Archive for July, 2009

names and hobbies

the name change

I sent off my request for certified copies of our marriage license last week and I’m impatiently waiting to get them in the mail. I don’t know why, but I’ve always sort of weirdly enjoyed having to call and go to various places to change personal information – when we moved last year, I had an afternoon of excitement at the DMV, and I got to do all that fun calling-my-banks type stuff to make sure the address change was reflected everywhere it needed to be. Also, if I know something needs to be done, I like to get it done promptly. So it’s driving me a little crazy that I still don’t have my certified copies yet. It hasn’t been very long since I sent the request, but until I get the copies I can’t change my name on much of anything important. I need the certified copy to change it at Social Security and at the DMV. I’m not sure what I need at the bank. I suspect it’s a trickle-down process: I get my name changed as SS and the DMV, and then I take my new license with my new name to the bank and other such places? I did my voter registration already, and when I went to my first yoga class the other day I filled in my new last name – plus my mom bought me a Barnes & Noble member card the other day and I put my new last name on that – but these things are clearly trivial. My point is, hurry up already bureaucracy!

I feel like I am in this weird middle-place. My old name is not my name, my new name isn’t officially my name. It does kind of wipe out the whole “names are important” thing for me though – I feel very “whatever” about it and any strong feelings I may have had at other times have completely fallen by the wayside. I remember really struggling with the question of whether or not to change my name – and now it just seems so unimportant because it just doesn’t really matter to me as much as I thought it would, in either direction. I just feel like I am who I am, regardless of my name. I’ve retained my sense of identity throughout this whole process, so it just makes me think “a rose by any other name…”

I need a hobby

I had heard, from several different sources, that once the wedding ends many women feel a void in their lives where “planning the wedding” and “thinking/dreaming about the wedding” used to be. Knowing myself and my own unique situation, I assumed this would be especially true in my case.

First, a little lot of background: Trevor and I have a lot in common, but there are also quite a few ways in which we are incredibly different. One of these differences is how we like to spend our free time. Before I lived with Trevor I would have described myself as a homebody. I still would, really, but he puts me to shame. I’m a homebody but I need stimulation and I get bored doing one thing for too long – I love to read, but can’t read for more than an hour at a time (Harry Potter being the one exception); I love Law & Order but two episodes (that’s two hours watching tv) is quite enough; obviously, I spend a lot of time online, but once I’ve checked my go-to sites and blogs, I’m kind of done – I don’t really tool around online very often. I also like to cook and bake, but I don’t always feel like cooking or baking. My point is, I can spend more time at home than most, but there’s a point after which I just need to get out and go somewhere – even if it’s just running errands, I just need out. And then beyond that, if, say for lack of funds, I can’t go out or have no reason to go out – I have a problem keeping myself entertained for long periods of time.

Trevor, on the other hand,  is that not-at-all-rare creature, a gamer and hobbyist. He can (and frequently does) spend literally all day playing video games. On the rare occasions when that isn’t enough to keep him entertained (or none of his friends are online) he then resorts to any of three other favorite activities: papercraft, which he executes with insane detail and precision; surfing the web; and watching movies and shows on the Xbox through Netflix. These total of 4 activities keep him completely entertained, all the time. And he hates going out in general – but especially going out to eat, which is, of course, conveniently, one of my favorite things to do

The main difference at the heart of all this, though, is just that he enjoys and can be entertained by solitary activities longer than I can – and while I long to spend time with him, playing a game or cards and just generally interacting with another human being, he is actually much more entertained with his own pursuits. Don’t get me wrong, he likes spending time with me, but he hates playing cards and board games and really any of the kind of activities you can do together without leaving the house. At best, I can sometimes get him to watch a movie with me, which doesn’t really satisfy my more social cravings. He thinks being together means being in the company of one another, I think being together means doing stuff together – the same activity, at the same time, together.

This is the one difference between us that has ever really caused any serious problem in our relationship, or in our day-to-day lives. There was a point, before we were married but after we’d become engaged, when I seriously questioned whether or not I could live this kind of life with him and wondered where the points of compromise could possibly lay, not being able to see any myself. And right about when I started to get really concerned about how this would work, I began the wedding planning process. And the rest is history.

I became so consumed by planning that it was no longer a problem keeping myself busy/entertained for hours at a time. I spent a lot of time online, “researching” wedding stuff. For the first time in my life I found that I could easily spend 3-5 hours online in one sitting, each day. And then I might have more than one sitting a day. And then, as the planning progressed, I had a lot to do and to buy, out of the house. I had a lot of phone calls to make and people to talk to. Trevor and my’s one big difference just became completely inconsequential for awhile there. Bizarrely, during the wedding planning, especially toward the end, I spent  more of my days off with my mom than with Trevor, as we ran about town picking up this and that for the wedding or doing crafternoons to get some of the DIY projects completed.

SO, to bring it full circle, all of this is why I assumed that I would feel the keen sting of no-wedding-planning-no-longer. But let me tell you, I became so overwhelmed at the end of the whole process, that it started to become more of a chore than an amusement and once it was all over there was some part of me that was just hugely relieved. And that relief has not quite dissapated yet. In addition, I find myself wondering where I got all that time before anyway. I don’t, now, feel especially bored with all this non-planning-filled time stretching before me – it’s just nice to be able to wake up late and do whatever – to know that my days are completely unscripted and unscheduled once again. I get bored, but I got bored and burnt out on planning sometimes, too – I didn’t always want to do everything I had to do. So it’s nice not having anything particular to do anymore.

Also, I took a yoga class last week and I’ll probably do more of that kind of thing. I want to be more crafty (craftier?) – and now I have the time (and money) to indulge that. I don’t know, it might not last, but right now I just don’t feel any of that sense of loss that I was so sure I would feel.

The only thing I miss a little is reading offbeatbride.com and all the blogs at the associated ning site. It’s not, obviously, that I couldn’t read them anymore, but moreso that it seems somehow pointless and disingenuine to do so now. But other than that (it does take away one of the few sites I reliably check on the interwebs), I’m feeling pretty damn psyched to have it all over with, actually.

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I said to Trevor the other day that I think it’s funny that we still seem to be having this honeymoon period even though we’ve been together for a year and a half already, and have lived together for almost as long.

And he said, “what honeymoon period? I’m always like this.”

And, in retrospect, he’s right – we’re pretty much acting the same as we’ve always acted. I think it’s more psychological. Everything has been so focused on this romance aspect that it just makes everything seem more romantic, even all of our everyday stuff.

Although, for my part, I do feel like I’m still a little on cloud nine over here – I don’t know if he hasn’t done anything annoying or if I’ve just been so over-the-moon that I’ve let it all slide, but certainly we’ve had none of our stupid everyday annoyances with each other over the last couple days. And, regardless of what he says, I think it is the same for him – I mean, he hasn’t become annoyed with me once in almost a week…that’s gotta be some kind of record for us.

So, the verdict is: we’re the same as we ever were, just perhaps slightly more oblivious and therefore more forgiving. Tada, the honeymoon period!

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