Thursday, October 28, 2010

"I Now Pronounce You Man And... What Is That Smell?"

I think all of us have probably met a female in our life at one time or another that has had a childhood dream of getting married. You know the one I'm talking about… I think many girls have pictured what their wedding might look like. Me, for example… when I was little and still nuts about horses, I envisioned an outdoor wedding in a beautiful field of wheat. I would be sitting sidesaddle on top of a gorgeous white mare with my bridesmaids atop majestic palominos. My flower girl would be on a white shetland pony, of course… my handsome groom would be stoically seated on a fierce looking black stallion with his groomsmen on top of a collection of bays next to him and the ringbearer on his own black pony. Even the minister would be on horseback - a huge, mellow gray Shire. 

I was really little. 

I laugh when I think of how ridiculous that wedding would be. Could you imagine eight or ten horses all lined up, behaving themselves and NOT pooping everywhere? Yeah… me neither. The guests would have to hold fans and air fresheners in order to make it through the wedding vows. 

In general, I haven't put a lot of thought into my wedding anymore. For years and years, I decided that marriage wasn't for me and therefore, any ideas of an actual wedding never really replaced the horseback fiasco. 

But you know who I'm talking about. That girl who has wanted to get married as long as she can remember? The one that has her wedding colors picked out way before her prom dress has been selected. She has her entire invitation list prepared by the end of her first date. When she does finally get engaged, the idea of marrying the man she is in love with is the LAST thing on her mind as she crazily goes from one vendor to another, choosing a wedding cake, flowers, dresses, locations, hires a wedding planner, fires a wedding planner, etc. You get the point. 

I used to work in the Catering Department at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach and have had my fair share of "bridezillas". I really thought that they must be crazy to let one day take so much control of their lives. I mean, shouldn't they be looking forward to everything that happens AFTER the wedding? It was strange to me… 

I've had a little too much time by myself, recently, and as a result, my thinking cap has been working up a sweat. Not about marriage… but about the idea of wanting something so bad and for so long that it is easy to get caught up in the idea of how it needs to look. I think I am starting to understand how a "bridezilla" came to be. 

One of my least favorite questions in the world is "What do you want?" This is something that I've never really been able to answer completely. And because what I want is constantly changing, what I have tends to change pretty drastically as well. I often get frustrated with myself that I can't settle on one thing and simply manifest it in my life. It seems so many people - women in particular - have such a clear idea of what they want their life to look like and find this question fairly easy to answer. I was pondering the other day about weddings and such (clearly a reaction from spending too much time watching "Say Yes To The Dress") and tried to come up with one thing that has been a solid "want" my entire life. The answer came to me pretty quickly and I knew right away why I find myself to be such a challenging partner when it comes to relationships. 

My whole life, the one thing I have wanted beyond anything else is a partner. A true partner. Someone who "has my back" and I have theirs. Being a strong woman, I always pictured being the second half of a Power Couple - not to be confused with Gold Digger. That is, perhaps the Clintons or the Obamas would be better examples than, say, Scarface. I wanted to meet someone and through our mutual love, respect and drive, build something together. Our relationship would be the foundation of an empire, of sorts. Our equal contributions would define our success. The idea of doing this on my own has never appealed to me. At the end of my life, when my beautiful home, full garage and packed calendar mean nothing, I want to reach across and grab my partner's hand as we rock slowly back and forth on our porch swing, looking across the ocean and knowing that our materialistic items mean nothing compared to the love and support that has truly brought us happiness. 

I am addicted to this vision. 

I don't envy the man who tries to be with me. This picture in my head comes up every time I have an argument with a lover or he does something that annoys me. It comes up when he pulls up in a car I don't like or has a laugh that makes dogs howl. Forget the fact that he loves me and is willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy. I am constantly wondering whether or not I can see myself with this person 30, 40, 50 years from now, on that porch. I wonder if they have the strength to make their own visions into realities and support me while I flail around, trying to find what makes me happy as a career. Yes, I have a perfection complex - as I have mentioned in a previous blog. However, it's not that I need someone to be perfect in the world's eyes - I just need them to be perfect for me. Just like a bride pictures her wedding day to go exactly as she has wanted it to since she was a little girl, I am very attached to what I think the perfect man for me looks like. 

Probably a no-brainer as to why I've been involved with well over 40 men in my life. 

Yes, this is when everyone can start feeling a little bad for Jeremy. 

Jeremy is no idiot. I think he knew what he was getting into well before I spelled it out for him. He had read many of my blogs before meeting me, after all. It's strange having someone who acknowledges where you both fall short and yet doesn't let that bother him at all, claiming that the wonderful and beautiful parts of our relationship enormously outweigh any little annoyances. I, on the other hand, am frustrated that the relationship takes work only a few months into it. I mean, if it's the "perfect" relationship for me, shouldn't I have a honeymoon period that lasts at least a little longer than two or three dates? The closest I have ever come to realizing my vision was with Eric and we didn't have any problems to deal with until our fourth year of being together. Did Jeremy and I miss that stage where we were all over each other everywhere we went? Disgusting our friends with our cute, cuddly moments and excusing ourselves to rush home in response to our physical desires? Did I blink? 

There's the idea, also, that I have put too much stock into this honeymoon period and that the reason the real work has started so soon is because we are already both committed to making this the relationship we have always wanted. Should it take work at this point? I guess that depends on what one considers "work". Jeremy and I both have different ideas on this. 

This blog cannot be wrapped up with a bow as this topic is no gift. While I am not feeling the urge to "bail" as I have so many times before when feelings of insecurity and doubt arise, I also don't want to withhold anything from anybody. Most importantly, myself. 

And since you, reader, have chosen to take this journey with me, it is you that I am accountable to as well. 

I attracted Jeremy into my life at this time for a very specific reason. I like to think it's because I am finally ready to start realizing my vision I've had for so many years. But, like the little girl with the wedding plans, it might be wise to start thinking about an alternative flavor to the cake as the red velvet I wanted for so many years may not agree with my taste buds anymore. 

So, just as I rolled my eyes in the past when observing "bridezillas" in action, I must also recognize that my own expectations may be on a pedestal too high for anyone to climb. 

This makes sense… after all, a horse wedding? Seriously?

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  1. I thought I would be married at 24 with my first GF. Then that changed to oh about 28, then 32 which I am now and I'm thinking a lot about what you just wrote. This may surprise you or not but a lot of guys think the same way you do. I think I'll finally marry at 36 but I think that what happens will happen eventually so I live my life as when its right it will happen. Wow that sounds so cliche I want to punch myself for saying that but it just makes too much sense to ignore it.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Nick - sure miss seeing you around!! Yes, I have known some men in my life that feel the same way you do. Did you ever have a dream wedding in mind? Or is that mostly a girl thing?

  3. First off, no one needs feel bad for me. I don't do anything I don't want to do. :)

    Tina and I had an interesting conversation the other day. In it, she mentioned that she doesn't have a problem moving things along quite quickly at the beginning of a relationship, as she and I obviously have done. This is by mutual choice; it is not a case of one of us pulling the other along by the hair kicking and screaming.

    I believe, however, that if things move along quickly in the beginning, the "work" is also going to come upon the relationship faster and with more intensity. We are complex human beings, and when the idiosyncrasies and habits of the other become evident, there is often a period of adaptation (and sometimes frustration) that accompanies. I believe this is a normal, if not expected, part of any relationship.

    Confession: I can be flat-out weird sometimes, as Tina is discovering. I'm certainly not an easy person to date either...

    I would be very interested (as would Tina, I think) in hearing other readers' perspectives on this.

  4. Wow. I too had the "dream wedding" all planned out in my head while growing up. The whole church thing, lots of family, friends, the perfect wedding. Thought I would be married by 23 have my family started at 25 and have my life set. Yet life had it's own plan with me & took me on a completely different path. Needless to say I am now 35 and just had my first child with of all things my High school sweetheart who I am now finally engaged to. It took us 17 yrs of being off & on again to realize we truly were soul mates & belonged together.
    Never underestimate your own being. You know what you want & you should go after it & find your "true love". Believe me they do exist & sometimes it takes yrs w/the same person to even realize this. I always knew somehow in my soul that Danny & I were soul mates but it took a lot of yrs & a lot of different directions in our lives to realize that we were supposed to be together and be the ones on the porch swing. looking out @ the ocean just content to have & be w/each other.
    Just never sell yourself short, Tina. You will find the right person who completes you & when you do you will know it in your soul!

  5. Jeremy - I agree with what you said, if you move fast then the "work" comes in to play a lot quicker than normal. If you care and love each other enough to commit as you two have so quickly in the beginning then that shows that you have the determination to put your all into this and make it work together. If it works it works if not then at least you both know you put your all into it and tried. I feel that as long as you're honest and truthful with yourselves & w/each other then that's all that matters in the end.

  6. Karrie, thank you so much for your insight and feedback. It's crazy sometimes how we think we have it all figured out just to be proven wrong time and time again by the Universe, or God or whatever. All I know is that I've spent most of my life being a planner with only about 30% of the things I thought would happen actually happen! So, now, with the help of Jeremy (thank you for your wonderful comment as well), I'm trying to let go a little and just let things unfold naturally. Being a control freak is actually a lot more difficult than just enjoying the way things came to be and the direction they might be going in.

    I dunno... life sure is funny, isn't it?

  7. Hey Tina!

    After reading your post the first thing I thought of was "Why not get married on a horse?" Seems like a good idea to me. If it's a dream or passion of yours why change it?

    When you do finally get married will you be able to look back and say "yeah, I did it right and ohhhh man that was fun." Or will you look back with regret? This can be applied to any aspect of your life too.

    I think you already know what you want and absolutely have the means to achieve it. So now, you just have to hold onto that dream and keep moving forward!

    I thought this may be your roadblock right here Tina..."the idea of wanting something so bad and for so long that it is easy to get caught up in the idea of how it needs to look."

    Sometimes it can be easy to become so focused on one area that we develop tunnel vision in our efforts to achieve that area in our lives. If it doesn't match what we think it should be in our minds, then we discard it. But what if we took off those blinders, and opened up our eyes to start looking around? Maybe we'll find that what we were looking for has been right under our nose the whole time. Or maybe...dare I say...what we thought we were looking for was not what we really wanted in the first place.

    Do what makes you happy, walk through life with a smile, and the rest will follow. :)