Friday, February 6, 2015

In Which We Find Ourselves Married

FINE. I'll write something, because I know you all have been basically DYING to know what has been going on with my life.

While there have been a great many things written on being married, and I’m sure that I won’t be the most eloquent or elegant of all the offerings, I’m going to wax poetic anyway.  You’re welcome.

First of all, it’s awesome.  Dating Mr. Wildcard (whom we will refer to as The Husband or TH going forward) was awesome, but being married is a greater awesome.  There is no ambiguity. There is no “what’s the next step.”  It’s solid: it’s a marriage.  It’s continual.  He’s supportive, comforting and challenges me.  He is my greatest blessing and my wubbles.  Getting all those things, from a person you adore, is a gift.

Secondly, it’s hard. Duh.  Marriage is hard. And not in a bad way – in a really fulfilling, work through it kind of way.  Although, I can tell you how NOT FUN it is to discuss how we’re going to file taxes.

Thirdly, fourthly and fifthly, it’s hard.

Have I mentioned it’s hard?

Before we all get our knickers in a twist over my commentary, when I said it’s hard, it’s because IT IS.  Arguing or being in a committed relationship isn’t what’s difficult – in fact, that’s easy in comparison.  Putting two lives together is hard. Putting two completely separate systems and ways of doing things into one is hard. Having two minorly stubborn 30 year olds with lots of individual responsibilities and commitments join together IS HARD.

There are a few dozen other things that need to be worked out when you get married. Logistical garbage that is not at all interesting. Who takes out the trash? (We both try.) Who does the laundry? (Well, I actually like doing the laundry…) Who takes care of the dishes? (Ugh, dishes. My archnemesis.)  I would love to just gloss over these decisions, but YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. And if you don’t discuss these “tiny” things, they can grow into huge issues. 

(Yes, dishes can become a point of contention. Of course, this was mainly between my parents and me during my teen years.  It was a dark time.)

I like to plan things a little in advance and put it on the calendar. I leave a few do-nothing days in there, in case anything interesting or fun pops up.  (Read interesting and fun as: I want to sleep late and watch entire seasons of Gilmore Girls.)  He hates planning.  He would rather not use a calendar.  He will randomly decide to go do something on the spur of the moment.  Sure, neither way is better than the other, but they are opposite and, occasionally, annoying to the other person.

I also like to go to bed with the TV on.  He disagrees. Negotiations are still in process.

These are the kind of things that you don’t discuss before getting married.  You talk about big ticket items: debt (my bad, TH, but I really loved school), kids, where you’ll live, religion or political views.  You don’t talk about how you absolutely need the towels to be folded this certain way or the earth will stop rotating.  You forget to mention that you can only use one particular detergent because…well, just because.  You neglect to inform your poor spouse that dishes give you flashbacks to a time when you didn’t have a dishwasher and your mother liked to drink milk, but left a little in the glass and it was ALWAYS at the bottom of the gigantic pile, meaning that it had been sitting, growing penicillin and other bacteria, for approximately a week and you were forced to wash the entire pile WITHOUT GLOVES. (That’s gotta be against some law, right? It’s clearly child endangerment of some type.) 

It’s a learning process. Luckily, I'm a good student.  I have grasped how to say, “I’m sorry” in a new, interesting and fresh ways.  (You know, I went to school for an EXTREMELY long time, but they never covered that topic…I feel like I should get some kind of refund.)

All the changes, all the compromises, all the adjustments - this is why the first year of marriage is the hardest.

Hard?  Yes.
Impossible? Of course, not.

TH is my person.  My forever person.  Putting our two fleshed out lives together has been hard, but it’s also been gratifying, rewarding, sustaining, reassuring and fully satisfying.  It has been completely and totally worth all those changes, compromises and adjustments.  I’d gladly do it again, if it meant getting to be with ol’ TH.

So, maybe I’ll turn off the TV at night and maybe he’ll plan a dinner a week or two in advance. 

Maybe I’ll even wash the dishes… 

HA. Kidding. PAPER PLATES 4 LYFE.  (Again, sorry TH.  The dishes are your burden to bear.)


Monday, February 10, 2014

Better Late Than Never

Well, would you look at that...I still have a blog. 

And I have an answer to "what happens when I date" too.

Valentine's Day is approaching and I thought I would pick this thing back up again, because it seems timely and appropriate.  I then realized I'm a bad, inconsistent blogger.  I haven't written since August and that seems totally unfair to all of you, because I know you're so desperate to read & know about my life.  Let's start with the biggest thing first, shall we?

I'm engaged. 

Shocked, are we? I know.  So was I.  It's true.  Someone (Mr. Wild Card, to be exact) asked me to put on a weighty and absurdly expensive white dress and legally bind myself to him.  He's gotta be crazy.

We'll be getting married this fall and I'm in the process of planning now.  Note: by "planning", I mean getting completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of decisions I have to make and instead of doing that, watching endless episodes of Army Wives from the comfort of my bed.  It's bizarre to think that this time next year when I'm apologizing for not writing more, I'll be a wife to a man who gladly deals with me crying because Mission Burrito forgot to put shrimp in my bowl.  Wow.  Bananas.

And yet, I'm still not really sure how I got here.  I have a ring on my hitchin' finger and a guy who loves me consistently and fully.  I feel like the girl who was unsure of whether or not she was going on a date is a stranger.  I'm more self-assured and confident.  I'm less weary and wandering.  I've grown.  I'm more of me than I have been in a very, very long time.  How did I change into this person from the one I was?  I can say, without hesitation, that love grew me.  Love mended me.  Love righted me.

While none of my change is simply because Mr. Wild Card gave me a ridiculously gorgeous piece of jewelry, the love from someone who loves me absolutely and unconditionally has caused my heart to overflow with happiness and contentment.  Having someone love me as I love them is the most perfect and honest thing that this life has given me so far.  The way Mr. Wild Card cares for me is unselfish and unabashed.  My fear of abandonment fades with each passing day.

See friends, this kind of love is the kind that God wants for us.  This kind and patient love. This honest and true love.  This is the love that we are to yearn for - not the kind of love that fades away with time or distance.  Not the kind of love that simply makes us feel good.  Not the kind of disposable or manufactured love that the world shows us. 

The romantic love Christ has intended for us, the kind bound in honor and founded in sacrifice, is the kind of love that can be transformative and boundless.  Just like His love for us. How did it take me so long to see that?

I've found my forever person.  That, my friends, is what happens when I date.


Friday, August 23, 2013

I Choose Flight

Yesterday was just a day. After work, I went and met some friends at this hipster bingo thing that happens in town.  We ate tacos.  We made jokes.  We dobbed our bingo cards. One of us won money.  All regular and unimportant.

Then, as I headed for the bathroom before going home, I saw The Kid.  My eyes got big, I stopped dead in my tracks and my brain ceased to function.  Full bladder be darned, I turned right around and half-ran back to my friends and begged that we exit through a side door to avoid him. 

The Kid is a youngster I went out with a few times, but it didn't work out for reasons too numerous to mention.  (I actually wrote about him, here.)  The thing that stuck with me, though, is how it ended.  We had stopped talking and then he made this big gesture, so I gave him a second chance.  It backfired.  The whole thing ended abruptly and left me with a few hurt feelings.  It was a blight on my impeccable dating record. *cue laugh track*  (I, of course, came out on the other side of it as a winner, because I met Mr. Wild Card a few weeks later.)

I haven't really thought about The Kid in a LONG time and I don't harbor any ill-will or bad feelings toward him, but seeing him standing there threw me into a loop.  The feeling was similar to seeing your teacher outside of school; one of those "but you not supposed to be HERE" kind of thoughts.  In a city of 5+ million, I run into him of all people?  At least I had an escape route and supportive friends.

After I got home, I got a text from a number I didn't know.  *DUN DUN DUMMMM* THE KID! HE TEXTED!  It read something like, "Sorry if that was awkward seeing you tonight. I saw you earlier, but decided not to say hi."  My response? "Well, it was awkward, but it happens. Hope you had fun!"  I was cool, guys!  So what if I had high-tailed it away from him, red-faced? I made up for it with a breezy, no-worries text.  All was good in the land of Jeana.

When I woke up this morning, I had this heavy regret about how I handled the situation.  Why didn't I just give him my goofy, half-crooked, smirky smile and say a "hey" in passing?  It's been nearly a year since I saw him, I'm over the whole thing completely and he was there with someone else, so what would have happened?  I didn't have to have a conversation, but I could've been cordial or more nonchalant.  Instead, I turned on my heel and speed-walked to the other end of the building and left him to be the one to be the bigger person.

Maybe that exact thing is what's causing my remorse: in my mind, he won.  Couldn't he have just acted like he didn't see me, like I was attempting to do?  Oh, no, he couldn't.  He had to apologize for the weirdness, like a nice person. BLESS IT!   What would I have lost by being normal?  Why couldn't I have just sucked it up and lived through the moment of awkwardness and gone on with my life, guilt-free? 

Because I'm a chicken, that's why.

The battle of fight or flight was waged and I fled.

But, I'm ok with that chickenhood.  I think anyone in my position could see the beauty to my plan for avoidance.  Plus there's always a next time, right?  (I take that back. I really hope there isn't a next time.  REALLY HOPE.)


Friday, August 16, 2013

Madness: A Rant About The Bachelorette

I've already written about my general hatred for The Bachelorette (you can find it here), but the ending of this season as GONE TOO FAR. I waited to write about it, mainly so I'd be less angry, but I'm still annoyed.  I was so furious and confounded that it has carried over for weeks.

Why am I so irate when I don't even watch the show, you ask?

Because Desiree Hartsock is making a GIANT mistake.  And young girls think that's ok.

Here's a quick recap for those not in the know:
Desiree was really into this one guy.  He was basically the only person she was interested in of the three guys she had left.  She was going to pick HIM.  She knew it, we knew, Chris Harrison knew it, the camera crew knew it - I think the only two who didn't were the other dudes.  It was obvious to anyone watching.

Then the unthinkable happened; after some soul-searching, the ONE left the show.  He said he couldn't propose to her, that he had to leave.  Desiree was devastated.  *cue sad music* She didn't know if she go on with the show, because her true love, her prince charming had left her. Her heart was shattered into a million pieces.

Luckily, she got it together enough to continue and accept another proposal from one of the two leftovers. OH GOOD.

And this, my friends, is my HUGE issue.  She was so certain that Guy A was THE ONE and when he left, he was easily replaced by The Backup.  She didn't hesitate to say yes.  WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?

Here is a girl who was yearning for this one particular guy, who thought that this guy was her soulmate, who almost couldn't go on AND YET she said yes to someone else when they proposed just 48 hours later.  I understand what it's like to want to be married, to have a husband and start a family, but I can assuredly say I would not say yes to someone simply because they asked.  Working under the pretense that you should say yes simply because you're asked is wrong, wrong, wrong.  Saying yes because you're desperate to be married is equally wrong.  I wanted to say,  "It's okay Desiree, you can walk away from the show single, I promise!"

I almost get her mentality.  Guy B (Backup/new Fiance) was nice, was really into her and he's not bad, so why not try it out and see if it works.  I'll tell ya why - because you're ENGAGED. That's weighty, man. That's a promise, an agreement, to marry one day.  That's pressure.  Who cares if he asked?  She could've said, "You know what? I'm not ready for this big commitment, but I didn't give you enough of my attention and I think you're pretty great.  Let's try dating and see what happens."  But, wait, I forgot, this is 'reality TV' and normal behavior is suspended.

In the end, I feel like she is going to hurt her new fiance.  She was so intent on having a good ending, she made one happen, possibly at the expense of this sweet, poetry writing guy.

A person can not, in real life, just jump from one intense relationship to another and have everything work out.  Yeah, yeah, I know you want to share exceptions, but I'm talking majority things here.  Your heart and mind can't flip like that.  On the reunion show, I felt as if the original THE ONE guy had asked her to marry him, she would have turned to the Backup and said, "Welp, it's been nice."  I think Backup/Fiance dude felt the same (at least his face looked that way).  It made me feel sad and uncomfortable for him and upset with her. 

Take some time between relationships.  Don't rush in.  Don't make big commitments when you know your heart hasn't had time to catch up.  Don't hurt people in order to make yourself feel good for the moment.  THINK.

Oh, and don't go on a reality dating show.


Monday, August 5, 2013

This Guy I Know: A Cautionary Tale

There is this guy I know, who this thing happened to and I thought I'd share it with you.

See, Bill* was chronically single (see also: me, prior to Mr. Wild Card).  He is a regular guy with a decent job; there's nothing remarkably wrong with him - I mean, his personality isn't for everyone, but he's not a bad guy.  I think it was difficult for Bill to find someone he connected with because of his mildly awkward & peculiar nature, but he kept trying. 

To be honest, I envied him a little.  Bill took rejection well.  When a relationship didn't work out, he wouldn't let it affect him. Faced with the same situation, I would probably lay on the floor in a dark room listening to a Smiths/The Cure remix on repeat and question if love still existed.

He even asked me for advice after hearing that I was attempting online dating for the blog.  I happily gave it to him and the next thing I knew, he was in a relationship with someone he seemed to get along with well.  I started seeing Mr. Wild Card shortly after that and there we all were, a picture of happiness and contentment. 

All I heard were good things about this girl.  She made him visibly happy (and much more pleasant). After six months of dating, Bill thought he was in love (well, he probably WAS in love) and decided to propose in a really interesting way, something really specific to her tastes.  He even had a ring made in a style she loved that was incredibly unique; no one else would have this ring.  I thought it was so sweet how he planned out every detail, how he had tailored it to her tastes.  She would HAVE to say yes.

And she did say yes...well, she said yes until she took it back.

I felt horrible when I heard the engagement had ended.  He was so excited!  He was telling everyone about what he wanted the wedding to be like and how utterly excited he was through with dating.  How did this happen?  Bill was shattered.  WHAT KIND OF TERRIBLE PERSON DOES THIS?

She apparently felt like she was too young (SHE'S OLDER THAN ME) to be married and wasn't interested in planning a life with someone right now because she wants to be selfish.


Then I remembered something Bill had mentioned in passing the week before the proposal: they hadn't discussed marriage at all.  Not even a little.  Isn't that something you customarily do before you go to all the effort of an extravagant proposal?  He had to have been confident she would say yes, but wouldn't a reasonable person broach the subject beforehand?  It was foreshadowing.

(And just so you know, Mr. Wild Card knows I'm heavily in favor and an advocate of marriage.)

I possibly nailed something on the head a bit earlier when I said, "She would HAVE to say yes."  See, Bill asked her in front of a crowd of people during a weekend away together.  Who would want to say no in a situation like that?  She probably felt pressure to say yes.  She did later sit down with him, privately, and explain how she couldn't go through with it, simply to save having to have a difficult conversation.  It saved her from being unhappy in a marriage she didn't want and, in turn, making Bill unhappy.

This story highlights how important COMMUNICATION is in an relationship.  If Bill had brought up the subject of marriage seriously, his girl might have given him some indication that she just wasn't ready to advance down that path.  One small conversation may have helped Bill to cool his jets and just enjoy their time together, instead of making a big leap to the marriage question.  

So, talk to each other. Ask questions, even the hard ones.  Otherwise, you might end up like Bill: alone with a pricey piece of jewelry.


*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and their opinion of me.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Heart, Rainbows, Sunshine & Unicorn Poop: An Update

It's been a hot minute since I wrote a post, hasn't it?

I'm sorry guys, I really am.  I guess I've been so deliriously happy in my relationship with Mr. Wild Card that the need for writing a dating blog has dwindled to basically nothing.  (Note: Mr.Wild Card takes great pleasure in saying he's single-handedly 'killed' the blog.)

Don't get me wrong, W.C. and I have the occasional disagreement, but most of the tifts we have rarely last more than a few hours.  I have to give him most of the credit for that, because I'm weirdly stubborn.  You wouldn't think that by looking at me, since I have essentially zero willpower, but I can give a world-class silent treatment.  If we are huffy at one another for too long, he'll approach me with gentleness and tell me he can't go the rest of the day upset.  I finally found someone who can meet me on a level where I don't want to give up or walk away; he makes me want to try!  Even when I'm being annoying. (Which is VERY, VERY RARE.)

He's good about wanting to work out issues and I'm working on not avoiding those issues by shutting down.  I'm good at scheduling and staying on top of commitments/generally being responsible and he's working on being more responsible.  He's making me better and he'll tell you that it's the other way around.  He takes care of my automobillllleee (DONG! DONG! GRANDPA'S TALKING TO YOU!*) and I take care of his household chores.  He makes me laugh and I make him weep with my wit.  It's fun.  I feel loved.

Bonus: Everyone I introduce him to likes him.  He's friendly, easy-going and congenial. What's more, the people he makes lets me meet somehow like me too. (No, I don't know how that happened either.  I didn't even have to pay them!)

All of that is to say, he's the best and this is probably the most healthy, two-sided relationship I've been in.


BUT we're not perfect.

In the past couple of months, I struggled with writing truthfully about everything because I didn't know what would overstep boundaries and if what I wrote might upset the most important person to me.  So, I chose not to, instead leaving the blog unwritten.

We do have struggles.  Naturally, we should.  We're two different people who've been living selfishly for a lot of our adult lives; we only had to consider ourselves for years.  There is a difficulty that comes with that and I want to share those things with you guys, because I want to be forthright and show both sides. There is a catch though: if I wrote about every argument we have, that wouldn't be fair to him, me, our relationship or even to you, reader.

I'm choosing not to use this blog as a means to vent when he does something dumb, mainly because for every 1 dumb thing he does I do 17.  I'm going to be picky about what I share and I'm hopeful you'll respect that.  Just remember I'm the one writing it, from my point of view and as judicious or unbiased as I try to be, it's still my perspective.


*Sorry for the reference, I couldn't help myself.


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Guy Who Said I Love You...After An Hour

*Preface: TO ALL MY YOUNG READERS: CONSIDER THIS A CAUTIONARY TALE! DON'T DRINK!  Well, you shouldn't be drinking anyway, but you get the point.*

A few weeks ago, I had a much needed girls' night with some of my favorite ladies.  We went and painted at one of those 'have a glass (or seven) of wine and paint this *insert inanimate object here*' places, which was surprisingly fun.  Afterward, we headed to a place where we could karaoke.  It was turning out to be a frightfully normal night.

Cut to a couple of hours into our outing - scene opens on me sitting at a table with one of the girls, making fun of people and generally minding my own business.  Another girl has stopped and is talking to a few of the other patrons; one of those patrons happens to be Drunky McGee, the hero out our story.  Drunky McGee, the skinny, dorky, obviously intoxicated guy who hit on me.  Drunky McGee, the poor soul who has gone down in my personal history as the guy who said 'I Love You,' after knowing me for a nanosecond.

When I hang out with my friends, I'm silly and loud.  I laugh a lot.  I talk to strangers in accents.  I have a fun time.  That means I usually strike up a conversation with people who approach me - you never know who you're going to meet!  (What is that old saying?  Everyone's a stranger until you meet them?  I live by that.)  So, when Drunky McGee sidled up to me and start to chat, I didn't think anything of it.  Until he grabbed my hand and started holding it.

I should have run away right then, but I didn't.  I chalked it up to the guy having a few too many beers, pulled my hand away and jumped up on stage to sing a tragic rendition of 'Lady Marmalade.'  While we were away from the table, a friend of my friends' told Drunky McGee that I had a boyfriend.  Ol' Drunky accosted me when I headed to the restroom and asked me if it was true.  I confirmed his suspicions.  He teared up.  HE ACTUALLY TEARED UP.  He went back to his table and I went on to the restroom where some girl told me all about her issues.  (It was a fun night, all around.)

Then it gets interesting - he stopped me while I was walking back to my table and said he didn't believe me.  He couldn't believe me.  I was lying!  He knew he was supposed to meet me and I was 'pushing' him away.  I kept trying to leave and he kept grabbing my arm.  (Internal dialogue: Oh Lawd, what have I gotten myself into now?)  I told him to ask my friends, but then an idea hit me: I needed to mess with this guy.  I was going to be a little crazy with him, in the hopes that he would run in the opposite direction.

As Drunky was asking my friends if I was in a relationship, they responded with a 'yes,' until I gave them a weird look.  One of them stuttered and stopped, saying something like, "Well, she did last week, so unless something happened..." 

That segue lead me perfectly into my best fake-crazy speech of all time.  It was an Oscar worthy soliloquy.  I summoned tears to my eyes and said in a shaky voice: "I'm in love with him, but I CAN'T handle it!  What do you do when you LOOOOOOVE someone so much, but can't come to terms with it?  Maybe I just need to be single! BUT I'm no good single!  I'm a good girlfriend!  I think about him ALL. THE. TIME. But does he think about me?!?!  He's so handsome and wonderful and I'm just awful!  Do you think I'm awful?  Aren't I just the worst??  WAIT! Don't answer that!  I couldn't handle if I disappointed ANOTHER person.  I just don't see why he would like me." 

Then I walked away.

It seemed to work.  Success!  I didn't see him for the rest of the night!  Until we left, that is.

As we were getting ready leave, I feel an arm around me.  It's Drunky, ready to talk.  He leans up to my ear and, well,  here's an excerpt of our (honest-to-God) conversation for your reading pleasure:

Drunky McGee: "Have you ever known that you met someone for a reason?"

Me: "Yes. Most of the time, I'm wrong."    

DM: "Have you ever felt like something is so right?"

Me: "Yeah!  These jeans I have on!  As soon as I put them on, I just knew they'd be my new favorites.  That's about it."

DM: *garbled*

Me: "Huh?"

DM: "I love you."

Me: "Oh, honey. No, no. Oh, you are drunk."

DM: "No, I'm in love with you."

Me: "Oh, honey, you won't even remember this tomorrow."

DM: "Let me come home with you.  I just want to wake up and have you there."

Me: "Oh, sweetie.  Where are your friends? You need to leave.  You need a good sleep."

DM: "I need you."

Luckily, I was saved by another friend who had been talking to Drunky earlier in the night.  I snuck out and haven't seen him since.  I assume he woke up with a raging (and well-deserved) hangover and didn't remember a single thing.

I'm just going to go out on a limb and say I think Drunky McGee had some emotional issues.  I know that alcohol impedes your ability to filter yourself, but it seemed to extended far beyond the regular things I encounter.  I was astounded.  I didn't understand where that even came from; maybe it worked on other girls?  Maybe he was trying to hustle me?  Who knows! 

Honesty moment: I also felt preeeeetty good about myself.  Some dude was all in love with me and whatnot, after just an hour.  *pats self on back*