Wednesday, May 09, 2007

a few thoughts on the act of wedding

Some quotes from Romeo and Juliet which rang true today in class:

"the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;"

I've often bemoaned how long it took for K to propose, making me concerned that he may not feeling the desire to be permanently linked to me, that perhaps buying a house before entering into marriage with him was not wise. (Something tells me a house is as permanently linked as marriage, but we won't bicker over the details.) And I think about this quick marriage of Romeo and Juliet and how shocking it is and how it is held up to these freshmen girls as the epitome of "romantic." But it's not: Romeo is in love with someone else entirely at the start of the play. We're supposed to believe this whole love-at-first-sight thing, which is generally not true, and they die in the end anyway (sorry for the spoiler). And our love, still honey-sweet, isn't so speedy and overwhelming that it will die out. Sure, we used the L-word within the first month of dating and meant it, and I adore the way our love has changed, mutated, grown, but we weren't suddenly leaping into anything. Every stage in our relationship has been mulled over, ruminated upon, and generally driven me nutty as I am not one to harbor a great deal of patience, and I think, in the end, it's not exactly the speed of the journey but how lovely the journey is itself. (Fortunately, I wasn't all that impatient for him to propose anyway; if I pushed, I knew he might ask and not mean it and it was so important for him to mean it when he finally got around to asking.) And he did. Mean it. And I meant it when I kissed him again and again and said yes.

"What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet"

OK, here is one of the first issues to have cropped up. I remember hugging my mother good-bye in July and whispering to her, "But I'm going to keep my last name." She didn't care. After all, her last name was something else entirely pre-marriage, but it was important to me to let her know I wanted to be that strong, independent woman.

I thought K was on board with this. When his best man got married years ago, I was surprised to find out Mike was upset with his then-fiance who wanted to keep her last name. I told K I thought it was silly and she should decide what she wanted. I got the whole having the same last name, children and all, and how lovely that would be at parent-teacher conferences to not have to explain the big messiness of multiple names, but I still wanted to keep mine. But then K got upset, and I said, OK, I'll peg yours on to the end of mine. He wasn't really thrilled at this idea, and here I thought this is a compromise and it's the best I can do. So then I offered up: OK, I'll keep my last name, peg yours on, and even go by yours. So while I would technically have two last names, I would go by his, kind of like having two middle names. I guess. A few months later, I panicked and changed my mind--I'll go by both last names. To which he got very irritated and wouldn't speak to me for a little while. (This is what he does when he isn't pleased with me: he doesn't speak to me for a little while and sometimes he forces me to figure out what I've done wrong, to which I have to play a guessing game, listing all the wrongs I have done as of recent, which can be quite the long list sometimes.) He told me it felt like I was symbolically rejecting his family by rejecting his name. I said, "OK, we'll do it the other way again." We'll go with his last name, but I'm not giving mine the boot, even if I'm not happy with it. I didn't point out how he refused to take my last name, starting our own little matriarchy. :)

But it doesn't matter. I mean, naming is important, and one of my favorite themes to explore in literature, but it doesn't matter if I have his last name or my last name. We make our own symbols and we will continue to create our own family. Hey, we already have a full house by way of fur (and I tell you, that vacuum on our registry list is a very hopeful and expensive item indeed). And I'm just so warm and cuddly-happy that I get to marry such a beautiful, wonderful man such as K that I could be named Pigvomit and not mind. (Well, maybe just a little.)

Plus, I really like his family, so I'll be proud to carry that family name.

Other rambling thoughts for today:

I did manage to go to bed just a wee bit earlier last night, but I still stayed up reading later than I wanted. Drat. But I'm almost done with my book, which means I can finally write a little book review for your folks on this collection of six books. And move on from all that Arthurian legend. I am tired of knights in shining armor.

I am no where near the shock factor of a clean house for K. In fact, it is still very much so a disaster, but we are now less one giant plastic cup, which is a step. I am one determined gal, and he's mentioned the possibility of his turning right back around from his Santa Fe trip to actually spend Mother's Day with his mother, which means I'd have a few more days with said nasty house to myself to turn into a lovely abode for my love. I can't believe that in ten days, he'll have spent one at home and the rest in Boston, Santa Fe, and Green Bay. What a traveling fool.

Oh and by the way: my wedding is in THREE MONTHS. Almost three months. PANIC. Not real panic, not yet, but there are all of these things I've forgotten to decide a long time ago. At this point, we had already started all those paper flowers for Kelly's wedding, had already ordered the invites, had already decided on other fine details. I jokingly told my class I wish my own wedding were as easy to plan as Romeo and Juliet's. Sometimes I mean it though. :) Couldn't it just all fall together?

I also found out my class this summer took. I'll teach ten overly bright students about theatre and dramatic arts (my biggest fear: they will know more, much much more, than I) and ten students apparently warrants an educational assistant. She even has a name, but I've forgotten it. I'm blown away that ten means I'll have assistance, and now three weeks of my summer (plus all the time planning) have rapidly filled up. Another week of poetry with a professional, another week or two being wed and then lolling about with a new sparkly accessory, and my summer is glowing to fullness. Oh, and a camping trip to plan and another dear friend's wedding. Last summer, I was bored silly, and this summer, I'm afraid I might whine for some down time.

And I have been whittling away at this post periodically throughout the day. So now the sun is setting and I went and took a nap because I came home in such a sour mood and my head throbbed. I set my alarm, set a second alarm forty five minutes later (just in case) and when I closed my eyes just after the first, and (just in case) woke up seconds later. Or so I thought. Overly long nap. It's going to take quite some time to fall asleep tonight.

I woke up this afternoon, slick with sweat. It was seventy-seven in our house.

And of course, no miraculous cleaning as of yet, save scrubbing one of those little wiggly bundles of joy's diarrhea off the living room carpet. Blech. And while they were locked in the kitchen as I scrubbed at the stinking mess, Zephyr somehow managed to pull down a box of Kleenex and quietly shred it all over. I could tell the nap did me good--prenap, I probably would have whimpered in frustration, but postnap, I was calm. Phew. Single parenting is hard.