Tag Archives: marriage

The dreaded “M” word or Fight #1 about Money

5 May

Friday morning I groggily walked into the bathroom to start my shower, and I heard this buzzing sound. Seriously? We have had the same GIANT fly circling in our bedroom/bathroom area for about three days now. To quote one of my all-time favorite movies, Austin Powers, when his deadly weapons continually fail to kill one of Dr. Evil’s assassins, he screams in confusion, “Why won’t you die?”  This is how I feel about the fly. The fly isn’t smart enough to find the exit and with a garden apartment, we don’t ever open the windows, so he’s stuck in our house until he dies. And I’m thinking, What if he’s starving to death? I feel bad, we should get a fly swatter and kill him to put him out of his misery. Oh no, what if he dies on our bed!  That would be terrible. I wonder if he is frightened because he is so trapped. He’s a fly so maybe he doesn’t know he’s going to die. Poor little, ugly fly.

As my heart begins to race in worry over the feelings concerning a FLY, it hits me, I worry about the world’s STUPIDEST things. It’s true.  And embarrassing.

But since I am an equal-opportunity worrier,  I also worry about important things.  I worry about flies and I worry about MONEY.

photo courtesy of wmpu.org

I mean, come on, who doesn’t?

The Scottish and I went to a Financial Planning small group through our church this past week and boy did it spark some conversation! Remind me to yell at thank my friends for inviting us. 🙂  We spent the entire car ride home plus another hour and 15 minutes fighting about priorities and budgets.  Hey, at least it got us talking, right?  The Scottish and I communicate really well and have discussed money in the past, even sharing personal things such as the activity of our bank accounts, but now that it is officially (almost) time for us to put our funds together and to voice our financial goals, it seems we are struggling to get on the same page.

We both agree on simple ideas like, savings = good, and debt = bad.  But there’s more to it than that!  Plus, while I enter our marriage with a condo and a car, I also bring in a lot of student debt.   The Scottish is the one who has admirable amounts of money in savings, but can’t get a credit card with more than a 300 dollar limit because of a lack of credit history in this country.  Our difference of opinion stems from the fact that I was brought up sort of “you can’t take it with you” style/spend the money on people you love while you have it, and the Scottish was taught to think long-term, to be ready for any crisis, and to be practical.  As this financial leader guy told us in the video we watched during small group, “there’s always the free spirit and the nerd.”  Can you guess who is who??

I can’t get into any more details, you know, money is kind of private, but I will say, we have the same goals and thoughts about money but we want to take different routes to get there.  While our conversation the other night was heated, it was also productive.  We might have fought the night of the small group but we both calmed down and by the next night we were able to sit down and make a tentative monthly budget.  And there wasn’t any fighting!  This small group brought up tons of great ideas, cash flow plans, a will, retirement, college funds, emergency funds, snowballing your debt, etc.  I think we just got overwhelmed at first, because, hello, THERE IS A LOT TO DO.  Not to mention, tack on a name change, a landlord situation, and a green-card to our list of To-DO’s.

Naturally, that first night I really wanted to go to bed mad at my Scottish.  The entire disagreement was filled with snappy comments, rude glares, and a bit of shouting.  Finally, too exhausted to talk anymore, I went to bed.  But after 5 minutes of being alone, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I love him.  And how he should know that even in the middle of a fight.  It was just one talk, one disagreement, or as I like to call it, “Fight #1 about Money,” because I know enough about being married that it won’t be our last fight about the “M” word.  But if I had to pick someone to fight with (and my mom was busy) I’d definitely pick the Scottish.  🙂

So I dragged myself back out to the living room for a hug.

Me: “I love you.  Are you still annoyed with me?

Scottish: “Yea, a little.”

Me: “Yea me too. You coming to bed soon?”

Scottish: “Yea, you go lay down, I’ll be there in a minute.”

*kiss*

Quote: “Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.” Groucho Marx

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Fat Bastard is my favorite fictional Scottish Character

18 Mar

“Get in mah belly!!!” I’m quite good at reciting this line from my all-time favorite movie series EVER, Austin Powers. I think Mike Meyers is a comedic genius and that trilogy has been making me laugh for as long as I can remember. My brother and I used to entertain the family with lines from the movies while we sat around a campfire roasting marshmallows. Good times. And while I can very succinctly replicate Fat Bastard’s accent, I am a big failure when it comes to copying my fiancé’s Scottish accent. I always seem to sound British cockney or Australian, Irish, or just plain mentally ill. However, my interpretation of his accent is always good for a laugh and last night while drinking beers with our friends who were in town from Minnesota, we came up with the moronic brilliant idea that at our wedding, the Scottish should thank everyone in an American accent, and I should thank everyone in a Scottish accent. That way our toasts will surely be memorable.

It got me thinking less about my venue stress and more about how I want to incorporate as much Scottish tradition into the wedding as possible. Thanks to Best Friend, I found a website called “Scottish Wedding Dream,” and finally have found some time to explore it and since I was exploring I thought I would share my findings with you, my readers. Below you’ll find a few gems that I figured were worth sharing in a segment called Traditions Part One.

All quotes are taken from here: I hope you like Tartans.

Traditions Part One
Handfasting. I love being engaged and I love that I get almost a year to prepare for marriage and to enjoy my final days of being legally single before I commit to the love of my life. Back in the medieval times in Scotland, they had a similar engagement period known as handfasting. It’s essential marks the start of a “trial-run” of the marriage and the bride and groom’s hands are tied together with a cord or cloth of tartan pledging themselves to each other. One year and one day later they decide to either stay together and have a wedding or to separate. And being very egalitarian about it, either party could decide not to go through with it. My favorite reason behind handfasting is this:
“There were practical reasons for this arrangement. Children were needed to work in the father’s trade. During this year, the bride’s fertility, or lack thereof, could be determined.” So basically it’s like the modern-day couple living together before getting married, but without birth control since the goal is procreation. OH how times have changed.

Surnames. The whole idea of taking the man’s last name is such a personal thing that I don’t think any woman should feel bad no matter what she chooses. Some feminists consider changing your name to be a step back for women everywhere, whereas some conservative brides consider it a disrespectful act to keep your maiden name. I don’t care what anyone else does, but I have decided to change my name. To me, it’s a symbolic act that outwardly shows the joining of my life with the Scottish. Plus, my mom took my dad’s name, and it makes me feel good to follow that tradition. Why should me taking my future husband’s name have anything to do with my views on gender equality? I still am who I am regardless of my last name, and I plan to become famous either way. 🙂
On a peculiar and interesting note, Scottish tradition states that it’s bad luck if couples share the same first letter of their last names. It is eloquently explained in this rhyme:
“To change the name
and not the letter
Is to change for the worst
and not the better.”

Umm, yea, doubtful… BUT I am going from an “L” to a “C” just to stay on the good side of my Scottish luck. 🙂

Stag and Hen Parties. Translation: Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties!! WHOO-HOOO!! Since I’ve known the Scottish he has always referred to his big event as a “Stag Do,” and it makes me feel inspired to call my upcoming girl fest a “Hen Do.” Why the heck not?? Apparently, embarrassing the groom goes back a looong time because tradition states that the groom had to carry a basket of stones on his back while walking through town (called Creelin’), unless his bride were to give him a kiss, then he could stop. What fun that sounds like… I suppose it’s not much different from the “Let’s get the groom so completely trashed and make him do stupid stuff” that happens these days. Pretty sure my Scottish would prefer to get drunk before being embarrassed.

They say the Hen Party started because people used to bring gifts for the bride-to-be’s upcoming wedding feast (sort of like a Bridal Shower?), and often times these gifts included hens. Then a few days before the wedding everyone helped pluck the hens and prepared them to be eaten. While I love the idea of having a “Hen Do,” I’m gonna go ahead and say right now that I prefer lingerie and kitchenware to poultry.

That’s it for now, but there are so many more traditions to discover. One tradition told to me by FMIL is to add a bit of white heather to your bouquet for good luck. I think that’s my favorite one so far!!

Is anyone else incorporating their heritage into their wedding planning? Or has anyone seen a cool wedding tradition in action? If so, what are they?

Quote: “The judicious bride saved these special feathers to stuff future pillows and comforters for her home.” Scottish Wedding Dreams Website

He loves me, he loves me not, he proposed aka he loves me!

11 Mar

Dorky title I know, but what can I say? I’m feeling dorky. And I’m feeling psyched. And I have to get the words out on paper. Every once in awhile it just hits me, the Scottish really wants to marry me! How cool is that?!?!

I think a little bit of back story is necessary. My man is wonderful in general but a romantic he is not. And that’s totally fine with me. He’s a man’s man (albeit a skinny one) but he likes beer and football and he’s not a sissy. He’s adventurous, always up for a challenge, he knows computers, plays video games, prefers me in low-cut tops, and drinks whiskey straight. He’s a total guy.

I love him for everything that he is and while dating, I knew that he loved me, unconditionally, I knew that he wanted to be with me FOREVER, and I knew that his heart and my heart were stuck together (because I, on the other hand, AM a romantic) but my guy’s guy did not really want to talk about marriage as quickly as I did. It stressed him out and forced him to think about responsibility, growing up, and above all, lifelong commitment (AHHHH!)!! So, for awhile there I was the one saying COME ON, I JUST WANNA GET MARRIED, and he was the one saying, whoa let’s date for like two or three years first and get to know each other more. UGH.

It didn’t help that I was and still am surrounded by women with uber-romantic men in their lives. I have a handful of women that met their current partner and the GUY was the first one to talk about marriage. I found myself comparing and wondering why Mr. Scottish wasn’t acting the same, super-romantic way that they were acting. But I’d remind myself that I like him the way he is and every man is different. I love all the things that make him a man’s man, so why would I want to change that? Plus, he DOES buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day and it might have taken him almost two years to purchase a piece of jewelery (beautiful Swarovski crystal earrings) but that’s OK because he outdid himself when it came to my stunning engagement ring. wowza.

Since I’ve been engaged I’ve been walking around (on my little cloud) exclaiming sometimes to myself and sometimes out loud, The Scottish wants to marry ME! What.an.honor. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because my man’s man decided it was time to settle down and be someday’s husband. And being engaged looks very good on him. He smiles when I call him my fiancé and he somewhat enjoys the wedding planning process and is definitely being very helpful thus far.

So I know there are lots of men out there in touch with their sensitive side and those that show more emotion and romance, but it is an indescribable feeling you feel when the person you love asks you to marry them. (Especially when it puts him so far out of his comfort zone that he would never do it if he didn’t feel it 100 percent.)

I NEED QUOTES.

“happy wife, happy life” times 4

30 Nov

Ahhhhh, polygamy. I’m very seriously fascinated with the whole idea of it. That doesn’t mean I’m interested in practicing polygamy myself (don’t worry Scottish). It’s just that I am a connoisseur of relationships and I love learning about unique and beyond-the-normal-person’s-comfort-zone relationships, and that includes polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of one man being married to more than one wife at one time. It’s a practice derived from a very conservative sect of the LDS (Mormon) church known as the Fundamentalist Mormons. I do not believe in their same faith so it makes sense that I don’t believe in polygamy, but man, do I respect it? Yes.

Did you know there is a term for one woman marrying multiple husbands? Cause I didn’t until now! It’s call polyandry. Apparently it was more common in Indian cultures back in the day. But if you ask a Fundamentalist they will tell you they do not believe in polyandry. Speaking awkwardly on behalf of the people who practice polygamy, I would say the biggest misconception is that polygamy is about a man’s need for sex. Hahaha. Ask any married man and he’ll tell you that having a wife does NOT necessarily mean you will be having tons of sex all the time. Marriage is a choice, a commitment, and a lot of work, so why would a guy choose extra nagging, oops, I mean more work! 🙂 If you want more sex, find a mistress. (please don’t do that though)

So, I’ve always been interested in this way of life but ever since the TLC show, “Sister Wives,” began airing in 2010, my fascination has grown in a positive way after seeing a family live this lifestyle up close and personal. The Browns are a pretty normal, conservative Utah family, now relocated to Las Vegas, except for the fact that the dad, Kody, is married to four different wives. These four wives call each other, “sister wives,” because as you can imagine, they develop really close bonds, bordering those of a sister. Personally, I love the concept of a sister wife, which is essentially a woman with whom you share your time, your life, your children, and most importantly, your husband. It is bizarre and it is different, but from what I’ve observed, they can be really loving and supportive relationships. I actually enjoyed the term so much that I encouraged one of my groups of girlfriends to take on the term as a nickname. Because why not? We all support each other through good times and bad, we celebrate big events and holidays together, and we share similar values. In my opinion, it’s the best part of being a sister wife. The worst part being, you share one man… which is obviously not the case between me and my friends.

Now I know it’s illegal to have more than one wife, and there is a ton of criticism surrounding polygamy due to child-brides and/or abusive husbands, which is definitely NOT OK, but those are select cases and not everyone in the demographic is doing that. The two biggest moral questions are, “What about the children?” and “Don’t the wives get super jealous?” Yes, what about the kids, how does it affect them, and also, how do the wives handle the intense feelings that come along with sharing the person you have the most intimate relationship with? Well, I can’t answer those questions, but I do think about them as well.

The whole reason I wanted to write about this topic is because I wanted to share part of this season’s finale of “Sister Wives.” Robyn (wife #4) just delivered her first baby with dad Kody. Everyone is over at her house to congratulate and rejoice in the happy news when Robyn asks to be alone with Meri (wife #1). Now you need some back story here, Meri has only one child with Kody while her other sister wives have multiple children with him. She has struggled with miscarriages over the years and at one point Kody asked her if she wanted to try IVF but she said no. Anyway, we’re back at Robyn’s bedside, moments after her home birth and Robyn tells Meri that she would like to be her surrogate. Mainly, she would be willing to carry and give birth to the child of Kody and Meri. What.a.gift.

Think of someone you know struggling to get pregnant, it’s very heart-wrenching isn’t it? Good things can come out of any thing, any person, and any situation. And even out of polygamy. Just… felt the need to share that.

Quote: “I never tell one client that I cannot attend his sales convention because I have a previous engagement with another client, successful polygamy depends upon pretending to each spouse that she is the only pebble on your beach.”

Raw

13 Nov

I have to talk about something. But I’d really rather not discuss it so publicly. However, the blog is here, and if I don’t discuss the real issues in my life, then I’m not who I claim to be, and I’m not being true to myself. So here goes, I want to get married. Like, yesterday. 🙂 I want to start my life with my favorite person in the world and I’m like a little child impatiently waiting for that starting moment. My little nanny boy, Derek, was waiting for a certain toy to arrive in the mail this week and his parents had originally thought they had ordered two-day shipping, but it turned out that it was ordered with regular shipping and that meant waiting over a full week. Upon receiving this news Derek pouted for the rest of the morning, looking grumpy and dejected as if his world was over, and being the good nanny that I am, I attempted to shake him out of his funk. He then asked me if I ever had to wait for something to come that I wanted really, really badly. I tried to think of some toy that I really wanted when I was younger but nothing was coming to mind, so I told him I’m sure there was something but you need to learn to be patient because it’s just a part of life.

Then yesterday I had yet another Stephanie-induced, intense talk about THE FUTURE with the Scottish, and I realized being patient when you’re an adult isn’t any easier. I might think that waiting to get married is more important than Derek’s toy, but it’s not. It’s all relative and it’s always hard to wait, no matter your age. It’s hard to wait when you decided this was the man you were going to marry way back in August of 2010. (I was camping with my family and it just hit me, he was the person for me, “And the world cracked open.”) And it’s hard to wait when you share a living space together and continually strive to make it feel like your home. (The Scottish moved into the new apartment in August of 2011.) And it’s hard to wait when you’re a wedding-obsessed girly girl who’s been dreaming about this day since she was short, with glasses, and had never been kissed.

It’s so embarrassing to write this all out, but I’m frustrated! I’m 28, I want the normal 2.5 kids, the house, and I’m so lucky to have found the man of my dreams so I can start this journey. The Scottish has been incredibly patient about my occasional impatience, but sometimes I feel like my head will just explode. He and I joke heavily about how I try to rush life, about how I have trouble living in the present, and how I’ll be disappointed because he’ll never be able to propose exactly the way I imagine he will in my crazy head. If therapy were covered in my pathetic excuse for health insurance I’d be there in a second! Do you ever feel like you can ruin things just by being yourself? I do. I know everything works out in the end, and my time will come, and I trust that God has a plan. I also trust that my very shy, doesn’t want to be the center-of-attention but loves me more than anything boyfriend, will work up the courage to propose. But the sheer joy and excitement I feel about the possibility of planning my wedding and marrying the smartest, most caring, loving, sexy, tall, balding, bears-loving, whiskey and beer-drinking, hilarious man I’ve ever met, makes me react like a ten-year old boy.

I can say with confidence, this won’t be the most unappealing thing you’ll read about me. Cheers until then.

Quote: “…then I did the simplest thing in the world. I leaned down… and kissed him. And the world cracked open.” Agnes de Mille

On the subject of marriage, Kim Kardashian, and gays

2 Nov

Where were you when you found out about Kim Kardashian’s decision to file for divorce papers? I’ll never forget where I was…walking to pick up my nanny-kid Derek at his after-school program when my good friend called me with the shocking news. 72 days after her epic wedding Kim chose to end her marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries. WHAT the!?!?! Frankly, I do not even know where to start!! Is this a publicity stunt and all part of some plan? Or is this some spoiled celebrity who knows she has enough money to fix any mistakes she might make along the way? I do believe she wanted this ideal fairy tale life, and I believe she ignored the fact that there were many warning signs that this wasn’t the best relationship for her. Kim got sucked into the excitement of it all, which is somewhat understandable, when most people get engaged, they don’t have an entire nation looking forward to their nuptials.

I am not ashamed to admit that I love the Kardashian family and the entire TV Show empire they have created (with the help of Ryan Seacrest), and I was more than excited for this big fabulous wedding of Kim’s. Mostly, because I am a fan of love, any kind of love, and that includes stupid romantic comedy movies, TLC shows, and celebrity weddings that are covered in a two-part special on channel E. One of the best ways to celebrate love is a wedding. Kim must have went coo-coo CRAZY from all the fame, because she put so much more effort into her grand wedding than she did her troubled marriage.

And by now most people have seen or posted the picture that makes the point, “If you think gay marriage cheapens the institution, two words… Kim Kardashian.” It’s absolutely true. And I can’t stand the fact that people who identify as gay are not allowed to marry in most states in the US. People act as if gay marriage is the biggest threat to America these days. It’s ignorant and it’s hateful. Love should be celebrated, in all its different forms. To me, all people are the same, and love looks the same on everyone. It does not look any different if your skin is darker or if you are attracted to your same gender. It’s all the same love. We don’t stop loving children that come out of the womb looking slightly different, we don’t stop loving people who have mental illnesses, and we don’t stop loving someone after they die, so why do we expect someone to stop loving their partner because it goes against the norm? There is no cookie-cutter version of love. And as long as the marriage is between two consenting adults, it’s not for us to decide.

I really do love all people. I do not LIKE all people, but I love all people. I really dislike the people in my elevator who try to make small talk with me after work about their junk mail, and I really dislike the rude-as-hell taxi drivers in Chicago that think they can park their vehicle wherever they want to without regard for others. But then I think about how the older person in my elevator has a family and gets lonely sometimes so they like to make small talk with their neighbors. And I think about how that cab driver might be new to this country and perhaps he’s still learning how to get around here and this was the only job he could get. And while I don’t like them, I do love them because they are fellow human beings.

I would love to live long enough to where gay rights are not an issue anymore because we all have the same human rights. Even though Kim Kardashian embarrassed herself and disrespected the beautiful institution of marriage, I wish her the best. She deserves love like the rest of us. I would never want her life, I don’t know how she can think with all the cameras everywhere, the ridiculous amounts of money, the fame, and the body image she has to uphold. I can’t wait to get married myself someday and although I will have an amazing and spectacular Stephanie-style wedding, I will put significantly more effort into my actual marriage than I will ever put into my cake, my seating chart, and my something blue.

Quote: “I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.” Lord Byron

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