Posted in boyfriend, rambling

WEDA 14: Wedding Wondering

Well Writing Every Day in April definitely didn’t work. But there are two more vowel-starting months I can attempt to initialize and write through, so I’m hopeful. I’m betting August will be the winner.

It’s hard to write every day as an anxious, full-time college student who, until very recently, was constantly doing duties as the Maid of Honor.

My sister’s wedding was beautiful. The decorations were perfect, the day largely stress-free, ceremony flawless, reception hilarious, food delicious–all things a wedding should be/have. I learned that Traditional Maid(s) of Honor have a LOT of duties before, during, and after a wedding. For example, I learned how to bustle a dress and snap duties at people. I also learned that the Bride gets a Night of Amazing, the Guests get Night of Fun, and the Bridesmaids gets a Day of Work. Hair and makeup started at 9AM for my sister’s 7PM wedding, and I think at any given point in the day my most-used phrase was, “I’ll take care of that.”

Frankly, I don’t get the big deal about weddings. Marriage was intended to be a business deal, and in a lot of ways it still is. Example: my mom’s childhood friend refuses to marry her partner of like 20 years because, “I don’t want to take on all of his debt!” For my Boyfriend, our Marriage will be about our commitment to each other in front of God.

Personally, I think our commitment to each other comes from not leaving even when we want to, when times get tough, when the tough get going. I don’t need a piece of paper, a commitment in front of a hundred of my “Closest Friends.” I have him, and he has me–and that’s all I need. Frankly, no one in my family has ever actually committed to a marriage, so the idea that it’s an eternal commitment is nice, but just not accurate. People get divorced all the time. Marriage is not forever. Should it be? I think so. But is it? No. And for good reasons! But the idea that Marriage is the End All Be All of a Relationship is a dated idea.

I like the thought of marriage and want to get married, don’t get me wrong. I think my feelings mostly surround the Wedding.

I can legally bind myself to this person I love, and understand all of the legal benefits and (in some cases) necessities of doing so. What I can’t get behind is this huge, public ceremony to do it.

Marriage is sacred. It’s intimate. It’s two people committing to each other for Better, or Worse until Divorce/Death do we part. I couldn’t give two Craps about who was there, as long as the person I’m committing to is there. I just don’t understand why it matters.

My parents aren’t paying for my wedding. They aren’t giving me away (which is an antiquated practice I don’t even care to discuss). So why should they be there?

Why do I have to wear a white dress? I’m not a virgin, so it’s not about purity.

Why do I have to have a wedding party? They’d be a bunch of strangers to each other and have no idea what to do or how to do things like a bachelorette party (which I don’t even want).

Tradition is your enemy. And I’m a firm believer that a tradition’s history is incredibly important. There aren’t a lot of wedding traditions I actually agree with.

But what do you do when the person you want to marry only knows the traditions, only wants to do those, doesn’t understand why you don’t just give in to it all?

Do you wear white? Are you given away? Do you have a night where everyone but you gets drunk and the straws are shaped like penises?

I don’t know. It feels wrong to a bunch of things I don’t agree with just to make someone else happy. Is that what marriage is about? Is it wrong of me to ask him to compromise so that I don’t have to? How do you decide if a thing is incompromisable or not?

I try not to think about this too much. I’ve got a few years but I really have to worry about a wedding.

-HH

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Posted in boyfriend, faith, religion

WEDA 1: Easter Fool’s Day

I know, I know. I disappeared. March was really rough on me, and then Spring Break was exactly the breather I needed. We went to Disney World–don’t worry, there will be at least 4 posts about it. I’m going to try a Write Every Day in April. Hopefully I’m at least 50% successful.

I’m not going to talk about Disney right now, though. Right now I want to talk about Easter.

I’m sitting in my car, windows rolled down (thankfully it’s a nice day out so I’m not ruining my car battery), waiting for my Boyfriend to get out of Mass. I was also in Mass until like five minutes ago.

For the majority of my life I have been an atheist. Some days I still am. Some days I’m a Christian, others I’m a deist. Faith, I am learning, is not linear.

Easter happens to fall on April Fool’s Day this year. The Priest, in his resounding wisdom (which is sarcasm, and probably offensive, but I don’t care), made a joke about atheists being fools. I didn’t find it funny.

The few Christian friends I have, whom I have discussed religion with before, are always incredibly welcoming. Even if we don’t agree, in the end I know they respect me. I expect as much from a Priest. From a Priest I expect to feel welcomed and encouraged to find and build a relationship with God. Today I do not.

I’m told it’s supposed to be a day of celebration of Him, so that kind of puts a damper on things.

Today I am disappointed in my Boyfriend’s religion. Days like this make me question our relationship. How can we have a successful relationship if he’s very Catholic and I’m Barely Religious? How do we have a family?

On days like this, I don’t think we can.

I need advice from someone who has successfully existed in a happy relationship alongside someone with drastically different views. I need to know that it’s possible because I love him but that can only get us so far.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, rambling

Are you Sure you Want a Piece of Me?

Boyfriend and I have been fighting a LOT recently. Don’t worry, I think we’re fine. I think the stress of Midterms has just Overwhelmed us both. But there is an end (to Midterms) in sight! During one of our recent fights, though, I talked about something I can’t stop thinking about.

When I love someone, especially as much as I love him, I learn to love all the Things he Loves. Like video games, books, topics. This is definitely not a bad thing! I genuinely enjoy the things he enjoys, although I would say I learned to love them because he loves them.

The problem comes when I feel like I lose the things I love. This isn’t at all his fault. It’s because I’m an All-Or-Nothinger. At least, that’s how it feels sometimes.

The more I think about it, though, the less simple that seems.

My interests and my for-funs tend to be solitary things. Yoga. Bullet Journaling. Face Masks. Cooking/baking. Those are things you can do with other people, but for the most part I like to be by myself and do things on my own. He facilitates those environments for me–cleaning spaces so I can be calm and stretch, running my baths, fetching pots and pans, and giving input on every bullet journal spread I make.  But his things involve people, like DnD nights, or playing video games with friends. So when he does his things, I feel like we do things for him. But when I do my things, I do my things and he gets to do his own thing.

I guess now I’m wondering how much of my identity is my own, and what I’m going to start defining myself by. It used to be my intelligence. Now I feel like identities may be more complex than I thought.

I think I can use a lot of things to identify myself:

  • Introvert
  • Hufflepuff
  • History Major
  • Brother
  • LSU Tiger

These things are huge parts of who I am, and they don’t even feel like the tip of the iceberg.

You would never know that I’m a skincare enthusiastic. Or that I have health goals I’m always trying to meet. You wouldn’t know I love dark chocolate and hate tornadoes. You definitely wouldn’t know that I have an incredibly messy car and that I organize my life in notebooks.

I thought because I didn’t have a club to hangout with that I had somehow given my identity to my Boyfriend and he had taken it, left it out to dry, and gone on to be his own person. But really, learning to love what he loves is just a part of who I am!

I give pieces of myself to people, and explore new interests and parts of myself because of it!

Because of my boyfriend, I now like Dungeons and Dragons! And I play Minecraft! And I’m still as interesting, intelligent, complex, and awesome as I was before I gave pieces of myself to him.

I’m just a little nerdier now.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, college

Grumpily Apologetic

Finals week is difficult.

I know, revolutionary statement. But it is! For a plethora of reasons, none of which are muffled when you’re in a relationship.

Over the past year, I’ve learned something I didn’t know before about relationships: they involve two separate people.

Two separate people, taking finals, and attached at the hip.

Oh, yes, there’s been a lot of stress-fighting.

In the year we’ve been together, I’ve never been more shocked than when my Boyfriend, hugging my head to his torso (I was sitting), said plainly, “I love you, but you’re being so aggravating.”

Even now, it makes me laugh. I couldn’t help it! My stress levels live at a 7, plus 2 for finals, plus 4 for social situations (we were in the PACKED library) equal Too Damn Much for me.

We’re fine, if a little grumpily apologetic. And, after 7:30 tonight, we’re done with all written finals! (I have a speaking final on Friday.)

So here’s to being Aggravating–
You’ve been okay, Fall 2017…
But thank God you’re over.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, feelings

Best Condiment in the World

There are a lot of things I could bitch about today. The car accident I got in, assignments I had due, texts from my boss, a conversation with my mother–all of those things sucked. My room is a mess, I’m living on nutritionless food, my skin and hair and eyebrows are unkempt and sad looking.

Instead, I’m gonna be thankful for my Boyfriend.

From the dark hole I built myself in my room, under a mountain of blankets and pity, I texted him: “Can you bring home some McDonald’s? I really need nugs today.”

He had an exam and a quiz today, held me as I cried multiple times, went to a work meeting, and has a test to study for tonight. When he came home, he was carrying two drinks and a bag from the Golden Arches.

“That took awhile,” I said. “Did something happen?”

They got the order wrong at first, he explains. Then he tells me they were out of Honey Mustard–aka the Best Condiment in the World. I felt myself deflate, “What did you get me instead?”

“Look in the bag.”

And there, on top of my nuggets, were two Honey Mustard sauces from Chick-fil-A.

I burst into tears.

Every day, I am thankful to have him. But today, especially, I am thankful to him.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend

Dressing Up and Promising Rings

Sunday I had lunch with a girl I was best friends with in middle school. She moved away after 7th grade and moved back after high school, and we’ve met sporadically over the past two years, but this summer we both actively decided we wanted to pursue friendship.

I had a great time! I’m excited to hangout with her again But she said something to me I can’t stop thinking about.

“I think promise rings are kind of stupid at our age,” she told me. “Like, we’re not kids anymore.”

Before I talk about any of that, I want to say that she began our conversation by saying she felt like a little kid playing dress up, that we’re doing adult things but it doesn’t quite feel like we’re actually adults yet.

She thinks her boyfriend of a year and a half will propose to her soon. She is going to say yes. Good for her.

But when my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, we will both still be in college. When we graduate with our bachelor’s degrees, I will be in a master’s program a month later, and I will be in said program for the next year.

When I finish that program, we will have been together for three and a half years. Before I marry him, I want to live with him for at least six months in our own apartment, just the two of us.

“I wouldn’t even mind a long engagement,” she explained. “I just don’t want to live in a house he owns, since he’s buying one now, and just be his ‘girlfriend.'”

I understood what she was saying. But that’s not the pace that my relationship is going, despite the fact that we both intend to marry our current boyfriends.

A long engagement isn’t what I want. Engagement, to me, means marriage is coming soon. And I do want to marry my Boyfriend! But what marriage means to me isn’t something I’m ready for yet.

Marriage, to me, means a home in our names, joint bank accounts, a plan for a honeymoon, and enough money to have the big, beautiful Catholic wedding I know my boyfriend wants. Those things will not exist in three and a half years.

But you know what I love about a promise ring? It means those things will exist some time after three and a half years. I trust my Boyfriend enough to know that if he gives me a promise ring, it’s because he means it.

am still playing dress up sometimes. I don’t really know how to be an adult yet. I do have a million things I want to do with my Boyfriend, all of which I’m comfortable doing with just calling him my “Boyfriend.” All of which I would love doing with a tiny, stupid ring on my finger that says “I intend to marry the person I am dating.”

Frankly, I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with that.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, feelings, poetry

Home

Before God gave him to me, I was a weak foundation
There were cracks in me from Surface to Earth

Before God gave him to me, I had no intention of Building myself
Pieces of me sat around, just out of reach, and I wasn’t even Stretching for them
Before God gave him to me, the rain poured–
poured–
poured–
Until no part of me remained Dry
Then God gave him to me

When God gave him to me, I decided to fill the cracks
I needed to be the best so that one day he would Build on my Base
No other blocks of cement could be more appealing than mine
When God gave him to me, I decided to fight

When God gave him to me, he took the planks of wood that make up my soul
None of them match or are the right length
Yet still, he is building a house out of me

When God gave him to me, I was Cold to my Core
Unwilling to be Punctured by the reality of Love
I have since learned how to Warm a Room

When God gave him to me, I was sure he wasn’t Real
Sometimes I squeeze him to remind myself that it’s not a Dream
He supplies my Frame with Warmth and Protection
He covers me from the Wind and pushes me in the Sun

Thank God gave him to me
He Built a House from my Broken Bits
Together, we are Home.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend, feelings

Working, not Breaking

So I had a bunch of things I was thinking about writing about while I binge How to Get Away with Murder on Spring Break. Then there was a scene in this episode where Annalise (Viola Davis) is in an AA meeting. And I thought of my father.

My Boyfriend and I got into a fight  a few weeks ago. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to breaking up. I’ll explain.

We were at a party, surrounded by people with whom I was having tension–his friends. I was surrounded by alcohol–a thing I have so many negative feelings about that I work to process every day. My Boyfriend, while he knows about them, doesn’t get it. He hasn’t had the kind of experiences I’ve had with alcohol. I’m happy he hasn’t. But that can make things difficult.

The party became too much for me almost immediately. I couldn’t handle it. I walked home alone. Try as I might, my brain wouldn’t stop. The panic felt overwhelming. I was alone, with my brain running in circles it hadn’t gone in quite awhile. And I tried to let him have his fun, I did, but I couldn’t.

So I called him. Told him I needed him to come home. And he was drunk on the other end, I could tell. But he loves me, so I figured he’d come back when I told him I needed him.

He didn’t.

Or, I mean, he did. Like three hours later.

And we talked about it the next day. I got mad, he apologized.

“I should have come home,” he told me.

But when I demanded to know why he didn’t come home earlier, he couldn’t give me anything worth anything. Because “I was playing Beer Pong,” just doesn’t compare to “My girlfriend needs me” in my opinion.

“It’s going to take time for me to forgive you,” I finally said. “You’re going to have prove yourself to me.”

Weeks later, we were riding home to Spring Break. And for some reason, that night crossed my mind. And I turned down the radio.

“I’m not meaning to start a fight, but I told you it was going to take time for me to forgive you. And I think you deserve to know that I haven’t forgiven you, yet.”

And he got mad. When I tried to grab his hand, he pulled away.

“That was weeks ago and I think there’s a bigger problem if you’re still holding on to it.”

And I laughed. “With me? Oh yeah, definitely.”

I think maybe we probably almost broke up again, in the car. Which would’ve broken my rule, so I’m glad that didn’t happen.

“You picked beer over me,” and I hate to admit that my voice broke when I started to yell, but it did. “And a lot of people have picked beer over me, my entire life.”

He got quiet. And all the anger I had felt from him before changed.

All the anger in me shifted. “I’m not angry at you. I’m scared. That that’s going to become normal.”

When the fighting is over, we always ask each other. “Do you have anything else you want to say?”

Normally it’s nothing big. Quiet I love you’s. Hand kisses. Hugs and I’m sorry’s.

But this time it smacked me.

“I didn’t realize that it was about more than just me.”

I always know about the things that make us different. Like he’s Catholic, and I love writing. But I forget about the bigger things that make us different. I think he usually forgets them too.

Alcohol, to him, means a fun night. Alcohol, to me, means my father forcing my sister to drive his car when she was twelve, while she was crying. It means my father dragging my mother through a verbal slew so awful I can’t believe I ever trusted one awful thing he said to me about her. It means my mother throwing her wedding ring out the window at 3AM. It means broken doors being replaced five times in ten years. It means broken windshields from my mother’s feet, scratches across my stepdad’s face, holes in walls (and ceilings and cabinets).

So we’re working on it. I’m working on realizing that I have no reason to believe that my Boyfriend is like my Parents. He’s working on realizing that I didn’t grow up like him.

We’re working, not breaking.

I kind of, maybe, definitely want to marry him.

Pretty sure the feeling’s mutual.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend

Dear Valentine,

I am not someone who holds back. All the things you’re supposed to say on this day, I have said before. And my face is an open book, so even what I don’t say you can (and do) still read.

I’m sorry that all I have are more words–that I cannot give you things so that you know how true my words are. I hope maybe you know anyway.

You are my best friend. You are my favorite person to talk to. Your weird matches my weird. These are all things you know already.

You are more than I ever could’ve asked for. More than I ever thought I deserved. Your respect and love for me are almost overwhelming, because they are things I have never experienced before. You validate the things I already know of myself.

You are quick-witted. You’re hil-ar-ious. Your smile lights up my world. You’re thoughtful. You’re a terrible singer. And you always get the words wrong. You are nothing at all like what I expected love to be like.

I tell you this all the time, but I hope you know how true it is: you make me feel lucky.

You make me feel worthy.

You make me feel in ways I never thought I would.

I have never been happier.

Thank you.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

-HH

Posted in boyfriend

Thinking and Knowing and Growing

Tonight I went to a wedding for two people I went to high school with. It’s terrifying to think that I’m old enough to know two people who are old enough be adults who are married–or that I’m old enough to be an adult who’s married.

The wedding was small and simple. The way everything back home feels, now.

I played softball with the bride when I was a freshman in high school. I remember the day we found out she was pregnant, weeks before she graduated. She’s four years older than me. I remember thinking that she was going to turn out so different than anything I’d ever expected from her.

That part is still true, that she turned out different than anything I expected from her. But I think her future turned out better than anything I could’ve imagined.

“Do you not want to have a wedding, then?” My Boyfriend asked the other night, after I went on a ten minute rant about how weddings are for other people and not that actual bride and groom.

I thought about it for a moment. “I think every girl dreams, at least once, about being the princess walking down the aisle.”

Tonight I watched someone be that princess. She bounced with excitement. I wondered what it was like to be her. To be so sure of what you had and who you were and what you wanted and where you were going. To be so sure of who you wanted that person to be and who you wanted do those things with and go those places with.

I looked at the girl sitting beside me, one of my best friends of over seven years.

“I’m going to say something to you,” and she turned to me, already preparing for the worst. “And maybe I’m going to sound crazy. And maybe it won’t happen But I’m going to say it anyway.”

She waited.

“I think I’m going to marry him.”

Her smile was small and sweet and soft. “Yeah?”

And when I nodded, she shrugged. “When you know, you know.”

And as he sleeps next to me, breathing getting heavier, fingers twitching, limbs sinking–I think it a little more. I think I know a little more.

What I have.

Who I am.

What I want.

Where I’m going.

Who I want to go to those places with and do this things with and be with.

Yeah, I think I know a little more.

-HH