Tag Archives: dates

Pretty pretty pictures

We had our “official” engagement shoot with our amazing photographer last night.  I can’t talk enough about how awesome Ellie is, and how anyone needing a photographer in/near Boston/Providence should probably use her.  Awesome.

Anyway, I have my first day by myself in a long time (Turtle is in Maine) and I promised myself I wouldn’t spend a lot of it on the internets, so no more comments/deep insights, just some pretty pictures for you!

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

I kind of can’t believe how amazing these pictures are. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing with them all yet, so I don’t want to share many – I’m feeling protective of them, but they are too beautiful not to share a couple!

I had a read in a few different places that doing an engagement photo session can really help get you comfortable with your photographer and with having your picture taken, and I didn’t think much of that until I experienced it.  It took us a little while to settle in, but then it was so fun.  It was especially nice because Ellie is a good friend of ours, and we got to have amazing pizza and beer afterward.  That, my friends, is a good photo shoot.

Some more of Ellie’s awesome skills:

Okay, so much for sharing just a couple of pictures.  But omg, pretty!!!

So here’s what this felt like: getting dressed up in things we felt attractive in (for me, of course, one dress, one dykey shorts-and-collared-shirt outfit) and walking around our favorite, important places being affectionate.  Things are hard off and on these days – something I’ve talked about before – and we just walked and talked about those things and how we love each other and do want to get married and will do the work.  It was wonderful to have a space where we were just supposed to be affectionate: no talking about the hard things or the piles.  And then, as I mentioned before, we got amazing pizza, beer, and time with good friends.

And now I’m home alone with two dogs, two cats, and a big apartment.  Not feeling motivated to do much of anything, which is silly now that I have all this time and space to myself!  Maybe the afternoon has big things in store for me… or maybe just a book and a glass of wine.

What are you doing this weekend? Want to hang out with me? Did I already mention two dogs, big apartment, and wine? What more do you need?

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basking, savoring, luxuriating

As a real, live, card-carrying lesbian (yes, it’s true! You come out and you actually get a card! What, you never got yours?), I may or may not have a tendency to over-discuss things. Or, one could argue, discuss things to a healthy extent.  Let’s just say that communication is one of our strong points.

(Side note: one of my female friends just started dating a woman for the first time.  When I asked if they’d slept together she said, “well, we talk a lot.  Like, a lot.  That’s pretty much lesbian sex, right?”. Sorry if you’re offended that my blog says “lesbian sex” on it. Moving on.)

But one thing that getting married and planning a marriage – not just a wedding – are making us do is discuss our relationship and  our future in a way that I’m not sure we otherwise would.  On Wednesday we decided to get started on this whole vow-writing thing.  I think that we will be combining our own vows with some traditional vows and some non-traditional wedding readings with some that you might expect to hear.  But step one is figure out how to write your own vows.  We followed some instructions that we found online, starting with making a list of things that we love about each other, and then making a list of things that we bring to the relationship or that we want to promise.

Turtle makes a heart to symolize our looooove (barf)

We went up to one of our favorite spots in town and spread out a blanket by the pond.  We got distracted when we noticed that there were turtles and frogs in the water, but once we got over the excitement of that (omg! it’s really spring!), we got to work writing our own private lists.  And then we shared our lists, lying in the sun.  And I wasn’t even thinking, Wow this is what we’ll say on our wedding day, and I still teared up.  It was wonderful to hear us saying the same things and different things.  I love where things line up, and where they don’t.

how could you not get distracted by this?!

After sharing our lists, we put those aside and went through some worksheets that we found online.  They’re intended for UU ministers to use when doing premarital counseling for same-gendered couples, but our minister isn’t using it so we figured we’d just go ahead and discuss ourselves.  We ended up doing a worksheet where we individually answered questions like, how much development do you need in your relationship for… having and enjoying friends together and separately? Sharing spiritual life? Observing birthdays and other important rituals?

I think we were on the same page for most of our answers, but when we were off at all, we talked about what we wanted and why, and what might be missing.  It was really interesting to have things brought up for us, and to not just talk about these issues when they are issues.  It was interesting to see where our perspectives were similar and different – for example, I said that I didn’t feel we need much development in sharing a spiritual life, because my spiritual life feels personal, and going to church feels like something I do for myself as an individual – not something I do, necessarily, in the context of my relationship.  Turtle, on the other hand, said that she felt this needed some/much development, because she would like to find a spiritual home for us.  And it turns out that I agree – I had just been thinking of it more for me than for us.

I don’t know how all of these things would come up if we didn’t have a form to sit down and fill out… I’m sure they would come up eventually.  But I love learning about her, and about us, in this way.  It seems crazy to me that some couples don’t do this kind of exploring before they get married.

One thing I realized is that I want to keep doing this after we get married.  To sit down, at least once a year, and say, “How are we doing on these issues? Where do we need development? How are you feeling?”  Getting married makes you slow down and revel in the relationship, if you’re doing it right (I think!).  But what about after you’re married?  How do you hold onto this connection and make sure you’re facing the same directions together?  It seems like marriage is a built in institution within a relationship for this, but what about after marriage?

Anyway, I’m enjoying being here, now – and I’m excited to figure out how we’ll be wherever we are next.

P.S. Happy 2 year anniversary of the day we spent sitting next to each other at work acting like we didn’t feel actual electricity between us, and then abandoned all sanity to spend the evening together. This is the best adventure.

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Smitten

Two years ago yesterday, I played a three- or four-letter word (I can’t remember which) on Scrabulous (remember the good old days?) and got 39 points.  Yes, over 30 points with under 5 letters.  And Turtle typed in that little chat box, “I would be mad, but I’m smitten.”  And while that’s not quite where it all began, that was the point where it switched over from “maybe she likes me and maybe I like her, but maybe we’re just friendly happy coworkers” (tee hee, coworkers, yeah…) to “Whoa. She likes me. Do I like her? I think I liker her. Uh, now what?”.  What I mean to say is that I commenced freaking out a little bit, which I expressed by not responding to her increasingly frantic emails (“Did you get my message? Uh, how embarrassed do I need to be the next time we see each other?”) and not calling her, despite her sending me her phone number.

I danced around her messages and implied, with more subtlety than I thought at the time, that the feelings were mutual.  Two years ago today, I got a haircut and very carefully planned my outfit for the next day, when I would see her; I even ended up wearing makeup.  It was a Sunday and it was a big fundraiser walk for our organization.  I crutched around like a rockstar and pretended that I didn’t know exactly where she was the entire day.  I knew exactly where she was.

When I first arrived at the walk, she came over to me and handed me a cup of tea.  She handed me a cup of tea like I was her person, like of course she would share her cup of tea; and I took it like I knew that it was our cup of tea.  It was the most natural thing to do, and it was strange that we were just there, at this level of comfort and knowing each other.

After the event was over and all the attendees had left, I stood around and offered to help carry boxes.  This was while I was on crutches and couldn’t walk, so I think this is where my subtlety ended.  We went to Starbucks for “a coffee” and drank several cups of tea and did almost the entire Sunday NYTimes crossword.  When it finally became clear that we’d been there for way too long – say, five hours – she asked me to have dinner with her.

I don’t think we held hands, and we didn’t kiss.  I ran away from her – I was crazy skilled on my crutches – when my train came, because I wanted to be sure that I really, really liked her before I let her kiss me.

In the last two years, we have both left two jobs.  Between the two of us, we have taken in a kitten, a cat, and a dog.  We have fostered two other cats.  We have connected more strongly with some friends and lost our connection to others.  We have been to every state in New England except for Connecticut.  We have had so much fun, and we have supported each other through heartbreak, through depression, through big decisions.  We have learned how to talk to each other, how to listen to each other and to ourselves, and how to be a family.  We are always doing the work.

Marrying her, I expect, will always be work.  It is work planning this wedding; it is work discussing and deciding what we want our marriage to be.  It is work when it is not about the wedding or the marriage, but whose turn it is to walk the dog or clean the litter boxes.  It is work in many little ways and some big ways and all of this work is so worth it.

Happy anniversary, you.

the first ever picture of us together!

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Date night… or date day?

This last month things have been a little tight for the last month or so, since Turtle left her job and we realized that my income is not a reasonable amount to expect two people to live on.  (Some people have suggested that it’s not a reasonable amount for one person to live on, but that’s a story for another post.) So in the last month, we have been really careful about the groceries we’ve bought, we haven’t purchased any new things, like clothes or house stuff, and we have not gone out for dinner even once.

Neither of us are people who go out for dinner all the time – maybe once a week, and it always feels like a treat.  One of our favorite places is Not Your Average Joe’s, and another is a sushi restaurant in the center of our town.  Even if we’re not up for going out and socializing, we’ll order in and have a picnic in the living room, and it is wonderful.

But for the last month, we banned ourselves from going out.  It’s because other luxuries are more important to us, like internet service and, you know, heat. Not to mention electricity.  And we’ve done a really good job; we spent almost two thirds less than usual this month.  But we’ve also been a little irritable with each other.

And this has made me realize that date night is not just fun and not just delicious, but it’s really important. This weekend we are house/petsitting for my parents, and it is so nice to be away from home, away from our clutter and our obligations.  When you’re at someone else’s house, it doesn’t occur to you that you should vacuum all the floors instead of watching TV or reading a book.  At home, I find myself feeling like there’s something else I should be doing.  And this is where date night – er, day – comes in. It’s so different to look at each other across the table of some nice, or even not-so-nice, restaurant and appreciate each other’s company than it is to look across the kitchen table, with its little piles in the corners, and wonder why the other person didn’t do some chore they should have earlier.

On Sunday we got up and lazed around my parents’ house.  We had breakfast and sat on the front porch and let the dogs wander around the front yard on long leashes.  And then in the afternoon, we packed up the Beast and headed to a dog beach.  It was about 45 minutes away and we had such a nice time enjoying each others’ company in the car.  When we got to the beach there were dogs everywhere!  Daphne had a fabulous time running around and we had a fabulous time watching her be curious and then afraid of the waves coming in.

After the beach we wandered around this cute little town and decided to go out for dinner.  We agreed that this would be our dinner for the month – and we enjoyed dinner. You have to when you only get one a month. I think that when we’re out in the world together, we appreciate the sanctuary of our relationship – in the chaos of being out in public and running around and getting things done, the other person is there. When you get home from the chaos of the world, you can relax into that other person’s company.  If you never go out, I think you miss a portion of that.

Have you experienced anything like this?  Do you have any regular date nights, and what do you do for them?

Turtle is going away for a week on Tuesday, but when she gets back, we are going to try to re-institute our weekly dates, even if they’re picnics we take somewhere or going for a walk somewhere new.  I think that as long as we know we have this sanctuary in each other, we can get through anything together; it’s just that sometimes we need some reminding.

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