Married life is one thing, as I described recently in this post, with its ups, downs and perks. Life After Wedding is something entirely different with it's own unique set of tasks, trials and tribulations.
The first few days after returning from our honeymoon, my husband, T, and I were on a total high. We could eat whatever we wanted, we could lay around all day not worrying about place cards or candy buffets or just how many pairs of underwear we would need to bring on the honeymoon. We would sit on the couch those first few days and every once a while glance over at each other to see our new husband/wife with one finger up his/her nose, one hand scratching some body part and his/her mouth chewing whatever "forbidden food" s/he wanted. These moments were truly magical and every now and then they'd be topped off with some sort of emission of gas. That's when we would look at each other, our eyes brimming over with love and say, "Married life is amazing. I love you so much."
One week later, Life After Wedding set in and brought with it the following:
Bed, Bath and Beyond
I have made more trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond in the past three weeks than I care to make in any given year. Contrary to my husband who practically creams himself at the thought of going into any store that sells kitchen/bathroom/organizing equipment, I hate it (which really doesn't make sense being that I'm the only one who actually uses any of the stuff). Life After Wedding forced us to take a full inventory of all of the gifts we had received and make one too many trips to BB&B for returns.
Excited at the prospect of BB&B's Cash Back Policy, I grabbed as much as I could carry and waited in the freezing cold, one shopping cart short of looking homeless and finally caught the M15 headed uptown to my favorite BB&B. Now, generally, I RAVE about their customer service. They're so nice, friendly, helpful and quick. Not so much this time. After using my chin to open the door since my arms were loaded down and the store's doorman thought it would be more fun to watch, rather than help me I was pumped to see that there was only one other person at the Customer Service desk. Little did I know that the only other person formed one half of the lethal Tiny Asian Woman/Slowest Employee On Earth combination that would result in me standing there sighing loudly whenever another employee strolled over, looked at me and then strolled away to text his baby mama, deciding I would be too much work to help.
When it finally was my turn, I was "greeted" by the most unfortunate mug any Customer Service desk has ever seen. Little did this lady know that I not only will I tell off a store clerk, I ENJOY it and so I made it my business to wait until she walked all the way to the end of the counter only to yell out "just one more question" so she had to walk her slow, rude ass all the way back over to me. I was only slightly frightened by the person behind me in line, who after closer inspection, turned out to be a woman and not a small man. It was hard to tell initially given the butch hair cut and sleeveless flannel shirt. I thought quick and bonded with the possibly-just-released-from-the-State Pen woman waiting for me to finish over cell phones and hating the Customer Service lady. Finally, I was walking out of BB&B with 300 bones, the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with pissing someone off and the comfort that if I ever ended up in the clink, I knew whose bitch I would be.
Thank You Cards
When I walked into our building yesterday afternoon, in a rush to make it upstairs since I didn't have the DVR set up to record Oprah, my doorman called after me, "Uh Jane, I have a package for you." I always get excited at the sight of a pair of tight brown UPS man shorts and I get a little rush whenever a package arrives even if I know it's just a box of contact lenses I ordered. I bolted from the elevator over to the closet where the doormen keep our packages and all but closed my eyes and held out my hands as my parents instructed me to do the Christmas morning they had bought us "black market" Cabbage Patch Dolls.
When I looked down at the box that the doorman placed in my hand after awkwardly waiting for the elevator with me, I saw the return address was from my favorite online stationery store. Realizing instantly that I was holding in my hand the cards that I had ordered to use as thank you cards for the wedding, I immediately instant messaged T saying, "pick up some wine on your way home, the Thank You Cards arrived." Now, thank you cards aren't just a post-wedding task. There are Engagement thank you cards, Shower thank you cards, Rehearsal dinner thank you cards, Thank you for slapping me across the face when I was freaking out over seating arrangement thank you cards; The difference is that those thank you cards are exciting, they are fun, they are all part of the "wedding planning process."
Once the wedding is over there is nothing a newlywed bride and groom want less than anything to do with the "wedding planning process" and while, we truly couldn't be more grateful for the gifts we've received and the people that celebrated with us, that stack of blank cards acts as a time machine set to transport you right back to the Xanax-popping days that made up the two or so weeks just before the wedding.
Not one to slack off, I ripped open the box ,right away and started writing and wrote until bed-time. This morning, after cooking T his usual breakfast of an omelet, English Muffin, oatmeal and tea, I got back to work and as I sat at the kitchen table, writing away, commented to him, "Ya know, I'm really trying to be original and personal with all of the thank you notes, it's really hard to not write the same thing over and over." From the living room, over the sound of SportsCenter (which he watches at unnecessarily loud volume every morning) he replied, "Yeah, I totally know."
I stopped dead in my tracks and thought for a moment making a mental catalog of all of the Thank You and, not to mention Holiday cards we have sent out since the very beginning of our relationship. Double checking in my head, I confirmed silently to myself that T had not so much as signed his name, let alone had he written a thoughtful note on a single solitary greeting over the past five years. I must have been silent a little too long, because he felt the need to walk into the kitchen and remind me, "Ya know. I did have a BAR MITZVAH. And I wrote thank you cards. And I wrote the same thing over and over. So I get it."
Was I supposed to respond positively to this? I honestly don't know. Is he justified in comparing the 60 or so Bar Mitzvah Thank You Cards he "wrote" (aka: transposed whatever note his mother kindly composed for him" to the 300 or so Thank You cards I'd written on behalf of the two of us over the past year? Did I not have a Sweet Sixteen in which I wrote my own thank you cards? Does one instance of writing Thank Yous 15 years ago excuse him for life just because he bought a ring?
Again, I must have been silent, deep in thought, for too long after his comment, because he continued on citing, "I've offered to help." Unprepared to deal with this conversation at 8am, I just changed the subject until it was time to kiss him goodbye and send him off to work. Men, sometimes it's better to stay silent.
Many married couples will tell you that the minute you get back from your honeymoon, people start asking, "So, are you thinking about kids?" "Can we expect a honeymoon baby?" Luckily for T and I, we've been spared this Life After Wedding phenomenon and people aren't really bugging us about this. Perhaps it's because I'm unemployed; Perhaps it's because we are two of the laziest human beings on the planet; or Perhaps its because everyone is aware that the plant we bought three years ago lasted only about three months because we didn't always "feel like" watering it. Whatever the reason, people have (thankfully) left us alone on this topic. Even my mother who swears I'm a "natural" whenever she sees me awkwardly holding a baby leaves us alone when it comes to this topic, which incidentally will be the basis for an upcoming blog. Something along the lines of "What on Earth will T and I Spawn Should We Decide to Procreate?
In a nutshell, this is Life After Wedding. Forgive me for leaving out things like Gown Preserving, Arguments like "We Can't Put That Picture in the Album because I Have Fat Arm", and Let's-Throw-A-Honeymoon-Themed-Party-So-We-Can-Use-All-Our-New-Stuff Syndrome, but I wanted to keep this post under 2000 words.