Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great Expectations

Only a few more weeks until I become a wifey. I’m very excited, but, throughout my engagement, I sometimes wonder if I’m not excited enough. Seems that sooooo many parties have an interest in MY BIG DAY – fam, friends, vendors of all types.

I seem to be disappointing most (all) of them.

My family (immediate and extended) is religious. Some piously so. Some (including the pious) prejudicely so. I lost religion a long time ago (too much pious and prejudice), so a church wedding was never considered. (Religious beliefs aside, the thought of walking down an isle, with the music and flowers and all eyes on me, is MORTIFYING.)

When I told Mom of our engagement, the first thing she said (after a rather long silence) was, “That’s great! You’re getting married at our place, right?” (A second assumption was that my uncle, a Baptist preacher, would marry us…)

No, New Zealand. (More silence) And no church. (crickets)

So, Big Disappointment #1 came right outta the gate to be reckoned with, though not to be accepted until just a few weeks ago. As Dad was telling me that he and Mom would not be coming to New Zealand for our ceremony, he suggested doing something at their home and offered up my uncle’s services again. Sigh.

(I'm not sure to label the other tidbit above as Big Disappointment #2. For many, one's parents missing her wedding day would be huge. For us, though, it’s more Big Relief, so, a sympathetic smile is the appropriate response...)

I thought that, with #1 and #2 over, any (sorta) Big Disappointments that followed (#5, my custom made dress; #8, the imperfections of my DIY invites; #3, my age) would be viewed in the proper perspective.

I am proud to say that I'm not cut out to be a Bridezilla. Not even a mini-BZ. It's just much easier to expect that things work out as they should and Kiwi B and I will live realistic-ever-after...

Monday, November 22, 2010


Eeeeesh...two-and-a-half months since my last entry. Good thing no one is following my every word...

A big part of why I embarked on this bloggy thing was to practice writing (thus, hopefully, improving whatever skills I might have). 

Easy, right? All I need to do is: a) set a deadline (say, once a week. OK, maybe once a month); b) come up with something to write; c) write it; d) post on blog, by deadline; e) repeat.

So, wha happened?

Sigh...well, I'm embarrassed to say that my lack of entries has everything to do with my lack of commitment. This is work and I just didn't make the time to keep up with it. 

Equally embarrassing is the evidence of this life pattern. See, I am all about the genesis, but not so good at planting the flag. Once I realize the work involved in actually finishing an idea or project, I lose interest and look to see what else I can do.

While this keeps things kinda fresh for me, it also leaves a trail of unfinished business: skimmed pages so I can put the book away; tape on walls to remind me where to finish painting baseboards; an unpersonalized computer.

My route to a BS in marine biology developed only after giving up on fashion design and literature and dreams of becoming a rock star (really, what kind of career path is this?).

As I look at a box of partially completed wedding invitations (I will make them by hand!), a wedding dress that needs alterations (I have a sewing machine, I can do it!), a somewhat completed wedding website (I have a blog, why not a website!), I see that, over the years, not much has changed. 

Despite my genuine enthusiasm for getting married, to a man I adore, and that I believe this to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, I'm still all Ideas and no Implementation.

So, here we go...I'm going to finish the invites, I'm going to tailor my dress, I'm going to find a caterer. Once Kiwi B moves in, I will ask him to help finish the baseboards.

And I am going to write. Then I'm going to live happily ever after...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Love and Marriage

For many (most?) people in the good ol' US of A, marriage denotes a consensual covenant between two people truly in love. Oh, the LOVE! Followed by the RING! Followed by the BIG DAY and then it’s happily every after…

So far, I’m on point – a good American woman, marrying a good Kiwi/American man. For LOVE! America encourages our decision and supports it with a tax credit (congratulations, you two!).

But, as we all know, in most of America, this civil matter is currently not afforded to everyone. Thankfully, the times may be a changin’…

On August 4, Vaughn Walker, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, declared that Proposition 8, which constitutionally bans gay marriage in California, is unconstitutional.


I voted against Prop 8 in November 2008. To me, it is logical and reasonable that if two consenting adults want to marry, they should be able do so – boy/girl, boy/boy, girl/girl, whatever.

Even if I morally objected to gay marriage (which I didn’t/don’t), I could never side with the proponents of this fear-mongering, hateful initiative. The arguments for Prop 8 were absolutely unreasonable and ridiculous, and I truly believed that’s how most of California felt.

Well, fear and unreason (barely) won the day, and after years of can’t marry/can marry/no, sorry, you can’t/wait, now you can again!, it was written in California’s constitution that same-sex couples can not marry.

Fast forward to August 5, 2010, as Judge Walker writes in
Perry v. Schwarzenegger:
That the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, 319 US 624, 638 (1943).
Fascinated by what I read about the ruling (this is good), I actually read through much of Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

WOW. I’ve never read a court decision before, and I am in awe of beautiful logic presented in this document. This man clearly knows what’s at stake and methodically and thoroughly weighed the evidence. And he found the defendants, the proponents of Prop 8, to be inadequately prepared, embarrassingly irrational and without any legal ground to stand on. OUCH...

Although, as of this writing, same-sex couples cannot obtain a marriage license, I believe that day will soon come. As I plan for my wedding, I appreciate that I should not take it for granted. Although not founded by a religious perspective, I do believe in the institute of marriage. Kiwi B and I are choosing to live in a committed relationship that will be formally recognized, and approved, by society. This is a fundamental right that should be awarded to all citizens.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

At some point, everyone comes around to the Beatles. 

From a very young age, music has been very important to me. It wasn’t until my early 20’s, however, for my own private Beatlemania to set in.

In addition to consuming the basics (songs, discography, biographies), I also explored the academic (musicology, social impact). I had a buyer’s guide for collectors and “invested” in original albums and memorabilia. I impressed/scared those around me with my steel-trap memory of minutiae.

Over the years, the collection has sputtered and stalled and the impressive steel-trap has transformed into the somewhat embarrassing steel-sieve. But the songs will always be with me, and, in the last 7 months, two very cool things have happened in my Beatledom.

Cool item #1: On Dec 24, 2009, I received a top-tier piece of Beatles memorabilia from mom and pop. I’m not one to brag, and this piece is not yet covered on my homeowner’s insurance, so all I wish to say is a) I have eight and b) they are all authentic.

Cool item #2: On Saturday, July 10, 2010, I sang Beatles tunes with Sir Paul himself. As I had never seen a live Beatle before, this was a very special treat. He looked magnificent in his uber-tailored Beatle suit and heeled boots and he sounded marvelous singing through his celebrated history. And, at 68, he rocked solid for 3 hours!!!

What an experience.

But even more touching for me is how I came about this once-in-a-lifetime event. A very good (now even better!) friend of mine has a birthday in July. To celebrate, she thought it would be great to take ME to see the cute one in SF. And she went big, braving the auction sites and successfully procuring 2 field tickets, stage left.

Her thoughtfulness and generosity are testimony to her character and what kind of friend she is. It’s difficult to find the words to adequately express how much this gesture means to me.

For the rest of my life, a smiley (Paul) face will forever follow any thoughts I have of this fantastic gal...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Online Road to Engagement

Yes, I met him online. One of the major sites, where you take a personality test, get labeled, then pay a premium to meet your ideal match-label.

My label = Builder/Negotiator. 
My ideal match-label = Explorer/Negotiator.

My online endeavor did not begin on this site, however. I started where everyone starts, The Onion. Well, that was years ago, when I was a snarky 35-year old. I thought for sure I would find a like-minded snark on this site, but it was not meant to be. Actually, it was a bit boring and after a weird “invasion” from some (supposed) University of Michigan student, I deleted my profile and returned to cruising the softball fields I knew. (On a side note, who meets date material at a bar? Or the market? Or cycling? Or a cooking class? Dog park and church, I get, but as I had a cat and kinda lost my religion…well, what else did I have?)

At 40, I joined the mass market of Match. And it was fun! Blonde/blue with a good pic, I had many winkers (ew!) and e-mailers (better). I thrived on the email-me-first introductions and met some interesting men. I had no bf expectations, I just wanted to get out and meet guys, so I was never really let down. I also did not have any scary or  married encounters, so my online experience was pretty tame. After a few months of coffees, lunches, dinners, second dates, fifth dates, and two-way rejections, I was getting a bit weary. This was work.

Then, as if Match knew of my growing blahdom, I got a teaser from Match’s eHarmony wannabe. Take the personality test, meet your ideal match! Curious as to how I would fair on the test, I dove in. It was great! It had many interesting questions (like, which of your fingers is the longest?) and I was very pleased with the label they gave me. Builder/Negotiator, Yes! That’s just who I am. In my dreams.

After a few more clicks, I learned I would have to pay $100 for three months to have (newly) labeled me out there. A penny pincher already under contract with Match, I declined. Of course, this new site had a way to suck me in – labeled me, plus my Match-linked profile, was viewable to others on this advanced site. Within a day, “Max” contacted me, interested.

His pic was very cute. The only other info I had of him was “Explorer/Negotiator.” Coincidence, expert vetting or sucker-sell? Geez…Was “Max” worth $100? When he reached out again two weeks later, I thought, “Sure, what’s a hundred bucks?”

Well, as it turned out, it was money well spent. Not that “Max” became my fiance. No, he was not the Explorer/Negotiator of my dreams, he was just the first of many nice guys I met on this site.

But, of all the nice guys, only two were E/N. While “Max” did not pan out, “Kiwi B” did.

So, maybe there is something to this kind of matchmaking.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Toe is in the Water

Hello! Thanks for stopping by…

Yes, I am a 43-year old bride. Actually, I can do better – I am a 43-year old, never-been-married, ever, bride. 

I’m pretty normal, whatever that means. I have a science degree (marine biology, cool!). I’ve SCUBA-dove in underwater caverns/caves (scary cool). Throughout my career, I’ve worked with a wide variety of animals (sharks! pelicans! octopus! eagles! jealous cool…). Hockey fan (Stanley Cup cool). I currently live in the Bay Area (crazy expensive cool) and work at a wildlife/nature museum (unique job/anemic salary cool).

For all this, um, cool-ness, why was I single for soooooooo long? And, after years of being single (NOT “unmarried”, btw), why take the plunge now?? How did I get here?

That’s what I want to explore with thing. I have no idea that I have anything worthy to say, and am not totally comfortable about putting stuff out there (isn’t this a bit self-absorbed? I mean, really, who cares?!).

I am, however, curious about the blog experience (so trendy) and I also kind of view this as a creative way to pad my life skills (photography, check; power tools, check; music trivia, check; blogger, hmmmm…well, why not?). 

I’m also curious how my single-time stacks up to the universe. In my circle of family/friends, I was an enigma – a cool (duh) blonde-haired, blue-eyed, healthy-active, snarky-funny, quirky-normal…yet a totally dateless wonder. I cannot believe I was alone, here, people…

So, I’m casting a world-wide net of inquiry and comment. Patience is a must and feedback/advice/anecdotes are always welcome. 

Cheers, T43YOB