Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marriage

Probably the best thing so far about being engaged is that it has been a catalyst for me to start reading and thinking a lot about marriage. This is kind of obvious, in a way, but also not, because sometimes I worry that people forget completely about marriage until they are actually married, having been distracted by the wedding in the mean time.

And who can blame them? In all the wedding frenzy that exists in our culture about 5% is at all related to the groom and about 1% says anything about actually being married. But somehow before I got engaged I stumbled upon OffbeatBride.com. Which led me, post-engagement, to apracticalwedding.com. Which is awesome.

Marriage is really fascinating. I have been so interested to read about how it changes you to actually stand up and say vows. Before I started to read from people who had been married, I assumed getting married was for fun and family and for a party and to get the legal stuff sorted and to be official, but that the fundamental relationship would be unchanged. And in many ways I still think the relationship will stay the same. But I also think it will be better somehow. It will be more solid and it will run deeper. That's what the people say, anyway. And I actually feel this way about being engaged. We have already had big, serious talks that didn't seem necessary before, and they definitely were not fun but somehow they intensified something. We are building our lives together. It's hard to do that, but also awesome.

The other day I was talking to a new friend (who I have decided is the big sister I never had) about her marriage. And how very very very hard it is. Managing two people's distinct needs and careers and dreams. And it was great to be able to talk about that in an honest way. It is hard, but that doesn't mean the end is nigh or you are with the wrong person or you love each other any less. In my experience, people either say 1 of 2 things about marriage 1) I love my hubby and our life is perfect! or, more commonly 2) Husbands! Ugh! Hahaha. It's time we start being more honest about what it's really like. Though admittedly there should always some sacred space in the relationship.

The point is this: a wedding is 1 day, a marriage is a whole lot of days if you are lucky. And I'm glad that somehow the webosphere has focused my attention on the latter, especially in these first few months. I think it will help me keep perspective once the wedding planning phase kicks into high gear. (By the way, if I DO lose the plot when the planning kicks into high gear, feel free to set me straight. But be nice about it. Methinks weddings stack the deck against you keeping your sanity. K thanks.)

Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't say that this post was inspired in part by the most recent post over at Suburbalicious Living. Which I found through A Practical Wedding. The joy of hyperlinks!!

Also P.S. thanks to my parents for being good at being married and showing me how that works.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Planning

I just had this unnerving thought that my life is (so far) turning out frighteningly the way I thought it would.

At 15, I thought I would go far away to college (check), fall in love there (check), go to graduate school (check), and marry that person I fell in love with in college (check in the future).

Isn't that odd? I was reading an old journal from early college today that talked about an internship that I wanted to get one day and now...I have that internship this summer.

WHAT IS GOING ON???

It's very strange to me that it seems so wrong and weird that my plans for my life are coming to fruition. Isn't that...ideal? We have visions for the future because we want them to become reality. Why do I feel so weird that they are becoming reality?

I guess on some level we must make plans for life and not fully expect to follow through on them, or expect that something will change our course. Which is natural since so much of the future is unknown and so much in life often depends on luck or chance.

I think my unease about this things are turning out the way I thought they would situation is related to my perpetual feeling that the other shoe is about to drop on my life. My life is too good. Things work out for me, and I have been blessed in many ways by virtue of nothing more than being born where I was and to whom and with what genes. People aren't supposed to be lucky like I am lucky. I shouldn't be so blessed, so what's the deal? Is the world buttering me up in preparation for some big catastrophe? I have been waiting for this other shoe to drop for years now and nothing. Most people who seem happy or privileged have something hard in their lives. Divorce. Illness. Death of a parent. But I don't! Most parents want their children's lives to be better than their own. I just hope we break even.

Such ridiculous problems I have. I should probably go to sleep.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Smitten Kitchen

Just last Thursday, I was having dinner with some people from school, and it just so happened that nearly everyone at the table had foodie tendencies. In our conversation, they mentioned this blog Smitten Kitchen. I checked it out when I got home and I was immediately both thrilled and horrified that I had gone this long without being aware of its existence: fabulous food photography! killer recipes! inspiration! It really is inspiring to read this blog because the writer has a day job, a tiny NY apartment, a husband, and a newborn and still makes her own pasta. I have zero children and a great kitchen so whats to stop me from making Julia Child recipes nightly and amazing desserts for weekend parties? Well, I am dealing with a budget constraint that is tighter than hers is I imagine, but given that I am newborn-free, I think its fair to call it even.

There are a lot of things I simply assumed could not be made without an industrial style kitchen and the blog has proved me wrong. For example: doughnuts. Doughnuts are just not something laypeople make, am I right? Apparently not.

Behold: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/10/apple-cider-doughnuts/

There are only a few things wrong with this blog 1) the author loves leeks and leek recipes and I don't even know what a leek tastes like 2) there are a lot of recipes involving almonds. blech. 3) The photographs have yet to leap off my computer screen and onto a plate in front of me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blackberry Pie

So, you know my life has taken a turn for the better when I have time to make pie! And today I made blackberry pie. Its still in the oven, so verdict is still out on its tastiness. But Kroger had these blackberries for a dollar a carton which I thought was awesome but turns out...you get what you pay for. They were inedible in fresh form, so I had to do something about it. Thus, pie!

Anyway, I am feeling very relaxed and free on this fine May Day Saturday. It is ironic that the weekend before finals and I feel less stressed than I have since before Spring Break. Actually, probably since before the entire semester began. Now I am almost done, I have been through hell and back, and I have emerged without too many scars.

You Get What You Pay For Pie: blackberries, sugar, vodka crust with milk and sugar on top.