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The Wedding Disclaimer

Because when I speak my mind, I tend to be direct, and the people around me are sensitive whether I like it or not, I'm going to offer the following disclaimer before posting anything else:

I am not a perfect person. I've made many decisions in my life that those around me would deem questionable. I am in no position to judge, nor do I have then time, energy, or inclination to judge, anyone else's decisions regarding what is right, proper, and necessary for their lives - up to and including the planning and execution of a wedding, wedding reception, lack of wedding, lack of desire for a wedding, etc.. If you and your betrothed want to have a big traditional wedding with all the trimmings, or a small, intimate wedding, or a six-day five-night Hindu wedding extravaganza, or a destination wedding, or you're entirely opposed to the idea of a wedding as a whole... I don't care. More power to you. When, in the future, I begin to talk about the planning and execution of my own wedding, I will offer no apologies for my personal opinions, and I hope that anyone who chooses to read my open-air rantings would extend to me the same courtesy. Please bear in mind that I am speaking of my own thoughts, feelings, and processes, and offering no judgment upon yours if you've chosen a different path, and that my opinions and decisions reflect what is right and what is real for me and Justin, which may or may not be right and real to anyone else, anywhere, ever. If, for whatever reason, you don't think you're capable of doing that, or consider these things to be a topic for contention and/or debate, I humbly suggest changing the blog channel, to perhaps a shiny happy blog full of all people that only say nice things and think just like you do all the time.

Thank you, and God bless America.

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I like Chicago. And I will miss it quite a lot when I leave in a few weeks. I’ll miss the music and the parks, and the pizza, and Thai food (though not as much since I learned about fish sauce… you know those jokes about how if you squeeze corn to get corn oil and soybeans to get soybean oil, then where does baby oil come from? Yeah, that’s actually the principle behind fish sauce…).

However, I will not miss:
1. Bad Drivers: You know, those people that inch their car out into the intersection very slowly, right into oncoming traffic, because they don’t really see the need to wait for an opportunity to not f*ck up my commute? I won’t miss those people.

2. Downright *sshole Drivers: If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Chicago, it’s that the nicer the car, the bigger the douchebag behind the wheel. If you’re so frantic to make the next payment on your $30,000 Beemer that you can’t take a moment off from your high-powered career to check your rear-view mirror, I realize that you probably have bigger problems than me and my little car on our way home from the grocery store. However, I don’t want to be a part of them.

3. Whole Foods: I must admit that at first I was partially impressed by this concept, and I still love their store-brand lemongrass soap. It’s the bee’s knees. But honestly, who thought this up? Somebody actually sat down in a room somewhere and said, “You know that person who’s allergic to random minute food ingredients that you’ve never heard of, like wheat gluten, that never got to eat the cake at birthday parties and who stands around at the office telling you how the pesticides in your McDonald’s salad are going to make you infertile and give you cancer and you don’t have the heart to tell them that the cholesterol will almost certainly kill you first? Let’s make a whole store for that person, but we'll charge double for everything to bolster their sense of self-righteousness and self-importance, and then flog them with our eyes if they (*gasp*) want to use paper bags at check out."

4. Yoga: Okay, I'll admit, I'll miss yoga class. It was my guilty pleasure. I will not, however, miss yoga people, toting their yoga mats on their infrequently washed backs while piloting their $3000 bicycles through traffic, completely disregarding all traffic laws and most often common sense as well. That's actually why I stopped going to yoga class - I was losing the ability to bite my tongue when what I truly wanted to say was, "Wait, you're judging ME for drinking bottled water out of a disposable plastic bottle? You haven't showered in three days!" (It's amazing how judgmental the ultra-tolerant free-love green party hippie left can be...)

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The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, HIS cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur's cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

I like this Dionsaur, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.

But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of Things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of Things?

But her mind skips from here to there so quickly, thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on Shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?

I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for Things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thought and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them.

Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my frends, is how it is with love. Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.

For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.

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*looks around*

Ah, wonderful. New space. I love all the blank pages… really adds something to the “new adventure” feel.

*sings* Happy birthday to the new LJ...

Anyway, I need to air something that I’ve always deemed to morbid for publication, because of where my brain inevitably goes (you’ll see what I mean)… but since I’ve got all this new space, I might as well branch out a bit.

So here’s the deal: when someone says that they’re “from” somewhere, what does that mean? Wait, wait, let me give a little context. Justin and I went to elementary school, and junior high, in the same town. Let’s call it Winchestertonfieldville (as I always have, or at least since I first saw ‘Mr. Deeds’). When I was in my late-preteens to early teens, my parents decided that it would be a glorious idea to pack up a U-Haul, yank all of us out of Winchestertonfieldville (where we were happy and comfortable), and relocate us in a town (called Gilbert, of all things) with a school district of very similar size but due to its proximity to a university, more access to bad influences. (Advice for parents considering doing this or something similar: don’t.) As I was at the age where most things are torturous and murderous (your run of the mill adolescent can turn a trip to an amusement park into a root canal without novocain) and the sky regularly falls (in a mixture of hormones and angst) for nearly every kid who hasn’t just been uprooted, I spent the next four years being surly and resentful as well as finding nearly everything torturous and murderous, in addition to assuming that nearly everything dreamed up by my parents was a blight wrought upon me as part of some biblically-proportionate social experiment, not to mention that there really isn’t a worse age to stick an awkward girl into a group of other awkward girls (most of whom have known one another since kindergarten) than late-junior-high-to-early-high-school… suffice to say that high school wasn’t what I’d call the best four years of my life.

I didn’t really start thinking about it, though, until a few years later when my grandfather passed away. He was buried in the cemetery next to the church where he and my grandmother were married, where my father was confirmed, ten miles from where my parents went to elementary school, and then high school (at the school where my grandfather taught science his entire career). He obviously belonged there – he fit. People wandering through that cemetery would at least find that name familiar, if they didn’t know it from the church council or the Lion’s Club or Tuesday night bowling leagues. It wasn’t too long after that, I had occasion to be in Winchesteronfieldville for a very short time and I found myself wandering through that cemetery (I like cemeteries – this isn’t about that; don’t judge me). I discovered that there was a headstone in place and engraved with names and dates of birth for a woman who used to be my dad’s receptionist and her husband. I’d known this woman for as long as I could remember. She graduated from Winchestertonfieldville High School and so did her husband. So did her kids, for that matter. She went to church there, and worked there, and belonged to social circles there. In other words, she belonged there, in that cemetery. It is important to mention at this point that she also wasn't dead. She had her lil’ gravestone already set up in the event that she died, ‘cause she knew exactly where she was going to be for the rest of eternity. She was from Winchestertonfieldville. Which sparked a new, irrational fear in my long list of irrational fears, namely, where in heaven’s name would I be buried if I died? Certainly not in Gilbert. That was NOT HOME (in all capital letters). But I wasn’t really from Winchestertonfieldville, either, really - a suspicion that Justin will happily confirm for me. (I mentioned that I’d “grown up there” a while back and he stopped me to tell me that I hadn’t, really… which reminded me of my mother’s tongue-in-cheek description of what it means to be from Winchestertonfieldville… a description to which Justin took umbrage… but only because he met the criteria…)

At one point not so long ago, I insisted that should I die, I’d like to be cremated and have my ashes put in a Tupperware container and stashed in the trunk of my sister’s car, because she has far more fun during the typical Tuesday than I had during all of 2008 and most of 2009. But that’s not a practical solution (or so went the lecture). And so I put it out of my mind until a few months ago, when Justin and I first started pondering this insane relocation plan, and he made the comment that “home is where the heart is.” I mean, I’d heard it before - I’d heard it in the way a little kid hears the sermon at church… there are vaguely words happening from somewhere, but they may or may not actually mean anything. But he said it at the exact space in time when it was completely relevant to not only my present existence, but to the potential “rest of my life” being planned, and suddenly I got it. Like, “epiphany,” got it. Not that it had applied to me at any point, but I understood. Until that point in my life, my heart hadn’t ever really found a “home” – it was one of those cold-feet house-buyers for whom the market is never quite right (which also explains a lot about my lack of “grown-up” furniture, but that’s a different blog) and who always has an excuse about not finding the “right place.” And who knows whether that flaky heart’s got room for a mortgage anyway, what with the dog, and the amazing man in my life, and the family that belongs to me, and the family that’s adopted me as one of their own… but what I know for sure is that if I needed somewhere to stash my heart for safe-keeping, I know a little house in south Lincoln with lots of great hiding places… and if I needed someone to hold it for me, I know who I’d trust. So maybe there’s something to that whole thing.

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