Tag Archives: the process

I’m still smitten

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned how Turtle and I originally got together, but this video reminded me of the whole thing:

Back when we were still just coworkers, we spent several weeks playing Scrabulous and sort of flirting over the little chat box they had there.  I got her to join Facebook (because I wanted to get to know her, sort of – I needed an in! But I told her it was so we could play Scrabulous.  Word games are a good way to snag a spouse?) and then I spent a lot of time looking at this picture and feeling fluttery.

Finally, one Friday night when I was supposed to watch a movie with my mom, she sent me a message; I’d just scored really high on some word and she said, “I’d be mad if I weren’t so smitten.”

Swoon.

From there, it all just sort of started: I saw her two days later, we had a seven hour date, and I didn’t kiss her goodnight.  Don’t worry, I made up for it the next day.  I spent the first month of our relationship not really talking; I was afraid we would run out of things to say to each other and that our relationship would be doomed: maybe we had nothing in common, maybe she was secretly a crazy cat lady, maybe our age difference would be a big deal or my friends wouldn’t like her.

Well, here’s what I have to say to that, Bird-of-the-Past: thanks for giving it a chance and finally opening your mouth.  And Turtle-of-the-Past? Thanks for speaking up, for waiting for me to finally find a voice and words and trusting the whole crazy thing.

 

the first picture of us as a couple, about a month after we started dating

When we first started dating, Turtle would not let me take care of her at all.  She got a cold and banned me from her apartment.  To someone who needs company and someone to make me tea and bring me tissues, this was a completely ridiculous response to getting sick.  When you are sick, you need someone to take care of you, and you let your girlfriend do that.  Turtle’s response to that: Oh HELLS no.  Leave me alone. Seriously, I think she wouldn’t even let me bring her a blanket.

Last week, as she was lying on the couch crying about how we were torturing our dog, she asked me for a box of tissues.

Look how far we’ve come, you guys.  So tell that someone you’re smitten with that you’re smitten, because smitten is a good word and it makes people fluttery and then they’ll wear makeup and those cute jeans the next time they see you and then you’ll have an awesome wedding and a cute-if-high-maintenance menagerie.  If that’s how you want it.

Who spoke up first in your relationship?

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Bookstore Experience: The Wedding Sanity Edition

As it turns out, Barnes & Noble is a pretty hopping place on a Saturday night. According to a friend who works at the cafe there, B&N is really The Place To Be – which makes me feel a pretty good about admitting that our Saturday night date was at a bookstore. Not only are we true to ourselves and owning our nerdiness (yay bookstores!), we’re also the cool kids (I think this is a yay… hm.).

Anyway, I’m not writing to tell you about how awesome we are (pretty awesome). I’m writing to tell you what was supposed to be a story about how I got enraged at the bookstore, but I think that’ll be a post for tomorrow.  Today? Good wedding deeds:

We had our cocoa at the tables in the cafe, read through some magazines. Had to get through some trashy ones to learn about Katie’s Holmes’ apparent drug problem and bratty daughter (but Suri is oh so cute) and then continue on my quest to find a magazine that 1. doesn’t make my brain rot (Katie Holmes already did that; thanks, Katie); 2. Is interesting (sorry Runner magazine, you’ll just never be mine); 3. and doesn’t make me hate everyone (hello, every women’s fitness magazine ever). The quest was largely unsuccessful.

As we got up to leave, we noticed that the girl at the table behind us had a wedding magazine on her table. And next to that, a stack of about 15 wedding magazines. And, you guys, she looked a little stressed out. “Turtle,” I hissed, “should I tell her it’s going to be okay?”

approximate size of *one* of her stacks of magazines. poor girl.

Turtle gave me a look that said, I married you and I bring you out in public and yet I’m still surprised when you ask me these things – why? I should know better by now. You can tell we’re married because I can get all of that from just one look. But she answered, “See if she has a ring – you can only say something if she’s actually engaged.”

So I leaned over to pick up something that I, ahem, dropped (um, a piece of trash on the floor? A cup from someone who’d been sitting there before? You know, something I would have otherwise ignored), and confirmed: a ring! So what did I have to lose? I took a deep breath, leaned over, and said, “Excuse me, I just noticed all of your wedding magazines. If you’re looking for some sanity, you should check out A Practical Wedding. It really is wedding sanity.”

And she looked at me with sort of crazed eyes (I mean, I think? I don’t really know her, so maybe her eyes are always like that. But she did look a little panicked.) and said, “Oh my goodness, thank you so much. I definitely could use some sanity.”

I feel like I’m a happy little wedding fairy.  Why aren’t more people telling people it’s going to be okay?  Instead it’s “YOU NEED THINGS.  YOU NEED MORE THINGS! THEY. MUST. MATCH.”

If I weren’t as shy as I feel and I knew her a little better, or if she’d said, “tell me more!” I then would have listed off every website ever that has the sanity (hi all you readers who also write!).  But I am kind of shy and I didn’t know her and mostly I felt awkward.

What would you do?

Coming soon, the story of my bookstore experience: The Enraged Version.

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Reflections on a year I was grateful to see go

Well, hello, there!  I said I’d be back in the new year, and here I am.  I missed you!  But I also spent the last couple of weeks masquerading as a slightly insane petsitter.  Slightly insane only because I think sane petsitters occasionally say no to jobs so that they can occasionally care for their own pets; I, on the other hand, had up to 13 jobs in one day.  Thank you a billion times over to my beautiful wife for taking care of our own beasts!

I both love and hate year-in-reviews; sometimes I find it really boring to read about other people’s years, but really, if you find this boring? Skip it.  Because when it’s not boring it’s really interesting, so I’m banking on everyone loving my version of a year in review.  It’s a bit more of a reflection than review, but that’s what you get. Ready? Let’s go.

Our 2010 year started off with us screwing up a dinner party.  Seriously.  We thought we were being invited to just a “let’s all hang out, it’ll be fun!” party and we showed up 2 hours after it started.  Um, fashionably late for a regular old party, right? Yeah, well, as I mentioned – it was a dinner party.  Being 2 hours late is very, very bad.

I tell you this because, in retrospect, it seems like an appropriate beginning to the year that 2010 was.

In 2010, we had in our lives or in the lives of people we’re very close to a birth, a death, jobs lost, new jobs started, a separation, a wedding, we moved, we got a kitten, we lost our kitten, and we each turned another year older.  That last part is just how things work.  Other notable things: I started blogging, I started classes, I dropped classes, I got rejected by roller derby (twice!), our dog bit someone, I changed my life plan, we changed our last name, we merged our finances, and – yes, I already mentioned the wedding, but it feels worth mentioning again – we’re married now.

yes, I know you've seen this picture before... but it is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES. So here it is again. Enjoy, because it's beautiful.

What I mean to say is that 2010 was a really big year, and I am really grateful that it’s over.  When the clock struck midnight and our little group of friends yelled “Happy New Year!” I felt this sudden and huge wave of relief.  Really, that’s sort of silly: who knows what 2011 brings?  Maybe more stressors, different stressors.  But I find a lot of hope in this: we made it through this last year, and we did a really good job.  The chances of all of these things happening in the same year again are probably not very high, but, regardless, I know we can handle it.

Being engaged and then married has been an enormous blessing throughout all of this.  When things get hard, I know that there’s someone by my side, someone on my team; even when we’re having a rough time in our relationship, we’re in it for the long haul.

So here’s to 2011, with hope that it is full of love and new beginnings and is only somewhat eventful.  Happy New Year, you guys.

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Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement, other, Relationships

My Pre-furred State of Being

I have spent my entire life wanting to be a veterinarian when I grow up.  I think there was a month or two when I was about thirteen or fourteen when I was really active in my church, and for those two months I considered that maybe I wanted to be a UU minister.  Well, when that month or two was over, I was back to wanting to be a vet.

 

again, me in my Preferred State of Being: covered in dogs

I started working at a local vet clinic when I was fifteen, and never really stopped after that.  In high school I went abroad for six months and obviously could not keep my job while I was on the other side of the world, but no worries!  I found a Clinica Veterinaria where I happily worked every Saturday morning.  When I returned to the states, it was back to work at the hospital, and after not working with animals for one measly semester in college, I never took a break again until my first real-life job.  I decided to take a break from veterinary medicine and try something a little more human oriented.  I thought maybe animals weren’t my thing anymore… after a year and a half of rape crisis work, I went back to the dogs (and cats and rats and bunnies and birds… you get the idea).

 

Me in Chile circa 2002. No, I didn't medically treat these llamas, but I may have tried to hug them.

The big thing that I didn’t do in all of this time was actually finish my classes to apply to vet school.  Every year I have said, “This year I’ll finally take X so that I can get my application in for next fall,” and every year something comes up: I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, I refuse to skip my honeymoon so I can take the first Organic Chem exam.  Not the worst excuses, but finally I realized something.

I don’t think I want to be a vet.

That said, I do (of course!) still appreciate a face-in-cat situation. Even if the cat is slightly perturbed.

A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing to leave my job at the cat clinic and wondering what would come next.  I put together a list of the things I have loved about all of the veterinary medicine work I have done in the last almost-11 years (seriously, almost 11 years? Crazy!):

  1. Working with people and animals. One or the other doesn’t quite cut it for me.
  2. Troubleshooting with people about their animals, a la, How can we get your cat to take its pill? How can we help you transition a new pet into the house? How can we get your cat more active or your dog more engaged? etc)
  3. Working with the same people over time, and getting to know clients. I love recognizing people when they come in; I love that they know me by name and that I know them well enough to stop and say hello around town.

The thing I realized is that none of this is specific to medicine. So… here goes something else?  Monday was my first day of officially no longer having a full time job.  Of course, I still got up at 6:30, dropped my wife off at the bus, took the dog for a run through the woods, and then went to my volunteer position at a wildlife sanctuary.  As I pulled up to my driveway after all of that, I glanced up and there was a bald eagle flying over our house.

(this is not the actual eagle, but this is what it actually looked like)

I’m seeing hope around every corner.  Here I am, knowing that I’m on the edge of something big, and feeling like I’m waiting for it to materialize in front of me.  I have a petsitting business and a domain name – could I someday expand this to a training/behavior business?  Do I go back to school for something awesome?  Does someone reading this know exactly what all the signs point to?

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Filed under Menagerie, Vet school

Whittling Our Way to Our Weddings

Okay, folks, we’re 22 days into NaBloPoMo, and I am sort of exhausted.  On the other hand, I’m also proud! Look, I can write every day! I think this means I can go back to listing “writing” as one of my hobbies, which is something I just sort of forgot to stop saying after, you know, third grade.  I always liked the idea of writing, but look – now I actually do it!

Here’s the other part of it, though: it is a pretty neat goal to write something every day and to produce at least one post a day (and sometimes two when I hit “Publish” before I edit “schedule”, lucky you!), but it’s also not really worth writing something unless it’s something I care about writing about. Uh oh, you’re thinking, Now is when she says, “Wasn’t that a nice post? The end.” Well, don’t you worry your pretty little head! I am not wussing out.  And not only am I not wussing out, but I am also bringing you beautiful lesbian wedding pictures.  What could be better?

NFE & her partner A

I was recently talking to New Friend Ellen about weddings, gay and straight, and why it feels so important to see people like us represented.  This quickly evolved into a conversation about weddings in general, gay marriage, and how we, as queer women, feel represented in the wedding industry.  Answer? Not much.

But the other side of this is that it frees us up quite a bit.  When we don’t see people like us doing “what people are supposed to do,” it gives us the freedom to decide what we want to do.  Is this worth the trade of not being legally recognized in all but a handful of states? Um, no.  But let’s look on the bright side here.

One thing NFE said that struck me was this: that straight couples start out with a formula, a script for their weddings.  Step one, walk down aisle with father. Step two, meet husband-to-be at the front. Etcetera.  And you know that this is the script you start with, and then – if you’re lucky, if you realize that changing the script is an option – you take it and break it down, keep the parts you want and fiddle with the parts you don’t want.

tradition

But if you’re not a straight couple… well, where do you start?  Do you walk down the aisle together?  Is there even an aisle?  As a lesbian couple, we sort of get to start from scratch.  Instead of having a list of what should be done and having to whittle away to find what we wanted, we get to build something new; we take a piece from here, a piece from there, and create something that was still undeniably a wedding.  In being rejected by much of the Wedding Industrial Complex, we get to create our own path and our own vision.

Thanks, NFE, for the amazing pictures and the thought-provoking conversation.

What do you think of this idea, of creating from scratch vs. starting with a script?

*All photos by Kelly at Closed Circle Photo.

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APW = Awesome People Welcome

Sometimes I feel like a huge dork for still caring as much about marriage and weddings as I do.  I mean, of course I care about my marriage, and I’m still working on my wedding recaps, so yes, of course I care at least a little bit about weddings… but the thing is, I am still way more excited to read about/talk about/think about marriage and weddings in general than I thought I would be.

Luckily, A Practical Wedding has my back, as always.  This weekend was the second APW book club (though my first), which I suspect is just a matter of using a book as an excuse to get a bunch of smart, interesting women who don’t know each other to spend some time together talking about something that isn’t often talked about beyond floofy dresses and guest lists or outside of crises.  Really, how often do you hear people talking about their healthy marriages? Not often.

So I spent two weeks carrying around Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, which I never managed to reread (I had read it a few months ago), and then I dug out some leftover champagne from our wedding, bought some orange juice, and trekked into Cambridge for the Boston APW meetup.  There were probably fifteen of us there, and, sadly, we only realized we should take a group picture after most people had left.

I cropped this so we were all taking up a bit more of the picture, but i had to leave in our feet - people had some awesome shoes! Sarah's even wearing her wedding shoes (red Chucks)!

Apparently after the last APW bookclub, Boston was accused of being “wholesome”, so this time we all grabbed the wine bottles to show off.  Funny story: you may notice that most of them are still full.  Sad story: I didn’t realize all that wine was there until we took the picture, and then it was time to go.  Hopefully, Awesome Host Meredith is enjoying her some APWine.

You guys, the conversation was awesome.  I was surprised at how fun and easy and funny and interesting it was to sit around with 14 other strangers and talk about our marriages, or our prospective marriages, or the weird reactions we got to random aspects of wedding planning.  Yes, we talked about our dresses and caterers and whether we did or were going to do pre-marital counseling – none of that should be surprising, you can find some version of that conversation on any wedding planning website.  But we also talked about our marriages, and what is scary, and how to trust that you want to keep on doing this thing.  We touched on the hard parts, on the huge, difficult things that we went through with our partners that cemented or even catapulted the decision to marry; we talked about deciding to marry without a ring or an announcement and the strangeness of that.  We talked about parents’ relationships and the ending of parents’ relationships and how that set up our whole perspective on marriage.

Ah, anyway, you don’t care really what the topics were; I just don’t want to forget, because it all felt so important.  I left the meeting three hours later feeling really inspired.  I got home, announced that I was inspired, and then couldn’t figure out how to channel it.  Disappointing. Unlike the food at the meeting:

only half of the amazing spread... we ate the other half. yum.

Here’s what I’ve got for you: if you’re not already reading or commenting on A Practical Wedding, go do it.  If you have thoughts on marriage, you’ll appreciate it.  Even if you don’t read it all the time, go to the next book club! Especially if you’re in Boston!

Post-meeting, I spent some quality time doing what I love: writing here while cuddling kitten.

Did you go to a meet up Sunday?  What did you take away from it?  And did you actually talk about the book?

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Fitting in the boxes

One thing that has been on my mind as of late is taxes.  Partly because of all the election stuff that’s been going on…

…and partly because we are now legally married – in Massachusetts.  But, haha, funny story – our marriage is not federally recognized.  And this makes filing our taxes oh so confusing.  I was filling out a W-2 the other day and had to check the box about how I’m filing: Single, Married, or Married Filing as Single.  Um, I left it blank.  Ask me later? I have no idea what the right answer is.

BUT! This is a great time to show you some boxes that I sure do know how to fill out! The boxes on our marriage license application:

 

Party A and Party B! We picked which we were by going alphabetically. Fun and easy and had nothing to do with our genitalia (unlike Male and Female, in case you were wondering what I was implying), yay!

The whole process was easy, welcoming, and comfortable.  And then we picked up our license a few days later!  I felt incredibly lucky that we have this option.

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