There are a few things I have vowed I would never do. I refuse to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, for example. I’ll never perform karaoke in front of more than 20 people no matter how much liquor someone plies me with. I’ll never punch a kid in the face no matter how much they deserve it. For clarification I consider anyone 5 years or more younger than me a kid.
Some of these statements have been made in the heat of battle. One example, I vowed I would never get married again. Like ever. Screw all that noise.
My first marriage wasn’t great. My former spouse didn’t smack me around or anything like that but it definitely wasn’t pleasant. Marriage vows are the most serious promise one can make and when those promises are broken, well, things fall apart.
I’m a firm believer in not using the words “I promise” or “I vow” unless I can totally back it up. Ask my nieces and nephew. They know if I use those words the promise is solid gold. If I can’t grant the original request I will move the earth and heavens to figure out another way to make whatever happen.
My former didn’t share that philosophy, apparently.
The divorce was a little contentious but not too. I came out of it lightly scarred but that’s because the worst of it happened while we were still together.
I was bitter, I admit it. That lasted a while and then I became very, very content to get back in touch with me. I began living inside my own head for a while and when I came out on the other side I ended up writing Extremity which is a *little* dark.
I started to like people again, which was a bonus.
I worked at a restaurant, a fantastic one in Saginaw, and one of my regular customers used to chat about relationships with me. I expressed how thankful I was to get my maiden name back and how I didn’t want to relive the symbolic fight for my identity ever again. He understood, nodded, and told me someone was going to sweep me off of my feet when I least expected it and he was going to laugh and be happy for me when it happened.
Brady passed away before his prophecy came true but I’m pretty sure he’s up in heaven chuckling at me.
Almost exactly two years ago now I decided a change of scenery was in order. A friend of mine was living in Florida and she desperately wanted me to come down. She lined up a job, paid for my plane ticket and offered a place to stay.
So I decided to be one of the youngest snowbirds in Florida. I flew down in January with the intent of flying back to Michigan in April. Depending on how that went, I’d repeat it the next season.
Within three weeks of my arrival I met my companion. I fought it, hard. All of my family is up north and though I hate the winters up there I had every intention of going back.
My nieces, nephew and family miss me but holy cow, swept off of my feet is an understatement.
So we’ve decided to get married. It’s very different than both of our previous forays into this social institution and I’m actually excited about it.
The first time around all I did was pick out dresses. This time I’m enjoying adding my input. However. There’s always a however or unfortunately or something.
I posted before about being a smaller stature person. I’m 5′ 5″ and weigh in around 103 pounds on average. I eat, so don’t go there. I have a naturally high metabolism and even when I sit I don’t really sit still.
Shopping for clothes or jewelry for me is a bit of a bear. I’m narrow but I have broad shoulders for my size. I also have ridiculously long legs so pants and skirts are interesting to size out. Do I buy the bigger waist and wear a belt so my ankles are covered by my jeans? And don’t even mention petite sizes to me. They make me feel like Gulliver.
I believe at least part of my lack of enthusiasm the first time around can be laid at the feet of this problem.
My former had picked out the engagement ring and when we went to get it sized for my little fingers I was told, jokingly, “We don’t carry children’s sizes here.” I damn near walked out. One of the days in my life that is supposed to be happy and exciting and this salesman insulted me to my toes.
Do I look like someone who is pleased about shopping in the children’s sections? I was in my mid-20’s and definitely an adult. I know because I had two jobs at the time.
This time we were able to shop for rings online. That wasn’t as much of an option back then. Fortunately I am not a traditional person. I have no desire to have an engagement ring and wedding band. As I’ve pointed out, I have small fingers and I don’t do well with rings.
We found out my size and thank goodness we were flexible. Having to select a size 3 1/2 meant we were limited in our options but it worked and I didn’t have a salesman making me feel less than amazing during the shopping experience.
My ex and I went in for relaxation massages before our wedding. I’m in the midst of having all my cares rubbed away when I hear, sorta mumbled, “It’s like massaging a skeleton.” Ding, there goes your tip.
More recently I went to look at some lingerie. Now, I have breasts, I swear I do. They’re small (and perfect, I’m told) but they’re there. Now that I’m in the latter part of my thirties they don’t stay exactly where I want them so bras and lingerie are becoming more necessary. One can only make do with camisoles and tank tops for certain events. Under a wedding dress is not one of them.
A local department store was offering free measurements and assistance with shopping for these delicate items. Knowing, I repeat KNOWING this would ruin my day, I made the appointment.
The very nice German lady took me back to the dressing rooms, took the measurements and then took me to the training bra section. Yep, training bra. Because that’s what every new husband wants to see when he gleefully strips that white dress from his bride’s trembling and excited body.
Completely off topic but those self-flushing toilets? Pure evil. They flush twice before I sit down, once while I’m doing my business and then twice more when I am putting my clothes back to order. The water bill at the casino goes up whenever I am there. Can someone work on the sensors on those things? Anyway…
There’s this weird mindset in America that we should all be thin, blonde and beautiful, right? I’m pretty sure the five fashion magazines I saw in the checkout lane were reinforcing this idea. So why is it when I have the model thin body I can’t find anything that fits me?
It confuses me.
When I shopped for my first wedding dress I had to try bridal stores in three states. I ended up in freaking Fort Wayne, Indiana, (a 12 hour round trip from where I was living at the time) so I could have all of three options in “my size”. The one I selected still had to be brought in by several inches and shortened, straps and skirt. The woman who did the alterations? She was an absolute miracle worker and a friend of the family so I didn’t have to hear the comments.
That experience soured me on dress shopping. Not that I’m a big shopper to begin with, obviously. Isn’t this whole post essentially about that? This time around we’re having the ceremony on a sandy beach so the full on dress is unnecessary.
I’ve had 20+ years to creatively shop and dress for events. This one will be easy but so much more important than the others. White bathing suit top, flowing skirt. Done and done, right? Bathing suits use bra sizing and skirts are similar to dresses…
On the flip side of this coin my companion is larger than me. Not a surprise there, I’d have to date a jockey if I wanted someone smaller. He’s 6′ 3″ and stocky. Some would say corn fed but he’s from So Cal originally so no, but the description is apt. He has the same issues but in reverse.
I love that he gets offended on my behalf when I tell him about that first ring shopping experience. I love that he let our ring choices be determined by what I found acceptable from the options given by my size. I love that he loves me as I am, without bra, skeletal fingers and body and way overfull brain.
Sometimes we go through life experiences purely to learn what we DON’T want. I’m grateful to my ex, I admit it, for this purpose alone. Now I have everything I DO want and if that’s not an excuse to break a vow I made to myself, then I don’t know what is.