There’s Nothing Wrong with Wanting a Wedding

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There should be a second part to that title which should be: As Long as It’s for the Right Reasons. However, that was way too long of a title. But in actuality the blog post you’re about to read is titled: There’s Nothing Wrong with Wanting a Wedding as Long as It’s for the Right Reasons.

As you all know, I got engaged this year. After we got engaged, the fiance and I sat down to talk about what we want as far as a wedding goes. There was a big part of us that didn’t want to have a wedding at all. Weddings are insanely expensive. Even if you try to budget and DIY, it can still really add up. After much debate and discussion, we ultimately decided that a wedding was something we wanted to have. The thought of having all our family members and close friends together for a big party swayed us.

As soon as we came to an agreement that we were having a wedding, the planning began. Of course, I turned to the Internet cause where else would I start my journey? As I was reading article after article about wedding tips, tricks, trends, etc., I also read the comments because I am a glutton for punishment. (I have learned time and time again that Internet comments are filled with the most miserable human beings but I can never seem to avoid reading them.) Some of the comments were helpful – newlyweds talking about what they did to bring their wedding together. Then there were a bunch of comments from people who appear to hate weddings yet feel the need to not only read articles about weddings, but also comment on them.

So many of the comments went like this. “Why would you have a wedding?” “Weddings are a complete waste of money!” “Save your money and spend it on literally anything else.”

A part of me can get the sentiment. I do believe that some people go overboard with weddings. If you have to take out a loan for your wedding, then there’s seriously something wrong and you should scale back a bit. But the comments, and even some of the articles, read as though anyone who even considers having a wedding is an idiot. And I say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a wedding. And I am not just saying that as someone who will be having a wedding next year.

Just make sure that you are having a wedding for the right reason. It’s fine to want a big poofy dress or a raw bar overflowing with shrimp and oysters. Get those frilly chair covers and splurge on a photo booth. But remember that the main point of the day is to marry your forever partner. It’s to make a commitment with someone in front of all your nearest and dearest. The party is only one day. After all the guests have gone home, the food has been eaten, and your dress has been put away, you’re left with a marriage. If that’s not the most important thing on the day of your wedding, then you’re doing it wrong and getting married for the wrong reasons.

Have a wedding. Have the kind of wedding you’ve dreamed about forever. Just remember the wedding is about you and your partner, and not just about your dream Pinterest board.

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When Did I Get So Old?

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A few months ago I went to a concert. This was a standing room only show, no assigned seats. The standing for a couple of hours at a time doesn’t bother me about these types of shows. What does bother me is the jostling around with a bunch of other people. I hate having too many people in my personal space at one time. This show stood out in particular due to one girl standing in front of me. She spent the majority of the show flailing around like a wacky waving inflatable tube man and turning around to make googly eyes at her friend who was standing behind me. I spent half of the show enjoying the act performing and the other half throwing elbows to defend my feet from being trampled by this 20-year-old dancing maniac.

While we never actually said anything to each other, we were aware of one another. I noticed her constant 2-stepping, she was well aware of my flagrant elbows. I’m sure she heard me proclaim to my fiance over 100 hundred times about personal space and rude people. And I certainly caught what she said to her friend, “I came here to have fun not sit stand around like this.” That’s when she crossed her arms and made a face that you would most likely make when imitating the line, “Get off my lawn!”

I like to think that even in my late teens and early 20s I was aware of personal space and wouldn’t have acted the way this girl did. However, I probably wouldn’t have been as annoyed with that behavior back in the day either. I would have most likely been drinking and dancing along to the music as well. Now, I just wanted to enjoy some music and get home with enough time to get my eight hours of sleep.

That concert made me realize that I am getting old. I understand that in the grand scheme of life I am not old. Statistically speaking, I have more than half of my life left to live. If I were to die, it would still be a tragedy and people would question how it happened. Old age and sleep wouldn’t be the culprit. But I do feel like I’ve said goodbye to my youth.

We all get older. We all know that one day we’re going to get older and older. But as a teen, it’s so far in the distance that it’s a fact that might as well be made up. When I was 17, turning 30 seemed like a lifetime away. But then I turned 30, and then all of a sudden I turned 33 and I was easing into my mid-thirties. It all happens so fast.

Every young person is going to one day look up and realize that the years are passing by a lot faster than they used to. We’re always told “time flies” but don’t realize it until we’re in the midst of it. It’s why Buzzfeed has at least one article a day marveling at things that came out 10, 15, 20 years ago. We can’t fathom that the shows we grew up with are turning two decades old. Sometimes a quarter of a century. (All That premiered in 1994!!!) We’re constantly left asking, “How did this happen? And how do I make it stop?”

I’m not sure how I got to be 33-years-old and I know that there’s no way to slow down this train as much as I want to. I am just going to have to accept that this is my new normal. The years are going to continue to fly by so I have to remember to savor each day.

Some of Us Have to Work for Happiness

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I am not a chill person. I am not laid back. I do not let inconveniences, whether big or small, simply slide away, easily forgotten. All my life, I have wanted to be this person. I wanted to be the cool chick. The one who didn’t stress about minor things. After 33-years, I have accepted the fact that I will never be the cool chick. I am too anxious for that to ever be me.

My anxiety and my inability to let things go tend to have a negative affect on my happiness. My default reaction is to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” When things are going bad or someone upsets me, I will immediately think about all the other things in my life that need improvement.

Happiness is something that I have to work on. I hate to admit this but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not saying I’m always miserable. I have a lot of things in life to be happy about and a ton of things that bring me joy. I just need to spend more time reminding myself of these things than other people do.

While there are plenty of people out there who are genuinely upbeat and always look on the bright side of things, I doubt that I am alone in my battle for happiness. If you’re like me and have to work a little bit harder to be happy, I hope that the following tips can help when you need to remind yourself that things aren’t always so bad.

Remind yourself of all the good things in your life and all that you have to be grateful for. It’s so easy to dwell on the bad stuff. When your car didn’t start and you spilled coffee all over yourself and it’s Monday, it’s hard to think, “Well at least I’m breathing and have a roof over my head.” But you are breathing and do have a roof over your head.* Those are things to be really fucking thankful for. 

Remind yourself daily of the things that do make you happy. Make a list if you need to because I know how hard it is to think of those things when you all you want to do is have a breakdown. Read the list everyday. Read it multiple times a day if you need to.

Don’t ever forget that list of happiness but also allow yourself to feel sad. It’s a normal human emotion and you’re not less of a person for feeling blue from time to time. Just don’t dwell on it for too long and don’t let one bad thing spill over in to so many other aspects of your life.

Don’t beat yourself up if your default reaction to life isn’t calm coolness. That’s just another thing to stress about. Instead, focus your energy on happiness.

*I recognize wholeheartedly my privilege in writing this. I have the luxury of being sad and dwelling on trivial things because I don’y have to worry about the heavy stuff like where I’m going to sleep at night.

Things Are a Lot Different in a Small Town

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As you all know, I recently moved away from New York City and it’s not going well. I never considered myself that much a of a city girl. Sure, I was taking the train alone by the age of 10 but I also owned a car and drove it regularly. I lived in the most suburban part of NYC for the last 18 years of my life so I thought I could handle a small town.

I didn’t think there would be that much of a difference. Boy was I wrong!

If you actually live in a small town, you’re probably going to roll your eyes at a lot of what I’m going to say. Considering that my town has a population of 11,000 I am not exactly sure how small it’s considered. But for me, this shit is very small. Every day something new happens that makes me think, “Holy shit, I am living in the boondocks!”

This has been quite the learning experience for me. Below are just some of the many thoughts I’ve had since moving to the boondocks.

What is up with volunteer firefighters? Coming from a city where firefighters are revered, I just cannot get behind the idea of volunteer firefighters! Any child here who dreams about growing up to be a firefighter one day, needs to be put in their place. “Sorry sweetie, fighting fires is just a hobby. You’ll need a real job.” Cause apparently risking your life to save people from fire is not worthy of a paycheck. Since this is a small town, and the surrounding areas are even smaller, I can understand not needing a HUGE staff. Maybe have some people who want to volunteer if there is a big issue. But to not have any paid staff members is absurd to me.

If I get sick or hurt here, I am going to die. As a hypochondriac, doctors are very important to me. I had reliable doctors back in Staten Island and I even had 1-2 urgent cares that I trusted for same day issues. Now I have to start all over again and at a place where the doctors do not have the best reputation. I turned to my coworkers for references when I first moved here but practically all of them do not have a primary care physician. These are grown ass adults so this boggles my mind. I finally settled on a doctor that had decent reviews. However, I couldn’t get in for 2 months and the office is 45 minutes away from my home. I need to drive almost two hours just to see a mediocre doctor. There’s also no hospital in my town so if I fell down the stairs I’d have to drag my ass to the next town over, 20 minutes away!

I question the whole cost of living theory. When I was moving up north from NYC, so many people commented on how my cost of living is going to be much cheaper. When it came to rent, they were absolutely right. In NYC, I would be living in a studio basement paying what I pay for my 2-bedroom apartment up here. But plenty of other things are either just as expensive or even more expensive than the city. I have never spent more money grocery shopping than I have here. It’s unreal. I’ll go in for just some fruits and veggies for the week and spend over $60.

Maybe taxes aren’t so bad. This is one that I NEVER thought I’d say. Every 2 weeks getting paid in NYC, I would die a little inside. “Why does half my paycheck get taken away?” Then I moved to a place with volunteer firefighters and it all made sense. NYC may take a bit too much taxes but a lot of those taxes do go to good use. I’ll take some out of my paycheck to make sure those putting out fires are compensated. I’m also willing to pay out of my paycheck to make recycling easy cause recycling is a real bitch here. In NYC you could leave a three-piece bedroom set outside and sanitation would easily take it. Here, it’s like they don’t want you to recycle. Since I’m renting I don’t have to pay for garbage pickup. However, the garbage pickup does not recycle. So if I want to do my part for this world that’s wasting away, I have to lug all my recyclables to a dumpster down the road. Now, I get this is a first world problem complaint. However, not a lot of people can be bothered with going that extra step. Where I live, my neighbors don’t recycle. They just put all their giant Amazon boxes with all the other garbage. This world is falling apart, towns should be doing everything they can to make recycling as easy and accessible as possible.

Who comes up with these business hours? My current library is off a main street. And when I say main street that’s the actually name of the street. I am convinced that only small towns have a main street. And they are usually incredibly quaint and cute. My main street is no exception. However, the hours of the shops and restaurants are bizarre. My sisters came to visit on a Monday and decided to walk around main street while I was working. They came back to complain that only TWO stores were open. There are some shops that are open for three hours a day, two days a week.

I miss rats and cockroaches. Now this is a statement I really never thought I’d say. I’m not suddenly a fan of rats and cockroaches but I’d take them over ticks, bears, and rattlesnakes. The wild creatures living in this neck of the woods freak me out on a daily basis.

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I Give Credit to People Who Move Away From Home

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I moved in the middle of March to start a new job as the Youth Services Librarian for a small library. Between moving, starting a new job, and getting engaged, I have not had much time for anything else. I will blame some of all that on why I haven’t posted regularly. Hopefully now that things are starting to settle down a bit, I can start writing in this little old blog more. Lord knows I have a lot of material to write about.

I want to start with writing about my disastrous move up North. I may be a bit dramatic with my use of the word disastrous but it has not been easy. I moved about 2 1/2 hours away from where I lived and grew up. Doesn’t sound like too far away but a lot can change when you drive 2+ hours. I moved to the Catskills so technically I am still a New Yorker. However, for anyone familiar with New York, you know that New York City and the rest of the state are two completely different species. I don’t even know why they are considered the same state. They have nothing in common. I could have moved to New Jersey (an actual different state) and it would have been less of a culture shock.

This move up was not a smooth one. For starters, I was the only one who moved up full time. My fiance is a professor so he had to finish up the semester before moving up full time. He officially moves up this week. But before this week, I would spend Sunday night to Friday afternoon by myself. I am OK with living on my own. I did it for many years before I met Jonathan. However, living on your own in a new place, where you don’t know anyone, is difficult. Once I got to my house after work, I felt trapped (I’ll elaborate on that a little later). I was in a complete rut. I would wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to sleep, and then do it all over again. Jonathan would finally come on Friday and I’d have someone to hang out with only to have to say goodbye so quickly on Sunday.

Why did I feel trapped in my apartment? Why didn’t I step outside, take a walk, try to meet new people? Let me tell you why! Cause my apartment is in the middle of nowhere. I live on a route, not a street. I don’t have any sidewalks. There are woods behind me and across the street from me. If I want to go anywhere, even the supermarket, I have to get in my car. It’s also incredibly dark where I live, no street lights. Only bears (which have already attacked our garbage cans once so far!). I am not going out after work so I can come home after dark by myself. Am I a scaredy cat? Definitely. I have no shame in admitting this. When I get to my apartment after work, that is where I stay. I am not venturing outside to get attacked by a wild beast.

Speaking of my apartment in the boondocks, I am counting down the days until my lease is up. Jonathan and I worked with our landlord and she agreed to a 6-month lease instead of a year. I am so glad of it too because I am moving to a new apartment the second I can. A part of it is because I miss sidewalks and want to be able to leave my house without having to hop in my car. But the main reason I cannot wait to leave is because I have to hold my breath whenever I take a shower or do the dishes. My lovely apartment comes with sulfur water. If you’re not familiar with sulfur water, you’re incredibly lucky. Before March, neither was I so I didn’t think to run the water before renting an apartment. However, up here in the Catskills, many buildings get their water from wells which can result in sulfur water. What’s so horrible about sulfur water? It smells like rotten eggs! And I am not being dramatic with this one. I do not even brush my teeth with the water. My bathroom sink always has at least two jugs of store bought water next to it. (My mission for less plastic this year has not been as smooth since moving to a place where the water scares me.)

The only thing that I’ve been somewhat OK with is my job. Sure, I am still learning to get comfortable with the work and my coworkers, but I’ve only been here for two months so these things take time. Overall the new job has been the one bright spot with my move. However, it did not start that way. I started my job on a Monday and by Thursday I had to go home because I felt like I was dying. I got the flu my very first week of work and had to miss 7 days of my new job. Great first impression. Thankfully my boss was understanding and told me to take all the time I needed. However, I hated having to take an entire week off of work after only putting in 3 1/2 days. I also discovered that the flu fucking sucks. I know this is common knowledge but you never fully know how horrible it can be until you have it yourself. That was my first time getting the flu and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

With Jonathan moving up full time and our lease halfway over, I am sure that things will start to go a bit smoother. But I realized that I don’t think I ever would be able to move away from home on my own. I think if I didn’t have a fiance coming up with me, I would be back home as soon as my lease is over. (Sorry job, but you’re not that special.) I guess I am not as independent as I always thought I was. But moving away from home on your own is reallyyy hard. I give a lot of credit to all those people who have done it. Kudos to you!

There Is a Lot of Pressure When You Get Engaged

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After you say “Yes” to the question “Will you marry me?,” be prepared to answer a lot more questions. And I mean A LOT. The second you tell someone that you’re engaged they will immediately start asking a million questions.

Some are fun to answer: “How did he do it?” “Can I see the ring?” “Were you surprised?”

Some will fill you with immediate dread because holy hell you don’t even know the answer to them. No, I do not know when we’re getting married. No, I do not know where we’re getting married. No, I do not know what color dresses my bridesmaids will wear. I just got engaged Aunt Lucy, take it down a notch.

After the high of getting engaged wears off, it is time to start thinking about what you want to do. And you start to realize that what you want does not always align with everyone else. Many people in your life don’t want to hear that you’re not sure you want to have a wedding. You might as well spit in your mom’s face cause it’s basically just as disrespectful. People expect a wedding even though they are not the ones paying for it.

And even if you thought you didn’t want a wedding, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all. The venues, the dresses, the flowers. It is all very magical. But do you know what else it is? SO. FRIGGEN. EXPENSIVE!

We all know weddings are expensive. But I never realized quite how expensive everything can be until I started looking at venues/vendors. Even when you cut out some of the unnecessary stuff like save the dates (I think save the dates are so ridiculous. I won’t get into it now, we’ll save that rant for another post) and thousands of dollars on flower arrangements, things still add up quickly.

If you decide to have a wedding, there are certain things you can’t cheap out on. Sure guests are not going to notice if your flower arch at the altar doesn’t have the highest quality flowers, but they will notice if you run out of drinks. If I do have a wedding and invite people, the most important thing for me is that they have a good time. Have you ever gone to a cash bar wedding or even worse, a dry wedding? I haven’t because if I did, there would have been several posts on this blog written by me bitching about how horrible the wedding was. I probably would have convinced a few of my friends to guest blog so they could give their input about how horrible of a wedding it was. I want my wedding to be a party for everyone so I wouldn’t want to cheap out on food, alcohol, and music.

And speaking of everyone, deciding who to invite and who not to invite to a wedding is all sorts of stressful. My dad’s side of the family is big. He has three sisters and two brothers, and they all have children. All of those children are older and most of them have significant others. In my opinion, it seems pretty harsh to pick and choose between aunts/uncles and cousins. Either you invite them all or you invite none. You won’t realize how many distant relatives you have until you get engaged. Your parents will insist you have to invite your second cousin’s aunt once removed.

I know a few people in recent years who have opted out of a big wedding altogether and just went down to city hall to get married. And I don’t blame them. I’m starting to think they have the right idea. No fuss, just your closest friends and family there, and the focus is on you and your spouse committing to one another.

No matter where you are in the wedding planning process, just remember to take a step back and breathe. You’re going to get pressure from your friends, family and even yourself. Try not to let it stress you out too much. Focus on what the wedding really means: you marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.

*And yes this post does mean that yours truly has gotten engaged. It happened about a month ago and I couldn’t wait to share it with all my blogging friends! And whether we decide to go big or small, I’ll be sure to bring you all along with me every step of the way.

Unexpected Perks of Being in a Relationship

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There are obvious benefits to being in a relationship. Companionship is top on the list. It’s nice to know that you have someone to be there for you during the ups and downs in life. It’s nice to have someone to come home to and sleep next to at night. Blah blah blah. We all now about these wonderful advantages to being in a relationship.

You know what’s not spoken about? All the little things. And I personally think all those little things add up to a lot more. It’s like they say, “It’s the little things.” Those little things are what make being in a relationship awesome, like:

Not having to deal with online dating apps! This is actually kind of a big thing in my opinion but it doesn’t quite hold the same merits as companionship and stability and all that other nonsense. But holy hell, deleting your online apps and knowing you don’t have to create another profile is the best feeling in the world!

Having someone else to blame when leaving a party early. “I’m so sorry, I wish I could stay later but the bf has work early.” “Oh man, I’m having so much fun but my gf isn’t feeling so well so I’m going to take her home.” Just make sure you follow the rules: If it’s your significant other’s friends, you take the blame. If it’s your friends, they take the blame.

Snuggling up to them real close after waking up from a bad dream. This perk may be exclusive to me but it’s VERY important. For someone who is slightly afraid of the dark and tends to wake in the middle of the night feeling anxious, having a warm body to hold onto is essential.

Being able to be a fatty without any judgment. Sometimes we just want to eat cookies in bed without judgment. And it’s even better if you have someone there to eat that second sleeve of Oreo cookies with. Also, it’s easier to indulge in dessert after dinner when you justify it with the fact that you’re sharing it with someone else. It’s half the calories so it barely counts.

Always having someone there to reach that awkward part in your back that needs scratching but you can’t quite reach. Sometimes you just aren’t flexible enough to get that spot yourself.

When your feet are cold, you have an instant warmer.

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You can easily adopt new hobbies. Sometimes learning a new hobby can be time consuming and expensive. You have to buy all new stuff for it and depending on how intense of a hobby, you may have to take classes. YouTube videos won’t always cut it. But if your partner knows how to do something, you can have them teach you. For FREE!

Becoming a part of a new family. You can’t pick your family but you can pick your second family. When you get serious with someone, it’s likely that you’re not only going to be hanging out with them a lot, but their family as well. You’re also creating a new family with your partner. Remember that just two can make a whole family.

Having someone to always complain to. Sure we shouldn’t complain and we should try to look at the bright side of things. But life can be fucking hard. Sometimes we just need to vent. And it’s nice to be able to bitch about a coworker or the dude who cut you off.

Getting a whole new wardrobe. Due to size/style issues this may not work for everyone but I have taken many shirts and sweatshirts from my partner and claimed them as my own.