What does a wife look like?

Sometimes when people find out that I’m married, they say things like “You don’t seem like you’d be married” or “I never would have guessed you have a husband”. I laugh it off but can’t help but wonder- what do they think a wife is supposed to look like? I assume a great deal of it has to with my age. If I’m not in my lawyer suit, I get mistaken for someone up to 10 years younger (thanks for the great genes, Mom!). Anyways, it got me thinking about people’s opinions on marriage in general. I believe that marriage isn’t for everyone. But at the same time, marriage gets a bad rap. In 2015, people still seem to think that marriage has to look like June and Ward Cleaver. Why?

I’ve been married two years, and I’m still the same person. Have my priorities changed? Of course. Tex is my husband, and spending time with him is non-negotiable for me. But that does’t mean I gave up everything that didn’t revolve around him. Because we met in college and most of our circle consists of friends who know us both, we usually socialize as a couple. But that doesn’t mean I spend the whole night cuddling him in the corner (although I’m not ashamed to grab a hug and a quick smooch when I feel like it). When he wants to hang at the bar with his homeboys, I’m cool with it. I take advantage of having the apartment to myself and watch the reality shows he hates, give myself a pedicure, or just enjoy the silence and a good book. Unfortunately I don’t have any girlfriends who live less than an hour away from me, but I still keep in touch. Tex is my rock but he can’t be my entire life.

We just do what works for us. A woman in my building was scandalized by the fact that I don’t always wear my wedding band. Neither does Tex. It’s not a diss- I love my rings. But I’ve never been much into jewelry and I work in a really small office where everyone knows I’m married. If I have to fend off a random guy at the grocery store from time to time, so be it. WE know we’re married and a piece of metal doesn’t affect our commitment level. I knew he was the one years before he put a ring on it; that just made it official to the rest of the world. We do our own thing. He does most of the house cleaning; I do the cooking and manage the finances. lt works and if it stops working, we’ll figure it out.

Marriage isn’t a death sentence. I enjoy being a wife as much as I enjoy being a sister, a friend, an attorney. It’s another part of my life. And it can look like whatever I want it to.

Something Old, Something New

I’M MARRIED!!!!!!!

 

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The big kiss

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The cake was beautiful AND delicious!

 

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I’m not much for flowers but I looooved this bouquet.

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A good luck kiss from mommy

 

The wedding was fantastic. Everything went off without a hitch.  My dad owns a car service, so I had a driver to take  me & the bridesmaids from our hotel room to the venue. It was quite the VIP experience! My hair & makeup were just what I wanted–glamorous with a nod to the classic but still unmistakably me. Almost all of my closest friends were there, and true to her word Maya made the trip down from NYC. We had so much fun! I will remember it forever. Not to mention that my dad and my father-in-law are becoming fast friends. I think they found a kindred spirit with whom they could a) brag or complain about their children and b) share deep thoughts about being black male professionals. It’s nothing short of hilarious!

My life is completely changed now, and not just because I’m married. The fact is that mere weeks after I graduated and moved in with Tex, he got laid off. We made it through the end of the summer with our savings, help from his parents and his unemployment. But in three months, nothing had panned out for either of us as far as salaried work so we decided the smart thing to do would be to move back to Houston with his parents, and save the rest of his unemployment money until we got back on our feet. I’m not going to lie, part of me felt defeated. We did all the right things and seemingly none of them mattered. But now I’m feeling hopeful again. Tex has some more job leads and I have some things in the works too. It looks like we’re going to make it.

Life in Texas is pretty good, aside from the heat. Fortunately we only have a few more weeks of oppressive summer weather before things cool off for a while, and hopefully by this time next year I’ll be acclimated to it. My mother-in-law is a faithful exerciser, which is motivating me to strive for the same. I’ve inherited Tex’s friends so I do have a small social life, and I’m looking to get back into music by joining a community orchestra soon. I miss my viola, and playing in concert–the way that every player brings the song to life and you’re surrounded by music. It’s even cooler to play the harmony to me, because often my part makes no sense on its own. It taught me how to listen to what under and behind the melody and appreciate that in music, as in life, it is sometimes the random or subtle contributions that make a huge difference.

I certainly miss being down the street from my siblings, but homesickness hasn’t really kicked in. I feel refreshed here, like there’s no limits on my life. I have no history here so anything is possible. I would say I’m surprised that I like it so much but the truth is, I’ve been feeling stifled in Atlanta for a long time. My family and some of closest friends are there but aside from that, I was just bored and frustrated. Atlanta is beautiful and unique in that it is truly an integrated city; despite the lingering legacy of slavery black people can and do run sh*t. It’s not hard to find a black lawyer, doctor, or politician. We’re at the top, the bottom and the middle class. But still, there’s no unity of purpose and socially, people can be very calculating. It’s all about status. The Old Boys Club has nothing on the exclusivity of some of my black educated peers. To sum it up: in a general sense, I’ve never felt like I belonged in Atlanta. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in.

Everything happens for a reason, and I’m okay with my current circumstances because deep down in my spirit I know that God is moving. Maybe He knew that in order to keep us from falling into complacency and a life lived by default, He’d have to throw all our plans into disarray. I’ve just got to let Him work, and be faithful. Right now we’re 25 with no kids and no mortgage, nothing to keep us from uprooting our lives at a moment’s notice, so I choose to consider it an adventure. I think we’re where we need to be, and because of that, we’ll be okay.

Wedding fatigue

It’s less than two weeks before the wedding, and people keep asking me questions. “What time does the wedding start? What gifts do you want off your registry? What are your wedding colors? Are you excited? I’m excited. You must be SO EXCITED!!!!

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Shoot me in the face!* Maybe I could get excited if people stopped asking me so many damn questions. I know that everyone means well and is excited for me and I’m being a curmudgeon. But as an introvert who is also a highly sensitive person, this wedding shit is practically torture. Ideally, I would have had a super small affair with about 60 of my nearest and dearest and probably had a nice brunch reception with jazz playing in the background. Since my parents would never forgive me for leaving out a single family member or seemingly half the free world, it’s turned into this huge production. l deal with the big picture. If we’ve got a bride & a groom, a pastor, and a pretty dress, then I’m good. Not hard to please at all so long as the wedding license gets signed at the end and we’re not at the courthouse, that’s a good wedding. Barring that, I’d like to be able to stop making wedding related decisions in the three weeks before the wedding so I can relax and enjoy the ambiance of it all.

No such luck.  We are less than 14 days out now, and my mom was asking me about folks to invite last week (!!!) so I just had to put my foot down. This is out of control! She’s also blowing my phone up about flowers–what kind? what color? how many? Hell, I don’t know! “I just want everything to be pretty for your big day,” she says. Of course I smile and thank her like the home trained young lady I am. But really? In Jaleesa’s words, “I’m out of damns to give.” Then there’s my dad, who thinks we’re the Rockefellers and that everyone expects a car to pick them up for the airport because that’s his business. -_- Most regular people rent cars when traveling so they can get around without relying on others. Then today he asked me for the caterer’s phone number. How do you not have their number when you paid for the catering, arranged your own tasting and called them TWO WEEKS AGO? And if you lost it why not GOOGLE it before you ask me? Sweet baby Jesus!!!!! I may turn my phone off for a week after the wedding so I can get some blessed peace and quiet.

*I completely do NOT mean that literally.

Life after law school

I’m still here. I’ve had a lot of life…stuff to catch up on, quality time with Tex being number one. Socializing would be second except for the fact that half my friends are in bar study purgatory, and the other half are, happily, gainfully employed. (I’m still working on that.) So, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and also wedding planning. Now we’re down to the nitty gritty details of decor–bouquets, tablecloths, centerpieces, the whole nine yards. Also, waiting on invitation RSVPs.

Bridezilla break- Can I just say that I hate logistics? Contrary to what my law degree would have you think, I’m a big picture person. I’m concerned about the feel of the day. Will I be a pretty white dress? Check.  Is it a nice place and do we have an ordained minister doing the ceremony? Double check. Will my groom, family & close friends be there? Triple check. I’m pretty much done after that. I don’t give a flying [expletive deleted] what kind of bouquets the bridesmaids have. In fact, after looking into florist prices and perusing the craft shop, I decided to chuck the whole thing and have them wear corsages. My sister almost had a heart attack when I said I didn’t want to carry a bouquet. It’s completely useless, other than the toss, but Tex said I couldn’t just show up with one at the ceremony so he wore me down on that one. We’re also going to buy some nice seasonal flowering plants that the fam can take home rather than drop a grand on floral decor we’re going to have to throw away.  If people come to my wedding and the only thing they take away is that they didn’t like the food, or the centerpieces weren’t fancy enough, then screw ’em! I don’t know, I’m just not that person who goes to a wedding and says, “Hmm, beautiful couple, but the walls were a bit bare”. That’s never what I take away. I remember doing the “Thriller” choreography with my brother on the dance floor, stifling laughter as my preacher uncle hijacks the prayer into a sermonette, and hoping my own special day will be half as much fun.

Oh well. I’m praying to find a job soon; living life as a “kept woman” seems appealing but it does get boring.There’s not terribly much to clean in a 1-bedroom apartment with two adults who generally pick up after themselves, and we don’t have the budget for me to spend all day alternating between mani/pedis, massages, a personal trainer and shopping.  I’ve given myself the project of brushing up on my Spanish on Duolingo (it tests your translations backwards & forwards as well as your pronounciation via the computer mic). I may be a casual Type A, but I’m a Type A nonetheless and I like to be doing stuff….But not for free. I’ve got two degrees now and in the words of Flavor Flav, “They gots to pay me boyyyeeeee!”