Mawage

The Impressive Clergyman: Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.

I’ll admit…when I was younger, I dreamed often and deeply of my one perfect, future wedding day. A day surrounded by friends and families and pretty colors. A day I’d have lost all the unwanted weight for. A day I’d driven all my bridesmaids crazy to get to. A day where my groom might reconsider the whole endeavor, but ultimately go through with it, cause no one calls off a wedding on the day of a wedding. It’s quite rude, you know! Ok, I didn’t actually dream of all that.

My dream wedding looked a lot more like this:

I’m not even joking! I had this “Doglass Fairbanks and Catrina Meowford” Lisa Frank design on a trapper keeper and I carried it around all the time and referenced it anytime the discussion of weddings came up. It was part of little Lizzie’s recipe for her perfect wedding day.

Ah yes…that one perfect day. Some say it’s the “happiest day of their lives.” Which used to make sense and now seems incredibly strange. I don’t think I have a “happiest day of my life.” Not because there haven’t been a plethora of happy days or because I am unmarried female. Only because I think that’s a statement best saved for the twilight of life. Lots of people get married at a young age. My parents were married when they were 22 and a lot can happen in 36+ years of marriage (including but not limited to, having a rather fantastic daughter. And also a son who is almost, but not quite as cool as said daughter. *wink!) Seeing as a wedding is only the starting point, isn’t it safe to say that a bride and groom might just be starting a life full of different sized happy days? Maybe I’m overthinking it.

But things like this lead me to think that there is too much hype about the wedding day and not enough hype about the marriage…Do you have that friend that just keeps posting her wedding photo over and over again, even though it’s, like…10 years later? And it isn’t even her anniversary or anything? We get it, JOAN! You’re unhappy and want to remember the good times! Find a recent picture of your happiness already or make a new memory. Cause…it’s getting sad!

Ok…cause all the “cool” kids are doing it. Here it is…the only living picture of me in a wedding dress…

From the years 2007 – 2012 I worked at Kleinfeld Bridal. You may not know the name of the store, but you might know the show that is filmed there, “Say Yes to the Dress.” After that I went on to work at Pronovias for a summer, another wedding atelier. I was in 14 weddings and I moonlighted as a wedding planner for a while. When you work with brides and plan their big days and hear their stories and peddle shiny, poufy, lacy concoctions…you dream of your own wedding. So little Lizzie wasn’t the only one who was planning ahead. It was as recent as 2012 when I could be caught in a wedding daydream. Goes to show how much a person can change in 5 years.

I guess I need to say this, cause there could be plenty of evidence to the contrary…but, I don’t hate weddings. I actually really enjoy them. Free food? Check! Free drinks? Check! All night dance party? CHECK!! All things I love! Add getting dressed up and great hair and you’ve got yourself a recipe for fun. And I have found enjoyment in every wedding I’ve ever been to/in. Whether I’ve been the wedding coordinator on purpose or by accident. Whether I’ve been the one lacing up the bride’s corset. Whether I’ve just gotten to sit back and watch one play out, like a holiday special of Boy Meets World. Or whether I’ve been standing right next to the bride in the dressing room, at the altar, in the bathroom 3 hours later. It’s all been a ride.

I’m just not entirely sure it’s a ride I want to take for myself. Does that get me a lot of strange looks from a lot of little old ladies…yep! Does that mean I never want to get married…nope! It just means that if I do it, it probably won’t be the “happiest day of my life.” It means that it will probably look nothing like I ever wanted it to look like when I was a kid, or when I was in my 20’s, or hell…5 years ago.

But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, gentle reader…I still think Lisa Frank designs a helluva wedding dress…

Return to Blogland

You know what’s hard to do? Write a book about boys and dating when you currently have no interest in boys or dating. I know, I know…I wrote an entire 40 episode web series on boys and dating. So…there’s that.

And I can’t really describe to you what’s changed. The fundamental paradigm shift that’s happened in my brain and body that led me from wanting love and marriage to wanting nothing to do with them. We’re definitely in uncharted territory over here.

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It’s a particularly difficult realization to come to. Finding out that a book consisting of all my funniest stories revolve around the men that I’m not with. The guys that I’ve kissed. The boys that I do not miss. Every time I sit down to write, I think to myself “Is my life all about boys? Is the sum of my life’s work, the roster of  dudes that I’ve been involved with one way or another?????” When I think about it, I make this face…

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And then this mentally happens….

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And before you know it I’m on a full-on shame spiral where I am left examining all past mistakes through a very judgmental microscope. It’s not pretty. No one wants to be around that level of Debbie Down. I don’t even want to be around me sometimes.

Here’s what I know…I left New York for a reason. It wasn’t where I needed to be anymore. And I’m the kind of person that has no problem changing my circumstance. When things go bad or are no longer healthy for me, I change them. I move or get a new job or join a gym or stop drinking soda. It’s often as simple as that. I moved because I wanted to be able to find someone and fall in love…that was the reason. That’s what I said in the last episode of my web series. Remember…

That was not the truth. I think I thought it was the truth at the time. Is truth a relative thing? It was true then, but it’s not true anymore. Does that make it a lie? Was I lying to myself when I said I just wanted to fall in love? Cause right now…I know that I don’t. It’s the last thing I want for my life. This messy existence I’m currently living, love would only make it messier, if that’s even possible. And I have plenty of tangible, understandable love from my family and my friends. But romantic love? No thanks.

No wonder I have writer’s block, since what I’ve given myself to write about are stories about something I no longer want. I still want to share my experiences with you, world. I want you to benefit from my experiences. To learn from my mistakes. To understand me better by understanding where I’ve been. But I’m having a hell of a time doing it. I’ll be lucky if I have any hair left for my picture in the book jacket…

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In the meantime, while I figure it all out, I’m going to attempt to return to the blog I love. The blog I have neglected lately. The blog I started long ago and often take for granted. This is my brain on blog so, read at your discretion. And if you choose to, thanks for coming along for the ride!!

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Window Washing

Needless to say, I don’t like crying. I never have. The feeling of utter vulnerability is completely unappealing to me. And yet when a powerful moment comes along that brings me to tears, sometimes I hit repeat and hold onto it. Perhaps I hold on sometimes because these moments are few and far between for me.

The truth is that I’m much better at NOT crying. I’ve learned to cry when I’m alone. I’ve learned how to keep my emotions in check and only show the stiff upper lip. There is no instance I can point to that caused this to be the way I handle emotion. There is no tragic instance that dried up all future tears or told me that crying is weakness. It’s just how I feel.

So then, why is The Giving Tree my favorite children’s book? Why do I watch episodes of The Office (Niagra: Part 2, Goodbye Michael and Garage Sale) that I know will make me cry? Why did I create an entire playlist on Spotify called “Sometimes I Cry?” Why on Earth did I listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton the Musical on repeat at least 12 times in a row, bringing on hard core, inevitable tears while writing this very blog post?  (Fair warning, if you choose to go listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown” do so at your own tearful risk. It is hauntingly beautiful!!) I listened to that track more than any other track on the album and yet it was the only one that made me cry. Crying…the thing I hate doing. Why would these things that bring tears become my favorites? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

My friend, Chelsea, always used to tell me, “Crying is not a weakness, Lizzie. Crying washes the windows of our souls. And sometimes we just need those windows washed.”

Window Washing quote from friend Chelsea blog post

Perhaps that’s why these things that make me cry become my favorites. Perhaps the powerful act of allowing my proverbial “windows” to be washed is far more meaningful and memorable than so many other moments that fly by without being marked. Because I can tell you the times I’ve cried. I can tell you about the times I’ve fallen apart. I can tell you about the time at church when I ran for a place away from everyone to cry and found a friend who sat by me and didn’t say a word. Or the time in my basement apartment in New York, when I felt so alone and let myself cry and was reminded that God was there with me, even when no one else physically was.

Chelsea always encouraged me to wash my windows, but I would always respond, “No Chelsea, crying is so stupid. I’ll cry when I’m home…alone. Where no one can see. It’s better that way.”

Plus, I hate washing my soul windows because when I cry I tend look more like James Van Der Beek crying…

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When I wish I could look more like Johnny Depp and his gentle, tear-streaked cry face…

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Or maybe Jensen Ackles’ beautiful, beautiful cry face…

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But at the end of the day, I want to write things that evoke powerful emotion. (Ugly cry face or not!) I want to connect with you, reader! I want you to be able to look through my windows, not wonder what’s inside this darkened building. I can’t help but feel that until I allow those windows to get cleaned more often, then whatever emotional blog posts I can give will tinged with an air of falsehood. And that is NOT what I want. So I listen again to “It’s Quiet Uptown” and I wash those windows clean. Cleaner than they’ve ever been, maybe. Cleaner than they’ll ever be again…I hope not. I’ve never been good at deep cleaning! But I am a fast learner!