Category Archives: when I grow up…

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: Where to Wed?

Where I would get married has always seemed like one of those things that I just knew. It seemed incredibly obvious. I would get married in the church where my Father worked when I grew up. Where I was baptized. Where I went every Sunday for church and Sunday school. Where I played in the summer on my days off. The church where I knew every secret passageway, office, corridor. Where I was an acolyte. Where I would fall asleep in the pews during Evensong. Where I was in the choir. Where I was a lamb, “generic” angel, and Archangel in the Christmas pageant. Where my parents got married. Where I imagine of when I think of “church.”

Then the “buts” started flowing in….

– But Dad has a bad history with how he left the church….

– But I haven’t been more than a handful of times in 16 years….

– But LB isn’t particularly religious and I don’t know how he’d feel about getting married there…

As the “buts” began piling one on top of another, it just seemed logical – easier? – to move the venue of my childhood fantasies/assumptions to the reception site. They do a beautiful ceremony and I got very comfortable with the new vision of what my wedding day would look like.

Unbeknownst to me, my Dad was not so comfortable with the new plan.

I would get married in a church.

Now, he wasn’t going to force me or anything. I always got the, “it’s up to you” speech, but that took less than supportive forms. Like ,“I would have thought that you’d want your marriage to be a covenant, but if you don’t, that’s up to you.”

So, we were back to the church plan! However, Dad suggested that the ceremony take place at the substitute church where we’ve been going sporadically. It’s in our city and yes we’ve gone there a few times…..but NO. Get married in a church? Sure. But if I’m doing that, I’m getting married in my church, not the substitute.

See, my church is old and beautiful and has the charm of an Episcopal church. I feel transported to a different place and time. It’s got beautiful floors and stained glass windows and traditional architecture. (If there are any old school Desperate Housewives fans among us, you might recall the church from when Gaby got married to the older politician guy actually). It’s just the right church.

The substitute? It’s a big A-frame type church with ugly carpeting and weird skylights. It’s also where my grandfathers funeral was, which depresses me. And I don’t like the rector – probably because he bumbled through the aforementioned funeral. There’s nothing wrong with most of it really, it’s just not for me.

But getting married in my church wouldn’t be a slam dunk.

Some obstacles were easier to overcome.

I was mildly shocked when I told LB about the change of plans and the importance to me and my family to have the wedding in the church and he was totally on board. He had no problem with it whatsoever. He was less than pleased about the required counseling, but has come to accept that fate.

The church doesn’t care if you go every week or if you haven’t been in years, just so long as either the bride or the groom was baptized. While LB was baptized as a Methodist, I was baptized at the font that still resides in the back of the church, so I’m good to go on that one! Plus, LB and I have gone to church there a few times to show our faces.

The last one we thought would be tricky. Dad’s not on the best terms with the church in general. There was some drama when he left and we weren’t sure how long-lasting the effects would be. Tentatively, Mom and Dad went to the church and talked to the new rector. Apparently, there has been another change in leadership, and Dad and the whole family have been welcomed back with open arms.

So, the wedding is on! And on October 8, I’ll get married in the church I always I assumed I’d get married in. The church that hold so many memories for me. We took a roundabout way to get there, but we did it!

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Wedding Wednesday: Strike Up the Band!

It’s pretty crazy how quickly things can snowball and become much….bigger?…than expected! But Dad’s big two were CHURCH and MUSIC, and I just couldn’t deny him those things.

My Dad is a musician by trade. Specifically, he’s a church musician. My entire life has been filled with Evensongs, choral concerts, Easter’s with full orchestras….my Dad even used to organize nights at the church where they’d show a silent movie and he’d play the score on the organ. As a composer he altered such scores, hiding the Notre Dame and USC fight song into the silent film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for instance. He composed music for my baptism and on birthdays he would weave meaningful music into his organ music during communion at church.

Dad was so “connected” to the choir and the organ and to music in general that I can remember at a very young age asking my Mother, “When I grow up, who will walk me down the aisle at my wedding?” Mom was appropriately confused, telling me that of course Dad would. While this seemed logical to her, this shocked me! Now I was the one that was confused! I asked with grave concern, “But then, who will play the music???”

In church, my Dad’s “place” was behind the organ. I couldn’t imagine him physically being elsewhere!

As such, my Dad has chosen leave all things wedding up to me and Mom – all things but the music.

He may roll his eyes at the cost of a dress or flowers or food (though he completely supports the expense of an open bar), but he is sparing no expense when it comes to the music.

He has arranged for a four piece brass band to play my entrance, our exit, and a fanfare during the service. He has taken care of the long asked, “Who will play the organ?” question by contacting a childhood friend of his who is also an organist (and actually a Grammy award winning one at that!) who will be coming with his family to attend the wedding, and provide his talents.

So with the band set up, LB and I now listening to Festival Music for Organ and Brass on a regular basis so we can approve/veto, and Dad secretly composing some sort of “special surprise” for us, I have one thing taken pretty much off of my plate! And I’m totally good with that. 🙂

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Adoption Free Friday: I NEVER Thought I’d Say This

Well, I was originally going to write something light. Then I got pissed off and was going to forgo adoption free Friday and do a bit of venting, especially since I didn’t write anything adoption related this week anyway. Then I realized I was TOO pissed off to write what I wanted to write, so here we are, back at the not so serious.

I’ll see how I feel after the steam settles….

Anyway, back to what I NEVER thought Id say:

 

I miss having a washing machine.

Yes, I who hadn’t done a load of laundry until I was 27 and living in my second apartment, miss having a washing machine. I, who made a deal with my Mom when I was 17 that she would do my laundry until I got married. I, who thought it would be a pretty significant accomplishment to somehow live a life in which I had never done a load of laundry by myself….I MISS having a washing machine.

As I pulled towel after towel out of the backseat of my car last night, I groaned remembering the days when I had a washing machine just steps away from my bedroom door. At this point, I’d even be happy with a shared washer/dryer in an apartment complex laundry room. But no, LB and I have a laundry room that sits empty with the hook-ups staring at us as though begging to be used.

Until that day, I drive the short mile or so to my parents’ house, all of our laundry in tow. I try to do the laundry on my own once I get there, but Mom constantly tells me I’m doing it wrong. I’m putting too many clothes in the washer. I’m not separating correctly. It would just be easier if I let her do it.

This used to be the stuff my dreams were made of! I used to happily drop my laundry off with Mom and pick it up the next day, as though mystical laundry elves turned my pile of wrinkly clothes into delicious smelling, beautifully folded items ready to be worn. Hangers appeared magically and

But now I just want to do my own laundry! I don’t want my Mom to handle LB’s underwear! (Or mine?) “I can fold my own laundry, provide my own hangers – I’m a big girl,” I want to pout to her. ..which I realize defeats the purpose.

We could start going to the Laundromat, but Mom will surely get suspicious when her services are no longer needed; suspicious, and probably offended. It would be a personal affront, and she would not like it. So that’s how I find myself hanging out at Mom and Dad’s being criticized over the cardinal sins of laundry….

It’s also how I find myself extremely motivated to find a nice washer/dryer combo on craigslist for a low, low price. 🙂

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Movin’ on Up

Hopefully. But to the North Side.

Yesterday, Long Board and I did something that I’ve never done before. We looked for a place to live together. Of course, living together is an obvious step in that whole marriage process, but it’s one that still surprises me. I’m supposed to LIVE with this person.

In theory, forever.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. It’s not something that I’m opposed to – only something that I’m currently still processing.  I’m trying to get over the fact that I’m going to live with a boy – and that my parents can’t be disappointed in me. I’m not letting anyone down, or being a hussy, though admittedly we’re moving in together before everything is official in the state of California or in the eyes of God. But still.

And so the journey began. Our first stop was in front of a rundown apartment building. The pictures of the inside are fabulous. Beautiful wood floors, large rooms, great layout. But what can I say? Sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover. Long Board and I do not necessarily agree on this issue. He sees it as a way to save money by living in a place that’s not quite as nice. I see it as flirting with danger. In the end, I won (of course). Mostly because Long Board will be spending the next year and a half or more still living at least 3 days a week in San Diego, and I refuse to live alone in somewhere I’m not comfortable. If he were here with me the whole time? It would be up for discussion. But he’s not, so it’s not.

We didn’t get out of the car at that stop.

Next stop was in the best neighborhood we could have imagined. It’s incredibly close to some of my family, on a street that I know well, that has minimal traffic, no crime and is absolutely ideal for its proximity to the freeway. This was the place that we really had our fingers crossed about. We had already fallen in love with the idea of this place, the only thing in the way was that we hadn’t seen it.

We met the landlord and followed him up the stairs. We held our breath as we walked into what we hoped would be our first home.

It smelled.

And was tiny.

Like, REALLY tiny. The landlord should win some kind of award for the work he must have done on the pictures to make it look better. I think my cubicle is actually larger than the kitchen/breakfast nook.

We left, devastated.

With two hours to kill before our next appointment, we drove around, already missing what could have been if only the last place had been twice the size and not smelly.

At 3:00 we parked across the street from the too expensive craftsman house that we were set on hating, thus not having to justify the added cost. We walked up to the front door, waited for the property manager to come greet us, and entered into a place that we just fell in love with. The wood floors, the spacious living room, even the cracks in the original cabinets that were charming. We tried to send each other secret sideways glances to let the other know how at home we could feel here. We went through each room before casually taking the application.

Once we were back safely at the car, we allowed ourselves to have a little squeal about how perfect the place is. About how it’s not THAT much over what we can afford, and how once Long Board graduates the rent won’t be hard to manage at all. (Which, for the record, is completely true and not us trying to justify something we can’t afford. LB is probably one of the most fiscally responsible people I know!) We rushed home, and completed the first application (we needed two since LB and I aren’t married yet). We developed a little strategy and drove back to the house to catch the property manager before she left for the day. We asked for the second application and took the opportunity to sell ourselves as a model couple to live in such a home. It would be part of our five year plan to stay in one place. It would be a great starter home for us. We’re both responsible adults with jobs and educations and long term commitments. We’ve got strong ties to the community (it’s literally blocks from where I lived for the first 25 years of my life). We’re the tenants you want!!!

And so we took the second application, LB filled it out, and this morning I faxed in our applications to the credit check people, called the property manager to let her know, and now…..we wait.

I hate waiting.

But all I can do is hope that on the other side of this wait, is my first real home.

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