January 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
with today being national handwriting day, I couldn’t wait to get home and get my best pens and recycled paper out. what would i write? what wouldn’t i write?
immediately two of my favorite quotes came to mind:
1) if they give you lined paper, write the other way (William Carlos Williams)
2) with my whole heart, for my whole life
i wrote the latter again and again. and again and again. in cursive. in marker. in pen. right side up, upside down. and then it hit me.
i need to be writing more. i have to be writing more. i want to be writing more.
with all the wedding planning going on and all the crafting and paper goods i’ve been making and creating i found myself obsessed – with paper, pen and writing. the written word is a beautiful thing so write it down. whatever it is. write your name, or a phone number. or make a list.
make it count, back to basics.
September 10, 2013 § 3 Comments
One month and 8 days ago, we became engaged.
In this time we have, picked out our photographer, signed the contract for our venue (ceremony + reception are in the same place), ordered dresses for the ladies standing next to me and – ordered three wedding gowns.
You read that right. I ordered the first two gowns from Ann Taylor, lovely, simple but not quite what I envisioned in person. I wanted it to be simple, easy and effortless. I sent both back within a day of receiving them.
I thought I could really do it, order my gown online and cross it off the list, boy was I wrong.
If I were frivolous with our money, let it be known that I’d be wearing this breathtaking gown – I never really saw myself in white. But that gown is $2,200 and I do not and cannot justify the expense for oh, 5 hours of wear. Gorgeous right?
On Friday night, sitting in traffic with my fiance, I found a dress at a local boutique, it was on sale for $300 – I said, fuck it. I called that moment and requested to make an appointment to try it on the very next day.
I texted my sister, and MOH and best friend for life, and told her my plan and even sent her the dress. She called me crazy and insisted she join me. “I want to be there for you and this is a huge deal,” was the gist of what she was saying.
I thought I was just buying a dress.
Next, I figured I would tell my mom and she also was ecstatic that I wanted to try on dresses rather than buying them online. She was on board.
Lastly, I called my other sister and she was also able to make it to my appointment.
The next day, after errands in the morning, I showered and got ready for my appointment. I did my hair and makeup to get a really good idea of how I would look on the day.
My consultant was such a sweetheart, we discussed my likes (lace, romantic, feminine, no pouf) and gripes (satin, rouching, satin!) and she pulled 5 dresses right away.
You know that moment, when you just know? Know that this is the gown you will be wearing when you exchange vows, and kiss your husband for the first time in? That moment of pure satisfaction and happiness in knowing that a gown is so you in every way possible? I thought that moment was bullshit, I had that moment as soon as I put on my first gown.
I kept it to myself of course, I tried on 6 more to appease my mother and even a veil – note I am not wearing a veil, they are very not-me. Pretty, dramatic but still not me.
Can I also let you know that the dress I wanted, the dress I came in to see, was not at all how I imagined it on. It was not my dress.
At the end I asked to put the first dress on, and my consultant already knew. This is it.
And instead of crossing it off a list, it actually became the very first moment when it hit me, I get to marry my best friend in a matter of months and this is really happening.
And then I panicked after I bought the gown, oh my god – I just bought a ball gown. A ball gown. If you’re unsure of this silhouette, refresh your memory here. Reason for my panic? We’re getting married in a restaurant, not a cathedral.
And then I took a sigh of relief because, I’ll wear whatever I damn well please on my wedding day.
August 7, 2013 § 5 Comments
Can you believe it? I can barely believe and I knew it was coming, I mean we planned for this moment but still, I’m in shock – mostly because I had no idea it was happening so soon. And I am beside myself with happiness.
I always imagined how it would happen, on a random night in the loft we used to rent in the South Loop. Mason would be there, with a box around his collar, Rith would be on his knees next to him, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. And there would be cake involved, obviously.
But that’s not what happened. And I still can’t believe I am someone’s fiancée. It’s so awesome it’s in italics.
It all happened on Friday night, after a grueling work week – end of month is never the favorite time of month for us finance folks. On Wednesday night he suggested we try on engagement rings together on Friday, I said sure, since we had been looking at rings for a few months now. Ladies, let me tell you – when you think you know what you want in a ring, be ready for the rug to be pulled out from under you. What you want changes! Again and again. I found my ring on Thursday night and told him I absolutely wanted to try THIS ONE on. He thought it was beautiful and agreed.
But that day on the train I found myself tired, so so tired. And just over it. I wasn’t in a bad mood but I wanted nothing more than to grab gyros and a redbox and just stay in. I didn’t even want to try my ring on.
I forgot to mention that at 9am he IMed me saying he would be leaving early. I was shocked and confused – it’s his busy time of year, he’s been working late at least three times a week. “What do you mean leaving early?!”
I got off the train and there he was, waiting for me like usual. I was so tired and wanted to stay in but couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to do that with me. He insisted on still going out so I reluctantly agreed.
He said we would try rings on first before dinner. I tried to get a little bit more excited, it’s hard to find that kind of excitement at the end of a really intense work week! But I did. In fact, on the way we ran into my parents, so we stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes and we were on our way again.
Instead of turning right, he turned left. And I began to ask questions. He was dodging them of course by just saying we could pick up food first. But before I knew it, he turned into my favorite place in the suburbs. Independence Grove Forest Preserve.
He suggested we take a quick walk, and I was none the wiser. We even saw a couple having engagement photos taken!
At the first bridge, with the sun setting behind him, with the lake all around us, he got out from his pocket a plastic wrapper – a ring pop. He unwrapped it, while my heart raced, and got down on one knee. He held my hands in his, and asked, (using my full name) if I would be his beautiful, lovely, wife.
We slipped that ring pop on and he told me he picked out my ring already, we just had to get it sized.
Shock. Awe. Silence. Just overjoyed.
You can imagine how the love of your life is going to ask you to spend the rest of your life with him, and then he can take all those ideas throw it out the window. However, the one thing I asked him to promise me was that it would be just us. And he knew this meant a lot to me, so it was everything to me that he did it this way.
After immediate family and very close friends knew, we announced it to the world via Instagram and his Facebook. The outpouring of love that followed was overwhelming.
What people don’t tell you about being engaged:
1) You will have to tell the proposal story again and again (and 103 times more).
2) People will be personally offended that your man didn’t include them in on the plans or even bother to tell them he was ready to pop the question. Even though it is the most intimate moment in your relationship thus far, they will feel upset at this and let you and your fiancée know this.
3) After asking you about bullet #1, they will ask when you are getting married. And how. And what the color scheme is. And where.
4) People will ask to see the ring before they ask you how it even happened. Some people will just comment on how gorgeous the ring is and congratulate you and keep it moving.
5) When you’ve lived with your significant other for 3+ years, you don’t think your relationship will change just because of a ring. It does. Your entire relationship changes, there’s a shift in just how much you love him and every time you look at that ring on your finger, you’re reminded of just how much.
6) Lastly, get the ring insured!
I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you, Rith Pum.
July 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Something changes the moment you decide you’ve found a person you are ready to reveal parts of your soul to. Something stands out and makes the moment unique. A profound multidimensional clarity resembling a piece of carefully gathered stardust; as if you are whispering “finally” and your eyes fill with light and spontaneity. As if you do not care whether your heart will melt or crumble in the process because your brief courage undoes your tremendous fear of disbelief. You live for these moments; for you are, maybe for one second or more, sweetly forced to surrender yourself to unconditional intimacy. A moment of psychological reward smashing all self-imposed disciplines founded on terror. This is all you need.
-The Diary of Anaïs Nin
July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
I do not nor have I ever considered myself to be a huge fan of musicals. However, if we are talking about Rodgers & Hammerstein, it’s a whole different story.
Spending a majority of my childhood days with my grandparents, I learned to embrace all types of music. Musicals were an absolute must in the house, my own mother and late grandmother sang every word to the Sound of Music and The King and I.
And now, at 27 – I too, do the same. There’s something about these songs from these two musicals that just makes you feel so magical. Like you’re not of this time, and not many songs can ever make me feel that way.
Tonight at Millennium Park, there will be a a celebration of Rodgers & Hammerstein music. Once I learned this news, I looked it up to see if they were holding open rehearsals. It was my lucky day!
I grabbed a coworker and trekked over to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion to listen to some of my favorite songs. It was so hot out, probably low 90′s but I didn’t even feel it. It was the best way to spend my lunch hour.
We left just as they wrapped “The Hills Are Alive.” As I type this now, I can still hear my grandmother’s sing-songy pitches as she sang along, as if she were standing right next to me in the TV Room.
July 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
My tattoos have gotten quite a bit of attention lately. If it’s not one, it’s the other. I never mind talking about them, but the one thing I absolutely hate hearing for the tattoo on my right arm is the question, “Is it for him?”
In a somewhat rocky time in our relationship, I felt not lost – because I hate when people say they feel that way. Thankfully, it’s never been so bad where I just lose myself completely but it’s safe to say I was further from the woman I wanted to be. I strayed from myself.
The only remedy I could find was poetry, specifically Loose Woman, by the fucking brilliant Sandra Cisneros. Somehow it found me, as it sat there in my untouched piles of books. I reread her words and retraced my steps back to me. Back to home. Sometimes for me, only words can do that. I cannot tell you how many times I read her poem, “You bring out the Mexican in me.” And just like the first time I ever read it years ago, I felt powerful. I felt home.
That night, on my way to hot yoga I found myself getting tattooed, I honestly can’t even tell you how that transpired.
And there I was, yoga leggings in the middle of January.
In the very same font of the book. With the words that brought me home, so no. It’s not for him, it’s for me.
He is a part of my home and my heart so I guess indirectly it is about him, but truly in my heart of hearts, it’s for me.
July 10, 2013 § 5 Comments
Every morning and afternoon, I take the Metra from home to downtown Chicago where I work. It’s been a huge adjustment, I used to have a 10 minute commute living in the South Loop.
I’m a creature of habit, I sit in the same car, with the same people every morning. I can tell when there’s someone new, or someone just commuting for the day. Today, to someone else on my train, I was the “new” person.
Before I get into that story, let it be known that I almost never walk with headphones in. We are so plugged in as a society that people can’t for one minute or simple errand, just be in the noise of it all.
So today, I stopped on my way off the train, to let this woman off ahead of me. You’d be surprised how many commuters just keep walking, allowing no one to get off before them. That’s another issue with our society, we are so selfish. But I digress, she was probably 5-7 years older than me and genuinely thanked me for allowing her to go first. She mentioned that she loved my tattoo, the “I love him” inscribed on my inner left forearm. What really caught me off guard was that she said she actually noticed it yesterday and didn’t want to be a creep for telling me. Funny how things work out right?
Then she asked how many I had and I had to pause and actually count in my head, “six,” I admitted, a little shocked myself.
She went on to talk about how she felt about names being tattooed on bodies. And that she didn’t believe in it. I agreed with her of course, I would never put a full name on my body, not only is it so personal to share, it’s just not my style. In our 2 minute walk from the platform to the exit of the station, we shared our lives. She was interviewing for a position that would require her to take the blue line to work. I told her we had just moved to my boyfriend’s house and why. A complete stranger, and it felt good to share that.
I walked to the office with a smile, because good people still exist.