Love & Marriage

(Technically I failed to post yesterday. If I hadn’t been at a birthday party, you would have got the below).

You can have two posts today instead.

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Image via Unsplash

I’m writing this on the train to Kent and am wondering how today’s topic popped into my head.

Then I remember I’m feeling a little sappy as I’m carried further and further away from my one true love. A night apart is nothing of course but next week we’ll be separated from Monday to Thursday while he’s in Ireland ‘on business’ and that’s harder to take.

(He is actually on business so I’m not sure why I used the inverted commas. Are they even inverted commas? What’s an inverted comma again?) 😱

I’m trying to not be a baby about my alone time. I’m making plans and not just hibernating in my pants. I’m actually loving the feeling of not having to accommodate someone else for a while but I miss having someone to go home to, and the hot body beside me.

(Another aside, whenever I deign to write anything positive about my marriage on Facebook I get the ‘Smug married’ comments and it drives me nuts. So if you think I sound smug, that’s your problem. Believe me I’ve done enough time to now be allowed to wax lyrical about how lucky I am, sue me).

I love being married. I never thought I would get married to anyone. There was never a picture of a white dress, a ring or a handsome man in my mind’s eye.

We discussed the idea of it in my last relationship which is inevitable I suppose after six years together. The feeling was very much that I wanted it (although raising the question of whether we should is very different to actually wanting it) and he would one day reluctantly go through with it, if I was good.

(He was a fucking dick head).

He’d been married before and was very down on the whole institution of marriage, as if he’d only just escaped the confines of an actual institution. Having met his lovely ex-wife (and remained on great terms), it was hard to see why he was so hard done by but there it is. I hated the way he spoke about marriage and knew I would never do it with him. Who needed to be spoken about the way he spoke about his ex? No thank you very much.

My meander towards happiness changed course thank fuck and lead me to be sitting in this seat on this train, looking back on my former views on marriage vs. my reality.

I married my favourite person in the world and it’s been so much fun. We don’t have a flashy life but I love it, I’d recommend it to anyone if that’s what they want to do. And this guy is proud to be my husband, honestly he’ll tell anyone.

I love belonging to someone else, being someone’s old woman. I am mine but it’s nice to know there’s another human being invested in me, hopefully for life. It feels nice and makes me feel strong.

I thought that was worth paying tribute to today.

How YOU doing? ❤

Four Years

IMG_20141016_181058Four years ago, on a freakishly sunny day, I got married.

Corny as it sounds, the man who stood before me that day, was the greatest person I had ever met. He still is, despite the passing of time; the mild bickering, the shoes in the kitchen, the money woes that every person has, the bad Schwarzenegger impressions and my hot temper.

People always say that being married doesn’t make you feel any different but I would disagree. I don’t think it’s always necessary, certainly not for every relationship or person, but for me it’s been grounding. I needed security and to know without a shadow of a doubt that I belonged somewhere, if not to somebody.

This would have come without the silver ring I wear upon my finger, but I wanted to be married, wanted to give everything I am to this person, and to my relationship. I’ve never regretted it.

The other night we actually lay in bed and talked about risk in relationships. Of how things could have turned out so differently for us, if there’d been no chemistry. When we met, I lived in Canada and he spent a lot of money flying out to visit. Three months afterwards, I said goodbye to a good job and all my friends, and went home to Brighton. That’s a leap of faith right there friends, with lashings of risk.

Again, no regrets.IMG_20150407_133439 (1)

So, today we’re celebrating our fourth year of marriage. Wedded bliss sounds trite but every day is a happy one, even when we’re stressed or miserable. Even when we’re tired. Even when I’ve just woken up from a nap and am the bitch from hell.

How are we celebrating? Matinée of Avengers 2 and a hot dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bridesmaids

Is this image a spoiler alert?
Is this image a spoiler alert?

I can hardly believe I haven’t talked about THE BEST NEWS yet. I started to tip tap up a little post about this very thing a few months back but couldn’t find the appropriate words at the time to say how happy I am about it.

And then, something happened, and the thing I am going to tell you about now was brought forward and here I am with it looming in a big fabulous way and I am excited but also dead nervous! What am I like?

I’M GOING TO BE A BRIDESMAID!

A big fat, fabulous bridesmaid, finally! It’s so exciting. Back in the Summer, I was having a seemingly innocuous conversation with my Sister in Law to be, when she slipped in the question. Second best question I have ever been asked, if I’m honest. Well, not including the age-old: “Would you like a cup of tea?” obviously.

So I’m a bridesmaid in less than three weeks and it’s going to be great. I have an a-m-a-z-i-n-g dress that I was allowed to pick myself, a h-u-g-e petticoat of epic proportions (and the one I wore to my own wedding) and I can’t wait.

I’m not nearly as trim as I had hoped to be, since it’s been brought forward five months, but really, who fucking cares? So I could have been a dress size smaller with more time but does it really matter? Sure, less chins in the photos would have been nice but I can’t spend my life hating on myself, missing out of brilliantly fun times. Thin doesn’t necessarily mean better after all.

I’m refusing to sweat the small stuff. Besides, the shoes I’m wearing make me super tall and it stretches everything else out in the end. Just so long as I don’t fall on my arse, right?

My brother and his wife are already married, having tied the knot at City Hall, NYC in October. This is the ceremony for the people who couldn’t make that event (my family included) and so it’s kind of a big deal.

Instead of a traditional ceremony, it will be a tying of the hands, with a friend officiating. I’m doing the reading while they’re tied together! How cool is that?

Growing up I was always so jealous of friends who got to put on (admittedly hideous) dresses and be bridesmaids and flower girls. Our family isn’t the largest in the world, and there were never that many weddings going on, so I was never asked. Plus I was a total klutzy hot mess so there’s no guarantee I even would’ve been, even by default.

Now I’m older, most of my close friends are yet to be betrothed (I can’t wait for them to start, if that’s what they want to do) and so I’ve not been asked by them either. So I was beginning to wonder if this old broad (me) would ever get to have her moment in the sun.

And now it’s finally happening! I can’t wait to spend some time with the other maids and soak up the lovely atmosphere. My new sister is a joy and a very welcome addition to the family dynamic, so this will be a nice way to celebrate that too.

I will follow this up with some images and detail nearer the time but for now know I am buzzing. It’s going to be a lovely lead into Christmas, in a gorgeous little sea-side town – and everything will be so full of love. My favourite thing in the whole world.

Now, I’m off to put my contribution to the party playlist together. Life of a bridesmaid, bitches!

 

Things Are Going To Get Easier (Then Harder), Then Easier Again

Write a letter to yourself aged sixteen (via my trusty Writing Exercises)tumblr_n74xzvbK091r7621zo1_500

Dear Christa,

Honestly, this is a hard note to write given that I know how sensitive you are. You’re still sensitive by the way and you cry a lot; happy, sad, angry (especially angry), you have excellently functioning tear ducts. Well done.

Where to start on this very important document though? First of all, let’s get the obvious one out the way: you aren’t even that fat. Over the next two decades, you will wonder what the hell you were even worried about. Right now, aged sixteen, you look pretty great.

When you get to my age you will have more confidence with less to be confident about. Which, when you consider it, is almost as good as having a flat stomach. When you get here you’ll understand.

I realise as I type away at this, that at my core I’m not that different to you. A little bit less insecure yes but still prone to moments of crippling self-doubt. And I still haven’t the first idea what the f**k I’m going to do with my life.

The only difference now is that I know that’s okay. That living a full and happy life is as important as setting the world on fire, although there is still time. There really is still time.

Keep writing though. Write often, write honestly – basically don’t just talk about it willy nilly; do it, okay?

36 year old you is still as hopeful as you are; still deeply faithful to the theory that everything is going to be okay in the end. Still a romantic twat, even after three years of marriage and over six tripping on shoes left in the kitchen (in front of the sink!). Oh, did I not mention that? Yeah… you get married.

I’ll give you a moment to process that. In fact, let’s just talk boys for a second.

Boys are great, as are the men they grow into. They are fun and funny and you’re not sure about them now but you will find this out for yourself. Some of your favourite friends will be and are, boys. At the moment, you are probably doing one of two things as you read this, or both: a) turning up your nose snottily as if to say ‘ew’ and b) thinking about boys again, for you think of them often.

In fact, it’s impossible for you to talk to one without forming a crush and then fantasising about them, like, all the time. You aren’t even particularly sexual by now so those daydreams are pretty tame.

I can’t remember if you’ve even seen a penis yet, let alone touched one. I think you might still be petrified of the idea of them (they’re not that bad).

You should be experimenting by the way, so I’m not going to lecture you on that. Enjoy the ride, for god’s sake. Actually, I’m not going to talk you out of doing any of the things you will do, except maybe one big one. The choices you make will make you into me. Plus, you’ll have stories for later. My friend told me I have the best dating stories the other night, and it made me proud.

So, carry on. Do everything exactly as you choose.

Do me one favour though. When, aged 24, you get your heart obliterated by a bad man (worth it) and you hit rock bottom with a thud, DO NOT accept the offer of dinner with the first person who asks you. This will not be a good scene and it will last six long years that you will never get back. Trust me on that. (You don’t even get dinner).

Although, didn’t I just say all these things will turn you into me? Maybe scrub the above paragraph. But take less shit and remember, when he says you need help, that you are crazy; he’s projecting.

So yeah. You’re a wife and it’s awesome and not at all as you would imagine. You’re not a mother. I don’t think you have any desire to be but just so you know, I’ve decided not to do that. You have a step son though, he’s nine.

You fancy your husband a lot and you like beards now.

There it is, kid. A recap, if you will: write lots, experiment a lot, penises are actually pretty okay, collect stories for later use and don’t let shitty relationships keep you down for long. Oh yeah, and travel, as much as you can afford to and as often as you can. You’re going to love Thailand.

You’re going to be okay, you know?

Peace out,

Christa xoxo

Ps. Your friends trick you into wearing shorts to school round about now. Don’t fall for it, it rains that day and they all bail on you.

A (Short) Ode to Marriage

I never thought I’d get married.

It had been mentioned in my previous relationship, in the most negative terms imaginable and when I did allow myself to envisage being legally bound to the person I was with then, I felt physically ill.

Worse, I imagined running screeching from the room into the path of a double decker bus, anything to avoid a lifetime of being controlled and belittled.

To illustrate this, I attended several weddings over the course of that debacle ‘relationship’ and left all of them indecently early after having a panic attack in the ladies and being violently sick.

I write this because today is my third year anniversary. I did fall in love with the right person and we got married.

I pondered this post for a while. First it was going to be about what marriage means to me. Then it was going to be an open love letter to my husband, inspired by the one written by Jacqueline Kennedy (not the greatest omen, perhaps) but everything I typed just seemed a little too schmaltzy and a bit forced.

Then I got over myself and realised that schmaltzy is my friend,so here’s my highly sentimental I ♥ My Husband collage:

PicMonkey Collage (1)Happy anniversary Glynn, you annoying, beautiful pain in my arse. I love you more than anything in the world and plan to do that forever.

(We need to get a new pose).

 

Running, Man

vintageRunning2Running has been a mixed bag. I am now coming to terms with the fact that I am not naturally shooting about like a pocket rocket with the wind in my hair, and that every single step has been challenging. More so, that I haven’t fallen in love with it right away.

I am starting very slowly and could probably afford to push myself a little more, if I’m completely honest.

But I’m doing it. I’m doing it regularly and I’m getting a tiny bit better every time.

I am also learning how important stretching is and have been taking Cod Liver Oil tablets because my legs hurt so much when I run. Who even am I?

On the plus side, I am goofily proud of my attempts even if I am currently hopeless. And when I don’t run, I walk. I walk like a bitch and am racking up all those burnt calories.

I have also lost a not too sniffy six pounds in two weeks. I know I wasn’t and am going to try not to measure my achievements in the numbers dropping off, but it’s hard not to. I’m losing weight, feeling better and my legs are toning up. It’s also been great for my relationship, all good right?

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My only minor niggle, which goes against what I just typed slightly: my husband is so much better at this than me. He can actually run and even though my sensible self knows I’m achieving things at my own pace, and is also proud that he is making changes he can be proud of, I have to fight against feeling deflated by it.

That’s so me though. I’m the exact opposite of competitive, I’d far rather give up and sit down than compete with anyone, even when I know I’m better. Which in this case I really am not.

So, you know, trucking along.