About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

Follow Me!

 

Sponsors

Entries in Introspective (8)

Thursday
Oct272011

Last Will & Testament

OK, so I came home late last night after a rousing night with the ladies from Crave Charlotte. All I had eaten most of the day was a coconut macaroon, so I was digging through the refrigerator looking for an evening snack when The Candyman goes, “Oh! I have something for you!” and he runs off into the other room. I’m thinking to myself, “Oooooooooh! Presents!”

Not so fast, lady.

The Candyman comes back into the kitchen and hands me a thick envelope. I turn it over and there, staring me in the face are the words:

Last Will and Testament

of

The Candyman

I’m all, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS????”

And he looks at me all innocent and doe-eyed and is all, “What? It’s my will.” Like it’s no big damn deal at all.

Honestly, I was crushed. CRUSHED, I tell you. I felt a little betrayed and a lot left out of a process I thought we’d be doing together. We’ve recently been dragging our heels on getting our last will and testaments as well as our living wills done. Oh yeah, and life insurance. So we’d talked about it recently. I just thought it was something we’d do together. I thought it was something we HAD to do together since our lives and assets are all mingled and shit. 

I was semi-hysterical for a bit while The Candyman was busy being totally complacent and calm so I said to him, “I’m TOTALLY going to write a blog post about this you know!” Idle threats did nothing to change his demeanor and I was too tired to argue any more, so I let it go (I’m learning to pick my battles).

So this morning, I did a little research on wills and such. Turns out that for a last will and testament, you don’t do the joint thing. You do what’s called reciprocal wills: he leaves me everything and I leave him everything and then we both name other folks too, just in case the powers that be decide to off us simultaneously.

So The Candyman comes downstairs as I’m researching this and I ask him a few questions (which totally annoys him because it’s early and he doesn’t do early). I bring up the living will, which you basically need so that if you trip across some tragedy that turns you into a vegetable, your loved one knows what you want him/her to do. So I ask him, “If you go all vegetable on me, do you want me to pull the plug?”

“Fuck yes, I do. Pull that shit.”

“Me too.”

And there you have it. He did make me feel slightly better by telling me to come down to the office so that I can get my will written up as well. Pffft. Like that’s going to make me feel any better. The big jerk, going off and writing up wills without me.

In all honesty though, it’s good he got the ball rolling. We really do need to have all that stuff spelled out. And so do you. Newlywed status be damned, it’s time to talk about death! Yeehaw!

No, but seriously. Do y’all have that stuff ironed out yet?

Friday
Oct072011

#iSad

image

Having grown up in a time where Steve Jobs was building his empire, I can look at him, his death and with absolute certainty say, “Gone too soon.”

I remember when I was in the 7th grade, heading over to my friend Kecia’s house on the weekends. We’d walk down the street to Pat’s house where he and I and Kecia and another boy, Brooks, would swim for hours upon hours in Pat’s pool. Sometimes when it got late, Pat’s mom would call us into the house and shove food under our noses. Pat’s house was like none I’d ever been in before. In hindsight, I think his parents were perhaps artist hippie throw-backs from the 60’s. There were tons of cuckoo clocks and neon signs and just strange stuff everywhere in the house. Tucked in a built-in desk between the kitchen and the dining room, there amongst all the crazy knick-knacks and artwork, was an Apple computer. We played some mean games of Space Invaders on that thing, using only the arrow keys to move and the space bar to fire; switching seats to let others play, while his dad read the newspaper and his mom tinkered about in the kitchen. Old school, yo.

We had a computer too, a Commodore 64. My mom was actually a computer programmer in the mid-1960’s, where the equivalent of a desktop computer used to take up an entire room! She’s sit for hours in front of that Commodore, writing and writing and writing what looked like total gibberish. One day, I heard her laughing and clapping in front of the computer. I walked in to see if she’d gone completely kookoo for Coco Puffs and she called me over to the screen and said, “Watch this!” She hit “enter” and a little stick figure man jerkily walked to the center of the screen, did about 3 jumping jacks and then walked off the other side of the screen. I was dumbfounded. “Did YOU do that?” I asked her? “I did!” she replied, with an enormous grin on her face. She showed me how. I made a stick figure of my own, but then just decided that I could draw a stick figure faster than I could program one. Oh, so naive.

So last night, I’m watching Brian Williams (*swoon*) talk about the death of Steve Jobs and it took me back to those nights at Pat’s house, playing on what was probably one of the very first Apple products ever created. As I listened to Brian talk about Jobs, I realized how larger than life this man was. He (with Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak) changed our society, changed our entire world and culture with his inventions. The simple task of snatching an icon with your mouse and dragging it to the trash can – all from this man. He revolutionized typography and turned the music industry on it’s ear with the invention of the iPod.

Aside from obvious intelligence, he was also a scholar of life. His cancer diagnosis forced him into a life perspective that we can all try to take a hold of. Last night NBC showed a clip of Jobs at Stanford’s 2005 graduation, touting his speech as the Gettysburg Address of commencement speeches. You can read the whole thing here, but I wanted to share what I found most moving. It was his reaction to being fired from Apple:

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

After a day of doing what felt like a constant spinning of wheels, I took this to heart. I’m am trying to do what I love. I’m trying not to settle.

I had argued with The Candyman when he came home last night, in a foul mood because I felt overwhelmed and rejected and scared and angry. I heard this clip and wanted to kick myself in my own pants. I calmed  down and apologized to The Candyman.

I realize that the road to where I’m going is definitely not a straight one and it certainly has its share of potholes.  I have no map, but neither did Jobs. He blazed his way into unknown territory and did what others said was impossible. My ambitions aren’t necessarily as lofty as an iPad or even a dancing stick figure, but I have them. I suppose the only thing to do is to follow them, fail some and hopefully, become successful from those lessons learned.

We will all remember Jobs for the products he gave us, but he was more than just “products.” I think Steve Jobs embodied the spirit of following your heart and dreams. We could all learn from that, aye?

Thursday
Sep082011

The Conversion to Mommyblogger?

There’s a certain camaraderie amongst bloggers. I read you. You read me. We comment. We forgive long bouts of silence and grammatical errors.

When I was wedding planning, I relied on many blogs and bloggers to help get me through the process. Blogging helped me feel less alone in the process since my mom lived nearly 7 hours away and my MOH was across the country with a full time job and two kids.

I still read and follow many of these now-married brides both publicly and as a lurker. It’s been a little over two years since I started writing this blog and reading many, many other blogs. What’s interesting about these blogs now are the conversations going on. The conversations are about the babies. I cannot tell you how many of these women, now married for over a year, are pregnant, talking about getting pregnant, or who are showing off their little, pink and wrinkly newborns.

Once again, in the process of life, I am taking the road that does not seem to be the norm. *sigh*

And let me just touch on this topic a smidge - about taking a different direction. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything the “right” way. I’ve tried, but I mess it up all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever had the maturity that I’m supposed to have in jobs or life or whatever. I stayed in college an extra year to get an extra degree in Costume Construction Technology (yes, that’s right) while my friends were graduating and taking “real” jobs and/or going to grad school. I moved to California and worked for Frederick’s of Hollywood as an assistant buyer of crotchless panties while these same friends went to work for IBM and Deloitte Touche and KPMG. They got married while I was getting drunk at a club. They bought houses and I rented. They made money and I scraped along.

Now, in terms of a career, I finally found my niche and kicked ass. However, I have this feeling that many of my friends still regarded me as a loose canon, “She’s our artsy friend.” I honestly have no idea how they regarded me, this is just my impression.

So I’ve always felt like I‘ve been many, many steps behind everyone. I assumed that would be the case when it came to my marriage. The Candyman and I got married and I was 39 years old. We talked briefly about babies and decided we’d talk more about it after we’d been married a year. A year came and went and the baby talk was still just idle conversation, occasionally a little stronger on my part after too much hot sake at the sushi bar. The reality was that the conversation wasn’t happening in the way that I think those conversations are supposed to go.

I guess I imagined intimate talks in bed, snuggled up to The Candyman, whispering over the future family-to-be. Or perhaps a more logical approach – a discussion of finances and timing and house-size over coffee at the kitchen table. Or perhaps an idyllic chat at the park as we watched kids and toddlers play on the jungle gym.

Nope. Not one of those conversations has ever happened. It’s more like this:

Me: Should we have a kid?

The Candyman (lounging in his leather chair, watching Jeopardy and drinking copious amounts of V8): Why would we want to do that?

Me: I dunno.

The Candyman: Me either.

Or sometimes like this:

Me: Do you want to have a baby?

The Candyman: Sure.

Me: Now?

The Candyman (raises an eyebrow in anticipation): Does that mean we can go have sex right now?

Me: Never mind.

And occasionally:

Me: I don’t know about this whole baby thing.

The Candyman: Me either. Fuck it. Let’s just keep our money and spend it on ourselves.

Me: Yeah. Babies can be expensive.

The Candyman (popping another can of V8): Yeah. We don’t need expensive.

Me: Yeah.

So you see the level of intensity in these conversations, no? We’re focused. We’ve got a plan. We know exactly what we’re doing.

Meh.

And that’s how I feel about having a baby: meh. And I don’t think I’m supposed to feel “meh.” Couple “meh” with the fact that I’m FORTY ONE and I’m just not so sure about any of this baby business. I never played “house” when I was a kid. I had Barbie and the Barbie Dream House, but my girl was ALWAYS solo. I never even asked for a Ken. I’ve never dreamed of having a family, the white picket fence (though oddly, we have one of those) or any other traditional living scheme. It just never came up in my head. I have never, ever longed to be a mother or a mom or anything other than a cool aunt who buys both educational and totally inappropriate toys.

But the reality is we’re getting down to the wire in terms of actual, physical pregnancy. My clock has never been one to tick in a way that I ever really heard, but the wrinkles on my forehead are LOUD ENOUGH, thank you very much. Yet I don’t have any strong emotions one way or another towards having a child. My body nor my mind screams out at me to conceive. I do not long to parent, join a play group or re-learn Algebra so that I can help my kid limp through it. None of these things appeal to me. At all.

It’s almost like we’re making this decision by not making a decision. It seems too hard and somewhat final to stand up and announce, “We’re not having children!” Instead, I think we’ll just continue to cruise along  and see what happens. Sometimes I see this approach much like I do other aspects of my life: too many steps behind everyone. Lately though I’ve been trying to look at my life in a way where I compare myself less often to “the norm” and judge myself based on what I really want. The problem with that is figuring out what I really want instead of chasing after something that simply doesn’t fit.

Please tell me I’m not the only person out there who thinks this way. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with not having kids, right? 

 

And P.S. - Don't forget to enter to win $100 from Minted.com stationary. Remember, you can use this for wedding goodies or holiday cards or personal stationary!

Thursday
Aug182011

Wedding Assumptions: You vs. Them

I’ve been lurking around a couple bridal bloggers sites recently; women who are gnashing their teeth over the details. I get this, I really do. As a self-proclaimed control freak, sometimes it is about absolutely nothing but the details, big picture be damned.

Is this you? If so, you need to fucking relax. Or at least pretend to relax. Or try to pretend to relax. Your fiancé will appreciate the effort.

Why? Because here are the cold, hard facts: some people suck and regardless of all the details you put into something, not everyone will notice. Or care. Or care to notice.

Don’t believe me? Here:

My rehearsal gathering was exactly that – a gathering at a bar. We could not afford to feed our 40+ out of town guests twice. It was a cash bar. There wasn’t any food. This information was supplied to our guests repeatedly with helpful links and locations as to wear to eat, directions and personal favorites. Who listened? A few. Not many. And those who did listen chose to eat someplace far away, encouraging others to go with them and generally making a mess of my whole plan. Those who did not listen were oddly shocked at the lack of food and left early in search of sustenance. My mistake in all this: assuming that people read and remember what you tell them about your wedding.

You vs. Them.

These assumptions cross all borders and boundaries and can make your life a living hell if you let it. For those of you who have been through the RSVP phase, you know how incredibly ignorant, selfish, stupid, petty and generally lame people can be. The people who request a +1 when one CLEARLY wasn’t invited. Those parents who want to bring their kids though you’ve indicated on your website, Save the Date and through family members that your wedding is NOT kid-friendly. The brother-in-law-to-be who wants to bring his new stripper girlfriend. I had a family member RSVP that they were coming only to revoke that RSVP a few days prior to the wedding. Granted, they had a good reason, but it was annoying all the same. I also had to come up with extra invites two weeks before the wedding to placate family members I hadn’t seen or heard from in over a decade.

You vs. Them.

Attention grubbing in-laws or bridesmaids might try to steal your wedding day thunder. Aunt Mildred might talk smack behind your back because of your lack of a formal receiving line or pie buffet in lieu of a fondant tower.

You vs. Them.

What you need to realize is that your guests, particularly ones who don’t frequent the likes of wedding blogs, magazines or who are 253 years old, have no clue about weddings these days. Lots of people show up expecting to see a pair of silver bells as a motif and lots of white draped tulle. They plan to eat dry chicken picante with a house Chardonnay followed by the Electric Slide and the Chicken Dance. We know (yes, you do) that these things are probably not going to happen at your wedding. Your guests do not. For the most part, you should expect them to expect picante and ancient dance rituals. Wedding Assumptions on your part are a HUGE mistake. You will only be disappointed if you do and you do not want to be disappointed with your wedding. But guess what? It is WAY OKAY if a guest is. It ain’t their wedding. It’s yours and your fiancé's.

You vs. Them.

Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m encouraging you to give your wedding guests the big, fat finger. You do want your guests to have fun and not go hungry, but in reality, there is only so much you can do for people. Those who complain totally deserve the big, fat finger. There are many ways to give someone the big, fat finger without actually flipping off your great aunt or the slut your now brother-in-law brought as a date even though you strictly forbid him to do so.  A well-timed comment said with a sincere smile works wonders. Don’t be a bitch, but be direct. Don’t sugar coat, just tell it like it is. I did this on more than one occasion and it was generally met with understanding (pre-wedding) and absolute compliance (during The Big Show).

I did gnash my teeth over it, of course. I have some regret over the time I spent with my teeth, but it was only because I had to figure out the way to be a bitch without sounding like a bitch. That’s definitely a tough one for me. Go figure.

While you’re excited about the RSVP’s coming into your mailbox every day, expect the lame. Know that your wedding day assumptions are most likely totally different than most of your guests. It’s YOUR party. And it’s not just a party. It’s the day that you are committing your life and love to another person, forsaking all others. That, my friends, is a huge fucking deal. The way you and your groom decide to do that has nothing to do with formality, convention, traditions or the almighty dollar sign. In no way will it always be easy, but then again neither is marriage. Get used to working at it. Trust me though, it’s totally worth it.

Monday
Aug082011

41.

image

Holy shit. Are you telling me that a year has passed since I wrote about turning 40? You know, I remember being in the 7th grade and just agonizing over how long the year was taking…I wanted to be an 8th grader so badly! It felt like the longest year in all of time. Now, the time just slips on by. How does that happen? Time is time, neither fast nor slow, but somehow it seems to pass so much more quickly these days. I’m sure there’s a metaphor there for enjoying life moment by moment, but I’m too sodium-bloated from the pizza The Candyman and I had last night to think of one.

I do think I’ve been in a bit of denial about my age this past year. I don’t offer up my age as readily as I used to. I’m too self-critical to believe I might look good for 41, as I think I might be starting to look my age. However, I know from history that when I look back at old photos of myself at 16, 25, 35 I always think, “What the hell was I thinking? I looked GOOD!” I’m trying to remember that now, so that I can feel positive and know that when I look back on myself in 15 years I’ll keep thinking, “Damn, I looked GOOD!” instead of “What was I thinking?”

I am still trying to wrap my brain around some of the physical changes of growing older. My wrinkles are more plentiful. Things sag. It sucks balls. That part of growing older blows, I won’t lie. I’m still trying to come to terms with it. There used to be times when I would pass a group of men and literally feel them staring at me as I walked passed, my eyes front for fear of the male group dynamic kicking in should one of them catcall or comment. Now, I sail on by without a hitch. I’m smart enough to know that I don’t look like I used to, that I’m no longer the thing that turns heads or encourage whistles. What I also know is that very few men now consider me a thing, but a woman - one you probably don’t want to fuck with in regards to impolite male behavior.

The good stuff is that I know I‘m growing wiser. I’m still unsure of myself. I’m still a little on the crazy side. I still feel slightly neurotic at times. At least I know these things about myself – I’m not walking around in a self-absorbed cloud like I did in my twenties and for a good chunk of my thirties. 

I’m not going to wax poetic here like I did when I turned 40. No need. The deed has been done. It’s just another year. However, there are a few things I’m happy for and want to share:

PAST

1. I am SO happy I never got a tattoo.

2. I am SO happy I didn’t pierce my tongue when I was 25 and seriously considering it.

3. I am SO happy I didn’t marry the first guy who asked.

4. I am SO happy I left LA in 1998, not a moment too soon.

5. I am SO happy that I never got arrested (though there were plenty of times I should have been).

PRESENT

1. I am SO happy that I married the man of my dreams.

2. I am SO happy that we live closer to our families.

3. I am SO happy that Botox exists.

4. I am SO happy that I am doing what I love to do (challenging as it may be).

5. I am SO happy that despite a few pitfalls, I have thus far lived a charmed life.

I still get a little nervous sharing my age here, for fear of being judged an old lady. The truth is though, those judging me based on my age will most likely be young. And foolish. I relish in the knowledge that one day, they too will be 40, and then 41 and will look back on their thoughts and comments with (hopefully) the same wisdom of “What was I thinking?” that I have now. I mean, growing wiser is the probably best remedy for boobs that have lost their perk. Trust me on this one. Winking smile