Boats Full of Gravy

I am not dead.

Thank you, Le Clown, for confirming this fact earlier today through email.  Next time, please keep pictures of your painted white butt cheeks to yourself.

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The other day, I had a conversation with a coworker about weddings.

She’s pretty freaking liberal, even more so than I am, and we were having a lot of fun trading opinions.

Me (complaining about all the work it takes to plan a wedding): I just want my life back!

Her: You should just go to the courthouse.

Me: …Is that what you did?

Her: Hell yes!

Me: Did you get any complaining from family members?

Her: Actually, my family doesn’t know I’m married.  It’s none of their business, really, and I’m an adult.

—–

Holy frick, what a different take on things.  I have to admit, there is a part of me that really wishes Brian and I had just gone to the courthouse.  I actually turned to Brian the other day and said, “I hope this day (our wedding day) turns out to be worth it.”  And in all honesty, I think we’re both unsure of the answer.

And then she (my coworker) said: Please tell me you haven’t registered for one of those huge gravy boats you’ll never use.

I totally got the question.  What she meant was, I hope you aren’t blindly following a tradition *just* because it’s a tradition.  Because we’re both therapists and are doomed to over analyze everything, this led to a conversation unpacking traditions and customs around modern day weddings.  I’m the kinda person who needs to know why we do things the way we do.  Rarely do I just take things for granted as “the way things are.”

So I am very glad that my coworker reminded me that I am also an adult (at least I pass for one on legal documents), and that at the end of the day, I get to make my own decisions.  I don’t have to register for a gravy boat just because the salesperson at Bed Bath and Beyond tells me to.

YOU KNOW WHAT, LADY?!  IF YOU LOVE GRAVY SO MUCH, GO BATHE IN IT.  HERE – USE THIS BOAT!

It’s easy to notice when our preferences land outside the norm, and for that reason I am pretty good at weighing how important something is to me versus the backlash I may get for not conforming in that way.  But the other question is, what happens when what I want actually coincides with the norm and the dominant culture’s expectations?  Because I do want the white dress, I do want a medium-sized party with nice things.  I enjoy flowers!  But do I enjoy these things just because it’s the dominant culture, or is my enjoyment genuinely personal?  I’m not sure anyone can ever separate out these two things, nor should we be able to, but the answers are still important to me.  So, I’ve also reminded myself that it’s okay to like things because they are “normal.”  Hell, there’s a reason why they became “normal” in the first place and that reason is not always oppressive or malicious, regardless of what I might have been taught in my college sociology class.

I am reminded of a quote from a book written by one of my favorite musicians, Jewel Kilcher: It’s okay to want.

It’s okay to want what everyone else wants – for the very reason that everyone else wants it.  This is big for me.

You know what else I am learning?  With the help of reading things like The Waiting, this process is really forcing me to let go.  It’s okay to want…and it’s okay to go without.  I am increasingly able to let things roll off my back when they aren’t going perfectly, because if I cared about every aspect of wedding planning like I care about making good poop jokes, then I would go stark raving mad.

More so than I already am.

Register THIS!

It’s wedding registry time, my fellow Psychos, and this is shaping up to be tougher than I thought.

Brian and I are pretty Type A when it comes to researching what stuff we want, wanting good quality stuff for a reasonable price, and then taking good care of said stuff.

Stuff takes a long time to research, my friends.  We also realized that we should probably agree on what stuff we want…cuz marriage is all about compromise, I’m told.  In actuality, it seems to be more about yelling.  And if you’re in Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the secret is to let your partner know just how upset you are with their choices without actually yelling.  This takes some talent.  High heeled shoes and sharp, long nails tend to help.

I chose a partner who has strong opinions about stuff.  I generally thought this was a good thing; if I’d wanted a partner who didn’t have opinions, I’d have dry humped a sack of potatoes back in college.

This is really lumpy to hump… Lumpy humpies!

Turns out, it’s harder to pick stuff out when non-potato sack partner opens his mouth, but that’s what I get for picking someone incredibly awesome.

Speaking of non-potato sack partner, he and I both get upset when vendors only address me, the female, when making wedding decisions and transactions.  Not only is it sexist, but it also puts a lot of pressure on me that I don’t want.  I usually try to mitigate this by always turning to Brian when a vendor asks me a question.  And a few times I even just blurted out to a vendor that Brian really has opinions about this stuff, and so we’ll both be making the decisions, and to please address both of us thankyouverymuch.

I find it hilarious, because Brian is outwardly quiet, polite, and generally shy, but I can totally tell when he’s feeling shut out by a vendor.  I can just hear his inner voice shouting LOOK AT ME!  I AM A PERSON, TOO!  MY EYES ARE OVER HERE!  And then I place a hand nonsexually on his thigh and we get through it like the troopers we are.

I really think that these modern traditions of registering and showers and crap have evolved to become a sort of boot camp, or litmus test for marriage.  Sort of in place of pre-marital counseling.  Take our experience at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  We went in there thinking we’d be handed those cool laser zappy guns and let loose in the store.  We figured we’d be out in an hour.  90 minutes tops.

No effing way.

They sat us down with a friendly effeminate gentleman and he took us through china patterns and serving bowls and made us sign away our future first born child (to be named Joffrey).  And the manager came over and offered us popcorn.  Were they gonna show us a propaganda film too?!

After about 2 hours in those chairs making decisions, we got up and that dude got to keep the gun, and he led us through the store, trying to sell us freaking everything.  Remember when I said we only thought it would take 90 minutes?  Remember when I blogged that one time about what happens to me when I don’t eat sooooper regularly?

I turn into Melissa the Attack Marmot

Yeah, our patience slowly but surely degraded.

I was so hungry.  So weak.  Getting light headed.  But I just wanted to get this OVER WITH.  Maybe we’re almost done……no?  Towels now?  What fucking color?  What does Brian think?  Bedding?  I’d love to go to bed, thank you.  A cheese grater?  ONLY IF YOU GIVE ME SOME CHEESE FIRST!

Finally, shortly after our friendly gentleman went to take HIS break, I couldn’t take it anymore.  Brian and I had started to fight about the merits of suction of different vacuum cleaners, and I wanted to take that Dyson and suck his face right off.  Instead of doing that, I turned to the nice replacement saleslady and kindly asked her if we could come back another day.  She said sure and then ran away before I ate her.  Brian was relieved.

It was 5pm.  We had been there since just before noon.  All I had eaten that day was a bowl of cereal.  Miraculously, no one had to die.

I think we passed the test.  I gave Brian the signal not to talk to me until after I had fully engulfed a Five Guys burger and then we made up, debriefed, talked about what mistakes were made, and then made plans to set fire to the store first thing in the morning.

At the moment, we’re still struggling to find plates and cups and stuff that we both like.  Aaaand as I just reread that last sentence, so I now have to add (and close with): #firstworldproblems