Category Archives: relationships

Fast forward a year…

Hi guys,

Welp, it’s really been a year. Over a year, in fact. In that time, it’s entirely possible I’ve lost every. single. reader. I had. Hopefully a few of you have hung on to me in your RSS feeds, allowing my little link to wallow away to nothing, hardly even noticeable in your daily blog skimming. Perhaps, when you saw the link light up again, you forgot who I was — I know I do that fairly frequently with infrequent posters.

No blame if you’ve forgotten who I am. I’m just thankful you’ve kept me around all this time. It’s been a busy year to say the least. And at the same time, not all that busy at all. I spend most weeknights vegging out with my husband. (Last time I wrote, he was just a fiance.) Our weekends are often busy, but just as often not-so-busy.

Between planning a wedding, working the 9 to 5, and simply living life, you’d think I would have forgotten about this little corner of the Interwebs. Instead, I think about it nearly every day. Usually in that 25ish mile commute, as my hands grip the wheel but my mind wanders above the Interstate, I think about it over here. I think about how I genuinely miss getting everything out on “paper”. And even more so, how I miss interacting with the people who used to read my jumbled thoughts. I think about potential blog posts, rarely crafting an entire post in my head like I used to, but just thinking about wisps of posts that’ll likely never get written. A topic, a sentence, it all flows in and out again as easily as it comes to me.

And so I often think about coming back. “Next week,” I say. Or, “this weekend, I’ll do it.” For just about 386 days now. Today, it finally happened. And that’s about all I’ve got for now. No major revelations, but hoping that it’s not another 386 days and that the wisps keep coming and maybe starting knocking around enough to put to “paper”.

In the meantime, here’s a little peek at one of my favorite days of the past 386.

Husband and I, happy and newly married, in the park outside our first home (the tall white building behind us).

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Filed under blogging rocks!, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, relationships, Wedding

After “that” happened

It’s just like me to announce an engagement and then disappear for weeks, isn’t it? For all the inquiring minds, here’s an update. For those who couldn’t give a shit, I do promise that this won’t become a total wedding blog. Notice the word “total”…I can’t promise it won’t come up again.

Basics
We’ve got the church and we’ve got the “hall”, which means we’ve also got the date next April. I really hate that word, hall. I wanted to do something different from the typical hotel ballroom or neighborhood hall, and I think we found it in one of the local yacht clubs. Their ballroom is lovely, their costs aren’t outrageous – though between all the liquor and snack upgrades DD wants, it’s definitely a bit more than I’d hoped to spend. Thank goodness we have parents who are helping and who loved the venue as well.

We looked at three places and there’s a small part of me that thinks we should have expanded the search to find something even more cost effective, but that would have meant looking at even more non-traditional locales that would have required us to bring in our own food, liquor, linens, etc. As much as I wanted to be different, I also didn’t want the hassle. Though I have experience planning events and my day job is as a project manager, I didn’t want my wedding to get so detailed that it becomes that heinous project I don’t want to manage.

The Budget
Though the wedding is 12 months out, I’m already having dreams and mild panic attacks. At first, it was about the location. Was I looking everywhere? Had I exhausted my options? Was I making the right decision?

Now, it’s about the budget. First, our current budget is much more than I thought I’d be spending on my wedding. The expense frustrates me, and the majority of it isn’t even my money! Second, there will be lots of hands in the pot; DD and I, his aunt, and my parents – who are picking up most of the tab. I’m trying to walk a fine line between involving our families and also making it clear that we (read: I) have certain ideas about our wedding. Thus far, they’ve been great. Fingers crossed. 

Though, I don’t think I will ever full get over the awkwardness that is the money. My parents and I have never really discussed money and in their minds I’m still their little girl so they shouldn’t discuss money. When I sat down with them to try to get a handle on how they were interested in helping (read: how much they were willing to give), it was nothing less than awkward. At almost 30, it’s hard for me to ask my parents to just shell out tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s also hard for me to drain my own savings account that could go toward the future for DD and me.

I think we’ve finally come to an understanding on who will be pitching in and with how much. I hope we have. Frankly, that’s the other thing about the budget that has me stressed. While we have a general idea of how much we have available to spend on each thing, I really have no idea if those estimates are doable in today’s Wedding Business. Yes, that deserves capital letters.

In addition, DD and I have very different ideas on where we want to spend money and where we don’t. For instance, I could give a shit about the late night snack, but I really want to rent fancier chairs. He’s the opposite – oh, and throw in the premium liquor, too!

Perhaps that’s why God made weddings in the first place. To offer the happy couple a little test on compromise and financial planning.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, family values, relationships, Wedding

So that happened

Last Saturday, after a nice little date night, DD and I walked home and stopped in Campus Martius Park. To my shock and awe, he got down on one knee, and showed me this:

Obviously (since it’s on my finger), I said yes.

For now, that’s about all I can muster up for a blog post. It’s been a long week, and has only been made longer by my sudden and immediate interest in planning a wedding. I’ve gone into full-on project manager mode and much to my friends’ surprise, already have a guest list and several potential venue choices, even though we’re not looking at getting married until April 2012.I keep telling DD that I’ll calm down once we’ve got the location and date locked in, but somehow I doubt that will be the case.

But, with all of that planning, there hasn’t been much time to sit and write a blog post. So, I’ll be back. In the meantime, gaze at the pretty bling. It’s what I like to do in my spare time. That, and think about how adult I suddenly feel.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, relationships, Wedding

The one with diamonds…and smarm

A couple weeks ago, I made dinner for DD and I. As he was dishing up his pulled pork, he casually said

You know what we need to do next weekend?

I assumed he was talking about the massage gift certificates we needed to use, or the family we needed to see, or some other trivial task. Instead, he said:

We need to go ring shopping.

Without missing a beat (though, to be sure, my heart missed at least one), I replied that we could easily do that this weekend since we’d be out in the suburbs and could just stop at a jewelry store in the mall. See, while we’ve talked about marriage, it’s always been a “someday” conversation. In fact, just recently we’d had a rather massive miscommunication about the timeline I thought we were working against. So for him to be ready to look at rings…well…it was surprising.

That Saturday, after his nephew’s basketball game and before we went to dinner at my parents, we stopped by the mall and moseyed into a certain chain jewelry store that shall remain nameless. While I’m not a fan of buying engagement rings from chain jewelers, I figured it would be a good place to start browsing.

Apparently, we walked in the same day they were having THE BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR OMG!

Maybe it won’t be such a casual experience after all?

I explained that we were just looking to get an idea of what I liked. That we weren’t buying.

I began trying on rings and we began talking the 4Cs. I mentioned to her that I’m a princess cut, solitaire kinda girl, and would probably prefer a Tiffany Setting, or perhaps a Compass Setting. You know, something like this:

 

Or this:

 

I asked the saleswoman if she had either of these settings to try on. She didn’t. But of course, she said they could “do anything” so my setting of choice wouldn’t be a problem – and that if I didn’t like it, they had a 60 day, money-back guarantee. Which is great and all, but why would I buy something that I wasn’t totally sure about – money-back guarantee or not.

As we continued trying things on, another saleswoman joined us. It wouldn’t be until later that we’d realize we were moving up the chain of command. Even so, I felt like we were keeping things casual and were avoiding the hard sell. I mean, who buys an engagement ring in front of their bride-to-be anyway?

Then DD pointed to a ring off in the corner. The saleswoman took it out and quietly said “this one’s $17,000.” Until now, she hadn’t said the price of one.single.ring. I tried it on, politely ooooed and ahhhed and gave it back, just as the District Manager walked up.

Ding ding ding. Apparently, we’d hit the jackpot. I like to think that ring was attached to some secret alarm that, when picked up, tells the District Manager that there’s a live one on the hook.  

District Manager dismissed my notions of being surprised and gave the hard sell. TODAY ONLY! BEST PRICE! Blah. Blah. Finally, he just pulled DD off to the side to “give him some pricing”. As they talked, the saleswoman sized my finger, “just so I’d know it”.

And here’s why I’ve told you this very long story. For the sole purpose of what happened next.

District Manager (clad in a full business suit) and DD walked back toward us. As I watched them out of the corner of my eye, I saw District Manager spray something in the general direction of his face and then slide the offending item back in his pocket, all smooth-like

Dude. He totally sprayed Binaca in his mouth. BINACA!

Hey, I totally get wanting to be fresh and minty. But I thought breathe spray went out of style sometime in 1995. Aren’t there enough mints and gums on the market these days that you can keep your breathe fresh without looking like a completely smarmy salesman? Or at least could you wait until we leave the premises?

Somehow, we successfully made it out of their alive, with DD’s credit card untouched, and with only a little slime left on our clothes.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), glass half full, rambling nature, relationships

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Filed under crazy crazy, Detroit, glass half empty, Hmm, loft style living, rambling nature, relationships

House Hunting

The thought of buying a home has always scared me.

The idea of being settled and committed to any one place for any length of time isn’t something I typically get behind. In the three years DD and I have been dating, I’ve moved twice. And then there was the one time before that. And then the nine times in college (not counting any time I moved home).

I’m someone who needs to change things up.

But lately, I find myself obsessed with homes. With thinking about where DD and I might go when we’re married. Would we buy in Detroit and truly commit to the city and all that comes with it? Would we head to the old money suburb just outside the city limits? Or would we choose the trendy suburb with the yuppie downtown? Or what about the far-reaching new money suburb full of McMansions?

I drive through each of these neighborhoods on a weekly basis. And as I cruise the tree lined streets, I watch for For Sale signs and mentally nix the homes I don’t like. Back at home, my reader has become increasingly home/design inspired.

DD and I aren’t anywhere near making a decision about a home and I don’t plan to make any purchases on my own. And I really do love my loft. But, I know it’s temporary and that sooner, rather than later, I’ll be in need of something more permanent. As I see cute rooms and paint colors and built-in bookshelves in my reader, it just gets me a bit more excited about the prospect.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), Detroit, glass half full, Hmm, loft style living, relationships

How I spent my summer vacation: The birthday

As a final nail in the recap posts, I figured I’d touch on my birthday, way back in June.

It passed earlier this summer without much fanfare. On the Monday before, I found myself at a Marine’s funeral. Then came the work meetings and the book club and the catch up and the general things that life brings.

When the weekend arrived, it didn’t seem to warrant much celebration. Frankly, after two weekends of dealing with death and family, we probably would have preferred to collapse in bed and sleep for a weekend. But, DD and I had long before booked a little jaunt to Windsor, Ontario, for dinner.

I can practically see Canada from my apartment, but I hadn’t been since I was 19 and it was the only place I could legally drink. So, I was excited to go for dinner and we found a great little place in Little Italy. DD got me a new and much improved yoga mat and other gear. Low-key, but just what we  both needed to get back into the swing of life.

What IS noteworthy is that it was the last birthday of my 20s. The next time June 13 comes around, I’ll be celebrating the big 3-0. While I’m not one to be all whoa is me about the impending end of my 20s, I am one to give it pause.

After a brief conversation with DD last spring, I’m relatively confident I’ll be engaged by the time I’m 30. So there’s that.

More recently, I’ve been thinking that the next decade may mean lots of changes. Changes in career. Changes in my status as a non-mother. Maybe even health changes. I can’t help but think that all of these things are inevitable. Isn’t that the way life works?

My 20s were pretty stable. The love life was rocky, but I found my compliment. The career was a rock. Through thick and thin, I’ve been there since I graduated college. Aside from a kidney transplant, the health was pretty stable as well.

It was good. But I’m probably due for something different. Will my career demand a new direction? Will my health take a turn? These transplanted kidneys don’t last forever, you know.

I think I’m ready for a new decade and all the changes that come with it. There may be a few I’m a bit terrified of — hello, motherhood! hello, second transplant! — but overall, I’m excited. (Except for that second transplant. That can hold off forever if I have my way.)

30 has a good ring to it. Now, let’s just see if I’m wearing a ring when it comes along!

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), decisions, foodie, glass half full, loft style living, rambling nature, relationships, transplant, Y is for Yoga

On adulthood

As I quickly approach the big 2-9 (Which frankly? Is giving me more of a panic attack than the thought of turning 30 does) I’ve realized that those carefree days of my early 20s have been solidly replaced by…wait for it …

ADULTHOOD.

First, there’s the simple things, like what I choose to eat. While I still love a box of Mac & Cheese, it’s no longer the only thing I can cook. It’s also no longer something that I can eat without feeling guilty about the unhealthiness of it all.

Then, there’s the reading choices. My magazine rack used to be comprised solely of Cosmo. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still checking up on the latest sex tips and trends (that are basically repeated every other month in a different way), my new favorite mag is Real Simple. Oh the organization techniques! And healthy recipes! And “real simple” design tips! My mother got me a subscription as a gift and I stare at it every night, waiting for just the right time when I can completely devote an evening to its fabulous pages.

Speaking of Cosmo, let’s look at the relationship choices. Back in those wild early 20s, my relationship “must” was solidly in the physical category. Sure, I find DD hot, but our physical relationship is nowhere near as hot and heavy as my other relationships have been. Apparently, your late 20s make you realize that while the booty is important, it’s not the most important. The fact that he takes care of me and respects me more than any other man I’ve known is what truly matters.

(I sound like my mother.)

Finally, there’s the financial choices. I set up an IRA this week, folks. I have a retirement account through work, but I’ve been talking about setting up a Roth IRA for years. Years! Apparently, being on the down side of 28 gets the wheels turning because in a matter of 20 minutes I transferred a large sum of money out of the liquidity that I loved as a fresh career gal and into the sunset of my life.

(I sound like my father.)

I suppose adulthood doesn’t have me completely in its hold:

  • I hate NPR. I want to love it, but it just puts me to sleep.
  • I have no need for cable news. After years of relying on local news, I’ve gotten used to being out of the loop on what’s going on in the world most of the time. If it isn’t on Facebook or Twitter, it’s clearly not important.
  • On a Saturday, I’m much more likely to sleep until noon than do anything remotely productive or resembling “errands” or “housework”.

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Filed under DD (aka My Man), glass half full, Hmm, relationships

The decade where I found love, Part 2

Last we left, D and I were on an upswing and life was going well…

Read part 1 here.

2005 brought heartbreak when D and I called it quits in the summer. While struggling to figure out my next move, I reconnected with Mac, who lived a few miles away from my parents. Mac had always been in the picture, but with the on-again, off-again relationship with D, he didn’t stand much of a chance. When D and I finally ended it, I let Mac in. But for some reason I was still hesitant to go for it.

That November, while out celebrating the city’s holiday tree lighting festival, I had a 30 second meeting with DD. A friend introduced us, I thought he was attractive, and then quickly forgot about him when I left the bar a bit later.

Meanwhile, throughout 2005 Mac continued dating other girls, and in the winter of 2006, he met a young woman he really hit it off with. As you might guess, it was about then that I realized I wasn’t ready to give him up. I made a mad dash to claim him, and for the first time in nearly five years, he refused me.

The summer of 2006 brought a whirlwind relationship with a co-worker. He came out of nowhere and was the opposite of my typical man, but his wit won me over. I fell hard and quick and for a couple months, we were quite wrapped up in one another. A fight over nothing led to the demise of that relationship, but the drama would continue for months as we (well, I) struggled to figure out how to have an ex that was also a co-worker.

In the fall of 2006, I moved out of my parents house and lived with a roommate I found on Craigslist. One of my best roommate experiences thus far. I was also supposed to go to Italy that fall for my first trip out of the country. My friend and I got stranded for 24 hours in Dulles Airport, and had to reschedule.

In 2007, I finally made it to Italy. My friend and I spent 2 incredible weeks in Rome, Florence, and Venice, eating our weight in pasta and tiramisu.

A couple months later, a co-worker finally convinced me to meet a guy she’d been trying to set me up with for nearly a year. I walked into the bar that night and stood face-to-face with DD. Again.

There were a few casual get-togethers that month, though my shy demeanor was getting the better of me. DD persevered and we began dating.

That fall, we continued seeing each other, and I moved to my own place for the first time. DD and I had our issues, too. One week in October, he claimed he wanted space, and then called me days later asking me to meet his family for the first time. That Christmas, we went to his office party and proceeded to break up for about 5 minutes before he pleaded with me not to leave.

In 2008, DD and I seemed to work out our issues. We took our first big trip together. We shared the first “I Love You’s”. He came to my cousin’s wedding with me and met all of my extended family.

At work, I got promoted; a highlight of my career. My first real promotion.

Otherwise, the year was one of my most stable to date.

2009 was more of the same as DD became an extension of my family, and I of his. I moved to downtown Detroit to be closer to him and to work. We celebrated all of the major holidays together, from fourth of July barbecues to Labor Day picnics, navigating the waters of family commitments.

He and I ended 2009 by booking arrangements for a trip to Cabo in February 2010.

After a decade of first dates, blind dates, hopes for the future, and massive heart breaks, I think I finally found the love that I’m supposed to. Which makes the decade worth it.

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Filed under About, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, rambling nature, relationships, Uncategorized

The decade where I found love, Part 1

The format was shamelessly stolen from Amy, but there are versions all over. You know, just in case you thought I was being original for a change!

As I reflect on the decade, I realize that there are many things I don’t remember, but the one thing I do remember is the men. It was this decade that I dated. This decade that I had my heart broken (many times). And this decade where I found someone who loved me for me. So while there are other things I reflect on, it’s the path to love that I’ll most remember. (God that sentence is schmoop-filled. Sorry.)

In 2000, I was finding my way as a college freshman at Michigan State University; one of some 40,000+ undergrads. It was hard at first, but by the turn of the millennium, I’d joined a little club that worked with the Admissions Office. I met a few friends, and formed stronger relationships with the ones I already had. I was also having a rather scandalous non-relationship with a certain wrestler. Scandalous because he had a girlfriend and I happened to not be her. Some people go crazy and get drunk every day when they get to college, I went crazy and fell for a taken man.

2001 brought a new job in the freshman orientation office, thanks to that little club I’d joined the year before. It also gave me a summer job at school. The off-limits man was still in the picture, much to the dismay of friends.

That fall also brought a new man in my life, we’ll call him Mac. Mac and I shared an evening class together, and every night he’d either walk or drive me home safely, trying his hardest to woo me. While I didn’t quite let him in, I also wasn’t completely prepared to let him go.

In 2002, despite the current state of the world, I moved to D.C. for a semester study. I worked at a little PR firm and lived on Capitol Hill in a house with 12 other girls (to call it a wannabe sorority house would be an understatement).  In between the fun of living in my favorite city, I was also deeply homesick. Every night, I talked to Mac on Instant Messenger and dreamt of coming home to him.

The summer brought me home to the same job I’d had with freshman orientation. Mac and I went out on one date, and I suddenly decided that he wasn’t the guy for me. Later in the summer, I reconnected with an old friend, D (not to be confused with DD).  Mac got further shoved aside as D and I became closer through the fall.

I also got some news in 2002. My kidneys had finally declined to the point that I needed to start the process for a transplant. Denial became the word that would best describe me.

2003 included good times and bad times with D. Break-ups, make ups, and everything in between. I went back to the same orientation job that had been so good to me, and watched many of my friends graduate that summer. In the fall, I went back for my final semester. I was handling a full load of classes and an internship. I lived alone in the dorms, and though I didn’t realize it, my illness was taking its toll. I wasn’t very social, and I consider that fall the low point of my college career. In December, I graduated and moved home.

January of 2004 brought my kidney transplant. The year before, my aunt had done the testing and found out she was a match. She flew to Detroit in the dead of winter and literally gave me a piece of herself. The first part of the year was filled with recovery and a healthy dose of depression as my college days became more and more distant and I struggled with self-confidence in my ability to get a “real” job.

In November, I finally got a job and things began looking up. My relationship with D was on an upswing and I thought we were headed down the aisle someday.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Filed under About, DD (aka My Man), rambling nature, relationships, Uncategorized