There was bad news, too.

I went to court to finalize the arrangements for my middle son, Dallas, to go live [elsewhere] for the semester. And then, [magically, in a process I’m not supposed to describe in detail], my child support got reduced to nothing. And that wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it weren’t for [the emotional ugliness surrounding the process].

And I wrote a long, angry entry about it here. (And some of you responded with very kind, helpful comments. Thanks, y’all.) And then I deleted that post, because there’s no use filling up my blog with [that ugliness]. You know?

So, aside from the fact that I miss my middle son and I’m even broker than I was before, life is still very good and there’s no use dwelling on the ungood parts. Right? Right.

1/9/07: And now that I’m having to go back and censor this entry, lest it invoke more ugliness, let me say again how happy I am to have removed myself from my previous life. Thank God.

being engaged

Tad and I got engaged for a few personal reasons, particular and special to him and me and no one else. Namely, this ring symbolizes a promise to each other, and that promise is, “I promise you didn’t just spend five years dating me for nothing.”

I explained the word engagement to my kids. I told them it usually means the fiances are planning to marry in a year. But that we aren’t getting married in a year. “How long?” my youngest asked. “I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe five years from now. Maybe two years. But probably more than two years. I don’t know.”

The kids accepted that answer, but no one else will. :)

On Friday evening, while visiting Tad at his place, I fielded my third or fourth phone call from congratulatory friends and family members, all of whom were eager to help us plan the wedding. RIGHT NOW. I was explaining to the caller that we wouldn’t make plans until we saved up enough money to have the kind of event we wanted. The caller was trying to persuade me that we should have an inexpensive wedding this spring. Tad was on his second such phone call. We hung up and turned to each other over the turkey spaghetti dinner Tad was cooking.

“Man,” said Tad. “I thought getting engaged would make people quit asking us quesitons. But now it’s even worse.”

I nodded sympathetically.

He said, “I’m telling people, ‘She’s not pregnant. We don’t have to get married right now.'”

“People are excited,” I said.

“People need to mind their own damned business,” he said.

I told him it was a good thing, that people were so eager to see us married. It meant that they thought we’d be happy together. He grudgingly agreed, then we made up a unified strategy for dealing with other would-be wedding planners. Then we agreed we wouldn’t talk about this anymore, for at least a year. Then we ate our spaghetti.

After dinner, we went to a friend’s art thingie, where a local string quartet played. While we listened to them, it flickered through my mind that it might be nice to have this string quartet play at our hypothetical wedding, however many years in the future. But I decided to keep that thought to myself. I didn’t want Tad to think that I’d been infected with the fever.

After their first piece was done, Tad leaned over to me and whispered, “We should get them to play at our wedding!”

On Saturday, we went to Barnes and Noble so I could spend the last of the gift certificate my dad got me for my birthday. I couldn’t help looking through the wedding mags. It’s my right! This ring on my finger means I’m allowed! I picked out three of the least obnoxious seeming, then added something called Asian Bride to my stack. In case, you know, I decide to wear an Asian wedding dress instead of a white one. Well… I’m pretty sure I’m not going to wear a white dress. Not a white wedding dress, in any case.

Asian Bride turned out to be for Indian weddings only. (However, those Indian wedding dresses are pretty freaking awesome. I wish I had the slightest excuse to wear one.) The other magazines seemed to fall into one of two categories:
1. Magazines for brides who only care about looking like princesses on the biggest day of their entire lives.
2. Magazines for couples who care about their wedding guests… and thinking up a million ways to force their “personality” down their guests’ throats.

I bought an issue of The Knot (Texas edition) because it had the nicest photos and design ideas worth knocking off for cheap. I also bought five gazillion non-wedding magazines. Thanks, Daddy! At home, I flipped through about a quarter of the Knot before thinking, “This is ridiculous. We don’t need all this stuff,” and putting it aside.

That night, Tad was visiting me at my house. I came upon him in my bedroom with my wedding magazine in his hands and a look of distaste on his face. “This is ridiculous. I don’t think we need all this stuff. Do you?”

No. No, I don’t. We don’t need escort cards or signature cocktails or monogrammed favors or save-the-date cards. Shoot, we don’t even need bridesmaids or groomsmen or big white wedding dresses. We decided it right then, as we flipped through the magazine. No superfluous expense. No symbols without meaning.

My friend Yvonne passed on really good wedding planning advice. She said you’re supposed to decide which two elements of the wedding are most important to each of you. Then, you spend your budget on those and forget the rest. For Tad and I, the two most important things are food and music. We’ve already talked about it and decided that, years ago, even back before we ever admitted we might get married some day. Third most important thing, to me, is flowers. But I think we can just have it in a garden, then, and not worry about buying too many.

We’ve thrown a lot of parties together, and I’ve always been pleased by how well they go, and how our party priorities dovetail. So I think our hypothetical, years-from-now wedding should be just fine. The more we agree not to discuss it, the more I realize that we’ve already, pretty much, telepathically planned the whole thing.

“There’s no use getting married until we can afford a bigger house,” I said.

Tad agreed.

“I wish… Don’t think this is weird, but I kind of wish we could get married and then not live together,” I said. “Just get married and then keep doing the same exact stuff we do now.”

“That’s what I’ve been thinking, too!” he said. “Wouldn’t that be cool?”

Maybe we’ll end up doing that. Just have a tiny, beautiful wedding, with good food and good music, for our family and friends. Then go back to living our lives and being happy.

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Posted in domestic, my sex life, parenting on 01/08/2008 12:13 pm

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