Lessons in “Betrothed Love” That I Really Ought to Have Learned Before Now

Youth can be woefully ignorant, and young love perhaps even more so.  I like to tell myself that I may be less ignorant than others, but that’s a lie and we all know it- particularly my confessor.

Anyhow, after five months of engagement, here’s some things I’ve learned (most of which I’m positive someone told me already):

10. I have a lot of crap. And it’s a problem. And I have to move it into our apartment in six more months. That’s even more of a problem. This could have been avoided if I had heeded my papa’s biannual pleas for a closet purge. Or if I didn’t have a vocation to marriage and ended up going off to convent. Whoops.

Sweetheart? Aren’t you so stoked to be moving things for me?

9.The wedding industry is completely absurd- particularly the markup on food if it’s a “reception.” I think it might actually be cheaper to just take everyone out to dinner and just buy some handles of booze for everyone to share

8. Marriage has actually become about “celebrating the couple and their love” and not about community or family or, you know, the sacrament. #bigfamily/bigweddingproblems

7. I don’t like shopping and planning as much as I thought I did. I still like pretty dresses, though.

6. I really don’t understand why people would not get married in a church. All sorts of other philosophical and theological reasons aside- it’s SO much cheaper.

I don’t understand why the Church won’t let me dress like this for MY wedding

5. More ceremony ranting: being original is stupid. No one’s going to remember that you were the only one to have hand-made napkin rings, or that you had little mustache placecards on all their seats. Ever. They’ll think about it for about a day afterwards and when they run into you for the next six months, but that’s it. So stop freaking the hell out and spending your time on so many random details when you could be, oh I don’t know talking to your fiance, writing friends, having a brewsky with other pals, having a life?

4. Really people? All I want is a little set of photos so that I can convince my kids that I was actually young once and scare my daughters by how much they look like me. I don’t want to go through this or heaven forbid THIS. (NSFW, dreadfully immodest, and just poor taste. You’ve been warned)

3. On that note, chastity is hard, folks. Really f’ing hard (pun totally intended).  Also no one out there in the chastity movement world really talks about it in a sane way. (Except JPII and a handfull of other sane folks. But then again they’re outside of the “movement” thing, and I digress)

3. I really want to be married (and no, not just for the reasons above). I’ve been surprised, however, by how much of a challenge it is to work on building a life with someone and then have to go back to your own home at night instead of curling up with him/her.

2. I’ve also been floored and humbled by just how much I still have yet to discover about my fiance- especially in our spiritual lives and in learning just how his mind works.

1. This whole idea of putting off marriage for reasons x,y,or z is just silly (assuming you have a vocation, want to make it work, blahblahblah).

I’m interested to see what I learn in pre-Cana.

Things I Want to Learn to Do

1. Sew my own clothes, although I would start with sewing anything at all (Sew Anything, starring Yours Truly, John Cusack, and a sewing kit). My younger sister J is a really talented artist, seamstress, and designer of clothing, all talents from which I have shamelessly profited. We had this great arrangement in high school where I would edit her papers and bake stuff for her, and she would take over my art projects (Sr. Kathleen, if you are reading this, she is the reason I passed your class) and do cool things with my clothes. Which was awesome, except now we are miles and miles away, and I’ve never had to sew on my own buttons. Although I am firmly convinced that mending one’s clothes with visible safety pins will someday become trendy.

But also this and this. What I’m trying to say is…..sewing circle, anyone?? I think yes.

2. Knitting, crocheting, and all those other sub-categories of sewing. Because not only would I be less tempted to splurge on adorably overpriced scarves and hats at J.Crew, I’m pretty sure that if I started knitting on the subway people would think I was from Williamsburg. And therefore much, much, cooler. Plus it will give me something to do when when I am a cantankerous old lady and get tired of shooting children with a BB gun from my rocking chair.

Also, how else will I free the house-elves?

3. Garden! I mean, I can garden, as in, I can keep some herbs and marigolds and maybe a tomato vine or two alive and bearing fruit. When I say garden, I mean more, cover every spare inch of the space in which I live not taken by hammocks, cats, or guests requiring shelter in things green and growing. And then move onto any unclaimed space in my near vicinity. And then maybe some of the claimed space too. Basically, I want to take over the world.

Right now I don’t have my own house, so I’m waiting on the hammocks and cats and guests, but I will have begonias and tomatoes, dammit. And when the weather turns cool, kale.

While we’re on the subject, does anyone else have vivid and terrifying memories of this movie?

4. Some kind of martial art. Boxing is fun, and I doubt I’ll ever be a black belt in karate, but I feel like there must be one out there made for small people going up against bigger people. Kickboxing sounds fun too.

5.  Stop eating all the key lime pie.

6. Stop eating half of every pie crust I make before it goes in the oven.

7. Just stop eating all the pie, period.

8. Argentine tango.

9. Pick a lock.