Tag Archives: marriage

everything


everything noun, the entirety of a specified or implied class

cooper_kiss

“I wasn’t exactly sure what had just gone on out there on that dance floor. Whatever it was it was crazy. It was confusing. It was dangerous.  And I really, really liked it.”

-Kevin Arnold

I’ve had this post in my for some time and since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, it makes sense to post it now…I think. Way back when I was a pre -teen, I (like every other girl I knew) had a massive crush on Kevin Arnold and obsessively watched the Wonder Years. I wasn’t technically allowed to watch it, adult themes and all, but I snuck it in on the little black and white TV I had won selling chocolate bunnies during the Easter fundraiser at St. Anastasia’s Elementary.

My favorite all time moment from the Wonder Years is this clip at the school dance….

I was probably around 13 years old when I saw this episode and it has been my favorite ever since. To me, this is the moment when Winnie and Kevin realize that they love each other…and all starting with the most messy and imperfect of moments at the school dance when the night seemed to have been ruined. Thirteen year old me didn’t know it then, but this is a pretty accurate depiction of love, particularly married love. The person that you’re with is everything and you are (or should be) everything to that other person….and that’s not always roses and sunshine.

When I say everything, I don’t mean it in some mushy romantic “you complete me sense” or that you have no identity and have been melded into one being yadda yadda. There is some of that I suppose, but I also mean it in the messy, inconvenient shit hitting the fan sense. Being everything to someone also means that sometimes they are your problem – the one you wouldn’t have if you were solo. They are the consistently unwashed dishes in the sink or the empty toilet paper roll left sitting in the bathroom.  They are the bickering about little things on the way to big events and the secondhand depression and sadness you experience when something has gone wrong in their life.  Being someone’s everything and having someone who is everything has no limits or bounds. When you love someone, you get the whole enchilada – the good and the bad that the other person probably doesn’t even entirely know about themselves yet. It’s stressful, scary and may even make you want to run for the hills at times.

But everything is also that connection that happens when Winnie and Kevin begin to dance…when the bad of what happened earlier transitions into a magical something else. When the talking stops and the music fills the space and all we hear are the Stylistics singing about “everything” but we feel so much more.

Too often we view love as a walk on the beach at sunset or the photo perfect moments we manage to capture at weddings and birthday parties.  Those things are definitely a part of being in love, but they are not everything. To me, everything is knowing how to fold your husband’s tshirts just so because he likes them that way. It’s the tension you can feel in the house after an argument, the burnt dinner that led to take out Chinese. It’s watching Anchorman while in labor with your first child and crying endlessly together for the dog that passed away unexpectedly.  It’s nights spent sleeping on the sofa because you can’t agree and in the morning forgetting what it was you were fighting about and going out for pancakes. It’s spilled milk, flat tires and strep throat – all on the same day. Love is excruciatingly everything when you are lucky to have it. It’s confusing. It’s dangerous…and we really, really like it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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sponsalia


sponsalia noun engagement or marriage

 

When I was married, we had no money so I bought a dress on sale at David’s Bridal for $500 – including all of the crap that goes with it – and my sister in law did my hair. I bought the minimal flowers – daisies – a few bouquets and boutoniers from a flower shop just because I liked it’s name – “Consider the Lilies.” I found a photographer who taught at RISD part time and hired him on the cheap along with disposable cameras on the tables. We chose a wonderful old gothic church that didn’t need decoration and rented an old mansion called the Arcade in Roger Williams Park Zoo for the reception. When the rain poured down that day, we still had outdoor photos on the deck and micro brewed beer from Trinity Brewhouse, who catered for us. We hired our favorite live jazz band from the Custom House in Providence for music and everyone danced and even sang on stage. The day for us was a celebration of who we were together and all of the things we loved and shared in the place that we met and called home. It wasn’t about looking like a model in my photos or 2 inch thick paper stock invitations embossed with our signature logo. We didn’t prance through corn fields holding hands in the sun beams or stare into each others eyes under the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk for engagement photos either. We had no money so we had to be creative, and I am very happy for that..

The marketing of marriage is constantly thrust upon me, whether it is in magazines or Facebook, and I find it truly hilarious. I especially love looking at the glamour shot engagement photos. Everyone has the same shot in Grand Central and Central Park – you know you’ve seen it too. I would think the last thing I would want is a photo that looks just like everyone else’s – but alas, when I used to work at “the Blue Box” people traded bridal photographers like Garbage Pail Kids. I think it may be a status symbol here in the Big Apple, oddly enough.

And the dresses. My office used to be across from the famous Amsale on 5th Avenue so many of the girls I worked with would purchase dresses there for their big day. My poor little Gloria Vanderbilt whose lace hem I thought was so pretty and understated looks like some sad schmata compared to the runway Moniques and Veras I have seen, but I loved it nonetheless. It’s absurd that there are entire television programs devoted to wedding dresses – more than one! The Lifetime network probably has 3 alone. Women in New York also trample each other for off priced Vera Wangs on a certain day of the year. I’ve seen it on the evening news.

If I could do it all again and if I actually had some cash this time, I wouldn’t really change anything about our day. Maybe I would have nicer flowers or more champagne, but we created our own day and I haven’t been to a wedding like it before or since. When I look at our photos I don’t relish how perfect the lighting or staging is, I just marvel at how young and happy we looked. It’s been almost ten years, 2 houses, 1 dog and a baby later. We have wrinkles, have lost some hair and gained a few pounds. So maybe I didn’t look like the most awesome princess in the universe on my wedding day. I have never been one to want that in the first place. I can gladly say that as great as my wedding day was, my marriage has been far greater. I’d rather have incredible photos of each other from all of the places we have travelled then some schlocky picture post card I can send so people think I’m in love.

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