For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh Geez

So, you might have read... I'm getting married!

Which is awesome. I've waited 32 years for a man this wonderful, and he is so very worth the wait. He is gorgeous, kind, respectful, generous, loving, sexy, funny, and uber-huggable. The quintessential "keeper." So I'm pretty sure that somewhere during those 32 years, I had the typical little-girl dream wedding planned down to the last detail, with the big pouffy dress and the rose petals and the decorated church pews, and all of my friends lined up alongside me, wearing matching gowns.

But at some point, while I was waiting... I stopped wanting that. I'm almost certain that my [ex] best friend's wedding was the turning point. We were young (too young to be getting married, in my opinion), she lived in New Hampshire and I in NY, and I was a bridesmaid. That wedding cost me easily $2000, between travel, bridesmaid junk, and gifts. $2000 is a nice chunk of change when you're 21 and not living at home. She was my first experience with Bridezilla and she freaked me the hell out. Where was my sweet, funny friend? Gone. She actually asked me, during one of the MANY dress fittings, what I could possibly be thinking by taking on such a busy schedule (working full-time and taking 9 credits at night towards my Bachelor's) when I knew she was getting married??

Um, ok.

But I digress. The point is, three days ago I was eloping.

Somewhere along the line, the pouffy-dress-in-a--packed-church fantasy became a flowing-gauze-dress-under-a-trellis-of-wild-roses-on-a-beach-in-the-Greek-Isles fantasy. I'm not even talking about a "destination wedding" where you make people spend inordinate amounts of money just to attend. I'm talking about a peaceful, simple ceremony somewhere away from it all. Where guests are welcome, but unlikely. Where I don't have to spend painstaking hours poring over invitation embossings or seating arrangements. Where the exchange of vows would be witnessed by ....pretty much no one. After all, it's our wedding and we're the only ones that matter when you come right down to it, right?

Yeah, not so much.

Aside from general displeasure at this notion from both sides of the family, once Chulo told me that, regardless of all that, he would do anything I wanted -- thereby making it an available option -- I realised I didn't want it. I don't want to exchange vows with this beautiful man in front of some random officiant and no one else, in Vegas or Jamaica or even Greece. Finding someone this fantastic has taken me too long, and after watching my parents bring him into our family fold (he has been warned, and yet he wants this!), knowing how my friends feel about him ...I can't imagine not having those people with us to share that moment.

So I'm having a wedding. In November. At some undetermined location, with a guest list that grows every time I take a breath. In case I'm being unclear on this point, trust me when I say that I have no earthly idea what I'm doing.

Fuck. Me. Running.

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Blogger Natalia said...

4 words...

Let The Madness Begin!



2/19/2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Aww...not sure how long you've been engaged for, but congratulations!! :)

It does seem that the longer you wait, the less and less all the little intricate details seem to matter. I think there's a nice middle ground out there somewhere. Something between all the pomp-and-circumstance and going through a drive-thru wedding window in Vegas. :)

I wish you the best of luck in your wedding planning! :)

2/19/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger terry said...

here's a big secret: you can have a fancy-ish wedding without spending a lot of money and without all that stress. i did.

the key is to remember what's important. does it matter how your bridesmaids style their hair? no. i let them pick their dress (we all went shopping together and they made the decision). i let them choose their shoes. they did whatever they wanted with their hair. i had no interest in micromanaging.

invitations? kept them simple. the reception location was a gorgeous, historic victorian mansion and needed no decoration (saved money AND trouble). what flowers we did need for the reception were put together by a friend.

the hardest part was dealing with people in the wedding industry who tried to get us to spend more money by intimating that what we wanted wouldn't be good enough. when that happened, we'd move on to another provider who'd give us what we were asking for. we wouldn't be bullied into anything we didn't want...especially by people we were PAYING TO PROVIDE A SERVICE.

and while the marriage itself was a mistake, the wedding was lovely. AND fun.

wow, that was overly long. what i'm saying is... do what YOU TWO want, and don't let anyone else push you. ENJOY this.

2/19/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

oh baby!


you can do it on the cheap if you know someone with land... then there's the whole host it yourself have a family reunion type party and get married in the middle of it.

i think half the fun is in imagining all the possibilities, and you'll know it when you find it!

oh just read the comments... what terry said!

*hugggs* babe, just remember to keep if all fun and you'll be fine!

2/19/2007 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Butt -- You shut UP. Some help you are! You're going to be too busy giggling at me to be any help at all. Dammit!

Virginia -- I have been engaged for nearly five whole days!! Lol... and the planning has already begun. It's a wonder he hasn't left me yet.

Terry -- Thank you for that. "Do what makes you happy" seems to be the common refrain among all my friends who've gone through this. I'm already trying to keep it as simple as possible -- no bridesmaids (except my sister), so that's one HUGE headache averted. Right now I'm trying to choose a venue, and I'm most interested in an outdoor wedding... I've got at least 2 places in mind already and just need to check pricing and availability. South Florida in November is usually lovely weather. But keep your fingers crossed!! I am going to need all the help I can get.

Sass -- Terry made some great points. I am going to try to keep it fun. The difficulty is the balancing of so many disparate groups of people -- my family, his family, our bosses and workmates, friends. I guess this is what EVERYONE goes through, but of course now that I'm going through it, it's the unsurmountable task that no one can empathise with. You know how I can be a drama queen. -hugs back- and thank you! I'm totally freaked out but I'm also soooooo excited!

2/19/2007 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

This is wondeful news! Congrad! I wish ya'll the very best. May you have 50+ blissful years together...after wedding arrangements are made of course..the planning is the tedious part. You will have fun getting it all together....

Yeah! You can go and do a happy dance now....

2/19/2007 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Maybe I can book you on Bridezillas :)


2/20/2007 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

Rebecca -- Thank you! I have been alternatively happy dancing and stressing about the planning. All that really matters is I get to spend my life with this amazing man.

Butt -- You'd better not! I'm just hoping the stress will make me lose weight.

2/20/2007 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger --spared-- said...

I think the best weddings are the simple weddings - on a beach, in bare feet with the smell of the surf and the sound of the waves in the background. Marriage is complicated. No need for the wedding to be a reflection of it.

2/20/2007 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger buddha_girl said...

Oh yeah!!!!! Natalia said it!

Just for shits and giggles, I'll tell you what HG and I did.

We called my parents and sisters. I told my best friend. He told his mom and sister. We said my Dad's health was shaky and that we didn't want him dead before we got we eloped one night AFTER WORK...alone...with a justice of the peace at the justice's house.

It was beautiful.

THEN...we did the church/wedding/reception hell. THe planning. God help me, the planning! Shit, sister, you won't be bridezilla. I let my sisters and friend choose the dress. The less decisions, the better!

Terry's got some very good advice!

In the end, do what makes YOU and CHULO happy. No one else's opinion matters more than horse shit.

2/20/2007 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

You do what YOU want to do... You know, the dream weddings and shit, they only happen if you're a millionaire. I wasn't, and even though I had the "biggest and best wedding Elizabethton has ever seen", it wasn't enough, and it's left a void for me...

Ok, what I'm getting at with my lovely pitty party above-- do what you're gonna be happy with. Focus on just being together with the one you love, so you don't end up jaded like me *LOL*

2/22/2007 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

spared -- I totally agree. Unfortunately, we both know way too many people to make that work. I am trying to keep it uncomplicated (for him) but he keeps wanting to be involved! He's crazy. Cute, but crazy.

BG -- NO bridal party, aren't I the smart girl? Lol. Part of me really wants to do the simple, JOP thing. Part of me doesn't want to look back in 10 years and say... dammit, I should have had the party wedding. So I'm suffering now for what I hope will be happy memories later.

Miss 1999 -- I'm trying to focus, I swear I am! Thanks for the advice!

2/22/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Ann M. said...

I tried to post a comment on this while I was still in TX, but the internet at my inlaws house wasn't working....

I didn't have any idea of what I wanted when we first started planning, so my husband picked out a lot of stuff (like the cake, the centerpieces, and even some of the flowers in the girls' bouquets). Bring Chulo to everything and make a joint decision. Don't worry about your friends and family. If you're having fun, they will too.

2/23/2007 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Queen of Cheese said...

Congratulations Miss Sunshine!

Now I'll have to call you guys Mr. and Mrs. Sunshine ...

This is wonderful news and I have a big smile on my face. I am sending you best wishes for a wonderful, unbelievably happy life ... it's so lovely you've found your special love.

:o). HOORAY!!

2/28/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cressida said...


Then comes marriage!!!!

YAY! check out

Let me know if you have ANY questions! My publisher has been in the bridal business for fourteen years!

3/06/2007 11:40:00 AM  

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