keep Thomàs’ room linen fresh! I don’t have it when I’m at work at I’m struck by the fact that I haven’t heard back from the DJ! And gone are the days where I felt like, “oh, this can wait – we’ve got time.”

We’re past the 100 day countdown. The time to procrastinate is passing. So I rushed to the bookstore to find solace in the notebooks section. I looked and looked and looked and nothing was “right.”  Too bulky, the lines were too big, it was ugly. Nothing fit the bill. I gave up.

I went back to work and the wedding tasks popping into my head began to multiply. Post-its scattered my desk increased exponentially. I realized that giving up was not an option!

I returned to the same bookstore (what was I thinking?) and went back to the same place where previously I had found nothing. Then I saw a sliver of pink peeping out from behind a red notebook I had cleanly rejected earlier. I pulled it out, hugged it immediately, and I don’t think it’s been more than three feet away from me since!

(Yes, I accept that this might make me a crazy person. But Bridezilla I am not!)

It’s soft pink color. It’s calming messaging. It’s familiar theme. It grounds me when I’m losing my mind.

I immediately started jotting down tasks:

  • schedule cake tasting
  • schedule pre-marital counseling
  • confirm a back up officiant
  • select food for tasting
  • update wedding website
  • follow up with DJ
  • follow up with photographer
  • send sister bachelorette party list
  • find hotel for guests

And BAM, BAM, BAM – I started knocking stuff off. We’ve got a meal, we’ve got a DJ, we’ve got a hotel and on July 30th I will be tasting a Pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and salted caramel. Does life get much better than that?

Of course, this rash of accomplishments didn’t come without casualties. My Mother and I are starting the loving process of really getting on each other’s nerves. My Father has started to be passive aggressive in response to his feeling that he’s being “left out.” He’s also responding by ordering doves.

After a weekend absolutely full of my family, my parents decided that we really needed to get together to talk wedding. (Again). So that’s where Long Board and I found ourselves last night. It was actually productive, but not without some snapping, arguing, and pouting along the way.

As we drove to our house, to finally have some semblance of a normal night, LB said, “Well, I get why people say this is the most stressful time for a couple…”

I do to.

But we acknowledged it, went home, and sat on the porch. Long Board watered the lawn, I read a book on our stoop, and we both kept an eye on Thomàs who is allowed to sit on the porch. Looking at our little family having a peaceful night, it was easy to forget about the hectic week we’d just gotten through. And so I remember to keep my eye on the prize: Not the wedding, but the marriage – and a lifetime of normal nights. Like reading on the porch and watering the lawn at sunset.

 

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Filed under family ties, life is good, life with long board, wedding wednesday

Wedding Wednesday: What’s in a Name?

First of all – I’ve put the wedding in a spot in my brain under the heading, “Still really far away.” So while I deal with details calmly and one by one, I do it without any real pressure. Then I realized that the wedding is 136 days away. (Thank you handy dandy Cr@te & B@rrel registry reminder!) 100 days away seems like a real countdown number. A number that means the wedding is happening – and just around the corner! And 36 days is like nothing! Barely more than a month! I literally know what I’m doing every day for the next 36 days. So I’m booked until the countdown date! And so two small manageable numbers combined still make the wedding seem…..close? for the first time since the engagement.

(Did any of that crazy even make sense to you??)

So. Back to the point at hand. Decisions, decisions everywhere.

And there’s one decisions that’s been “made”…..but is still sort of discussed. Mostly in lots of jokes and teases. But at the end of the day, it’s actually a serious topic. And that is: What the hell to do with my name?

Logic dictates that I will basically become Mrs. T G Board. (You know what I mean).

Truth be told? I’ve never been that psyched about the idea of losing my name. It’s my name. Also, my Dad has no legal sons. (That reads really strangely to me, but I didn’t want to say “biological” as I didn’t want to suggest that non-biological children wouldn’t carry on the family name, and my Dad does have sons, they just have their biological Dad’s last name). Anyway, because my Dad has no sons that will carry on his last name, a very young TG once professed that she would keep her last name to continue on her Father’s lineage. I turned pretty crunchy granola in the 6th grade, starting the KSE Club – Kids Saving the Earth (we met weekly under a large tree in the playground) and becoming as passionate as a 6th grader can about women’s rights. I couldn’t do much, but I could find ways to recycle and I could promise that I would keep my last name. So that’s what I did.

I know that the declarations of an eleven year old girl aren’t set in stone, but I feel a tug towards that sometimes….

On the other hand, I love Long Board (and don’t hate his last name ;)) so I wouldn’t mind going that way either. His suggestion was that I do as his sister did, and move my current last name to be a middle name. Which would be kind of doable except that my last name could never be mistaken for a middle name and just doesn’t really work as one. Also, my parents already gave me two middle names, making my name already not fit on my drivers license, leading me to be harassed by various security guard/police personnel in bars/liquor stores/casinos for having a fake license. (To which I always want to respond, “If I was making a fake license, wouldn’t I just use a shorter name???”) Anyway, I have no desire to have five names.

His next suggestion? Drop one of my current middle names.

This just feels like an extra slap in the face.

“Mom. Dad. I’m getting rid of my last name sort of, and one of the middle names you picked for me, and then I’ll move the last name over to the second middle name position that never really gets used anyway, in order to keep that part of me. Thanks!”

Nah. Not for me.

Want a sillier reason?

When I was in high school, my Mom wanted me to date (marry?) this guy that I was in choir with. He had a funky last name, but the first initial of his last name combined with my first and middle initials would have spelled a word. My sis and I ALWAYS wanted our initials to spell words. We thought it was freaking awesome. There are only four last name letters that would make my initials a word, and this was by far the coolest of those possible words.

Of course, I thought that guy was a dork and would never in a million years have dated (married) him. (Truth? He wasn’t that dorky, but I had a crush on his older brother ;))

I didn’t think about those initials for over a decade – until I met Long Board. The night we met, when he told me his last name? I thought – Holy crap. My initials would spell a word…..

And here we are.

So I’m torn between the beliefs of a pre-pubescent environmentalist and a high school girl that wants her initials to spell a stupid word! Good reasons, eh?

Oy!

So I had to throw away the hypotheticals and come up with an opinion as a grown ass woman that’s actually going to get married. And I’m incredibly stuck. Fortunately, Long Board is incredibly supportive of whatever I decide. (He even offered to take one of my middle names – a pretty girly one – and add it to his current middle name so that we’d have the same initials. Yes, that same word, haha).

Most of the time, I suppose I lean towards taking his last name. We want to have children and I want my children to have the same last name as their parents. Hyphenating is another option LB would be supportive of, but that poor kid would have a HELLA long last name and we don’t want our poor first grader having to memorize/learn to write a seventeen character last name.

Side note pulling at my thoughts?

I’ve spent some time with Long Board’s sister, and let’s just say she’s got some VERY strong opinions on this issue. Apparently LB’s brother’s wife did NOT take his last name. Their plan is also that their children will have her last name. Long Board (and his brother) have a very….white? last name. Their children will not be white. The wife’s last name will reflect the children’s heritage and the culture in which they will be raised. So they decided that the children should have that last name. LB’s sister? Is NOT okay with this. She once lectured me on how disrespectful it was, how she couldn’t ever imaging being that disrespectful to her husband, and basically told me what she would think of me if I didn’t take LB’s last name. (Mind you, we weren’t even engaged when I got the big lecture.) And yes, I wanted to send the Ninja her way reeeeeeal bad right about then.

Of course, this kind of makes me want to not take his name just to piss her off. Yes, I’m a sort of bad person.

At the end of the day, I’ll probably take LB’s last name.

Not because of my initials spelling a word….

Not because I think it means I have more respect for LB than if I didn’t….

Not because i think a woman should have to take her husband’s last name….

I’m not even 100% sure why I will. Maybe because he loves and respects me enough to support any decision. Because I like the idea of our family being one cohesive (non seventeen letter ;)) unit under the same name.

But I will always respect anyone’s decision to do anything that they like with their last name. Lord knows I understand what a big and complex decision it can be!

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Wedding Wednesday: Thanks Royal Wedding…

Since there was no way in the world that I was getting up at 3am to watch the Royal Wedding last week, I sat on my laurels slept in my bed knowing that I could watch the whole thing on one of the four different broadcasts my parents had on their DVR. Yes, four. (For the record, I think Dad liked the PBS one the best, Mom, the BBC).

The night before the wedding, Long Board and I were on the phone and he asked what I was going to do that night. I thought he was crazy since it was about 10:15 and he should know by now that means I’m going to go to bed in about 8 minutes. So I thought a stupid question deserved a stupid answer: Thomàs and I are going to go to bed and get up in a few hours to watch the wedding.

“What wedding?”

WHAT wedding?

“The Royal Wedding.”

“What Royal Wedding?”

Okay – I can understand not planning on watching the wedding, not knowing what time it started, maybe not even knowing what day it was on? But just having NO CLUE that this was happening at all? Seems impossible in this day and age of being constantly beat over the head with build up technology. I know LB spends a great deal of time every day on news websites, so this perplexed me.

I caught him up on what was happening, and he seemed mildly interested – mild enough for that to be the extent of his exposure.

Fast forward to Sunday dinner at the parents house. The Royal Wedding playing in the background, Dad tearing up any time anything of any importance happened, LB staring me down, beer in hand, wondering how he ended up snuggled next to Nana on the couch discussing millinery.

I was ready to sit down myself and enjoy the actual wedding, which was about to begin. I would not however, as the viewing apparently inspired my Mother to launch into a rapid fire attack of the following questions. Which are, of course, now all I can think about:

  1. How many ushers are you having?
  2. What are they wearing?
  3. You know they should really be wearing tuxedos, they’re wearing tux’s right?
  4. How many flower girls are you having?
  5. Who are they?
  6. Have you called your sister in law to ask her about your niece being in the wedding?
  7. Have you decided where you’re getting their dresses?
  8. Do you know their sizes?
  9. Do you know what color they’ll be?
  10. Are they all going to be the same design or just the same color?
  11. Are they going to wear gloves?
  12. Are you going to wear gloves?
  13. Have you decided on the theme of your bridal shower?
  14. Have you gotten a hotel for out of town guests?
  15. Are you doing brunch the next morning?
  16. If you did, where would you do it?
  17. Have you decided on where you’ll honeymoon?
  18. How many days can you take off work?
  19. What’s the plan for the rehearsal dinner?
  20. Have you talked to your Dad about the music?
  21. Did you listen to that CD he gave you?
  22. Have you set up a time to meet with the rector yet?
  23. Have you scheduled your counseling?
  24. Have you picked out what verses will be read?
  25. Who is going to do the readings?
  26. When are LB’s family coming into town?
  27. How long are they staying?
  28. Do you have all the addresses on the guest list finalized?
  29. Do you need any one cent stamps?

Can I stop there to rest my brain????

Rest assured, this is not a comprehensive list.

I will make it to October, I will make it to October, I will make it to October…..

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Filed under family ties, life with long board, things that make my brain hurt, wedding wednesday