For Better or For Worse

But Do You pic

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a friend of a friend’s wedding. After receiving a myriad of baby shower invites over the past few years (which I’m usually never able to attend), it was nice change in event.

But for someone who enjoys being a wedding attendee (knowing full well that the reception is the best part), the matrimony topic is not my area of expertise. Whenever the subject of marriage comes up through relatives or within my own friend group, I tend to dismiss the topic with a casual “I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that,” and move on to the next point of conversation.

I’ll only dedicate one small paragraph to a few of the reasons why I have this mindset: 1) I have never realistically pictured myself in the position of wife (and if you want to know the “whys” behind THAT, it will take a late night talk or a few rounds of pints to make me chattier about that ;p), therefore I have not put much thought into the prospect, 2) Yes I realize I’m only 20, but I’m beginning to think that my long-term goals may not NECESSARILY compatible with matrimony, kids, white-picket fence, etc., which I feel is something which most (or at least a lot) of potential partners would eventually want, and 3) I unfortunately have witnessed more examples of bad marriages than good in my life (and in society in general), which…sucks, for lack of a better word.

Moving on.

But I at least know what a wedding entails…or at least what it should entail, though the significance of a marriage seems to have greatly lessened in recent history. The thing is, most people want a wedding, not a marriage. Probably now would be a good time to insert the inevitable anecdote about Kim Kardashian’s less than 90-day marriage to some basketball player, and the fact that the wedding budget was enough to feed a starving third-world country for at least the next few years. Or my entire graduating high school class’s college educations. But whatever. It was for love! A less than 90-day love.

When I hear people (mostly girls) talk about what they want their weddings to be like, a part of me wants to ask point-blank if they realize what the actual point of the whole wedding-shebang is for. It’s all fine and dandy up to a point, a point which makes me a bit disconcerted when the most vital part of even having the ceremony becomes clouded by what way the table napkins should be folded or whether or not to hire strippers for the bachelorette party.

Sometimes I think it would be more beneficial to perhaps downsize the fun and games aspect of weddings, and put more emphasis on the vow part of the ceremony. Perhaps the fun and games can come after the couple has made it through 7+ years of matrimonial bliss (7 because of the whole “seven-year itch” thing)?

^I know that sort of thinking is a bit ridiculous, which is why I said it’s a thought that SOMETIMES occurs to me, like when I think about one particular set of lyrics from Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic”: “Boys would call the girls/And girls would turn them down/Staying married was the only way to work your problems out.”

Annulments, separations and divorces aren’t free passes. When your spouse gets fat, no free pass. When the long-legged attractive new temp starts working at hubby’s office, NO FREE PASS. One spouse’s job that requires making a move out of state is not good enough reason to part ways, nor is the “sudden” realization that you two have “nothing in common.” <– And wouldn’t you have learned that earlier on in the relationship anyway?

I would like to point out that there are some obvious exceptions in which divorce is acceptable.

But planning your wedding isn’t some rite of passage that all couples get to have. It’s not something that automatically comes after the first date, the first fight, the anniversaries, first road trip together, and all that jazz. What if the day before you say “I do,” you find out that your significant other has suddenly lost whatever fortune he/she had? Or that they had been involved in a terrible accident in which you now must be your spouse’s caretaker with even the simplest tasks (eating, bathing, etc.)? Or that they have found out that they have a child from a previous relationship?

It’s okay if you are unsure as to what you would do in the above situations. I would be too. But whether your answer is an “I do” or an “I don’t,” be certain before you check the boxes for willingness to love your partner 1) for better or for worse, 2) for richer or for poorer, 3) in sickness and in health, 4) until death do you part.






Come What May

Come What May pic

I’m scared. Not just for the usual things like cancer, sharks, or my favorite television show getting cancelled, but for the unforeseeable future that I simultaneously do and don’t have control over.

This fear has been gradually manifesting itself as the Oxford chapter of my life came to a close. After what I consider the greatest adventure of my life ended, the question “So where will you go next?” was definitely one of the most FAQs since I’ve been home.

One of the hardest parts of having had to reintegrate myself into my old life is a) just that – I’ve changed, and there’s no way I can comfortably settle back completely into the life of the “old” me (for lack of a less cliché-sounding phrase), and b) NOT having a satisfactory response to that “What happens next?” inquiry. With Oxford, I knew I’d be England-bound for almost a full year in advance. NOT having any concrete, future international – or actually, ANY – plans now has been a heavy weight on my mind during the time that I haven’t been blogging.

I recently watched my sister pick up her diploma for graduation last month, which had me thinking – a lot. With one more year of school left to tackle, I’m becoming more and more aware of how imperative it is for me to figure out my next steps. Not knowing what comes next is not a new fear, but another fear I have related with that is my fear of not doing what it is that I’m meant to do. Throwing in my cards, putting myself into the rat race and living life on someone else’s terms. In fewer words, having to forgo the dreams I’ve dreamt (“I dreamed a dream in time gone by…”) and finding myself Googling “how not to hate my job” in a few years.

I wish this post could be a more cathartic “But I shall emerge victorious!” message, but it would be a lie to say that I’m feeling confident in that at the moment. For whatever reason, some people I’ve met seem to think I have it together. Obviously these folks haven’t bothered to get to know me much better than that because this couldn’t be farther from the truth. My car is currently defunct, I’m kind of an awkward person, I haven’t dated since – well – a span of time you’d likely deem laughable (probably due to my awkwardness), I’ve made myself look like an idiot at my new job more than once this week, and to top it all off, I have no idea what to do with my life after college.

^^So for any readers who have at any point [mistakenly] thought that I have it all handled (hah), I hope this clears up everything and relieves you too if you’re in a similar boat. If so, I’ve done my job for this week.

All I can say for now, in the midst of all my Google searches, ESL applications and rummaging through East European and Asian guidebooks – come what may. Because really, I have no choice other than to brave whatever curveball comes my way. I might strike out, wind up with a broken nose or get substituted with another player, but whatever. I have to deal with it (as do you), because as they say, there’s no crying in baseball.