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Archive for the ‘Getting Married’ Category

The Feeling of Marriage (Part 2)

In Getting Married, Main, Marriage's Dirty Laundry on September 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

The funny thing is, nobody really asks MG how it feels to be married a year and some later. And really, this is right about the time that things have certainly gotten interesting.

  • MG is answerable to someone: she can’t just up and fly to the Bahamas for the weekend if she finds a cheap ticket. It must be discussed, debated and argued over first.
  • The corollary to that, of course, is that most nothing is spontaneous anymore. With instant access to each other’s credit card bills and all online accounts, nothing can be kept a secret anymore, and so everything is just boring and routine.
  • Marriage really has meant, for MG at least, losing a huge part of her individuality. This is not bad, nor is it good. It just is a fact. Some days, she really does feel like just Mrs Married Girl and not capable of independent or individual thought. (As an aside: it would be so easy to lose herself in this forever…)
  • The relationship has certainly deepened, yes. Both the bad: we really dig deep and below the belt for things to say during arguments, but also the good: the meaning of ‘having each others’ backs’ has taken on a new and indescribable rock solid quality.
  • For MG & him at least, it’s become necessary to hash out and deal with every last part of an argument, whereas before, if things got bad, there was always the threat of “forget it, let’s break up, this is not worth it.” There’s no question of breaking up now, so it’s become necessary to really get into the nitty gritty of things and solve them, instead of avoiding them. Perhaps also a reason why things get really ugly during arguments.
  • Related to that- MG’s mother always said that people only ever show your their true colors after marriage. While MG initially dismissed that as 20th century Indian momma advice, it’s true. He’s shown sides of him that MG never expected, despite a long history of a premarital relationship.
  • You know all those resolutions MG made before marriage? Not to be a nagging wife? To be a cool wife! To just not give a crap if the Mother In Law pissed her off? She’s seen those resolutions fly rapidly out of the window and has seen herself turn into the nagging wife, an absolutely uncool wife, and has been pissed off with the mother-in-law.
  • Yes, two incomes in a house are nice, but it’s strange to actually have a second income to rely on. (MG does wonder though, if she ever quit and just became a housewife, whether she’d still have the same freedom to spend on whatever the hell she felt like. While he would probably make all sorts of promises, she doubts it would come to pass.) Strange, how, you ask? It’s initially a heady freedom. Then you see your expenses climb accordingly. So perhaps it’s both a blessing and a curse?
  • Being sick is not as lonely as it was before. It’s nice to have someone other than your mom call in, and be there to check on you, or just cuddle you.
  • For MG at least, friendly flirting with guys has gone out of the window. And no, she cannot flirt with Him. While you may think this implies adulterous leanings on MG’s part, it does not. It just means that she feels like somehow, guys have stopped looking. It’s as if once she got married, it was like she didn’t exist to the outside world anymore.
  • Sometimes, MG gets so involved in Him and her drama that the outside world sort of really does stop existing for a while. Marriage has made her feel more insular, and, permit her this one moment of drama: like sometimes, the walls are actually closing in. This has made her consider, for the first time since tenth grade, like she needs a do-over, and has vaguely entertained suicidal thoughts, or even running away and starting over in Peru.
  • Most of MG’s relationships with her male friends has changed, for worse. Part of it that some of them have distanced themselves from her because of marriage and all that they think it entails, and part of it is that they’re concentrating on being friends with Him as well, and in the process, forget to talk to with MG.
  • Parents. God. Parents. The expectations just go crazy once you get married and, in their eyes, are a bona fide adult now. It’s unbelievable.

Oh MG knows what you’re thinking. “Wow! She sounds miserable”. And perhaps she is. But marriage is finally showing its uglier sides, and that its not all rainbows and unicorns and pretty pink clouds to her.

She’s keeping the faith though. There’s a reason people stay married twenty five, thirty, seventy five years. And she’s going to keep faith, and figure it out.

*Oh don’t worry, you’re not going to find MG in a bathtub with her slit wrists dramatically flung over the white porcelain anytime soon, nor is she going to KEEL YOU. Everybody needs a fantasy out sometimes. And she always finds her way to sensible thought eventually.

The Feeling of Marriage (Part 1)

In Getting Married, Main on August 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

One of the things that really irked MG immediately after her wedding was the constant question: “Oh! How does it feel to be married?”

Um, how do you think? It feels no different than yesterday, or the day before! Yes, MG is legally allowed to sleep next to a a boy (a real boy! a REAL BOY WITH A PENIS!) in her own bed, and no one can say a damn thing about it, but seriously? She’s not about to tell the likes of you all about that! Nor do you want to hear it! Nor do you want to hear that MG feels like she has faint alarm bells going off in the back of her head!

What is the proper answer to this kind of query anyway? MG wasn’t a duckling before her marriage, so it isn’t that she suddenly blossomed into a swan the moment she took seven circumambulations around a holy fire and gained a husband! It’s as if the expectations are that now that you can have a legitimate baby, you yourself have changed! Maturity has arrived with the opening of the chastity belt! You absolutely must be feeling different!Alive! THRILLED TO BE MARRIED! Woooo!

And if all you want to hear is “yes, it feels absolutely and completely fantastic now that my life’s expectations are FULFILLED BY BEING MARRIED”, then please, spare MG the trouble of answering and just ask the rhetorical question.

Sigh.

You are now supposed to sit with the ladies and make idle conversation about kids and husband habits, and the color of your sofa! Wooooo!

Unfinished Epiphany

In Admin Notes, Getting Married, Main on March 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

Editor’s Note:
This piece of blogging was started on an epiphany MG had in late January this year.  She started to write the thing, got distracted, left the blog for a month, and forgot what the epiphany was when she came back to finish the blog off. It’s left here as a monument to her scatterbrain mind, and for what enjoyment you, dear reader, may glean out of it.

Long before I got married last year*, life felt like it went into fast forward. Everything went by so fast- the planning, the painful weight-loss, the sending out of hundreds of save-the-dates and invites- that the sheer craziness of the frenetic pace didn’t sink in at all. The night of the wedding itself, even after all the religious rituals were completed, even as my mother shed copious amounts of maternal tears as if the world had suddenly rent asunder, all I could think of was mundane things: a) “I’m happy to be married to him at last,”  b) “Oh god, I’m glad I lost weight for this” and c) noticing a large digital clock somewhere on my way out of the wedding grounds, “it’s 3.23am already? That gives me about 6 hours of sleep before I have to get up for tomorrow morning’s festivities. Great! That’s more sleep than I’ve had all week!”**

It didn’t occur to me, in my everything-is-going-by-so-fast-don’t-think-just-do mode, to really think about what had just happened. I had gotten married. The enormity of it failed to hit me.  If I had looked any deeper that night, I would’ve probably thought no further than the upcoming honeymoon, the fact that my year-long diet was finally over, and that eventually, all my stuff needed to move to New York, to an apartment we had yet to find.

*Has it really become last year already?!
**Alas, it was not to be. Plenty of family traditions followed…I didn’t get to bed until 6.30 am that morning. Followed shortly by a wake up call at 9.30 from my dad. Hrrk.

Waiting to Exhale

In Getting Married, Main on October 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

When I got married earlier this year, it was a three ring circus. Perhaps 30-ring might be better, considering how long the festivities went on for.  I enjoyed most of them, save for the two or three really ugly moments I had with my parents. Which, considering the kind of show they wanted to put on, is only to be expected.

(You see, show in our family, and a lot of other Indian families that are planning rigmarole weddings, usually means pressure. Pressure=strain. Strain= hit low, hit nastily at the people you are closest to. This = ugly ugly moments.)

And during those days of being in the silk and gold covered bosom of my large, lovely family, I wasn’t given any sort of pre-marital advice, sexual or otherwise. (Thank god.  I don’t think I would’ve survived the embarrassment if my mother or any other female relative had tried. Yeah, I said female. No, I didn’t mention male. No, males do not discuss s-e-x with younger females in my clean-nosed virginal female family. Can I get a loud chee-chee with the very idea?) Maybe it was because I was having a Love Marriage, or maybe it was just one of those stereotypical things that we don’t do- being extremely well educated and all that, either way, it didn’t happen.

Somehow, though, in all the anticipation, and all the preparation, and all the almost-dehydrations (this was one helluva hot summer wedding, with definite power cuts during the sticky! humid! nights!), somewhere along the line, I took a deep breath and didn’t let go.  I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know when I did it. I didn’t even realize that I was holding my breath until recently. And it wasn’t even one of those ton-of-bricks realizations. It came to me as I jumped into the pool again. The chlorine woke me up a little. It came to me when I had a performance evaluation recently. Even the euphoria of a good review only lasted for half a day. And it sort of began to become a realization. A gradual sense of being under anesthesia.  Everything seems fuzzy and sort of nondescript. I know I’m alive, but I’m going about my days as if I were in a dream. I’m not zesty, I’m not sad, I        just am. I feel like my entire system is waiting for something. Something? Something. If anything, I feel a little frustration. But why? For what reason?

It’s almost like I married Him, and now I’ve lost myself.  I’m sure it’s only temporary, but in the meantime, I’m waiting for real life to begin again.

Waiting to exhale,

MG.

Holy Countdown Batman!

In Getting Married, Main on April 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

MG has just realized that this is her last ten days as an unmarried woman while in the United States. The wedding isn’t for another couple of months yet, but when MG next returns to the U.S., she will be a Married Girl in truth!

The Importance of Being Earnest

In Getting Married, Main, Why MG Isn't Updating on April 16, 2009 at 12:54 am

Confusion. Frustration. Anger. Annoyance. Insecurity. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding. General misery.

Primal Scream

Rock ‘n Rolla Part III

In Getting Married, Main, Random Fantasy Land on March 31, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Trolling the Web after Part I , I went looking for people getting married, perhaps with blogs, perhaps without, but who actually thought like me. You know, for moral support and all that. (Writing a marital blog can be stressful! So many questions about “level of detail”, or “should I really put that really unsavory detail about Him out for worldwide consumption?”. Balancing those kinds of questions with a natural need to be open and vocal when writing has not been easy.)

Turns out this was quite a challenge. My criteria seemed to be insurmountable. I wanted people who “thought” like me. This was the first issue. You see, most brides-to-be didn’t seem to think at all. And the remaining blogs were all about “calla lilly flowers, perfectly satine jewelled designer ribbons, bridesmaids being bitches, general bitchery, general botchery, fake eyelashes, dyed and tinted eyebrows, should I get boob surgery, my first wedding disappointment, drama, drama, misery, misery, this is my perfect day and it’s all going wrong, I think I’m going to dieeeee” (Gag!)

I present to the court, MG Exhibit 1

(My non scientific observations about marriage blogs also include:

1) 99.99 % of these bloggers are female

2) 100 % of them are crazy!)

I don’t begrudge any brides-to-be their moments of pondering over the perfect shade of champagne colored crystal cream-creme for their dress- I mean God knows I’m doing lots of that myself lately (ruby red or garnet red?)- but really, do they have to be so very verbose about it?  And worse still, so boring about it? Where is the sarcasm? Where is the Funny? Where is the serious thinking behind the fact that you are about to commit to someone else forever? (Or at least until the Divorce?) Surely the fact that you’re in love doesn’t mean that the two of you are going to be happy every step of the way? And if you’re not going to be happy together during all of forever, where is the deep think related content behind that? Why does nobody ever want to talk about the “for poorer” and “in sickness” parts of the vows?

While I love Him a lot, I know that we’re not going to be happy every step of the way. There will be fights, there will be DRAMA, there will be SO MUCH DRAMA. We will involve the kids. We’ll vow not to involve the kids. The kids will force us to take sides. The parents will get involved despite our many vows to always present an united front to them. There will be throwing of toothpaste tubes and slamming of doors. There will be hanging up of phones and wiping up of snot. There will be arguments over who does the dishes, and who blew too much at the bars last night, and declamations of “I can’t believe I married you.” Love isn’t enough to get over that! It takes kindness, and sensitivity, and compromise, and yearning to go back to “how we were”, to get there, not just love. So tell me, my blogging brides, have you thought about that in between the personalized matchbooks as guest favors, and the significant-to-us cake toppers?

When I started trolling the Web that day, I set out to find brides who thought like me, that perhaps, the ring and the proposal were not everything, were not, for lack of better terminology, the be all and the end all of getting married.  The rock matters, yes, the manner of proposal should be meaningful, yes, but “he proposed to me in a parking lot so my marriage is now ruined!”, and “my first wedding disappointment was that my ring was not rhodium-polished gold!”, and my personal favorite, “the proposal sucked, so the wedding, and the marriage will now suck too!”

Really?

Listen, my aspiring-to-write brides-to-be: be bitchy. Be bad ass. Be happy. Be gay. Rip a new one into your damn bridesmaids for all I care! But for the love of all that is cyberspacey and marriage related, please, please, please, stop being whiny and thus, boring!

Rock ‘n Rolla Part II

In Getting Married, Main on March 29, 2009 at 1:57 am

Were you wondering why I could talk about getting married without actually getting proposed to yet? Without, even, and some of you may have to sit down here, a ring that loudly declared His intentions?

Mayhaps you thought I was crazy? Or the Bride of Zilla? Or even, perhaps, deranged and the Bride of Zilla?

No? You’re just curious? Very well, you’ve come to the right place for an explanation.

In our, very Indian, very traditional, traditions, the actual engagement ceremony happens the morning of the wedding day.  This tradition, as explained by my mother, is actually rooted in a very efficient, and somewhat ruthless, line of thinking. You see, dear reader, the wedding day engagement ceremony is a rather practical way of saying “uh uh homeboy, you don’t get nothing unless you show up for the wedding!” This works pretty well for the groom as well, because there’s no question of giving a girl a ring that she’ll keep even if she decides to flail her arms, fling around her other expensive jewelery, and declare, somewhat screechily at best, (because God knows what bride-to-be isn’t screechy by the time she’s doing the arm-flailing) that “the Wedding is OFF!”

(Note that Indian tradition doesn’t allow for being ditched at the altar.  Probably because by the time the bride arrives in her forty pound dress, she’s too exhausted to run. As for the groom, he’s probably too scared of the thousands of bridal guests milling around looking suspiciously menacing. By the time he gets his act together, he’s already tied, literally, to the bride’s dress and taking seven holy circumnambulations around a fire.)

But even this tradition gets a circumvention. You see, as East met West, and dirty western ideas infiltrated the great Indian hive mind, Indians, such as myself, started, (and if you weren’t sitting down before, you may just want to do it now), dating.

Excuse me while I prepare to fend off total annihilation for using the word d*****.
…bated breath

.

.

… heartbeats…

.

.

.

…crickets chirping…

.

It is now five minutes later, and I haven’t been struck by lightning, destroyed by a well-wielded trident, nor has the otherwise endless cycle of karma sucked me in, having finally tempted the fates too much. I guess I can continue.

You see, dating, especially, in my family is looked upon as a dirty word. Dating is considered improper at best, and reputation damaging and virginity-destroying at worst.  (Remember, we’re Indian here, and a lot of times, girls shouldn’t have a bad reputation, lest they be considered damaged goods, and no good for sale in the meat markets.  A lot of this is unspoken, of course, and you’d only ever hear in low whispers about “she had a boyfriend” with suitable gasps of horror, and sad understanding nods all around, if you were to listen in to the gossip. Not that this applies to all Indians, by the way. A lot of them are far more liberal than my parents were/are. But that’s neither here nor there, so back to the topic at hand.)

In any case, lots of Indians date. But for us, to help our poor traditional parents cope with this loss of control in the marital fates of their beloved progeny, we unearthed the ancient art of dissembling, and voila, we unleashed… the Arranged Love-Marriage.

This strange creature, this hybrid of old and new, east and west, rises from the ashes of the old arranged marriage system. It gives parents some semblance of fitting into the matrix when their two unruly children have decided that secretly skulking around the topic isn’t enough, and that it’s time to announce that they do, after all, have a girl boy special friend, and that it may be time to meet them.

Of course, most parents in this situation realize that they would not be meeting a Special Friend if it was not serious, and being of South Asian mentalities, they say, well, this better be heading down a matrimonial aisle, capiche? Else it might lead to damaged reputations. (See Damaged Goods, above.) Happily, if former is the case, His parents meet Her parents, and astronomical charts and birth dates and times are pulled out from every corner of the ancestral homes. A wedding date is fixed, and voila, the couple is, officially, getting married.

All of this, of course, doesn’t really leave room for the big proposal that should have still been pulled off before the parents were officially told.  Alas, He was still in grad school, and not having a ring to pull it off with, He decided to put it off for the time being. After all, telling the parents was as good as proposing, wasn’t it?

And really, I’m not bitter nor cynical. Sure, I didn’t have the big surprise proposal. It matters not. I was spared all that hand wringing and apprehension that a lot brides-to-be seem to recall. “Will he? Won’t he?” seems almost to be a rite of passage into bridal bliss, sometimes, and honestly, I think I’m glad to have been spared that.

But that’s why, dearest reader, I am not deranged, nor am I dreaming up things that don’t exist.  Once He told his parents about us, it was always a question of how fast, and not “if”. He and I always knew we were going to end up married.  We knew it six months into our relationship. And now, almost six years later? Oh…my…god, we’re getting married.

Allow Me to Have A Moment of Listing in Third Person

In Getting Married, Main, Random Fantasy Land, Relationship on January 29, 2009 at 10:53 am

MG had a bunch of things to write about this week, except that they were all sort of mini blogs in the making, and concerned about the bunch of trash that already floats about in cyber-space, she decided instead to make a List of her mini blog items so that y’all could enjoy it all in one easy-to-read centralized location. Quick wins, all around.

(Can you tell MG works with a bunch of corp-jargon-speaking dunderheads?)

1) MG was having a SHIT week last week. SHIT I tell you! Work sucked, and she’s not sure if she mentioned this, but work really sucked last week. So much so that the Kleenex Ad where the red-head types in “Touch I Touch Q Touch U Touch I Touch T” was something out of her own life last week.

2) MG, being the sneaky controlling crazy Lady Friend that she is, has had His Gmail password for a few years now. While she rarely checks His email, she happened to do so last week. And she, er, stumbled upon photos of none other than…*dun dun dun*…The Rock. On someone else’s ugly-ass hairy finger. And she means hairy.

Once MG stifled the red hairy monster growling “MINE” in baritones of fury, and stopped seeing the world in filters of red, she quickly realized that Him and her had had a deal- she could read his email, as long as he had already read it first.  But what on earth was a normal girl like her to do? It said “Diamond Ring” in the subject line! How could anyone resist reading that particular email!?

The only option left, sadly, was to be super-sneaky and hit the “mark as unread” button and pray that He didn’t realize that she’d snooped.

You know that old saying? The one where they say “eavesdroppers hear nothing good about themselves”? Let me paraphrase that; “email snoopers read nothing good about themselves.” Now that MG had seen the ring in pictures, she wasn’t sure if she liked it. It was not a typical engagement ring style and the rock itself seemed to have a flat shape that she couldn’t get her Harry Winston loving head around.

Stop gasping already, it gets better.

But having a night to sleep over it, MG stalked through the email again, and realized, stupidly, that she’d only really looked at the first picture.  As she looked through the other pictures she realized, slowly, that she kinda, actually, sorta liked it. But she wasn’t sure. And so she closed the email and tried to erase the guilty images in her head, and tried to forget that she’d sent him an email, long long ago, of the sort of design she’d like. And she did tell Him to surprise her. It would probably look awesome on her finger. Manicured and lotioned or not.

3) At the airport last week, MG gave up on trying not to be a silly bride-to-be, stifled her guilt at selling out, and bought a copy…of Brides. Yes. Brides. That cream-puff publication filled with pages and pages and pages of gowns and make up and jewelery.  The entire wedding industry in one glossy 700 (seven! hundred!) page package. She girded her loins, gave her chest a much needed upward push, and prepared herself to become none other than the Bride of Zilla herself, and opened the damn thing.

Surely, she reasoned, that reading so much about frills and fripperies and something old and something blue, would turn her into a controlling freak of nature.  “YOUR IDEA BOOK” screamed the cover. “CELEB MARRIAGES” screamed another. (“Oh yeah, RIGHT!” she chuckled to herself. “What normal person would take that story seriously?!”).

Alas, about 5 pages in, MG wearied of the ivory white dressed apple cheeked maidens, and fell asleep (remember, she had had a SHIT week at work), and forgot the thing in the airplane. What a waste of $6.

4) MG was talking to one of her unofficial bridesmaids last night, a lady that just joined grad school, when she got the earth-shattering news. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to make the wedding.”

When MG replied with…utter silence, the UoBM went on hurriedly. “I will make this up to you. I will be there, for your anniversaries. For the birth of your children.”

MG, struck dumb by spasms of upset, replied in her best impression of fifteen-year-old-high-school-girl dramatic fashion. “I can’t pretend that I’m not upset. But I realize that you can’t help it.”

And then came on here to write an anguished blog about friends and being the Bride of Zilla. And the moment she took a deep breath between feverish typing, she realized there might be another way.

“You could…maybe..miss a week of class?”

And MG was delighted to learn that the UoBM had actually not thought about that at all and would be willing to try that out.

Compromise, MG decided, is something that needs to be the first reaction, not emotional angst. It is a wedding, for chrissakes, not a…shoot, there seems to be no comparable analogy…oh! A Life/Death situation.

And MG realized also, that just because the UoBM wouldn’t be attending the wedding, maybe, didn’t make her any less of a friend, or that she wouldn’t be a part of the wedding either, because ten IMs later, UoBM said…”so, we’ve been talking about your bachelorette party. Where do you want to go?”

And that reduced MG to happy excitement again. Silly, she knew, that such a little thing could be such a big deal to her, but it made her feel like someone cared…cared enough to plan something for her. In Mexico.

5). MEXICO! That is all.

Perspective

In Getting Married, Main on January 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Wow, this has truly been a Crap Week.

So much so, that I bought a copy of Brides last night, and ate a whole four-finger Kit-Kat bar in one sitting. It’s funny how everything wedding-planning seems so trite, cliched and useless when your job feels like misery, and you can’t see any sort of future with your current place of employment. Perspective is definitely something that popped in this week.

What a useless day, and what a waste of week in my now ephemeral single days!

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