This whole marriage "thing"

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So the point of last week’s road trip was not only visiting with family, but also a fun engagement party, the subject of marriage has been the hot conversation topic.

Since becoming engaged, I’ve been talking to a lot of friends and family who have been married for a while to get their thoughts. Everyone has an idea on what it takes to “make it work”.

Obviously, I’m very conscious about being a good partner, friend and spouse, so I’ve been listening.

Here’s some of the thoughts I’ve gathered so far.

From Grandmother of The Good Man, her advice to me was to “have a room of your own in the house…because you’ll want your alone time”. I replied, “yes, that’s seems true…” She leaned forward and fixed her eyes steadily on me. “No, I’m serious. You are going to want your own space!”

Point well taken, ma’am.

From my Aunt in Arizona, her advice was to work to keep things from being boring. Can’t disagree with that one, seems easy to slip into. I have a couple friends who got married and slid right into the sweatpants and television mode. I suppose if it works for the couple, that’s ok. But I think my Aunt has good advice.

From my own mom, she told TGM about the rather expensive toaster her own mom gave her for her wedding present. My dad, the ever tinkering electrical engineer, kept that thing toasting for the better part of forty years. Mom said that even when the toaster died, she kept it polished up and on a shelf. She said, “I figured that if we had that toaster, we had a marriage.”

So maybe not the toaster itself, but a talisman, a symbol, a “something to hang on to” when the seas get rough is important.

I like it.

A friend at work who despite being about my age, has been married over twenty years (very YOUNG bride…wow!) says that for her, she laid down the law early on. For example, they have two beautiful children. She’s made it clear that if they part ways, the kids are hers, no dispute.

This was along the same lines as the advice from the dad of my best friend…

He also said that both sides should set down the rules early on.

It all seems a bit rigid to me, but maybe it’s not the “rules” so much as “these are the lines that cannot be crossed”.

Mom of my best friend, upon hearing this advice about the rules said, “yes, that’s true, I told him if he cheats on me I’m going to jail because I’m taking him out”

Wow. But hey, there’s no gray area there, now is there?

I do think it’s good to communicate “these are my non-starters” from the beginning. TGM and I have done some of that already…entering into this relationship later in life, we both had some previous experiences…so there were a couple “if you are going to xyz then I’m out” moments.

Other things heard are:

“Keep your own interests, don’t make your spouse the only thing in your life”…ok, good.

“Communicate, communicate, communicate”…also good and one already well used. In fact, I know I’m guilty of sometimes OVER communicating…but I do have to say, if TGM and I find a disagreement, it’s over pretty quick because we’re good at talking and being honest about what’s going on. (again, that “late in life” thing helps)

“Keep laughing.” Ah yes.

All good things to ponder.

Anyone else got thoughts? If you don’t want to put in comments, shoot me an email. I’m all ears.



Aw, who is that cute girl caught in the headlights?

That would be, you know, me.

Under 60 days out from “the big event” and my cool, calm demeanor has cracked.

Silly me to think that people to whom you pay an exorbitant amount of money would, you know, just DO their jobs.

I thought it was ridiculous when The Good Man told me early on we needed to manage these people. Nah, silly me thought. People will behave like professionals until they prove themselves otherwise.

Ah the proofs. So painfully coming in otherwise.

I think I understand how some people become Bridezillas.

I don’t want to be a Bridezilla. I want to be a Bridecoolgirl. Or Brideprettyprincess.

My work life is pretty negotiation intensive. I spend 40+ hours a week telling suppliers how much they’ve screwed up and to get their collective sh– together.

I try, oh do I try, not to do this in my personal life. Separation of church and state and all that.

Ooooh but no, they are making me get out my Incredible Procurement Hulk ninja skills.

Believe me…you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

This is supposed to be a party. When does it get fun?

And if I hear ONE more person tell me, “Oh don’t worry! That day will be all about YOU!”…..

Come to me…

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Sweet precious weekend.

Glorious, tasty two days of freedom from the shackles that bind.

I need it.

Crave it.

And yet…here I am at work. I have more meetings yet to go today. Many more. One of them will be rather ugly.

So I’m still on an uphill trudge.

But other than the weekend, I have something to keep working toward. See, last night I had a conversation with my best good friend. If you can believe it (I can’t) we celebrate twenty years of friendship this year. Mind boggling.

She makes her residence in Las Cruces and graciously offered to throw a backyard “together” for The Good Man and me and a variety of our friends. It will be a chance to catch up with my New Mexico familia and I couldn’t be MORE excited to be there.

I mean, it’s not just seeing old friends, hugging my beautiful godkids, breathing clear desert air, seeing mountains in the distance, resting, not working, but also one big reason……

I’m running about a quart low on green chile.

The rigors of model-dom

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Subtitled: I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.

Or, er, yeah I do.

I actually get out bed at 6:00 in the ayem (grunt) to PAY someone to be personal paparazzi for me and The Good Man.

Today was our engagement photo day. Part of the package deal we got with our wedding photos.

Well all righty, then.

I was terribly nervous and not terribly prepared. Yesterday I realized that my nails and toes were a MESS and we had dinner out with friends last evening. Time just ran out.

So…I had a “special” offsite meeting at work and at least got that cleaned up.

I agonized over what to wear. So did TGM. We’re both awfully independent cusses, so really, we didn’t consult with each other much on color or style. And yet, we intuitively ended up blending together just right (we’re all pycho psychic that way).

I wore a purple patterned dress with some fun red shoes. TGM wore a blue button down, nice jeans and his new leather blazer (he looked hoooooooot).

We trudged up to San Francisco for a variety of locations for the shoot.

It was kind of a crazy day, one of those oddball times where nothing seems to come together and then yet it did. Our photographer forgot her camera battery, so right away off we went to obtain a new one…until she remembered she had a spare “emergency” one tucked in her bag. She was terribly embarrassed but need not have been. We ALL do stuff like that…

Later I got dive bombed by a little blackbird in the park that I guess wanted some hair for it’s lnest because it tugged out a few strands and *freaked* me OUT.

All weird sh*t aside, once we got going, it all came together. Our photographer is really great and super creative and very professional.

Who knows if the pictures all came out ok or if TGM and I just ended up looking dyspeptic in all the shots. Could go either way.

But at least TGM and I had some fun ideas for locations. Our photog says she gets a little tired of all the same locations in SF. Baker Beach (with the Golden Gate in the background…you’ve seen this photo…over and over and over), Palace of Fine Art (a MAJOR wedding photo location…just, ugh) and hanging off a trolley car (uh…no).

Instead we picked Nob Hill, North Beach and AT&T Park.

We have a few weeks for the photographer to get up uploaded so we can see how they all came out.

But for today. Whoosh, am I tired. I mean, really tired. How can posing and smiling big cheese and kissing my handsome man wear me out so much?

But it did.

Ah well, this is the next milestone in our journey toward getting hitched. Just over 70 days remain.


Group Therapy

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A personal blog really is just a form of confessional, right? No priest or therapist but a forum to air your issues.

With that in mind, I need to talk about a *painful* recent incident. It’s taken me these many days to be able to discuss it without wincing.

You see, as you know, I’m soon to get hitched to The Good (nay WONDERFUL) Man.

And as such, I need to wear what they call a “gown.”

I’ve worked for nine years at a company in which our multi-billionaire CEO wears old jeans with large visible holes. And we’re a company full of engineers. You can never set the dress standard terribly high with engineers.

So the standard of dress in my world has dropped considerably.

Once upon a time, I wore dresses and panty hose to work almost every day.

Now, it’s real, real hard to get my heiny into a pair of hose. I mean, why?

(Which begs for a slight aside…on the night that my love and I were engaged, I knew we were going to a REALLY nice place for dinner. Wanting him to think I’m a class act, I got out a dress from the back of my closet and bought a new pair of hose. My love observed the shimmy/shake/jumping dance it takes to get into those things and through hysterical laughter said, and this is a direct quote: “Never do that in front of me again.”)

Obviously with all this in mind, the thought of actually purchasing a wedding dress scared me sh–less. It took my best friend flying in from Las Cruces for the weekend to get me to do it. God bless her.

Once the dress was procured, the dress-making people told me, emphatically, that I had to go to Nordstrom to get measured and fitted for a “foundation garment”. (For those not paying attention, that’s a bra in street speak).

Well. If I was traumatized by going to buy a dress, can you imagine what this bit of news did to me?

I was immediately taken back to my youth. Twelve maybe? My mom took me to the Mervyn’s at Coronado Center in Albuquerque where a severe, middle aged woman roughly measured my burgeoning assets, and picked out the ugliest sturdy white device she could sell. No flowers. No lace. A utilitarian boob holding device.

To be fair, my mom did nothing wrong. She was being a good mom. No one could have known how traumatizing that would be for me. But it was. Traumatic.

So, needless to say, I’ve been avoiding the “get measured for a bra” task on my list of “to do’s” for the wedding.

With the day of my first dress fitting well nigh, this last weekend I had to “do the deed”.

I reluctantly trudged into Nordies and waited in line for one of the nice women working there to help me.

As I waited, it seemed the sturdy middle-aged woman with the Eastern Bloc accent was going to be the first finished with her customers, and would be the one assisting me.

FLASHBACKS FROM ‘NAM! Or Mervyn’s. Anyhow.

Much to my pleasant surprise, a young lady hidden behind Helga or Gilda or Gerta hung up the phone she was on, stepped forward and said to me, kindly, “how can I help you?”

I quiveringly told her I was getting married soon and was, to my own utter disbelief, going to be wearing a strapless bra and needed a garment to wear under.

She smiled kindly and said, “do you need to be measured?”

I woefully nodded.

Together we went to the dressing room where she quickly measured my assets (less burgeoning now, more succumbing to gravity).

She left the room to pick out items to try on. I stood there, shivering like a Chihuahua, waiting.

She brought in a few choices. Said cheerily, “ok, let’s try these on!”

She took one off the hanger, opened it up and held it out to me.

I complied.

She said, “Bend over and shake into it.”


“Go ahead,” she urged.

I complied.

She fastened it up behind me.

Oh dear god. I am now wearing this contraption. I. Can’t. Look.

“Oh, now that’s not bad,” my new intimate friend Lilly, chirped.

I looked. Really, it wasn’t that bad. But it made my generous assets, uh…how to say this…made them burble up over the top. Many women like this. I do not. I prefer the “keep ’em stable” approach.

So we moved on to the next one. Shake, shake, fasten.

Hmm. I looked. This one not so very bad at all. I raised my arms up (the litmus test of a strapless device). Everybody stayed where they should.

Lilly pointed out that I was “getting good separation” which sent me reeling back to those old Platex bra commercials, “lifts and separates!”

So ok. We shook, shook into a couple more and decided that device number two was a winner!

Ok, so bra is done. That wasn’t so bad.

Now we needed a garment for the rest of the stuff that has to look good in a nice dress.

Out came the Spanx. You’ll recall the “Spanx and a sash” advice previously discussed.

So I was cool with the Spanx idea.

Until my little friend Lilly suggested I should get a “heavy duty” pair in a size smaller “to really hold you in”.

Uh. Well. Ok.

So she brought in this wrestler’s suit. Which is appropriate, because that’s what we had to do to try it on.

Lilly actually chose to HELP ME with this task.

This was more than a shake, shake, folks.

As we grunted like overworked longshoremen to get the device installed, about halfway through the job, I started laughing.

I remembered, “never do that in front of me again” and wondered what The Good Man would have to say about all this. Two women wrestling a recalcitrant pair of Spanx. Hot? Yeah, probably not.

Not to be deterred, Lilly demanded that I focus.

Give it up for Lilly’s tenacity. She got that damn thing on me.

There I stood in all my pre-matrimonial glory. Highly steel belted Spanx lashed to a sturdy strapless bra, all my bits and pieces sucked in to within an inch of my life.

And I looked at me in the mirror and said, “yeah, ok, that will work”.

Blessedly, on the removal, the Spanx shot off of me like Evil Knievel out of a cannon, and I was free to breathe once more.

The rest of the day I walked around like a chastened dog, tail between my legs, terribly embarrassed but glad I got the “framework” for my new pretty dress.

It didn’t erase the “incident” at Mervyn’s in the early years, but it helped. Turns out “getting measured” isn’t all that terrible. I also bought a couple of pretty, nicely fitting bras for everyday wear.

With lace! Man, has bra technology improved.

Wonder if my best good friend and Matron of Honor will be as kind to me as Lilly was when it comes to getting those Spanx back on…

She has until August to think about it.