The other night we arrived home from honeymoon to a refrigerator that contained approximately 17 semi-used containers of condiments, half of a bag of dried-up baby carrots, and four* bottles of champagne. It’s clear what our priorities were before the wedding.
Here’s another thing we arrived home to:
It was apparently so hot in our house while we were gone that this candle melted. Or at least, slumped over in a permanently drunken stupor. I heard it was 113°F here on Monday, which means it was very likely — in my best estimate — 147°F inside of our closed-up home. This prompts me to wonder: why was the weather this year so consistently cool and foggy all the way up through our wedding, and then it suddenly decided to explode violently into summer while we were off battling rain and clouds in Vancouver? Which in turn prompts me to reflect on the fact that I will clearly never be satisfied with the outcome of anything, because if I’d actually been here during the heatwave I would have spent the entire time sprawled in a damp heap on the couch, moaning woefully about my impending sweaty death. HA HA. Karmic payback, to be sure. I knew I shouldn’t have taken that last maple bar from the kitchen at work.
In other news, our mail pile contains several envelopes addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hislastname. The ones that kill me the most are the ones that are addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname. Because it’s not enough that I should take his last name, right? His first name must also be conferred on me, as if upon marriage my individual self deflated like a party balloon; collapsing and synthesizing with my husband’s. I’ve now become an extension of him — a new appendage, perhaps? Which is obviously not me overreacting for the sake of humor, or anything. Far be it from me to throw a sanctimonious fit about taking the road less traveled and expecting everyone else to already know exactly where I went on the journey.
The most frustrating thing is that not taking his last name feels like a statement, when really it is just another decision in a long string of decisions I’ll make in life. I chose the chunky peanut butter; I kept my last name. Hell, the next time I go to the grocery store, I may choose creamy peanut butter — and one day I may decide to adopt the beau’s last name after all. My current decision is not a caterwauling cry against The Patriarchy, and yet it is, because you can’t talk about family names without invoking history, feminism, social expectations, and gender norms. But at the root of all this it’s still just me, here. I made this decision because it was right for me, like how many of my friends took their husband’s last names because it felt right for them. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about being a woman is that you can’t make a life decision and have it just be about you. It’s about everyone else — how does your husband feel about you keeping your last name? What about the children? You are having children, right? Tomorrow, right? What about his parents? What about your career? But here I go, lapsing back into resentment about others’ reactions and assumptions. Just like I did during the wedding planning, when I bristled over what people thought of our budget, our dessert choices, my dress. I see now that I’m part of the problem, too. I bought into placing value on these perceived barbs, which were really just words. How easily we get trapped in this virtual hall of mirrors. Right now I’m just concentrating on finding the most accurate reflection.
So. There’s that.
And there’s also the matter of the wedding photographs. Can I tell you a secret? We’ve actually had the link to an album one of our photographers made from pictures of our wedding for one whole week, and I have not been able to bring myself to click on it. I KNOW, RIGHT?? I am not sure what’s wrong with me. It’s not that I’m afraid that looking at these photos will, to wield what I believe is a phrase coined by Meg, shake off the glitter. It’s just… I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that whenever I think of clicking that damn link — which is often — my heart starts racing and I get into that old itchy, squirmy, incredibly tense mode that immediately descends upon me whenever I watch earnest and unsuspecting people get interviewed by comedians for satire. MUST FLEE ROOM NOW.
While I work up the nerve to actually look at my wedding photos, I’ve been working on figuring out where to draw the privacy line. I haven’t remained totally anonymous — a few photos of my face have crept onto this site, and I use my real first name, but still. None of my family and only a few of my friends know I have a blog, and I’d like to keep it that way. On the other hand, this blog has been blessed to remain a congenial gathering place with a small number of kind and intelligent readers, so posting photos here will feel like sharing with old friends. Yet on the other other hand, once I post my wedding photos they are out on the internet for anyone to look at. So like I said, I’m just trying to sort this all out.
You know what might help provide some clarity? A poll:
Tell me what you want, guys! Tell me what you want*** and I’ll make it happen. Because it’s not just about me here. It’s about you. All three of you.****
And with that, I’m off to corral my thoughts. I have already begun about a half-dozen jumbled stream-of-consciousness essays on various wedding-day topics, and now I actually have to, like, whip them into nice, decent, respectable posts. You know, the kind of posts you’d take home to mother.
Yeah, wish me luck with that endeavor.
* I originally tweeted that there were merely three bottles of champagne in our fridge. I stand corrected.
** FINE! HERE! JESUS. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!
*** What you really really want!
**** I’m just sayin’ though, I was talking to these readers, you know, and, and I don’t put enough emphasis on the readers sometimes. I was talking to a reader she was talkin’ ‘bout how there was so many posts in her RSS feed, she gotta drink coffee to stay awake, she gotta read like 9200 blogs back to back and ain’t nobody really try to find out, you know, what she feel and how she feel. You know what she told me? Check it out. She said OHHH, OH OH OH OH, she said she wants some Jezebel, some Huffington Post, a little LOLcats, we’ll definitely set this party off right.