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Change your bookmarks and come visit QSA!

We’ve moved!

I know I announced that a little while ago, but I’ve noticed a ton of people are still visiting me over here… and I am so grateful for that! It is awfully quiet around Roughing It, though, because I’m not writing here anymore, but I am writing (week)daily over at Queer Skies Ahead. Please change your bookmarks, your reader, your whatever, and come say hello! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Across the Shoreline: This is my party

After our pictures were taken, we waited anxiously outside the doors until amazing bridal brigadeer/wedding coordinator extraordinaire Laurie told us we could come in, and we were announced “Bird and Turtle TheNewLastName”!

The tables were gorgeous, with all of the beauty and simplicity we wanted.

We sat down, and the toasts began.  I don’t have a copy of everyone’s toast, but I do have my sister’s, along with her permission to share some excerpts from it.  I’ll try to include the parts that make sense even if you don’t really know us.  Let it be known that the other toasts were also amazing and tear inducing and one of the best parts of the day.  Not only do you get to stand up with your partner and hear them tell you how much they love you and how much you mean to them, and not only do you get the blessing of all of these other people who love you… but then you also get some of the other most important people in your life to do essentially the same thing.  This is a pretty powerful thing.

 

Turtle's best friend's toast

My mom's toast

Turtle's mom's toast (here she's describing how Turtle was willing to share fresh peas with me: a sign of her true love for me)

And then, my sister’s toast:

I just want to thank Bird and Turtle for throwing me this big party! Sometimes people get new siblings, and they don’t get a party at all. I’m pretty sure that when I was born—no party. When Alex (our brother) was born—no party. But here, Alex and I both get a new older sister, AND a party, so I’m glad you could all make it to celebrate with us.

In a round-about way, this is my party because I introduced Bird and Turtle. Well, sort of. I got Bird a job at the non-profit where I was interning, and where I had trained with Turtle. I didn’t interact much with Turtle during my internship, but I knew that there was something serious there when Bird called me to tell me about this girl she liked. I was in Russia for the semester, and Bird called me from literally across the world to tell me, in one of the happiest and most excited voices I’ve heard, about Turtle, with whom she was quite smitten.

As many of you may remember, Bird and I have not always gotten along. Like many siblings, we went through a horrible pre-teen to early-teenager phase during which we hated each other, and thereby made everyone around us hate us too. But during high school and college, and especially in the past year, we’ve grown very close, and I think have come to appreciate each other in new, more complex ways than we could have imagined not too many years ago. Bird is very passionate about many things, such as her dog, the idea of getting a new dog (it’s okay, Turtle won’t let her), bicycling, roller derby, her family, her friends, and Turtle, with whom she is creating a new family today.

When Bird sets her heart and mind on something, she will make it happen, and, if you’re lucky, you get to make it happen with her. Which I think means that Turtle has a very lucky life ahead of her.

So first, I’d like to toast Turtle. I want to thank you for the happiness that I heard in Bird’s voice from across the world and for the happiness and excitement that you have brought my sister every day since. And second, to toast Bird, my sister, and one of my best friends, who always paved the way for me strongly, gracefully, and beautifully, and who only got mad a few times that I got to do things that she couldn’t do when she was my age. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister to have asked for me, though of course now you’ll have some competition.

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In Need of a Jacket

I’ve been feeling vaguely dissatisfied with… well, everything.  With the exception of a few things, I feel stuck.  I need a thing, and I can’t figure out what that thing is.  After I complained about this for half an hour at therapy, my therapist said, “Yes, that’s exactly what’s happening.  This is like you’re standing outside in the cold without a jacket and saying, ‘I’m cold.’ Of course you’re cold! It’s cold out! You need to put on a jacket!”

us, bundled.

So, folks, sorry if I take this metaphor too far, but I need me a damn jacket.  I feel like I’m on the edge of something big, like all of this falling apart/lack of excitement/falling-through of life plans has to be happening because something else is underway.  Something big this way comes, you know? Please?

Here’s what I’m trying to do: open myself up to the possibilities.  I’m trying to keep an ear out for anything that makes me flutter, anything that piques my interest.  I’m trying to find something I can invest in and not take no for an answer.  And I’m not quite rich enough to throw caution into the wind, but I’m saving up, and I hope that something exciting presents itself.  You hear me, Universe? Present something!

preparing to leap...

Back to your regularly scheduled, less angsty posting tomorrow.

Have you found yourself on the edge of Greatness/Failure? How do you recognize it?  What would you do?

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Marriage from another perspective

I met Karen at the wedding of our awesome photographer, and I thought she was awesome, and I wanted to be friends with her. Remember in the first week of college how no one knew each other and you really could just walk up to someone and offer to be their friend, or ask them to be yours? Sort of awkward, but we were all in desperate need of friends. Now, in our 20s/30s, that is far more awkward than it is during your first week of college, so I just secretly hoped Karen would accept my Facebook friendship request.

Thanks for saying yes, Karen!

Since then, I’ve been reading Karen’s awesome blog, where she writes a lot about being a mom to her Cutest-Baby-I’ve-Ever-Seen-Except-For-Maybe-Alex.* Karen asks some really interesting questions and is an amazing writer, so if you’re looking for something good to read, baby-related or no, check her out.

Anyway, today is the ten year anniversary of her marriage to her awesome husband, and she wrote a wonderful post about it.

I’m trying to go into our marriage knowing that, at times, it will be really hard.  I am sure that at some point we will go to therapy together; I am sure at other points that we really won’t like each other very much.  I think that marriage is an agreement to do just that: it really is being there for all the “worse” parts, for all the “poorer” parts, for all the parts that if you were just dating someone you would probably just break up.  And I hope – I trust – that all of that is worth it.

On A Practical Wedding recently, somewhere in the comments someone was saying that she doesn’t think relationships should be work.  I’m relaying this from memory, so sorry if it’s not quite right.  She said that “work” was the wrong term for it, because the right relationship should come more easily.

Here’s what I think (and this is what’s right for me, and for us): the right relationship is worth the work.  It is work: it’s work to bring things up that neither of you really wants to talk about, it’s work to address personal flaws and agree to disagree, or to realize that you disagree about big things.  It’s work to recognize that you need a third party to help in a situation, and it’s work to deal with not just your person, but your person’s family and friends, because once you’re in, I think, you get the whole deal.  I think it is work, and sometimes that work is cleaning up vomit or unclogging the toilet or calling in sick for to an unforgiving boss for your partner.

Anyway, Karen has been married for ten years today, and she has good things to say about it.  Go read. Happy anniversary, Karen and Zeke!

*and, of course, any baby related to me. Dude, did you see my brother as a baby? ADORABLE.

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A Bird’s Life

On Weddingbee, there’s this thing that a lot of the Bees write called “A Bee’s Life“, where bees talk about how they found Weddingbee, how or why they applied, what it’s like to write for the site, and tips for wanna-bees.  While I’m not really into the formulaic writing of “The Bee’s Life”, I would like to talk a little bit about this blog, and why I’m here, and why I keep doing it.

Honestly, I sort of started the blog so that I could write for Weddingbee.  And I was pretty embarrassed by that.  I had been faithfully reading Weddingbee since about May of 08 – well before I was engaged and only shortly after Turtle and I started dating.  I think I had realized that, even though it had been a really, really short amount of time, I was interested in marriage; bigger than that, or a better excuse for my new wedding-blog-reading habit, was that I worked at a rape crisis center and I just could not deal with rape all day.  I needed something happy, hopeful, crafty – enter wedding blogs.

The main issue that I had with the whole thing, though, was that there was no one like me on the site.  People were having big weddings or they were straight and had all this familial support (which, hey, it turns out I have, too, but at the time I had thought that kind of support would be a long time coming) or they were making every. single. detail. themselves.  I like crafts, but no, I am not making my dress. Or my suit.  I am happy to pay someone else to do that for me.  And did I mention there was not a single lesbian? (Since then, Ms. Awesome  started blogging for the hive.  Yay more lesbians!)

I think I started this blog the day, maybe two days, before I didn’t make a team during roller derby “recruitment.”  I was crushed and I needed somewhere to put all the energy I had been pouring into derby for the past three months.

Derby Girl: Nearly Little Miss Rough-it

Okay, back to the ‘bee.  Honestly – and I’m sorry if any bees are reading this, and it sounds hurtful – I thought most of the bees were focused way too much on just their weddings, rather than the marriage.  I thought they were shallow.  I thought, How can anyone have this much to say, this much energy to focus on just one day? And what about their marriages?!  So I wrote my blog sort of in defiance of that.  I was not going to be shallow, I would not write just about the details. (Note: Mrs. Pretzel just wrote an excellent post about that.)

I think my first wedding-related post was one where I said, “UGH, why does everyone who gets married change their name on Facebook and put their last name in quotation marks?  THAT IS NOT HOW GRAMMAR WORKS.”  And my next one was something like, “Ring shots are silly, cause DUDE – it’s not ABOUT the ring. It’s about the f-ing marriage!”

my personal ringshot...

I applied to write for So You’re EnGAYged, and got rejected. Ouch. Double ouch since I love that site.

So I started this blog in late Jan, early Feb, and applied to blog for Weddingbee in March. In early May, I started checking my spam folder, because that’s where the rejection would go, obviously.  And then in the midst of huge chaos, two days before we moved, I got an email from Pengy saying I was in.

I didn’t squeal.  My hands did not shake while I forwarded the email to important people. Um, it’s just a blog.

Hahahaha, just kidding. Just about the blog part.  It was the highlight of my month. I got picked! I spent the whole day agonizing over which little character to be (Seahorse because seahorses reject traditional gender norms, duh).

I got picked and now I got to go be a voice for all kinds of people who maybe thought that the ‘bee was shallow or that there were no lesbians! Look, here’s one!

my profile picture on the Bee

But also, on that shallow note? I have met several bees since starting.  Yes, we meet each other in real life.  And dude, they are awesome.  They are some of the smartest, most interesting people – not to mention some of the nicest people – I have ever met.  Speaking of nice: someone asked for my shipping address to send me nice things, prewedding.  SO NICE.

So, here’s why I write: to be someone like me, for someone like me to find and appreciate, because that’s all I wanted when I first started poking around.  Beyond that, it’s so good for me to get my thoughts written out – it’s good to read that I’m being a little crazy, and then say, Fine, I’m being a little crazy.  And it is so, so good to “meet” all of you people out there, or to hear that I’ve helped you solve some little relationship glitch, or that maybe I’ve helped your sanity?  Because you so, so help mine.

Why do you blog?  How did you find this blog?  If you tell me who you are and then email me your address, I really will send you an elephant or a bicycle or a tea cup.  I know I promised these things months ago, but really! I have envelopes and everything!

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Quick, I have to lose 30 pounds, I’m getting married!

Once I finally agreed to tell facebook that I was female, I began getting weight loss ads on my sidebar.  Do any of you remember the muffin top ad?  It said something like, “Look like this? You should probably stop eating, you horrible, horrible person.”

Well, ever since I admitted on facebook that I am engaged, it has gotten worse, because now there’s an in.  Of course the way I look right now is not good enough for my wedding.  I desperately, desperately need to lose weight. Desperately.

zomg, clearly way fat.

But seriously, I know I’m not fat to start with.  Really, I know this.  But you hear it enough and you’re like, well, maybe I do need to lose a little weight.  Because you were already kind of thinking about it.  You’re happy and in love, and therefore you’re fat.  That’s why you hear about “fat, happy, and in love.”  You’re not trying to impress anyone anymore, and you’re eating reguarly with someone else.  Where before you might have skipped dinner or had a bowl of cereal, now someone else will remind you it’s dinnertime, and then you’ll eat real, horrible food, like pasta. And bread. Oh the carbs.

Okay, who am I kidding?  Two nights ago we had broccoli for dinner, and I think the night before that we had ice cream.  Delicious Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Being in love is awesome.

Let’s back this up, say, five years or so.  Five years or so ago, I weighed 127 pounds, steady.  On skinny days where I forgot to eat meals or was trying to lose weight for coxing, I would weight 126, and on fat days I would weight 128.  The point is, 127 was a healthy weight for me.  It’s at the higher end of the spectrum for my height, but it was clearly the right weight for me.

Last time I went to the doctor, I weighed 11 pounds more than that.  I can tell you, 138 pounds is not healthy for my height.  Sorry, self – this will not do.

So here’s the thing, stupid Facebook ads – I do need to change my body.  And fine, my wedding is a good motivator.  But I refuse to lose my muffintop, if I have one.  I refuse to take before-and-after pictures.  But I want to feel good.  I want to feel healthy, and I want to feel like I look good.  So here’s the plan:

My goal is to reach my healthy self weight sometime before I get married.  Because without a timeframe, a goal feels less achievable. And really, it doesn’t matter what size I am, as long as I feel good.  So ice cream for dinner is okay, sometimes, as long as I’ve eaten well the rest of the day.  And eaten well doesn’t mean skipping meals, it means eating intentionally – when I’m hungry, I’ll have veggies  or fruits, or a deliberately put-together meal.  When I’m not hungry, I won’t eat.  I already ride my bicycle to work every day, but it’s only 1.8 miles round trip, so I’m going to try to add in 20 minutes of exercise three times a week. Right now I get up and poke around the internet for 40 minutes while I eat and drink tea.  Self, you can eat and drink tea in 20 minutes! The rest of the time is not for sleeping anymore – it’s for running or bicycling (or rollerskating!).

exercising is fun, remember?

I know we all get this pressure in a million different ways from a million different places, and it’s so not fair that so much gets piled onto this “one day” that is “the most important day of our lives.”  Because while it’s up there on the list, I’m not willing to put that much stock in it, and I also think that no one but me and possibly Turtle will be able to tell if I lose two inches from my waist.  But I think people will notice if I’m comfortable, and confident, and if I am those things, I don’t need to worry about how my hair looks or what color my shoes are*.

How are you responding or how did you respond to the pressure to “be better” for your wedding?  What are your thoughts?  A lot of people are talking about it recently, but no one is saying, “Screw it all, I’m going to be exactly how I am right now!”  I wish I could be the one to say that, but instead I’m letting my wedding motivate me to achieve goals I half-assedly set awhile back.

*ugh. I still don’t have shoes. Someone please find me some, thanks.

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Someday we’ll find it… the ____ connection

I thought you would all like a glimpse into what a morning at the Turtle-Bird household looks like… er, sounds like.  So here I am, sitting and drinking my tea, when I hear someone (who shall remain anonymous) blowing her nose, and then the song begins:

Why are there so many songs about boogers
And what’s on the other side?
Mmmmm… and boogers have nothing to hiiiiiiiide…
Someday we’ll find it, the booger connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

When I lived with my favorite roommates of all time (Hi 5B!), we used to say that the world would be a better place if there were some video cameras in our apartment (in a non-creepy, non-L-Word way) and we were a sitcom… people would be highly entertained by our dinner conversation and random things that were shouted across the apartment.  In retrospect, we were maybe the only people who would have been entertained, but I like to stop every so often and appreciate that I have found, again, that level of playfulness, ridiculousness, and hilarity in my fiancee.

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