Tuesday, May 09, 2006

California

I was emailing my good friend Aloysius yesterday and she asked how I was holding up, and unlike with most of my friends, I didn’t say, “”Oh, fine.” I told her I didn’t know.

Truthfully, I'm really not sure how I'm holding up. At various parties, well meaning people keep asking me, "How's The Bride?" and it makes me want to start crying. Like I don't even have a name anymore, just Bride. Let the loss of identity begin!

I'm reading this marginally helpful book called The Conscious Bride that says to try to find some time to delve into the panic and sadness and loneliness WHILE you're having it, because it's better to get the mourning over with beforehand than have it linger un-inspected after the wedding. Apparently the old single person identity has to die and be grieved over before the new married one can be born and healthy. The book has some good points, but it should really have been a pamphlet instead of a book, and it has a ton of filler.

But the gist of it is that I need to take a little alone time and try to write in my journal and sort all of this stuff out, like how I feel about losing my name, and how I think getting married will change my relationship with my family and friends and with A.S. Because it does change, and I don’t want to get married and be unprepared. The last thing I want to do is spend my whole honeymoon boohooing.

I know that it will all come out okay, and that I love A.S. and want him to be my husband. But it’s healthy to be sad about it. I just have to find the TIME to just go ahead and be sad. Right now all the checklists and controls and planning are just a means of avoiding the real issues.

I asked Al if she thought I was the whiniest bride, and she said it was refreshing to know that she’s not the only one who's suffering a complete identity crisis. When a silly friend of hers recently got married, Al didn’t think she worried about any of this stuff. It makes me wonder what sort of blinders a person goes into a marriage when they don’t worry at all. Kind of like the little 21-year old bride I saw at the wedding dress shop who was trying on the ridiculous satin mermaid dress. If you don’t know who you are, then I guess you have no worries about losing that person.

It just seems ignorant NOT to be scared. Does that make sense?

In other news, I’m in San Diego at a conference, which is pretty fun...San Diego, not the conference. I spent all day yesterday in a Starbucks doing work, since the gd hotel didn’t have my room ready until 5:00. Bastards. They did give me a sweet room with a panoramic view overlooking the entire bay, plus a sweet king sized bed with a down mattress. It’s like sleeping on a cloud.

I’m also getting so much more accomplished than usual, so work is great...except for the part about me probably getting fired tomorrow. I’m getting nailed for a whole bunch of shit that should really be on someone else’s plate. This person hasn’t helped me with a single part of this conference, and now she’s getting credit for everything while I just look like I’ve been twiddling my thumbs. And I have all these great ideas that are just fizzling out for lack of any support, and it’s really frustrating. San Francisco is looking better and better.

Wow, this huge sailboat with grey sails is streaking past my window. God, I love California.

6 comments:

barbie2be said...

chin up, miss J. what you are feeling is totally normal.

back a million years ago when i worked as a wedding planner i had brides that got that it was ok to be happy about getting married and still be sad about the changes that would happen in their life as a result.

it sounds like you are on top of things. so hang in there, enjoy san diego and chill!

Painter Beach Girl said...

Change is hard, even if it is good and exciting, it can still be fearful. Fear of the unknown is the hardest, no matter how sure you feel about so much. Take it one step at a time.

Marcheline said...

Marcheline's two-step program to banishing fear of identity loss through marriage:

1. Don't change your name. You've been Jemima Whatsis for your whole life - A.S. fell in love with you while you were Jemima Whatsis. Why change it? You don't have to give up your name to be married. You wouldn't give up your favorite pair of jeans, your hairbrush, or any other personal items, so why your name?

2. Keep your own bank account, separate from his. With your own name on it. Just your name on it. Even if you guys share all the expenses equally, it will give you a real sense of still having "your own money" that no one else can get hold of. In case things should ever get bad down the road, this is a really good idea. Don't plan for things to GO badly, of course, but set it up so that IN CASE they do, you're not left high and dry. Thinking safety never hurts. An added plus is that it will keep you from feeling your identity is slipping away from you.

These helpful hints have been brought to you by the world's most independent, identity-loving woman, who got married AND retained her identity.

8-)

barbie2be said...

i have to completely agree with marcheline.

keep your own bank account. if anything ever did happen down the line(goddess forbid) it will make things a lot easier. i am STILL cleaning up the mess sharing my account with my ex made and the divorce has been final for 8 years.

Jemima said...

I probably will keep a bank account, but A.S. got a little sad when I told him I was considering keeping my name. He was so proud that I would be Mrs. A.S. and so I just didn't have the heart to argue about it. And a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't a big deal, so maybe I will adjust.

But even our minister suggested keeping our bank accounts separate, because then you don't have to keep track of checks and who used which one. And when we buy Christmas presents and such, you don't have to haggle over the cost.

roo said...

I ended up keeping my name, for a bunch of reasons: I wanted to retain a sense of my independent self, for one; for two, I grew up with a girl that had what would have been my married name-- which just felt weird and made the name feel like it really wasn't mine; for three, when I asked Jeff if I should change my name, he said, "Why the hell would you do that?"

You wouldn't think that in these modern times the fact that I have a different last name from my husband would cause any trouble, but you'd be surprised. I don't regret my choice, but sometimes I do feel a little sad that if we have kids, I'll be the only one in the family with my last name. And Jeff's last name decidedly does not hyphenate well with mine.

It is tough, dealing with the changes of getting married. I did not feel bad about leaving single-dom at all, but I was completely blindsided by the societal expectations people have of women who are wives, and how getting married doubles (at least) all the complications of dealing with family without killing anyone.

And the first year after getting married was very difficult, even though we'd lived with each other beforehand. Suddenly, the trump card of, "Shape up, or I'm outta here!" doesn't work anymore, which can be a little frightening.

But it gets better. Not necessarily easier, but better. And I still think marrying Jeff was the best decision I've ever made.