Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Change in Status

There are things we mark our lives by: birthdays, anniversaries, semesters, raises, a job well done. Of all these things, there is one arena many choose to proclaim these changes in status in to whomever may be a friend, acquaintance or colleague. I am speaking of course of the Internet life, on either Myspace or Facebook or both. I am in the position of drastically altering my status on both of these accounts in the near future and the thought of it is disconcerting for me. No longer will I be "single" or even the easier to swallow "engaged." Soon I will be swallowed by the word "married," which is a great thing for all the obvious reasons and a scary thing for the also obvious reasons.

I'm going to refer to a movie here and disclaim its cinematic value from the get-go. The movie is "'Til There Was You" with Jeanne Tripplehorn and Sarah Jessica Parker. It's not a bad movie at all, to be honest and doesn't really require disclaiming but if I told you the portion I wanted to reference was from the role Jennifer Aniston played, I'm guessing you would stop listening right then and there. So be it. Jennifer Aniston is not as valueless as many people think as an actress. But that's not the point.

The point is this: the story the movie tells is of a women (Gwen) who is a la-la land romantic, which is all well and good, but does not leave room for the reality of romance which is really a lot of work. Her married best friend (Aniston's character) seems to have it all and Gwen does not hesitate in telling Aniston this frequently in that glowing, oh-look-at-the-fairytale-of-your-life kind of way. Finally Aniston has had it. She tells Gwen something like, "You think my life is over now that I'm married - 'that my life is all planned out now and everything's going to be fine. Well, it's not. My life's not over. It's still hard."

I wish I could find the direct quote. I really do, but I've done it at least a little justice anyway. The point of this long and meandering post is this. It does feel that way. It feels like my life and a bunch of searching is supposed to be over now, like I'm this far more benign, unneedy creature now that I'll be married.

I don't want to feel benign or needless. I wish from the outside in marriage didn't look like that. I wish married people didn't seem less vital or necessary. How strange is my life that this view is common. Perhaps I am being unkind and presumptuous, but I don't think I am. I know my life with my husband will be vital - I've chosen well. But I think it will be more difficult to express that in a public circle and maybe I shouldn't try. Maybe that's really the point after all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

On quilting and harmonica learning

I made a bold promise to not waste this summer or let it get swallowed whole with wedding planning. I said I would a) learn to play the harmonica and b) make a quilt before my wedding. The harmonica education is coming along slowly, rather like learning an instrument does for anybody, but I am determined. You can ask anyone who knows me - I can play a mean "When the Saints Going Marching In."

The quilting has been more successful. Behold, me with my first quilt. I suspect many quilts of increasing complexity will follow, but there will never be a first quilt fraught with error and excitement and make-it-workivity.

Quilt, I will love you forever.